Porter Cable Planer – Professional Results For Less

For certain carpentry or woodwork jobs, you can’t beat the practicality of an electric hand planer. This kind of wood planer can be a useful tool to have in your tool chest and the Porter Cable planer is certainly up to the task – whether you’re working at home or on a job site. If you’re already skilled with a hand planer – you can always do the job by hand. But if you value your time, this thing can be a game-changer that gets the job done in a fraction of the time. 

A Trusted Brand

If you’re considering an electric planer of your own, you may want to take a closer look the Porter Cable planer model PC60THP. It offers a heavy duty, six amp motor with 16,500 RPMs and a dual bladed cutter head, so you get twice the planing capacity from a single revolution of the blade drum. This powerful tool can cut as to a depth of 5/64 of an inch when you want to remove a lot of material in a hurry, though you likely won’t use the full depth in a single pass very often. We generally recommend taking off a lot less material with each pass and using multiple passes to get your stock milled just right.

High Ratings Plus Loads of Features

Built into the Porter cable electric planer is a depth knob with 10 positive settings to give you better control. It also comes with three chamfering grooves to bevel the edges of boards. It’s a quality well-built tool as Porter cable tools tend to be and it’s easy to use. With an 11.5 inch cast aluminum shoe – it’s stable while being lightweight – so it’s easier to control and gives you a better quality finish on your wood.

The fact is that Porter cable makes quality tools. So it’s no surprise that this Porter Cable planer PC60THP scores a favorable 4.7 out of 5 available stars – from nearly 1200 actual customers reporting. It’s an affordable planner that gets the job done. And numerous previous buyers – many of whom are well-versed with wood planers – claim that this one is every bit as good as the more expensive (often costing 2-3 times more) big brands. And it comes with a three-year manufacturer’s warranty.

A Brand That Delivers

Every experienced tool buyer has their own preferred brand bias. Some swear by Dewalt. Others favor Bosch, Milwaukee, or Mikita power tools. All are good brands that consistently produce quality tools. There’s no doubt about that. But don’t overlook the Porter Cable label either. I own a Porter Cable router and it’s performed superbly well for a number of years. When actually put to the test, this Porter Cable planer does perform as well as many of the other brands that contractors would use – including Bosch, Milwaukee, and Mikita.

With a double blade and a blade width of 3 1/4 inches – this one can cover a sizable area quickly – and take off significant material in a single pass. It’s certainly affordable. But if you happen to be a contractor – you may want to opt for the slightly heavier duty model offered by Porter Cable – the PC60THPK model.

What you’re often getting with Porter Cable is a quality tool with plenty of capability for generally, less money – sometimes significantly less.

As far as power goes – it is certainly adequate to use on a variety of woods – including hardwoods like oak and walnut. You don’t have to worry about this machine bogging down or breaking down and you can get expert results too. In fact, you may not really need anything else.

This electric hand planer is up to the task on a myriad of jobs including stripping down aged, dirty, or painted wood with multiple coats. It’s also a good choice for rough-cut lumber of all kinds. And in fact, there are actually more ways to use this tool. For example, you could mount it to a bench and rig it to use this electric planer as a mini jointer.

Practice Develops Skill

As with any tool it’s always a good idea to practice on scrap pieces first. If this is your first power planer, it will take some practical time using it on scrap material to actually get comfortable with the machine. You need to get used to starting and finishing the cut on a board so you don’t damage it near the ends.

Check It First

Before using, it’s important to check all the screws on the planer to make sure everything is secured in place. This is particularly applicable to the screws that support the blades. You want to have the blades locked solidly into position.

Lots Of Ways To Get Value Out Of A Porter Cable Planer

With this Porter Cable planer, you can plane thick boards and thin boards. You can remove material from a tabletop that needs to be refinished, or repurpose decade old boards from a pallet to use on a piece of furniture. It’s an excellent tool for any contractor who specializes in installing windows and doors. Owning an electric planer can really be a difference-maker. Anyone who is working at renovating or restoring an older building could really use this too since typically those structures have settled over the years and are not always square.

You can use this planer for all kinds of tasks like milling down framing materials and door trim to modifying custom millwork right on site. It’s a valuable tool to have with you whenever you’re working in a non-shop environment. You could even use this planer to dimension rough cut lumber. It’s also very useful for eliminating cups and crowns in rough lumber before feeding it through a surface planer. If you don’t have a full size jointer and thickness planer – this is probably your next best bet for truing up rough lumber.

Makes Light Work Of Tough Jobs

Where the Porter Cable Planer really shines is when you need to remove old finishes from flat surfaces – like a well-worn, solid wood tabletop. It’s also an indispensible tool for trimming doors, door frames and windows. Yes it can take some experience to master the use of an electric hand plane – especially if you’ve never used a power planer before. So before you even bring out your work piece, get comfortable with your new tool first.  Find off cuts of lumber lying around. It’s even better if you can find several different types of wood. Then start practicing before working on a quality piece of material you plan on using for your project.

Pros

  • Can eliminate hours of laborious planing by hand
  • Easily performs as well as other big brands like Mikita, Bosch and Milwaukee
  • Solid and lightweight
  • Enough power to plane rough oak planks
  • Can keep it running at the switch of the button (which makes it easier to operate over longer planks)
  • An inexpensive yet quality planer
  • Even a complete newbie can get good results with this planer (after getting familiar with it)
  • Dust collection port is available on either side the machine
  • Good build quality
  • Runs smoothly and is relatively quiet for a power tool
  • Fun to use once you get the hang of it
  • Fits well to your hand without giving you trigger fatigue
  • Easy to adjust the depth of cut
  • Sawdust bag is a nice accessory for a quick indoor trimming job
  • Two-bladed drum makes this a steal – especially at the bargain price

Cons

  • Instruction manual is a poorly printed reproduction that can be difficult to read
  • Carry bag was not included
  • Dust bag can fill up fast
  • Can be difficult to find replacement blades
  • Sawdust can blow out the open side when using the dust bag (a vacuum or dust collector works much better)
  • Easy for some to accidentally adjust the depth (if you use the front adjustment knob as a handle)

The Verdict

If you’ve ever spent an hour or two hand planing and felt the effect like sore muscles – you need this machine. It takes much of the labor out of doing it the old fashioned way and you will save a lot of time. It’s ideal for any kind of building, renovation, restoration, or repair job where a hand plane would traditionally be used. You can spare yourself hours of physical labor from a demanding hand milling job and actually have fun. Plus, you will get the job done much faster with this thing.

We recommend the Porter Cable planer because provides a robust planing experience and is a well-built electric hand planer at a very fair price. If you’re in the market for a wood planer – you don’t have to spend hundreds of dollars to get a tool that will do the job for you. Porter Cable delivers a comparable planing experience for a lot less money. It’s a solid purchase and something that will last you for years.

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