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Benchtop Wood Planer Reviews

Updated on September 25, 2013

Do you Need a Benchtop Planer?

A benchtop wood planer is one of those must have tools for a home workshop, there are not really a lot of other options for planning quickly and efficiently. They can be a big investment however and one that a lot of people are scared to make because of the fact that unlike most other power tools a benchtop planer really only does one thing. Obviously people are concerned about whether or not they will get enough use out of it to justify the price.

In my experience being able to get enough use out of a benchtop planer has never been an issue, it is one of those tools that once you have it you will use it all the time and wonder how you ever got by without one.

In order to help you to choose the best benchtop planer for your shop I have reviewed several of the best options. The best one is going to depend in large part on your needs, the biggest factor in your choice will likely come down to whether or not you are going to need to be able to move your planer around.

Dewalt DW735

Things I Like About the DW735

  • Gives a really nice finish. The Dewalt DW735 has three cutter blades rather than the two that you find on most benchtop planers and the difference in the quality of the finish is very noticeable.

  • The two speed gear box allows you to control the speed at which you feed pieces through which also really helps with the finish, particularly when working with hard woods.

  • Lots of power

  • Compact, this is one of the smallest benchtop planers that I have seen in terms of how much space it takes up.

Things I Didn't Like About the DW735

  • Extremely loud, hearing protection is a given when using any planer but with this one it is absolutely essential.

  • The blades don't last as long as they do on some other planers.

Should you Buy the Dewalt DW735?

Clearly I like the DW735 as I put it at the top of my list so yes I would recommend that you buy it. It is a great option for a small workshop because it is so compact and for contractors who need to take it to the job site it is one of the few options that is actually portable, although at over a hundred pounds it is still not that easy to move.

Despite its compact size the DW735 performs great and can handle any job that you would expect a bench top planer to be able to do.

Delta Power Tools 22-590

Things I Like About the 22-590

  • As with the Dewalt DW735 there are three cutter heads giving a nice smooth finish.

  • The blades last a really long time, longer than for any other planer that I have tried.

  • You can plane wider pieces than with other bench top planers because you can actually use the full width of the cutter head.

  • Probably the easiest benchtop planer to make depth adjustments on.

Things I Didn't Like About the Delta 22-590

  • The thing is huge, it is called a bench top planer but you need a pretty big bench to put it on.

  • There have been a lot of complaints about the belts not lasting on the 22-590. It turns out that this is because the pulley is often out of alignment. It is easy to fix this but it is still a major negative that Delta are shipping planers in this condition. I would strongly recommend that you check the pulley for alignment before you start using your new planer.

Should you Buy the Delta 22-590?

To be honest if it weren't for the issue with the belts I would probably have ranked this number one, it performs great once you get the alignment sorted out. It may not be a great option however if you have a small workshop because of its large size. If you need a portable planer you are definitely going to want to look elsewhere.

Makita 2012NB

Things I Like About the Makita 2012NB

  • It is actually portable, if you need a planer that you can easily transport to the job site this is definitely the one to get.

  • Blade changes are very easy on the Makita 2012NB, by far the easiest of any planer I have tried.

  • Quiet, the company claims it is the quietest benchtop planer on the market I tend to believe them. That being said you will still need hearing protection to use it.

Things I Didn't Like About the 2012NB

  • There are only two blades so the finish is not as smooth as with the planers with three blades.

Should You Buy the Makita 2012NB?

If you are a contractor who needs a planer that you can move around this is definitely the one to get. It performs really well and it is small enough that you can move it fairly easily. For the home user if you are just going to leave it in one place in your shop I would actually recommend the Dewalt DW735 because of the better finish that it provides.


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