Are you in the market for that portable planner that can renew all your lumber and don`t plan to break the bank? The fact is you need enough motor power plus a high blade speed that can stand up to any pesky projects you may have at home or on-site.
Well, you don’t have to search for long before someone recommends a WEN planer for you. WEN is the manufacturer of one of the largest brands of portable electric hand planers in the market.
WEN planers have the advantage of universal compatibility to blades and compact design but most importantly, they are pocket-friendly. It is still hard to choose the best WEN planer without a performance-based guide because of their wide variety and lots of misleading reviews out there.
This is why we put their best sellers to a test with the professional opinion of a tool engineer and DIY enthusiast while reviewing the famous 6530 and 6534 hand planers.
6530 and 6534 are both high-speed heavy-duty models for indoor and outdoor use on any range of lumber work. 6534 is the obvious top pick for most professionals thanks to its 8-Amp motor, 32,000 cutting speed and 43/8inch cut base.
It takes very few passes to plan any lumber size giving a fine-grain finish. 6530 is also very famous among DIYers and homeowners being lighter and more compact but extremely fast. It has a 6-Amp motor with a 34,000 CPM blade speed.
Table of Contents:
Here is a detailed review of both tools
1. WEN 6530 6-Amp 31/4-inch portable electric hand planer
This is a compact high-speed planer suitable for a wide range of planning projects on any type of wood. It is suitable for both light high-speed planning operations and thick lumber planning projects. It is easy to handle even by first-timers weighing just 5lbs.
It is fitted with the brushed 6-Amp WEN motor rated at 17,000RPM running at speeds of up to 34,000 cuts per minute. It has enough power for a wide range of indoor and outdoor projects with a cut depth of 1/8-inch per pass.
It is light with a straightforward design making it easy to use for both professionals and first-timers. It is suited for one-handed operation plus it comes with a parallel fence guide for accurate planning of straight edges. The power cord is also 6ft long allowing you to access the full length of the lumber while working.
This planer comes fitted with high-speed steel blades which are both sharpenable and replaceable making it a one-time purchase. It also features a machined groove at the front shoe for edge chamfering. It has a calibrated depth with a depth adjustment knob for setting accurate depths at 16 distinct points for high precision cuts.
The most attractive addition is its two-way dust adapter that can be hooked to a dust hose to collect all the chaff. You can also change the direction of the chaff by simply flipping the switch on the handle.
This planer also features a safety switch to prevent accidental triggering of the blades. An automatic kickstand is also fitted at the back to keep the blade and surface safe when the planer is kept while the blade is still running.
What you get with this hand planer:
- WEN 6530 6-Amp 31/4-inch hand planer
- 1 blade wrench
- 1 parallel fence
- It is light and easy to handle
- Powerful high-speed motor
- Sharpenable and replaceable blades
- Two-way dust dispersion with universal dust hose compatibility
- Onboard too storage
- The cord limits the choice of working location
- You have to use both arms for proper control and balance
Q: Does the planer accept third party replacement blades?
A: Absolutely. You can insert any 31/4inch blades
Q: How long will the package blades last?
A: This depends on how frequently you use the planer and the type of applications you use it on. It should be able to last over 1000ft if you use it correctly.
Q: Can it be connected to a regular shop Vacuum?
A: Absolutely. You need a large dust bag though; this planer fills up the dust bag pretty quickly.
2. WEN 6534 8-Amp 43/8-inch portable hand planer
This is a budget-friendly heavy-duty hand planer suitable for both commercial and light home projects. It has tremendous motor power at 8-Amps and 15,000RPM suitable for handling very rough pieces of lumber.
It has a durable aluminum cast base measuring 43/8 inches wide able to plan wide pieces of lumber up to 12 inches wide with no more than 3 passes. It is a friendly unit with an ergonomic handle for easier one-handed operation making cuts up to 1/8-inch with every pass.
The planer comes with high-speed sharpenable steel blades running at speeds of up to 32,000 cuts per minute which bring a fine granular finish. The blades can be replaced with reversible carbide blades allowing you to accomplish a wider variety of projects.
