Now you are probably tired of transporting your lumber to the woodmills to get a little shave or having to rent a benchtop planer to plane your lumber at home or workshop. The best solution is to invest in the best planer for all your projects. The best finish you will get on your woodwork is the one you have done yourself.
Using the right benchtop planer will give you a fine granular finish on your old and rough lumber with just one pass. The most important thing you need is a powerful motor and a reliable set of blades to match it.
When buying a planer, your choices are quite vast thanks to the many manufacturers in the market. The most popular brands on the internet, however, is Dewalt for their premium parts and high-speed motors. WEN is also popular for their pocket-friendly pricing. All you need to do is match your project needs to a thickness planner then get the best features you can find at the best price. This job can be daunting unless you know how the planer works on the ground. That is where this review comes in.
The obvious top pick for most people will be the Dewalt DW734 planer which has been in the market for long. It has a powerful 20,000RPM motor giving you a high blade speed of up to 10,000RPM making 30,000 cuts per minute. It comes ready to work for you with extended infeed and outfeed tables over 30 inches plus a steady feed rate of 14ft per minute, which gives the blades enough time to cut effectively for a perfect finish. It is a great benchtop planer to work with indoors suitable for commercial as well as home use.
WEN is the next planer you will hear of especially when you are one a great planer on a budget. WEN is also an established manufacturer producing power tools since 1951. 6550T and 6552T are their best seller 15Amp planers featuring a rapid blade rotation with a 26ft per minute feed rate. 6550T is a two-blade entry level planer featuring a 12.5-inch width and a cut speed of 18,000 cuts per minute. 6552T is a later upgrade with three knives and a faster cut rate of 25,500 cuts per minute.
Table of Contents:
Here is an in-depth analysis of each planer
1. WEN 6550T 12.5-Inch 15Amp Benchtop Thickness planer
This planer has two 12.5-Inch blades which make 18,000 cuts per minute on the 15-Amp 85,00 RPM motor. It delivers a granular finish renewing your lumber better than your hand planer would do which is why it makes a great addition to your workshop. It is one of the best reliable planers you can buy on a budget. It has a robust build featuring a sturdy Iron-cast frame and triple-roller cutter head that clamps down on your lumber to reduce snipe.
It has a 6-inch depth capacity allowing you to feed any size of lumber for a shave. Its two blades serve you best when you make several thin cuts rather than deep ones. It comes with disposable steel blades, so there is no need for sharpening. The blades are still reversible, giving you longer service before you need a replacement. The depth adjustment gauge allows you to set an accurate depth for your shave every time for accuracy.
It has a feed rate of 26ft per minute with a 3/32-Inch cut depth capacity. This planer comes with granite infeed and outfeed bench which is a plus because the lumber glides over smoothly. It also comes with predrilled holes at the base for mounting onto the table for stability.
6550T features a fan-aided chaff transmission system to remove all the debris from the bench preventing clogging. It comes with a dust chute that can still be connected to a vacuum to prevent a mess. It is heavy weighing 70lbs but still lighter than other planers. You can still fold the infeed and outfeed tables for effective transportation.
What is in the box?
- WEN 15Amp 6550T 12.5-Inch benchtop planer
- T-Handle wrench.
- blade-holding magnets
- It has a durable granite table
- Automatic three-column clampdown
- High stock capacity
- Durable steel blades
- Triple rollers to prevent stripe
- It has two blades only
- It is limited to one speed
Q: Is this planer suitable for beginners and training?
A: Sure. It is simple and straightforward.
Q: Does it come with replacement blades?
Q: Does it come fully assembled?
A: Sure. Just attach the dust chute and depth adjustment handle.
2. WEN 6552T 15Amp 13-Inch 3-blade Benchtop planer
This planer is one of WEN`s newer models featuring a professional design that makes it effective for planning tougher lumber. It has a 15Amp brushed motor rated at 8,500RPM. It comes with three blades meaning it can make 25,500 cuts per minute which gives a finer finish than its dual-blade counterpart. The blades are reversible for longer service and also replaceable. It has a 6-inch stock capacity plus a 13-inch blade width which can accommodate any lumber size.
This planer has a 26ft per minute feed rate which combines with the powerful motor to deliver a quick shave with a fine finish. It has three rubber rollers that drive the lumber smoothly through the stock without snipe. You can still reverse the lumber for a second pass which allows you to get your final crisp finish. The depth adjustment scale is also well-calibrated, allowing you to set depth up to 3/32-inches.
Mounting and control are also simplified with little assembly needed. It comes with predrilled mounting holes for locking onto the bench. It also has handles on both sides, allowing you to move it around with ease. Its infeed and outfeed tables are iron-cast; tough and durable and also adjusted to scale to maintain your cut depth.
The package comes with a height adjustment handle, depth adjustment knob and a dust chute which can be assembled within a short time. Its chaff collection is fan aided concentrating all the chaff into the chute to prevent a mess.
What is in the box?
- WEN 15Amp 6552T 12.5-Inch Benchtop planer
- T-Handle wrench
- Blade-holding magnets
- It has a durable brushed 15-Amp motor
- Three reversible blades for faster and finer cuts
- Strong Iron cast infeed/outfeed table
- I3-Inch width accommodates any lumber size
- It has predrilled mounting holes
- Iron tables get slippery when they are wet
- It is too heavy to move around single-handed
Q: What is the cut-rate per inch?
