Wood planers are super-handy tools to have in the workshop. Without a planer, adjusting the thickness of a board would require you to either sand it by hand, use a handheld power sander, or bring your material to a table sander – all three of which are rather unreliable in producing identical results on multiple boards.
Wood planers don’t just come in bench-top models, but there are also handheld wood planers that deserve some attention. Although operating one requires a steady hand, the best models should come with features that improve accuracy and uniform planing every time.
This time around, we’re going to take a look at two popular power tools manufacturers’ portable planers are put them head-to-head: the DEWALT 26677K and the Bosch PL2632K. Both of these handheld portable planers have been praised by their customers. Here, we’re going to focus on their different features and determine which of the two would be the better overall purchase. Let’s get started.
DEWALT D26677K and Bosch PL2632K
The speed of the blade determines the finish. The quicker the blades enter and exit the surface of the board, the smoother a finish you’ll get. Both the DEWALT and the Bosch have similar cutting speeds, delivering up to 34,000 cuts per minute. This is a lot quicker than most bench-top models, meaning that using either of these models will produce a super-fine surface that’s ready for further processing.
As a handheld power tool, a portable planer should be lightweight, compact, and easy to use. The weight of the unit can indicate how much trouble you’ll have navigating the unit over wood surfaces. The DEWALT weighs in at around 10 pounds. Although it’s not exactly the lightest model you’ll find on the market today, it’s still relatively lightweight and won’t cause cramping in your hand, forearm, or shoulder.
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The Bosch is considerably lighter, weighing in at only 6.3 pounds. The lighter weight means you can operate the machine for longer periods of time with a reduced risk of fatigue in your arm and shoulder. The lighter weight comes from its more compact design which makes the unit easier to store without taking up too much space.
Conclusion: Considering that both of these portable planers feature 15-amp motors, we find it amazing that the Bosch can deliver the same amount of power and speed while weight about 40% less than the DEWALT. Not that the DEWALT is a bad machine because it’s heavier, but the Bosch is even more amazing because it’s lighter.
The number of blades and the material used to construct them can be an indicator of how smooth the end result with be. Generally speaking, the more blades used to shave off fractions of an inch off of the surface of a board, the smoother the finish. The DEWALT uses a dual-blade system where the blades can either be made out of high-speed steel or carbide (both available and sold separately). The carbide steel blade is definitely the better of the two options if your aim is to produce super-smooth surfaces.
The Bosch has a dual-blade setup that uses two high-speed steel blades for efficient shaving. High-speed steel isn’t the best quality material for blades, but if you put two of them together, like in this Bosch unit, then you can produce extremely smooth surfaces with fewer passes.
Conclusion: They both use the same number of blades, so one really has no preference over the other. However, when looking at the type of blades that can be used in these portable planers, it’s clear that the DEWALT is the better model simply because it accepts both high-speed steel and carbide blades.
Dust Ejection Port
When using a portable wood planer, you can believe that the unit will shoot out copious amounts of wood shavings and dust. After all, a portable planer is designed to shave off very thin layers off the surface of your wood board. Even though the DEWALT comes with a dust ejection port, you need to purchase dust collection bags separately or connect the unit directly to your DEWALT shop vac or dust collector.
As for the Bosch, it also comes with a dust ejection port, but the best thing is that upon purchase you get one dust collection bag. You can order replacements online or find them at most large hardware stores.
Conclusion: We acknowledge that both the DEWALT and the Bosch have great dust ejection ports for getting rid of minuscule wood residue, but the fact that the Bosch comes with an actual bag to collect dust, chips, and shavings means you get more for your purchase.
Like any planer, the cutting depth of a handheld portable planer can is adjustable. The DEWALT has a maximum cutting depth of 1/16 of an inch. This means that at its maximum setting, you’re still hardly cutting anything off the surface of your material. This ensures accuracy and never surpassing the depth at which you’re aiming for.
The Bosch can be adjusted to cut at a depth of up to 1/8 of an inch. The deep cutting capacity in combination with its rapid cutting speed, you can work quickly to shave off thicker layers off of the surface of your board.
Conclusion: Getting work done quickly is important for any DIY-hobbyist and professional woodworker. We favor the Bosch’s deeper cutting capacity since it allows users to virtually shave off twice as much off the surface of your wood compared to the DEWALT. The end results will also be similar because of their similar cutting speeds.
DEWALT vs Bosch: Verdict
Except for the use of carbide blades, the Bosch PL2632K wins in every one of these battles of the specs and features. First of all, in terms of performance, both of these devices work similarly (34,000 CPM). In terms of weight, even though the two models produce the same amount of power and cutting speed, the Bosch is only 6.3 pounds, about 4 pounds lighter than the DEWALT, meaning less arm strength is needed to use and glide this unit on longboards.
Although the Bosch isn’t compatible with carbide blades, a dual high-speed steel blade setup is more than enough to guarantee super-smooth finishes. The Bosch PL2632K also comes with a hand dust collection bag, whereas with the DEWALT you need to purchase the bag separately.
Finally, regarding the maximum cutting depth, the Bosch can cut twice as deep as the DEWALT D26677K, meaning you can finish work twice and quick while producing the same smooth results. Our verdict is clear: the Bosch PL2363K the obvious choice between these two popular portable planer models.