The Hand Planer vs Bench Planer are used to level off lumber yet differences lie in their design and application, with the Hand Planer being an electrical version of a hand plane, meanwhile the bench planer on the other hand works by feeding stocks of wood into it.
Hand planers and bench planers are two types of power planers.
Many people are curious whether they should buy a hand planer or bench planer, and it depends on their specific projects.
Are you equipped to tackle today’s toughest projects?
Do you have the right planer for the job?
Understanding the differences between a hand planer vs bench planer gives you the power to make smart decisions fast.
By the end of this article, you’ll know how to choose the best planer, whether the hand planer vs bench planer, is what’s right for your woodworking projects. You’ll be sure to find the perfect planer to fit all of your needs.
Short Version / TL;DR
Don’t have time to read through the article? Don’t worry, we get you – here’s a brief rundown on our Hand Planer vs Bench Planer guide:
The hand planer vs bench planer are similar tools. Both are useful in leveling off lumber to give craftsmanship or woodworking projects a clean, smooth finish. If you’re just starting out with woodworking, save yourself some cash—a good hand planer will often last you longer than a bench planer. You can also decide whether the extra features in a bench planer are worth the expense or not.
Hand planers and bench planers are affordable and perfect for first-time woodworkers. Every home and work shop requires these tools, so the advantages are countless, especially for people who do woodworking as a hobby. Using them, you can spend less time making adjustments and all your products will be uniformed and smooth.
The right planer is an investment. It matters for your production. It matters for your clients. At the end of the day, you need a planer that fits into your professional setup and a planer that endures time.
Hand Planers are lighter and easier to set up. They are not as hard to work with for beginners and can be more convenient to use if the workshop is small.
Bench Planers are the heart of woodworking for professional craftsmen. A bench planer is the one that is used by professional and expert woodworkers and carpenters. It has some features that the hand planer doesn’t have. It’s used in place of a hand planer or even a power planer because it can handle larger boards as well as finer woodworking tasks.
Carpentry, furniture making, and carving are specialties that require a big investment of time and money. Those who are capable of handling these jobs need an essential tool like the bench planer.
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Below are our top picks for your convenience
Dweller Power’s Best Pick
Most Recommended Bench Plane
Caliastro Bench Plane No. 5
- Perfect Finish In Just One Pass
- High Quality Beachwood Frame
- Ergonomic Grip
- High Quality Iron Blade
Dweller Power’s Best Pick
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DeWALT DCP580B 20V MAX Planer
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Dweller Power’s Best Pick
Most Recommended Benchtop Planer
DeWALT DW734 Benchtop Planer
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What Is A Hand Planer?
A Hand Planer is a woodworking tool that is made to reduce the amount of time it takes to make detailed work. It is often a manual tool or a power tool, but it can be used for a lot of tasks. It’s a versatile piece of equipment that is ideal for metalworking and woodworking. It can handle jobs that range from sharpening tools to making precise cuts in a variety of materials.
You can use a power hand Planer to re-shape wood or smoothen it. It has an irregular cutting motion, allowing it to quickly remove large amounts of material. If you need to sand down an entire surface, a hand Planer will work best.
When choosing between a manual and an electric planer, you have to keep a couple things in mind. The electric model provides more power and more precision, so many users find it easier to use for intricate details.
With Hand Planers, they come in handy when you have to get rid of nails or roots from the landscaping area. They also come in handy when you want to flatten an area of the wood for a nice smooth surface.
Hand Planer Benefits
Versatile Uses: Hand planers are an incredibly unique type of tool that allows users to get out every bit of detail in headboards and cabinets alike. They come in both manual and electric varieties, making them a great pick for those who need a little extra oomph.
Hand planers are tools that you should seriously consider adding to your arsenal of shaping tools. Users can effectively shape woodwork or remove irregularities to the top layers of a wood surface using this machine.
Fine Woodworking: In fine woodworking, a tool is essential for smoothing pieces of wood and oak prior to assembly. It also takes lots of experience with working with multiple planers to achieve Fine Woodworking. A hand Planer is one such device that can be used to get the job done right. It is also not as expensive as electric ones. Plus, it can be carried around easily.
Bench Planers are bulky, and not designed for intricate carving and cutting. They can’t hold the intricate pieces with their bulk. And while they may be able to get a flat surface, it is nowhere close to the precision of a hand plane. Instead, a hand Planer does it all. From sculpting your vision out of wood to getting a flat surface on any project, the hand Planer can complete it without hassle.
Affordable: This is a great tool for the DIY’er or professional woodworker. If you’re not ready to shell out hundreds of dollars on an electric bench Planer, the good news is that manual hand planers are surprisingly affordable. For less than $12 , you can purchase a manual hand Planer that will get the job done in no time.
When it comes to power hand planers, they’re also significantly affordable compared to Bench Planers in general.
Hand Planer Pros & Cons
- Cost-effective for Woodwork
- Compact & Versatile
- Can be used on material other than wood
- Power hand planers can be difficult to control
- Messy Work Environment
- Not for larger pieces of wood
What Is A Bench Planer?
If you’re looking for a way to get the most out of the wood that you work with, a Bench Planer is an easy and painless way to give your wood more than just a smooth face. It removes the need to use any other heavy machinery under your bench which can allow you to make faster and cleaner cuts.
