Makita 2012NB Review: A Planer Worth Getting?

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Makita 2012NB Review: A Planer Worth Getting?

When it comes to woodworking jobs, the Makita 2012NB 12-Inch Planer is a promising machine for trimming your wood, and it even has a clamping mechanism to reduce annoying snipe. If you’re working on repetitive tasks, whether you’re a casual user or a serious woodworker, you’ll find that this planer deserves a spot in your work area.

But what’s to say about the Makita 2012NB 12-Inch Planer? In this review, I’ll go over its features, specs, pros, and cons to help you decide whether to buy this planer or not.


Reviewed Product

Makita 2012NB 12-Inch Planer

An overall remarkable planer with great usability features and a good thickness capacity. It also features a unique clamping system to reduce snipe.


As a benchtop planer, this machine is ideal for the weekend warrior as well as the daily woodworker. The design includes clamps and gauges that will simplify your day-to-day tasks, and speed up work with minimal snipe.


The Makita 2012NB is a planer that can handle materials up to 12 inches wide, 6-3/32 inches thick, and 1/8 inch deep. It has a no-load speed of 8,500 RPM and runs on a 15-amp motor at a noise level of 83 dB. This means that the benchtop planer has just the right specifications to take on the most jobs (especially if you’re not so much into brittle hardwood projects).

Bearing a table size of 13 x 30-3/8 inches, the entire machine measures 19-1/64 x 30-3/8 x 15-25/32 inches. Like many benchtop planers out there, it has two knives. The machine weighs 61.9 pounds, which is average when compared with many similar units.


Makita honors a 1-year limited warranty for this tool and it can be returned to any of their official service centers worldwide.

Nonetheless, to make the machine durable against wear and tear, it has a 4-post design for stability when handling the unit, which is particularly great if you are also looking for diagonal cross supports. With its large table extensions, this planer delivers great workpiece support.


Usability features are abundant on this benchtop planer. For instance, it has an easy blade change system that saves time from configuring the unit, giving you more time working on your material. It also has an LED light that lets you know if the unit is powered on.

My favorite usability feature is the Interna-Lok automated head clamp. This eliminates, or at least reduces, the likelihood of snipe. Moreover, it even decreases the noise levels created by the machine. Likewise, it has dust hood compatibility that allows you to conveniently connect to your shop vacuum.

Additionally, it has a large paddle on/off switch that makes operation convenient. A cutting depth adjusting mechanism allows you to tweak the thickness of your planed material. It even has a detachable toolbox so you can store your essential items in the machine. Furthermore, the adjustable depth stop will help you create more output with repeated accuracy.

Should You Buy the Makita 2012NB Planer?

If you just want a benchtop planer to do the job for a wide variety of wood thicknesses, the Makita 2012NB is a great machine for you. It has sufficient adjustability features and usability to help you finish the job without much hassle.

Whether you’re a weekend warrior, or wanting to begin your own woodworking business, this is a great beginner machine to have, due to its speed and capacity. Also, if you’re prone to having snipe on your material, the clamping mechanism of this benchtop planer will help to avoid that.

If you are still unsure about the decision, go through the below list of the pros and cons of the tool.

Pros of the Makita 2012NB

Let’s start with the pros.

It has a clamping mechanism to prevent snipe.

As mentioned above, the Interna-Lok automated head clamp is one of the key usability features of this benchtop planer. Its main purpose is to lessen the likelihood of snipe by holding the material firmly in place when you make your pass.

Having a unit that protects the material from potential snipe saves time and resources. Imagine having to cut off the ends of your wood material constantly due to snipe – it’s annoying! Having mechanisms that prevent (or at least reduce) snipe make the job easier and more enjoyable.

It has a big capacity for material thickness.

Because this benchtop planer will take up to 6-3/32 inches thick of material, it is ideal for some heavy-duty projects. While most of the machines out there only take 6-inch wood, the added fraction already makes a difference. Being able to handle thicker material makes a benchtop planer more flexible for handling different jobs and projects.

There’s an adjustable depth stop.

The adjustable depth stop will help you make repetitive cuts without consuming a lot of time. Just set the depth that you want and let the planer do its job over and over again. There will be little to no loss of accuracy and you also didn’t waste time or effort.

If you find yourself often making mistakes and also want to mass-produce a specific thickness of wood material, use the adjustable depth stop of this benchtop planer. It provides convenience and will improve your productivity.

The on/off switch has a convenient paddle design.

If you ask woodworkers and frequent users of power tools, they’d prefer a paddle design because it allows convenience when operating the unit. Paddle switches are better than traditional types due to the easy sliding mechanism. This benchtop planer has a design that makes it simple to operate to avoid wasting valuable time.

Makita 2012NB Planer in Use

Cons of the Makita 2012NB

Even though the Makita 2012NB is a great tool, there are a few cons worth noting as well.

You have to buy the dust hood separately.

While the machine has dust extraction system compatibility, you do have to buy the dust hood separately because it is not included with the benchtop planer.

The paddle switch could be better designed.

Although we did praise the benchtop planer for its paddle switch design, it could use a little tweaking due to this small key that triggers the unit to turn on. The key could get lost due to its delicate design.

What Are the Alternatives to the Makita 2012NB?

Alternative to Makita 2012NB If you feel that the Makita 2012NB is simply not the benchtop planer for you, here are other alternatives worth mentioning:

A similar unit with a 15-amp motor is the Craftsman CMEW320 Benchtop Planer (read my review), which has a cutting speed of 8,000 RPM and 16,000 CPM. It is also a dual-knife machine that allows for easy blade changes. Moreover, its head-mounted ball-bearing construction reduces snipe, and delivers smooth operation. The Poly-V cutter head drive is also designed for added material removal.

Another choice you might like is the DeWalt DW735X 13-Inch Thickness Planer, which has a 6-inch depth and 13-inch width cutting capacity. It has two speeds to choose from (96 or 179 CPI) but what’s different about this benchtop planer is that it has three knives. This makes it more suitable for hardwoods and other brittle wood types and materials.

If you want a higher cutter head speed of 10,000 RPM, go for the DeWalt DW734 Benchtop Planer, which has a 15-amp motor, as well as a long infeed and outfeed design to accomodate bigger materials. It has 96 CPI and a 4-column carriage lock that decreases snipe in your material. Like many benchtop planers out there, it has a material removal gauge and a turret depth stop for adjustability depending on your material.


To wrap it up, the Makita 2012NB is a considerable choice for a benchtop planer. With a sufficient width capacity of 12 inches and an 8,500-RPM speed, plus it accepts up to 6-3/32 inches thick materials, this machine will cater to the needs of your common woodworking tasks, whether you just create items on the weekends or do it for a living.


Reviewed Product

Makita 2012NB 12-Inch Planer

An overall remarkable planer with great usability features and a good thickness capacity. It also features a unique clamping system to reduce snipe.