This planer has two machined chamfering grooves which make edge planning easier. It also comes with a parallel fence and a rabbeting guide to improve your straight edging accuracy.
It is fitted with a depth adjustment knob at the front shoe for easy cut depth setting at 1/128-inch intervals per turn. The back shoe is also fitted with a kickstand to prevent gouging of surfaces when the planer is rested.
To prevent accidental triggering of the blades, the planer has a safety switch on the handle just above the trigger. The handle also extends slightly at the front allowing you to use both hands comfortably for better control.
This planer has a two-way chaff dispersion allowing you to change the direction of the chaff depending on your position. It can also be connected to a dust hose to collect all the chaff into a vacuum.
The WEN power cable on this planer if 6ft long with enough room to access most of your workspace when working. For more convenience, this planer has a small tool store above the front shoe allowing you to store extra gear that you may need on-site.
What you get with this planer
- WEN 6534 8-Amp 43/8-inch hand planer
- 1 blade wrench
- 1 parallel fence
- It has a two-way chaff disposal
- Two chamfering grooves
- Long power cable
- It has a safety switch
- Automatic kickstand
- Easy one-handed operation
- It is heavy, weighs 12lbs
- It needs lots of extension cables when working outdoors
Q: Does the planer come with spare blades?
A: No, the unit includes a pair of loaded steel blades. You can buy 42/8 inch steel or carbide replacement blades separately.
Q: Can I use this to remove paint from aged wood?
A: Yes although the paint sticks on the base and wears out the blades. It is better to clean the paint and sand the wood before using the planer on it.
Q: What is the US voltage for this planer?
Is the motor brushed or brushless?
A: The motor is brushed. You can still replace the brushes for longer service.
Head to head comparison of WEN 6530 and WEN 6534 hand planers
WEN 6530 always comes up as the top choice for DIYers and shop owners because it is properly equipped for any applications indoors. It has a 6-Amp motor rated at 17,000rpm making it one of the fastest planers in the market. It can handle most standard applications in a workshop with better performance on standard lumber planning applications.
6534, on the other hand, has a more powerful 8-Amp power suited for the toughest tasks you may encounter. It is preferred by professional woodworkers for commercial sites on heavy-duty high-precision applications. It is still able to handle high-speed projects with a fine granular finish because of the 15,000rpm motor speed.
Blade type and speed
All WEN blades are fitted with high-speed steel blades. These blades can be sharpened or replaced. You can replace them with reversible carbide blades if you need longer service when handling regular heavy-duty projects. 6530 has the highest blade speed at 34,000 cuts per minute. 6534 is slower at 32,000 cuts per minute for making finer finishes, especially in high precision applications.
These planers come with calibrated depths up to 1/8-inches. Each planer has a depth adjustment knob above the front shoe with 16 positive points allowing you to add or reduce cut depth by 1/128-inches with every turn. The planers also have dual chamfer grooves with 5/64 chamfering depth capacity.
Weight and handling
6534 is heavier than 6530 thanks to its larger four-pole 8-Amp motor and heavier parts including blades. It weighs 9.5lbs which means it needs more effort to lift and move around. It is however very well balanced and its weight also keeps it on track making one-handed control easy.
6530 weighs only 5lbs making it one of the lightest hand planers in the market. It requires very little effort to handle and also doesn`t cause fatigue to the user when used for long. You, however, need both arms and a keen eye to keep it on track especially when you are not using the guard fence.
Wider blades mean you can accomplish planning tasks with fewer passes, especially when handling wider boards such as 10 and 12-inch lumber. 6534 is 43/8 inches wide meaning you can finish a complete phase of a 12-inch board with just 3 passes. 6530, on the other hand, makes 31/4-inch wide cuts meaning you need to make more passes to complete projects. Both planers are however well suited for regular 2×4 and 4×4 planning tasks.
Choosing a hand planer is as important as any lifetime decision for any professional DIYer or homeowner which is why you need to make each penny count in your purchase. It is important to invest in a trustable brand such as WEN but most importantly, a planer that is worth the money. With this review, you have all the information you need to make a wise purchase decision past the confusing technical details.