WEN model 6534 planer review

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I typically put woodworking on the back burner sometime early each December, opening the shop back up in January after the holidays are behind us, mainly to assist with festive celebrations and clean up - as well as to keep the dust at a minimum as I work in an integral garage.  I'll spend some time thinking and designing new projects and procedures for working efficiently.

This year I spent the down time thinking about how ease my aches & pains of all hand tool work, not getting any younger. I do have a home made router sled for flattening one face of each board, I posted it HERE.

This year during my downtime, I saw & was impressed by videos showing how to true boards with electric hand planer sleds. My router setup works fine, but there is no way to control the dust. As electric hand planers have a dust port, I thought I might try my hand at making one of these, and reduce the out of control dust.

Reviewing various planers on the web, I targeted a WEN model 6534, for multiple reasons:
1. I'm not cheap but don't believe in over spending for a tools that will only get occasional use, (especially for experimental purposes) and this WEN was available from Home Depot for under $60.00.  I ordered it on line, it was delivered to my door in 2 days, freight free.
2. This model had great reviews on multiple sites, with only one or two negative comments at most.
3. This puppy has a 4 3/4" cut, more than the typical 3 1/4" blade on most all other planers, which to me seemed a no brainer for my purposes.
4. It offers dust collection on either side of the plane.
5. The blades are reversable for longer life.

Well, as I'm starting a new project, having picked up some hard maple this weekend from a lumbermill for a dining table, and I couldn't wait to make the sled before using this new toy. I used the WEN 6534 to joint the board edges, to create a smooth edge, but will hand joint these later after thicknessing for a tight fit between boards. Mainly I wanted to rid myself from the mill's rough cut sawn edges. I'm impressed. This allowed me to joint or smooth the board edges, 12 in all with lengths from 34" to 52", in less than a half hour. This normally would be an all afternoon venture with my hand tools, with only one drawback - this tool weights about 10 lbs. I admit at my age a lighter planer would be nice, but once I make the sled, this will be a moot point. The dust collection work great, all shavings went into my shop vacuum, nothing on the surrounding area, and the included fence created some reasonable 90 degree edges. There does exist the potential for snipe on the board, especially with the weight, but I learned to control that pretty quickly.

All in all, I'd say I made a good decision, but time will tell If I can hang this & use it efficiently to surface boards. If there are any questions, please post & I'll be glad to answer as best I can.

Thanks for viewing.


 
That's pretty cool to hear although the wringing of hands, gnashing of teeth and sound of hair getting pulled out from the hand planes group is making it challenging, ha! I've never tried an electric planer as I have a jointer but seems like a good in between solution. Ten pounds sounds heavier than my old Craftsmen circular saw!

Darrel

Thanks for the review OldTool, sounds like a nice little piece of equipment. I have a powered jointed in the shop, so I would have to pass on one. And a have a few manual one too. Used the #6 today.

Main Street to the Mountains

👍,👍,👍,🦆...

It's a brave man that dares to bring in an electric plane amongst the kinky one eyed

plane handtool addicts here.

G'donya.. you may be old, but you're no tool! Thanks for taking the time to educate the hand jobbers and write this review.

I have more hand planes that I can leave an unprotected piece of timber alone, however, there is a time when electrons need to do the pushing, people swallow their pride and try to admit they are part of my human race.

I've had this Hitachi

practically since electricity was invented. 
I will concede that I hate umbilical cords and have recently (4 years ago) upgraded to a cordless Ryobi,

(though a tad more than $60)...

Over the years my house had a sinking feeling and the door on my workshop has dropped about 15mm...

Got jack of trying to shoulder open the door with 2 cask-o-vinos in my arms.  Love to see those purists trying to remove 20mm from this threshold (I think that's what it's called)

using a hand job...

Many people have dedicated planes to remove the hairs from their ears and noses... I see nothing wrong with an electric one for some other dedicated job.

$60 is probably less than the cost of my time to draft this comment (with the pictures)...

If your first cut is too short... Take the second cut from the longer end... LBD

Thank you gentlemen for the comments, my point here being that for the price of dinner for two at most restaurants, this tool is in my opinion well worth the money.
Foghorn, I too was a hand tool fan - in my younger days.
Eric, my other jointer is a Stanley #7, just as heavy as this, but takes much longer.
Ducky, I'm not a fan of the battery way, they always seem to be dead when needed.
Thanks for writing it up!

Ryan/// ~sigh~ I blew up another bowl. Moke told me "I made the inside bigger than the outside".