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View Justahandyman's profile

Portable Planer "Survey"

by Justahandyman
posted 03-29-2012 04:08 AM

17 replies so far

View BlankMan's profile


1490 posts in 3377 days

#1 posted 03-29-2012 05:16 AM

That type of wood, especially if grit is on it is going to be hard on any HSS blades. Some of the blades on planers these days have index/alignment pins so changing blades are only as hard as getting to them. For what you are intending to use it for I would recommend a spiral cutterhead that uses carbide inserts. They cost a little more but they don’t dull or nick as easily and in the long run are cheaper to use verses HSS knife replacements. And each carbide insert has four cutting edges on it so if it does dull or nick you turn it 90 degrees and it’s good to go again.

I like my DeWalt 735 going on 8 years now. It has a trade off though, super smooth finish on the wood but sometimes at the cost of the knives nicking. Some people don’t have that problem but I did, but I typically use rough sawn lumber. It has one of the best if not the best finishes on the wood of all the planers.

I did replace the cutterhead on mine with a spiral cutterhead brand name Shelix. So that solved that problem and I still get an excellent finish on the wood. The 735 also has a fan assisted dust collection port and when connected to a dust collector no sawdust produced by it escapes collection.

-- -Curt, Milwaukee, WI

View fussy's profile


980 posts in 3075 days

#2 posted 03-29-2012 06:24 AM

Ditto the DW735. Had mine for 4-5 years and smooth is the word. I just flipped my blades. The first side was still fine, I just got tired of waiting fot them to wear out.

In useing pallet or any found, indeed ANY wood at all, brush it clean with a stiff wire brush, and vacuum it thouroughly before planning. This will allow the planer to give a good finish longer. Taking light cuts is very important. Treat it as a valuable tool, and it will work and last well for you.

-- Steve in KY. 44 years so far with my lovely bride. Think I'll keep her.

View pintodeluxe's profile


5703 posts in 2837 days

#3 posted 03-29-2012 06:49 AM

I like the Dewalt 735
1. planes to a nice smooth finish.
2. handles 13” wide stock
3. self indexing knives are easy to change, and reversible
4. internal blower aids dust collection
5. auto cutterhead lock saves an extra step each cut
6. depth stops at 1/4, 1/2, 3/4, 1” and 1-1/4” are very handy
7. can plane as thin as 1/8” without any special jigs

The extension wings are really manditory for best performance. My only real complaint is that it is louder than larger commercial planers, however those come at a whole different price point.

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

View Sawdust4Blood's profile


405 posts in 3046 days

#4 posted 03-29-2012 07:18 AM

I have the Dewalt 734. I can honestly say this tool paid for itself faster than any other power tool I’ve purchased. This was the tool that allowed me to go to purchasing cheaper rough sawn wood and dimension it myself. The 734 differs from the 735 in that it is 12 and 1/2 inches versus 13” wide, has a manual vice auto cutter head lock, and only one feed speed but also comes with in/out-feed tables. My experience (which does not include reclaiming pallet wood or other recycled woods that all will be harder on blades) has been that if you want glass smooth finishes right out of the planer, then you will be changing blades often. However, if you’re willing to get the final finish out of the planer and one or two passes with a card scraper, then the blades last for hundreds of board feet before they even require turning around. Like all lunch box planers it is loud as hell but worth it for what it can do for you. All that being said, if I was planning on planing mostly pallet/found wood, I might be tempted to go to a two blade planer and spend more time scraping/sanding because I think that kind of lumber is likely to eat up a lot of blades.

-- Greg, Severn MD

View wee3's profile


76 posts in 2296 days

#5 posted 03-29-2012 07:54 AM

#735 is a sweet machine,ive reclaimed pallet wood,nice @ tuff,good luck.

-- BiLL @wee3

View Viking's profile


880 posts in 3219 days

#6 posted 03-29-2012 09:37 AM

Plus one for the DW-735 for all the above stated reasons. It is heavy so, best to build a cart for it to get portability. I used to heft mine from storage area to work table but, now have built a cart with HD locking casters and storage drawers.

Good luck.

-- Rick Gustafson - Lost Creek Ranch - Colorado County, Texas

View Belle City Woodworking's profile

Belle City Woodworking

355 posts in 4041 days

#7 posted 03-29-2012 12:20 PM


Looks like I am the only one without a 735 :) And I have only heard good things about it except for one thing and that is the level of noise that it produces. Therefore, because I have a basement shop, I opted for the Steel City 13” Helical Head Planer. I am glad I did because I absolutely Love it!

