If you’re reading this post, one thing is sure:
You’re probably a newbie or DIYer looking for the best budget planers in 2021 that money can buy! Or perhaps you already have a heavy-duty planer, but you need a second budget option as backup!
Well, I’ve got good news for you. There are a ton of budget planers available in the market today.
But the issue is;
A large percent of these cheap planers aren’t sturdy. And there’s a high chance that you may settle for less.
So, I created this article to show you the top 5 budget planers that will give you a bang for your buck.
If you don’t have the time to go through this comprehensive buying guide, you can quickly take a peek at my top five choices:
- Best Compact Budget Planer – Grizzly Industrial G0505
- Best Value Budget Planer – DeWalt DW735X
- Best Smooth Operating Budget Planer – Craftsman 15-Amp (CMEW320)
- Best Decent Budget Planer – WEN 6552T
- Runner-Up Lightweight Budget Planer – Makita 2012NB
One of the trickiest things to do is finding the best budget planers. Because of their cheap prices, they tend to come with inferior design or poor performance.
So, my team and I did a lot of research to find the “good eggs amid the crowd.” Luckily, we struck gold and discovered five budget planers with sturdy construction and decent performance for the price’s worth.
My purpose is to enlighten and give you a clear picture of the best budget planers that fit your needs. I’ll also be sharing a few things to consider before buying a budget planer.
So, I suggest you read this article thoroughly to get the best budget planer that your money can buy.
Best Compact Budget Planer – Grizzly Industrial G0505
Grizzly Industrial G0505 – 12-1/2-Inch 2 HP
The Grizzly industrial company produces various types of power tools. But, their thickness planers stand out—and they are the most sought after.
The Grizzly Industrial G0505 model isn’t an exception as it’s a budget-friendly option that’s easy to carry around because of its lightweight.
So, it’s an ideal option to consider if you’re a hobbyist who wants a sturdy budget planer—which matches other top models.
Here are key features that make the G0505 model the best compact and budget planer:
- The G0505 has metal parts that make it sturdy
- Heavy-duty and remarkable design quality
- Comes with a 2HP 15-amp motor that generates up to 10000 RPM of cutterhead speed
- It allows you to feed your rough stock at 32 FPM
- You can work with peace of mind, thanks to the G0505 thermal overload protection that prevents the planer from overheating and ensures toughness—during operation
- It allows a minimum board thickness of 13/65-Inch, maximum cutting width of 12-1/2-Inch, maximum cutting depth of 3/32-Inch, and maximum cutting height of 6-Inch
- The cutterhead has two reversible 0.125-Inch HSS knives—which is a great deal compared to other options in its category that only have 0.0625-Inch thick knives
- An accurate height adjustment that allows your stock to come out in precise dimensions
- A wrench and knife setting jig
- Top-mounted return rollers
- On/off Toggle switch with safety lock—which adds as a thoughtful addition for safety
- Built-in carry handles that make the machine portable for easy movement
- Extra-large extension tables that help to support your stock effectively
- Sturdily built construction
- 2HP 15-amp motor that provides 10,000 RPM
- Excellent customer service
- Compact budget model
- Comes with impressive blade quality that handles hardwoods effectively
- Easy to assemble
- It has a safety lock and thermal overload function
- This model is a bit noisy
- It doesn’t have a dust collection attachment
- Grizzly Industrial G0505 planer (1)
- Chip deflector (1)
- Knife gauge (1)
- 8-10 mm wrench (1)
- Handle (2)
- Washers M5 (2)
- Cap screw M5-8 x 20mm (1)
- Wing nuts M5 (2)
My Favorite Feature: “Thermal Overload Protection”
- The G0505 has thermal overload protection that triggers when the machine overheats.
Most people love to feel safe when they work with heavy-duty machines in their workshops. This compact model has the thermal overload protection feature, making the machine go off automatically when it overheats.
