The 6 Best Molding Planers in 2021 [Unbiased Review & Guide]

Are you looking for a planer that doubles as a dimensioning and profile wood stock machine?

Then, consider getting a molding planer.  With it, you can create:

  • Window/Door Casings
  • Frames
  • Baseboards
  • Architectural moldings
  • Fascia
  • Crown moldings

And many more…

But finding the best molder planers could be frustrating, considering the many options in the market.

So, I curated a list of the top six molder planers. Plus, I’ll be showing a few things to consider before choosing a molder planer.

Keep reading to find out!

Quick Overview

Are you in haste to glance through our best six molder planers? If you are, then take a look at our options with their main features:

My Recommendations

Finding the best molding planers available in the market was a daunting task for my team, and I had to carry out. Why? Most of the molding planers listed on Amazon were either unavailable or of low quality.

We had to dig deeper by running a ton of tireless research to find the best molding planers tailored for your specific needs. In the end, we chose six options that ticked the boxes for performance, safety, power, precision, and more.

So, I recommend that you stick to this post and read it thoroughly to have a clear view of each molder planer listed here. Then, you can make a more informed and thoughtful choice when picking a molder planer.

Best Low-Vibration and Noise Molding Planer – JET JPM-13CS

Jet JPM-13CS 13″ 1-1/2 HP, 1Ph, 115/230V (708524)

No doubt, Jet brought their “A-game” with this model in terms of power, safety, and ease of use.

It’s not surprising, though, considering the brand’s reputation for producing lifting systems, workholding, air tools, shop tools, metalworking, and woodworking tools for over six decades. Plus, the brand takes quality and durability seriously.

The JET 13CS has been available for quite a while—so, you may need to make a few adjustments to match the current technology.

That said, here are other features that made this model a winner in its category:

  • It has a cast iron table and base that reduces vibration during operation and provides strength
  • Comes with a three-knife cutterhead design that creates a superior planed finish
  • It has a knife-setting and extra slow feed rate that produces ready-to-use molded stock
  • The model supports your workpiece without marring the wood—all thanks to its infeed and outfeed rollers that are rubber-coated and adjustable
  • JPM-13CS has a four precision-ground column design that increases stability when you adjust the table
  • It has a two-speed gearbox with feed rates set for the best molding and planing results
  • This model delivers smooth and consistent power to its cutterhead because of the enclosed fan-cooled 1-1/2HP motor that uses two matched V-belts
  • Offers efficient dust and chip removal with its exclusive angled 4-Inch dust port that keeps the dust hose out of the way
  • Accurately adjust machine with ease—thanks to the knife jacking screws in the cutterhead
  • The built-in lockable casters add stability and support to the machine in operation
  • Molding cutterhead houses over 40 standard molding cutter sets, and you can install smaller heads without removing the planing knives—which saves you assembly time
  • Make quick table height changes with the easy-to-use top-mounted height adjustment handle

Pros

  • The machine is stable during operation
  • Durable
  • Easy to use
  • Low noise and vibration
  • Provides a superior planed finish
  • Efficient dust and chip removal
  • It comes with a two-speed gearbox
  • It has tires for easy movement

Cons

  • The tool is quite pricey
  • Not suitable for beginners or intermediate woodworkers

What’s included?

  • JET JWP-13CS molding planer (1)
  • Extension roller assemblies (2)
  • Dust chute (1)
  • Closed stand (1)
  • Warranty card (1)
  • Operator’s manual (1)
  • Handle assembly (1)
  • 10/12mm Wrench (1)
  • Hardware bag (1)
  • DVD instructional disk (1)
  • 11/13mm wrench (1)
  • Screwdriver (1)
  • Brass bar (1)
  • Feed roller adjustment wrench (1)
  • 3mm Hex Wrench (1)
  • 4mm T-handle Hex wrench (1)
  • 5mm Hex wrench (1)
  • Molding cutter gauge (1)
  • Knife setting gauge (1)

My Favorite Feature: “Highly reduced noise and vibration”

  • The Jet JWP-13CS has low noise and vibration due to its cast iron table and base

One look at this machine, and you’ll be quick to conclude that it will be noisy. Contrary, it’s one of the most durable, low noise and vibration machine on this list due to its cast iron table and base

Best High-Quality Molding Planer – Shop Fox W1812

Shop Fox W1812 Planer Molder with Stand

Shop Fox machinery line has been around for a century, and they are one of the top brands in America—when it comes to metalworking and woodworking equipment.

