How to choose an electric chimney sweeper: the 2 most important parameters
#1 ― absolute flatness of the tool sole
The most important thing in an electric slicer ― an unbreakable flatness of the back and front sole. This is critical, otherwise you will buy a sawdust maker instead of a good tool. On the treated wood it will leave concave or arched curves, but on wide boards ― sills.
Even if you reconfigure the unit, the problem is not solved. That is why you should take a ruler with you when choosing an electric planer. Put it against the sole of the tool.
- If the ruler aligns with the outermost points of the base and in the middle there is a gap (no straight line, no matter how you adjust it by turning the knob), ― do not buy, no matter how great the brand is and the price is attractive. When you plan your workpiece with it, it will have a concave shape. At first glance, this slit ―s nothing. But go over the surface three or four times, and the rounding gets worse.
- The second option ― the ruler will be flush near the drum, with gaps on the sides. In this case, while processing the workpiece the planer will deepen it ― t.е. Make inward curves.
Set the planes to zero position, set the ruler and watch. No gaps ― good. Then set to maximum stroke, and ruler to steel. Smooth fit? This is the kind of planer you can take.
It is important that the electric planer is equipped with a strong platform. Cheap models have flimsy plates, 1.5 mm on average. Practical if the sheets «sit» on the screws. By loosening or tightening them just a little you can adjust the perfect flatness. The plate cannot be aligned without screws.
No. 2 ― decide on the type of blades of your power tool
Knives are divided into two types (the markings are indicated on the blister/package):
- HSS (high speed steel) is 2-3 times cheaper than a carbide knife. But blunts faster.
- The HM (carbide) ― lasts 3 to 4 times longer. The knife is expensive and fragile. If you run into a fastener (a nail or a screw), the HM breaks like glass.
Carbide knives (thin strips) should line up exactly with the sole in its highest position. So as not to lift the tool. When the knife is built this way, it planes perfectly.
When working with soft wood (spruce, pine, fir), it is better to use HSS knives. Conifers are knotty and if they bump into a sprout, the HSS blade will not burst, it only leaves jagged edges. HM carbide knives are better for planing hardwoods (oak, ash, birch).
It’s time to change blades if you notice that the wood is no longer shiny after you rubbed it with the planer. And scuffing occurs. But do not rush to throw away blunt blades. They are good for rough planing when you are sure there are nails in the board and you need to plan through. You don’t mind killing them.
What electric planer to choose: 6 best models
Introducing our rating of electric planers. We recommend only quality tools.
Sparky P 3180
With 1500 watt motor ― it is the most powerful model in the manufacturer’s range. Three 180 mm wide double-sided blades for excellent wood processing. Planing depth adjustable from 0 to 2 mm.
In addition to horizontal planing, the Sparky P 3180 is used for chamfering (chamfering at the edges of boards). That’s what the V-groove is for. Aluminum sole with movable front end moves smoothly over the workpiece. Front handle position is adjustable. A construction vacuum cleaner is connected to collect the shavings. Included ― combined guide rails, blades, wrench, spare belt and chip evacuation adapter.
Interskol P110/1100 M
Powerful model with increased blade width of 110 mm. The Interskol P110/1100 M has a long base and high-speed steel blades. With 15.000 rpm it is perfect for finishing. Planes flat surfaces and edges. Cutting depth is adjustable. Power consumption 1100 W.
The tool is used stationary. For this purpose it is equipped with a fixture for stationary installation. Includes parallel stop, spigot, wrench, jig and sharpening tool.
Power output 1050W. Knife speed ― 12 thousand rpm. The Makita KP0810C handles soft and hard wood. Planing depth is adjustable. There is a measuring scale for this. Accuracy down to 0,01 mm. Maximum cutting thickness ― 4 mm.
Advantages ― Quick change of accessories, double wire insulation, reinforced cord and protection against accidental start up. Can connect a vacuum cleaner. There is a spigot on the right and left side of the housing. There is a tip-up stop on the base plate. It retracts immediately after finishing the pass. This allows you to put the planer on the workbench without waiting for the knives to stop. Comes in a carrying case. Includes two double-sided blades, blade setting pattern, parallel stop, and socket wrench.
Bosch PHO 1500
Lightweight and compact household class tool. Weighs only 2.4 kg and is easy to work with. The Bosch PHO 1500 is equipped with a 550 W motor. Speed ― 19,500 rpm. Special feature ― the patented Woodrazor blade system. They cut the material cleanly and effortlessly. Changing tooling is easy.
Of the settings, there is a setting depth of planing in 0.25 mm increments. Set up with a handy swivel handle. Maximum depth ― 1,5 mm. For chamfering, there is a V-groove in the front part of the base plate. The foot width is standard ― 82 mm. The housing has a special connector for connecting a dust bag or vacuum cleaner. Keeps work area clean and free of debris.
