How to Plane a Table Top with An Electric Planer

Planning a tabletop can be a daunting task, but with the help of an electric planer, it can be a breeze. In this blog post, we will show you how to plane a table top with an electric planer. Then, read on for tips and tricks to get the most out of your electric planer!

How to Plane a Table Top with An Electric Planer

What Is an Electric Planer?

An electric planer is a power tool used to smooth and level rough, uneven wooden surfaces by shaving off thin layers of wood. Electric planers are available in various sizes and styles to suit different needs, and they can be used on everything from small projects like cabinet doors to large surfaces like floors and decks.

When shopping for an electric planer, it is important to consider the size and type of surface you will be working on, as well as the power and speed of the tool. Electric planers are versatile and handy tools to have around the house, and with a little practice, they can help you achieve professional-looking results on your DIY projects.

Why Should You Plane a Table Top with An Electric Planer?

You might want to plane a tabletop with an electric planer for many reasons. Perhaps you want to create a smooth, level surface for writing or working on a project. Or maybe you’re trying to remove a damaged or rough section of wood. Whatever the reason, an electric planner can be a great tool for the job. Here are just a few of the advantages that an electric planer offers:

1. Precision: An electric planer allows you to create precise, evenly-sanded surfaces. This is especially helpful if you’re working on a delicate project that requires a smooth finish.

2. Speed: Electric planers can remove wood much faster than hand-held sanders. This can save you a lot of time, especially when working on a large project.

3. Power: Electric planers have more power than hand-held sanders so that they can remove tougher materials like painting or varnish quickly and easily.

4. Safety: Using an electric planer is much safer than using hand-held power tools like saws or sanders. This is because electric planers have built-in safety features that prevent injuries.

Built-in Safety Features

5. Ease of use: Electric planers are easy to use, even for beginners. They’re also relatively lightweight and easy to maneuver, making them ideal for use in small spaces.

Needed Materials:

Before you begin, make sure you have the following materials on hand:

Electric Planer:

Obviously, you’ll need an electric planer for this project. Make sure it is the right size and power for the job at hand.

Safety Equipment:

It’s essential to protect yourself while working with power tools. Wear safety glasses, earplugs, and a dust mask to prevent injuries.


Clamps are necessary to secure your tabletop in place while planing. Make sure they are sturdy and can hold the weight of your table.


After using an electric planer, you’ll need to sand down any rough edges or imperfections. Have a variety of grits on hand to achieve a smooth finish.

Scrap Wood:

You’ll need a piece of scrap wood to test your planer on before using it on your tabletop. This will help you adjust the settings and get a feel for how the tool works.

9 Steps to Follow on How to Plane a Table Top with An Electric Planer

Step 1: Picking the Right Electric Planer for The Job

The first step is ensuring you have the right tool for the job. For example, you don’t want to use an electric handheld planer on a large tabletop, as it will take forever, and you’ll probably end up with a pretty uneven surface. Instead, opt for a benchtop electric planer. These are specifically designed for larger surfaces and will make short work of even the most stubborn table top.

You’ll also want to make sure the planer has sharp blades. Dull blades will result in a rough finish and may even damage your tabletop.

Step 2: Prep Your Tabletop

Before you start planting, you’ll need to prep your tabletop. This simply means making sure it’s clean and free of any debris that could potentially damage your planer. A quick once-over with a dust brush or vacuum should do the trick.

You’ll also want to remove any hardware, such as screws or nails, that could get in the way while planing. It’s also a good idea to mark any areas that need more attention, such as deep scratches or gauges.

Step 3: Set the Depth of the Cut

Now it’s time to set the depth of cut on your electric planer. This is how much material you want to remove with each tool pass. For a tabletop, you’ll probably want to set it somewhere between 1/8 and 1/4 inch. This will allow you to remove any rough spots without taking off too much material.

