Are you looking for a unique woodworking tool that will improve your cut and snipe quality while increasing your lumber savings?
What you need is a benchtop planer. It’s a special-purpose woodworking tool that trims a rough-sawn lumber and remodels it into a remarkable workpiece with uniform thickness and smooth sides.
With the best benchtop planers, you’d rid yourself of purchasing expensive resurfaced lumbers.
And if you’re a DIYer or a small-scale woodworker—you don’t need an expensive heavy-duty planer with large 3-HP motors.
A less expensive benchtop planer will do the trick.
That’s the reason I created this article to show you the seven best benchtop planers in 2021.
If you want to do a quick run and skip this in-depth review that lists the best benchtop planers in 2021, then you should check this out:
- Best Value Benchtop Planer – Wen 6552T
- Best Portable Benchtop Planer – DeWalt DW735X
- Best High-Powered Benchtop planer – Mophorn 12.5-Inch
- Best Beginner-Friendly Benchtop Planer – PowerTEC PL1252
- Best Budget Benchtop Planer – Craftsman CMEW320
- Best Mid-Range Benchtop Planer – Delta Power Tools 22-555
- Runner-up Benchtop Planer – JET JWP-13BT
I’ve taken the time to produce this detailed buying guide, which will help you choose the suitable tool for your woodworking needs. I also made it as concise and straightforward as possible.
In this post, I listed the best seven options and provided a short overview of each product.
My aim is to make your buying decision SUPER easy. So, I suggest you spend time reading our buying guide if you want to get a detailed view of each product.
Let’s move on.
Best Value Benchtop Planer – WEN 6552T
WEN 6552T Benchtop Thickness Planer
The WEN 6552T is a model you can rely on for handling commercial and home-based projects. This benchtop planer is an updated version of its predecessor—the 6550.
The 6552T is ideal for woodworking projects that don’t require advanced tools. In other words, it’s the go-to for experienced intermediates that plan to upgrade from a handheld planer. Plus, it offers more power and speed compared to the 6550.
So, here’s why the WEN 6552T stands out as the best value benchtop planer:
- 15-amp motor that ensures durability and stability
- 26 feet per minute feed rate and tri-roller feeding system that reduces snipe
- Cast iron table increases stability, allows your wood to glide over safely, and prevents sawdust from clinging to the table’s surface
- Two side-mounted handles with foldable outfeed and infeed tables
- Rubber-grip handle that allows easy height adjustment with a full rotation that enhances precise measurements
- Fan-assisted hose enhances dust removal
- Material removal gauge offers a clear and easy way to measure a cut before each pass
- Mounting holes that help to boost stability
- It’s easy to adjust the thickness
- Comes with three cutting blades that produce a smooth finish
- It’s quite affordable
- This model has excellent stability thanks to its cast-iron base
- Produces 8500 RPMs with a powerful amp motor
- The outfeed and infeed trays are height-adjustable
- The plastic gears are not so sturdy
- The device is noisy
- WEN 6552T 13-Inch benchtop thickness planer (1)
- Magnets (2)
- Bolt with flat washer (1)
- Dust chute adapter (1)
- T-handle Hex Wrench (1)
- Depth adjusting handle (1)
- Handle cap (1)
- Thumbscrews (2)
- Dust chute (1)
My Favorite Feature: “Onboard Planning Gauge”
- This feature helps users know the cutting depth of their preferred setting
That means, before each pass, you’ll have an easy and clear way to measure each cut. Plus, you’ll get the perfect finish on every board—which is every woodworker’s dream.
Best Portable Benchtop Planer – DeWalt DW735X
DeWalt Benchtop 13-Inch (DW735X)
It’s almost impossible to talk about quality planers and exclude—DeWalt.
That said, the DeWalt DW735X is more versatile than its predecessor DW734—in terms of operating speed. Asides from that, the DW735X comes with an automatic locking carriage and chip ejector—which explains why it’s more expensive than the DW734.
