If your business regularly purchases wood that is rough or uneven, then a good planer thicknesser is an important piece of kit.
It will make the wood even without having to spend hours sanding it down or hand planing it.
A machine that is both a planer and a thicknesser is so handy when space is at a premium, as it generally is in small workshops. And buying a machine that has both functions in one provides better value for money than buying each separately.
However it’s an expensive piece of kit, usually costing above £300, so you want to ensure you get a good one.
Coming up we have product reviews of some really good planer thicknessers, and following that we have a buying guide for you which walks you through the different matters you might like to think about before making your purchase.
And that’s not all, we also have a brief section where we attempt to answer some of your most frequently asked questions.
In a hurry? This is our winner!
- Compact and lightweight, automatic thickness Planer for easier transport
- Cutter head powered by 1, 650 Watt motor
- Unique Feeding mechanism assures a smoother finish with minimal snipe on the stock
Best Planer Thicknesser – Comparison Table
Best Planer Thicknesser – Reviews
Makita 2012NB/2 Thicknesser, 220 V, 1650 W, 304 mm Blue Large
The Makita thicknesser offers simple consumer improvements on the final product to allow for a more precise and delicate product.
With this product, you can expect a feed rate of about 8 1/2 meters for every minute that passes. Comparing this with many different products in the market, it is outstanding.
The motor has been made very powerful, being able to generate up to 8500 rotations per minute. To generate this, it will require a power supply of 1650 Watts.
To get you started, they have included all the wrenches and magnetic holders that will be necessary.
You can expect your planning width to be around 304 millimeters, which is not the best you can get but will still definitely do the job.
An excellent advantage of this product is that you are unlikely to experience sniping of timber.
This is because of the downward pressure system that they have added, which will allow you to Input your materials safely.
The product is a bit expensive, but it makes up with the capacity for what it charges at the price.
This is one of the products on the market with the biggest capacity. This means that you can get a lot more done in a shorter period.
They have made this possible due to the use of fine depth adjustment. This means that you can decide to increase the amount of capacity that your thicknesser can handle.
- Great average customer rating
- You will not experience sniping timber.
- It has a powerful motor that can generate 8500 rotations per minute.
- Fine depth adjustment increases the capacity of the product.
- Surface and thicknessing tables are long
- High maximum depth of cut for both planing and thicknessing
- Good feed and cutterblock speed
- Safety features
- Includes Dust extraction hood
- It is priced in the top range of products.
Silverline 344944 1800W Bench Planer 150 mm
This planer thicknesser from Silverstorm 344944 is an absolute bargain, coming in (on Amazon at least) at under £300. And from a good brand too. Silverstorm has been in business selling a range of power tools for over 90 years.
It’s a compact little machine that sits atop your work bench for use. It’s powerful though, taking 230 volts, to run it’s two reversible HSS blades, which operate at a fast 12000rpm.
The planer depth is 2mm while it’s width is 212mm. The thicknesser depth meanwhile is 3mm, on a thicknesser table that’s 270m long. The thickness height capacity comes in at 150mm, while it’s width capacity is 204mm. The cutting depth is adjustable, and the feed rate is 6m/min.
There’s a parallel adjustment width guide featured which is super handy.
We love that it has a tilting fence for beveling the wood.
There’s a handy dust extraction nozzle, so you can hook it up to any standard sized dust collector or extractor.
There’s a no-volt safety switch to prevent automatic restart after a power outage.
You also get a blade setting tool included in the price.
