Achieving Perfectly Smooth Surfaces: Why Investing in Quality Planer Blades is Essential

Are you tired of spending hours sanding and smoothing your woodworking projects, only to end up with less-than-perfect results? Look no further – the solution lies in investing in quality planer blades. Whether you're a seasoned woodworker or just starting out, achieving perfectly smooth surfaces is essential for creating professional-looking pieces. Planer blades are one of the most commonly used woodworking tools and they play a crucial role in this process, as they are responsible for removing excess material and leaving behind a flawless finish (planing). But not all planer blades are created equal, and choosing the right ones can make all the difference in the quality of your work. In this article, we will explore why investing in high-quality planer blades is essential for achieving the level of perfection you desire. From improved efficiency to better surface finishes, we will uncover the many benefits that come with using top-notch blades. So, let's dive in and discover how you can take your woodworking projects to the next level with the right planer blades.


The Importance Of Smooth Finishes In Woodworking:


Smooth surfaces are a hallmark of quality woodworking. Whether you're crafting furniture, cabinets, or intricate decorative pieces, achieving a flawless finish is essential for creating pieces that stand out. Smooth surfaces not only enhance the aesthetics of your work but also contribute to its functionality. Sharp edges and smooth surfaces make furniture more comfortable to use, while flawless finishes can elevate the overall look and feel of a piece. Additionally, smooth surfaces make it easier to apply finishes such as paint or varnish, ensuring a professional result. By investing in quality planer blades, you can achieve the level of smoothness required to take your woodworking projects to the next level.

Using high-quality planer blades in woodworking can significantly reduce the need for re-work on a work piece and minimise the amount of sanding required. These blades are designed to make precise and clean cuts, resulting in a smoother surface finish. By properly aligning and adjusting the planer blades, woodworkers can achieve accurate and uniform thickness across the entire work piece. This reduces the chances of uneven surfaces or tear-out, which often require extensive sanding to fix. Ultimately, the use of high-quality planer blades not only saves time and effort but also ensures a professional and flawless finish on the woodwork.

Therefore, the right choice of planer blade can heavily impactyour cycle time, quality and bottom line.


Factors to Consider When Choosing Planer Blades:

When it comes to choosing planer blades, there are several factors to consider. The type of wood you work with, the thickness of the material, and the desired surface finish should all influence your decision and the specifications of the planer blade. Firstly, you need to ensure that the planer blades are compatible with your planer. Different planers have different blade sizes and mounting systems, so it's important to find blades that fit your specific model. Most manufacturers make planer blades that are compatible with third party tool bodies and typically for planer blades, the length and height are the main dimensions that get altered.

Secondly, consider the material the blades are made from. High-Speed Steel (HSS) blades are generally better suited for cutting softwoods rather than hardwoods. Softwoods, such as pine or cedar, have a lower density and are generally easier to cut. HSS blades can effectively handle the lower resistance and produce clean cuts in softwoods. However, when it comes to harder woods like oak or maple, HSS blades may struggle to maintain their sharpness and may require more frequent sharpening or replacement.

Tungsten Carbide Tipped (TCT) planer blades are considered superior to HSS steel blades due to their exceptional hardness and longevity. TCT blades have carbide inserts attached to their cutting edge, which provide superior resistance against wear and tear, allowing them to maintain their sharpness for a longer period. This makes TCT blades ideal for cutting dense and abrasive hardwoods, such as oak, maple, or exotic woods, where HSS blades may struggle. Additionally, TCT blades are also suitable for projects that involve working with materials like laminates, MDF, or particleboard, as they can handle the high abrasion and maintain their cutting edge, resulting in cleaner cuts and reduced re-work. By evaluating these factors, you can choose planer blades that are best suited to your specific woodworking needs.

The height of a planer blade is an important consideration when choosing a planer blade for woodworking because it determines the depth of cut that the planer can make. The height of the blade affects how much material can be removed from the wood surface with each pass.

