If you love working with wood, you will often want to create some beautiful pieces. The beauty of wood is many times only seen in smooth finished pieces with great décor. When you buy wood it comes with pieces that are not perfectly smooth which is why you may need a planer. A planer will help you smooth out those rough pieces of wood to come up with beautiful pieces of furniture. Planers today are used for adding decorations to wooden furniture and also used to cut down various pieces of wood to a required size. Long ago planing used to be done by hand. Not only was this process quite tiresome it was also messy too. It also consumed lots of time. Today however, we have electric planers which make the entire process a breeze. These electric planers are also effective in adding decorations to the wood. This was not possible with the manual models. Modern planers are revolutionizing carpentry or woodwork in general. This is the reason why you should consider getting one.
Planer Buying Guide
Planers can either refer to a tool used in metalworks to create a flat surface material or an instrument used in carpentry used for shaping wood. Here are some things you should know to buy the best planer out there in the market.
There are different types of planers like hand planers, thickness planers, jointer planers, portable planers, and benchtop planers. You must carefully consider the type of you will buy because each type has its own advantages and disadvantages. Some types are also good to use in specific situations. Below are the list of types of planers.
Hand Planes require no electricity and are best used as a side tool for finishing wood materials. On the other hand, since it uses only the hand, finishing and leveling the wood depends on the skill of the user and typically leaves the wood with lots of chipping.
This type of planer is best for do it yourself enthusiasts and people who purchase unfinished wood in bulk. It allows you to cut a wood plank’s to a specified thickness. They are commonly sold cheap and are small and portable. They have low maintenance so you do not have to worry about replacing the equipment or making repairs to it every now. Unfortunately, they are not always precise in their thickness cuts and can only handle planks measuring from 4 to 6 inches.
Enables you to multitask by giving you the capacity of both a planers and jointers. This equipment gives you the price of one for the function of two separate tools which makes it very cost-effective. It boasts loads of power and is very reliable. The downside of this tool is that it is very bulky and can be hard to store. Although it is cost effective for giving you two functions at once, it can be considered relatively expensive compared to other planers.
They are portable like the hand planes, but they can be programmed to cut a plank to a specified thickness. It is perfect for wood workers and carpenters who do not have enough space in their workshop for big and bulky planers. Although it is not accurate every time and cannot be used for precision wood working, it’s easy to use and is inexpensive.
These instruments are very large and bulky and would require a big space or a spacious workshop. They are very powerful and are able to produce deeper cuts to planks compared to other planers. Due to this power, they are very capable of handling hard woods. They use induction motors to run. The downside is it needs regular maintenance and power to operate.
Your budget will mostly be a prime consideration and factor for the type you will choose. You will also have to consider your workshop space along with what kinds of operation you are going to do with a planer.
Factor to Consider
Planers who run by motor either run on universal motors or induction motors. Universal motors are inexpensive and are lighter compared to induction motors. However, universal motors cannot handle hard woods well. Induction motors can cut and level hard woods with ease but are very expensive and bulky. Induction motors are built for longevity and precision but need regular maintenance.
The availability of space in your workshop or home is also a big factor in considering what planer to buy. As shown above, different types of planers vary in size and it would be a big waste of time, money, and effort if you bought a planer that would not fit to your workshop. Keep in mind that operating one could usually requires 5 to 7 feet of space. You will also need to think about the length of the wood planks you are going to feed into it.
The length of a plank is not the only thing to consider for planers. You also have to determine the thickness for you to know the size of the boards you can feed into planers. There are planers that are equipped with depth stops to determine the thickness of the plank and others that are made to deal with more than 6 inches of thickness.
Planers have blades in them that allow them to level and finish wood. A higher number of knives translate to quicker finishing. Although speed does not really matter to do with a planers’ output, it still is important to take this into account so that you can know how much work and effort you have to put when you use the tool.
When shopping for planers, you also have to consider the voltage power (110v or 220v). Most consumer goods run on 110v but some more powerful electronics require 220v. This is important as an incorrect power rating can short circuit the electrical wiring in your house and lead to fire.
Planers can pose occupational hazards since they involve sharp blades that, when used improperly, can cause serious damage. You have to read carefully the instruction manual to make sure you are safe. Also, it should be well-built and have passed industry standards to ensure that you are using a quality product. Avoid buying from unknown dealers and planers, which do not have a warranty. Often, these will result in purchasing products of substandard qualities and using these might leave you with unwanted injuries.
While this feature of the tool is most commonly not considered when buying planers, it can still be a very important component. The ejection mechanism of a planer can affect its functionality. Planers with good chip ejection system ensure smooth wood leveling operation and rids you of the need to brush off the wooden bits of your body. Choose planers, which allow you to manage or deliberately control the direction of the ejected wood particles.
It is important to take note of the listed points above, so that you are sure that the product you are buying will answer all of your needs and help you do what you want by delivering quality output.