What We Like
- 3 chamfering grooves
- Dual side dust extraction
- Over-mold depth knob with 10 positive stops
- A long 11.5-inch shoe for better control
- Heavy-duty 6-amp motor
What We Don’t Like
- Relatively heavy (8.6 lbs.)
A 3-groove electric hand planer that is very versatile because it gives you multiple options for edge chamfering.
While a planer is mainly designed to remove material from wood surfaces or smoothen them, some have extra features that make them stand out. Using Porter-Cable’s PC60THP as an example, this model is equipped with 3 V-grooves on its base plate.
These give you multiple options for edge chamfering, which makes the tool practical and very versatile. Apart from this, the planer has a lot to offer so let’s jump into the review below to learn more about it.
Porter-Cable PC60THP Review
Performance: Smooth Material Removal
Porter-Cable’s PC60THP is powered by a heavy-duty 6-amp motor, which spins the blade drum at a no-load speed of 16,500 RPM. The drum is fitted with two blades and therefore, this delivers an actual speed of 33,000 cuts per minute.
The motor provides enough torque to power through softwood and hardwood while the fast cutting speed ensures you get smooth material removal for high-quality finishing.
Control is done via a two-finger trigger, which provides a large surface area for easy pressing. This reduces finger fatigue, which can be experienced during long periods of use.
On top of this, there is a lock-on button that allows you to hold in the trigger instead of continuous pressing. This makes it much easier to use because it eliminates finger fatigue and leaves you to concentrate on the task at hand.
It is important to note that you should allow the planer to reach its top speed first before cutting. This means you should always start by pressing the trigger while it is lifted from the wood surface.
To help you with this, a parking foot is built into the base plate and it automatically lowers when you lift the planer.
This keeps the blade from touching the work surface and it also protects both the surface and blades from damages when not in use. This foot raises when you push the tool forward and tucks into the base plate until you lift the tool again.
While smoothing or removing material from the workpiece, you can adjust the cutting depth via a large over-mold knob that is very easy to hold. This knob is marked + and -, and these symbols show which direction to turn to if you want to increase or decrease the cutting depth.
That said, the maximum cutting depth is 5/64 of an inch and the knob has 10 positive stops with increments of 1/128 of an inch. These make adjustments easy but we recommend testing each re-adjustment on a scrap piece of wood until you get your desired setting.
Other features include a rabbeting fence that is also adjustable and this helps you to make rabbet cuts that are up to 0.47 inches deep, and a spring-loaded blade guard that keeps the blades covered to prevent accidental cuts.
Note: It is worth mentioning that several shallow passes are better because they produce a smoother finish as compared to a single deep one.
Design: Long Base with 3 Chamfer Grooves
The PC60THP is equipped with a long 11.5-inch cast aluminum shoe that keeps it stable for better control. As a result, you get to create smooth, high-quality finishes that look very professional.
This base has 3 V-grooves that are precision machined and have different sizes. They are located at the front of the shoe and measure 1.5mm, 2.0mm, and 2.5mm respectively.
These are ideal for cutting chamfers along workpiece edges and because they are three, they give you single or multiple options on edge chamfering for versatility purposes.
However, to produce accurately chamfered edges, you need to hold the planer using both hands (one on the handle and the other on the knob) then apply pressure to the knob. This will ensure the groove sits flat on the edge to produce a precise angled cut.
Dust Management: Reversible Dust Chute
The PC60THP is equipped with a reversible dust chute mechanism that is very practical to use. Essentially, this system comprises of two chip discharge chutes that face opposite directions and a chip deflector lever for directing which chute the chips should be thrown out of.
When working on the right edge of a workpiece, you should direct the chips to the left side, where you can attach the included dust bag. By adjusting it this way, the bag will get out of your way, leaving you with a clear view of the space ahead.
On the other hand, when working on the left side, simply put the dust bag on the right chute and flip the deflector lever. That said, while using this bag, you have to empty it multiple times to prevent clogging.
To avoid this, you can use your vacuum cleaner to suck in the debris. You only have to install the vac adapter on the chip discharge chute then fit in your vacuum cleaner’s hose.
The adapter fits on either chute and therefore, you can switch sides depending on which part of the workpiece you are working on.
Portability: Not Easily Movable
Weighing in at 8.6 lbs., Porter-Cable’s PC60THP is relatively heavy but still manageable. On the plus side, this weight helps to press the tool firmly on the workpiece. However, when carrying it from worksite to worksite, it can be a bit cumbersome.
Other than that, the tool is corded and this also limits portability. The cord length is not given but you can connect it to the wall outlet via an extension cord.
For its 6-amp rating, if you are looking for a 0-25-ft extension cord, an 18-gauge size is recommended. If you want a 26-50-ft cord, get a 16-gauge size, 14-gauge for a 51-100-ft cord, and 12-gauge for a 101-150-ft cord.
Note: The lower the gauge size, the thicker the cord’s wires. Longer extension cords must be thicker so that they have a lower electrical resistance.
Coming in at less than $100, this electric planer is quite affordable and despite this, you get a wide array of accessories. This includes two carbide cutting blades, a wrench for removing/setting the blades, a dust bag, an edge guide, and a kit bag for storing all these parts.
That said, the manufacturer does not produce any other electric hand planer and therefore, we can only compare it to models from other brands.
When compared to Wen’s 6530, the PC60THP is costlier. Though cheaper, the 6530 has a deeper cutting depth (up to 1/8 inches) and has more positive stops (16). It is also lighter (6.5 lbs.) but has a shorter shoe.
On the other hand, Makita’s KP0800K is more expensive but it has a more powerful 6.5-amp motor with a speed of 17,000 RPM (34,000 cuts per minute). It also has a higher power-to-weight ratio because it weighs only 5.7 lbs.
This price-and-performance is recommended for professional use.
Find Other Options: Best Electric Hand Planers
A versatile multi-edge chamfering hand planer that is recommended for beginners and DIYers.
With 3 differently-sized V-grooves on its base plate, Porter-Cable’s PC60THP is quite versatile because it can be used for single or multi-edge chamfering.
It is recommended for beginners and DIYers because it is quite affordable but still has all the essential performance features. There are advanced, costlier options that are recommended for professional use.
- Product Name: Porter-Cable PC60THP
- Product Brand: Porter-Cable
- Motor: 6-amp
- Speed: 16,500 RPM (33,000 cuts per minute)
- Cutting Width: 3-1/4 inches
- Cutting Depth: 0-5/64 inches
- Positive Stops: 10 (1/128-inch increments)
- Rabbeting Depth: 0-0.47 inches
- Weight: 8.6 lbs.
- Dimensions: 14.63 x 7.75 x 8.25 inches
- Warranty: 3-year limited, 1-year free service, 90-day money-back guarantee
- 3 differently-sized V grooves for multi-edge chamfering.
- Easy-to-grab over-mold depth knob with 10 positive stops.
- Heavy-duty 6-amp motor with a speed of 16,500 RPM.
- Dual-sided dust extraction system.
- Long 11.5-inch shoe cast aluminum shoe.
- Includes a wrench, dust bag, edge guide, and kit bag.