The brand has earned a reputation and gotten awards for “the best quality and high durability woodworking tools.” So, having a Shop Fox tool gives you the confidence to produce satisfying projects with accuracy.

The Shop Fox W1812 came through as usual and stole the best high-quality molding planer because of the following features:

  • This model has guide rails alongside easy-to-adjust T-nut toggle bolts for straight cuts
  • It has a precision ground cast iron that measures 10-Inch for width and 36-1/4-Inch for length with wings—which enhances work support
  • You can achieve the model’s unsurpassed planing and molding capacity with its variable speed control and one-piece enclosed stand
  • The W1812 has an open-sided design with an optional elliptical jig (sold separately) that allows you to make oval moldings
  • With the 4-Inch port, it’s easy to connect a dust collection system that helps to keep your workshop clean
  • Pedestal mounted control switch
  • Adjustable speed power feed with chain drive power transfer
  • 2HP motor that produces a feed speed of 0 to 18 FPM
  • It has a square cutterhead that provides easy access to change the knives with ease
  • Delivers a cutterhead speed of 7000 RPM
  • Cutterhead housing with precision gib adjustments
  • Efficient chip collection with cutterhead viewing window
  • Ruggedly built parts with rigid quality control that assures reliable and safe operation

Pros

  • Durable
  • Gives you the option of connecting a dust collection system
  • Improved chip clearance
  • Easy to maintain
  • Powerful machine
  • Sturdy construction
  • Allows you to create your tailored moldings and frames
  • Variable speed for unsurpassed planing
  • Easy-to-access cutterhead
  • Flexible speed power feed with chain drive power transfer

Cons

  • Adjusting the rollers is difficult

What’s included?

  • Shop Fox W1812 molding planer/ table assembly/ molder head (1)
  • Steel conduit (1)
  • Dust hood (1)
  • Stand (1)
  • Belt guard (1)
  • Hardware bag (1)
  • Link belt (1)
  • Pedestal control panel (1)
  • Guide rail set (1)
  • Handwheel w/knob (1)

My Favorite Feature: “Easy Access Cutterhead”

  • The W1812 provides you easy access to the cutterhead

The cutterhead has a simple indexed bolt-on design that reduces the time you spend changing the planing or molding blades.

Best Heavy-Duty Molding Planer – Grizzly Industrial G0815

Grizzly G0815 15″ 3 HP

Grizzly Industrial is a brand that offers high-quality woodworking and metalworking machinery and accessories.

The tool manufacturer has been producing woodworking for approximately 38 years. Hence, it has gotten a lot of awards for quality and value. The company goal says it all: “to sell the best quality products at the best price.”

So, you won’t be wrong to have high expectations for the G0815.

Here are the features that make the G0815 the best heavy-duty molding planer:

  • Comes with a fixed table position that makes it perfect for setting up with infeed and outfeed roller tables—which boosts convenience and production
  • It has two feed-rate settings: 16 and 30 FPM that offers smooth finishes for different types of wood
  • The model uses a 3HP motor that produces 5,000 RPM cutterhead speed—which is enough power to tackle large projects
  • This model has four-column support with column locks and easy handwheel height adjustment.
  • Gas spring head lift assist
  • The headstock safely locks to restrict movement while planing
  • It has 3 HSS knives with chip breaker that gives a superior smooth finish
  • The 4-Inch dust port gives room for connecting a dust collection system—which keeps your workshop from getting messy
  • Magnetic switch with thermal overheat protection
  • Heavy cast iron planer head
  • It has lifting handles that ease movement

Pros

  • Sturdy build
  • Easy handling
  • Impressive performance
  • Offers two feed rate settings
  • Powerful motor
  • Saves you some floor space
  • Headstock prevents movement while planing
  • Comes with a magnetic switch with an emergency shut-off
  • Effective for large projects
  • Portable

Cons

  • It’s quite expensive

What’s included?

Grizzly Industrial G0815 planer (1)

My Favorite Feature: “Magnetic Switch with Thermal Overload”

  • The Grizzly G0815 features a magnetic switch with thermal overload

This feature stood out for me because of the safety mechanism. The fact that the machine—G0815  goes off when it overheats is remarkable.

Best Superior-Finish Molding Planer – Jet JWP-208HH

Jet JWP-208HH 20″ 5HP Helical Head (708544)

The Jet JWP-208HH is undoubtedly every intermediate or professional woodworker’s dream as it’s a high-performance model.

