If your woodworking pursuits include crafting cutting boards, furniture or other items that require precise measurements, a benchtop planer is a valuable addition to your tool collection. Sometimes called thickness planers, benchtop planers use powerful rotating blades to reduce the thickness of a piece of wood.
Benchtop planers allow users to remove extremely thin layers of wood at a time, delivering the exact thickness needed for the perfect fit and revealing the interior beauty of the wood grain concealed inside each piece.
Additionally, these planers provide consistency from piece to piece, ensuring level tables, countertops and other project components.
What to Look for in a Benchtop Planer
Unlike more versatile power tools, a benchtop planer is designed to fulfill a single purpose and do it well. The following factors are key in selecting a top-quality planer for your workshop.
Our Pick: WEN 6552T 13-inch 15 Amp 3-Blade Benchtop Thickness Planer
With its muscular 15-Amp, 2HP motor and efficient three-blade design, the WEN 6552T 13-inch Benchtop Thickness Planer provides outstanding precision control for both simple and complex residential woodworking applications. This planer delivers more than 25,500 cuts per minute at a feed rate of 26 feet per minute, ensuring smooth, consistent surfaces for virtually any project.
The easy-to-read integrated planning gauge offers real-time feedback about the amount of material being removed with each pass, allowing users to make any needed adjustments to achieve the perfect cut. Adjustments are also a snap with the WEN 6552t benchtop planer, thanks to an intuitive adjustment knob that can be calibrated to 3/32-inches.
The tool’s sturdy cast-iron base anchors the planer in place as you work to prevent any unwanted movements that could interrupt a smooth feed. Both infeed and outfeed tables can be adjusted to minimize snipe while supporting your material as you cut.
Predrilled base holes make it convenient to mount the planer to a stand or work surface for extra stability, and a fan-assisted dust port pulls dust away from your project to streamline cleanup.
Though it’s designed primarily for use in home workshops, the WEN 6552T Benchtop Thickness Planer is powerful enough to meet the demands of some heavy-duty commercial tasks, although it is somewhat limited by its 13-inch bed size.
It’s user-friendly enough for beginning woodworkers to master, yet its performance is sure to please expert crafters as well. The planer also includes a two-year warranty and access to WEN’s team of helpful customer support specialists and service technicians.
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 6552T: Specifications
- Amperage: 15A
- Bed size: 13 inches
- Maximum cutting depth: .09-inch
- Cuts per minute: 25,500
- Feed rate: 26 feet per minute
- Weight: 6.5 pounds
- Warranty: 2 years
WEN 6552T: Features
- Integrated material removal gauge allows users to quickly assess how much wood has been removed with each pass of the planer and determine how many additional passes are needed to establish the desired thickness.
- Tri-roller feeding system minimizes snipe, delivering smooth, consistent thickness along the entire length of the board.
- Three dual-edged blades on the middle roller can be reversed to maintain sharpness and extend the length of time between maintenance sessions.
- Folding infeed and outfeed tables can be adjusted for precise angles and reduced snipe.
- Rubber-grip adjustment handle allows for accurate, hassle-free height adjustments, with each quarter-turn of the handle moving the cutter head 1/64-inch.
- Adjustable dust collection port can be connected to a shop vac or other device to keep mess to a minimum, with 2-inch, 2.5-inch or 4-inch options.
Pros and Cons of the WEN 6552T
As with any benchtop 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 6552T Benchtop Planer.
Pros of the WEN 6552T
- Delivers excellent cutting performance with minimal snipe or other imperfections
- Cast-iron base and optional mounting holes ensure stability
- Three-blade system cuts quickly and smoothly
- Dual-edged blades can be reversed to extend time between sharpening
- Solid construction and durable components stand up to frequent, heavy-duty use
- Accepts material up to six inches in thickness
- Intuitive handle offers precise height adjustments
- Affordable price offers better value than its in-class competitors
Cons of the WEN 6552T
- 13-inch bed size limits commercial/industrial applications
- Relatively large footprint takes up significant workshop space
- Weight makes it somewhat challenging to move
Our Verdict on the WEN 6552T 13-inch Benchtop Thickness Planer
The Wen 6552T 13-inch Benchtop Thickness Planer is a star in its category, with a value that far exceeds its modest price point. This reliable workhorse can handle virtually any residential task as well as some commercial applications, and its powerful motor and impressive blade speed deliver even, reliable cuts with every pass. The planer is simple enough for new users to master, but never cuts corners when it comes to performance, making it an ideal choice for woodworkers of any experience level.