This is my favourite of all Cordless Power Tools. To occasional DIYers like me, planning can be the most deceptively difficult task to execute quickly and smoothly. It looks so simple – just glide your block planer over the wood, yes?
No way, José. It takes practice and lots of it to avoid snagging the surface or gouging some sections deeper than others. Some of my early efforts reminded me of my first attempts at shaving when I was about fifteen. Just as well that timber doesn’t bleed. This is why the cordless planer is an absolute godsend.
Many modern cordless planers come with the latest Lion (Lithium Ion) 18 volt battery that can recharge in a little over 20 minutes and give you enough usage time to complete most simple woodworking tasks. The learning curve is really fast and you will almost certainly get a perfectly smooth result from the very first time you use one. They really do make planning effortless.
Typically you can set the depth to anything up to 2 mm and the cutter head is usually about 3 inches wide. Dimensions vary by model but they all offer a great user experience. Then again, they would say that.
Planing obviously removes slivers of wood as they gouge the surface. Where do these offcuts go? Out through a little chute at the side, just like a lawnmower. The best models offer you the option of discharging to the left or to the right. This is not so much based on whether you are a normal human being or a leftie like me. No. It means you can adjust to the job at hand in conditions where you specifically want your detritus to be discarded to one side only. Genius!
Despite the benefits, cordless planers are one trick ponies compared to the old fashioned metal block planer that you may be familiar with. They are fantastic on the straight, like a speed car on salt flats. But they can’t perform like the old timers when it comes to chamfering or detailed work on curved surfaces, for example. As against that, they save a lot of time on the most common, simple planing tasks. It really is a case of horses for courses.