An electric hand planer is an essential tool for any modern home or workshop, not for professional woodworkers only. To rejuvenate your wooden appliances and restore that granular finish, you need a planer that gives you working comfort while retaining those powerful features that can get the work done. The basics are a powerful motor and durable blades but to get the best results; you need to do better than the basics, which is why you need the market’s best tools.
WEN and Ryobi are both world-class tool manufacturers which is why we decided to take their best 6-Amp models on a test. These manufacturers focused on affordable heavy-duty tools which is why these two planers are well suited for any job site. They have lots of similarities, such as 6-Amp motor, replaceable steel blades, and 34,000 cuts per minute blade speed. They also have similar cut depth capacity at 1/8-inch, which is standard for most hand planers.
You are guaranteed a fine finish with just a few passes on your 2x4s and 4x4s on both of these planers, but some differences set them apart. WEN 6530 is particularly famous for the high-speed focus that gives it a slight edge over Ryobi. Ryobi, however, has more power and better durable parts which is why you will spend a little bit more to get it. It’s premium parts, however, allow you to get a beautiful granular finish and handle tougher pieces of lumber.
WEN allows you to set accurate depths with the knob at 1/128-inch per turn up to 1/8 inches. It also features two chamfer grooves for efficient planning. Ryobi is also a compact unit with 30,000 cutting speed and weighs just 7lbs. Ryobi also comes with an extra set of blades and lots of supporting tools that make your work easier on site.
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Here is an in-depth review of the two
1. WEN 6530 6-Amp 31/4-Inch Portable hand planner
This is a great recommendation for both beginners and professionals designed to handle almost any type of board. It has a 6-Amp brushed motor rated at 17,000rpm which makes it suitable for very tough lumber applications. It comes with high-speed steel blades. You can finish your work very fast with this planner thanks to its 34,000 cuts per minute speed and 1/8 inch cut depth capacity. The brushes are easily accessible and replaceable, allowing you to extend your motor life.
It is a light hand planner weighing just 5lbs so you won’t get fatigued when you run it for a long time. It has a rubberized ergonomic handle for one-hand operation plus an auxiliary handle if you need to use both hands for better control. The blade depth can also be adjusted with the knob at 1/128-inches per turn for accurate cutting and finishes. The cord is 6ft in length, giving you extra room for moving around your workspace.
This planer can be used on-site without leaving a mess thanks to the fan-propelled chaff emission system. It has a two-way dust transmission to both left and right so you can change the direction depending on your position. It comes with a dust bag which can hold some chaff, but it won’t be sufficient for a full collection. It is easier if you connect it to a dust hose then send all the chaff to your vacuum.
WEN also put two chamfer grooves instead of one, allowing you to precision and make your edge chamfers smoother and more beautiful. Moreover, the package includes a parallel fence, so you don’t have to worry about accuracy when straight edging. For rabbeting, the planer includes a rabbeting guide making this a great tool for making frames and joints.
Safety applications are also included, which makes it a great tool for training and general family use. This planer has a safety button to prevent accidental triggering of the blades. It also comes with head safety gear as well as an automatic kickstand that protects the blades and surfaces.
What you get with this hand planer
- WEN 6530 6-Amp 31/4-inch hand planer
- 1 blade wrench
- 1 parallel fence
- Long cord (6ft)
- It can collect chaff both right and left side
- Replaceable HSS blades
- Onboard wrench storage
- Light for easy one-handed control
- The dust bag has little capacity
- The cord limits use to places with electricity connection.
Q: Can I use this to plan a painted piece?
A: Sure, although the paint is bad for the blades, you may have to replace more frequently.
Q: Can I connect this planer to a 220V plug?
A: No, It is a 120V
Q: Can I use this planer to make deep rabbet cuts?
A: Sure. It also includes a rabbet gauge for accuracy
Q: Does this planer come with replacement blades?
