How to choose the "right" wood-planer?



I NEED a wood-planer...BAD!!! I have looked online at the Big Box stores and find many types at many different price points. I am a total beginner and do not know anything about wood-planer types or brands, and which one I should get or if I should even get one from 'Big Box'...maybe there's somewhere else I should be looking..?

Can anyone tell me what to look for in a quality/not crap wood-planer that is not going to kill me on price..? I'm OK with buying used equipment but, don't know enough about them (yet) to know if I would be getting a decent deal or not.

Thank You in advance. I really appreciate any advice you have to offer.

  9 answers
  • I found this video which shows the top 5 wood planer (buying guide):

  • Janice Janice on Apr 25, 2021

    Hi Hope, I would watch several woodworking videos to get an idea of what the diy-ers are using. You probably know thawt the pronunciation (contrary to the previous post, is "plainer" NOT {planner. I suggest you find a woodworker in your locality and ask advice from an experienced person. That person may even know others who are retiring from woodworking and would love to sell their used equipment. If you use Facebook, you could advertise you are in the marker for a "pl-ner". :) Good Luck!

    • Hope Hope on Apr 25, 2021

      Hi Janice...

      Thanks for the suggestions. I am not a Facebook person but, I do look on Craigslist for used woodworking equipment which is kind of what prompted my request for help...I have no idea if I would be getting a good deal or the "right tool for me".

  • William William on Apr 25, 2021

    Here are a few sites. I don't have one and really never needed one. Been woodworking since 70's. I usually hand plane, sand, or buy wood the thickness I need. If you do purchase one get a name brand one. Easy on the warranty. Used one may need work and calibration, parts worn, etc.

    • Hope Hope on Apr 25, 2021

      Hi William...

      We have some old barn wood that has 'cup' warps (I think). I am wanting to salvage as much usable wood as possible and think a wood-planer would help.

      How do you deal with old cupped wood..? The dimensions are 11 ½" wide x ¾" thick x 8 - 12' length...I'm pretty sure the wood is rough-cut pine.

  • Seth Seth on Apr 25, 2021

    Hope, I'm curious to know what project you are doing to need a planer so badly. Good tools are a long term investment. If you are going to use it regularly, then it's worth the money to buy the best tool you can afford. Most woodworkers buy a bench top planer because they are milling rough cut lumber and need to get to precision measurements. And, if you really need a planer, you probably need a jointer for squaring up edges as well. If this is not the direction your woodworking is taking you in, then do as William suggests and buy wood stock off the shelf that best meets your needs. You can always rent a power hand planer. I like to give my business to local independent lumber yards that usually have better quality stock at competitive prices. If there is a lumber mill near you that actually processes rough cut boards into dimensional lumber, they may be willing to run it through their planer for a price.

  • Kathy Gunter Law Kathy Gunter Law on Apr 25, 2021

    I would go to a hardware store like ace or somewhere else that has good customer service. Not only can they help you with selecting, many times they will give you tips on product usage.

  • William William on Apr 25, 2021

    All depends how badly it's cupped. Planing cupped wood you may end up with different thicknesses or unusable wood. If the cupping is barely visible I'll use a belt sander against the grain at a slight angle. Prevents tear out. Then a random orbit sander high to low grit. If the cupping is noticeable I'll use a Jack plane also against the grain at an angle. Then the sander. If you have a lot of wood you can rent a planer from Home Depot. Especially if you'll have no real use for it in the future. If you buy a used one consider it will be a bare bones one. May need work to adjust or new blades. The new ones have so many user friendly features than an old used one. Also there is a reason it's for sale.

  • Cheryl A Cheryl A on Apr 27, 2021

    Hope I found this info for you then go on and you will find tons of videos to show you how to use your new tool

  • Annie Annie on Apr 29, 2021

    The most common hobby planer is a 12" or 12 1/2" planer. They are available at home depot and many hardware stores. Ive had mine for 20 years and still works great. Its a "King" If you want to go bigger then 12 " then they get expensive