- Absolute bargain, at under £300
- Good well established brand
- Compact little machine
- Powerful motor
- Two reversible HSS blades
- Cutting speed of 12000rpm
- The planer depth is 2mm while it’s width is 212mm
- Thicknesser depth is 3mm
- Thicknesser table is 270m long
- Thickness height capacity comes in at 120mm
- Width capacity is 204mm
- Cutting depth is adjustable
- Feed rate is 6m/min
- Parallel adjustment width guide
- Tilting fence for beveling the wood
- Handy dust extraction nozzle
- No-volt safety switch
- Blade setting tool included
- Be careful reading the Amazon customer reviews as many of them are for a different product
Ryobi 5133002859 RAP1500G 1500 W Multi-Coloured
This beauty from Ryobi 5133002859 RAP1500G is a portable thickness planer that comes with it’s own heavy-duty stand, which won’t walk or wobble. And the extension plates fold away when not in use.
This high powered planer features 2 pieces of double cutter blades. It has a maximum cutting width of 13″ (330mm), and a cutting thickness of 7-153mm. The feeding speed is 8m/min while the blade speed comes in at 9000rpm.
It’s easy to use, simply crank the handle to adjust the height of the cutter head. There’s a handy scale ruler to ensure precision and there are grooves on both sides for easy mobility.
We love that it has an Automatic Feeding Design so you don’t have to manually push the timber.
And it’s super easy to hook it up to a dust collector for easy cleanup.
Safety features include an overcurrent protector which can be tripped when the motor is overloaded and a Power-off protection electromagnetic switch.
Included in the price you get a little pack of accessories, made up of a Belt, Nuts, Foot Pads, Spare Carbon Brushes, and an Iron Dust Cover. The cover is both waterproof & dustproof.
- Good heavy duty stand
- Double cutter blades
- Maximum cutting width of 13″ (330mm)
- Cutting thickness of 7-153mm
- Feeding speed is 315″/min (8m/min)
- Blade speed is 9000rpm
- Easy to use
- Handy scale ruler
- Automatic Feeding Design
- Great dust collector interface
- Various safety features
- Pack of accessories included in price
- Not many peer reviews on the Amazon page, but very much in demand on other sites
Excel 10'' 250mm Planer Thicknesser 1500W/240V with Stand
This planer thicknesser from Excel is great – perfect for a small workshop where space is at a premium.
There’s a surface planing width of 254mm (10″), which when you couple it with it’s a thicknessing capacity of 254 x 127mm (10″ x 5″), means it can tackle up to 3mm of timber per pass.
It may look small, but it’s large planer bench measures 946 by 263 mm, and it’s table size is 920 x 262mm.
It’s got a good motor, which will maximize your 240 volt power supply. The feed rate is 6m/min and it’s cutterblock speed is nice and fast, coming in at 9000rpm.
The tilting aluminum fence means you can bevel the wood with ease.
It’s easy to convert the machine from planing mode to thicknessing mode, simply remove the fence, and reposition the blade guard and chip collection hood. You can then adjust the height with the crank handle.
It’s a 2 blade cutterblock, and Re-sharpenable HSS blades are included in the price. You can also buy replacement blades if needs be.
It has a large dust extraction outlet port, coming in at 100mm diameter.
- Perfect for a small workshop
- Surface planing width of 254mm (10″)
- Thicknessing capacity of 254 x 127mm (10″ x 5″)
- Large planer bench and table size
- Good motor
- Feed rate is 6m/min
- Cutterblock speed is fast, at 8500rpm
- Easy to convert from planing to thicknessing
- Tilting aluminum fence
- 2 blade cutterblock
- Resharpenable HSS blades
- Large dust extraction outlet port
- Some customers have been unhappy with the instruction manual
Lumberjack PT330B Thicknesser, Grey|white
Here’s another great planer thicknesser from Lumberjack. This one has a great average customer rating on Amazon, and comes at a reasonable price.
It can handle timber up to 330mm wide and up to a maximum thickness height of 152mm, which you can feed in at 7.5m/min. Altogether you can shave off up to 2.8mm per pass. The feeding is automatic, you don’t have to manually push the wood, and it’s nice and smooth, thanks to the large fully polished table.
It has a powerful 1500W quality motor, and the 2 blades rotate at a fast 8500rpm.
