A thickness planer provides the best result for smoothening rough surfaces, reclaiming old lumber boards, or planning boards to a consistent thickness. It is an alternative to a bigger thickness planer but does its job perfectly. A portable thickness planer is the best choice if you have a small and compact woodshop.
Whether you are a professional woodworker or a DIYer, you will need the best tools for your woodworking. Choosing the best thickness planer without any guidelines to help you is pretty tricky. For this reason, I am providing a guideline with the Bauer thickness planer review. My in-depth review will help you choose the best thickness planer, among others.
BAUER Thickness Planer Review
This thickness planer is manufactured by Harbor Freight and has a 15-amp powerful motor. You can reduce the thickness of your woodblock to meet specific requirements for your project. The planer will save a lot of time needed for sanding by smoothening the face or edge grain.
Reclaiming old lumber pieces is so much easy with this planer. You can make something useful from salvaged woods without throwing them away.
You don’t have to go through various processes to set up this planer. This thickness planer comes in well packaged with a couple of valuable pieces. Place the planer on your workbench or table and attach the dust collector and the handle. This is all you have to do for setting up the planer.
There is an Allen key provided with the planer. This Allen key will help you to attach and detach the dust collector and the handle.
With the help of the height gauge, you can determine at what height the blade is positioned. The handle will help you to raise the blade or lower the blade. The blade goes 1/32 of an inch up or down with every quarter-turn of the handle.
The blades attached to the planer are removable. You will need the provided Allen key to remove the blades. There are two blades, and both are double-sided. If one side gets blunted, then only by flipping the blade you can get a new cutting edge. This will prevent buying blades more frequently.
For helping you in removing the blades, there are two magnets provided with the thickness planer. So, you don’t have to worry about cutting skin and flesh while changing the blades. Even though the magnets prevent a direct connection with the blade, you should wear gloves for extra protection.
At max 12-inch width of woodblock, you can feed through the planer. But there is no limit to the length of the blocks. You can pass small to very long woodblocks. But the longer the wood piece is, the more chance you will get a snipe from the planer.
The maximum cutting depth of the planer is 3.32-inch. The planer can take up to a 6-inch-thick board.
The planer comes with a dust collector with an adapter. The dust collector collects wood dust produced by the planer. Then the collector shoots the dust through the collector pipe to one side of the planer. By joining the adapter to the collector pipe, you can attach a vacuum for more controlled dust collection.
The infeed and outfeed tables may not come level with the tray underneath the blades. Using two levelling screws for each table, you can position the tables to your preferred state.
The power switch of the planer has a removable safety key. This will prevent kids or unwanted persons from turning on the planer and harming themselves.
The planer produces a loud sound when you run woodblocks through it. So, you are recommended to wear noise-cancelling headphones while working with the planer.
- The blades are double-sided and removable
- Can accommodate 12-inch width of a block
- An Allen key is provided for easy removal of the blades
- The dust collector has an adapter for attaching a vacuum
- The power switch has a removable safety key
- The thickness planer is very noisy
Effective Use of a Thickness Planer
If you are a woodworker, then you will find thickness planer an essential tool. A thickness planer will fine-tune your woodwork to a professional level if you know how to use a planer. How good a thickness planer will perform depends on how well you can operate the planer. Let’s discuss some common situations and use some features to get the best result out of a planer.
The most used feature of a thickness planer is the blade adjuster. For adjusting the cuts, you will need to rely on the height gauge of the planer. A good planer will have an easy lowering and raising of the cutter blade with accurate measurement. So, you can plane things to specific thicknesses on a planer without even measuring the wood piece.
Don’t set the cutter head too low as this can damage the cutter head or take too many shavings from the lumber. Lowering the cutter too much can also make the thickness planer unusable.
Some planer has a feature called material removal gauge. The material removal gauge will tell you how much depth the cutter will go. This will help you set the height at which you want to plane.
Another feature is the leveling screws. The leveling screws will help you to level the infeed and outfeed trays with the base. Leveling the trays is necessary as slightly lower or elevated trays according to the base can cause snipe. Snipe is a situation where the cutter takes a little bit of extra cut out of one side or the other or both.
