How to Use an Electric Hand Planer

Are you still using a manual hand planer? You must be getting really tired of trying to get that fine finish from it. Try your hand at an electrical hand planer and learn how to do so in this guide.

Science was invented to make life more convenient for humans. We have so many machines doing the job we did with our own hands in the past. But we are the ones who operate those machines still so we haven’t taken all the work away.

But most physical tasks have been made easier with the invention of electricity and motors. Before you used to wash clothes by hand, now we have washing machines. Many power tools have made life so much more convenient. Before you had to do all the woodwork by hand which took so much time.

What is a Hand Plane?

A hand plan is basically used to either smoothen out timber. It straightens and smoothens out the surface. It can also be used to shorten the width of a piece of wood. One great example of this is when a door does not close properly due to being too big. You can plane the door’s edge enough that it closes properly.

You can also smoothen out the grain of the wood with a plane. It shaves the piece of wood by moving over it and shaving it with a sharp blade. The hand plane is a pretty useful tool when you are required to give a wooden piece a nice finish.

You use a hand plane to basically even out the surface from one edge to another. This creates a flat and even surface throughout the area you work on.

Difference between a Miniature Hand Plane and Electric Hand Plane

A miniature hand plane uses your muscles to smoothen out the piece of wood. It does require quite some physical exertion. But the finish you get from a miniature hand plane is almost unparalleled. This is why most people use this to make the surface of the wood smooth.

The miniature hand plane is not suitable for large surfaces as it will take quite some time and muscle. The time aside, you would end up tired beyond imagination if you used it on large surfaces. But the kind of finishing you receive from this miniature hand plane is not achievable through an electric one.

Meanwhile, when you really want to shave off the surface of large pieces of wood, nothing does it better than an electric hand plane. It takes off a lot of surface of a piece of wood quickly. So in construction jobs specifically, an electric hand plane is much more preferred.

Since the machine is doing most of the job, you do not exert a lot of physical strength. You can go through a lot of wood within minutes with an electric hand plane. Meanwhile, you will not get the kind of finish you would from a miniature one.

If there is enough leeway for not having an entirely flat surface, get an electric one for the job. You will be cutting through the wood way faster. Plus you will not be tired from doing it all with your own physical strength. It is very easy to use as well.

How to Use an Electric Hand Planer – Step by Step Guide:

So an electric hand plane can be your best friend in the workshop. Or if you are not careful, it can also be pretty damaging. We will guide you step by step on how to use an electric planer.

Step 1)

Clamp the piece of wood you want to use the planer on. This is to ensure that the piece of wood does not move while it’s being shaved. Using a vice or a clamp for the job is the right choice.

Step 2)

Mark the part on the wood which you want to shave off. If you want to shave off, let’s say a quarter of an inch, you mark it with a line. This ensures you do not end up making the surface to uneven.

Step 3)

Stand in front of the piece of wood you want to shave and then hold the electric hand plane with both hands. You then slowly move it from one end to the other to shave it off.

Step 4)

If you are planning on shaving off the corners of the piece of wood, use the bevel in the front shoe. The bevel is designed to provide an angular grip. You can adjust the angle you want to cut in with the bevel.

Step 5)

If you are planning to shave for instance an inch off the piece of wood, you should take a few times to do it. If you try to do it in one go it might end up uneven or damage the piece of wood.

Things to Note before Using an Electric Hand Plane

  • Always wear safety equipment before using any power tools. The sawdust can damage your eyes or your respiratory system while you are taking wood off using an electric hand plane.
  • Stand in front of the piece of wood that you are planning to cut down. Do not stand at the corners as it requires even force distribution. Use your knees to hold the plane steady.
  • Distribute force as you go. When you start off, place your weight on the front, and as you reach the edge place the weight at the back. This avoids uneven cutting of wood and it creates an even and smooth cut.
  • Always clamp the piece of wood you are trying to shave a few inches off using the electric hand plane. Make sure the wood is fastened tightly and secured before you get to work on it.
  • Slow and steady wins the race. Take your time with the process instead of rushing it. This will create an uneven surface on the wood.
  • Use the knob in front of adjusting the cut size. This adjusts the front shoe and allows you to change the size of the cuts you are making with the plane. Also, use the front knob for gripping the front as well.
  • Wait for the plane to start off before you start to work on the wood. Don’t rush it as you might end up stalling the machine or damage the wood.

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