The origin of planers was in the ancient city of Rome and made woodworkers life easier ever since. In the beginning, a rectangular shaped wooden blocks along with a metal blade was used to make the planers.
That wooden block had an opening in the center to put the metal blade and another wooden block was used to brace the metal part.
As time advanced, wood planers got remarkable development in their types. Here you get the description and uses of 45 types of wood planers for your daily projects.
According to Power Source
1. Hand Planers
Among all the planers available in the market hand planers are oldest. Usually a regular hand planer consists of sharpened metal plate, attached to a steady body.
When that steady body moved over a wood surface, metal part shaves the high spots and make the surface smooth. During this process you will need to force the surface with strong muscle power.
Block planer, trimming planer, bench planer, spoke planer, pocket planer are the variations of hand planers.
2. Two-handed Planer or Spokeshave
A spokeshave has two handles like a bicycle, so that you can put more muscle force with your both hands parallel. Unlike hand planers, two-handed planer are made of metal only, though wood had used at the inception. Some specific kind of woodworks need spokeshave tool, for example chair legs, arrows, bows etc.
3. Combination RASP or Surform Plane
Surform is a combination of word surface and forming. Which means surform is a surface forming tool and it is shaped like a plane. It looks like a food grater made of perforated metal sheet. This plane takes out the particular surface layer by layer and widely used to reduce the thickness of the subject. It also used to shape the edge. This tool not only used to shape the wooden part, but also for shaping foam, rubber, soft metals, and plastic.
4. Flat plane bottom-edged wood hand planers
This is a small yet great tool for your DYI projects. It is made with a wooden block which has a rectangular hole in the center and place a sharp and durable steel blade in that hole. Normally this planer doesn’t consist of any handles, but sometimes this may come with handles to hold and you can use it for trimming a wood.
5. Hand Scraper
It is a long metal tool which has a single sharp edge at the bottom. This tool is used on wooden or metal surface, to clean the stains or to give a decorative finish.
1. Handheld Planer
Electric handheld planer is a necessary tool for woodworkers who works on big projects. It is a motorized version of hand planers. If you don’t want to use your muscle power, you can use an electric planer easily. This tool mainly used to smooth the surface of a wood.
Check the comparison of Hand Planer and Jointer.
2. Benchtop Planer
A benchtop planer is also known as portable thickness planer. This tool trims rough, uneven, old wood and make it useable for the project. It can reduce the thickness of a piece of wood, makes both side smooth. It can trims one side of a wood or board at a time.
3. Moulding Planer/ Molding Planer
To make a complex decorative shape and design on wood, moulding planer is an excellent tool to use. Moulder is a moderate duty machine and usually used on a hardwood.
4. Stationary Planer
If you work with a heavy wide pieces large volume of woods regularly, a stationary planer is must. Stationary planer is considered as a heavy duty planer. This tool comes in different shapes and sizes. It needs a large space to hold in.
According to Production Material
1. Wooden Plane
Wooden Plane is made of wood only and a sharp metal blade to cut the wood surface. A wooden wedge is used to put the iron or metal blade, which is adjusted by hammer. Many traditional woodworker’s choose this tool initial, because of the ease of use. The purpose of using wooden plane is same like other planes, to smoothen the surface.
2. Metal Plane
Metal plane is entirely made of metal except handle or knobs. This tool looks simple, but a lot of metal items are used to make it for example chip breaker with cutting edge, iron blade, Lever cap, lever cap screw, blade adjuster, and steel sole on the base. Metal plane is used for reducing the size, leveling or smoothing.
3. Transitional Plane
Transitional plane are kind of hybrid plane. They are hybrid in the sense that, these are half way between a wooden plane and a metal plane. It has wooden body which is held by a metal casting set to adjust the blade. Before using this tool on any wood, you have to make sure that the intended wood body is in good shape.