A: No. Only the installed set
2. Ryobi HPL52K 6 Amp 31/4-Inch portable electric hand planer
Ryobi is famous for its premium metallic parts that make this a very durable purchase. It is designed to plan interior lumber fixtures such as doors and cabinets with a fine granular finish especially when you use the high-capacity carbide blades. It has a 6-Amp 16500RPM brushed motor, light but suitable for standard planning applications. It has 30,000 cuts per minute blade speed with a cut depth of 1/8-Inches per pass, allowing you to achieve a perfect shave with just a few passes.
It comes with a durable Poly-V drive belt which can be easily replaced using the attached wrench. The depth adjustment knob allows you to set depths at 1/96 inches per turn. It is also fitted with high-speed steel blades and also comes with an extra set for replacement. You can still replace them with carbide blades for longer service.
It is a little heavy at 7lbs but easy to control thanks to its rubberized ergonomic handle and an auxiliary handle. The chaff can be ejected on both the left and right-hand side; you just need to flip the switch to change the direction of transmission. It also comes with a dust bag to reduce the mess, although it cannot carry much chaff. The dust adapter can still be connected to a vacuum.
This planer also has a safety button to prevent accidental triggering of the blades. Its automatic kickstand also prevents damage to the blades and surfaces when the planer is rested prematurely. This planer has one chamfering groove at the front shoe machined to precision for accurate edging tasks.
What you get with this planer
- Ryobi HPL52K hand planer
- 2 HSS blades
- 1 dust bag
- 1 wrench
- It is light and easy to control
- Comes with an extra set of blades
- Durable poly-V drive belt
- It has a long cord
- Replaceable drive belt
- The dust bag is too small
- It is quite heavy, up to 7lbs.
Q: Can I replace the blades with third party blades?
A: Sure. Just make sure they are designed for a 31/4-inch planer
Q: Can this planer be connected to a shop vacuum cleaner?
Q: What is the length of the cord?
A: The cord is 6ft long.
Head to head comparison
Both Ryobi HPL52K and WEN 6530 have a 6-Amp motor because they are designed to handle indoor woodwork. The motors are brushed and have four poles for power transmission. Wen 6530 has a motor rating of 17,000RPM while Ryobi has its motor rated at 16,500RPM. Both motors can deliver a high blade speed over 30,000 cuts per minute. DIYers praise the Ryobi motor for retaining a smooth run through deep cuts compared to WEN which is better suited for shallow shaving.
HSS blades are the standard factory addition for most 6-Amp planers which is why both the Ryobi and the WEN come with two blades mounted. Ryobi even includes an extra set for replacement when the first one blunts out. The blades are reversible after use. When used appropriately, these blades can plan over 1000ft before wearing out. The blades are replaceable, and the planers can also be fitted with tough carbide blades for longer service.
Weight and handling
Corded hand planers are generally light and highly portable. WEN 6530 is exceptionally light weighing just 5lbs. It is easy to handle with one arm, although you need both hands for high precision control. Ryobi HPL52K is built with premium steel parts, so it is heavier weighing in at 7lbs. It requires more effort to move around although you use less energy to keep it on the lumber for accurate planning and to chamfer.
These planers have a fan-aided dust ejection system that propels the chaff away from your workspace to prevent jamming. Both WEN and Ryobi hand planers have a two-way ejection system. The dust adapters can also be connected to a dust hose to collect into a vacuum. They both come with a dust bag which is an advantage althoug youu have to empty it after every few passes.
Our Final note
Getting the best hand planer is now a necessity for any homeowner or professional woodworker. Wooden fixtures and appliances are here to stay, and it is hard to predict when you will need to fix a jammed door, bent cabinet or renew edged fence posts.
This doesn’t mean you have to break the bank to get the job done; there are great tools out there that will get the job done without breaking a sweat. We created this review recommending Ryobi HPL52K for professionals and DIYers with frequent planning projects and WEN 6530 for anyone that heeds to make a quick clean shave on any board.