The 4 Post design for allows for stable and smooth operation,
We love just how compact and portable it is, weighing just 35kg, and with it’s folding tables for easy and convenient storage.
There’s a handy dust extraction port to connect up to a dust extractor.
The safety features include a No-volt release switch which prevents uncontrolled restart after any power interruption.
- Great customer rating on Amazon
- Reasonable price
- Can handle timber up to 330mm wide
- Can handle a maximum thickness height of 152mm
- Shave off up to 2.8mm per pass
- Automatic feed
- Feed speed of 7.5m/min
- Powerful 1500W quality motor
- 2 blades rotate at a fast 8500rpm
- Stable and smooth operation
- Compact and portable
- Handy dust extraction port
- Safety feature to prevent uncontrolled restarts
- Doesn’t come with it’s own stand
Best Planer Thicknesser – Buyer’s Guide
When working with wood it’s important to achieve even thickness on both sides of your wood, and when you have the right equipment for that it makes your woodworking considerably easier and more productive.
Here’s a quick outline of the different things to think about when making your purchase.
Ideally you want to get a machine that maximizes full use of your power supply. So if your workshop has a 240 volt power supply (which it probably does) then you should choose a machine that can match it.
The higher the voltage, the higher the speed of the machine.
The size of wood that the machine can take is likely to be the deciding factor in what machine you go for in the end. You need to know what width of wood you’re going to be working with. In our Top 5 products, we’ve attempted to cover a variety of sizes of timber to be used.
Thicknessers can come in a variety of different widths, starting from as low as 260mm, going up to 620mm. Most machines will have working depths of 100, 230 or 300mm. In terms of inches, you’re looking at working depths of 10, 12, 16,18 and 24 inches.
The larger the surfacing table the better, especially if you expect longer pieces of wood to be used. Having a longer surfacing table can also make it easier to accurately mount machine boards leaving them straight and true.
The surface table material should be made of either cast iron to damp out vibration, or cast aluminum, as it’s both light and strong.
Combination planer thicknessers are best suited for lower capacity production, since you cannot use them as a planer and as a thicknesser at the same time.
If you have higher production capacity demands, then an independent thicknesser might be a better buy for you. To increase your production capacity further still, you might then like to think about buying feed rollers to use with your thicknesser.
If possible, try to go for a planer thicknesser with a fence that tilts, as this will enable you to easily bevel the edges of the wood. If this feature is important to you, we can recommend our Number 1 product, the Charnwood W588 8” x 5” Bench Top Planer Thicknesser, our Number 2 product, the Draper 09543 230-Volt 1,500-Watt Bench-Mounted Planer Thicknesser, and our Number 4 product, the Lumberjack PT1000 254mm Planer Thicknesser.
When it comes to other features we strongly recommend that you consider safety features to be the most important. When you have powerful motor operating dual rotating blades, safety is paramount.
Planer thicknessers often have an array of other additional useful features. This can include features that help to feed the timber better, make the machine faster, or make the thicknessing more accurate. Noise reduction slots are another additional feature, these help with the air flow to improve extraction and therefore help the machine to run more quietly.
Another such feature is that of a programmable rise and fall with LED readouts. These features can enable you to quickly position timber of different sizes, and it does away with having to do things manually, using a pointer and rule.
As a general rule the more additional features that a planer thicknesser has the more money it tends to cost. You can either set your budget and then see what features you can get for that price or you can ascertain what features you really want or need, and see what’s the lowest price you have to pay for those features.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the difference between a planer and a thicknesser?
A planer is a machine that will make your timber straighter, and most planers you operate by hand. A thicknesser on the other hand is a machine that you pass your timber through to get your much coveted even surface.
Do I need a planer and a thicknesser?
Thicknessers are better when you are using long pieces of wood several meters long, but for creating small woodwork pieces a planer may suffice. A planer thicknesser does both jobs using just one machine.