Effects of number of the cutters (planing knives), feed rate (operational speed) and cutting depth (biting thickness) on the surface roughness of Locust acacia (Robinia pseudoacacia L.) and European oak (Quercus petraea (Mattu.) Lieble.) were investigated on the base of the preparative differences by planing. The specimens were prepared by planing with two and four knives at 5 and 9 m/min feed rates in 1, 2 and 4 mm cutting depths. Surface roughness was measured from the radial face of each sample according to TS 930 (1989) by using Mitutoyo SJ-301 stylus scanner device. These measurements were performed perpendicular to the fibers by the sampling length of 12.5 mm at a sensitivity level of +/- 0.01 mu m. Considering between all types of the experimental preparations, Locust acacia had the smoothest surfaces than that of European oak. Comparing the results of the surface roughness of both species, it has been obtained that the surface roughness decreases when the feed rate and the cutting depth decreases, whereas it increases when the knives on the cutter heads decreases. Therefore, it may be suggested that the perfect faces could be particularly prepared for this considered species by the greater number of the knives (four) at the slow feed rate (5 m/min) in the condition of the light cutting depth (I mm). (c) 2006 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.