The thickness planer is an instrument that is used to trim down wooden boards. It’s used so that wooden boards are the same width in construction materials. Whether the boards are used to make tablets, fences, or other objects, the thickness is determined by these planers.
Thickness planers are also referred to as thicknessers or planers. Most thickness planers are now electrical and mechanical. My choice is the WEN 6530 because it is a hand planer which allows for more precision. Check it out at Amazon.
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They are used not only to work on the width of wooden boards but how flat they are. They are different from surface planers which are only used in order to make a surface flat.
They work by using a cutter head and rollers in order to trim down each side of a wooden board. The board is fed into the planer and comes out the other side, trimmed.
This is an instrument that is used in hardware shops and woodshops everywhere. However, it’s easy to forget that since this instrument is electrical, it can cost a pretty penny. Hence, this list is a guide to help you find the best budget thickness planers out there.
Here are the 4 best thickness planers for the money. These are all under $500, and they all perform the basic functions of any thickness planer. They are not only greater in value than their more expensive counterparts, but they also provide better options.
1. DEWALT DW734
DeWalt is one of the biggest power tool manufacturers in the world. So of course, it’s at the top of the list. The DeWalt DW734 is a great thickness planer since it can generate 20,000 rotations a minute in under $500. And if that wasn’t enough, the accuracy and depth of the cuts on the wooden boards are staggering.
Not only does it have an excellent motor, but its precision and performance are both commendable.
More than that, there is a three-knife cutting head included in the planer that can deliver 96 cuts per inch. The blades included in the set are reversible so that they have a longer lifespan than most. All of this in a package in the ballpark of $500 is incredible for the price.
Not only that, but the DeWalt name also inspires a lot of confidence in the quality of the product. Hence, you can buy this without a moment’s hesitation.
That being said, it’s not without its cons. There are some jamming issues with the planer, but that’s to be expected with this machine. Wood splinters and you can only protect against that to a point. After a while, there is really nothing you can do other than cut through the mess.
Aside from this, the DeWalt DW734 thickness planer unit is a great deal for the price. Buy it today.
2. WEN 6552T
Just looking at the WEN 6552T0 inspires confidence. It’s just a well-built, symmetrical machine that you know it’s the right purchase. If you’re on a budget, this one is the perfect product for you. It’s not only listed as a great budget pick on many lists, but it has great value for money.
The WEN 6552T is a great alternative to the DeWalt listed above. The greatest benefit of this machine is that its price doesn’t match its performance. You can get way more out of this than you can with similarly priced thickness planers.
Not only is it powerful, but it’s also very accurate. It can deliver about 25,500 cuts a minute, which is nearly the same as DeWalt. And it has almost the same consistency and depth as the DeWalt. It also includes some bells and whistles like a dust port with a fan. This makes sure that your machine can run for longer by removing all the excess dust from it.
It includes a granite table for some pretty sturdy support and a cast iron base. These two make for a very strong base that you can lay any board on without worrying about wobbling. It also means that it supports a great amount of weight, perhaps even more than the DeWalt.
The only con that the WEN 6552T has is that there tend to be some snipe errors that don’t occur with the DeWalt. That is a small nitpick, but the rankings here are tough enough. When you’re searching for the best thickness planer for the money, you have to nitpick.
3. WEN 6530
The WEN 6530 is the brother of the 6550. It’s a hand planer instead of a fully automated thickness planer. It operates quite differently from a stationary unit, but it works just as well, if not better. If you like working with your hands or like a little bit more precision, this is your tool.
There is a very powerful 6-amp motor attached to the unit which delivers a staggering 34,000 cuts a minute. That’s more than the either two listed above. It makes handheld use very simple due to the staggering power it delivers. It also has the ability to deliver rabbets nearly six-tenths of an inch small.
As far as hand planers go, you may not find a better option.
As for flaws, there really aren’t many, save for one. Changing the blades may be a pain in the neck for some. If you want to change the blade, there is a complicated procedure you have to go through. As with the previous budget thickness planers, you don’t get quite the durability either. Hence, the blades tend to dull a little faster. However, it’s not by much.
4. Delta Tools 22-555
With the Delta Tools 22-555, we’re back to the stationary thickness planers. It’s affordable, gives a decent finish, and has cheap blades. However, since it’s the most budget-friendly option on this list, it’s also the worst-performing.
That’s not to say that this purchase is a waste of time, it’s actually great. The only thing is after you’ve seen the other three in action; this one seems like their little brother in comparison. It has much less power and accuracy than the others on this list. The cheap blades perform like cheap blades and the blade changes are also very complicated.
Hence, it has the one caveat the WEN 6530 did, but with much less charm. The knives included are of low quality and require a lot of changes. This makes it doubly frustrating.
Which Thickness Planer Is Better; Stationary or Handheld?
Know that this depends completely on your choice. If you’re used to more precision and working with your hands, the handheld option is a no-brainer. However, if you’re used to quick, fine work, then the stationary unit is better.
This guide should help you find the best thickness planer for the money.