The best electric planer is easy to use & super convenient. It’s a must-have woodworking tool that can be relied on to deliver a smooth and beautiful finish without fuss.
While experienced carpenters may still have a selection of hand planers in their workshop, for most of us, an electric planer gives superior results, fast. And with less elbow grease.
What is An Electric Hand Planer?
An electric hand planer is a power tool used by carpenters, woodworkers & builders alike to smooth and level wood. It uses a rotating blade or cutter head to remove material and create a smooth surface. It is commonly used in woodworking and construction for tasks such as smoothing rough timber, levelling doors and removing old paint or finishes. It’s also effective at achieving precise dimensions with a smooth finish.
Choosing the right model for the job you’re planning and future requirements, can be tricky. There are numerous models available & picking the right planer can be very time-consuming.
Best Wood Planer 2023
Worry not, we’ve compared 38 models, scrutinised specifications & checked owners’ real-world experience to rank the UK’s top 5 electric planers in price order.
Read on to see the Verum recommended planers, complete buyer’s guide, pro tips & the best deals available in the UK, right now…
Best Value Electric Planer – Bosch PHO 1500
RRP £89 | Buy Now from Amazon
For most DIY jobs the Bosch PHO 1500 is the standout choice. Good for experienced users and beginners alike, it will get the job done and won’t break the bank.
Weighing 2.4 kg, this model is lighter than most, making it easy to handle and keeping user fatigue in check. Don’t expect super powerful output at this price, but what’s important is that the Bosch 550w motor is more than capable of handling most jobs around the home.
Useful design features include 3 V grooves for accurately chamfering corner edges and a parking rest that allows you to put the planer down safely & without damaging any surfaces.
SPECIFICATION: Cutting Depth: 0-1.5mm | Planing Width: 82mm | Maximum rebate depth 8mm | No-load Speed: 19,500rpm | Weight: 2.4Kg
If you’re after a big-brand electric planer for under £100, look no further – this model from Bosch is effective, easy to use and great value for money
Corded Planer with Accessories – Ryobi RPN-780S
RRP £94 | Buy Now from Amazon
For a few quid more than the Bosch is the Ryobi planer. This fully-featured electric planer comes with a host of useful accessories.
The edge guide makes it easy to achieve accurate right angles. Plus, there’s a dust bag to collect the chips. Also worth noting is that the dust bag can be attached on either side. This may not sound like a biggy, but try it once & you’ll wonder how you managed without it.
Plus, as you may expect, there’s a V profile on the base for edging and it comes with a parking rest.
Delivering more power than the Bosch, it’s capable of cutting to a maximum depth of 3mm. However, we’d recommend making a couple of shallower cuts for maximum accuracy and finish.
SPECIFICATION: Cutting Depth: 0-3mm | Planing Width: 82mm | Maximum rebate depth 12mm | No-load Speed: 17,000rpm | Weight: 3.1 Kg
There’s plenty to like about this Ryobi planer. It’s great for DIY and a decent choice for occasional trade use
Budget Makita Planer – Makita DKP180Z
£119 | Buy Now from Amazon
If you already own Makita LXT batteries, choosing this model is a no-brainer. It’s effective, well-built and affordable.
The double carbide blade skims over the wood & delivers a smooth & even finish. And as you’d expect from Makita, the build quality is excellent – this model is designed for trade.
Making life easier (& safer) the electronic brake stops the cutter as you release the trigger. Plus, there’s a spring-loaded stand meaning you can put the planer down without worry.
SPECIFICATION: Cutting Depth: 0-2mm | Planing Width: 82mm | Maximum rebate depth 9mm | No-load Speed: 14,000rpm | Weight: 3.1 Kg + battery
Looking for negatives, a brushless motor would be good. However, this is a great piece of kit, that doesn’t disappoint
Best Brushless Planer – Dewalt DCP580N
RRP £160 | Buy Now from Amazon
The best cordless planer you can buy, right now, is the Dewalt DCP580N. Superior technology, design & robust build quality for a good price, make it the Verum top choice.
