If you are reading this, it is because you are probably interested in adding a planer to your shop. The problem? Knowing that you need a planer, and knowing which one you need are two very different things. The unfortunate truth of the matter is that not all tools are created equally. That being the case, it can help a lot to take an in-depth look at a tool before you make your decision.
That is where we come into play. Let’s take a look at the powerful WEN 6550 to determine whether or not it is the right planer for your shop.
What’s In The Box?
As is usually the case with most power tool packages (unless you are buying used) WEN is hooking you up with everything that you need to get started. Standard stuff, but it is also still good to see.
- Granite table
- Rubber adjustment handle
- Sturdy cast iron base
- Foldable infeed and outfeed tables
- Side handles
- Fan assisted dust port
- Item Weight: 79 lbs.
- Product Dimensions: 23.5″ X 24″ X 19″ Inches
- Size: 12.5″
Pros & Cons
Now that we have an understanding of this tool’s basic information, let’s dive a little bit deeper and examine the pros and cons to determine how they stack up to your needs.
Easy To Transport
Table top planers are not generally known for their portability which is why it is nice to see that this one is relatively easy to transport. It features built in side handles, and a collapsible table so that at the end of the day you can easily move your planer wherever you need it to go.
Portability is obviously a nice feature for the contractor that needs to take their tools to the jobsite but if you are a do it yourselfer that is trying to make the most out of limited shop space you will also appreciate how easy it is to tuck this tool away when you aren’t using it.
There is certainly no doubt that this planer has been built with stability in mind. And of course, stability is a close cousin of consistency in the world of woodwork. Weighing in at over seventy pounds, with a granite table and a cast iron base, truly every component of this planer is designed to ensure that nothing shakes or slides as you work.
Regardless of to what extent you plan to use this tool the stability features at work in the Wen are most definitely your friend.
Infeed / Outfeed Tables
These are fairly standard components of all planers of this nature, of course, but it is nevertheless still nice to see. The adjustable infeed/outfeed tables will make it easy to work with and support longer workpieces.
Like “stability” precision is another word to look out for when it comes to the world of power tools. Using a rubber coated adjustment handle you will be able to alter the height of your planer as precisely as you could hope for. Each full rotation the comfort grip handle adjusts the height by 1/16th of an inch, which naturally means that you have very precise control over your workstation.
Dust Hose Connection Port
This model also features a dust hose connection port which is both an important safety and convenience feature. By attaching a dry vac to the 2-inch, fan assisted port, you can keep your work station as clean as possible.
Naturally, I love an easy clean up as much as the next guy, but like I said this is more than just a matter of convenience. Breathing in saw dust is known to be unhealthy which is why a good dust collection system is so important.
Utilizing the dust hose connection port will keep your shop, and your lungs clean for an easier clean up and happier, healthier life.
Snipe is the bane of the planer’s existence as it can make portions of workpieces unusable, but fortunately this model features a tri-roller feeding system that is designed specifically to reduce the possibility of incurring snipe.
Expensive Replacement Blades
Unfortunately, the replacement blades for this model trend on the pricier side. While this isn’t necessarily a deal breaker for most people, it is something of a drag, especially if you plan to use this planer a lot, particularly on hardwoods.
Overpriced replacement blades do add up over time, so if you can say for sure that you will be using this tool a lot it would not be unreasonable to eliminate it as a buying option in favor of a tool with more affordable replacement parts.
Aside from that, there really are no major cons, which is very good to see in a product of this nature.
You are getting the standard two-year manufacturer’s warranty with this one. It is pretty much exactly what you would expect to see from any power tool. If, over the course of a two-year span, you encounter any problems with your tool that are the result of a manufacturer’s error they can be taken care of free of cost. Naturally, this warranty does not cover damage that is the result of tampering with the tool on your part. It is a basic, but nevertheless, good warranty plan.
ConclusionWell, I don’t know about you but I’m impressed. My personal opinion is that the WEN 6550 is a reliable tool that can boast a lot of value. It is powerful, stable, and affordable. Truly? What else can you expect out of a planer?
While it is not perfect, my opinion is that it the pros vastly outweigh the con. I’ll make this concession: because of the expensive blade changes contractors may not favor this tool. People that are going to go through a lot of blades will probably favor something with more affordable replacement parts. For everyone else, it is a great tool that is available at a great price!
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