Searching for a Benchtop Planer? Look no further for 3 of the very best!

If you are in the market for a top quality benchtop planer, then look no further!  As, we have shortlisted for you 3 of the best from Dewalt, Makita and Delta Power Tools!!

Sick of looking through all the reviews?  Well, why not take a look at our review video which will provide you with all of the key information that you need to know before you buy your benchtop planer.

We have researched all of the key woodworking forums and product review boards, taken stock on all of the feedback from real users and have concluded these are the best in class.

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See the table below to quickly compare and contrast each of the benchtop planers

OR

Take a look at the detailed product reviews below to read first hand the experiences of the most important people...the users!

Don't want to read the review?

Well, why not watch this video instead!

Benchtop Planer Comparison

DEWALT

DW735

$$$

Made in the USA, this stationary planer is a beast coming in at over 90 lbs.  It boasts a 2 speed feed setting, and a 3 knife cutter-head, to provide really exceptional cut quality!

Pros

  • Robust & heavy unit
  • Very powerful dust ejection system

Cons

  • Very noisey
  • Feed tables are an optional extra

MAKITA

2012NB

$$$

A quality brand, with previous model boasting exceptional 15-year plus life-spans, this could be your planer for life!  Portable and lightweight, this is the quietest planer in its class! 

Pros

  • Quietest planer in its class
  • Lightweight & Portable

Cons

  • Dust hood is an optional extra
  • Requires powerful vac to prevent clogging

DELTA POWER TOOLS

22-555

$

Lightweight and portable, yet a durable and tough cookie.  At an affordable price,  but not compensating on quality, this may be many a woodworker's choice for the small workshop .

Pros

  • Very lightweight & Portable
  • Two directional dust port

Cons

  • Under powered for larger projects
  • Some reports of excessive snipe

What is a Benchtop Planer?

For the woodworker who purchase their lumber straight from the lumber yard in a rough state, then a benchtop planer will be an invaluable part of your armoury. For sure, you could ask the lumber yard to provide you with a decent finish, but that’ll be at an extra cost.

Even then, quite often the finished lumber you’ve paid for might not quite be as even in thickness or as straight as you need, which can be a real problem if for example your work is into cabinet making.

With powerful motors, a benchtop planer, also known as a Wood Thickness Planer or table top planer, can handle deeper cuts and wider stock, so you can assure that your creations are of the highest quality.

What is a Portable Benchtop Planer?

The portable bench planer is the smaller brother of the more stationary benchtop planer. It can do pretty much all of the same things that a benchtop planer can do, but owing to its smaller size the jobs you can take on will naturally be smaller.

This is suited very much to those who have limited room in their workshop, or where their jobs might demand that they are on location at a client’s site.

Additionally, it is less expensive than the stationary benchtop planer, which means that it may be a good introductory option if you are considering an upgrade from the handheld alternative.

The Dewalt 735 Planer

Where is it made?

Made in the USA, you are getting the same benchtop planer as with the DW735X version, except the latter machine comes the metal feed extensions on each side, which is designed to limit the amount of snipe that you get as your stock passes through.

How Many Speed Setting does it have?

The Dewalt DW735 benchtop planer has two speed setting, which alters the speed at which the stock feeds into the planer; the blades themselves always turn at the same speed. Fast speeds are for dimensioning, that is, getting your stock to broadly the right size. The slower speed setting is selected for smoother finishing, limiting the amount of finishing work that you need to do at the end.

Most user tend to use the slower speed setting, as that is plenty fast enough to allow you time to get around the saw to receive your stock as it comes out the back end. Per the instructions. altering the speed setting must be made whilst the planer is running, otherwise adjustments will not take effect.

What kind of blade does it use and how easy is it to switch?

This is a 3 blade benchtop planer planer, double sided providing longer life. Flipping, or switching out the blades is made very straight forward. Simply undoing the lid of the machine, unscrewing the blades and removing using the magnetic screw handle. Easy!

This bench planer comes with blades that are indexed which means you cannot adjust their height, but even more frustratingly for many means that they cannot be re-sharpened. So, when they are done, they are gone! Which is not very endearing to the woodworker who likes to drain every ounce of life out of their tools. That said, the DW735 does come with double sided blades, which can be flipped over when you see your finish isn’t quite up to standard.

An additional and really useful feature is the ability to individually adjustment the blades left and right. So, when you get that occasional nick in the blades, you can adjust the blades so that the effect on your finished stock is minimised.

What other useful features?

There is a really help scale that shows you how much you should be taking off, depending on the width off your stock. This is a really important that helps to ensure that you are not over-burdening your machine. The planer also come with some pre-set thicknesses which will click into place once dialled in. Really helpful when you want to make sure your individual items of stock are planed to exactly the same thickness.

What about dust collection?

The fan-driven chip ejection system is really powerful. In fact, it is so powerful that you will need to have some form of dust collection system in place, otherwise your work area will get awfully messy, really quick. You will also need to take care to wear eye protection as there can be a lot of dust flying about if you are not hooked up to a dust collection unit.

The position of the ejection slot is at the top, on the back side of the planer, which means that when hooked up with a hose to your dust collection system, it can obstruct your stock as it feeds through. Now, this can be easily corrected by securing you hose out of harm’s way, but would think it a better design for the port to come out the side, rather than the end.

