Hitachi P20SB Planer archive

Tuesday 30 October 2012

Anthony Bailey looks at this new planer from Hitachi


In recent years Hitachi have given a lot of their range the 'jungle stripes makeover' but not, it seems, this latest model of hand planer. It is a trade machine but undeniably an entry-level version. Stylistically it is almost identical to the Editor's own 25+ years vintage Hitachi model. So it is indeed plain and straightforward. Its 1mm maximum depth of cut places it as a lightweight model indeed, for trimming work rather than heavy stock removal.

There is a raised mould line on the handgrip which isn't very noticeable, no rubber overmould present at all. The drive belt is not exposed underneath, unlike many hand planers, and the casing generally is very simple in design, unlike the bigger P20SF machine which looks much more in keeping with their modern styling.

A plain flat knob adjusts the cut depth, the soleplate being a very plain piece of milling, the front section sitting on thick foam, there is also one V groove for removing the arris - corner - on timber.

A fence is supplied but no rebating foot, there is also no dustbag provision. A lengthy flex is provided.


This is basic but it works, no frills and a somewhat dated appearance. For a supposed lightweight machine it seems heavy at 2.5kg - the same as its bigger more capable brother - however, price of course is a factor here. A check with a steel rule across both sections of soleplate revealed it to be exactly flat, which is commendable as not all planers can boast that. On zero depth of cut the amount actually removed is almost zero, again often not the case with other models, so another plus point. It cuts smoothly and when the blades blunt, turning them around is no chore, although care is needed to seat them correctly. Overall a good old fashioned piece of kit.

Woodworkers Institute

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anthony bailey , Hitachi P20SB Planer

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At A Glance

Trade brand
Lower cost model
Accurate build

The Numbers

Manufacturer: Hitachi UK
Model: P20SB
Motor input: 570W
No load speed: 15,000rpm
Blade type: 82mm double edged disposable TCT
Max cut depth: 1mm
Weight: 2.5kg
Price: £108.98 (inc VAT)

Where To Buy

Pros & Cons

Economy model
Simple to use
No chipping collection
Basic design

5 Star Rating

Value for money: 4/5
Performance: 4/5
Build quality: 3/5