A taller blade will be able to make deeper cuts, which can be useful for removing a significant amount of material quickly, especially when working with rough or uneven wood surfaces. On the other hand, a shorter blade will make shallower cuts, which may be more suitable for finer and more precise woodworking tasks, such as creating smooth finishes or precise shaping.

Therefore, the height of the planer blade is important to consider as it directly impacts the efficiency, precision, and quality of the woodworking process.


What Are The Different Types Of Planer Blade?


Planer blades come in various types, each designed for specific woodworking tasks but your choice of knife will always depend on your choice of cutter head. Straight knives are the most common type and are suitable for general planing needs whereas there are more specific types of planer blade for complex cutter head

  1. Straight planer blades: These are the most common type of planer blades and are typically made of high-speed steel (HSS). Straight blades are used for general planing tasks and are suitable for both soft and hardwoods. They are easy to sharpen and replace, making them a cost-effective option.
  2. Disposable planer blades: These planer blades are made of cheaper materials and are meant to be discarded after use. These planer blades tend to be far cheaper. However, disposable planer blades are renowned for their low finish quality, often resulting in the need to rework and can also lead to difficulty during later stages of production, such as painting.
  3. Helical planer blades: Helical planer blades consist of several small square or rectangular carbide inserts, also known as spurs, arranged in a helix pattern along the blade. These blades offer excellent cutting performance and durability, making them ideal for heavy-duty planing tasks. Helical blades are commonly used in industrial settings or for professional woodworking projects where precision and longevity are crucial.
  4. Coated planer blades: Coated planer blades offer significant advantages for certain woodworking applications. Different coatings can be applied to the tool body to ensure advantages such as increased tool life, reduced friction or to aid in cutting specific difficult materials.

Benefits of Investing in Quality Planer Blades:

Investing in quality planer blades offers a range of benefits that can greatly enhance your woodworking experience, improve your production efficiency and reduce your total tooling costs.

Firstly, high-quality blades provide improved efficiency. They cut through the material smoothly, reducing the need for multiple passes and minimising the time spent on each project. This not only saves you time but also ensures consistent results across your work and eliminates or reduces the need for sanding, reducing lead times manufacturing.

Buying high quality planer blades is also a sustainable practise, planer blades made from higher quality materials can be resharpened multiple times. At Leitz, we always strive to make our tooling as sustainable as possible, so achieving the maximum number of resharpens. Additionally, much of the carbide from these tools can be recycled and reprocessed into high-grade materials, saving massive environmental costs in the process.

High quality planer blades deliver better surface finishes. The sharpness and precision of the blades result in smooth, tear-free cuts, l

Lastly, investing in quality planer blades can save you money in the long run. While they may have a higher upfront cost, their durability and longevity mean you won't need to replace them as frequently as cheaper alternatives. This makes them a wise investment for serious woodworkers who prioritise quality and efficiency. It may seem like the cheaper blades are more cost-effective. But when measured over a long period of time it become clear that quality tooling can lower costs for most manufactures. It is not uncommon for a quality set of planer blades to last beyond manufacturers recommendations when well maintained.

Common Issues with Planer Blades

Like any tool, planer blades can encounter issues that affect their performance an finish quality. One common issue is dullness. Over time, planer blades can become dull due to regular use, resulting in tear-out, rough surfaces, and reduced efficiency.

Another issue is blade alignment. If the blades are not aligned correctly, they may produce uneven cuts or leave ridges on the surface. When clamping a planer blade into a cutter head you must ensure there is a tight fit. Both tolerance and torque are important factors to consider when mounting planer blades to a cutter head. Tolerance refers to the precision and accuracy of the fit between the blade and the cutter head. It is crucial to ensure a tight and secure fit to prevent any movement or shifting during operation, which can lead to poor cutting performance or even safety hazards. Proper tolerance ensures that the blade is aligned correctly and maintains its position throughout the planing process.

Torque, on the other hand, refers to the amount of rotational force applied to tighten the clamping mechanism. It is essential to apply the appropriate torque specified by the manufacturer to ensure that the blade is securely held in place. Insufficient torque may result in the blade becoming loose during operation, while excessive torque can damage the blade or the clamping mechanism.

