If your passion for woodworking includes creating cutting boards, furniture and other projects that require precise cuts and smooth surfaces, your tool collection should include an electric hand planer like the WEN 6530.
For the uninitiated, an electric planer is a tool designed to shape and prepare wood. These versatile gadgets incorporate multiple functions into their operation, including sanding, joint work and shaping, and can be used to level joists, assemble or restore furniture, shape wood for deck construction and even shave down the edges of doors so they shut more smoothly.
Though the terms are occasionally used interchangeably, planers and jointers are two very different tools with distinct purposes.
Jointers are used to flatten and straighten pieces of wood or square their edges, while planers enter the picture after a jointer has already been used to establish uniformity in the thickness and finish of the wood.
What to Look for in an Electric Hand Planer
If you’re sold on the need to invest in an electric hand planer, you’ll want to compare the following aspects of the models you’re considering.
Our Pick: WEN 6530 6-Amp Electric Hand Planer
For 70 years, WEN has produced some of the world’s highest-quality power tools, lawn and garden tools and generators, and the WEN 6530 6-Amp Electric Hand Planer is no exception. With two double-sided blades spinning at 17,000 RPM, the tool delivers a whopping 34,000 cuts per minute to ensure clean, consistent cuts.
Weighing in at a mere 6.5 pounds, this lightweight powerhouse quickly eliminates splinters, chips and rough edges to create a smooth, uniform surface for flawless cutting boards, furniture and other craft projects.
This planer’s 16 positive stops allow for precision to 1/128-inch, with a maximum cutting depth of 1/8-inch. An easily-adjustable rabbeting guide can be adjusted to your desired height up to 7/10-inch.
An integrated parallel fence bracket ensures straight cuts and accurate measurements, and the chamfer groove allows you to create angled chamfers along the edges of your projects.
In addition to its technical capabilities, the WEN 6530 6-Amp Electric Hand Planer is designed for both safety and convenience. A protective kickstand elevates the blade when not in use to prevent damage to both the blade and your project surface.
The included adjustment wrench for blade changes and other maintenance tucks neatly into its onboard storage space. The dust chute can be configured to either the right or left side of the tool, and the included dust bag captures sawdust and debris to minimize clean-up once your work is complete.
NOTE: For more information about what the best type of cutting board oil can do for your newly built butting boards, check out our in-depth dive: 5 Picks: The Best Cutting Board Oil For The Perfect Boards
WEN 6530: Specifications
- Amperage: 6A
- Cutting width: 3.25 inches
- Maximum cutting depth: 1/8-inch
- Cuts per minute: 34,000
- Blade type: HSS
- Weight: 6.5 pounds
- Warranty: 2 years
WEN 6530: Features
- Two double-sided, reversible 3.25-inch blades
- Multi-directional dust port and bag
- Protective kickstand
- Rabbeting guide for rabbets up to 7/10-inch
- Parallel fence bracket
- Chamfer groove
- 6-foot power cord
- Blade adjustment wrench
Pros and Cons of the WEN 6530
As with any electric hand planer, there are going to be advantages and disadvantages when compared to other product options. This option is no exception. We would be remiss if we didn’t cover this hand planer from all angles. Below are some of the pros and cons that we have discovered with the WEN 6530 6-Amp Electric Hand Planer.
Pros of the WEN 6530
- High-speed motor delivers 34,000 smooth, consistent cuts per minute
- Light weight makes it portable and comfortable to use for extended periods
- Sharp, reversible blades dull slowly, minimizing down time
- Parallel fencing bracket ensures consistency and accuracy
- Wide range of positive stops and rabbeting options add versatility
- Adjustable dust port and bag keep your work area clean
- Company offers excellent customer service and a two-year warranty
- Outstanding value for the money
Cons of the WEN 6530
- Dust bag capacity is somewhat small
- Adjustment knob doesn’t lock in place, so user must take care not to nudge or bump it during use
Our Verdict on the WEN 6530 6-Amp Electric Hand Planer
Impressive power and high-speed cutting performance make the WEN 6530 6-Amp Electric Hand Planer suitable for both hobby and professional applications, and its light weight and smart design make it a pleasure to use. With a price tag under $50, there’s no reason not to add this versatile and effective tool to your workshop.