- Festool Domino DF500 Review: Should You Buy It? - August 6, 2021
- WEN 6552 Planer Review: Is it Worth It? - August 4, 2021
- Black and Decker Matrix Review: Is It Right For You? - August 4, 2021
The WEN 6552 planer is an improvement on its older sibling, the 6550. This new iteration brings to the table advanced features that prove popular among DIY woodworkers.
This planer is meant for those whose woodworking projects have started demanding a more advanced tool, although professional contractors might find this to be a bit insufficient.
Incidentally, if you’re starting out, this planer is probably not for you either. I would recommend that novices take the plunge into woodworking with smaller power tools first before moving on to a thickness planer such as the WEN 6552.
If you’re reading this, you’re probably interested in picking up a planer for your projects. This article is an in-depth, WEN 6552 Benchtop Thickness Planer review. Keep reading to find out more.
So who is the WEN 6552 really meant for?
It’s a planer for intermediates, those who have started mastering the craft and are interested in moving up from a basic hand planer. An advanced user will also enjoy owning this machine, but it certainly can’t handle massive projects. More on its limitations a bit later.
The WEN 6552 is an evolution of the previous generation, offering more power and speed compared to the 6550.
At first glance, the two planers look similar, with the same design language and DNA. However, under the hood, the 6552 now rocks three cutting blades giving it a stronger punch. This means that, if you’re coming from a 6550, you’ll notice a smoother finish and higher precision.
Here’s a breakdown of the planer’s specifications.
- Dimensions of 25.2 x 21.8 x 16 inches
- Weighs 66 pounds
- Three cutting blades
- Powerful 15 amp motor that produces 8500 revolutions per minute
- 25,500 cuts per minute speed
- Accepts boards up to 6 inches thick and 13 Inch wide
- Has a thickness depth adjustment knob to adjust the cutting depth of 0 to 3/32 Inch
- Strong, cast iron and steel build
- Height adjustable infeed and outfeed trays
- Comfortable rubber-grip adjustment crank
- Return rollers at the top of the planer
Read below for a detailed look at the WEN 6552’s main features.
Cast Iron and Steel Build
This power planer is compact, as far as planers go. It’s built for a home workshop, and it comfortably sits on your benchtop. The build is sturdy thanks to the use of cast iron and steel. However, there are plastic sections that underscore the fact that it’s meant for light duty.
In fact, some critical gears are made of plastic, compromising on the durability. Some users have actually experienced gear failure within a couple of uses. This is the 6552’s Achilles heel. However, these complaints are isolated cases, perhaps individual product defects. WEN also offers an impressive 2-year warranty to give you some peace of mind.
We’ll delve deeper into the pros and cons later.
On the bright side, the planer’s structural integrity is kept sound thanks to the sturdy metallic parts like the cast iron base. This ensures that it remains firmly planted on the tabletop while in use. To complement this, there are mounting holes on the feet, if you intend to fasten the planer onto the benchtop.
The WEN 6552 definitely feels rugged, as a planer should feel.
The WEN 6552 is an ideal thickness planer for the intermediate worker who is interested in home renovating and woodworking. However, it's not that great for commercial workers who are going to work on large number of projects.
Okay, so it weighs 66 pounds which is, by no means, lightweight and easily portable planer. However, for a planer, you want it to have some heft for greater stability. Still, this WEN benchtop planer has been designed for ease of movement and is considered to be somewhat of a portable thickness planer. The sides have carrying handles while the infeed and outfeed tables are foldable.
If you intend to tuck the planer away after every use, you’ll find these features to be quite handy.
Powerful motor and three-blade design
With a 15 amp motor, this planer packs quite a punch. This allows it to achieve a speed of 8500 RPM. Take the powerful motor and combine it with the three-blade design, and what you get is a planer whose output is fast and smooth. Actually, many users have lauded the fact that no after-sanding is required after passing your wood through this WEN beast.
The 6552 is able to accomplish a speed of 25,500 cuts per minute, which is a huge improvement over the previous generation’s speed of 17,000 CPM.
This is, perhaps, the most notable upgrade over the 6550.
As the cherry on top, the planer blades have a double cutting edge. Therefore, when one side loses its bite, you can flip the blades over. With this feature, it will be a while before you need to buy new planer blades.
As a result of these features, the WEN 6552 planer can achieve a smooth finish compared to fits sibling. It’s coupled with the feed rate of 26 feet per minute; this planer is capable of handling most (if not all) of your woodworking projects.
Greater work precision
The WEN 6552 has a crank handle at the top, meant to adjust the planing thickness. Used together with the gauge on the front face of the planer, you can opt to shave off anywhere from 0 to 3/32 inches.x
There are also infeed and outfeed tables with an adjustable height, designed to support the timber and to prevent sniping.
Handy dust port
Planing can be a messy affair, but with the handy dust port behind this WEN planer, you’ll be able to easily connect a dust hose and collector to help maintain a neat workshop.
