When dealing with wood, it’s difficult to come across large quantities of materials that are the same width and thickness. Both hardwoods and softwoods tend to come in various thicknesses throughout their lengths, which is often an issue for woodworking projects and joinery work.
A plane thicknesser is a machine that deals with these issues, processing hardwood and softwoods to make them the same width and thickness. This is great for anyone that works with wood professionally, such as joiners, as well as people that have woodworking hobbies.
Makita 2012NB Thicknesser 220 V
- 1650W Motor
- 304mm cutting Width
- Adjusting cutting depth with maximum depth between 3mm and 100mm
- Feed rate of 8.5 metres per minute
Makita are a well-known manufacturer of power tools, so it’s little surprise they have a high-quality model in the 2012NB thicknesser. Weighing 28kg, this is a heavy-duty planer thicknesser that is built to do a great job for many years.
That said, it’s on the smaller side compared to certain models, measuring 304mm x 771mm, although it doesn’t sacrifice any power from 16,500W motor due to the compact design.
It comes with a decent planing width of 304mm, which should be more than enough for most lightweight use, while the adjusting planing depth has a good range between 3mm and 150mm.
The depth stop is completely adjustable as well, allowing you to get any measurement between 3mm and 150m, so it’s certainly got enough options to get that desired thickness.
So, if the wood measurements exceed either of these maximum width or depths, then the 2012NB is going to be too small. That said, the adjustable cutting depth is a great feature, so if you mostly work with wood in these dimensions then the 2012NB is a fine choice.
Furthermore, an extendable table section allows you to adjust the setting for longer pieces of wood, offering support that isn’t found in every planer thicknesser. It’s also got a dust port, LED power indicator, while the double-edged blades mean you can flip around once one side goes blunt.
DeWalt Dw733 230V
- 1800W motor
- 317mm cutting width
- 152mm maximum thicknesser capacity
- Feed rate of 8 metres per minute
The DeWalt Dw733 230V is a powerful planer thicknesser that is easily mounted on workbenches or taken on the go to worksites. A whopping 1800W motor provides 10,000rpms, making it suitable for professional use, although hobbyists will certainly appreciate the high performance of the model as well.
Combined with a feed rate of 8 metres per minute, a high volume of wood can easily be processed using this unit, with the two blades working well against both softwoods and hardwoods. It’s a versatile piece of hardware that will make lightwork of any of your woodworking needs.
There is a maximum thicknesser capacity of 152mm, which is completely adjustable down to various heights to get the preferred thickness. With planing width of 317mm, there’s plenty of room to work with large and small dimensions, highlighting the impressive versatility of the unit.
Two cutting blades offer exceptional performance, quickly removing perfections from various woods while also getting the desired thickness. Better still, the cutting head for the blades are locked in position, making it difficult to injure yourself or accidently ruin a piece of wood.
It also includes a dust port to prevent dust build-ups when operating the planer thicknesser, so make sure to connect this to a suitable extractor or vacuum, which most professionals should have on hand.
There is also an extendable table for dealing with longer pieces of wood, and a graduated depth crank allows for much easier and quicker plane work, taking away the guesswork and guaranteeing precision.
Triton TPT125 Thicknesser
- 1000W motor
- 17,500 cuts per minute
- 317mm cutting width
- Max depth of cut 2.4mm
- Depth of cut in 1.5mm increments
The Triton TPT125 Thicknesser is sturdy bench top model suitable for heavy-duty use. Weighing 29kg, the planer thicknesser comes with a 1100W motor that provides an impressive 17,500 cuts per minute, making it ideal for a variety of uses, with a smooth and uniform cut every pass.
The weight means it’s quite difficult to take out to a worksite, but it’s larger size means it’s best used in workshops designed for woodworking. As a bench top model, you simply attach to a workbench using the rigid 4-poist column at the base.
A 317mm maximum cutting width is enough for most large pieces of timber, while the high-performance planer cuts a depth down to 2.4mm, resulting in a smooth and accurate cut each time on the timber.
Extendable tables in both the infeed and outfeed means there is additional support for longer lengths of wood, while you can work with woods ranging from 3.2mm to 1500mm in depth. For precise cutting, there is a graduated depth crank handle along with a clear thickness scale, with the depth of cut increasing by 1.5mm increments
There is also a dust chute included to remove sawdust as you cut and plane, which can be attached to either end of the Triton TPT125 Thicknesser, allowing you to work without being constantly covered in dust.
The Triton TPT125 Thicknesser offers exceptional power and performance, ensuring a consistently smooth finish and the most price depth of cut possible.
