Bosch 3 1/4" Electric Planer

Category: Tools

An electric planer has been an inexpensive solution for correcting a variety of problems that would otherwise require costly rework.

Our Review

After having some problems with the framing our second floor, I brought up the problem with a friend who's a general contractor. While those framing members looked good when we put them in, two months later they weren't even. In fact, some of them were bowed out considerably or had twisted.

He told me that this was typical of the common lumber carried by big box retailers. Their boards are often a lower grade--they typically have a higher moisture content and are cut farther from the center of the log. As a result, they'll bend and warp as they dry out over time.

While my original idea was to go back and replace the warped boards, he said that wasn't necessary. Instead, a relatively inexpensive electric planer could be used to straighten out the uneven surfaces. Sure enough, the electric planer was great for evening out the studs just before the drywall was hung.

This was just one of several uses we've found for this thing. We've also found it handy to plane down the height of a solid core door, and just today Jeannie used it to square up a screen door being repurposed for the house of a friend.

The specific model I chose was the Bosch 1594K 3-1/4" Planer Kit, which I picked up at Lowe's for about the same price as Amazon (plus tax). There were a few other models they stocked, but the Bosch had a more powerful 6.5 amp motor and a two-blade tumbler instead of three (which, factoring in replacement blade costs, should more than cover the premium for the tool over its useful life).

While it wasn't a factor when I bought it, I've especially come to appreciate the directional switch that allows shavings and the dust collection bag to be on either side of the planer.

Finally, the bevel adjustment is very accurate and feels that way. The depth is set using the ratched depth knob at the fron (which also functions as the forward grip when in use) and allows for a range from 1/64 to 3/32 of an inch. With the deepest settings I've been able to take off a full inch of our bathroom door in just a few passes, leaving the surface as smooth and square as it was originally.

All in all, this has been a nice addition to our bag of tricks!

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Comments

I've got the cordless version (18V) and love it. It's hard to say anything bad about Bosch tools in general...

Ahhh aaron...look at you posting this just as you know i'm deliberating over buying it. I may be firmly convinced now.

I have the non-electric un powered version. No thrills, wood chips go on the floor. Works on elbow grease and muscle and some cussing helps. No accurate cuts. Takes umteen passes (plus some)to remove an inch of wood and constant eyeballing to see if it's even. Wonder if they take trade ins?

I love Bosch tools, the quality is just so amazing. The jigsaw I just bought is made in Switzerland. I guess China hasn't caught up to Switzerland in terms of quality. I'm still using the hand planes. They work good if you have the right tools to sharpen them, and the patience.

We used our planer last weekend to even up the subfloor where we repaired it so it matched up with the old subfloor. It's amazing how difficult it can be to make something square and level and keep it that way!

 

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