The Best Electric Hand Planers of 2022

Say goodbye to sticking doors, uneven floors, and other pesky issues around the house with the help of one of the best electric hand planers.

By Tom Scalisi | Updated May 17, 2022 2:03 PM

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The Best Electric Hand Planers

Photo: amazon.com

Despite painstakingly perfect measurements and perfect cuts, there are times when wood just doesn’t cooperate. Whether it’s a door in an old home that sticks as it closes, a joist that is level but somehow still too tall compared with the others, or a glue-up of boards that ended up just a bit too wide, experienced DIYers see these frustrations happen all too often.

Although it’s possible to make many of these repairs with circular saws or other tools, it can be tough to achieve accurate results. The good news is that electric hand planers are made for these tasks. But not all DIYers are familiar with these specialty tools, so it can be tough to know which one is best for the job.

The following guide includes the need-to-knows when choosing the best electric hand planer, as well as some of the best tool suggestions for various applications.

  1. BEST OVERALL: DeWalt D26677K 3-1/4″ Portable Hand Planer Kit
  2. BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: WEN 6534 8-Amp, 4-3/8-Inch Electric Hand Planer
  3. UPGRADE PICK: Makita XPK02Z 18V LXT Cordless 3-1/4″ Planer
  4. BEST CORDED: Bosch PL2632K 3-1/4 In. Planer Kit
  5. BEST CORDLESS: DeWalt DCP580B 20V Max XR Brushless Cordless Planer
  6. BEST HEAVY-DUTY: Makita KP0810 3-1/4″ Planer
  7. BEST LIGHT-DUTY: Ryobi One+ 18V Cordless 3-1/4 in. Planer
  8. ALSO CONSIDER: Porter-Cable PC60THP 6-Amp Hand Planer
The Best Electric Hand Planers

Photo: amazon.com

What to Consider When Choosing the Best Electric Hand Planer

Although many DIYers and woodworkers are familiar with basic hand planers, electric hand planers are sort of a niche tool. Unlike basic hand planes, with one razor-sharp blade that slices paper-thin slivers off a board, the best electric hand planers have high-speed cylindrical blades that lop off tiny chunks of wood. That’s not the only difference between them, as the following sections will discuss.

Power 

Using electric hand planers instead of manual tools for paring down door edges, joists, and boards makes the job go much faster. The electric hand planers come in corded and cordless models, and the motor speeds that result are impressive.

Corded electric hand planers range from lighter-duty, 5-amp models to those with 8 amps meant for heavier-duty planing. They can reach speeds of up to 20,000 revolutions per minute  (rpm), and as long as there is an outlet nearby, they’ll always have power.

Cordless electric hand planers are all about convenience. They use rechargeable batteries (generally 18 volts or 20 volts, depending on the brand) to power their electric motors, and they can reach speeds of up to 16,000 or 17,000 rpm. Despite slightly lower speeds, many cordless electric hand planers feature brushless motors and electronic controls that allow them to match the heavy-duty output of some corded models.

Note: Beware that there is a distinction between revolutions per minute and cuts per minute. Cuts per minute refers to how many times the blades come in contact with the wood, whereas revolutions per minute refers to how many times the motor spins completely in 1 minute. Divide the cuts per minute by the number of blades to determine the motor’s speed.

Cutting Capacity

There are two cutting capacities that electric hand planer shoppers need to understand: cutting width and depth of cut. Cutting width refers to the capacity of the blade, while the depth of cut refers to how much wood the planer will remove with each pass.

The general do-all cutting capacity for electric hand planers is 3¼ inches. This capacity can handle framing lumber, thick doors, tabletops, and most other wood products. There are larger cutting capacities (sometimes more than 6 inches), but they’re typically best for heavy-duty applications such as timber framing.

Possibly more important than cutting width is the depth of cut. Some electric hand planers can remove as much as ⅛ of an inch from the surface in one pass. However, this is often far too aggressive, so electric hand planers allow the user to dial in the depth of the cut in much smaller increments.

Blades 

Electric hand planers vary in the number of planer blades they contain. Some models might feature just one planer blade, which will do the trick but can result in a choppier finish and/or more vibration. Models with two or three blades will result in a smoother finish and less vibration. Two-blade models are the most common.

Electric hand planer blades are typically carbide-tipped, which makes them durable enough for many uses. However, they will wear down over time, and some types can be hard to sharpen. Luckily, they’re easy to replace, and there are plenty of carbide-tipped replacement blades on the market.