4. Infill Planes
It is made of hardwood on which a blade slides in and a handle is formed from that wood. This whole wooden part is covered by a metal shape, which looks like the metal is filled with wooden. This tool is used to smoothen a difficult grained woods.
5. Side-escapement plane
According to the material and shape it is a longer version of a wooden plane. It has a tall narrow wooden body and an iron blade is placed by a wedge. Unlike the mechanism of other wood planer, instead of being expelled from the center of the plane and exiting from the top, these planes have a slit in the side by which the shaving is ejected.
Types of Planer Machines
1. Standard or Double housing planer
It is the most common planer tools to use in workshops. Double housing planer has a long heavy base which is also called bed on which a table reciprocates on accurate guide ways. The bed is longer than the table and made of iron. Near the middle of the base two big vertical housings are mounted. This tool has no vibration and has high resistance to Torsion with a high life period.
2. Open side planer
It has heavy base just like the double housing planner, but it has one housing on one side of the base. Since it has only one housing and other side being opened, large and wide woods may go through easily. As a result big and wide woods can be smoothen with this tool.
3. Pit planer
The size of a regular pit planer is larger than above mentioned planers and it is different from a regular planer. In this tool the table is fixed and the column which carries the cross rail, reciprocates on a big horizontal rails. Those horizontal rails are mounted on each side of the table. This tool used on very large projects.
4. Edge or plate planer
It has many air operated clams, those clams fastened the plate with the bed. The cutting tool is located in the center and held to a carriage, which can move forward and backward by an electric motor. Usually this tool is used for squaring and beveling the edges of steel plates.
5. Divided table planer
Divided table planer has two work tables which can be reciprocated jointly or solely. This type design is made for nonstop production process. One table can be used for setting up on going production and another table can be used for moving the end result from first table.
Types of Planer according to Their Use
1. Block Plane
2. Scrub Plane
The sole of the scrub plane is short and it has a thick blade. The edge of the blade is deeply curved with a very wide mouth. This tool is short, narrow and strong which is used to remove large amount of wood from any surface. With different blades this can be used on wooden or metal surface.
3. Jointer Plane
Jointer plane is also called as try plane. It categorized as a hand plane family sized about 24 inches, but nowadays it has electronic alternatives too. The function of this tool is to smoothen flat edges on long pieces of wood before jointing them edge to edge.
4. Jack Plane
It is a type of bench plane which can start its work after the scrub plane leaves off until and works until fore plane start its work. Jake plane is used to shave tiny amount of woods. It is 11.5 inches to 15 inches long, a little bit longer than smoothing plane.
5. Smoothing Plane
Generally a smoothing plane is 8-10 inches long with an adjustable throat which allows superior shaving. You have to use both hands to use this tool. This is the last plane used on a woodworking project to give finishing touch and make the wooden surface smoothen.
Check the differences of jack plane and smoothing plane.
6. Fore Plane
Fore plane is longer than jack plane but shorter than jointer plane. This tool starts its work after scrub plane and jack plane completed their works. This single tool can be used for dual purpose, sizing and levelling long edges. Preliminary smoothing job starts with this tool.
7. Trimming Plane
It is also known as chisel plane, sized about 6.5 inches and 1.75 inches wide. It has a full-width blade which is exposed like chisel. Unlike chisel, blade of a trimming plane can be set its level with the sole. It is used to clean or shape up the corners or joints.
8. Thickness Planer
Thickness Planer used in a woodworking project for trimming boards to a consistent thickness for both surfaces. At a time it can plane only one side of a board, which gives a smooth surface and consistent thickness. Unlike other planer, the cutter head on a thickness planer is directed by opposite surface of the board.
9. Router Plane
Router plane has a narrow cutting head with handles on both side. It is used to make sunken panel smooth and for an accurate deep cuts, for example on door locks, hinge gains, inlay and so on.
