WEN 6552 Planer Review

  • August 16, 2018

Review of WEN 6552

Editor Rating: 4.7/5

Build Quality
Power
Features
Price

Review Summary

The 6552 thickness planer is one of a pair WEN sells. Like its smaller alternative, the 6552 exhibits WEN’s quality and value philosophy. A thickness planer is a must for anyone who regularly works with rough sawn stock or needs to “shave” time off projects using a planer in place of heavy sanding. This particular planer uses a three-blade cutter which increases the number of cuts per minute (CPM). More CPM equals a smoother finish, which in turn reduces the amount of finish sanding needed.

The 6552 is an excellent choice for advanced users and contractors with enough room in their shops to accommodate the space required for the infeed and outfeed of stock. Cabinetry contractors may want a more capable machine, and novices, or at least individuals new to woodworking, should gain experience with power tools before tackling a thickness planer.

The 6552 – A Quick Look

Pros
  • Three-blade cutter head for smoother finishes
  • Great price point
Cons
  • Not for shops with limited space
  • Not necessarily suitable for professional cabinetry makers

Specifications

Brand name: WEN, Inc.

Model: 6552 Thickness Planer

Motor (VAC, A): 120, 15.0

No load RPM: 8500

Cuts per minute (CPM): 25,500

Maximum stock width: 13”

Maximum stock thickness: 6”

Feed rate in feet per minute (FPM): 26

Weight: 77 pounds

WEN 6552 measurement

Three-blade cutter head

Thickness planers have a formula that determines how fine a finish they create: (number of blades x RPM) = CPM. More CPM means a smoother finish. With three blades in the cutterhead, the 6552 produces a very nice surface finish.

Double roller stock return

The top of the 6552 has a pair of rollers built in to make it easier to return stock from the outfeed side to the infeed side for the next planing pass.

Rugged build

A planer experiences a lot of stress in use, so it is important that the tool use strong materials to produce a rigid, durable platform for planing. The 6552 accomplishes this with cast iron, steel, and other durable materials where it counts.

WEN 6552 back view

FAQ

If something breaks, how good are WEN’s warranty and customer service?

WEN has a nice warranty and generally receives high praise for its customer service. It doesn’t please everyone, but what company can these days?

Can this tool handle hardwoods, especially exotics?

With its 15 amp motor and three-blade cutterhead, the 6552 can handle the toughest of wood. Be sure not to force-feed stock. Let the tool dictate the pace, and the results will be great for any hardness of wood.

Why does it take so many passes?

WEN recommends making several very shallow cuts as opposed to a single, deeper cut. A shallower cut reduces the wear on the motor and blades and results in a better surface, especially when working with stock wider than six inches.

WEN 6552 ruler

What the Users Say

A great benefit of the Internet is the ability to research anything you can imagine. When getting ready to invest your hard-earned money in a power tool for your shop, reviews and comparisons provide invaluable data for the decision-making process. It is nice to hear what people with real-world experience have to say. Let’s give you a bit of that for the WEN 6552 thickness planer.

Users report satisfaction with the quality of the tool’s build and the minimal assembly required to put it into use. Attach the dust collector chute and the depth-of-cut adjustment crank, attach it to a level surface, and it is ready to plane.

Value for the results produced regularly comes up. Users find the 6552 consistently produces surface finishes as good as or better than more expensive machines in their experience. That is the truest measure of any tool’s performance: that it delivers the results its owners want, or better.

When users report issues, they frequently point to the use of plastic gears in critical areas of the planer. They experience breakage, and the tool stops working until it is repaired. The typical question posed is, “Why not use metal gears?”

Another area of complaint involves the feed rollers that help move the stock into and out of the planer. These are reported to fail after minimal use. Gearing failure again seems to be the problem in these cases.

The 6552 also receives a fair number of complaints about snipe, that variation in thickness at either end of the stock. Snipe happens as the stock pivots downward going into the tool or coming out because of leverage pressure created by the length of stock outside the tool. Users experience this for about two inches at one or both ends. The typical solution is the provision of stock supports on both sides of the tool to eliminate the pivoting effect from unsupported stock.

Conclusion

Is this the finest thickness planer on the face of the planet? No, we can’t make that claim. What it is, though, is an affordable planer that produces great results. It has a solid build and will meet your planing needs for many years, especially when you follow the recommendations for proper use in the owner’s manual. You’ll need the shop space to permanently install the planer on a solid, level surface with ample infeed and outfeed space. If you have the room, buy the 6552 rather than a more expensive brand and use the savings to buy nicer material for your next project. If you need professional or commercial levels of finish and throughput, you should explore tools specifically designed for those situations.

About the Author Adam Harris

Hi there! My name is Adam and I write for HealthyHandyman. I have a great passion for writing about everything related to tools, home improvement, and DIY. In my spare time, I'm either fishing, playing the guitar, or spending quality time with my beloved wife. You'll also often find me in my workshop working on some new project!