No doubt, the DeWalt DW735X, and DW734 look so much alike. But their different packaging distinguishes them.
Here are other key features that set the DW735X apart in its category:
- Material removal gauge alongside an extra-large thickness scale that helps to produce accurate cut with every pass
- Three knife cutter head that makes knife changing easier and faster
- Two-speed gearbox that changes feed speed to optimize cuts per inch at 96 or 179 CPI
- Automatic carriage lock that minimizes movements and reduces snipe
- 19-3/4-Inch cast aluminum base that increases stability
- Powerful 15 Amp and 20,000 RPM motor that can handle large cuts in wider materials
- Fan-assisted chip ejection system with vacuum chips that eject dust from the machine
- Weighs 92lbs—which is impressive for a sturdy and high performing tool
- Ideal for semi-professionals and DIYers
- It comes with a 3-year warranty
- It has a 15-amp motor
- Two-speed gearbox
- Durable construction
- Comes with extra knives
- You can change the blades easily
- Depth setting signal
- Cutter head offers 30 percent longer knife life
- Expensive machine
- It’s noisy
- DeWalt DW735X planer (1)
- Extra set of knives (1)
- Dust hose adapter (1)
- Dust-ejection chute (1)
My Favorite Feature: “Three Blade Cutter Head”
- The three-blade cutter head offers a 30 percent longer blade life
Apart from the way it snaps workpieces, the 3-blade cutter head system of the DW735X has an easy-to-change mechanism.
Best High-Powered Benchtop planer – Mophorn 12.5-Inch
Mophorn Thickness Planer 12.5-Inch
Mophorn produces a ton of woodworking tools that offer high performance at affordable prices. The Mophorn benchtop planer isn’t an exception.
This tool is user-friendly and easy to set up, especially if you’re a newbie that wants a simple and quick-cutting tool for your lumber.
Here are the features that make this high-powered benchtop planer shine:
- Heavy-duty aluminum detachable stand that gives you more options to work, store and use the tool
- Power-off protection that triggers, in the event of high voltage
- Crank handles that ease the process of making clear-cut adjustments
- 15 HP motor that provides adequate power to snap different types of wood with delicate cuts
- Grooved sides that improve your grip when you need to move your benchtop planer
- Comes with a dust exhaust interface that links to dust collectors—enabling easy cleaning.
- Smooth and durable platform that protects the surface of your lumber
- Provides moderate portability solutions
- Finishes wood quickly and smoothly
- Comes with a stand at no extra cost
- Easy to operate
- Safety features
- Quality stand boost stability
- Suitable auto-feeding system
- Built-in crank has a light plastic construction
- No user manual
- Mophorn thickness planer (1)
- 1 set of Planer blades (2)
My Favorite Feature: “Power-off Protection”
- It’s obvious that the manufacturer is keen on safety
Hence, they added the power-off protection feature—which ensures your security while planing.
Best Beginner-Friendly Benchtop Planer – PowerTEC PL1252
PowerTEC PL1252 Benchtop Thickness Planer
PowerTec is a popular brand that produces power tools and accessories for woodworking.
The manufacturer mostly produces small-scale tools tailored for home use, while a handful matches commercial purposes.
The PL1252 planer falls into the home use category, which means it’s an ideal option for beginners that need entry-level benchtop planers.
So, what features make this beginner-friendly benchtop planer stand out?
