Everything you need to know about a planer machine

A planer machine is another type of metal working machine tool that uses linear relative motion (reciprocating) on a single-point cutting tool to the workpiece.

Planer is much similar to shaper machines that is why an article was published on their differences. Their major difference is that, planer machines are larger and move the workpiece while shaper machines rotates the cutting tool. This machine is also very important in machine shops as many operations can be perform on it.

Read: Everything you need to know about shaping machine

planer machine

Today we’ll be looking at the definition, components, working principle, mechanism, operation, types, specification and application of a planer machines.

Planer machine definition:

Planer machines are machine tools that is designed primarily for producing planes and flat surfaces using a single-point cutting tool. Just as mentioned earlier, it is just like a shaper machine, but it is very large and massive. This is why it is applicable on heavy jobs that cannot be perform on a shaper machine.

The working principle of a planer machine:

The working of planer machines are quite easy and less skill to use it. the working is achieved by rigidly placing the job on the machine table. A single cutting tool which is firmly held in the tool post. The tool post is mounted on the reciprocating ram that offer the reciprocation motion of the ram by a quick return motion mechanism.

Reciprocating motion of planer machines are forward and backward movement or stroke of the ram. The forward stroke takes the cuts from the material while the return stroke set the ram for another cutting action.

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The video below explained how the machine works:

planer machine diagram


The following stated below represent the applications of planer machines:

  • It is use for cutting slots and grooves.
  • Take cutting at an angle and machining dovetails.
  • Also suitable for generating accurate flat and curved surfaces.

Read: Everything you need to know about milling machine

Advantages and disadvantages of planer machines:


The following represent planer machines benefits:

  • Good surface finish.
  • Low maintenance requirement.
  • Greater accuracy.
  • More than one tool can be use on a workpiece.


Despite the great advantages of a planer machines, some limitations still occur. The following represent the disadvantages of planer machines

  • Planer machines are expensive.
  • It requires more power supply to work.
  • Skilled worker is required.
  • Only a single-point cutting tool can be use.
  • Its operation is finite.

Types of planer machine:

The following are the various planer machine types:

  • Double housing planer.
  • Open side planer.
  • Pit type of planer machine.
  • Edge or plate planer.
  • Divided table planer.

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Planer machine mechanism:

The following are the two major type of planer mechanism:

  1. Table drive mechanism.
  2. Feeding mechanism.

The different table drive mechanism includes:

  1. Open and cross belt drive.
  2. Reversible motor drive.
  3. Hydraulic drive.

Planer machine parts:

A planer machine consists of the following parts:

  • Bed
  • Table
  • Housing or Column
  • Cross rail
  • Tool head
  • Driving and
  • Feed mechanism

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Planer machine operations:

The common operations performed on a planer machine include:

  • Machining flat horizontal surfaces.
  • Flat vertical surfaces.
  • Angular surfaces and machining dovetails.
  • Curved surfaces slots and grooves.

Read: Everything you need to know about drilling machine

Planer machine specification:

The following stated below represent the specification of planer machines:

  • Distance between the two housings.
  • The maximum length of the table travel.
  • Height from top of the table to the cross rail in its upmost position.

Well, the specification in the open size planer machines are quite different. It is specified by the largest job that can be machined on its table.

Other specification of planer machines may include:

  • Number of feeds.
  • Number of speeds.
  • Length of table.
  • Length of bed.
  • Floor space requirement.
  • Power input.
  • Net weight of the machine.
  • Method of driving table (geared or hydraulic).

That’s is it for this article, “understand planer machines”. I hope you enjoy the reading, if so, kindly comment and share. Thank!

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