Weight and Handle

Electric hand planers aren’t new, and some of the older models weighed around 20 pounds. This caused them to be a true handful, which often made controlling the cut toward the end of the board difficult. Today’s compact models weigh less than half of those older models, usually between 5 and 10 pounds, making them much easier to handle for repeated passes.

Also, modern electric hand planers have ergonomic handles on top that position the user’s wrist in a neutral orientation. Knobs on the front of most electric hand planers allow the user to adjust the depth of cut and maintain even pressure while planing. In many cases, one or both of these handles will feature rubber coatings to help dampen vibration and improve the user’s grip.

Fence, Kickstand, and Additional Features

There are additional features that shoppers might want to look for in the best handheld planer. Adjustable, attachable fences make guiding and controlling a hand planer much easier, as they prevent the planers from tracking off course. Since it can be very easy for a DIYer or pro to accidentally take off more material than planned, these fences can make a big difference.

Also, to get the most out of a planer’s blades, consider a model that comes with a kickstand. The kickstand keeps the blades off the worktable’s surface when the planer isn’t in use, allowing the blades to stay sharper longer and preventing them from gouging the material.

Other features may include dust collection bags, a chip deflection switch that allows the user to choose the direction in which the chips fly, and even retractable feet in place of a kickstand.

Our Top Picks

Even with a better understanding of electric hand planers, prospective buyers may still find the shopping process a bit intimidating. When it comes to choosing the best electric planer on the market, the following are some of the top picks for specific categories of use. Be sure to keep in mind the abovementioned considerations when comparing these models.

Best Overall

The Best Electric Hand Planers Option: DeWalt D26677K 3-1/4" Portable Hand Planer Kit
Photo: amazon.com

DIYers and pros looking for speed, quality, and adjustability might want to consider DeWalt’s Hand Planer Kit. This planer features a 5.5-amp corded electric motor that produces blade speeds of up to 35,000 cuts per minute at 17,000 rpm. It also features a two-blade design, with reversible blades for longer usable life.

This planer offers a cutting capacity of 3¼ inches and a depth of cut of up to 1/16 of an inch. It also has an ergonomic handle designed to keep the user’s wrist in a neutral position and a front-mounted knob for depth adjustments and overall control. The kit comes with two extra blades and a fence, as well as a dust collection port. Unfortunately, there isn’t a dust collection bag included with the kit.

Product Specs

  • Power: Corded; 5.5 amps
  • Cutting capacity: 3¼ inches
  • Depth of cut: 1/16 of an inch

Pros

  • High top speed
  • Kit comes with extra blades and fence
  • Ergonomic handle design

Cons

  • Doesn’t come with a dust collection bag

Get the DeWalt electric hand planer kit at Amazon, Ace Hardware, The Home Depot, or Acme Tools.

Best Bang For The Buck

The Best Electric Hand Planers Option: WEN 6534 8-Amp, 4-3/8-Inch Electric Hand Planer
Photo: amazon.com

Blending heavy-duty capability with affordability can be a tough proposition, but those looking for that combination may want to consider this tool from WEN. The electric hand planer features a corded 8-amp motor that cuts up to 32,000 cuts per minute. With its two-blade design, the motor’s output is 16,000 rpm—high for a planer at this price point.

This electric hand planer features a wide 4⅜-inch cutting capacity and a maximum depth of cut up to ⅛ of an inch. Although not lightweight (it’s almost 10 pounds), this hand planer’s heavy-duty motor and wide capacity make the weight a fair trade-off. This kit comes with a dust adapter (no collection bag), a fence, a sliding fence, and an automatic kickstand.

Product Specs

  • Power: Corded; 8 amps
  • Cutting capacity: 4⅜ inches
  • Depth of cut: ⅛ of an inch

Pros

  • Affordable price point
  • Wide cutting capacity
  • Relatively high cutting speed
  • Heavy-duty motor

Cons

  • Slightly heavy
  • No dust collection bag

Get the WEN electric hand planer at Amazon, The Home Depot, Lowe’s, or Walmart.

Upgrade Pick

The Best Electric Hand Planers Option: Makita XPK02Z 18V LXT Cordless 3-1/4" Planer
Photo: amazon

For a prime example of the evolution of electric hand planers, take a look at the XPK02Z 18V LXT cordless planer from Makita. This model has all the typical features, such as a 12,000-rpm brushless motor, a 3¼-inch cutting capacity, and a depth of cut of up to ⅛ of an inch. The twin-blade design is smooth, and the handle is ergonomically designed. But it also has some features that make this upgrade pick worth considering.