Best Value Budget Planer – DEWALT DW735X
DEWALT Two Speed 13-Inch (DW735X)
It’s completely normal to confuse the DEWALT DW735 and DW735X. After all, the DW735X is the successor of the DW735, and they look alike. In reality, it’s hard to tell the distinguish both models apart.
But the significant difference between them is that the DW735X comes with an extra set of knives, infeed, and outfeed tables.
So, what features make the DEWALT DW735X earn the best value budget planer on this list?
- It can handle boards that are up to 13-Inch wide—which gives you more capacity without the need to upgrade to cabinet-sized models
- The model has a depth capacity of 6-Inch that offers adequate space between the table and cutter head
- It uses a 15-amp electric motor that produces 20,000 RPMs under no-load—which converts to a 10,000 RPM cutterhead speed
- It cuts through hardwoods with minimal bogging
- Since the model runs off on 110volts, you can run this planer without unique outlets or wiring
- Comes with tree knives that save you cost and extends the life of the blade as you’ll make less frequent changes
- The DW735X can handle 1/8-Inch off with each pass—which strikes a balance between material removal and a smooth surface
- It offers the option of 96 and 179 CPI (Cuts Per Inch)—the former setting leaves a rougher surface but allows you to cut through the wood faster, while the latter setting leaves a smoother texture but takes a long time to plane
- You can expect a rigid surface from this model with its cast aluminum bottom that offers 193/4-Inch of support
- It comes with an outfeed and infeed table that effectively doubles the amount of material the model can support
- Easy-to-see markings and short descriptive sentences on the speed setting controls help you work effectively
- The build quality of this tool can withstand harsh work environments
- Fan-assisted chip ejection system that allows you to focus on your task
- Extra-large turret depth stop that allows you to use your most frequent thickness with ease
- The Allen wrench comes with some magnets on the handle that helps you remove the blades easily
- An automatic carriage lock that reduces movements, which causes snipe during operation
- It has two operating speeds
- Three-year limited warranty
- It has a 13-Inch cutting width
- The model has an infeed and outfeed table
- Zero snipes
- Rugged design
- Easy to use
- It’s quite heavy
- It doesn’t come with a stand
- DEWALT DW735X planer (1)
- Extra knives (1)
- Dust hose adapter with dust-ejection chute (1)
My Favorite Feature: “The Two Speeds”
- The DW735X model comes with two speeds, 96 and 179 CPI
The two-speed feature is a unique one that’s effective for quick thickness planing and detailed finishing. The first speed slows the automatic feed and allows the blades to cut your wood 179 times per inch, giving a smooth finish.
On the other hand, the second speed increases the automatic feed speed and reduces the cuts per inch to 96—which helps in dimensioning lumber faster.
Best Smooth Operating Budget Planer – Craftsman 15-Amp (CMEW320)
CRAFTSMAN 15-Amp (CMEW320)
Do you want a budget planer that can handle your professional projects? The CRAFTSMAN CMEW320 will do the job.
The brand is worth considering as it’s pretty famous for producing equipment and power tools. Also, they’ve always strived to meet their customers’ needs and sustain excellence alongside.
So, it’s not surprising that the CMEW320 is a good combination of efficiency and quality. Plus, you can rely on its professional-grade results and long-lasting durability.
In short, it’s an excellent choice for planing glued-up materials and dimensioning lumber.
