The Hitachi P12RA Planer Jointer combo is ranked in the top ten out of nearly 200 in the 12″ portable planer’s class on the market. The powerful 15 amp motor makes 20,800 cuts per minute at 10,400 rpm. This lightweight portable planer has all the power needed to perform any task, with the automatic feed rate at 26 feet per minute it doesn’t waste time getting it done. Another great advantage to this machine is it only requires 110 volts to crank it up to, but take note I would suggest using a larger gauge extension cord especially for long distances from your power outlet.
The adjustable bed on the Hitachi P12RA planer, the surface that the wood slides on is rock solid, it will carry a load, stay straight, square and study for a lifetime of service, add to that the what I believe to be a stainless steel surface/cover on top and you have a virtually maintenance free bed.
The large 6″ jointer that comes with it completes the deal. You get a super smooth, perfect surfaced board coming out the other end of this machine that creates a seamless joint every time. I would suggest getting the plate extenders for this Jointer as it will enable you to true up longer boards with ease. I can’t begin to tell you how many linear feet of lumber I have passed through this machine with literally no service problems.
I have owned used and abused this planer/jointer now for over 25 years with only very little service needed. All I ever had to do to it is put a belt on it but of course that was because of operator error. I found that if you will keep the blades sharp and make sure there aren’t any unusually thick spots on the piece of wood you are feeding into the planer you probably would never have to replace the belt. If you will keep an extra set of sharp blades on hand you won’t have to stop this machine for anything.
That brings me to the serviceability of this great tool, if you ever have to work on it you won’t have any problems making any repairs such as changing blades, changing brushes or any type of maintenance that is required. This planer is easily serviceable by the user of it, it’s just that simple. To be honest the only real problem I ever encountered is the position in which they put the power switch. They put it on top where the dust from the jointer can easily get in it and cause it to malfunction, other than that it is a loud beast especially in small areas so please wear ear protection though it is always advisable with power tools along with eye protection. These are my only 2 issues or problems I have from over 25 years of great service with this Hitachi planer.
I would like to add that I have a relatively small shop and if you have the same problem or limitations this tool is very highly recommended. With over 32 years of woodworking experience working with all types of woodworking tools you would think it gives me the experience and authority to objectively review the overall performance of this great portable planer.