Top 2 Best Skil Electric Hand Planers

What Real People Are Saying About The Skil PL201201

Perfect for the money

Great hand held plainer

Very good mostly basic offering

I have a 6" Grizzly jointer (sort of a cheap one, though) and that DeWalt "portable" planer, so I'm sort of spoiled on that front, but I always wanted to get one of these portable deals, basically just because I like tools and I don't have one. However, I know that there are places this will come in great handy because my other tools won't be usable. First thing that comes to mind is oversized pieces like a wood door. I know from experience that sawing a door is just asking to take off too much material. And it is also very difficult.

So although in many cases, the bulk of the big tools is very helpful, I am quite impressed just how well this relatively simple too works. In fact my floor planer (I told you it was a cheaper model) is sort of a pain and often I have to mess with it to get good results. This hand planer actually works so well I can see just using it instead sometimes for simplicity's sake. The key is to take your time and do a lot of very light passes rather than fewer deep passes. And it does take a few passes to get used to it and avoid putting gouges in the end of the workpiece, but I got used to it quickly.

The reversible dust extraction port is cool (that you can eject from either side), but don't expect it to work wonders with a vacuum, and don't expect it to really work at all with the bag. I mean, it's mostly harmless - but annoying to clean up - bigger wood chips more than fine particles, but you'll want to wear a dust mask and expect some cleanup if planing inside.

I will say, ergonomically, I think the button you have to hold to be able to pull the trigger could be a little more ergonomic. It seems just a little bit out of the way to me.

Power is fine, but I haven't used it on any very hard wood yet. Even then, I'll just make multiple very shallow passes.

Personal preference, but it really sucks not to have a case with this thing. I mean, it doesn't sit out well because it has a few accessories with it that can't really stay on all the time, but having it in the box makes getting it out for use onerous.

Uses only two blades, whereas some models and types use three. They are double sided, though, so that's like having an extra set for later.

Not perfect, but it's also quite inexpensive (at least at time of writing) for a power tool. Seems to me you get a lot for the money.

Great planer

I am a journeyman carpenter with 25+ years experience and have been pleased with how this planer performs.
It is a solid, well-made tool with plenty of power.
The blade depth adjustment is easy and smooth to operate.
The exhaust port can be set to eject sawdust/shavings to the right or left and comes with a dust bag and an adapter for a vac hose.
The base plate is true and flat and has a "v" groove for doing chamfers.
The tool has a good edge guide that works great for keeping the planer on track.
It also has a depth gauge for rabbiting.
The blade barrel has 2 cutting blades that are good quality, sharp and can be removed easily via the onboard wrench. The cutter blades have 2 edges that can be reversed when the first side gets dull.
In terms of safety features this is one of the safest I've used. The edge guide doubles as a cutter blade cover to keep the knives from inadvertently being chipped when it is being transported or stored.
The base plate has a park rest kick stand that automatically flips down so when you set the tool down after a pass the cutter blades can't make contact with the surface you are setting the tool on.
The power cord is 6' long.

A Fine Tool-Just Not For Every Task

I am a hobbyist woodworker, but frequently take on large projects like cabinet building or house remodeling- so I am always on the lookout for tools that make my life easier. I already own a big, expensive blue planer, and this one compares both favorably and unfavorably with the other one.

=== The Good Stuff ===

* This planer is smaller and lighter than my other one, which makes it both easier to get into smaller spaces, and doesn't beat up my hands so much if I use it for longer periods of time.

* It is a two-bladed planer, while other, more expensive ones are typically three. That extra blade comes in handy for harder woods, but for softer woods you will be hard-pressed to notice the difference- especially if you feed the tool slowly and are careful about approaching edges.

* The planer is pretty easy to control, and after the first few practice cuts, I was able to get a smooth and mostly square edge on my work. Keep in mind this planer is a bit shorter than other ones, which makes it easier to get off course.

* The blades were sharp upon arrival, and have handled about a hundred feet of softwood without noticeable dulling. They do not look too bad to change, and I believe they are double-edged, so you get one free blade change.

* I like the blade cover feature, which makes it pretty hard to set the planer down on its blades- something that dulls or chips them quite easily.

* Overall the feel of the tool was pretty good. It seemed well balanced, and didn't want to either tilt or pitch when I used it- although as with most planers, it is easy to get a little bit off perpendicular if you aren't careful.

