Ryobi tools

Ryobi hand planer – Is it a terrible buy?

A Ryobi hand planer can help you smooth out a rough board, help with connecting boards together, or take just a fraction of an inch off its thickness. But is a Ryobi hand planer worth the money? This guide will help you understand why you might want one, available options and features, and whether or not Ryobi is worth the buy.

What is a Ryobi hand planer?

Ryobi is a tool brand that has sold power tools since the 1970s. It is one of two flagship brands found at Home Depot (the other being Rigid) that they market towards DIY and hobbyist woodworkers.

In general, contractors and other professionals look down at Ryobi as inferior, but their tools have come a long way in quality over the years.

Hand planers shave off a very thin piece of wood. They can help unstick a door, straighten a warped piece of wood, or help with smoothing or making slight adjustments to the width of a board.

Non-powered hand planers are excellent for very fine shavings, but a power version, like Ryobi offers, create rougher cuts. They are generally useful for DIY and construction tasks and less helpful for fine wood working.

A Ryobi hand planer comes in both corded and battery operated versions. The battery operated option works with all 18 volt batteries that Ryobi makes.

Features of a Ryobi hand planer

Ryobi planers come in two styles: battery operated and corded. They offer the following features:

  • Duel dust ports: Both versions come with a bag attachment to collect dust as well as another port to connect to a shop vac. While they may fit most shop vacs, they should be compatible with a Ryobi shop vac.
  • Kick stand: The kick stand allows you to place the planer on its end to avoid damaging your work bench or work piece.
  • 3 year warranty: If you get the battery operated version, there is an additional warranty on the battery. Otherwise, the tools themselves have limited coverage from defect for up to 3 years.
  • Carrying bag: Admittedly, this is not that awesome a feature, particularly if you plan to keep your Ryobi planer on a shelf until needed. But if you do plan to carry it to a jobsite, even one around the house, the bag may come in handy. As an added bonus, it comes in a lime green color just like the tools so you really know you are carrying a Ryobi tool around with you in case you forget or want to advertise it for some reason.
  • Rabbet Edge Guide: The edge guide allows you to easily slide the planer straight along your work piece.
  • Reversible Blades: The Ryobi planer comes with two reversible blades to get you started. Depending on how frequently you use it and what types of wood, they may last you a long time.
  • Cut depth up to 1/8″: As discussed, planers take a very small amount of wood off the piece you’re cutting. The corded can offer up to an 1/8″ while the battery can do up to 1/16th an inch.

Types of Ryobi hand planers

As discussed, Ryobi only offers two versions of their hand planers mainly because there really isn’t much variation you can make on a hand planer. If you want a lot of options, you should check out Ryobi’s miter saw lineup.

Ryobi 3 1/4" Portable Hand Planer

The 3 1/4″ Portable hand planer is their corded model. It can cut up to 1/8″ depth. It’s cutting width is 3 1/4″, which means it may be great for cutting doors to thickness, making small leveling changes to a thin board, or help you even out a board you intend to glue together.

Ryobi 18V ONE+ 3 1/4" Planer
18V ONE+ 3 1/4″ PLANER

The 18V ONE+ offers the same features as the corded version, but it is battery operated. The other main difference is the maximum depth of the cut which is 1/16″ on the battery operated version.

Pros and Cons


  • comes with a bag for easy storage and transportation to a job site
  • attached kickstand helps prevent damage to the blade, work piece, or work bench (the last point really don’t matter to my dinged up bench, but you may like keeping yours in pristine condition)
  • similar price between the two models, but the battery operated one is slightly less expensive


  • battery operated can remove half the amount of wood as the corded version
  • may not hold up well to rigorous use as a contractor (but should work fine as a DIYer)

Where to buy a Ryobi hand planer

The Home Depot sells Ryobi hand planers both online and at their store. When you order online, you can ship it to your house or their store for free. You can also visit Ryobi’s website and purchase their hand planers there, though they will add it to a Home Depot virtual cart.

You can also find several types of Ryobi hand planers on Amazon. They sell new, used, and refurbished hand planers.

Both Amazon and Home Depot can help you compare Ryobi hand planers to other brands. Sometimes it can help make your final decision before purchase. In their app and website, Home Depot gives a side by side comparison of the planer you are viewing and similar models that may help you finalize your decision.

You can check out Facebook Marketplace. People often sell tools from small hand tools to miter saws, table saws, and planers. They are not always available or reliable, but I have had some success buying a few power tools and bits from Facebook sellers.

You may also find other secondhand websites that offer Ryobi or other brands of hand planers.

When to buy a Ryobi hand planer

Home Depot runs an annual promotion around Memorial Day called Ryobi Days. Ryobi Days typically offers discounts on tools, buy one get one free battery deals, and free tools with purchase of a battery pack, among other possibilities. You will need to check with your local Home Depot to know when the sale is going on and what it includes.

If you have a lot of Ryobi battery operated tools, this is a great time of year to update your batteries or tools.

Home Depot also tends to put Ryobi and their other tools on sale around the holidays in December and November.

Top 3 considerations before purchasing a Ryobi hand planer

Before you purchase a Ryobi hand planer or any other brand, here are the top things to consider. Don’t worry, its a short list because the purpose of a power hand planer is relatively limited.

  1. Cost – Ryobi hand planers cost a bit over 100 dollars. They are not the cheapest but also not the most expensive either. They are a good mid-range model for DIY and casual wood workers.
  2. Use: What is your intended use of the planer? When I purchased mine, I had one task in mind, which was shaving some wood off an existing door and to help ensure a new one I was building would fit snuggly without rubbing. I don’t use it everyday, which means it should hold up for me for years to come. But if you plan to use it every day, be prepared to replace the blades frequently and may need to replace the tool itself at some point.
  3. Reviews: Ryobi’s hand planer gets generally good reviews online from other users. The reviews tend to average in the upper 4 out of 5 range. In my own experience, the tool works as expected and does not cause any major issues when using it. The built in guide is also helpful if you have trouble keeping your tool going straight. I’m terrible freehand, so I typically benefit from guides like that.

Take away

There’s not much to a Ryobi hand planer. It comes as a battery operated and corded version to shave wood off a workpiece. It is great for smoothing rough lumber, helping doors fit nicely in their frames, and other similar uses.

The main difference between their two models, besides one uses a battery, is that the corded version can take off 1/8″ of material while the battery version can only cut 1/16″.

I have the corded version myself and rarely use it. You may not need to purchase this tool right away if you are new to woodworking and trying to build up your shop. You may instead want a non-powered hand planer or start with either a table saw or miter saw to help get your shop going.

Need more help?

If you are building your workshop and trying to decide between a miter saw (chop saw) or table saw, check out the benefits and draw backs of each in this comparison post. You can also read a buying guide on Ryobi table saws and Ryobi miter saws.

If you are really new to wood working or DIY, check out this post of suggestions for getting started.

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