- Built-in anti-wobble base that enhances stability while the machine works
- Four-column design that reduces the risk of snipe with each pass and enhances the precision of cuts
- Built-in roller assistance that allows you to move longer pieces of lumber through the planer with ease
- Non-marring surface that supports different plane boards
- 15-amp motor and a 2-blade cutting system that gives your wood deep cuts
- A stainless steel precision cutter head that allows delivery of 18,800 cuts per minute with a 9,400 RPM
- Minimalistic design with effective controls that makes planing easy and comfortable
- Sturdy quality
- Reduces wobble and snipe risk
- Easy to use, especially for beginners
- Blade replacement is quick and easy
- It shaves a lot of wood in a single pass
- Has no dust port
- PowerTEC PL1252 benchtop planer (1)
- Elevation Crank Handle Assembly (including M5 bolt, flat washer, and plug) (1)
- Magnet (2)
- T Wrench (1)
My Favorite Feature: “Heavy-duty Anti-Wobble Base”
- The sturdy anti-wobble base enhances stability while in operation
Since the PL1252 benchtop planer is light, it’s normal for it to wobble during operation. But the heavy-duty base helps to reduce wobbling. Also, it offers a non-marring surface that supports different boards up to 6-Inch thick and 12.5-Inch wide.
Best Budget Benchtop Planer – Craftsman CMEW320
Craftsman CMEW320 Benchtop Planer
Craftsman is a big brand that has serviced the woodworking industry for years.
So, it’s no surprise that the company produces high-performance tools that always exceed their customer needs. The CMEW320 is one such tool that merges high performance with affordability.
Here are some features that make this benchtop planer the best budget in its category:
- 15-amp motor that works effectively for soft and hardwood materials
- Poly-V Cutter head drive that enhances maximum stock removal
- Long cutting life thanks to its reversible, high carbon steel, and double-edged knives
- Effective vacuum port for dust collection
- Ball bearings with a solid steel cutter head that assures long life and smooth operation
- Easily creates a smooth surface
- Dust ejection feature for each side of the planer
- Sturdy structure with a lot of stability
- Handles rough and old wood with ease
- Difficult to read the included gauge
- You may see a bit of snipe with this tool
- Craftsman CMEW320 Benchtop Planer (1)
- Elevating Handle (1)
- Head assembly (1)
- Infeed/outfeed extension tables (1)
- Cutter head guard (1)
- Head assembly (1)
- On/off switch (1)
My Favorite Feature: “Poly-V Cutter Head Drive”
- This feature gives the CMEW320 benchtop planer an overall smooth operation
In other words, it helps to remove a large stock on a single pass. It also means you’ll get more power for your projects.
Best Mid-Range Benchtop Planer – Delta Power Tools 22-555
Delta Power Tools 22-555
The Delta brand has gained a lot of prestige for almost a century.
Interestingly, they’ve set high standards while leading the industry in innovation.
With that in mind, you can tell that the 22-555 is a benchtop planer worth considering. Plus, it’s a good choice if you’re an expert that needs a mid-range tool that’s worth your buck.
Here’s why the Delta 22-555 is a great mid-range benchtop planer:
- 15A motor that produces enough torque to the two knives in its unit—for powerful, efficient, and fast surface shaving
- Width capacity of over 13-Inch, which is an overkill since most commercially available materials are barely wider than 10-Inch
- Maximum stock capacity of 6-Inch—which equals increased versatility and room to run thicker materials like oak wood
- Open space design that allows you to see your work properly and maneuver your material with ease
- Dust collection system that reduces the mess in your workshop
- Outfeed and infeed rollers have a coating that offers rolling ease and durability
- Repetitive planning is possible—thanks to its marked precision scale
- Behind the unit is a storage compartment where you can place your tools discreetly
- Column design that enhances durability and stability
- The disposable knives are easy to change
- Open design gives room for maneuvers
- The rollers have low noise
- Offers a dust collection system
- Stable and vibration-free
- Comes with a superior stock width of 13 and 6-Inch height capacity
- The Handle is large and smooth for adjusting the height
- Planes your material with precision
- Powerful 15A motor
- Solid construction
- Comes with great safety features
- The shaving finish isn’t completely flawless
- Delta Power Tools benchtop planer (1)
- Dust Collection Attachment (1)
- M6 Star Socket Head Screw (1)
- Cutter head Adjusting Handle (1)
- M6 Star Socket Head Screw and Washer (1)
- 6 mm Washer (1)
- Cutter head Lock Handle (1)
- Cutter head Wrench and Handle Combination (1)
My Favorite Feature: “Open Space Design”
This feature may seem negligible, but it stands out
Here’s why the open space design is my favorite feature:
- You get a better view of what you’re planing
- Allows you to change the disposable knives easily
- You can monitor the performance of the cutters without opening the device
- Enhances your maintenance process
Runner-up Benchtop Planer – JET JWP-13BT
JET JWP-13BT (722130)
Jet has a special line of woodworking tools that has gained a lot of success over the years.
