The Best Hand Planer

Hand Planer Reviews

Our Top Pick is the Makita KP0810

A hand planer is a hand held electrical tool used for shaving down or cutting wood. Some examples of jobs that a hand planer might perform are shaping doors that may be too tight for their openings, straightening out crooked cuts or nicks in your work materials, or, a hand planer can even be used to clean up painted or ruff surfaces, returning them to their bare wooden original state. Hand planers are inexpensive power tools, and worth the investment due to the wide range of tasks it can perform, and quality finish it produces.

After conducting extensive research to determine what the best hand planer on the market is, and after thorough evaluation the Makita KP0810 rose above the competition. It is the best and highest rated hand planer in virtually every category including durability, performance, and customer satisfaction. The Makita comes with a 7.5-amp motor that can produce up to 16,000 RPMs making it powerful enough for any job. It comes with two heads and three groove options ranging from 1.4mm to 4 mm. Depth increments can be made in 1mm increments for precision work. Weighing only 7.3 pounds it has an excellent power to weight ratio, making it the best tool in its class for both power and precision.

Who Should Buy This

Given the nature of the tool, a hand planer is a must have tool for anyone who works with wood on a regular basis. This includes both professionals, DIYers and amateur wood workers who have a small shop. Homeowners will find many uses because the hand planer can be used if a door gets stuck or a painted wood surface needs to be refinished. Wood workers, home owners, DIYers, carpenters, and those who participate in furniture restoration will find the tool invaluable. Engineers, framers, window or door installers, construction workers, those participating in fine wood working projects, will also find themselves using a planer on a regular basis.

What Makes a Good Hand Planer?

Great planers require a strong motor as this defines the type of jobs that can be completed. When using a power tool designed for cutting and grinding down materials, especially tougher materials such as hardwoods having enough power to get the job done right is essential. You need enough power for the tool to work through the wood without having to apply too much pressure, which could overwork the motor. The best hand planers need to have a minimum of 5 amps on the motor or higher. Selecting a hand planer with a minimum of a 5-amp motor will ensure that your power tool will work powerfully and effectively. For those who will use the tool more frequently and for more detailed work a 7 amp should be considered.

Hand PlanerThe number of blades in the head will impact the speed in which the job can be completed. Top of the line planers have more than one head allowing you to have a more powerful and complete more precision work. Having a dual blade cutter head versus a single blade will allow you to complete jobs more quickly, and with more ease. This is especially true when you need to shave off paint, or widening frames. It will reduce hand fatigue and get the job done a lot faster giving you more efficiency.

Another useful feature is a chip ejector and a bag to catch the dust and chips. The chip ejector should be directed away from the machine and an adjustable one will allow you to move to where it is most convenient. A hand planer is often used on either side of the tool and being able to adjust the chip ejector makes it convenient to keep the debris from flying in your direction. A chip bag will not catch all the sawdust but will speed cleanup and reduce the amount of dust in the air.

Having a depth adjustment is another must have feature. A depth knob is exactly what it sounds like a little knob on the side of your hand planer that easily allows you to read and monitor the depth of your cuts and shavings. This allows precision cuts and will ensure that your materials come out with the precise depth needed on the first try. Lower end planers have limited or poorly labeled depth options. The smaller the depth adjustment ability the more precise your work can be. The ability to manually control this to your exact needs, and a depth knob is the perfect way to do just that. A depth adjuster than locks into place will ensure the correct depth throughout the cut.

How We Tested

We began our research by first conducting a general search for hand planers. In doing this we were able to determine what features and quality’s make up the best hand planers such as durability, control, cutting ability, depth functions, and speed control. Following this we reviewed tool blogs, handy man and woodworking forums, and tool magazines to get their recommendations. From there we consulted professionals who use the tools on a daily basis to determine the best brands and models of the currently available hand planers. We then consulted verified customer reviews to find out which planers held up best in real world performance and heavy duty jobs.

Our Pick

Specifications

  

Amps 7.3
Weight 7.3 Pounds
Max Width 3 ¼ inch
Max Depth 5/32” inch
Number of Cutter Heads 2
Maximum RPMs 16,000
Depth Increments 0.1 mm
Groove Options 3 (1.4mm, 3mm, and 4mm)
Product Dimensions 9.1 x 15.3 x 8 Inches
Power Source Corded Electric
Satisfaction Guarantee 30 Days
Warranty Description 1-year Warranty

makita-hand-planer-review

The Makita KP0810 hand planer features a 7.5 AMP motor delivering the maximum amount of output power. This hand planer features a two blade cutter head that can produce up to 16,000 RPMS for increased stock removal and the ability to work on the toughest woods. It comes with double edge carbide blades for increased precision and has the ability to plane up to 3-1/4th inches wide and 5/32th inches deep within a single pass.  The rigid die-cast aluminum housing features all ball bearing construction and is engineered for long tool life and supports the planer drum for increased durability.

