For the first time, Festool has unveiled a one-handed planer to the market, its model EHL 65E. In the past, the company has showcased its two-handed planer, the HL 850, but now some of the attributes of the larger tool have been incorporated into the one-handed planer.
"One of the things that really stands out is the cutterhead," says Rick Bush, Festool product manager. "It only uses a single knife so you don't have to worry about having two knives that don't necessarily agree with each other, because if one is taller than the other that's the one that does all the work; so setting knives is pretty tricky. With this, I don't need any gauges or blocks or anything to set it nice. We've taken that knife and actually skewed it so it's almost like a helical cutter and that way you get a sheer cut."
The EHL 65E is designed for planing carcases, trim, panels or doors and operates at six amps. The planer's base features an angled groove for chamfering operations, while the depth of cut can be adjusted during operation and in 1/256" increments with a dial control.
"Every click, every dash on that rotary dial represents 1/10mm," Bush says. "It is a very precise adjustment that goes all the way to 4mm, which is 5/32". It is a pretty generous stroke; it actually has a greater depth of cut than our larger [EHL 250].
The planer also features a lower noise level than traditional hand-held planers, according to the company. Festool says the tool produces 76 db at idle.
"Because you only have one knife, it's already going to be almost half as quiet. You're not hearing two knives beat against the material," says Bush.
The planer can be fitted with 27mm or 36mm dust collection hoses. Festool recommends the use of a 36mm hose with its CT 22 or CT 33 dust extractors for optimum performance. The dust port swivels for use without dust extraction, allowing chips to be blown in a desired direction.
The machine weighs 5.3 lbs., which Bush says is perfect for extended use. "I don't have to push down while I'm pushing forward with this planer. It's weighted towards the back - with the motor on the back sole - and that is exactly where you want it, especially when you are finishing the cut."
The Festool EHL 65E one-handed planer sells for $390.
Contact: Festool USA, 400 N. Enterprise Blvd., Lebanon, IN 46052. Tel: 888-337-8600. www.festoolusa.comThis article originally appeared in the September 2009 issue.