Makita KP0800 Planer

Wednesday 11 July 2018

Makita launched this new model in November 2009 – is it up to the standard we have come to expect from this brand?

It's a solid, heavy machine formed from tough plastic mouldings and rubberised grip areas, with a machined aluminium soleplate underneath.

Strangely, no fence is provided nor chippings' bag, although the latter is worthless in any case so prodigious are a planer's outpourings. The outlet is on the right side only.

There is a sprung stop underneath the rear of the soleplate to rest the machine down safely. The front soleplate section has a foam rubber pad to keep it firm while a click-stopped knob on top adjusts the cut depth by 0.1mm steps.

The manual shows how to do a cutter change – this version has the disposable, reversible blade type and comes with a setting gauge and tommy bar.

An oddity of Makita planers is that the drive belt for the cutter block is exposed underneath. It looks vulnerable but experience suggests this isn't an issue.

On test

The motor is powerful and smooth but the plane wasn't quite the pleasing experience I was hoping for as the planer seemed to drag on the work.

The other noticeable thing was that it left a lengthy step at the front end of the workpiece. This improved with more back end pressure but seemed hard to avoid. The slightly short soleplate may not have helped. I decided to change the blade set-up to see if I could improve matters. Considering quick change blades are supposed to be just that, I spent some time on this, and it didn't remedy the step, either. As we have a bigger Makita KP0810, I tried that for comparison and it proved to be smoother with no step cut.

The verdict

For a bit of extra cost I would opt for the bigger brother KP0810, which comes with all the extras and in my opinion, has a better planing performance too.