But remember, it’s always best to start with a shallow depth and make multiple passes if needed. You can always take off more material, but you can’t put it back on.

Step 4: Start with One Side of The Board

Once you have your depth of cut set, it’s time to start planning. Begin with one side of the board and make sure to keep the planer moving at a steady pace. If you go too slow, you’ll have an uneven surface. If you go too fast, the planer may get bogged down.

Make sure to apply even pressure across the entire surface of the board. This will ensure an even cut and prevent any dips or uneven spots. But be careful not to press down too hard, as this can result in a wavy surface.

Step 5: Don’t Forget the Edges

After you’ve gone over one side of the board, it’s time to flip it over and do the same to the other side. But then, don’t forget about the edges! These can be tricky, so take your time and be careful not to damage the tabletop. You may need to adjust the depth of cut for the edges, as they are often thinner than the rest of the table.

Gone Over One Side of the Board

It’s also a good idea to use a smaller planer for the edges, as it will be easier to maneuver and give you more control. You can also use a hand-held planer for this step if you prefer.

Step 6: Check for Snipe

As you’re planning, you may notice a condition called “snipe.” This is when the planer cuts deeper at the beginning or end of a pass. To avoid this, just make sure to keep the planer moving at a steady pace and check for snipes periodically. If you do notice it, try adjusting the pressure or angle of the planer.

You can also minimize snipes by using outfeed and infeed support stands or clamping your tabletop down to a sturdy work surface. The key is to keep the board level and supported at all times.

Step 7: Finish up With a Hand Plane

Once you’re done with the electric planer, you may want to go over the surface one more time with a hand plane. This will help to smooth out any remaining imperfections and give you a beautiful, finished table top. Make sure to use a sharp blade and make light, even passes for the best results. Otherwise, you may end up with gouges or scratches on your surface.

It’s also a good idea to wear gloves while using a hand plane, as they can be sharp and cause splinters. You can also use a piece of sandpaper wrapped around a block to sand down any rough spots if you don’t have a hand plane.

Step 8: Sanding

After you’ve finished planing and hand planing, it’s time to sand your table top. Start with a coarse grit sandpaper and work your way up to finer grits for a smooth finish. Make sure to sand in the direction of the grain to avoid scratches and swirls. Otherwise, you’ll have to start all over again.

You can also use a sanding block or an orbital sander for this step, especially if you have a larger tabletop. Just make sure to change out the sandpaper as needed and check for any remaining imperfections.

Step 9: Finishing Touches

Lastly, it’s time to add any finishing touches you desire. You may want to stain or paint your table top for a polished look or simply apply a coat of polyurethane for added protection. Whatever your preference, make sure to allow enough drying time before using your newly planed table top.

Now, step back and admire your handiwork! You have successfully planed a tabletop with an electric planer, resulting in a smooth surface that is ready to be used for many years to come. With these steps, you can confidently tackle any future woodworking projects that require the use of an electric planer.

That’s it! You’ve now learned how to plane a table top with an electric planer. Just follow these simple steps, and you’ll have a smooth, level surface in no time.

How to Choose the Right Electric Planer for Your Needs

Choosing the right electric planer for your needs can be a challenge. There are various factors to consider, such as the type of wood you’ll be working with and the desired finish. With so many options on the market, it’s important to do your research to find the best tool for the job.

The first step is to identify the types of woods you’ll be working with most frequently. Each type of wood has different characteristics that will affect how it responds to a planer. For instance, softwoods are more prone to tear-out, while hardwoods can be more difficult to plane evenly. Once you know what woods you’ll be working with, you can narrow your search to electric planers that are designed for those materials.

Next, consider the finish you desire. A smooth finish is ideal for most projects, but if you’re looking for a distressed look, you may want a planer with a rougher blade. Some electric planers also offer multiple speed settings, which can help achieve different finishes on different types of wood.

