How to Use a Handheld Power Planer

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Handheld power planers offer all the abilities of a surface planer in the palm of your hand. Straighten up a cut of wood with help from a professional remodeler in this free video.

Part of the Video Series: Home Remodeling Tools
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Video Transcript

Hi, my name is Chris Palmer. In this segment, I'm going to show you how to use a handheld power planer. There are a lot of great applications for your handheld power planer around the house. You might use it to shape some doors that are a little bit tight for their opening. Or, you might use it to straighten out a crooked cut. Or, you might use it to clean up a painted or rough surface that you want to look like bare wood. Whatever you're using your tool for, always wear your safety glasses and hearing protection. And, keep your fingers and other articles of clothing, and that sort of thing, out of the way. Now, once you're ready to work, the first thing you want to do is set the depth of your cut. There's a knob on the front of your power planer with a range of depths you want to use. It's best to take off a little bit of material at a time, and make a few passes, as opposed to trying to take it all off at once. Once your depth is set, you want to choose which dust port you want the waste to exit from. Here are my two dust ports. I'm going to choose for the material to get blown that way. So, I just flip that switch. There's an arrow that tells you which way you're going. The really important thing to remember when you're using this tool is to keep the tool square on your work piece, particularly when you're exiting your work piece at the end of your cut. Most of the tool is no longer on the work piece, and it's real easy to let the tool dive. If you let that happen, you can wind up with a big gouge out of your work. So, you can clamp on a extra scrap piece to keep the tool straight while you're exiting your work. Or, just take extra care, and keep that thing straight at the end of your cut. Thanks for watching. My name's Chris Palmer. That's how you use a handheld power planer.

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