Power 1200 watts. ― 15 thousand rpm. The Makita 1806B cuts even hardwood quickly and efficiently. Important advantage ― adjustable cutting depth. Maximum cutting thickness ― 2 mm. The big width of knife ― 170 mm. Its position can be adjusted.
Improved planer design. Extended support plate fits snugly on the workpiece. This allows the tool to be seen more accurately. Another advantage ― effective chip removal with a wide tube. Advanced accessories include carbide blade, workpiece holder, parallel stop, wrench, and blade holder template.
Bosch GHO 6500
Powerful, maximum cutting depth up to 2, 6 mm. The Bosch GHO 6500 is designed for right and left handers. The parking shoe protects the wood from damage. And no unnecessary shavings! High cutting speeds in different types of wood are provided by the 650 W motor.
The tool handles corners accurately and flexibly with three V-grooves. Maximum cutting depth ― 9 mm. The unit is equipped with a hexagon socket wrench, a parallel stop, a sharpening device for HSS knives, and a calibration template for HSS knives.
Power Pliers Comparison
|Model||Power||Turning speed||Maximum cutting depth||Price|
|Sparky P 3180||1500 W||15000 rpm||2 mm|
|Interskol P110/1100 M||1100W||15000 rpm||3,5 mm|
|Makita KP0810C||1050 W||12000 rpm||4 mm|
|Bosch PHO 1500||550 W||19500 rpm||1,5 mm|
|Makita 1806B||1200 W||15000 rpm||2 mm|
|Bosch GHO 6500||650 W||16500 rpm||2.6 mm|
Eugene Chobot Sparky P 3180: «I work a lot with wood, I bought this planer. The quality of the surfaces to be treated is satisfactory, the processing speed has increased significantly. For a pro or an amateur is great».
Leonid Monyak, Sparky P 3180: «The accuracy of processing for me is a priority. And this model has an adjustable planing depth setting. The power indicator was also helpful. Not disappointed with the choice».
Evgeny Borisovich about the Interskol P110/1100 M: «The noisiness is higher in comparison with the Makita KP0810! The impression is that the Makita is more powerful, although the characteristics do not. Advantages: there is a fastener for stationary installation. Reasonable price. Comes with a spare belt and an extra set of sharpening blades (usually glued to the bottom of the bed).
– Disadvantages: Noisy, strong vibration, one of the bearings on which the drum with blades rotates, pressed into the plastic».
Volodymyr, Interskol P110/1100 M: «They think that it is important to change the lezza. The price is affordable. Leza I sharpened, no problem, there in the set there is a special clamp and a plastic template in a box. Metal plate is screwed to the saw blade, and then the saw blade is inserted into the planer. When the saw is on the jig, it is easy to accurately position and screw there also. This ensures that the wood in the planer immediately falls into place, they only need to be fixed with four screws. It comes with a metal plate for fastening to the table.
– Disadvantages: missing sawtooth bag».
Oleg In my review of the Makita KP0810C: «Makita is famous for reliable tools. This planer is no exception. Maximum length of the blade protrusion ― 4 mm, enough for quality woodworking. Excellent chip evacuation system, it flew to the floor, not flying around the room. Low weight. Comfortable in operation. Easy to clean».
Vitalik, Makita KP0810C: «The thing is worth it. Quickly coped with the rough floor, where the differences of 2-3 cm. Has not broken even once, although it works since 2010».
Artyom The Bosch PHO 1500: «The electric planer was convenient and practical in operation. Not heavy by weight, he has a rubberized handle. Good power. The only downside ― short cable: 2 meters sometimes not enough».
Boris, Bosch GHO 6500: «The rotation speed of 16500 rpm is enough to process any wood, even I tried to work with oak. Of course, with hardwood you have to put a shallow plunge if you pass twice. Short cord, have to lug extension cord».
Nazar writes in his review of the Makita 1806B: «Powerful. Platform with a huge width of processing. I have been working with it for more than five years and I have not regretted it once. Knife sharpening is enough for a long time. All parts are of high quality».
How to work with an electric planer
- Clamp the piece you are working on. Remove screws, nails from wood.
- Adjust the planing depth by turning the handle of the tool.
- Use the switch to select the side where the chips come out. Attach a vacuum cleaner or dust bag.
- Plug the power cord into the socket. Place the front of the electric planer on the workpiece to be cut. Make sure that the blades do not touch the workpiece.
- Turn on an electric planer.
- Planing, while applying more force to the front of the tool.
- Guide it forward without jerking. When the blades are no longer touching the work surface, raise the tool.
Watch a video on how to plan with an electric planer
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