So, you can rest assured that the JWP-13BT will live up to its brand’s 63 years’ legacy. Plus, it’s the only benchtop planer on this list with a factory-fitted helical style cutter head.
What features caused the JWP-13BT to grab our runner-up spot?
- Maximum cut depth of 1/8-Inch, width capacity of 13-Inch, and depth capacity of 6-Inch
- The helical cutter head, which has six rows of 24 quick-change carbides, offers clean and smooth cuts
- Adjustable tables (outfeed and infeed) prevents snipe and support workpieces
- 2 HP 15-amp motor speeds with the cutter head at 10,000 RPM
- Dual infeed speed helps to increase cut efficiency for different types of wood materials
- Cast iron-bed and steel-cover minimize snipe
- Sturdy build
- High-quality dust ejection function
- Machine runs quietly
- Handles different types of wood material
- It gives a smooth finish without sanding
- Portable size
- The height adjustment is a bit confusing
- JET JWP-13BT benchtop planer (1)
- Wrench (1)
- Dust hood (1)
- HSS inserts (2)
- Crank handle (1)
My Favorite Feature: “Adjustable Depth Stop”
- This feature helps to ease your planning process
The best part is; you can repeat smooth and consistent cuts—with the help of the adjustable depth stop.
Factors to Consider When Choosing the Best Benchtop Planers
There are few things to consider before choosing a benchtop planer.
So, I’ve listed four key things to look out for:
When choosing a benchtop planer, check the quality of its motor.
You can begin by asking questions like:
- Can the motor effectively spin the cutter head?
- How do the infield and outfield rollers work?
Asking those questions will help you know if your planer can easily trim all types of wood—whether it’s a pine or an oak.
The standard for a quality motor should be at least 15 amps with an 8,000-rpm speed. So, the faster the rpm, the more it will cut through a piece of wood per inch and vice-versa.
2. Width Capacity
A planer’s width capacity translates to the maximum number of boards in width it can take per time.
For instance, a benchtop planer with 13 inches width capacity can’t plane boards above 13 inches.
So, the general rule of thumb is to go for a benchtop with a high width capacity.
3. Type of Cutter Head
This feature is one of the essential factors to consider when buying a benchtop planer. The cutter head of a benchtop planer predominantly affects it in different ways like:
It determines the smoothness level or surface finish of a planer
It affects the noise level of the benchtop planer tool
How much you’re going to spend if you plane a nail-embedded wood with your tool
Also, there are two types of cutter head; the straight knife and helical cutter. The straight knife cutter gets blunt quickly, but it’s hard to replace. In contrast, the helical cutter is easy to replace but not as effective as the straight knife cutter.
If you always want to produce smooth surfaces, you need to take this factor seriously.
Also, you need to understand how hard and long the benchtop planer can work. A solid performance level translates to smoother workpieces.
So, you’ve seen the seven best benchtop planers.
My number one choice is the DeWalt DW735X.
This beast of a tool ticked the box for cutting to perfection, ease of cutting through large materials, all thanks to its functionalities I highlighted earlier in the article.
The remaining benchtop planers are top-notch, but it’s best to choose one that best meets your needs. And we’ve made that easy for you.
Hence, it’s time to make your choice.
Which of the seven choices is your number one? Or is there any benchtop planer you think should be here but isn’t?
Please, feel free to air your thoughts in the comments section.