This model comes with Makita’s Bluetooth-ready Auto-Start Wireless System (AWS), which allows users to pair this device with a dust collection system to automatically activate when the trigger activates the planer. The result is instant dust collection without the additional wires and switches—something that can make hand-planing a much more enjoyable experience.

Do keep in mind, however, that this is a tool-only kit, meaning it doesn’t come with a battery or charger, so users will have to use their existing stock of 18-volt LXT Makita batteries or buy one separately.

Product Specs

  • Power: Cordless; 18-volt battery
  • Cutting capacity: 3¼ inches
  • Depth of cut: ⅛ of an inch

Pros

  • Brushless motor for less maintenance and better power
  • 2-blade design
  • Ergonomic grips
  • Bluetooth-ready AWS

Cons

  • Tool-only purchase

Get the Makita electric hand planer at Amazon, The Home Depot, or Acme Tools.

Best Corded

The Best Electric Hand Planers Option: Bosch PL2632K 3-1/4 In. Planer Kit
Photo: amazon.com

The Bosch PL2632K 3-1/4 In. Planer Kit could be the top choice for anyone looking for a planer with built-in features and plenty of power. This corded model has a 6.5-amp motor that spins the two-blade cutterhead at 16,500 rpm, resulting in 33,000 cuts per minute. It has a 3¼-inch cutting width and a depth of cut up to 3/32-inch.

There are quite a few things to like about this model from Bosch. For starters, it weighs just 6.3 pounds, despite its capable 6.5-amp motor and durable design. It features a ball-swivel power cord that is able to adjust to the position of the plane on its own without binding. There are spring-loaded feet and a chip ejection switch to direct the shavings as well. The kit also comes with additional blades, a guide fence, plastic shoes for the fence, a shavings collection bag, and a carrying case. Keep in mind that despite being slightly expensive for a corded model, the features might make it worth the expense.

Product Specs

  • Power: Corded; 6.5 amps
  • Cutting capacity: 3¼ inches
  • Depth of cut: 3/32 of an inch

Pros

  • Ball-swivel power cord
  • Built-in spring-loaded feet
  • Chip ejection switch for directing the flow of chips

Cons

  • Slightly expensive for a corded model

Get the Bosch electric hand planer at Amazon, The Home Depot, Lowe’s, and Acme Tools.

Best Cordless

The Best Electric Hand Planers Option: DeWalt DCP580B 20V Max XR Brushless Cordless Planer
Photo: amazon.com

DeWalt’s DCP580B 20V Max Brushless Planer blends portability with capability. This 3¼-inch electric hand planer uses the brand’s popular 20-volt battery lineup to power its brushless motor. This combination allows the two-blade cutterhead to cut up to 30,000 cuts per minute (15,000 rpm), and the onboard electronics help maintain speed under load. It has a 5/64 of an inch maximum depth of cut, but users can sneak up on that maximum depth slowly by using the 1/256-inch increments.

This model features an ergonomically designed handle, as well as a built-in kickstand to prevent damage to the blades or workpiece. It comes with a fence, but as a tool-only purchase, users will need to buy their own batteries and chargers. They’ll also need to buy a dust collection bag, as this hand planer doesn’t come with one.

Product Specs

  • Power: Cordless; 20-volt battery
  • Cutting capacity: 3¼ inches
  • Depth of cut: 5/64 of an inch

Pros

  • Brushless technology maintains speed
  • 1/256-inch adjustments
  • High speed for a cordless model

Cons

  • No battery, charger, or dust collection bag included

Get the DeWalt cordless electric hand planer at Amazon, Ace Hardware, The Home Depot, or Lowe’s.

Best Heavy-Duty

The Best Electric Hand Planers Options
Photo: amazon.com

When it comes to heavy-duty planing on construction lumber, hardwoods, or other wood species, Makita’s KP0810 has what it takes. This model features a 7.5-amp corded electric motor that spins the two-blade cutterhead at speeds of up to 16,000 rpm for 32,000 cuts each minute. It has a maximum cut capacity of 3¼ inches and a maximum depth of cut of 5/32 of an inch.

This model from Makita is not only powerful but also has some built-in features that woodworkers, pros, and DIYers might enjoy. Its built-in spring-loaded feet help prevent damage to the surface or blades. It also has directable chip ejection as well as an ergonomically designed handle and ⅒ of a millimeter depth adjustments. What doesn’t it have? A dust collection bag.

Product Specs

  • Power: Corded; 7.5 amps
  • Cutting capacity: 3¼ inches
  • Depth of cut: 5/32 of an inch

Pros

  • Heavy-duty 7.5-amp motor
  • Directable chip ejection
  • 16,000-rpm speed

Cons

  • No dust collection bag

Get the Makita electric hand planer at Amazon or Acme Tools.