Happy Shopping!

-- Formerly known as John's Woodshop - and NO not the one from Ohio!

View mloy365's profile


444 posts in 3154 days

#8 posted 03-29-2012 12:31 PM

Another vote for the 735. I get my blades from Infinity and they seem to last longer.

-- Mike - Northern Upper Michigan

View HalDougherty's profile


1820 posts in 3261 days

#9 posted 03-29-2012 12:36 PM

I went with the Ridgid planer that I bought at Home Depot. It was hundreds of dollars cheaper than the DeWalt, and it included a base and both infeed & outfeed tables. I’ve used it since 2007 and it still runs great. I check the tools section of Craig’s List and when I find a Dewalt for $150 or less, I’ll buy one as a backup.

-- Hal, Tennessee

View gfadvm's profile


14940 posts in 2714 days

#10 posted 03-30-2012 01:54 AM

I too have the Ridgid 3 blade planer. Used it for 4 1/2 years planing a lot of reclaimed wood. Blades are $30 a set and I have mine resharpened even tho they are “disposable”. I have minimal or no snipe problems since tilting both the in and outfeed tables. I will buy another Ridgid if this one ever dies. Oh yeah, takes about 3 minutes to change blades.

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

View Dallas's profile


3599 posts in 2511 days

#11 posted 03-30-2012 02:04 AM

Delta 22-580 and a Craftsman lunch box planer.

I’m very happy with both, have never had to replace blades on either.

-- Improvise.... Adapt...... Overcome!

View Doss's profile


779 posts in 2289 days

#12 posted 03-30-2012 04:34 AM

I answered this on a similar post asking about a low-end planer:

”...I use a 735 and like it. It does tend to bog or jam occasionally, but it’s usually when I get a little greedy with the amount of material I’m removing. This usually happens when I’m sizing down rough cut lumber.

Also, make sure you have plenty of juice going to it. I think that is one of my problems as well.”

If you’re planing the wood you say you are, then I’d invest in a good metal detector too.

The 735 is a beast to move around if you’re picking it up and putting it on tables and stands a lot, but that’s one of the reasons I like it. I feed some large boards through it (2” thick x 12” wide x 5-10’ long) and that heft helps keep it in place.

-- "Well, at least we can still use it as firewood... maybe." - Doss

View Justahandyman's profile


3 posts in 3002 days

#13 posted 03-30-2012 05:08 AM

Thanks for all the advice. Looks like the DeWalt 735 is a favorite.
In reply to some of the comments – I have a very good wand style metal detector that has saved my band saw resaw blades countless times. I also belt sand most of my “found wood” to take off dirt/grit and expose some grain pattern. I have access to a commercial sharpening service through my work, so blade sharpening shouldn’t be a problem. I don’t want to hog off a lot of material as most of the time a light planning will do the trick after I’ve resawn.
Thanks again for all the replies and I’m happy to keep hearing (reading) more.

View bullhead1's profile


228 posts in 2273 days

#14 posted 03-30-2012 05:25 AM

I have a 735 I bought this year and love it. Like others said don’t get too greedy in taking off too much. But make your decision quickly as they have a $50 rebate on the 735X which includes the infeed and and outfeed tables (a must) and an extra set of blades. I got mine for $480 net after rebate at a woodworking show.

View KenBry's profile


484 posts in 2471 days

#15 posted 03-30-2012 04:34 PM

Bullhead1, Thanks for the Heads up on the Rebate!!! I bought a 735X a few weeks ago and it falls into the rebate. You just saved me $50.00 Thanks again

The Rebate can be Downloaded here

-- Ken, USAF MSgt, Ret.

View Howie's profile


2656 posts in 2947 days

#16 posted 03-30-2012 04:57 PM

Ditto 735 here. Blades are pricey but the planer is a sweetheart.

-- Life is good.

View Viking's profile


880 posts in 3219 days

#17 posted 03-31-2012 12:23 AM

Rebates ….......... LJ’s helping LJ’s,


This place is getting back to its original civility.

Peace …........ Is very ….. peaceful! Ahhhhhhh.

-- Rick Gustafson - Lost Creek Ranch - Colorado County, Texas

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