This post was most recently updated on April 30th, 2021
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Are you passionately into woodworking and are looking for a suitable and reasonably priced planer? Are you unsure about where to start looking?
While there are tons of options available out there, finding one as per your requirements can be quite difficult, and we get that.
However, fret not, because we are here to provide you with all the details that you will need to get the high-quality planer for your work.
With our top 10 picks and a user buying guide, you will have enough information regarding these tools, which will give you a better insight into what you should be getting.
So, without any further delay, let’s start looking already.
10 Best planer Under $400 – Review in 2021
You will find a lot of planer on the market in different price ranges. That can make the task of getting an apt one much more difficult.
Hence, we have done enough research for you and picked the ten best ones for you to choose from.
CRAFTSMAN Benchtop Planer, 15-Amp (CMEW320)
When it comes to planers, it is essential for them to be easy to use, or else, you will have a tough time while working with them.
Fortunately, here’s a product that comes with this aspect, and also provides good value for money.
Do you need to dimension some lumbers and work with glued-up materials from time to time? In that case, you will love this product! This tool is so good at both of these tasks that it’s almost as if that’s what it’s made for.
However, the tool is just as amazing when it comes to other tasks as well. With its 15AMP motor and 8,000 RPM cutter head speed, you will be able to execute even the toughest of projects swiftly.
What’s more, this machine will be saving both your time and energy, thanks to its motor that generates about 16,000 cuts per minute.
Hence, you will be able to work with even the hardest of materials with absolute ease.
For smoother operation, the cutter head includes two knives, and for maximum stock removal, the machine comes with a poly V cutter head.
Both of these aspects only make woodworking more convenient for you. What makes the tool even better is that it comes with knives that are made of high carbon steel.
As a result, you will be getting a longer cutting life with them, as they won’t dull or break down easily. However, despite these amazing features included, they are not really meant to be used for industrial means.
Furthermore, the tool is very heavy, which makes it difficult to move around with.
Related Guide: The Best Jointer Under $500
WEN 6552T 13 Inch 15 Amp 3-Blade Benchtop Corded Thickness Planer
One of the essential features of a planer is top-notch accuracy. If this aspect is missing from the tool, then it isn’t really worth the purchase.However, here comes a product guarantees precision and accuracy at all times.
First of all, when it comes to power, this tool does not seem to falter at all. The 15 AMP motor generates about 25.500 cutes per minute, which makes the machine powerful enough to work with the hardest of woods with ease.
On the other hand, you can execute the tasks pretty quickly, thanks to the machine’s 26 feet per minute feed rate. It can work with large boards without taking up much of your time or energy.
For more efficient work, the machine comes with a 3-blade design. As a result, it can execute even the toughest of works without any hassle whatsoever, and you can conveniently cut hardwoods.
One of the biggest advantages of woodworking is all the dust that creates a mess during work. However, thanks to its fan-assisted dust port, you don’t have to worry about that being an issue.
Of course, safety and stability are two important factors that many planers often seem to overlook. However, this tool comes with a power switch for safety and mounting holes for guaranteed stability.
Sadly, some parts of the tool are made of plastic, which causes them to break down easily. Moreover, this aspect also makes the tool more fragile; hence, it might fall apart when too much power is generated.
PORTER-CABLE Thickness Planer, 12-Inch (PC305TP)
If you are going to spend a considerable amount of money on a planer, then you need to make sure that it offers longevity, at least. Fortunately, here’s a durable product that provides good value for money as well.
Apart from that, the machine has a lot more to offer. For instance, its 15 AMP motor guarantees powerful performance and superior stock removal, which makes even the toughest of jobs easy.
Furthermore, the tool comes with high carbon steel knives, which are reversible as well as double-edged. As a result, you can get your woodworking done with high efficiency and less effort.
On the other hand, for top-notch power transfer, the tool comes with a poly V cutter head. Hence, even if you work with hardwoods and such, you will face no inconvenience whatsoever.
For smooth operation and added convenience, the product comes with two knives along with a head-mounted on the ball bearing.
These aspects also make woodworking less time consuming and draining for its users.
Without stability, woodworking becomes more dangerous, and your work becomes less accurate.
Hence, the tool comes with patented cutter elevation on 4 precision ground columns.
