When tackling a huge project, it’s easier to use automated equipment for some tasks instead of using a power tool. Even the best electronic tools can still fall short to the requirements of some building tasks so they will not exactly provide the help you need to get the results you want.
This is particularly true for planers. While handheld ones like WEN 6530 can be sufficient for various projects, the ones that require large boards will take forever to smoothen if you’ll use such a device. A benchtop planer will make the process faster and more efficient.
Benchtop planers are huge, heavy duty, and major workhorses, so they can really add a lot of functionality in any workshop. So if you’re planning on giving a large renovation or build project a try, getting one would be a good idea.
If the thing that’s holding you back from getting a benchtop planer is its possible hefty price tag, then you don’t have to worry anymore. With the WEN 6550, even those who think they do not have the budget for a benchtop planer might reconsider.
Since WEN is best known for its friendly priced products, you don’t have to fret about the price tag that comes with the 6550T. It’s honestly one of the most affordable ones in the market. In fact, it’s even comparable to many high-end handheld thicknessers. So if you don’t want to spend an arm and a leg on your first benchtop planer, you don’t really have to with the WEN 6550.
To help you get to know this product more, read on for our WEN 6550 planer review.
- 12.5” wide
- 15AMP motor creates 17,000 cuts per minute
- 26 feet per minute feed rate promises fast run thru
- 3-blade cutter head promise effectiveness on hardwood
- Tri-Roller Feeding System for snipe prevention
- Adjustable depth from 0 to 3/32 of an inch
- Adjustable width promise safety and ease of use
- Fan-assisted dust port prevents clogging
- Granite table provides sturdiness, stability, and marring protection
- Cast iron frame guarantees durability and sturdiness
- Rubberized carry handles offer easy transportation
- Assembly tools included
- Can handle up to 6” thick boards
- Well-thought-out additional features
- Non-marring foldable granite table
- Designed to handle hardwood without too much fuss
- Solid construction
- Portable design and not so heavy
- Easy to store
- Rubberized carry handles make it easier to handle
- Easy to adjust according to your needs
- Good dust collection design
- Blades can be rotated to extend their lifespan
- Handles are only attached to the main body using two screws so they might not be as secure as many would like
- Reports of the bearings going out after a couple of uses
Why Buy This Power Tool
Many will agree when we say that the WEN 6550T is impressive right off the bat. Anyone who will see this item alongside its list of features will already feel compelled to check it out with how nice it is on paper.
However, that’s not enough if you want to end up with the right tool. As planers play a huge role in many projects, it’s an absolute must to find a good product that will suit your needs and requirements.
Will the WEN 6550T be that very product for you? We’ve listed down the best reasons why you should consider getting this product below, so check them out.
For its price tag, lots of folks don’t really expect much from this product. This is why it’s quite surprising that it has a very solid construction.
Just how solid, you ask? For starters, it has a cast iron housing. Yes, you’ve read that right: the exterior of the 6550 is made from heavy, solid steel. Because of this, you can be guaranteed that its internal parts are protected.
Another great thing about its casing is that you don’t have to worry about its housing deteriorating over time. Plastic can get brittle as it gets old which will make it hard to work with. With a cast iron casing, you’re guaranteed that your benchtop planer will stay sturdy through the years.
Aside from its housing, its granite tables also add durability and sturdiness to this unit. The solid material guarantees that you don’t have to worry about warping or dents as it can handle heavy items with great ease.
It might not look like it but the 6550t is also quite portable. It’s not exactly lightweight but at 70 lbs, it’s also not that heavy. You can already lug it around with some exertion. In any case, it’s still possible to move around without needing a team of bodybuilders and that’s good enough for those who often need to work away from their workshops.
It’s also designed to be portable. It’s equipped with handles so you have somewhere to grab onto. They’re also rubberized so the housing material won’t cut into your skin and fingers while carrying it.
The granite tables are also foldable. As a result, it can be made more compact so you can lift it up without a fuss. This also makes the unit easier to store, in case you don’t have enough surface space in your workshop to leave it in one spot.
Next to its design and construction, its performance is also noteworthy. With its friendly price tag, not everyone might have high expectations from this unit but it’s actually really powerful. With a 15AMP motor, it’s safe to say that it can already compete with the offerings of more expensive brands.
How well does it perform? It has been rated to produce 8500 RPM and create up to 17,000 cuts per minute. It’s not at the same rate as other higher-end planers but these are already decent numbers. Combined with a26 feet per minute feed rate, it can already be more than enough for many woodworkers.
Its adjustable width and depth settings also further boost the performance of this product. For one, this planer can handle boards that are up to 6” thick so you can definitely get a lot of use with it if you work with different sized materials and projects.
Its adjustable width also makes it rather versatile as you don’t have to worry about cutting boards that are narrower than 12”. With these features, you can definitely do a lot more with this tool.
Functional additional features
What really stands out about this product is the additional features that make it a lot more convenient to have around. They may not seem like much at first glance but once you think about it, they significantly improve the usability of the item.
Its fan-assisted dust port is possibly the best example of this. The fan is added to help push the sawdust and chips out the port and maybe into a vacuum or a dust bag. It’s also meant to prevent clogs so you can continuously use the planer without a hitch.
Its 3-blade design is also a great touch. Lots of other benchtop planers only have two blades so they have limitations in which kinds of wood they can work with. With three blades, this planer can already handle hardwood, giving it more versatility and functionality.
The way that the blades are designed to be installed is also a nice thing to note. It’s easy to install and take out so you will not have a problem with replacing them. You can even rotate the blades if you want so they wear out evenly. Doing so will also prolong their lifespan.
The use of granite table is also a nice touch. This surface is made to be non-marring, so you don’t have to worry about the surface of your boards.
The pre-drilled holes at the base of the unit come in handy. If you’re planning on mounting this item on a table in your workshop, you won’t have a hard time doing so, thanks to this additional feature.
Amazing value for the money
With all of these said, it’s easy to see that this product also offers some solid bang for your buck. It continues to surprise lots of people with its excellent features as not a lot of items in its price point can closely compare. So, if you’re on a tight budget but still want something that will perform well, the WEN 6550 planer will be an excellent choice.
Can it handle small pieces of wood?
It’s not recommended to be used on wood shorter than 15” as per the manual.
Where can I find replacement blades?
You can buy some from the manufacturer (WEN) or other brands that offer items with similar dimensions and specifications.
Is it self-feeding?
Yes, you only need to push in the wood until the rollers grab to it. However, you might want to take some measures to prevent sniping.
Are the infeed and outfeed tables foldable?
Yes, you can fold up the granite tables of the 6550t. This helps make it more portable.
How bad is its snipe?
As snipes can be hard to avoid when it comes to benchtop planers, you will be glad to know that this item is designed to minimize such issues. Its tri-roller feeding system helps prevent snipe, allowing you to get the smoothest results possible.