What is a benchtop planer?
A benchtop planer is an indispensable tool for the workshop of every woodworker. Whether they work professionally or are a hobbyist, a benchtop planer could be very helpful. It smooths out a natural piece of wood of varying thickness into a plane board which is smooth and even on both sides.
The same is also sometimes used to reduce the thickness of the board to the desired level. The planer gives the wooden boards a finished surface that can be used in DIY projects in a home workshop or large-scale professional projects.
WEN 6550 vs 6552 Comparison
|WEN 6550 vs 6552 Comparison|
|Editor's ChoiceWEN 6550T 15 Amp 12.5 in. Corded Benchtop Thickness Planer||LATEST PRICE →|
|WEN 6552T 13 in. 15 Amp 3-Blade Benchtop Corded Thickness Planer||LATEST PRICE →|
WEN 6550 vs 6552
Although many manufacturers are available when you go hunting for a benchtop wood planer, the name that stands out is WEN Products. WEN is a Chinese manufacturer which is known for its quality and the competitive prices they offer.
In this post, we’ll be comparing two of the best-selling benchtop planers by WEN: 6550 and 6552. Both are popular products on Amazon and each one has its own fair share of positive reviews and ratings.
Picking a clear winner isn’t all that simple. They look alike and share the same specifications, for the most part. However, some of the features are different, which contributes to the differences in their functionality. We will focus on the differences so that you can pick the right one for yourself.
Both the models, WEN 6550 and 6552, can handle the same maximum thickness of the wood, i.e. 6 inches. As for the width, 6550 can support a board that is a maximum of 12.5 inches in width while 6552 can handle wooden boards that are up to 13 inches wide. Now, 6552 is the clear winner for this category. However, do keep in mind that ½ an inch isn’t that big of a difference, especially when working with large pieces.
As far as power is concerned. The two planers are identical. They both feature the same 15 Amp, 120 V motor that can deliver a no-load speed of 8500 RPM. With such an impressive motor, both the models are equally capable of handling thicker and rougher varieties of wood with absolute ease.
The same power also accounts for the high feed rate of the two planers. With a feed rate of 26 feet per minute for both 6550 and 6552, you will be done with the job in no time.
Although the power is the same for both the models, the number of blades is different (discussed in the next section). The difference in the number of blades is where the difference in the cutting speed comes from for the two models. WEN 6550 is capable of delivering 17,000 cuts per minute. This rate is the standard for most planers in the industry.
WEN 6552 uses a higher number of cutting blades to deliver a phenomenal rate of 25,500 cuts per minute. A higher cutting speed, when the feed rate is identical for the two, corresponds to a smoother finish of the wood.
WEN 6552, yet again, take the crown for this category. Delivering a higher cutting speed, it will create much more even and finished results as compared to its competitor.
The blades for the two models are identical in their quality and material. Both 6550 and 6552 use the same type of dual-edged carbon steel blades for the effective and longlasting performance of the planer. Dual-edged means that the blades that are placed on the tri-roller feeding system of both the models are reversible. By reversing the direction of the blades from time to time, you can ensure sharp cuts for your project and longer life for the planer.
We have seen that the style and quality of the blades are identical. The same is not true for the number of blades. WEN 6550 features two dual-edged blades while WEN 6552 features three dual-edged blades. With a greater number of blades spinning for 6552 when the RPM is the same, the cuts per minute will be higher. A greater number of cuts each minute accounts for a smoother finish of the wood.
Also, since the pressure is distributed over three blades rather than two, for 6552, the life of the blades will be longer. This means that you won’t be purchasing replacements as frequently for WEN 6552 as you would for 6550.
WEN 6552 is still in the lead! With a greater number of blades, both the finish quality of the wood and the durability of the blades are higher.
6550 features a granite work table while 6552 features cast iron. Granite makes 6550 exceptionally strong. You will experience no vibrations whatsoever, when working with 6550, for the same reason. Additionally, it has a smooth finish, there are no chances of warping and it will last much longer than cast iron.
As for 6552 which features a cast iron worktable, it makes the model lighter and easier to use. On the downside, it is not as sturdy or as durable as the table on 6550. The cast iron table may warp over time and can suffer damage with heavy use.
This point goes in favor of WEN 6550. It’s a very solid point since it determines the longevity of your benchtop planer.
Both models include a bundle of extras, including height-adjustable infeed and outfeed tables, rubber adjustment handle, dust port and collapsible table for easy transport and storage.
However, 6552 includes some additional bells and whistles that may attract the customers. As compared to a single 2” dust port of 6550, 6552 includes a dust adapter with 2”, 2.5” and 4” hoses to attach to any dust extraction device. Return rollers are also unique to 6552 and help in passing the work back.
After reading the detailed comparison of the two products, you will agree with us when we declare WEN 6552 as the winner. With the better cutting ability, higher capacity, greater number of blades and the additional extras that the model features, it is undoubtedly the recommended choice over WEN 6550.
WEN 6550, too, is an excellent benchtop planer. It’s especially impressive to someone who isn’t swayed by the bells and whistles but seeks a sturdy model that lasts a lifetime. The choice, ultimately, is solely yours.