However, the machine includes some cheap plastic parts, which makes it more fragile and prone to breaking down.
Furthermore, the blades included dull quite fast, which brings the hassle of replacing them again and again.
Related Review: Top Jointer Under $1000
Delta Power Tools 22-555 13 In Portable Thickness Planer
Are you looking for a planer that offers both accuracy and good value for money? In that case, look no further, because here’s a product that offers both of these aspects along with a lot more.
When it comes to power, this machine will never disappoint you. With its 15 AMP motor, you can execute any task with absolute ease. Even when it comes to projects that include hardwood, you will face no trouble at all.
On the other hand, despite all that power, the tool generates top-notch stability as well, which in turn guarantees accuracy. For that, the machine comes with a four-column design, which keeps it balanced at all times.
Planer knives need to be replaced from time to time. And for that, the replacement process should be easy. Fortunately, this machine comes with a quick-change knife system, which makes replacing blades absolutely effortless for the users.
For large projects, you will need big infeed and outfeed tables and quite the opposite when it comes to smaller tasks.
Keeping that in mind, this machine is integrated with adjustable infeed and outfeed tables.
The innovative reversible dust port design of the machine makes sure all of the mess is taken care of without any hassle whatsoever.
It collects chips and debris efficiently so that you can do your work without any interruptions.
However, the product loses its stability after a year or so of use. As a result, it starts rattling after that period.
Furthermore, the planed surface is not parallel, which can be quite disappointing for the users.
Mophorn Thickness Planer 12.5 inch Thickness planer
One of the biggest drawbacks of planers is that they generate a lot of unnecessary noises during work. Hence, this one has been designed in such a way, which ensures less sound production during work.
First of all, the machine comes with a 1800W motor along with two double cutter blades. Hence, not only will you be getting powerful performances at all times, but you will also get 100% efficiency.
To make sure you can do your work with maximum stability and balance, the product comes with an all-metal workbench along with a steel floor stand. So, no matter how much power is being generated, the tool will remain stable.
On the other hand, for smoother operation, the machine comes with a cutter head speed of 9000 RPM. In fact, you can also adjust the cutter head height, thanks to the included crank handle.
Planers always tend to produce a lot of dust, which can make the work environment quite messy for you. That is why, this tool comes with a dust exhaust interface, which connects to dust collectors to get rid of all the dust and debris.
This machine prioritizes your safety as well. That is why it comes with a power-off protection electromagnetic switch along with an overcurrent protection saving you from unwanted accidents during our work.
Sadly, the product does not include proper instructions, which makes the assembly process quite difficult for users. Furthermore, the machine is stable, but it isn’t necessarily accurate, which is quite disappointing.
DEWALT DCP580B 20V MAX Brushless Planer
If you have already heard of this brand, then you know that they produce reliable and trustworthy products at all times.
And of course, this one is no different. Find out more about why it’s known as the best thickness planer under $400 in this review.
What sets this tool apart from its counterparts is that it comes with a brushless motor. This motor is powerful, as it generates about 32,000 cuts per minute, which saves both your time and energy as well.
To ensure parallelism at all times, the tool comes with front and back aluminum shoes. These sturdy shoes not only last for a considerable period of time, but they also provide complete accuracy.
But, that is not the only durable part of the tool. It includes a poly V drive belt, which increases belt longevity. Hence, you won’t have to worry about replacing the belt anytime soon.
What’s more, even the blades included have a sturdy steel construction. Therefore, you don’t have to worry about them getting dull, rusting or breaking down anytime soon.
However, if you do feel the need to replace them, then don’t worry. The tool comes with a very easy blade replacement process, which makes it very convenient for you to both adjust and replace them when needed.
Sadly, some parts of the machine are made of plastic. As a result, it might break down sooner than expected. Furthermore, the fragile construction also makes the machine lose stability over time.
WEN 6550T 15 Amp 12.5 in. Corded Benchtop Thickness Planer
Both sturdiness and optimal stability are two important aspects of a planer. Without these, a planer cannot be considered to be reliable.
Fortunately, this tool comes with both of these, along with a lot more amazing features.
Heavy woodworking can cause a considerable amount of damage to the table of the planer.
