Difference Wiki

Planner vs. Planer: What's the Difference?

By Aimie Carlson & Janet White || Updated on March 4, 2024
A planner is an individual who makes plans or a tool designed for scheduling and organizing tasks. A planer, on the other hand, is a woodworking tool used to create smooth surfaces by shaving off wood.

Key Differences

Planner refers to either a person who plans—such as an urban planner, who designs city layouts, or a project planner, who outlines steps for projects or a tool, often a book or digital application, used for organizing appointments, tasks, and objectives. Planer is a tool used in carpentry and woodworking. It operates by cutting or shaving thin layers from the surface of wood, rendering it smooth and uniform in thickness.
Planners are essential for time management and productivity, helping individuals and organizations set goals, allocate time efficiently, and keep track of deadlines and activities. Planers come in various forms, including hand planers, electric planers, and industrial-sized planers for larger projects. They are crucial for ensuring wood pieces are properly prepared for construction or finishing, allowing for precision and quality in woodworking projects.
While "planner" is associated with organization and strategy, "planer" is linked to physical crafting and woodworking. The distinction is not just in their functions but also in their application domains: one is used in time and project management, and the other in material preparation and construction.

Comparison Chart


A person who makes plans or a tool for scheduling and organizing tasks.
A woodworking tool used to create smooth surfaces by shaving off wood.


Can be a person or an organizational tool.
A physical tool or machine.


To organize, schedule, and strategize tasks and goals.
To smooth and even out the thickness of wood surfaces.

Usage Context

Used in personal time management, urban planning, project management, etc.
Used in carpentry, woodworking, and construction.


Digital apps like Google Calendar, physical diaries, urban planning.
Hand planers, electric planers, thickness planers.

Planner and Planer Definitions


An individual who designs or strategizes plans.
The city planner developed a new layout for the public park.


A carpentry tool for smoothing wood surfaces.
He used a planer to even out the plank before painting it.


A tool for organizing daily activities and tasks.
She checked her planner to see her schedule for the day.


Operates by shaving off layers of wood.
The electric planer quickly smoothed the rough edges of the board.


An orderly or step-by-step conception or proposal for accomplishing an objective
A plan for improving math instruction.


One that planes, especially a machine tool that is used to smooth or finish the surfaces of wood or metal.


A proposed or intended course of action
Had no plans for the evening.


(Printing) A smooth block of wood used to level a form of type.


A systematic arrangement of elements or important parts; a configuration or outline
A seating plan.
The plan of a story.


A woodworking tool which smooths a surface or makes one surface of a workpiece parallel to the tool's bed.


A drawing or diagram made to scale showing the structure or arrangement of something.


A large machine tool in which the workpiece is traversed linearly (by means of a reciprocating bed) beneath a single-point cutting tool. (Analogous to a shaper but larger and with the workpiece moving instead of the tool.) Planers can generate various shapes, but were most especially used to generate large, accurate flat surfaces. The planer is nowadays obsolescent, having been mostly superseded by large milling machines.


In perspective rendering, one of several imaginary planes perpendicular to the line of vision between the viewer and the object being depicted.


A wooden block used for forcing down the type in a form, and making the surface even.


A program or policy stipulating a service or benefit
A pension plan.


One who, or that which, planes; a planing machine; esp., a machine for planing wood or metals.


To formulate a scheme or program for the accomplishment, enactment, or attainment of
Plan a campaign.


A wooden block used for forcing down the type in a form, and making the surface even.


To have as a specific aim or purpose; intend
They plan to buy a house.


A power tool for smoothing or shaping wood


To draw or make a graphic representation of.


Essential for precise woodworking projects.
For the cabinet to fit perfectly, each piece of wood was passed through the planer.


To make plans.


One who plans.
Johnny is a good planner. He starts his work in time to get it finished by the deadline.
Ms. Gunston is a planner for the county.


A notebook or software in which one keeps reminders of items such as appointments, tasks, projects, and contacts.


One who plans; a projector.


A person who makes plans


A notebook for recording appointments and things to be done, etc.


Used to manage time and projects efficiently.
Using a planner helps him keep track of all his deadlines.


Can a planner be digital?

Yes, planners can be digital, such as apps or software designed for organizing tasks and schedules on electronic devices.

What's the difference between a planer and a sander?