Even after leveling the trays, you can get snipe. The effective way of eliminating the snipe is using a piece of scrap wood that has the same thickness as the actual board. Run the actual board immediately after the scrap wood. When the scrap wood passes the cutter, move around the scrap wood for another pass by touching the end grain of the actual board.
You can get grain to tear out when the cutters are running against the grain of the wood. You can avoid this by placing the board in a way that cutters will cut along the grain.
Things To Remember When Using a Thickness Planer
A thickness planer is a powerful woodworking tool. This tool can cause mild to great physical damage if you are not cautious and take necessary precautions. I’m mentioning some points that you should consider when working with a thickness planer. Take a look at the points to work with a thickness planer in the safest way possible.
Wear Protective Glasses
Usually, a thickness planner produces a lot of wood shavings. The planers come with a dust collector for collecting wood dust. While collecting dust, the collector shoots those dust in a specific way from the outfeed position.
A dust collector isn’t entirely effective in collecting dust as some dust spreads from the infeed position. This dust can hit your eyes even if you are maintaining a distance from the planer. So, the best practice is to use a protective glass.
Thickness Planers Are Loud
Thickness planers are noisy tools compared to other woodworking tools. Your hearing can get damaged from the long-term use of a planner. If you rarely use the thickness planner with no ear protection, you can get away without any damage. Nonetheless, it would be best if you used noise-canceling headphones every time using a planer.
Point to be noted that a spiral cutter head produces less noise than a straight cutter. For reducing noise, some manufacturer uses spiral cutter head in their thickness planer.
Attach a Vacuum
To be more cleaned and organized with your planer, attach a vacuum with your planer dust collector. Without vacuum, the dust collector will shoot wood dust. The dust will make a mess for your woodshop.
If your woodshop is small and compact, the wood dust can get into places where extracting them will be a pain. So, permanently attach a vacuum if you don’t want wood dust to spread all over your workplace.
Don’t Touch the Cutters
Touching the blades in any situation will not be a good idea. Even if the planer is turned off, don’t throw your hands underneath the cutters just for checking them. The cutters are sharp enough to leave small to deep cuts to your hands.
Wear gloves when you are dealing with the blades, like replacing them when needed. Keep your hands from getting too close to the cutting area when feeding a woodblock through the planer.
Frequently Asked Questions are Answered
1. Are Thickness Planers Worth it?
If you are a professional woodworker, you will likely want to invest in a thickness planer. If you are just getting into woodworking, you can get by with a thickness planer in a pinch. The most important thing to consider is what kind of wood you will need to work with. A thickness planer will help you make all kinds of wood products.
2. What Can You do With a Thickness Planer?
Thickness planers are used for many things:
- Thickness planing of wood for furniture making.
- Thickness planing of wood for making wooden boxes and crates, and other wooden containers.
- Thickness planing of wood for making pallets.
- Thickness planing of wood for making wooden beams and planks and other wooden products.
- Thickness planing of wood for making veneers.
The thickness planer is the best solution for any of these tasks.
3. Who is Bauer Tools Made by?
Bauer Tools is a USA company that offers a wide variety of woodworking tools. Bauer Tools is a well-known Harbor Freight brand that provides woodworking tools for professional woodworkers and amateur woodworkers.
4. Is Bauer Harbor Freight brand?
Yes, Harbor Freight is the brand name for Bauer Tools.
5. Is Bauer a Good Brand?
Yes, Harbor Freight is a well-known company that offers a wide variety of woodworking tools for professional woodworkers and amateur woodworkers.
6. How do You Use a Harbor Freight Wood Planer?
To use a Harbor Freight wood planer, you will need to attach the planer to a fence or another sturdy surface and then place the workpiece into the planer. You will then need to adjust the fence so that the saw travels along the surface of the workpiece. You will then need to turn the planer on, and you will use it to remove the waste material from the wood.
I hope my Bauer thickness planer review will help to get yourself the best thickness planer for your woodworking. Post your thoughts and questions in the comment section if you have any.
Best wishes in experiencing the quality thickness planer.
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