That is why this tool comes with a granite table, which includes a non-marring surface for added longevity.
On the other hand, it also includes a powerful 15 AMP motor, which generates about 17,000 cuts per minute. With this, you can execute even the toughest of projects in no time and with absolute ease.
However, such work tends to produce dust quite a lot. Cleaning them can be quite hassle-some. This tool takes care of that problem for you with its fan-assisted dust port, which cleans up all the debris and chips.
If your projects usually revolve around the dimensions of 6 inches thickness and 12.5 inches width, then this tool is absolutely perfect for you. This ideally works for boards of such measurement or smaller.
A heavy planer is more likely to provide stability, as the extra power generated will not cause it to rattle.
With 70 pounds of weight, you can rest assured that this tool will always keep its balance.
However, you should still be careful with it, as the machine might fall apart if you aren’t cautious.
That is mostly because it includes weak internal parts, which causes the tool to be fragile.
Makita PC5010CX1 5″ SJSII Compact Concrete Planer
Are you looking for a planer that will guarantee hassle and mess-free woodworking for you? In that case, stop looking right away because here’s a product you are absolutely going to love.
Speaking of which, the tool comes with an integrated dust extraction shroud. The obvious benefit of this feature is that it will collect all the dust and debris generated by woodworking and will keep your work area mess-free.
But, the product does not fall back even when it comes to power. With a 12AMP motor, that provides about 4,000-9,000RPM of speed, you can work with a variety of materials with ease.
What makes the tool even better is that it comes with a variable speed controller, which will allow you to alter the speed according to the material you are working with.
It’s quite agitating when planers vibrate during work. That is why this tool comes with lead spring and cam gear, which reduces vibration and keeps the tool stable. This aspect, in turn, increases accuracy.
For the added comfort of the users, the machine is designed in such a way that it produces less noise during work. Hence, you won’t be exposed to sound pollution while woodworking.
Sadly, some parts of the tool are made of plastic, which makes it fragile and more prone to breaking down. The plastic parts make the machine somewhat lightweight, which makes it lose stability over time.
Makita 4-3/8” planer
Do you want a compact planer that is packed with top-notch power and commendable features? In that case, here’s a product you should totally check out.
When it comes to power, this tool knows how to beat its counterparts. With a 7.5 AMP motor that generates about 32,000 cuts per minute, you will be able to work with a variety of materials with ease.
For smooth operation, the product comes with two blade cutter head along with an all ball-bearing construction.
This not only makes woodworking much smoother but also increases the overall efficiency of the tool.
On the other hand, to make sure you can work for a considerable time period without interruptions, the tool comes with a lock-on button, which locks the board and keeps working until you stop it.
If you have multiple workplaces, then this is more than perfect for you. With its compact size and light weight, transporting it is just a piece of cake. But, the tool provides sufficient stability as well.
Moreover, the tool is ideal for smaller projects and will be great for you if most likely work at home. It can plane up to 4-3/8 inches wide and 1/16 inches deep, so if your projects are around that dimension, you are good to go.
One of the biggest drawbacks of this product is that it does not include any dust collection system, which is quite disappointing. Moreover, the product might seem to be a little bit too expensive for the features included.
What to Look for Before Buying?
If you want a great planer under 400 dollars, then you will need to look for it with determination.
Finding one wouldn’t be very difficult, but not all of them will be suitable for your work or requirements.
So, in this section of the article, we have mentioned all the factors and features that you should be looking out for when you are purchasing a planer.
Reasonably priced planers don’t often tend to be durable, as a lot aren’t always invested in their constructions.
That is why this is one aspect you need to focus on when you are about to buy a planer under 400 dollars.
First of all, you need to check the materials used to make them. For instance, the tool should be made using heavy-duty metals and should not include plastic parts, as that might make it a little fragile in the long run.
Moreover, sturdy planers are supposed to be a little heavy, which makes them stable and causes them to rattle less. Therefore, this is one essential factor that you should never overlook.
The motor power of a planer determines its performance, which in turn decides how easily you will be able to execute your tasks with it.
If the motor does not generate enough power, then you will have a tough time while working with hardwoods and such.
Hence, you should make sure the tool comes with a 12-15 AMP motor. Anything less than that will only be good for small and easier projects, and won’t be able to provide you with much versatility.
