3 Different Types of Wood Planers Explained

Man using a wood planer in a shop
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  • Intermediate
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There are three different types of wood planers you can buy for your home workshop, but it is important you choose the one that best suits your needs. This can be determined by figuring out what kind of work you will be performing and how big and complicated the tasks will be that the wood planer will be used for.

You can choose from the manual and electric versions of the hand planer for smaller projects or a stationary planer for heavy-duty projects. There are both advantages and disadvantages for each one so you should choose carefully.

1. Manual Planers

manual planer on a board

Manual planers are less expensive and are sold in different styles and sizes. You will find a manual planer gives you more control while performing a task, making it ideal for smaller and more detailed projects. When you decide to look into purchasing a manual planer, you should look for one that has good quality, strength, and most importantly comfort. Since you will be the one providing the power for the manual planer, it is best to buy one that fits your comfort level so you do not tire very quickly when using it. So make sure to test out the different styles if you can before making your selection.

2. Electric Planers

Person using a power planer

Electric planers are more powerful and are suitable for both large and small projects. Since you do not get the kind of control you would with a manual planer, you should practice using an electric planer when working on smaller and more detailed jobs.

When shopping for an electric planer, you can choose between one with a cord or a cordless version. If you are on a budget and concerned about cost, keep in mind the cordless electric planer can be more expensive in the long run. In addition to paying for the planer itself, you will have to purchase a rechargeable battery and battery charger.

You will also have to plan out your task somewhat in advance and time yourself as well as make sure your planer is fully charged before using so the battery does not die out in the middle of your work. On the other hand, since you will not have a cord lingering around, you will find the cordless electric planer is more convenient to use.

3. Stationary Planers

Stationary planers are ideal for larger and more complex projects. In order to maintain the planer, you should clean it periodically otherwise it will stop working well. Stationary planers are large and sit on their own tables. Due to their strength and weight, they can be fed larger boards than manual and electric planers. When shopping for a stationary planer, ask for one that comes with an extension for the table and about a good quality depth control setting, especially if you plan on tackling tougher projects.