Here are other features that show that the CMEW320 deserves the spot for the best smooth operating budget planer:
- A hand crank for adjustments with a ball bearing structure, which supports its two durable knives—ensures a smooth operation and increased motor longevity
- Poly-V cutterhead drive and carbon steel knives that produces a whopping 16,000 CPM
- The cutterhead delivers a speed of up to 8,000 RPM that caters to a majority of woodworking tasks and involves dimensioning lumber
- 15-amp motor provides sufficient power for the removal of hard and soft material removal
- It comes with a vacuum port that allows you to connect your shop vac for dust collection
- The model has a long cutting life thanks to its high carbon steel, reversible double-edged knives
- It has a four-column design that provides top-notch stability for smooth, accurate planing and reduced snipe
- Folding in and out-feed tables
- Simple to use blade change system that makes you move to your next material with ease
- It has an adaptable fan-assisted dust collection port
- The four-column design helps to reduce snipe
- Comes with reversible knives that save cost in the long run
- The blade system is relatively easy to change
- Impressive capacity and accurate cutting depth
- Lightweight portability
- This model has some gear breakage issues
- Gauge is a bit confusing
- Craftsman CMEW320 planer (1)
- On/off switch (1)
- Cutterhead guard (1)
- Infeed and outfeed extension tables (1)
- Elevating handle (1)
- Dust chute (1)
- Head assembly (1)
My Favorite Feature: “Poly-V cutterhead drive”
- The CMEW320 planer features the Poly-V cutterhead drive
This feature stood out because the primary goal of having a thickness planer is to have reliable stock removal. With that said, the Poly-V cutterhead drive enhances maximum stock removal.
Best Decent Budget Planer – WEN 6552T
WEN 6552T 13-Inch 15 Amp 3-Blade
The WEN 6552T is the successor of the 2019 model WEN 6550T. In reality, they are the same machine. The difference between them is the few upgrades integrated into the WEN 6552T.
On the other hand, the 6550T has a granite-made center table that’s flat. It works perfectly as a hand tool for sharpening plane blades—but it’s not as smooth as metal.
As a result, WEN decided to upgrade the 6552T to a cast iron table—which is also flat but exceptionally smooth when polished.
So, the WEN 6552T is an excellent choice for newbies. But, both models have almost the same price.
Here are other features that make the 6552T model the best decent budget planer:
- Depth cut indicator that tells you how deep a cut is and saves you the stress of measuring it yourself—which prevents unnecessary accidents
- This model has an infeed and outfeed table with special adjustment screws that help to reduce snipe
- 6552T comes with three blades that help to boost cut quality since there’s less distance between each blade cut and gives a smooth finish overall.
- 15-amp motor with a 26 FPM that can handle almost any type of wood
- A fan-assisted dust port that is compatible with three sizes of connectors (2, 2.5, and 4-Inch hoses)—which helps to prevents clogs
- It has 13-Inch blade width and 6-Inch stock capacity
- Comes with three rubber rollers that drive lumber through the stock without snipe
- The depth adjustment scale is adequately calibrated to let you set depth up to 3/32-Inch
- Predrilled mounting holes that allow you to clasp the machine on a bench
- Comes with handles on both sides that let you move the tool around with ease
- The 6552T has simple mounting and control that needs minor assembly
- A power switch that has a safety key
- It has a sturdy iron cast infeed and outfeed table
- Comes with predrilled mounting holes
- The model has three reversible blades for more delicate and faster cuts
- Its 13-Inch width can accommodate any lumber size
- Properly calibrated depth adjustment scale
- Minimalist design
- Easy to use
- Produces 25,500 CPM
- It has a powerful motor
- Fan-assisted dust-port
- Comfortable rubber-grip adjustment
- It doesn’t have a spindle lock
- You may still experience snipe
- Iron tables tend to be slippery when wet
- WEN 6552T planer
- Dust chute (1)
- Magnet (2)
- Thumbscrews (2)
- Dust chute adapter (1)
- Hex Wrench (1)
- Flat washer (1)
- Crank handle (1)
- Socket head bolt (1)
My Favorite Feature: “Material Removal Gauge”
- The WEN 13-Inch 6552T model comes with the unique material removal gauge feature
With this feature, you’ll get a perfect finish since it lets users know the cutting depth of their current settings. Plus, it’s an easy way to measure clearly before each pass.