On the other hand, when choosing a motor, make sure to go for an induction motor rather than the universal one.
That is because induction motors will generate good performance, no matter which type of wood you choose to plane.
Cutter Head and Cutting Area
Cutter head and its speed, as well as the cutting area, are very important aspects when it comes to players. For instance, you can find cutter heads that come with two or three knives, all of which increase the efficiency of the tool.
Moreover, the cutter speed should be around 5000-10000RPM. If it happens to be less than the mentioned range, then the tool will not be able to plane smoothly while working with hardwoods and rough materials.
Along with all that, the cutting area is equally essential. Basically, the blades of the tool come in a variety of styles. Some contain a helical head, which moves around fast, others come with a more spiral design.
The table size, as well as the table design, are very necessary if you want to accomplish proper woodworking.
If you neglect both of these aspects, then you will face a hard time when working with materials of different shapes and sizes.
Feeding tables are a top priority, so you should focus on that. Make sure you are getting a planer that comes with a conventional as well as a comfortable feeding table.
On the other hand, when it comes to the table size, it depends on the size of your projects, mostly.
If you work with large lumbers, then you should go for a table that is 20 inches long. However, for smaller boards, you can choose smaller table sizes.
Dust Collection System
Woodworking always generates a lot of dust, which can create quite a mess. And of course, planers are no different in this case. Cleaning all that dust and debris can be quite hassles-some.
That is why you should look for planers that include a very convenient dust collection system. Different models come with a variety of systems to collect wood chips and debris; you just have to check how useful they really are.
Tools such as planers include a lot of replaceable parts — or at least they should. That is because some parts may fail or get damaged before anything happens to the entire tool.
So, if you have to throw away the entire planer just because you are unable to replace that one damaged part, it would be quite inconvenient. Therefore, make sure the machine comes with sufficient replaceable parts.
Furthermore, also make sure the product includes proper instructions on how to replace those parts. For instance, replacing knives are quite essential, so make sure the process is easy for the users.
Jointer vs. Planer
A lot of people confuse jointers with planers, and that is pretty understandable, given they are quite similar tools.
However, these two are actually very much distinct when it comes to their functions and purposes. And that’s what we will discuss here.
Purpose of a Jointer
A jointer is a tool that is used to smoothen rough lumbers and such. That is, they are used to make boards flat and smooth while making their edges perfectly squared.
However, you cannot get perfectly parallel boards with your desired thickness using a jointer. A jointer can only be used to remove the rough edges and surfaces of a wood piece you just bought.
Purpose of a Planer
A planer is used to make stocks perfectly parallel while making them as thick as you want them to be.
The tool planes one side of the board at first which gives it consistent thickness. And then it planes another side of the stock, making it parallel to the other.
Usually, the task of the planer comes after that of the jointer. You flatten the board’s surface or give it smooth edges, after which you thin the lumber down to its needed thickness.
So, in conclusion, both of these tools cannot be used interchangeably, which is why they shouldn’t really be compared.
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes, definitely. Planers and jointers may seem like similar tools, but they are actually very different from one another, which makes it almost impossible to use them interchangeably. A planer cannot work with edges, and so you can’t use it as a jointer.
You will need a planer for 3 purposes: 1) the tool makes one face of a board exactly parallel to the other. 2) The machine smoothens rough stock. 3) The planer can reduce a stock/board down to the exact thickness you need.
You surely can use a planer to remove the old finish, but it actually isn’t worth the risk.
That is because typical finishes such as polyurethane can chew or gum up the planer knives, making them dull fast and eventually breaking them down.
That entirely depends on the boards/stocks the machine will plane. For instance, if the stock is usually around 6-8 inches, then you need to get a planer that is about 12-16 inches.
You don’t necessarily need a planer to make a table, but having one will surely make the task much easier for you.
That is because planers make boards parallel and exactly as thick as you want them to be, which would be quite useful when making a table.
Still not quite sure about what to get? Don’t worry. Getting such tools can be quite troublesome, even for professionals.
All you have to do is focus on your woodworking requirements, your budget, and the essential features of a planer, and you will get the right planer under $400 in no time. Till then, don’t settle for the wrong product.
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