- 1280W motor
- 250mm max cutting width
- Max depth of cut 2mm
The Lumberjack PT1000 is designed for a smaller workshop and lightweight use, coming at an affordable price without sacrificing quality. As a stand-alone unit measuring 94.6 cm x 26.3cm, it’s ideal for people lacking space, and the fact it doesn’t need to be attached to a workbench makes it accessible to a wide range of people.
It’s also very portable as a result of the design, allowing you to use in various spaces that suit your needs, whether it’s a garage, in the garden, or in a workshop.
As a smaller unit, the planing width isn’t as large as some models, although the maximum planing width of 254mm is still quite impressive - any wood wider than this will need a bigger planer thicknesser however.
The 1280W motor provides impressive speeds despite the compact size of the planer, with a block speed of 9,000rpms and a feed rate of 6 metres per minute. Yes, it’s going to struggle with large volumes of wood, but given the smaller design of the model it’s to be expected.
The PT1000 works well to cut wood smoothly every pass, with max cutting depths of 3mm for the thicknesser and 2mm for the planer. Plus, the height is easily adjustable using the crank handle at the side of the unit.
Both provide uniform results and a quality cut each pass, and you can easily switch between thickness and planing modes by removing the aluminium fence and repositioning the blade guard and chip collection hood over the cutting block.
Some may find this quite time-consuming compared to larger units that don’t require switching between modes, but it’s relatively easy to do once you get some practice in.
It’s not always obvious what to look for in a planer thicknesser. Like most types of heavy-duty machinery, there are various features and functions available, so certain types of planers may be more useful for your needs than others.
So, it helps to know what features area available with a planer thicknesser to determine what you should be looking for.
A planer thicknesser comes in with various power options, and the power of the machine impacts its capabilities so it’s important to know what options may suit your needs. For instance, the more power the machine has, the more suitable it is for all types of wood and the overall quality of cut.
For heavy-duty use that involves various cutting processes, you should lookout for a planer thicknesser with at least 2000W of power, espiecally if dealing with high volumes of softwoods and hardwoods.
Machines with power between 1200W and 1700W are ideal for most lightweight use, including softwoods and some hardwoods.
The width of the wood you work with is important when choosing a planer thicknesser, as not all machines have the same planing widths, so there’s a chance of certain woods being too wide to cut with the blade.
Planing widths are measured in millimetres, with smaller models typically ranging from 200mm to 300mm, meaning woods need to be that particular width to pass through the machine.
Larger models usually have planing widths upwards of 400mm, making them ideal for wider woods you may be working with, although these are usually only needed for professional woodworkers.
The planing depth of a planer thicknesser is very important. It refers to how much depth is removable from the wood, which is how the planer thicknesser creates equal thicknesses in each piece of wood, so you need to ensure you have a machine with the right planing depth for our needs.
For instance, a machine with a maximum planing depth of 3mm means the blades only go up to 3mm into the wood, so if you needed more thickness removed the machine would be useless.
Given the various thicknesses needed for most woodworking projects, it helps to have a planer thicknesser with an adjustable planing depth, otherwise you need to process the wood several times to get the desired thickness.
Certain models don’t have adjustable planing depths, and these are often cheaper, but it’s hard to deny just how more convenient an adjustable planing depth is.
Health and Safety
A planer thicknesser is a heavy-duty piece of machinery so it isnt without it’s risks when operating the machine. When browsing for a planer thicknesser, health and safety features should always be considered, as you want to ensure it doesn’t have a detrimental impact on your health.
For example, always look for a planer thicknesser with a good dust port to prevent irritations from sawdust, otherwise you need to purchase a dust port adaptor or use a vacuum to deal with the sawdust.
A pusher is another feature to look for. This provides protection for the fingers by preventing them from accidently hitting the blades as you push the wood through. While non-essential, its highly recommended, especially when working with smaller sections of wood.
Other important safety features a planer thicknesser should have is an emergency stop button and protective covers for the blades.
To ensure the best possible finish, you want to make sure that the blades on the planer thicknesser are suitable enough for the task. Blades come in various materials, with the best typically being made from standard steel - they’re generally better to other materials such as HHS steel.
Trimetal is another popular option for blades, being made from a composition of metals including cobalt steel. These blades are very high quality and do provide a fantastic final cut, although they tend to be much costlier than standard steel.
In fact, many people like to use several types of blades to have a wider range of finishes available. The blade will work different depending the texture, width, and thickness of the wood, so it’s a good idea to have several blades to accommodate the different types of woods.
One big setback of buying a new planer thicknesser is the availability of spare parts. These machines are usually manufactured overseas, making it difficult to complete repairs and replacements should it malfunction or break down, espiecally when living in more rural areas.
So, it may be worth doing some research on the availability of spare parts before you purchase a planer thicknesser. In most cases they can be ordered online, but shipping costs can be high, and the part will probably require several weeks to ship.
Last update on 2021-03-07 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API