How to choose an electrical planer and what characteristics should it have? These questions concern many woodworking craftsmen who want to ease their work while simultaneously increasing productivity.
The electrical plane is a tool that is intended for leveling and planing wooden surfaces.
Although the principle of operation of this device is quite simple and understandable to everyone, buying a planer at random, without a close study of some of its features, may result in disappointment.
Main selection criteria
The choice of electroplane should begin with a study of the main characteristics (power, frequency of rotation of the drum and the width of the cutting part):
Scheme of the internal device electroplane.
- Selection of power. Specifying this parameter when viewing the model you like, do not limit yourself to only the power consumption, which is indicated in large print in the most prominent place. The fact is that only a part of it is transferred to the drum with knives, which is sometimes only 50% or even less. The useful or actual power must be indicated in the passport of the product. It is desirable that it be at least 350 W, then the work with an electric planer will be relatively comfortable. Power should be selected with a margin so that the tool works at half strength, and not at the limit of its capabilities. Buying at the same time will cost a bit more expensive, but an electric planer operating in a sparing mode will last much longer, and it will be easier and more convenient to work with it. Just do not forget to preliminarily clarify whether the beginner can withstand the wiring in the house.
- The frequency of rotation of the drum. This parameter directly affects the quality of the tool. When processing solid and gnarled wood, it is better to use an electric planer with a drum rotation frequency of more than 12 thousand rpm. For more malleable rocks, a frequency of about 10 thousand rpm is sufficient. However, the drum rotation speed declared by the manufacturer often refers to idling. It is very important to clarify how the frequency varies depending on the load on the knives. If, when removing chips, it drops significantly, processing of the workpiece will be uneven. This will lead to the appearance of defects on its surface in the form of waves or steps. Best of all, before you choose an electric planer, to persuade the seller to give you the opportunity to check the tool in operation. In high-quality and expensive tools, the speed of rotation of the drum is controlled by an electronic system, which, with increasing load, gives the engine a command, thus maintaining the operating mode of the electroplane as stable as possible.
- Cutting width. When choosing the width of the planing or the length of the knives, you should consider the width of the blanks that you will have to deal with most often. If the plane is narrower than the planed board, it will have to be processed in two (or more) passes. At the same time to achieve a perfectly flat surface is almost impossible. To buy the widest electric plane just to be on the safe side is inexpedient, since such models are heavy and expensive. The standard range of knife lengths used in today's most popular models looks like this: 50, 75, 82, 102 and 110 mm. The greatest demand is for tools with a planing width of 82 mm. Knives for them are easier to find on sale, and they are cheaper than for wider electrical planes.
What else do you need to pay attention to?
The quality of planing is influenced by other parameters:
Diagram of the external device electroplane.
- Maximum chip thickness. This parameter is related to the power of the tool: the larger it is, the thicker a layer of material can be removed in a single pass. With an increase in the depth of planing, the master wins in the speed of the work, but loses in convenience, since a powerful electric plane is heavy. The maximum value of this parameter for manual models is 4 mm, most often people buy cars that remove 3-3.5 mm of wood per pass.
- The shape of knives. When using straight knives, the height of their installation is not always possible to adjust with sufficient accuracy. As a result, the master risks getting a wavy defect on the treated surface. Installation of spiral knives will help to avoid such troubles. From the point of view of economy, the use of double-sided knives can be considered more profitable.
- Resource components. Of great importance is the rate of wear of the knives and the drive belt. Of course, this kind of information in the passport is not given, then all hope for the practical experience of users who exploit this model. The resource of spare parts can be considered acceptable if with frequent use of the tool they have to be changed once a year.
One of the main criteria on which the choice of electroplaning should be based, is the convenience of work. The tool should not be too heavy, otherwise it will be difficult to manage. Hands will quickly tire. The optimum weight in the range of 3-4 kg. The model can be considered suitable for you, if you can effortlessly hold it in your hands for 10 minutes.
