Portable Handheld Electric Planers

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Forum topic by ChicagoHiker posted 12-11-2017 04:24 PM 759 views 0 times favorited 11 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View ChicagoHiker's profile


56 posts in 2575 days

12-11-2017 04:24 PM

Topic tags/keywords: planer

I’m curious what people here think of portable handheld electric planers. I’m thinking they might be useful on pieces that are too wide for my benchtop planer or too short and am likely to end up with snipe.

Thanks for any suggestions!

-- Paul Segedin, Chicago, IL

11 replies so far

View MrRon's profile


5910 posts in 4013 days

#1 posted 12-11-2017 06:16 PM

I have an old hand planer that I’ve owned for around 40 years. It’s only been used a few times and it still works. I just can’t find a project that requires a hand planer. I used it about 2 years ago to rough out some stock. I think they were mainly used by house builders for such purposes as fitting doors in frames. Because of their aggressive nature, I don’t think they would be suitable for fine furniture making, especially where expensive hardwoods are used.

View Loren's profile


10477 posts in 4418 days

#2 posted 12-11-2017 06:39 PM

They can be used for flattening slabs. The
blade corners leave ridges. I had one where
I ground off the corners.

I find hand planes can be used with more

View LesB's profile


2550 posts in 4213 days

#3 posted 12-11-2017 06:50 PM

I inherited one from my Dad but would not even consider using it for planing a flat board for multiple reasons I won’t even bother to elaborate here. I have used it primarily for edge planing door edges for a final fit Even then a hand plane usually works better because I have more control of the cut.
For boards too wide for the planer I use hand plane or a drum sander.
Boards that are two short can be run through the planer if you build a sled to hold them, or you can attach longer boards on each side with hot glue, run it through and then pop the side boards off.

-- Les B, Oregon

View BurlyBob's profile


7590 posts in 3035 days

#4 posted 12-11-2017 09:04 PM

I bought one thinking it would be the answer to a lot of problems. The worst waste of $125. It’s only good for rough carpentry and that might be a little to kind. Honestly don’t waist your money.

View Texcaster's profile


1292 posts in 2444 days

#5 posted 12-11-2017 09:13 PM

Power planes are scrub planes that mean business! Or they can be very well mannered indeed.

-- Mama calls me Texcaster but my real name is Mr. Earl.

View PPK's profile


1746 posts in 1579 days

#6 posted 12-11-2017 09:33 PM

I own one and it’s a VERY important tool to have when you’re a cabinet maker/installer… I use it very often to help with scribing countertops to the back of walls, fitting filler strips, trimming cabinet ears, heck, even planing down the whole side of a cabinet that is just too big to fit in the desire space ;-P

Same goes if you’re a trim carpenter. Door sticking cause of the house settling? bust out the power plane. Trim needs to be adjusted down 1/16” to fit in between a door and another wall? bust out the power plane… you get the point now, I think.

-- Pete

View PPK's profile


1746 posts in 1579 days

#7 posted 12-11-2017 09:35 PM

Power planes are scrub planes that mean business! Or they can be very well mannered indeed.

- Texcaster

And I agree with the above too…

-- Pete

View sawdustdad's profile


379 posts in 1655 days

#8 posted 12-11-2017 09:46 PM

I have a Bosch that I bought some 30 years ago. It’s incredibly useful when you need it. Freeing sticking doors is one of the best uses, but leveling rough slabs is another great use. I used it on a bench top, then followed with a hand plane to get to a final finish.

I would say it’s a specialized tool, but like they say, having the right tool for the job makes the work go much easier. For example, using a hand plane to remove 1/8 inch from a solid fir door would require some serious holding method to handle the forces you’d exert. No sweat with a power plane, hold the door on edge with one hand, and run the power plane along the edge with virtually no force applied to the door and you’re done a few seconds later.

-- Murphy's Carpentry Corollary #3: Half of all boards cut to a specific length will be too short.

View jdh122's profile


1163 posts in 3587 days

#9 posted 12-11-2017 09:50 PM

I don’t have one, but watching Tips from a Shipwright on Youtube has persuaded me that it can be an accurate tool. Check out his description of modifications that he does to them when he buys them:

-- Jeremy, in the Acadian forests

View CharlesA's profile


3430 posts in 2567 days

#10 posted 12-11-2017 10:04 PM

I bought one for a particular purpose, and it can be an awesome tool under the right circumstances. I have the Makita, and it is a very fine tool.

-- "Man is the only animal which devours his own, for I can apply no milder term to the general prey of the rich on the poor." ~Thomas Jefferson

View ChicagoHiker's profile


56 posts in 2575 days

#11 posted 12-12-2017 12:35 AM

Everyone – Thanks for all the advice. Sounds like it’s not going to meet my needs, but it’s good to know the pros and cons!

-- Paul Segedin, Chicago, IL

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