=== The Not-So-Good Stuff ===

* I am not a fan of the "safety" switch. I hate tools that require me to twist my hand in some way I don't want to, and this switch requires you to continuously press the release button while you are using the tool. I don't mind a trigger release, but hate this sort of "feature"

* The dust port could use a bit of a redesign. Even with a powerful shop vac attached, it still wanted to jam up with shavings if I took anything but the most narrow bite possible. The dust bag is a joke.

* There is no tool case, something I have mixed feelings about. This is one of those tools that needs a few accessories with it, and I hate not having that all in one container. On the other hand, I can buy a cheap plastic tool box for a few bucks, and I honestly prefer that to some molded plastic case tht takes five minutes to load the tool into.

=== Summary ===

For working with soft woods, this is a decent planer. With a little practice, I can make straight and true cuts, and I didn't get a lot of chatter or edge rip-out. I tried it out on some scrap oak, and was less than impressed with this planer versus my other, more expensive unit, so it is not for every job. The tool seems put together well, and is not rickety or cheap feeling, but there are a few design choices that I did not like. However, for the right types of projects, this will work well.

Vast Improvement Over Manual Planing

If we’re comparing this Skil planer to doing the same work with a manual jack plane or one of those ‘chicken’ or rasp planes, this tool would easily rate 10 stars. The jobs I put to it were all done flawlessly, quickly, with little effort and were enjoyable while doing.

Please see the before and after photos showing one job I did as a demonstration. The planed wood is part of a carving table used by my wife to create her artwork. The wood is old, completely dry, hard and distressed as you can see. Attempting to smooth this with a manual plane would very likely result in chattering and an unfortunate result leaving the table worse than when the task was begun. However, using the Skil planer, the outcome was as good as it could be. I also tried chamfering a piece of 2 x 4 finding the result to be good, but obviously not as exact had I done the same task with a jig.

There’s an annoying ‘safety’ lock to unblock the trigger which I’ll likely disable. I won’t downgrade the planer due to this since I’m sure it’s a government requirement rather than stemming from the design team at Skil.

What isn’t so nice is the dust catcher. Even at a modest cut depth, the entry to the dust holder bag clogged resulting in the planer spitting the dust and chips all about. Please see the photos of the chips both on the table and the floor under the table. I was hoping for nearly dustless planing but it didn’t happen. I’d go for a short while, then the entrance to the bag would clog causing wood dust and chips to spit out the front and sides of the planer until I once again unclogged and emptied the bag. I was disappointed but nowhere near wishing to return to manual planing since, after all, those tools don’t even pretend to police their dust.

I’m terrifically happy with this tool and only wish I’d gotten one sooner.


People's Choice

These Are Some Of The Highest Rated Skil Electric Hand Planers Available Today
Skil PL593802 featured image

2. Skil PL593802 Electric Hand Planer

  • (11 Ratings)

It's true that the Skil PL201201 was the Skil Electric Hand Planers that we rated most highly. However, there were several other very premium Skil Electric Hand Planers we wanted to showcase here that just barely missed first place.

Skil is another major producer of Electric Hand Planers. They make the tool next on our list. Skil's Electric Hand Planers are no exception. I was eager to have a go at the model PL593802 and I was not disappointed!

This Electric Hand Planer is just $179.99. That is a great deal for a quality Electric Hand Planer like the PL593802 by Skil. If you uncertain about our top choice, I'd consider the Skil PL593802 next. It's a premium quality tool at a great price.

Full Skil PL593802 Review

Skil PL593802 Features

20V WOOD PLANER KIT—Includes a PWR Core 20 4. 0Ah Lithium Battery and PWR Jump Charger.

BRUSHLESS MOTOR—The digital brushless motor provides efficient, high-performance power, delivering up to 14, 000 RPM.

PRECISION PLANING—The smooth kickstand prevents the blade from scratching finished surfaces and has convenient on-board wrench storage.

CLEARS DEBRIS—Dual left or right chip exhaust keeps your workspace free of sawdust.

Longer run time & battery LIFE—Industry leading PWR Core 20 Lithium battery technology wraps Each cell with cooling material to keep the battery powering on for 25% longer run time and 2x battery life.

CHARGES IN 5 MINUTES—Automatic PWR Jump charges the battery in just 5 minutes, or 100% battery in 50 minutes.