Best Light-Duty

The Best Electric Hand Planers Option: Ryobi One+ 18V Cordless 3-1/4 in. Planer
Photo: homedepot.com

Ryobi might’ve designed its One+ planer specifically for those who prefer the portability of battery-powered tools but would also like to save a bit of cash. This light-duty model uses the brand’s popular 18-volt One+ batteries and features a two-blade design. It has a 3¼-inch cutting capacity as well as 1/16 of an inch depth of cut. Both the top and front grips are ergonomically designed for better comfort and reduced vibration.

This model from Ryobi has some built-in features that most might not expect from an entry-level planer such as this. It’s lightweight, weighing less than 5.6 pounds. Also, it has a built-in kickstand for protecting the blades and the workpiece, as well as onboard storage for the blade wrench. It comes with a fence and a dust collection bag, but this is a tool-only package so batteries and a charger need to be purchased separately.

Product Specs

  • Power: Cordless; 18-volt battery
  • Cutting capacity: 3¼ inches
  • Depth of cut: 1/16 of an inch

Pros

  • Lightweight design at 5.6 pounds
  • Built-in kickstand
  • Comes with fence and dust collection bag

Cons

  • Tool-only purchase; batteries and charger not included

Get the Ryobi electric hand planer at The Home Depot.

Also Consider

The Best Electric Hand Planers Option: Porter-Cable PC60THP 6-Amp Hand Planer
Photo: amazon.com

For another affordable option, check out Porter-Cable’s corded electric hand planer. This model features a 6-amp corded motor that produces speeds up to 16,500 rpm, or 33,000 cuts per minute, from its two-blade cutterhead. It has a width of cut of 3¼ inches and a depth of cut up to 5/64 of an inch.

This model is affordable and has some desirable features, such as a built-in kickstand. It also has directable chip deflection, allowing the user to decide which side the chips exit from the planer. It comes with a fence and a dust collection bag, but at just under 8.5 pounds, some folks might find the weight to be a bit of a handful.

Product Specs

  • Power: Corded; 6 amps
  • Cutting capacity: 3¼ inches
  • Depth of cut: 5/64 of an inch

Pros

  • Directable chip deflection
  • Affordable price
  • Comes with a dust collection bag and fence

Cons

  • Might be a bit heavy for some users

Get the Porter-Cable electric hand planer at Amazon or Acme Tools.

Our Verdict

Those who are hunting for a top-notch electric hand planer may appreciate the DeWalt Hand Planer Kit for its high speed and ergonomic design. However, for others who are looking to save a bit of cash, the wide width and heavy-duty motor of the WEN Electric Hand Planer make it worth some serious consideration.

How We Chose the Best Electric Hand Planers

Putting together a guide on the best electric hand planers is tough work. We called upon our experiences as DIYers working with electric hand planers. We considered the features we loved and the features we wished we had to give us a good start.

Next, we performed extensive product research to compile a list of hand planers and evaluated them against our list of must-have features. We also compared the kit that each model came with, its speed and power, and its price point to ensure that the value was right. We eliminated any model that didn’t offer enough value. Finally, we took the remaining electric hand planers and broke them up into categories based on their strengths.

FAQs

To shed light on any topics that need further clarification, this section offers answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about electric hand planers.

Q. What materials work with an electric hand planer?

The only materials that a hand planer should be used on are wood products, though the species of wood may vary between pressure-treated pine and high-end, exotic species such as Brazilian walnut or cherry.

Q. Can an electric hand planer be used as a jointer?

It’s possible to plane boards flat with a hand planer, but hand planer bases are too short to work well as a jointer. That said, some folks build stands that hold their planers in place like jointers, though this is dangerous and not recommended.

Q. Can an electric hand planer be used as a thickness planer?

Yes, it’s possible to plane a board to thickness with a hand planer, but it’s very difficult to get consistent results like the ones you can achieve using benchtop thickness planers.

Q. How is an electric hand planer different from a belt sander?

Belt sanders use large strips of sandpaper that remove wood by grinding it off the surface. Hand planers use blades that remove wood in a faster, more aggressive fashion.

Q. Are electric hand planers safe to use?

Electric hand planers can be dangerous if used incorrectly. They run at high speeds and can be hard to control. However, as long as the user has a solid grip on the tool, wears the appropriate personal protection equipment, knows how to use a portable planer, and works carefully, hand planers are no more dangerous than circular saws or any other power tool.