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Metalworking Machines - Planers

What should you know before using a planer?

Planers can be dangerous if not used properly.

  • Read the owner's manual carefully.
  • Make sure you understand instructions and are properly trained before operating a planer.

With a planer, the work table moves back and forth while the cutting tool is held stationary. A shaper operates similarly except that the work table is stationary while the cutting tool moves back and forth.

Refer to Metalworking Machines - General for basic safety tips.

What are some good work practices to follow when using a planer?

  • Wear appropriate safety glasses.
  • Ensure that planer has a start/stop button within easy reach of the operator.
  • Use a vacuum, brush or rake to remove cuttings only after the machine has stopped moving.
  • Ensure that all guards are in place and in good working condition.
  • Ensure that stop pegs are in place on planer table.
  • Secure safety dogs at proper locations.
  • Ensure that there is ample clearance between work and planer frame.
  • Secure tool holder, tool and crossrail in their proper places.
  • Ensure that feed rod and its attachment are in good working order.
  • Ensure that power is on when using a magnetic clutch.
  • Use proper cutting tools.
  • Always set the depth of cut and the feed rate so they are appropriate for the tool and the piece being worked.
  • Keep machine properly oiled.
  • Keep floor around planers free of oil and grease.
  • Keep working surface clean of scraps, tools and material.
  • Use lifting equipment to move work to or from planers. Refer to Materials Handling for additional information.

What should you do when clamping work on the table?

Ensure that:
  • clamps are located to properly grab work so it will not spring out of shape or alignment;
Ensure that clamps are located to properly grab work
  • fork end of U-clamp is on the work piece;
  • bolts or nuts with stripped threads are discarded and replaced;
  • work is mounted squarely.

What are some things you should avoid doing?

  • Do not wear gloves, rings, watches or loose clothing. Tie back long hair.
  • Do not make adjustments or measurements while planer is in motion.
  • Do not leave planer unattended while it is running.

Document last updated on August 8, 2011


Although every effort is made to ensure the accuracy, currency and completeness of the information, CCOHS does not guarantee, warrant, represent or undertake that the information provided is correct, accurate or current. CCOHS is not liable for any loss, claim, or demand arising directly or indirectly from any use or reliance upon the information.