How heavy is the Dewalt DW735 Benchtop Planer?

At 92 pounds, this is a heavy piece of equipment, so it is probably advisable that two people put this into position in your workshop. In fact, you are ideally looking to leave this in a certain location, otherwise you may need to purchase a planer table, or make one yourself to avoid any back injury.

How does it deal with snipe?

From a finishing perspective, this planer will plane with a very high level of precision, however some (not all!!) users report that it still creates as much snipe as the cheaper alternatives out there. However, this is a heavy duty machine, so will deal with your rougher lumber better than most without tripping out from over-heating, like the many cheaper alternatives.

Specifications

  • Power - 15 Amps
  • Number of knives - 3
  • Max depth of cut - 1/8 Inch
  • Weight - 92 lbs
  • Depth Capacity - 6 Inches
  • Width Capacity - 13 Inches
  • No Load Speed - 20,000 (Motor) / 10,000 (Cutter-head) RPM
  • Warranty - 3 Years

The Makita 2012NB 12 Inch Planer

How heavy is the Makita 2012NB 12 Inch Planer?

The Makita 2012NB is a much lighter weight machine when compared to the Dewalt 735 counterpart. What this means is that it is far more portable in terms of being able to lock it away when not in use, or moving it to a more convenient position that is closer to your project so you can avoid lugging your timber too far.

How quiet is this planer?

This planer is also one of the quietest planers in its class, although you will obviously still need ear protection particularly when working within a confined space.

What kind of blades?

This is a reversible 2 blade planer that operates at a single speed. The overwhelming number of user reviews points to very satisfying finishes and with minimal snipe. Users that have had issues with smoothness of finish have in the main been able to overcome this by reducing the depth of the cut on your final run through.

Dealing with snipe?

There is an optional dust hood which you will need to purchase separately if you want to hook this up to a dust collection system. Many users have found this a little aggravating when you consider the overall price.

What about dust collection?

There is an optional dust hood which you will need to purchase separately if you want to hook this up to a dust collection system. Many users have found this a little aggravating when you consider the overall price.

Another point worth considering is the suggestion that unless you have a powerful enough shop vac, then it may not be worth connecting up as it can be prone to clogging. In any case, unlike the Dewalt, should you choose not to hook up to a dust collection system, wood chip spray is kept quite localised so, you should have to spend too much time cleaning up afterwards.

Will this machine last a lifetime?

If previous version of this model is anything to go by, then a well maintained machine can last many, many years. There have been several reviews of users having previous versions of this model, with some having had their planers for up to 20 years, only having to replace the blades every once in a while. Obviously, amount of usage and how well you maintain are always crucial factors, but this track record really does bode well for this current model.

  • Power - 15 Amps
  • Number of knives - 2
  • Max depth of cut - 1/8 Inch
  • Weight - 62 lbs
  • Depth Capacity - 6 Inches
  • Width Capacity - 12 Inches
  • No Load Speed - 8,500 RPM
  • Warranty - 1 Years

The Delta Power Tools 22-555 Planer

How is it constructed?

First and foremost, the Delta 22-555 13-Inch Planer construction is pretty solid and although a number of the parts are made of plastic, these are tough and durable. The use of plastic is very deliberate ensure that the product is much more lightweight enabling it to be far more portable if you need to move it around.

How the column design helps?

It has a four column design providing excellent stability for smooth, accurate planning, with many reviews highlighting the fact that there is very little play in making ultra-precise adjustments.

Blade quality and switching out?

The 22-555 comes with a Quick change knife system with dual edge disposable knives. Encouragingly, many reviews have indicated a good deal of satisfaction in the stock blade, which is not overly typical when it comes to the standard blades that generally come with woodworking tools.

The tools to replace the blades when the time comes are conveniently attached to the planer safely, but in plain sight.

Dealing with snipe?

There are mixed reviews on the extent of sniping issues, with some reporting none, others with lots! If used properly, the truth is likely to lie in the middle somewhere owing to the fact is that pretty much all planers have failed to entirely eliminate snipe. There are of course ways to minimise this, with many woodworkers choosing to sacrifice wood at the beginning or end of the cut.

Helpful dust collection feature?

A very nice feature is the reversible dust port which allows you to collect chips from the right or left side of the planer. This helps avoid your dust collection hose becoming tangled up with your wood as it passes through the planer.

For which jobs is it best used?

The manufacturer will proclaim to this being the tool of choice for the small workshop, and that is a fair. Though a number of reviews have suggested that it is more than capable of taking on the larger projects, you should consider spending extra cash on a larger unit if you are planning on undertaking frequent larger jobs.

Specifications?

  • Power - 15 Amps
  • Number of knives - 2
  • Max depth of cut - 1/8 Inch
  • Weight - 58 lbs
  • Depth Capacity - 6 Inches
  • Width Capacity - 13 Inches
  • No Load Speed - 9,400 RPM
  • Warranty - 5 Years
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LivingOnYourPatio - September 20, 2016 Reply

Great roundup of benchtop planers that will make my buying decision a whole lot easier. I enjoyed your video, I found it to be very informative.

Bec - September 21, 2016 Reply

Informative review – the video is very useful, but I found the chart great for seeing different aspects – now I’m more sure what to look for in a benchtop planer – thank you

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