A planer is used to even out the thickness of wood and create a smooth surface by removing more material, while a sander is used for fine finishing, smoothing out the surface with sandpaper to prepare it for painting or sealing.

Do all woodworkers use planers?

Most woodworkers use planers as part of their toolkit to ensure wood pieces are properly prepared for construction or finishing.

Can planers be used on materials other than wood?

While primarily designed for wood, some planers, especially industrial models, can work on composite materials, but it's essential to use the right type of planer for the material to avoid damage.

Is a planner necessary for everyone?

While not everyone may use a planner, it is highly beneficial for those looking to improve their time management, organization, and productivity, both personally and professionally.

How do you maintain a planer?

Maintaining a planer involves regular cleaning, sharpening or replacing blades as needed, and ensuring it is calibrated for accurate cuts to extend its lifespan and ensure safety.

Are there different types of planners?

Yes, there are various types of planners, including daily, weekly, and monthly planners, as well as specialized planners for projects, fitness, meals, and more, each designed to cater to specific planning needs.

What skills are essential for an effective planner (person)?

Essential skills for an effective planner include strong organizational abilities, foresight, attention to detail, time management, and the capacity to prioritize tasks based on urgency and importance.

What are some common features of digital planners?

Common features of digital planners include calendar views, task lists, reminders, project tracking capabilities, note-taking sections, and sometimes integration with other digital tools and platforms.

How does a planner improve productivity?

A planner improves productivity by allowing individuals to organize tasks, set priorities, and manage time effectively, reducing the likelihood of missed deadlines and stress.

How does the thickness of wood affect the use of a planer?

The thickness of wood directly influences how a planer is used; planers can remove a set amount of material with each pass, so thicker wood might require multiple passes to achieve the desired thickness and smoothness.

What impact do planners have on environmental sustainability?

Urban and environmental planners can have a significant impact on environmental sustainability by designing spaces and policies that promote efficient use of resources, conservation efforts, and sustainable development practices.

How do professionals ensure their planer blades stay sharp?

Professionals ensure their planer blades stay sharp through regular inspection, proper cleaning after use, and sharpening or replacing the blades according to the manufacturer's recommendations to maintain optimal performance.

What distinguishes a good planner (tool) from a great one?

A great planner stands out by not only offering space for appointments and tasks but also by providing features that encourage goal setting, reflection, habit tracking, and personalization to fit the user's specific needs and lifestyle.

How often should the blades of a planer be replaced or sharpened?

The frequency of replacing or sharpening planer blades depends on the volume of use, the type of wood being planed, and the quality of the blades. Generally, blades should be checked regularly for wear and sharpened or replaced as needed to ensure the best performance.

Can using a planer require safety equipment?

Yes, using a planer, especially an electric one, requires safety equipment like goggles, ear protection, and dust masks to protect against wood chips, noise, and dust.

How do planners (people) handle unexpected changes or events?

Effective planners handle unexpected changes or events by maintaining flexible schedules, having contingency plans, prioritizing tasks, and adapting plans as needed to accommodate new information or circumstances.

How do urban planners differ from project planners?

Urban planners focus on the development and design of land use and urban environments, considering social, economic, and environmental aspects, while project planners concentrate on outlining the steps, resources, and timeline for specific projects within various industries.

Is it possible to plane too much off a piece of wood?

Yes, planing too much off a piece of wood can occur if the depth of cut is set too deep, potentially ruining the workpiece by making it too thin or causing it to become uneven.

Can a hand planer achieve the same results as an electric planer?

A hand planer can achieve smooth surfaces much like an electric planer, but it requires more skill and effort. While the finish can be very similar, electric planers are faster and require less physical labor.
About Author
Written by
Aimie Carlson
Aimie Carlson, holding a master's degree in English literature, is a fervent English language enthusiast. She lends her writing talents to Difference Wiki, a prominent website that specializes in comparisons, offering readers insightful analyses that both captivate and inform.
Co-written by
Janet White
Janet White has been an esteemed writer and blogger for Difference Wiki. Holding a Master's degree in Science and Medical Journalism from the prestigious Boston University, she has consistently demonstrated her expertise and passion for her field. When she's not immersed in her work, Janet relishes her time exercising, delving into a good book, and cherishing moments with friends and family.

Trending Comparisons

Popular Comparisons

New Comparisons