Electric plane buying guide
John, DIYer & IT developer, Brighton59 guides
An electric plane is a crucial tool for any amateur carpenter, as it is ideal for adjusting doors, creating edges, trimming or to rectifying wooden pieces in cabinetmaking! Suction, with or without bag, 82 mm irons, shoes... follow this guide to choose your electric plane!
- Width of irons
- Depth of cut
- Bag and aspiration
What is an electric planes?
Like the hand plane, the electric plane is a crucial woodworking tool used for planing.
How does an electric plane work?
The operating principle of an electric plane is very simple. The plane's blades, also known as irons, are attached to a drum driven at a speed ranging from 10,000 to 16,000 revolutions per minute (rpm) by an electric motor. A handle, located on the front of the plane, is used to adjust the depth of cut, ie the amount of wood material to be removed.
The planer blades, fixed on the drum, are housed in the back shoe in a retainer - the table resting on the wood to be planed. The basic and cheapest electric planes are only equipped with one iron.
Power planer: which size of irons to choose?
Standard electric planes are equipped with 82 mm wide irons. This planing surface, combined with a low weight, makes it possible to achieve chevrons (60 x 80 mm), battens (from 20 to 40 mm) and trim any piece of wood with a width less than 82 mm. Note that two passes on a single piece of wood with a width greater than 82 mm will leave a noticeable mark on the entire planed surface - any planing should be done in one single pass.
While they are very powerful, the carpenter's planes' weight makes them less manageable. These planes are generally reserved for heavy duty lumber work.
How to choose plane irons?
High-speed steel or HSS plane blades are suitable for working soft woods such as pine.
Electric plane: with or without wire?
Many manufacturers offer battery operated wireless planes - it's important to remember, however, that for a small planing job, the hand plane offers cuts up to 50 mm.
Electric plane: options and accessories
V-grooves under the shoe
Electric plane accessories
How much does an electric plane cost?
The quality of finish of an electric plane is relative to its intended use, namely whether its for occasional, regular or intensive use. Electric planes are available at all prices and for all types of work.
Electric plane: advice on purchase and use
To choose the right electric advice, consider the following characteristics:
- The length of the irons or the width of the shoe - relative to the pieces of wood you want to plane;
- The depth of the groove;
- The depth of cut;
- Aspiration or the presence of a chip-collecting bag;
- The quality of the delivered irons - HSS or tungsten carbide;
- The number of irons - one or two, relating to the quality of the plane.
Do not forget to use PPE - Personal Protective Equipment! Wear ear protectors and goggles! Wood shavings can damage the cornea when projected into someone's eye, not to mention the decibels issue (dB), as electric planes are very noisy! The same goes for respiratory protection, as the use of an electric planer releases a lot of dust... best to wear a mask!
For do-it-yourselfers and amateur carpenters gearing up, or the amateur who is just getting started, follow the links below for gardening-related accessories, advice from our editors and more helpful guides:
- How to choose your hand plane?
- How to choose your wireless power tools' battery?
- How to choose your power tools' battery charger?
- How to choose your sander?
- How to choose your workshop sander?
- How to choose your sandpaper and abrasive paper?
- How to choose your rough plane?
- How to choose your vacuum cleaner?
- How to choose your chip vacuum cleaner?
- How to choose your interior wood paint?
- How to choose your hardwood floors?
And to work safely:
John, DIYer & IT developer, Brighton 59 guides écrits
From a very young age, I was always fascinated by manual and technical work, especially woodworking. When I got my very first flat, it became my own personal DIY playground. I rewired some of the electricity (remember, safety first!) to better supply all my computers and gadgets. I also built partition walls and did some decorating with my wife. We worked on some made-to-measure furniture and came up with little tricks to optimise the space, keeping the original charm of the building in mind. When the little one arrived, I started building bits and pieces for him as well.
We don't have a lot of space, so I don't have a permanent workshop or certain tools I've always dreamed of owning. But with my IT background, I already know a lot about DIY, and I love helping others troubleshoot their ideas!