10. Traditional Japanese Plane or Kanna
The operation of kanna is different than other planes. To work with this tool user have to pull towards them rather than pushing forward. This tool is made of Japanese white or red oak, sometimes from hardwood. Sometimes a smoothing plane fails to do its job perfectly, in that case Kanna helps to clean the imperfection and make the work more smoothen.
Some Other types of Special Planer
1. Rabbet Plane
Rabbet plane also called rabet plane. It is used to cut rebates in wood. Two versions are available in the market, wooden and metal. This tool has some variations too. For example, duplex rabbet plane with two blades on different location and some with single blade.
2. Shoulder Plane
At the edge of shoulder plane, a blade is located which trims right up the age of a wooden piece. This tool is designed to trim the shoulders and faces of tenons. It also helps to trim and improves the end grain, cut joints, and grooves.
3. Fillister plane
It is similar to a rabbet plane with an adjustable fence that rolls on the board’s edge to cut rabbets, grooves etc. It is also called sash fillister plane, which is used in a window sash bar.
4. Grooving Plane
Grooving plane is designed to cut grooves in wood with a very narrow shapes. Usually this tool is used to make drawer, box bottoms and cabinet backs.
5. Bedrock plane
Bedrock plane falls in bench plane category and it is developed by Stanley Works. This is an upgraded version of bailey plane. The core upgrade was in the frog. Unlike bailey plane, on bedrock plane frog extends and work as a support for the iron almost to its cutting edge.
6. Chisel Plane
Chisel Plane is also called trimming plane, which is popular for its accessibility. It has a cutting edge at the front and it can reach into internal corner of a wooden structures to trim dried glue or coats of paint.
7. Finger Plane
Finger plane is a tiny plane which consists brass body. Generally this tool is used by violin and guitar makers to trim finally after glue work, specially levelling curved instrument tops. Since it a small tool, it cannot be adjusted like other planes.
8. Bullnose Plane
It is a very small tool which has a very short leading edge in front of its body and it looks like a rounded nose. It was named after that rounded nose. Mostly noses are fixed, but there are few exceptions with removable toes. This tool is used in tight spaces.
9. Combination Plane
Combination plane has various cutters and adjustment, which combines the function of rebate, moulding and grooving planes. It is a three in one tool to work for rebating, grooving, cutting dados and groove joints.
Some type of combination plane has special soles and irons which can cut on different shapes which are referred as reeding, noosing and fluting.
10. Compass or Circular Plane
This tool works like a compass, which is designed for planing convex and concave curves or circles in wood. It has an adjustment system to create a uniform curve. With the concave setting, it can plane large curve, for instance on table sides and plane small curve with convex setting, for instance on table legs.
11. Toothed Plane
This plane is used for smoothing wood which has some irregular grains. It has a serrated edge with high angle block, where angle varies from 65 to 90 degrees. Basically this tool scratches the surface of the wood to take off strings and prepare for traditional hammer veneering applications.
12. Match Plane
Match plane also called tongue and groove plane. This plane made in pairs and does two jobs at the same time. One plane cut the groove and other the tongue for making the tongue and groove joint.
13. Helical Head Planer
It is a heavy duty cast iron and steel constructed oversized planer with an adequate power which is used to remove excess material quickly and accurately. This tool transforms rough lumber into smooth boards quickly and quietly.
14. Spar Plane
This tool is used for smoothing round shapes wood, for example chair legs and boat masts. This is a must have tool for boat builders. It comes with different sizes and boat builders might need 6-8 of them to finish their boat project.
15. Chamfer plane
This tool is needed for making chamfered edges on woods especially on furniture. Instead of a traditional wooden wedge chamfer plane has a metal chip breaker with a cap screw. This tool can be made at home, but a high- carbon steel blade will help to get desired tissue-thin shaving even on hardwoods.
16. Razee plane
The shape of a razee plane is unique. The rear part of this tool is lowered in a cutaway style, which helps a better balance as the handle is just behind the point where the plane body is lowered. Usually it is used by shipwrights
There are various brands who manufactured different types of wood planers. Some of these brands are