As you work, the planer’s fan will blow the sawdust from the board and pull it into the dust hose to be delivered to the dust collector.
The dust chute is easy to connect to the WEN 6552, taking only a couple of seconds to fasten using screws.
Choosing a Planer: Is the WEN Thickness Planer 6552 Right For You?
Perhaps you’re still torn about whether to get this planer or not. To help you come to a decision, let’s take a look at what you need to consider when looking for a benchtop planer.
Consider your level of expertise and intended use
Consider how much work you plan to put the planer through. You may not need a large benchtop planer if your projects are few and far between.
If you’re just starting out and you work on simple home projects then consider a basic hand planer such as the WEN 6530 electric hand planer. A powerful benchtop planer might be a waste of space and money.
However, if you’re an avid woodworker and you intend to work on large home projects regularly, then you’ll definitely need power, speed, and precision. At this level, a benchtop planer such as the WEN 6552 might be a worthy consideration.
On the flip side, professional woodworkers who work on commercial projects would find this planer to be limiting as its general build and power aren’t sufficient for heavy duty, all-day use.
Consider the motor power
Once you’ve figured out how much work you intend to do using a planer, the next thing to consider is the power of your planer of choice. This is determined by the motor, which can make or break the performance of a planer.
If a planer promises anything less than 8000 revolutions per minute (RPM), then ignore it. A weak motor is usually unable to plane hardwood and can easily burn out when pushed too far.
The WEN 6552’s motor can handle 8500 RPM, which is perfect for a benchtop planer.
Consider the planer’s build
To ensure stability during planing, a good benchtop planer needs to have a strong build. When choosing one for your workshop, make sure its base is made of sturdy material like cast iron. If the base is strong, then the planer will remain planted on the work surface when in use.
However, the rest of the machine should also be made of a high-quality material that’s durable enough to withstand the arduous work that a planer is normally put through.
Consider the board capacity
Different planers can accept boards of different capacities. For instance, the WEN 6552 is able to handle timber that’s 13 inches wide and 6 inches thick.
Confirm the maximum width and thickness that the planer can handle because this also determines the types of projects you can get done with your planer. If the one you’re considering can’t handle more than 11 inches in width, then look elsewhere.
Consider the dust ejection mechanism
The dust produced during planing can not only be a hassle to clean, but it can also cause health problems. Because of this, you’ll need a planer with an efficient dust ejection mechanism.
Planers like this WEN Thickness Planer have fans to blow the dust into the dust port, onward to the dust collector. This is a handy little feature that saves you the time of cleaning up afterward.
Consider the number of cutting blades
From our review of the WEN 6552, we saw that the more the blades, the better the finish of your board. You can find benchtop planers with either two or three knives but consider those with three blades as these produce far better results.
Consider the type of cutter head
Other than the number of blades, you should also consider the type of cutter head in the planer. There are two types: the straight knife cutter head and the helical cutter head. Most benchtop planers have the straight knife cutter heads which are always sufficient for day to day use.
However, more expensive commercial planers come with the helical cutter heads which are able to handle a higher workload.
Still, a good planer should allow you to interchange the cutter heads easily, if you choose to switch from one type to the other.
Warranty and availability of parts
Find out how long the planer’s warranty is before making a purchase. A warranty of two years is ideal, so in case of any issues within this period, you’ll be sure that the manufacturer will support you.
When the warranty period expires, you should still be certain that you can find the planer’s parts easily. Find out the manufacturer recommended retailers of the machine’s parts. If replacement parts are hard to find, then this should put you off from buying a type of planer.
The table below shows a breakdown of the pros and cons of the WEN 6552 thickness planer.
Powerful amp motor and ability to produce 8500 RPMs
The machine is rather noisy
Has three cutting blades for a smooth finish
Some plastic gears can easily get damaged
Has a strong cast iron base for greater stability
Easily adjustable thickness
Has height-adjustable infeed and outfeed trays
It’s highly affordable compared to other similar planers such as the Dewalt DW 735X.
Frequently Asked Questions
How long do the blades usually last?
With regular use, you’ll easily get over a year out of the blades. They might even survive longer before you need to replace them.
Where can I buy replacement blades?
Replacement parts can be ordered from the WEN website.
Does the WEN 6552 Power Planer come with a dust collection bag?
No, it isn’t sold with a dust collection bag. You’ll have to buy this separately.
The WEN 6552 is for the woodworker who loves building home improvement. However, it isn’t for a commercial user who intends to work on a large number of projects.
If you’re thinking of moving up from a hand planer and are looking for a good benchtop thickness planer, then the WEN 6552 is a good planer choice. It’s more affordable than its Dewalt counterparts but offers as much power and precision.
Don’t stop here! Check out our full article on How To Find The Best Wood Planer.
The DW680K 3-1/4" Planer Kit with 3/32" (2.5mm) Depth of Cut has a heavy-duty 7.0 Amp motor that provides a smooth, even finish in the hardest of woods. 3/32" maximum depth of cut per pass decreases passes on your material.