This helical head molding planer has 20-Inch width, making it super easy to cut large lumber up to 20 inches. It also comes with a heavy-duty motor that eases the process of cutting and molding hardwood and softwood.

So, here are more exciting features of the Jet JWP-208HH:

  • It makes the most accurate adjustments for fine cuts with its 1/16-inch increment height scale
  • Comes with a 5-Inch dust box that provides enhanced dust and chip ejection
  • Machine comes with cast iron infeed and outfeed tables
  • Durable cast iron and steel build for additional durability and strength
  • Comes with a helical cutterhead and indexable carbide inserts that offer smooth finishes and less-noise
  • Oversized handwheel with positive gear drive that enables you to make accurate and quick table adjustments
  • Precision cast iron table bed for accurate workpiece sustenance
  • The magnetic controls add to the tool’s reliability and sturdiness
  • Stability and solid support thanks to its single-piece soldered steel base
  • 5HP induction motor and three V-belt transmissions that deliver smooth and steady power
  • Two-speed gearbox and automatic chain tensioner that enables you to adjust the feed rate accordingly

Pros

  • 5HP induction motor
  • 5-Inch dust box enhances effective dust ejection
  • Two-speed gearbox that comes with automatic chain tensioner
  • V-belt transmission that helps to prevent shaking and vibration
  • 5-year warranty

Cons

  • Smoothing mechanism damages workpiece sometimes
  • It’s heavy

What’s Included?

  • Jet JWP-208HH 20″ 5HP Helical Head (708544) (1)
  • User manual (1)

My Favorite Feature: “92 Staggered Carbide-Knives”

  • This tool comes with 92 staggered carbide-knives—inserted in the helical cutterhead

With the helical cutter and 92 staggered carbide knives, you can get clean cuts and smooth finishes.

Best Precision Cutting Molding Planer– Powermatic 201HH

Powermatic 201HH 7.5HP 1PH 230V (1791267)

If you’re looking for a molder and planer tool that provides accurate cuts and molding, you can consider the Powermatic 201HH with a powerful 7.5HP motor.

What else?

  • Its helical blade system houses 125 inserts that produce a better finish and more silent operation.
  • Here are other key features of the Powermatic 201HH 7.5HP that makes it an excellent precision cutting tool:
  • Comes with dual Feed speeds of 20 or 30 FPM, which offers rough and fine workpieces
  • With its adjustable bed rollers, you can feed finished workpieces (smooth or rough)
  • Durable cast iron build that allows the heavy cast iron table to move on two big lead screws
  • Comes with a 5-Inch dust chute that effectively removes dust
  • Machine delivers a quiet cutting and smoother finishes because of its helical cutterhead with 125 four-sided carbide knife inserts
  • Roller bearing-mounted feed rollers that provide longer life and smooth operation
  • Sectioned infeed roller with segmented chip breaker for molding and planing various height stock

Pros

  • Comes with a 5-Inch dust collection box
  • Sturdy cast iron construction that acts as a solid bed platform for all types of lumber
  • Dual feed speeds of 20 or 30fpm
  • Adjustable bed rollers
  • 125 four-sided carbide knife inserts

Cons

  • It’s a bit pricey

What’s Included?

  • Powermatic 201HH 7.5HP 1PH 230V (1)
  • Installation manual (1)

My Favorite Feature: “Adjustable Roller Feeds”

  • The 201HH comes with adaptable roller feeds that make it easy to run smooth and rough feeds

The adjustable roller feeds give excellent surface, and edge finishes no matter the wood type; hardwood or softwood.

Runner-Up Reliable Molding planer – JET JWP-208-1

JET JWP-208-1 (708528)

The Jet JWP-208-1 is a 3HP machine that blends performance and power perfectly. It also trims rough lumber into smooth workpieces quietly and speedily—combined with its 20-inch planing width at 20,00 cuts per minute.

JWP-208-1 has a durable cast iron and steel construction that helps to support and keep workpieces steady on the iron bed.

If you’re looking for a tool that has zero tolerance for snipe, then you may love this tool—thanks to its 3-steel outfeed and infeed rollers.

