Thickness Planer

*We may earn a commission for purchases made using our links. Please see our disclosure to learn more.

A thickness planer (also known as a thicknesser or planer) is a woodworking machine used to smooth and level the surface of a piece of lumber or wood. It is an essential tool for woodworkers, carpenters, and furniture makers.

Basically, the primary function of a thickness planer is to reduce the thickness of a piece of rough-sawn lumber or to create a consistent thickness across the entire length and width of the board.

Benefits of Using A Thickness Planer

Thickness planers are invaluable for several reasons:

  • Smoother Surfaces: They help create smooth, flat, and consistent surfaces on lumber. This makes the material easier to work with, especially when aiming for a polished finish.
  • Consistent Thickness: Woodworkers can ensure that all their boards have the same thickness. This is essential for tasks such as building furniture or cabinets.
  • Dimensional Accuracy: Thickness planers help you achieve precise thickness dimensions.
  • Material Savings: By removing just enough material to reach the desired thickness, you can save money by minimizing waste.

Handling Safety

Safety will always be a primary concern when handling machines such as the thickness planer. Here are some guidelines for a safer woodworking experience:

  • Training and Supervision: Proper training and supervision by an experienced woodworker is crucial in establishing safety practices in the workplace.
  • Wear Safety Gear: When operating a thickness planer, wear the following safety gear:
  • Setup and Inspection: Always set up the machine properly and inspect it thoroughly to spot any damages, wear, or loose parts. Make sure the blades are sharp, securely fastened, and properly aligned.
  • Feeding the Material: 
    • Feed the workpiece properly into the machine and make sure it is laid flat against the planer bed
    • Also use a push stick or push block (also available as a set) to feed the material through the plane
    • Maintain a steady and even feed rate to prevent sniping or uneven surfaces
  • Keep Hands Clear: Keep hands and body parts at a clear distance from the cutting area.
  • Disconnect Power: Turn off the equipment and disconnect the power before making any adjustments or repairs.
Avatar photo

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.

More to Explore

Roller Stand

*We may earn a commission for purchases made using our links. Please see our disclosure to learn more. A roller stand is an equipment used to provide support ...


A jointer is a machine used to create a flat and smooth surface on wood.


A dehumidifier is an electrical appliance designed to reduce humidity levels