How To Use An Electric Planer (Detailed Instructions & Tips For Amateurs)

How To Use An Electric Planer

Proficiently using an electric planer will help you save a lot of time and increase your enjoyment in woodworking.

However, electric planers have their peculiarities making using them a bit tricky. Many people fail to look for the proper way to use an electric planer.

There is no need to fret too much because this detailed article will walk you through tips on how to use an electric planer.

You will find using an electric planer is not as difficult as you think. Continue reading to get your mind across.

What Is An Electric Planer?

Nowadays, when it comes to carpentry, the electric planer plays an indispensable part. An electric planer is a tool used to remove amounts of wood by shaving it off step by step.

An electronic planer has a simple construction with a rotating set of blades positioned between two base plates. Two plates play different roles in the functioning of an electric planer.

The non-adjustable plate behind the rotating blades provides a stable surface for the tool when it smoothly passes over the lumber face.

Conserve, its front plate is adjustable; therefore, moving it to set the depth of cut is a piece of cake.

Things To Know Before Using An Electric Planer?

Check your electric planer

It is vital to measure the necessary adjustments and checks before you start using an electric planer. Also, keep in mind to adjust the cutting depth of the electric planer according to your project goals.

For example, cutting dimensional lumber requires a cutting depth of 1/8 inches, while smoother finishes require lower cutting depth with 1/32 or 1/64 inches of depth.

Moreover, your blades’ sharpness is also one crucial thing requiring a regular check. You can not plane wood with your electric planer if the blades are too dull.

At this point, it will be better to use a whetstone to sharpen them up immediately.

However, if your tool is the best model with self-sharpening blades, there is no need for you to bother too much about your blades’ sharpness.

Wear your protective gear

How To Use Electric Planer

You need to get across the main point that electric planers are power tools. Sometimes, they can be dangerous if misused.

Thus, wearing protective gear is the best way to prevent you from getting hurt if something wrong happens.

It is vital to protect your hearing and eyes when working with them. Moreover, wear dust masks to prevent inhalation of dangerous chemicals found in some woods.

When planning something above your head that is too high to reach, you need to use a walk plank set between two ladders to get to its position quickly. Remember to prioritize safety first.

Properly balance your body

Keep in your mind that balancing your body is crucial when you use an electric planer. Improper balance can throw you off when you work with a wooden surface or a tool, which damages your work or yourself.

This is why you need to ensure that you’ve learned how to balance your body correctly.

The best way to position your body is to keep your feet well apart until you feel comfortable in the new position.

Then, make sure you have proper support and enough force in your hands to push through with the planer in this new position.

Learn by heart safety instructions

There are some safety tips you need to know before using an electric planer to enjoy a safe working environment:

  • Use two hands with the same hand pressure throughout the process to keep your tool steady while operating.
  • Ensure that your electric planer is disconnected from power when you are changing the blades
  • Avoid putting the planer down if the blades are still running because it will make your electric planer broken down.
  • Make sure that the working area is smooth and there are no bumps when operating your electric planer.
  • Tighten the blade-locking screws.

How To Use An Electric Planer?

How to plane wood with an electric planer on a tabletop?

Using an electric planer on tabletop projects is not a challenging task. The most outstanding feature of the electric planer is to remove surface-level stains, paints, and protective coatings.

With an electric planer, dents, cuts, or gouges on the table are expected to be smoothened.

First, cleaning the surface of the table before using your electric planer is necessary. Using a rag soaked in water or a cleaner is the most effective way to remove debris.

Unfortunately, any residues or debris left also causes damage to the blades or foot of the planer, which makes your electric planer decrease in performance.

How To Plane Wood With Electric Planer

Then, make sure that there is no hardware left in the tool’s path.

Before you start planning wood by using an electric planer, you should bear in mind to make a careful check to remove embedded metal fasteners.

If these metal fasteners still exit in your planer’s tooth, your electric one will break down in the nick of time.

Also, the most important thing is taking notice of the grain direction. Grain direction is different from each other according to the table surface.

For example, some tabletops with alternating patterns require using the planer at a 45-degree angle to prevent damage.

How to plane wood with an electric planer on wide boards

Step 1 – Flatten the surface

Place the wide board on a flat surface and make it steady with shims to prevent the board from rocking when you work.

Step 2 – Shave off high areas

Mark the high spots with a gauge and a lumber crayon to get the point you want to remove. After that, use your electric planer to shave off the high areas you have marked.

You need to keep in mind to cut along the wood grain to prevent your wood from being damaged.

Step 3 – Check the flatness of the wood

The best way to determine whether your wood is flat or not is by getting a pair of winding sticks. If you find out any high areas, mark them and shave them off with light cuts.

Step 4 – Rip a Wide Board

Divide the board into several pieces of equal size. Afterward, ensure that you cut along the grain to make it easier when joining them back.

Step 5 – Use glue to join the board pieces

After planing the wide board, you use some glue to bring it back to one piece. The best way to make the joint less visible is by sanding or planing the board after the glue dries.

How to plane wood with an electric planer for trimming door

Using an electric planer helps you handle door-trimming projects quickly and save more time and money.

Once you notice that the door is hanging, it is time to trim your door with an electric planer.

Next, you need to find the point where making contact with the door jam and remove the door. Use cardboard between the surfaces and draw markings on the areas that need trimming with a pencil.

Then, based on the markings you have drawn, use your electric planer to trim wood in the desired spaces while avoiding removing other areas with no problems to trim.

However, a crucial thing to keep in mind is that you should use an electric planer on an installed door under no circumstance.

It is dangerous to control and even causes you some damages if you use it vertically.

Using An Electric Planer

How to plane wood with an electric planer on ceilings joists

Using an electric planer on the ceiling requires you careful preparation to avoid unexpected accidents. Therefore, it will be better to prepare safety precautions when working overhead.

A proper footing is the most important thing you have to concern to ensure safety. Besides, don’t hesitate to use scaffolding, if possible.

Also, two ladders with their wide boards between them can help you in some urgent situations.

You need to make sure that your height provides enough reach to operate the planer comfortably overhead.

Also, debris collection is another thing to consider. It will be better to choose an electric planer that will push waste away from you as you work.

That allows you to focus on holding the tool as it cuts instead of dodging pieces of wood falling towards your face.


Many people keep in mind that using an electric planer is complicated and dangerous, but it is not as challenging as you think.

Hopefully, after reading the article, you have grasped all our safety instructions and tips on how to use an electric planer.

It stands to reason that every tool requires time and practice to get used to, and electric planers are no exceptions.

Therefore, remember that you need to invest a lot of time to get acquainted with using an electric planer.