Other key features that make the Jet JWP-208-1 a reliable option are:

  • 230-volt motor that produces 20,000 cuts per minute
  • One-phase 3HP machine
  • Four-knife cutter head that converts rough lumber into smooth workpieces
  • 20-inches width, 6-inches cutter head, and a maximum depth cut of 3/32 for professional planing and molding
  • Anti-kickback mechanism that keeps stock from hurting you
  • Rubber outfeed rollers that prevent your workpiece from getting marred
  • Significant handwheel depth makes every task easy

Pros

  • Remarkable planer for its price
  • Cuts and molds efficiently
  • Intuitive operation
  • 20-inch planing for professionals

Cons

  • Sometimes, feed tables raise and lower with thickness adjustments
  • Requires two people to plane a huge lumber

What’s Included?

  • Jet JWP-208-1 (1)
  • 24-volt Magnetic Control (1)
  • Dust hood (1)
  • Extension rollers (1)
  • Four high-speed steel knives (1)
  • Return rollers (1)
  • Two-speed gearbox (1)
  • Knife-setting gauge (1)
  • Welded base (1)
  • Installation manual (1)

My Favorite Feature: “20-inch Planing Width”

  • Jet JWP-208-1 comes with a 20-inch planing width, which makes it a good fit for professional woodworkers

If you run many professional projects involving large wood materials, the Jet JWP-208-1 will be an excellent option to consider.

Best Molding Planers: Key Factors to Consider When Choosing One

Before starting your quest to find the best molding planers, it’s best to understand what to look out for.

Here are nine crucial factors to consider:

1. Power

Before buying a molder planer, it’s crucial to check the power rating. So, go for a tool with a minimum power capacity of 1.5 – 3HP. The power determines how effective your molder planer will cut and snap workpieces.  

2. Motor and System Safety

One of the things that makes a molding planer a great option is its safety features. A good molding planer should have a safety mechanism that prevents you from hurting your hands.

So, I recommend you look out for a molder planer that comes with an emergency button or function that can shut down the tool in the event of an emergency.

You can also check for molder planers with enclosed motors that have a durable cooling system. Having this feature can prevent an explosion or fire—with your machine.

3. Speed

A molder planer should have different speeds if it has to work effectively. Hence, you can select different rates for various wood types—like a high speed for softwoods and a low speed for hardwood.

In other words, you should have the option of running the high speed for fast material removal and low speed for more precise finishing.

4. Cutterhead

For best results, I recommend you choose a cutterhead with these features at least:

  • A durable and sturdy cutter head blade like a high-speed steel
  • Design that simplifies the interchanging of molding and planing knives easy and fast

5. Integrated Dust Channel

If you want to keep your lungs from inhaling a lot of dust while planing, you need to consider one with an integrated dust chute or channel.

To eliminate the wood dust, you need to opt for a planer that comes with a dust collector. A dust port helps you to connect your tool to a collector effectively. So, your machine must also come with a dust port.

6. Ease of Use

For effective production, you need to select a molding planer that’s easy to use, especially if you’re new to woodworking. Also, setting your new molder planer shouldn’t be difficult.

So, I recommend you go for a unit that comes with a simple mechanism for changing knives, settings, and even operations.

7. Capacity

If you don’t want to burn cash on the wrong molder planer, you need to take this aspect seriously. You need to check the minimum thickness, maximum width, and height the molder planer operates with.

8. Feed Rate

It’s crucial to check if the machine you intend to choose has an effective feed rate if you want to run molding and planing with the same tool.

Usually, you don’t require high feed rates for molding, unlike planing. So, the rule of thumb is to go for a tool that delivers multiple feed rates from 10 to 30 CFM. With that, you can run various woodwork operations without any stress.

9. Size

Generally, molder planers are heavy. But you need to consider the weight and size of the unit—based on your workshop or garage size.

If you have ample workshop space, you won’t have to worry about the size of the molding planer. With a small workspace, you have to select a tool that’s lighter and easy to move.

Rounding Up

Picking the best molder planers isn’t something you do every day. So, it would be best if you adapt every instruction in this post seriously—to get a machine that best meets your needs.

Overall, our number one molding planer is the JET JPM-13CS because it produces ready-to-use molded stock and a superior planed finish. At the same time, the Shop Fox W1812 outshines its high quality, molding capacity, and easy-to-connect dust collection system.

So what do you think? Do you like the options we listed here? What is your number one choice, and why? Do you have a molder planer you think we should have added?

Please, share your thoughts. We’d love to hear them!

James Thomas

James Thomas

Tool Enthusiast

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