Both tolerance and torque play a significant role in the overall performance and safety of the planer. It is important to carefully follow the manufacturer's instructions and recommendations for clamping the planer blade, ensuring the correct tolerance and torque are achieved for optimal results.

Most manufactures will have accessible technical specifications for their products. Leitz customers can take advantage of our digital presence and utilise our online lexicon to get product information and technical advice. You can also download our Leitz Xpert app for information on the go and also use our built-in calculator to make machining calculations.

The Importance of Sharpening Planer Blades:

As we have covered, the sharpening of planer blades is an essential maintenance task that ensures optimal performance. Dull blades not only produce subpar results but also put unnecessary strain on your planer's motor and other components. Regular sharpening helps maintain the sharpness and cutting ability of your blades, ensuring clean and smooth cuts. There are various methods for sharpening planer blades, whichever method you choose, it's important to take safety precautions to avoid accidents. By incorporating regular blade sharpening into your woodworking routine, you can extend the lifespan of your planer blades and consistently achieve high-quality results. We highly recommend getting your planer blades and knives sharpened by professionals like Leitz. With our state of the art machinery, we can typically achieve at least double the sharpens (10-20 sharpens) compared to traditional grinding methods.

At Leitz, we believe in the rule of three: one set on, one set off and one set off for sharpening. This allows you to plan for mistakes and avoid unexpected downtime in your work schedule. The redundancy of having three sets of planer blades ensures that even if one set were to get damaged, broken or lost you will have another set ready to go onto the machine and another set about to head back int your storage.

Why Leitz Tooling is a Top Choice for Planer Blades:

When it comes to investing in quality planer blades, Leitz Tooling stands out as a top choice among woodworkers. Leitz has been a leading manufacturer of precision woodworking tools for over 140 years, and our planer blades are renowned for their exceptional quality and performance. Leitz planer blades are made from high-quality materials such as carbide produced in our own carbide factories or high-speed steel, ensuring durability and longevity. The precision engineering and attention to detail that go into each blade guarantee optimal cutting performance and smooth surfaces. Leitz offers a wide range of planer blades to suit different woodworking needs, from general planing to specialised applications. With their reputation for excellence and a commitment to innovation, Leitz Tooling is a trusted brand that woodworkers can rely on for achieving perfectly smooth surfaces.

With over 8,000 standard products, Leitz has a solutions for almost everything. Our patented marathon planer knives ensure that machinists can plain to high standards of finish quality without having to sacrifice speed- ensuring the tools and machine motor are not damaged in the process. This type of coating is popular amongst mass producers who value speed of production over the cost of individual tool sets. An additional advantage to the marathon system is that, the unique coating reduces friction when machining a work piece, resulting in reduced tool wear, increased health and safety and less stress on a machine motor.

Customer Reviews and Testimonials:

Don't just take our word for it – here are some testimonials from satisfied customers who have experienced the benefits of investing in quality planer blades. We are proud to have a trust pilot rating of 4.8 stars and have only 5 star reviews so far..


"I’ve been using Leitz services on and off for some time now as I don’t always have tools to service. The service has always been professional and to a high standard and any concerns have been communicated to me. Turns out I was running my blades to dull for no reason." - Jean Carr (2023) 5 STAR


"Steven Brophy always go above and beyond to help us, from buying new blades to a simple sharpen of an existing blades. He guided us through making sure we get exactly what we need without any hassle and at a reasonable price.." - Stevie Windsor (2023) 5 STAR


"First class sharpening and supplying new blades. Leitz staff have been very knowledgeable in all areas. Highly recommend them, been supplying us for over 15 years." - Carol White (2023) 5 STAR

Other Resources That May Help:

Find out more information on Leitz planing solutions here.

Browse our online shop range of knives here and planer blades here.

Find the right planer blade for your cutter head with our product finder.

Or explore the full Leitz knife range on our online lexicon.

Leitz Knives & Inserts


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