In this guide we’ll take a look at the best planer thicknessers.
We’ve compared performance, features, build quality and cost
to give you our top recommendations.
What Is The Best Planer Thicknesser?
More Detailed Planer Thicknesser Reviews
DeWalt DW733 230V Portable Thicknesser Review
The DeWalt DW733 230V Portable Thicknesser is a professional tool that has the power and spec you could ever need from a workshop planer. It wins top spot as the best thickness planer on the market.
The machine has an 1,800 watt motor and a no-load speed of 10,000 rpm. The infeed and outfeed tables are large and sturdy. It has a cutting width of 317 mm and a thicknesser capacity of 152 mm. The thicknesser is supplied with a dust shroud and adaptor, allen keys, spanner and blade changing guides.
This DeWalt planer thicknesser does an excellent job of planing timber. The headlock facility locks the head in place to minimise any movement in the cutter and this provides a smooth finish. The thickness scale, material removal gauge and graduated depth crank make this machine quick to set up and easy to use. The planer produces smooth cuts that are accurate to a depth of 1/10th of a millimetre. It is also not too noisy considering the way it powers through the timber.
These features make this one of the best planer thicknessers on the market at this price range. This wood thicknesser is well built, easy to use and produces an excellent finish on both hard and soft wood.
Triton TPT125 Thicknesser Review
The Triton TPT125 Thicknesser has an 1,100 Watt motor that provides 17,500 cuts per minute. The machine has a 317 mm cutting width and can cut wood up to 152 mm thick. It has large infeed and outfeed tables, a dust extraction chute and a circuit breaker for safety.
This thicknesser is one of the best small planer thicknessers for ease-of-use and quality of finishing. This finisher is a little slower than the DeWalt thicknesser, especially on hardwood, but it still gets through the timber pretty quickly. This machine is lighter than other tools in this guide but still feels strong and sturdy.
The Triton planer thicknesser does the job well and is excellent value for money.
Makita 2012NB/2 Thicknesser Review
The Makita 2012NB/2 Thicknesser has a 1,650-watt motor to deliver up to 8,500 rpm. It has a 304 mm cutting width and a 150 mm cutting depth.
This Makita planer thicknesser is one of the best thickness planers around. It feels very sturdy and has large infeed and outfeed tables.
Setting and adjusting this wood thicknesser is simple and the results achieved are excellent – very smooth and accurate. The head clamp reduces the risk of snipe and helps you produce finished timber that is perfect from end to end.
The kit includes a wrench, magnetic holder and dust extraction hood.
Overall this thickness planer is simple to use, easy to adjust, relatively quiet and produces excellent results.
Thickness Planer Buying Guide
If you are creating a serious woodworking shop, then a thickness planer (also known as a thicknesser planer, planer thicknesser or even a wood thicknesser) is a very useful addition to your kit.
Thickness planers allow you to turn rough timber into smooth and reduce the thickness of the wood to the exact specification you need.
While industrial sized thickness planers are of course available, they are usually too big and expensive for the average DIY enthusiast, small-scale cabinet maker or craftsperson. Luckily, portable or benchtop designs are available. They are small enough to fit in a garage or workshop but still powerful enough to get the job done.
A thickness planer is made up of a powerful motor connected to a heavy-duty cutter head and roller assembly. The motor spins the cutter head which cuts away the wood. The board is fed into the cutter head on the roller assembly.
When choosing the best thickness planer for your needs, you should consider the motor power, quality of construction and the thickness allowance as well as the width of timber it can process.
The motor determines the power of the machine. If you want to cut or plane thick hardwoods look for a machine with at least 10,000 rpm. Thicknesser planers with say an 8,000 rpm capacity will be fine for softwoods and smaller timbers.
The best thickness planer will be constructed of high quality materials and feel sturdy in operation. The body needs to be heavy-duty in order to withstand a lot of vibration.
Thicknessers specify a thickness allowance – this is the maximum thickness of the piece of wood that the machine will accommodate and is typically 150 mm.
A thickness planer will also only take a certain width of wood too so this number should also meet your needs.
Precision in Depth Adjustment
The best thickness planer should of course be accurate and easy to adjust, enabling you to remove exactly the amount of wood you need. Getting this right will save a lot of frustration and wastage. Most have gauges and liners scales to make this easy.
Snipe happens when the weight of the board pulls downwards at the free end, pushing the opposite end into the cutterhead. This can create a dip at the ends of the board.
Many thicknesser planers have mechanisms to reduce this. You can also help prevent snipe by supporting the weight of the free end. In order to reduce the risk of snipe when planing a long length of timber, and make this process safer, use rolling supports to support the plank on its entry and exit from the machine.
What safety precautions should I take when using a planer/thicknesser?
Thicknesser planers are heavy duty machines with very sharp blades so they should always be treated with respect. Always read the manual carefully and ensure you understand exactly how the machine works and are familiar with all the safety precautions you should take.
You should also wear a dust mask, safety goggles and ear defenders when using your planer. Never wear loose clothing, such as ties, scarves or jewellery, when using the machine as these can get caught in the rollers.
Keep your hands well away from the cutting area and never reach under the cutters.
Ensure that the machine is switched off and unplugged before doing any maintenance. You should never touch the blades – they can be removed using a magnet.
When using my thicknesser I am getting rather a bumpy finish. How can I plane my timber more smoothly?
It is advisable to remove timber gradually rather than trying to cut a piece of wood to the correct thickness in one pass. Plane off small amounts of timber until you achieve the thickness you require – this should give you an even, smooth finish. If the bumps are at the end this may be due to snipe. You can reduce the risk of snipe by using rolling support at each side of the machine. Alternatively, have a friend or colleague help you feed the timber in and out of the machine to keep it supported.