A surface planer was one of the first tools I purchased when I finally had space for a workshop. This tool opens up a whole new world of possibilities by allowing the purchase of rough lumber which can be dimensioned to size to custom thicknesses. Without a planer, one is limited to pre-planed lumber, which is usually very expensive, and is available in only limited thicknesses. The planer allows me to go to the lumberyard, sort through a big pile of lumber and select the best pieces based on size, grain pattern and suitability. Plus, I can work my boards to slightly over or undersize, depending on my needs. There are several tools which a shop needs – obviously saws and drills and sanders, etc. but to build furniture, you’re gonna need a planer.
The Dewalt 13 inch planer is a really well made tool. The lumber comes out very smooth, with few mill marks. The blades are fairly inexpensive, and are sharp on both edges, allowing them to be reversed. It will generate a huge pile of sawdust in a very short time.