A: 80 cuts per inch
Q: Can this planer be used to renew painted wood?
A: Yes. You need to sand off the paint to prevent damaging the blades and the rollers.
Q: Is this planer suitable for hardwood lumber?
3. Dewalt DW734 15-Amp 12.5-Inch thickness planer
This is probably the most famous planer from Dewalt and also one of the best in the market. It is designed for high precision focus and fine granular finish. Dewalt produces 10,000RPM motors which runs over 30,000 cuts per minute on the three-blade cutter head. It comes with three reversible/disposable 12.5-inch blades, so there is no need for sharpening. The planer is also fitted with a manual four-roller locking system that grips the lumber sturdily eliminating snipe.
This planer has a strong steel-cast base plus an infeed, and outfeed table polished to precision for accurate cuts. It has a 6-inch stock capacity allowing you to feed thick pieces. Its greatest advantage is the 14ft per minute feed rate that gives the blades enough time to plane every inch of your lumber to a fine finish with every single pass.
Its infeed and outfeed tables are extended up to 33.5 inches, allowing you to feed longer pieces of lumber comfortably. Its fan-assisted dust transmission clears the chaff from the tables, keeping it clean for smooth passes. You can also attach it to a shop vacuum for effective dust collection.
It is also lighter than most 3-blade planers weighing 80lbs. It comes fully assembled, you only need to attach the depth adjustment and the dust chute to start working. This planer also has onboard storage for the wrench and extra blades, allowing you to change blades and motor brushes safely.
What is in the box?
Dewalt 15Amp DW734 12.5inch benchtop planer
Dewalt Dust hood
- Sturdy Four-column lockdown system
- Robust build with a strong steel base
- Low infeed speed and high blade speed ensure a fine finish
- Heavy-duty disposable blades for deep cuts
- Long infeed/outfeed tables
- Its 96 cuts per minute speed best for finishing only not dimensioning
- It leaves a little chaff at the infeed
Q: What is the voltage on this planer?
A: US 110V/120V
Q: Can the blades be replaced with third party shop blades?
A: It can accommodate a range of 12.5-inch blades although getting Dewalt blades is the best option for optimal performance.
Q: What is the warranty on the package?
A: Three years
Head to head comparison
Dewalt DW734 has the most powerful motor of the three featuring a 15-Amp motor with a 10,000RPM no-load speed. It allows the blades to cut at high speed over 30,000 cuts per minute. The high power rating allows it to perform both deep and shallow cuts with high efficiency. WEN 6550T and 6552T also feature 15-Amp motors with a lower no-load speed of 8,500RPM.
WEN 6552T is the most powerful of the WENS featuring 25,500 cuts per minute. The motor is suitable for shallow cuts up to 1/64 inches. You can run multiple passes to get your fine finish without overloading the motor. 6550T is suitable for light and standard shaving projects your hand planer cannot handle. It has blade speed of 18,000 cuts per minute, which cannot handle tough deep cuts, especially on the hardwood.
WEN 6552T has the greatest blade width of these three at 13 inches. It can be fed with the widest boards. This gives you an extra 1/2 –inch of room to feed lumber although it may not make much difference because most standard lumber boards won’t exceed 12 inches. DW734 and WEN 6550T have a width capacity of 12.5 inches. The stock depth capacity is 6 inches on all the planers.
All the planers in this review have disposable steel blades, so you don’t have to worry about sharpening. WEN 6552T and DW734 both have three blades which reduce the load on each blade, elongating the blade life and delivering a better finish. The Dewalt blades are especially famous because they are extra strengthened to sustain the high motor speed.
WEN 6550 has two blades which mean each blade bears a lot of weight on each cut which reduces blade life significantly. Dual blades also deliver fewer cuts per inch, reducing the precision of the finish so you won’t enjoy the same granular finish of a 3-blade unit with every pass. 6550T is, however, better for shallow shaving compared to the three-blade models.
Dewalt DW734 has the best finish of the three planers thanks to the high precision cut focus and a matching slow feed rate. Dewalt has a feed rate of 14ft per minute, which is slower than the WEN models. This slow feed rate, however, gives enough time for the blades to plane every inch of the lumber to high precision at 96 cuts per minute. The four-column clampdown also keeps the lumber piece in line without shaking or wobbling for the blades to work on it effectively.
WEN 6552T also has a great finish thanks to the high blade speed. It has a feed rate of 26ft per minute, which allows you to plane more inches with every pass although. You may need to reverse once or twice to achieve your desired finish. 6550T doesn`t match the professional granular finish of the three-blade units on deep cuts. 6550 is the best for making very shallow shaves with a great finish, especially when renewing old and faded lumber.
The choice of a thickness planer is far-reaching because it determines how your woodwork will look like for a long time. Every feature on the planer matters so you need a keen eye when buying. The premium features of Dewalt attract a price that may be over your budget although its premium parts and great finish make it worth the investment.
You can still invest in WEN 6552T for a great finish on commercial projects and pay less for a similarly great service. WEN 6550T is the easiest machine to acquire and operate suitable for workshop and homeowners with standard planning needs.