Is an electric hand planer worth it? -Know the Advantages and Problems!

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An electric planer is a lifesaving tool for a woodworker and carpenter, used for dry projects as well as home renovations. This handiest tool is not used for cutting but for shaving to smooth a wood surface.

An electric hand planer is worth it because, unlike the manual hand planer, it shaves wider and longer boards perfectly, saves energy and time, is portable, and is less costly than a table planer.

Let’s get the detailed description and other aspects; is an electric hand planer worth it?

Is an electric hand planer worth it?

Advantages of an electric hand planer

Unlike the manual hand planer, an electric hand planer is a tool that uses two or three blades in its back, and when the blade rotates, it trims off an amount of wood to make the surface smooth. 

A planer is essential for smoothing the rough surface of a wood piece after it has been cut to the desired size. These are the main points that make it great for finishing tasks.

Shave: An electric hand planer has a wide surface that can smoothly shave both wide and long wood pieces.

Depth cuts: This power hand planer comes with a knob on its head, and by rotating it clockwise and anticlockwise, you can easily adjust the depth of shaving and ensure better planer control.

Power: It is a motorized machine that generates a lot of power, quickly spins the blade, and removes a lot of wood in a single pass.

Saves energy: This power planer utilizes electric power; for that reason, like the hand planer, you don’t need to slide the tool using physical effort and muscles to smoothen a surface, which ultimately reduces your physical effort and saves energy.

Time: As it spins, the blade moves really fast and shaves a lot, and provides a better result in one single pass, and you don’t need to slide multiple times, which ultimately shaves time.

Portable: This portable hand planer doesn’t size and weight much and also comes in both corded and cordless versions. Therefore, it is easily carriable on working sites and fully functional in any situation or place.

Shaves money: An electric hand planer does the same work as a thickness planer, belt sander, jointer, or miter saw. As a single machine can handle all other tools’ work for that reason, it saves money from purchasing other saws.

Price: It is less expensive than a table planer and can handle tough and fast-finishing tasks.

A portable electric planer has all these advantages, making it worth using for dry projects and home renovations.

Problems with an electric hand planer!

Along with its benefits, an electric hand planer has some drawbacks or side effects.

Noise: When trimming, an electric hand planer makes a louder noise; for this, wear noise-canceling headphones.

Sawdust: When trimming or shaving with a hand-held electric planer, it makes a lot of tiny little chips and dust from the extra wood. For that, use goggles and a mask while planning.

Control: As for the powerful motor and continuous blade movement, it vibrates and makes it tougher to handle, and for a little bit of unconsciousness, it can inflict a nasty injury. For that, use both hands, one hand on the back handle and another one on the front handle.

Electric hand planer used for?

As an electric hand planer trims wood to the same thickness along its length, it is used for multiple purposes. Here are the main some of them.

  • Trimming old wood gives the new fresh look
  • Straightening out framing twisted boards 
  • Champhering edges to make angle cuts
  • Trimming the edge of a sticking door 
  • Cutting rabbets for making cabinets, doors, and furniture

How to use an electric hand planer?

The process of using a manual hand planer and an electric hand planer is mostly the same. But trimming a wood piece with an electric hand planer is easier and more effective. However, you have kept some of the main steps, knowledge, and tips in your mind while using it.

First, you must secure the wood using a vise or clamp it using clips, so the piece does not move while planning.

Then make a mark on the side of the board how much you want to shave. 

Tips: Don’t try to reach the marked line in one big hit, do that in multiple passes to have more control finish.

After that, rotate the knob of the planer to set the depth of the cut. 

Then plug the cable and grip the planer with both hands, one hand on the back handle and another one on the front handle. When you are ready, turn on the switch placed on the handle.

Instantly, place the planer on the board and push it steadily forward to trim or shave.

Note: As you start trimming from the edge, put more pressure on the front handle than the back handle, and while close to the end, put more pressure on the back handle than the front handle to avoid gouging or sniping and to keep the planer in the same position.

Frequently Asked Questions

How much can an electric hand planer take off?

Usually, an electric hand planer can take off up to 3/32″ of material in a single pass, but with a top-quality electric hand planer, you can take off up to 9/64″ of material in a single pass.
Note: I suggest you set the depth as low as possible so you can make multiple passes to have better planer control.

What should I look for when buying an electric hand planer?

No matter what you choose between a corded or cordless planer, there are some basic things you should look at while buying an electric hand planer, like motor power, RPM, cutting depth, cutting width, number of blades, a safety switch, and a black knob on the front.

How do I sharpen my electric hand planer?

You can use different methods, like a belt sander, sandpaper, and a diamond whetstone, to sharpen an electric hand planer. But the best result I got on the diamond whetstone. 
Place a diamond whetstone on the surface and grab the blade. Make sure you angle the blade, as the blade bevel side is angled. Then put some drops of water on the diamond whetstone and start sliding the blade from left to right side and do it multiple times.
Note: While sharpening a blade, make sure you don’t over-sharpen a blade and change the width of the blade.


Although this portable power hand planer is a small machine, more functional than a hand planer, and less powerful than a table planer, it is a well-needed, fully functional tool if you have lots of finishing and planning tasks and have to travel to job sites or other places to do planing. Thank you.

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