The standout reason to choose this model from Dewalt is the brushless motor. It will deliver longer battery life & improved performance from first use, the advantages are clear. However, perhaps of greater importance, this power tool will last significantly longer (years) than models using a conventional motor.
This Dewalt comes with a guide fence/guide (not shown) – which is a useful accessory to have. There’s no dust bag although it’s compatible with the AirLock extraction system. Alternatively, you can connect a vacuum for dust-free planing.
SPECIFICATION: Cutting Depth: 0-2mm | Planing Width: 82mm | Maximum rebate depth 9mm | No-load Speed: 15,000rpm | Weight: 2.5 Kg + battery
This model from Dewalt will last years longer than your standard planer. Plus, the build quality & being cordless make it a joy to use.
Ultimate Cordless Planer – Makita DKP181Z
£249 | Buy Now from Amazon
Are you looking for the very best planer in the UK?
This brushless model from Makita uses top-notch technology & comes with a market-leading specification.
Essential for regular trade use, the powerful brushless motor keeps going when lesser models will fail. The speed & torque are electronically controlled to deliver a perfect finish while preserving battery time.
And for safety, there’s a soft start, brake and rear stand. Also of value, is that you switch chip ejection – left or right.
SPECIFICATION: Cutting Depth: 0-3mm | Planing Width: 82mm | Maximum rebate depth 25mm | No-load Speed: 15,000rpm | Weight: 3.3 Kg + battery
This Makita cordless planer isn’t cheap, but if you demand the very best kit – this is it
What is Important When Buying an Electric Planer?
There seems to be an endless list of manufacturer claims, specifications and prices. To save you time & money, we’ve done the hard work & cut the long list from 38 models to recommend the UK’s top 5 electric planers.
Here are Verum’s top 10 considerations…
- Weight is always important when you work with the device for a long time. However, while lightweight is good, it must not mean a compromise on build quality. Balance is also important – the weight should sit low on the device and be evenly distributed.
- Motor Power is important, but the number of Watts doesn’t tell you very much (nor does the rpm). Balanced speed and torque make for a smooth finish.
- Motor Technology is super important if you plan to use the planer regularly. Choose a model with a brushless motor and the device will last around 30% longer on each battery charge. Plus, it won’t overheat. However, the main advantage is longevity. The motor and therefore the power tool will last years longer – saving you money over time.
- Maximum Cutting Depth is worth noting, but a second pass usually achieves a more accurate and superior finish.
- Cutting Width – All our recommended models have a maximum width of 82mm (3 ¼ inch).
- Rebate Depth is worth checking if you need to cut a rebate or rabbet joint.
- Guides & fences make it easy to maintain accurate cuts.
- V-Groves on the base allow for accurate edging – again, all our recommended models include this feature.
- A parking stand is super important. This is useful to avoid damaging your work and essential to avoid damaging yourself! However, it shouldn’t get in the way.
- Dust bags are useful, but attaching a vacuum will give you the best results.
How to Use an Electric Planer
- Secure the workpiece and check there are no nails or screws that could damage the planer blade.
- Adjust the depth of the cut (with the power off) to the desired setting by using the adjustment knob or lever.
- Position yourself on the opposite side of the chip/dust ejector.
- Hold the planer with both hands, keeping your fingers away from the cutting blades.
- Start the planer ahead of contact with the workpiece.
- Push the planer forward, allowing the blades to shave off a thin layer of wood.
- Keep the planer moving at a steady pace, applying firm and even pressure.
- When you reach the end of the board, make sure it’s stopped spinning before you put it down
It’s important to wear eye and ear protection plus a decent dust mask.
This Dewalt is the best hand planer you can buy
UK VERDICT 2023
The Bosch is affordable and more than a match for most DIY tasks. As a decent alternative and for a few quid more, the Ryobi comes complete with a dust bag and guide fence.
For anyone locked into the Makita brand and battery system, it’s decision time! Both the Makita planers detailed are excellent. The brushless model is awesome – if you can stretch the budget.
For trade and anyone who likes using top-notch kit, the brushless Dewalt is the standout option. It ranks above many other models costing considerably more
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