Runner-Up Lightweight Budget Planer – Makita 2012NB
Makita 2012NB 12-Inch
Are you a professional that’s looking for an additional tool? Or a hobbyist that needs an easy, compact, and high-quality planer? Then, Makita 2012NB is one to consider.
Makita is a company with a wealth of experience when dealing with power tools, and the 2012NB didn’t fall short. Plus, its lightweight is one of its outstanding features that’s valuable to offsite contractors.
So, what other features qualified this product for the runner-up spot?
- An easily adjustable cutting depth for precision planing
- Foldable table extensions that add to its portability
- Easy blade replacements accessible switch
- Offers a smooth finish and avoids snipes—all thanks to the interna-Lok automated head clamp
- The 15-amp motor provides a no-load speed of 8,500 RPM with low noise of 83dB
- The 2012NB can handle materials up to 6-3/32-Inch thick, 12-Inch wide, and 1/8-inch deep
- Comes with an LED that boosts its usability
- A large paddle on/off switch that enhances operation convenience
- Adjustable depth stop that gives you a repeated accuracy
- It combines a four-post design with diagonal cross support to effectively support your workpieces
- Three HSS knives create a smooth finish
- It comes with a two-speed hear box at 16FPM and 30FPM
- This model has mounted pedestal controls
- The safety switch goes off when there’s an internal thermal load
- It comes with an adjustable depth stop
- The model has the capacity for heavy-duty materials
- Its clamping mechanism helps to prevent snipe
- The paddle design makes the machine convenient
- Lightweight and portable
- Low noise
- Adjustable depth stop
- Easy to change knives
- It has improved stability
- A dust hood doesn’t come in its package
- It has no sensor to shows overheating
- Makita 2012NB planer
- User manual
- Hex wrench (1)
- Magnetic holder (2)
- Socket wrench 9 (1)
- Planer blade (1)
My Favorite Feature: “Interna-Lok Head Clamp”
- Makita 2012NB comes with the Interna-Lok Automated head clamp as an added feature
The Interna-Lok Automated head clamp takes the award for me because it improves the entire planing process and eliminates snipe.
What Are the Factors to Consider When Buying the Best Budget Planers?
Because we are looking for budget planers, we have to be cautious before buying one.
So, I’ve listed a few things to look out for before buying one.
1. Cutting Depth
The cutting depth of a planer is a crucial factor to consider before choosing the tool. It’s the amount of wood your planer’s blade can cut and snap in a single pass.
Carbide blades are usually the perfect go-to, especially if you’re going to be handling heavy-duty projects. Plus, they are generally sturdier than HSS. So, I recommend you go for budget planers that come with carbide blades.
2. Planer Bed
While cutting depth is essential, a planer bed is another factor to consider. It translates to the maximum width your planer can process within a single pass.
So, ensure you go for a planer with a decent bed size. Plus, Bed flatness is a crucial factor because it determines the smoothness of a workpiece.
3. Motor Power
Having a planer with a powerful motor translates to more efficient and accurate wood planing. If you don’t want to have a frustrating planing experience, you need to consider getting a planer with at least 5 or 6-amps—considering the price.
4. Chip Direction
If you want to enjoy maximum versatility and efficiency, consider choosing a planer that comes with a right or left chip direction. Having it determines the hose or dust bag location, depending on the project you’re working on.
But if you’re not going to use a dust bag or hose, I suggest you settle for a planer that comes with a chip chute—one you can redirect away from you.
So, here we are; the five best budget planers that money can buy.
Our number one choice is the Grizzly Industrial G0505 for its sturdiness, remarkable design quality, and powerful motor that matches other top models. The Makita 2012NB came up as our runner-up because of its precision, potability, and clamping mechanism.
The other three planers are individually unique with their specific features.
You can choose from any other top-five listed here if you’re looking for budget planers that won’t break your bank.
Also, I’d like to know your view concerning our top five budget planer choices.
Which of them are you going to pick? Are there any options you have in mind?
Please, drop your comments below!