How To Use An Electric Hand Planer

How To Use An Electric Hand Planer

Do you intend to become a skilled, modern wooden worker? Then the best electric hand planer will be one of your best friends in the workshop. For lots of years, hand planers have even been identified as a carpenter’s main tool.

Better yet, electric versions of these tools were introduced lately. They do the exact same work. But unlike the traditional appliances, the electric versions are driven by a motor.

That said, did you get your own electric hand planer but are stuck on how you will use it? Do not worry anymore.

I have created a comprehensive post to show you how you can go around all that.

How to use an electric hand planer

The 1st step is ensuring you balance your body. To do this, ensure you stand with both your feet apart. Ensure the position in which you stand is extremely comfy with you. The standing posture should also make it convenient for you to pass the planer through your wood.

The other effect displayed on your work lumber will solely depend on your hand speed. I’m talking about the speed at which you’re pushing your planer and the cutting depth of the tool you choose. Before starting or making a pass, make sure you’ve made the right settings.

These setting will, of course, depend on the outcome you desire and the kind of tool you’re working on.

For instance, let’s assume you intend to hog off dimensional lumber. Then, in that case, adjusting your tool’s depth to approximately 1/8 will be better.

For a smoother and better finish on the hardwood, then setting it up to 1/32 or 1/64 can deliver the desired results.

Before you start working on the wood, also make sure that your tool’s blades are sufficiently sharp. Most electric hand planers retail with re-sharpen-able blades. This implies that you can sharpen them yourself using a whetstone.

Most electric planers also come with kickstands in order to protect the blade. Make sure that this feature is nicely positioned and elevated prior to making any pass.

Once you have made all these adjustments, then you can start working on your appliance. Electric hand planers basically operate on a single shoe or plate. Start the process by placing the planer’s front shoe flat on the lumber’s surface.

As you do this, make sure the blades on the tool do not come into direct contact with your wood.  This may damage the entire wood by making unnecessary cuts.

After this, switch on the tool’s motor and keep it in the running mode until the tool reaches maximum speed. Once it achieves the full speed, you can move the planer gradually. Do this until it comes into contact with the lumber then slowly start pushing it forward.

The good thing is, most electric hand planers retail with a handle. This has been put in place to make it comfortable for you to attain a firm grip.

So, as you push the appliance into the wood, keep the initial pressure on the grip. Also, do the same as the planer’s handle and adjustment knob comes into contact with the wood. Ensure you keep your body balance as well as the pressure you’ve been applying with your hand.

There is an unfortunate situation in the woodworking industry referred to as snipe. This means making an uneven cut on your piece of wood. To avoid this scenario, do not put in too much pressure at the end of each pass. In this place, simply push the electric planer once over the wood to make a single pass.


I hope that this post has enlightened you and brought you a step closer to using your electric hand planer as required. Note though, simply reading this post does not make you a master at using an electric hand planer. This is only a pointer of things you should do and how to go about it.

To get good at the craft, you will need days of consistent training and experience. While working with your hand planer, also ensure you stay safe. Regardless of whether you are a seasoned woodworker or a beginner, you may hurt yourself if you are not careful enough.

Happy woodworking.

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