The 9 Best Planers With Helical Heads

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This wiki has been updated 20 times since it was first published in December of 2018. If you're finishing boards and you want your wood to be as smooth as possible, consider using one of these planers with helical heads. Their carbide inserts make short work of any timber you have to work with, and they stay sharp for longer than their straight counterparts. They are pricier, but the benefits — both in terms of plank quality and blade durability — are well worth it. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki.

1. Jet JWP-15BHH

2. Grizzly Industrial G0891

3. Jet JWP-208HH

Editor's Notes

December 11, 2020:

The perfect choice for large, bulky timber and long lengths of lumber, an electric planer will flatten rough faces or reduce thickness levels of all kinds of wood. The ones in this ranking have a helical head, which is made up of many small inserts, usually made from carbide, staggered around the cutterhead, and set at an angle. A helical head typically produces a much smoother finish than a straight knife planer, however, they are much more expensive and therefore only really desirable to professional woodworkers who frequently need this level of precision.

In this update, we replaced some options with the latest models available from each manufacturer, and added several new ones to complete the ranking. The Rikon 25-210H was removed completely, as its fence system has repeatedly been criticized for being inaccurate and time-consuming to adjust. Two other models from Rikon however did remain on the list, the Rikon 23-400H, which is a large floor-standing model that's biggest benefit is its easy blade changing system, and the Rikon Power Tools 25-130H, which is one of the only benchtop helical planers on the market. The Jet JWP-15HH was replaced with the newer Jet JWP-15BHH, which still features the same dependable, three horsepower induction motor, but now has a head with 48 carbide knives instead of 72 on the previous model. This doesn't make it inferior in any way, as it still produces the same high-quality finish, yet when it comes to replacing the teeth it will undoubtedly be much cheaper.

In addition, we also added several new models to the ranking. The Grizzly Industrial G0891 is a 15-inch model with a high-quality headstock that adjusts on a four-column support with gas struts, and has a powerful motor that produces 5200 RPM. The Powermatic 15HH is also a 15-inch model that has a fan-cooled motor and an impressive all-metal dust hood that keeps the table and workpiece free from debris. Unfortunately, this one is only available in the 230-volt model though, meaning you may need to carry out some modifications to the electrical supply in your workshop. The Shop Fox W1865 is a larger option with a five-horsepower motor that can accept lumber of over eight inches thick and 20 inches wide. It has plenty of other features that make it a worthy option, too, such as hardened anti-kickback fingers, a depth scale in imperial and metric, and its precision head with 92 indexable carbide inserts.

January 07, 2019:

Much of our focus was placed on ease of use and cutting quality, obviously, but we also tried to find machines that were quiet and made cleanup easy. The Jet JWP-15HH was the clear winner in that regard, although you may have to occasionally adjust the dust hood a little bit. Still, it should prove to be a worthwhile addition to any hobbyist's garage or shop.

Special Honors

Southern Saw Since 1845, when it began as a family-owned and operated company, Southern Saw provides businesses with quality services and products to meet all of their tooling needs. Whether you are looking to purchase new cutting tools, or to sharpen and maintain your existing ones, take a look at their website to see how they can help.

4. Rikon Power Tools 25-130H

5. Shop Fox W1865

6. Oliver Machinery 10014.2

7. Powermatic 15HH

8. Rikon 23-400H

9. Jet JJP-12HH

Chris Gillespie
Last updated by Chris Gillespie

Starting his career in the building industry, Chris built and managed a plumbing and heating company in northern England. After 13 years, seeking a more fulfilling lifestyle, he moved to southeast Asia, eventually settling in Vietnam, where he teaches writing and comprehension at a number of international universities. Drawing on his previous experience, and his passion for kitesurfing and windsurfing, Chris is knowledgeable in all things water related both recreationally and within the construction industry.

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