A bench planer, also known as a “thickness planer” is used to flatten, smooth, and straighten rough lumber. The tool does this using a set of rollers that can be adjusted to meet specific needs. Bench planers make it easy to use salvaged wood or to deal with surfaces that other tools simply cannot handle.
A bench planer is a fantastic tool that will make your projects go faster. With a bench Planer, you can turn big pieces of wood into smaller chunks to work with, which makes the job easier on your hands.
However it is to note that Bench Planers are bigger and bulkier than hand Planers. They come with larger planer blades that give them the power to cut through any type of wood, whether it’s soft or hard.
For contractors and remodelers, a bench Planer is an essential tool. It speeds up the process of planing (slicing hair-thin strips of wood off) and lets you get more done in less time. The result – a flawless finished product for your customer’s property.
Bench Planer Benefits
Easy to Resurface Wood: Using a bench Planer is one of the best ways to level and smooth your surface wood. It creates a flat, natural looking surface that’s ready to finish. It’s also a great way to salvage old materials and give them new life.
Dust Collection: The bench Planer is not only a worth it investment, but it’s also much more efficient to use. The dust collection system allows you to easily clean up after each cut. It saves you time and energy, making it ideal for large projects.
Bench Planer Pros & Cons
- Best for Large Pieces of Wood
- Designed for Efficiency
- Extraordinarily Fast
- Sawdust collection system
- Worthy Investment
- Definitely Needs A Budget
- Takes Up Large Space
- Not Portable
Power Planer Buying Guide
As we discussed above, hand planers are ideal for more intricate projects or tasks in which you want a lot of control. There has been a lot of innovation recently to make this type of tool more user friendly and efficient.
Bench top Planers are bigger and can be used for bigger projects, providing more comfort while using it. They also have a small size that makes them easy to carry around and store in small corners.
Each Planer has its own benefits, so which Planer works best for you will depend on what you need it for and what your work requirements are.
When looking at which planer to purchase you will want to consider the wood finish, the types of edges and surfaces, the flatness of the surfaces, the types of wood measurements you will be working with, and the parallelism of surfaces. Each of these details will be covered below.
Knowing the type of wood your tool will be used on is an important consideration when choosing the best planers, especially with the hand planer vs bench planer.
Commonly, there are two types of wood: S2S (surfaced on all four sides) refers to lumber that has been planed or sanded on all four edges. Conversely, S4S (surfaced on all four sides) lumber has had one side planed and then re-sawn to produce a rectangular shaped board. S4S wood tends to be more visually appealing than S2S due to the naturally flatter profile of the board.
Edges and Surfaces
As a board has more outward and inward faces, it will take more time to achieve the desired smoothness. So if you require an extremely smooth surface, then a planer is your best bet.
Wood needs regular maintenance to maintain its appearance and integrity. Planers are useful for getting rid of excess material on the surface of a piece of wood.
When it comes to wood, moisture is a crucial component to de-flattening and clearing up the design. If you need to bring out the best wood in your woodwork, and fix what too much moisture has destroyed in the piece, then using the right planer can be helpful for you.
Surface imperfections are very difficult to remove and may take a lot of sanding time if you opt to remove them by hand. If you don’t have the patience for that, then we recommend purchasing a bench planer first as it will allow you to remove high-frequency edge damage much faster.
You can remove surface imperfections on lumber more easily and effectively using a hand planer or bench planer. More importantly, you will avoid discarding boards with significant imperfections, like holes, scratches and dings, as these will be removed by the planer.
Hand Planer vs Bench Planer
Now that you have read this informative guide, you should have a better understanding of the hand planer vs bench planer topic. The first thing about bench planer vs hand planer is that they both serve the same purpose. Each planner might have its own unique function, but pay attention to their strengths.
In order to choose the right one, you’ll need to take your time and make sure you don’t rush.
So in the end, which one should you get?
Hand planers are great for a small workshop and easy to carry out the task. They are lightweight and easy to carry around. You can use them easily in tight spaces like between the cabinets and walls. They are inexpensive and ideal woodworking tools for amateurs. But if you are a carpenter, then both of the tools can be used to make some adjustments. It may not be suitable for folk with arthritis who need a lot of help.
A bench planer is best for significant larger woodworking projects and best for a workshop. It has been in use for a long period of time by woodworker, carpenters, furniture maker, and carvers. Carpentry, furniture making, and carving are specialties that require a big investment of time and money. Those who are capable of handling these jobs require the right tools such as the bench planer.
To remember, the truth about bench planer vs hand planer is that they both serve the same purpose. Going for a hand planer, you stand to save money over a bench planer. It’s is an investment that will earn you more in the long-run.
Coming back to what we said earlier, the hand planer is your best bet for jobs where space is limited and where corners need to be smoothened out.
So, go on and hit that purchase button!
This ends our Hand Planer vs Bench Planer Discussion.
With that, please always remember that you need a good set. And by ‘good’, a properly organized set of power tools, including power planers, will see you through the best projects. Nothing is impossible with dedication, practice, and patience, and better yet – choosing the right power planer.
We want you to be sure of what you plan to get, please don’t hesitate to ask for advice.
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Henry is a long time Trade Instructor at Dunwoody College of Technology. Henry has been teaching the trade of carpentry for over 15 years and is excited to share his knowledge with the next generation of builders. With his posts you will explore some general terms, tools, and techniques that are helpful for the beginning DIY Enthusiast!. He’ll also provide a list of all the best tips needed to start your building journey right away!