The Makita KP0810 is both compact and lightweight making it easy to transport and to store. Weighing in at 7.3 pounds it offers great power to weight ratio and would easily fit in any tool bag, or tool box. The light design also reduces worker fatigue. It is equipped with an ergonomically centered balance and rubberized front and rear handles for more comfortable operation and added control.

Lastly the planer features a spring loaded stand that is very handy as it allows you to elevate the base to protect the blades and workpiece saving you from mistakes or unwanted cuts. The chip ejection can be directed to either side of the tool so you don’t send debris and other loose particles onto your working area. The depth adjust knob features an easy-to-read scale with click stops in 0.1mm increments for precision planning. The front base features 3 chamfering groove options of 1.4, 3, or 4 mm adding to its versatility. This tool includes a one-year warranty along with a 30 day satisfaction guarantee.

Who Else Likes It

The guys at Bestplaners.com wrote “The Makita KP0810 is a sweet little planer. As the most important tool in the arsenal of a carpenter, the planer is supposed to cut, shape and reduce wood as required leaving a high quality smooth finish. This hand held planer does exactly that and is light enough to be portable. However, its tiny size actually houses a powerful beast that makes easy task of freshly cut wet wood. For cleaning rough lumber surfaces that have been freshly milled, the Makita KP0810 will be a better choice as it takes just a couple of passes rather than 20 minutes with a scrub plane.”

Blackfridaykp0810 at BlogSpot wrote “Makita delivers precision, accuracy, capacity, and innovation to woodworkers… The KP0810 is engineered for professional construction framing, window and door installation, and fine woodworking. The KP0810 is just another example of Makita’s commitment to innovative technology and best-in-class engineering.”

Amazon reviewers give the Makita KP0810 4.8 out of 5 from 44 receivers. One 5-star customer writes “I received this planer in a very nice box well packed. Set the depth to 1/32″ then proceeded to plane a board about 5 ft. by 26″ wide to straighten the 1/4″ warp from one end to the other. Got the warp down to about 1/32″ then set the depth to the second mark from zero. I finished straightening the warp with smooth blending passes keeping the rear end down first to keep the safety latch down. This planer works too good. I am very impressed with everything it does. I did not use any of the guides supplied because I was using it like a sander… This thing rates 6. One of the best power tools I have ever purchased.”

The Step Up

If you are looking for more power and greater depth settings in your hand planer, then the step up is the Festool HL 850 E hand planer. With its 7-amp motor and sleek design, this hand planner is equipped with a single knife cutter head with a spiral head design to produce a quiet and “chatter free” experience. The cutting knifes are replaceable so you can replace them as needed to keep your cutting utensils strong, sharp, and working effectively.

With the Festool HL 850 there are multiple head options to create rustic and architectural effects in flooring and beams, when required. This planer also includes an unlimited rabbeting depth with flush clutter side design and retractable spring loader guard. The rotary handle allows you to adjust the precise depth settings to get the perfect finish for every job.

Top Hand Planer Comparison

PositionVisualToolAmperageRPMWarranty (Years)
1Makita7.30
1,600
1
2WEN6.00
34,000
2
3Porter-Cable6.00
16,500
3
4Dewalt7.00
15,000
3
5Skil5.50
16,000
1
6Bosch6.50
16,500
1
7Black & Decker5.20
16,500
2
8Chicago6.00
34,000
Limited Lifetime
9Hitachi3.40
15,000
2

Care Use & Maintenance

Below we have compiled a short list of safety and maintenance tips to keep you safe when using your new hand planer, as well as providing you with information about keeping your hand planer running good as new for as long as possible.

Safety Tips

  • Always secure your work materials before begging to plan. Some options for securing your work are bench stops, or a bench hook.
  • Always use sandpaper to break up sharp machined edges.
  • Use your planner in a motion that goes away from your body.
  • Wear a mask and eye protection to prevent from breathing in shavings or getting debris in your eyes.
  • Be sure that no one is in close proximity to where your machine is spewing out debris and other work materials.
  • Never leave your tool unattended when plugged into a power source.
  • Be sure to read your tools manual before starting use.

Maintenance

  • Always store your tool in a cool dry place.
  • Never leave your planer outside for long period of time where it may become susceptible to weather damage.
  • Clean your planer from debris after each use.
  • Make any and all repairs with your tool in the off position and ensure that it is not plugged into a power source.
  • Keep your blades sharp and aligned correctly for best results.

Wrapping It Up

Hand planers are compact and effective tools that can benefit a large number of individuals and professionals. They are inexpensive and offer a variety of functions making them an asset to woodworkers, carpenters and furniture makers. Hand planers are easy to use and can be enjoyed by amateurs who are looking to learn more about the aspects of wood working.

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