Electric Planer

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An electric planer, also known as a power planer or surface planer, is a woodworking power tool used to flatten, shave, and shape wood. Basically, the equipment employs the same principles as its predecessor the hand plane, which involves the use of an angled iron blade.

Using electricity and a motor to power its blades, this power tool allows craftsmen to remove excess wood faster and more efficiently than its manual counterpart.

Electric Planer Uses

Power planers can accomplish the following tasks:

  • Smoothing Rough Lumber: Power planers can smoothen rough, uneven lumber, to prepare them for woodworking and carpentry projects.
  • Thickness Planing: These power tools can reduce the thickness of a wooden board.
  • Beveling Edges: They can also create beveled edges on boards. This is suitable for tasks such as chamfering or creating decorative edges.
  • Leveling Surfaces: An electric planer can swiftly level uneven surfaces of wooden workpieces such as doors and tabletops.
  • Edge Jointing: Some variants come with edge-jointing attachments. This is useful for creating straight and even edges on boards, making them suitable for joining together.
  • Removing Paint or Varnish: Lastly, an electric planer is also effective for removing old paint or varnish from wooden surfaces.

Types of Planers

Each of these woodworking tools have their own advantages and limitations, so it is important to select one that best suits your needs. Here are the common types of power planers:

  • Handheld Electric Planer: This handheld version is the most common type of planer. It features a cutter head that removes material as it passes over the wood surface.
  • Benchtop Planer: Large and more powerful, benchtop planers are stationary tools that are suitable for dimensioning rough lumber and achieving consistent thickness across multiple boards.
  • Thickness Planer: This power tool is essential for reducing the thickness of boards in cabinet making and furniture building.
  • Jointer Planer Combo: Some woodworking machines combine a jointer and a planer into one single unit. These combo machines are space-saving and are suitable for small workshops.
  • Cordless Planer: Cordless planers are portable and run on rechargeable batteries. These are perfect for jobs in locations with limited access to power outlets.
  • Trim Planer: Trim planers are more compact versions of handheld electric planers. A known choice among carpenters and cabinetmakers, this tool is suitable for precision work such as trimming edges, beveling, or smoothing small surfaces.
  • Large Industrial Planer: In industrial settings, large planers are useful for processing high volumes of lumber quickly and efficiently. These machines are heavy-duty and can handle very wide and thick boards.

Electric Planer Handling Safety

Proper handling of planers is crucial in achieving accurate results and preventing mishaps. Here are some tips for a safe woodworking experience:

  • Proper Training: Woodworking beginners should seek the guidance and training of a more experienced craftsman. 
  • Wear Protective Gear: Shield yourself from harmful elements using personal protective equipment (PPE).
  • Inspect the Power Planer: Always check the tool thoroughly before proceeding with any projects. Make sure there are no damages, loose parts, or dull blades.
  • Secure Workpiece: Use a clamp or vise to secure the workpiece.
  • Proper Feed Direction: Always feed the workpiece against the rotation of the cutter head.
  • Keep Hands Away: Keep hands away from the cutting area.
  • Be Aware of Kickbacks: Keep a firm grip on the planer’s handles and be ready for any kickbacks, which could happen if the tool snags on the workpiece.
  • Disconnect Power: Before handling the planer, make sure it is turned off and disconnected from the outlet.
  • Maintenance: Properly maintain the electric planer to keep it in top working condition. This allows the power tool to produce higher quality work, while ensuring utmost safety.
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John Friedenbach

My initial goal, to provide a selection of tools, education and plans to the Beginning to Advance Woodworker has not changed. I continue to search the web to find new products and services. To bring those products and services to your attention.

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