Wen is a great brand for most power tools. While not the best in every aspect, and sometimes outperformed by heavier duty brands like Jet and Grizzly, their combination of affordability and quality make them a brand to at least consider any time you’re buying a new tool. These planers are no exception.
In A Rush? My Top Pick:
Best Wen Planers on the Market Today
3 Top Rated WEN Planer Reviews
WEN 6550 Benchtop Thickness Planer, 12-1/2"
As benchtop planers go, this one is hard to beat. While it’s a little smaller than average (12 and 1/2 inch width capacity, where the average is 13 inches; the 6 inch thickness capacity is standard) it makes up for it with performance in every other area.
The primary benefit with this one is how adjustable the cutting depth is. It can adjust anywhere between 0 and 3/32 inches, getting you a bit deeper than most benchtop planers, and the helical cutterhead is easier to change the blades on and is more resistant to wear and tear (this is the primary reason I put it above the slightly more powerful benchtop below).
The solid 12 amp, 115 volt motor that outputs 18, 000 cuts per minute (with a 26 feet per minute feed rate) rounds out the power package.
In terms of construction is another place it shines, with a relatively lightweight design (73 lbs) and easy to grip handles, while not compromising on other upsides like a granite table as some other, more lightweight benchtops do (which eschew the granite or cast iron tables for lighter weight but easier to mar steel or aluminum).
All in all, one of the best portable benchtop planers you could consider buying, especially for the very cheap near $250 price tag.
You can read more in our WEN 6550 Review.
WEN 6552 3-Blade 15 Amp Benchtop Thickness Planer, 13"
This one isn’t bad by any means, but it lacks just a bit of the quality of the above. Being a bit heavier (77 lbs) with its cast iron table and heavier motor (15 amp, 8500 RPM, 25, 500 cuts per minute) isn’t a huge downside since it’s only a few pounds, but it’s something to keep in mind.
The width capacity is a bit bigger (13 inches) and thickness capacity (6 inches) is the same, which is what makes me dock it points; it’s not enough bigger or more powerful to justify the use of the flimsier, less even cutting straight blades since everything else is equal (including the 0 to 3/32 inch cutting depth).
Essentially you’re paying $50 more for lower quality blades and a half inch of extra table space, which isn’t worth it for a lot of people (boards more than a foot in width aren’t unheard of, but are rare enough for jobs you want a benchtop model for).
Great pick for a sale, since if it’s cheaper than the 6550 you’re getting a slightly better machine in every way but blades (which you can use the money you saved to upgrade), but at its normal price may be worth a pass.
WEN 6534 8-Amp Electric Hand Planer, 4-3/8-Inch
This thing is pretty big and powerful for a hand planer, with an 8 amp motor and 4 and 3/8 inch cutting path, but its real claim to fame (like the other Wen products here) is how many different levels it has for its cutting depth, adjusting in 1/128 inch increments all the way down to 1/8 inch cuts.
That alone is enough to rocket it to the top of my list of best hand planers, but the power (16, 000 RPM) with the precision of the adjustment, the rabbet guides and chamfer grooves, and safety features like the kickstand really make it shine.
The only big downside is its weight: at 11.5 lbs it’s a heavy duty hand planer, but the extra power will pretty much even it out; it’s heavier but you need to use it for less time per board, so it’s easier to find a resting point than with a smaller, lighter model.
You can’t go wrong with any of these, really.
The hand planer (the 6534) and benchtop 6550 are best in class models, while the 6552 is still an excellent machine (and its downside can be removed by purchasing a helical cutterhead to replace the straight blades for an extra cost). There will be no post-purchase regret.