A Router Sled vs Planer – Which is the Better Tool For the Job?

What’s the best tool for getting straight edges on your boards? Planer? Router sled? Or maybe you have one of each, so you can use whichever works best in each situation? I was wondering the same thing, so I decided to conduct a comparison between my router sled and planer. In this article, I’ll discuss the pros and cons of each tool, as well as their respective strengths and weaknesses, so you can decide which one might work better for your needs.

What Exactly Are These Tools?

Router Sled

router sled

Router is a handy, versatile tool used by woodworkers of all skill levels. Used most often to create smooth, even edges on wood stock, routers can also be used to create decorative effects and joinery. plunge router, which has a spring-loaded mechanism that allows the router bit to be lowered into the workpiece, is the best type of router to use for woodworking.

Know More: Top 7 Best Router For Flattening Slabs in 2022

router working machanism

Routers are most commonly used to create smooth, even edges on wood stock. The router bit is lowered into the workpiece, and then the router is moved along the edge of the workpiece, using the spring-loaded mechanism to keep the router bit in contact with the workpiece. The router bit spins as it cuts, and the depth of the cut can be controlled by adjusting the height of the router bit.

router bit

Know More: 6 Best Router Bit For Flattening Slabs

Routers can also be used to create decorative effects and joinery. The router bit is raised and lowered to create different depths of cuts, and the router can be moved in different directions to create different patterns.

router bit working procedure

Routers are a versatile tool that can be used to create a variety of different effects on wood. With a little practice, anyone can learn to use a router to create smooth, even edges and decorative patterns.

Planer

hand planer

A planner is a woodworking machine used to produce horizontal, vertical, or inclined flat surfaces on a workpiece, usually of wood. The cutter head contains a number of blades, or knives, that shear the wood fibers as the workpiece passes through to produce a smooth surface.

benchtop planer

Planers are similar to jointers, but whereas a jointer only cuts along the length of a workpiece, a planer also cuts across the width. This allows for the creation of surfaces that are much flatter and smoother than those produced by a jointer.

Planers are typically large and expensive machines, and are therefore usually found in commercial woodworking shops. They can, however, be a valuable addition to the home workshop.
A planer can be used to create a variety of surfaces on a workpiece, including:

  • Flat surfaces
  • Profiled surfaces
  • Contoured surfaces

What Do They Do?

A router sled is used to create smooth, even edges on a workpiece, while a planer is used to create flat, smooth surfaces.

planing with router

A router sled consists of a base, a router, and a guide. The base is attached to the workpiece, and the router is mounted on the base. The guide is used to align the router bit with the edge of the workpiece. The router is then moved along the edge of the workpiece, using the guide to keep the router bit in contact with the workpiece. The router bit spins as it cuts, and the depth of the cut can be controlled by adjusting the height of the router bit.

planing with hand planer

A planer consists of a cutter head, a worktable, and infeed and outfeed rollers. The cutter head contains a number of blades, or knives, that shear the wood fibers as the workpiece passes through to produce a smooth surface. The worktable is used to support the workpiece as it is fed through the cutter head. The infeed roller feeds the workpiece into the cutter head, and the outfeed roller supports the workpiece as it exits the cutter head. The depth of the cut can be controlled by adjusting the height of the cutter head.

What Are Their Pros and Cons

Router Sled

Pros

  • Can create smooth, even edges
  • Can create decorative effects
  • Can create joinery
  • Router bit can be replaced if it becomes dull
    Lot more cheaper than a planer
    Can be used on any size of work piece.

Cons

  • Requires more setup time
  • Is limited by the size of the router bit
  • Cannot create surfaces that are as flat or smooth as those created by a planer
    It takes a longer time than a planer to create a smooth surface
  • Requires more setup time

Planer

Pros

  • Can create flat, smooth surfaces easily and very fast
  • Can create contoured or profiled surfaces
  • Blades can be replaced if they become dull
    Easy to setup and use.
    Doesn’t need much experience.

Cons

  • Is limited by the size of the workpiece. You can’t plane a workpiece that is larger than the size of the planer.
    More costly than a router sled

Frequently Asked Questions are Answered

1. Can I Use a Planer on a Curved Surface?

No, a planer cannot be used on a curved surface. The blades on the cutter head will only make contact with the workpiece at the edges, so the planer will not be able to cut a smooth, even surface on a curved workpiece.

2. Can I Use a Router Sled on an Irregularly Shaped Workpiece?

Yes, a router sled can be used on an irregularly shaped workpiece.

3. Can I Use a Planer on an Irregularly Shaped Workpiece?

No, a planer cannot be used on an irregularly shaped workpiece.

4. Can I Use a Router Sled on a Curved Surface?

Yes, a router sled can be used on a curved surface.

Conclusion

If you need to create smooth, even edges on a workpiece, then a router sled is the better option. If you need to create a flat, smooth surface on a workpiece, then a planer is the better option.

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