Additional criteria to pay close attention to:
Table of the basic parameters of electrical planes.
- In addition to weight, you should pay attention to the shape and angle of the arms. Hold the tool in your hands in exactly the same position as it should be during operation. In doing so, try to assess how comfortable or uncomfortable the sensations that appear in your hands are. The most practical are the handles having a rubber coating.
- Scale of adjustment of depth of planing. On the front handle, with which the adjustment of the depth of planing is performed, a scale should be applied. In some models, even when the regulator is set to zero, the knives still continue to remove fine chips, so it is desirable that the range of settings includes negative values. The accuracy of the electroplane depends on the price of dividing the scale, indicating the depth of planing. Its optimal value is 0.1 mm.
- The presence of a chip changer. A lot of time the master has to spend on cleaning the workplace and cleaning the electroplane from chips. In the workshop it can somehow be tolerated, but if the work is carried out in the house, then each time it is necessary to do almost general cleaning. If you want to save your own time and effort, choose a model with a diverter on which you can fix the chip changer in the form of a small bag.
- The sole of the electroplane should be flat and smooth, but this is only one of the requirements. It is desirable that it had grooves V-shaped profile, the presence of which allows the use of a tool for chamfering. Also on the surface of the sole should be several grooves that prevent the formation of an air cushion during movement electroplane. The quality of the instrument, which does not have such furrows, will be far from ideal. Pay attention: at a quick glance at the sole, the air-vent grooves are almost imperceptible, they can only be detected by touch or by very careful examination.
Convenience of operation
Those who are engaged in woodworking professionally should pay attention to how quickly and strongly the electric plane is heated. From this will depend on the frequency and duration of forced downtime, which will be needed to cool the tool.
It is believed that the electric planer should be turned off if the temperature of its body has exceeded 60 ° C.
Moments that are important when operating the tool:
In stores, if necessary, you can purchase various types of planer knives.
- Availability of spare parts. The knives and the drive belt of the electroplane cannot be considered consumables in the full sense of the word, but you still have to change them with a certain frequency. However, if you have become the happy owner of some exotic little-known model, even if it is of very high quality, there is a risk to be without spare parts at the most inopportune moment due to their lack of sales. To avoid this, choose something that everyone takes, or at least many.
- Completeness. Comparing different models of electric planes, evaluate not only their appearance and technical characteristics, but also the list of accessories that come with them. It is desirable to have a side stop with a depth gauge, which is necessary for high-quality ogruzhivaniya narrow blanks. Another "useful in the household" thing - a corner stop or ruler. Together with the side stopper, this element makes it easier and faster to select a quarter or folds.
- Well, if complete with an electroplane you will find knives with a wavy profile. They are made of hardened steel and are used at the stage of roughing.
- Also note the presence of a retainer with which a hand-held electric planer can be mounted on a workbench, turning it into a stationary one. At the same time you become the owner of the planer.
Compliance with safety regulations
Scheme of work by electroplane.
Choosing a suitable model of electrical chopping, pay due attention to security issues. This tool is traumatic. Effective protection of the user against knife cuts has a greater significance than the various options and technical characteristics of the tool.
Measures to be followed:
- Check if there is a lid with the tool, which can close the drum with knives.
- The security features also include retractable plates located at the bottom of the electroplane. While working with the tool, they should be removed and slightly raised in accordance with the depth of planing.
- In some models, there is a retractable stop that raises the bottom of the instrument.
Bosch, Makita, Black are among the most sought-after brands.&Decker, Skil, Sparky, Metabo, DeWalt. Russian manufacturers, for example, the company InterSkol, are increasingly assertively developing their home market. As for specific models, Sparky P 282, Skil 1560-AB, InterScol P-82TS-01, Skil 1555 (low-cost models for the home), Bosch GO 26-82, Makita KP0810, Metabo HO0882 (professional grade ).