Finally, think about the size and weight of the unit. A heavier planer will be more stable and easier to control, but it may also be more difficult to maneuver around tight spaces. If weight is a concern, look for an electric planer that comes with its own carrying case or stand.

 Narrow Down Your Options

Considering these factors, you can narrow down your options and choose the best electric planer for your needs. Then, with a little research, you’ll surely find a tool to help you achieve professional results on all your woodworking projects.

The Dos and Don’ts of Planning a Tabletop

When it comes to setting the table, there are a few key things to keep in mind. First, ensure the table is clean and free of cluttered items. This will help create a sense of calm and order. Second, consider the layout of the table. Placing plates, silverware, and glasses should be thoughtful and intentional. It is also important to ensure plenty of space for guests to move around the table.

Finally, don’t forget the little details. A place setting should be inviting and include a few small touches that reflect your personal style. By following these simple tips, you can create a beautiful and inviting table that will impress your guests.

The Benefits of Having a Smooth Tabletop

These days, tabletops come in all sorts of shapes, sizes, and materials. Some have intricate designs carved into them, while others are made of natural materials like wood or stone. However, one type of tabletop stands out from the rest: the smooth tabletop. A smooth tabletop has several advantages over its textured counterparts. First, it is much easier to clean. Dust and dirt can quickly accumulate in carving or nature scenes, making them difficult to clean.

Second, a smooth tabletop provides a blank canvas that can be used for all sorts of activities. Whether you’re working on a puzzle, playing a game, or simply enjoying a meal, a smooth tabletop is perfect for any activity. Third, a smooth tabletop is much more durable than a textured one. Carvings can chip and crack over time, while scratches and dents are less likely to mar a smooth surface.

Smooth Tabletop is a Perfect Choice

Finally, a smooth tabletop can help to create a sense of calm and order in your home. If your décor is cluttered or busy, a simple, unadorned tabletop can help to create a sense of serenity. Whether you’re looking for functionality or style, a smooth tabletop is a perfect choice.

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Frequently Asked Questions:

Q: How Long Should an Electric Planer Last?

A: The lifespan of an electric planer will vary depending on usage and maintenance. With proper care, a high-quality planer can last for many years. You should also consider the warranty and customer reviews when choosing an electric planer. It’s important to invest in a durable and reliable tool that will last for the long haul.

Q: Can I Use an Electric Planer on Other Materials Besides Wood?

A: While electric planers are primarily designed for wood, they can also be used on other materials such as plastic or certain types of metal. However, it’s important to make sure the planer is compatible with the material you’re working with and to use caution as the results may vary. It’s always best to consult the manufacturer’s instructions before attempting to use an electric planer on a non-wood material.

Q: Do I Need Any Special Training to Use an Electric Planer?

A: No, most electric planers are designed for easy and safe operation by anyone. However, it’s always recommended to read the instruction manual and familiarize yourself with the tool before use. Proper safety precautions should also be taken, such as wearing protective eyewear and keeping hands away from blades.

Q: Can I Sharpen My Electric Planer Blades?

A: Yes, most electric planers allow for blade sharpening or replacement. It’s important to regularly sharpen or replace the blades to ensure optimal performance and prevent any potential damage to your workpiece. Refer to the manufacturer’s instructions for the proper method of sharpening or replacing your electric planer’s blades.


If you want to plane a tabletop, ensure the planer is set to the correct height and depth. Hold the planer firmly against the wood’s edge and push it forward. Keep the pressure on the tool until it has passed over the entire surface. You may have to go over certain areas more than once to get a smooth finish. Now you know how to plane a table top with an electric planer!

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Enrique Howard

Hi, I am Enrique. I started my professional life as a handyman and did a lot of external and internal repair of home and office with a little bit of electric and plumbing support. I have extensive experience in tools testing such as drilling, turning, milling, and non-conventional machining like EDM. So let me help you on your journey towards becoming an enlightened DIYer with amazing tools that you can use on your project.

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