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View Ripthorn's profile

13" Planers: Dewalt, Ridgid, or Steel City

by Ripthorn
posted 08-19-2012 12:07 AM


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52 replies so far

View ShaneA's profile

ShaneA

5450 posts in 1347 days


#1 posted 08-19-2012 12:19 AM

I have been pleased with my Dewalt 735, blades last a long time and are reversible. A little spendy, but a quality tool. Cant say much about the other two, aint used them.

View 47phord's profile

47phord

175 posts in 986 days


#2 posted 08-19-2012 12:33 AM

Have you considered the Dewalt 734? I picked up the 734 about six months ago and I have no complaints. Granted, it is a 12 1/2” and not a 13” planer, if that matters to you or not. I did a TON of research before buying a planer and I decided on the 734 for a couple reasons: 1) it is $150-$200 cheaper than the Dewalt 735 (I shopped around and got my 734 for $365) 2) It had the most favorable reviews of any planer that I looked at and 3) the blades are disposable, but they are also reversable and are apparently long-lasting (I haven’t used mine enough to comment on that). I can tell you that no matter what website I looked at, virtually NO ONE had anything nice to say about the Steel City Planer. Now, maybe Steel City has cleaned up it’s act in the mean time I don’t know, also it is my understanding that the Steel City is not a ‘true’ helical cutterhead-hopefully somebody more knowledgeable can comment on that. As an aside, the Ridgid was in my top three when I was trying to decide which one to buy myself. Hope this helps!

View NiteWalker's profile

NiteWalker

2710 posts in 1325 days


#3 posted 08-19-2012 12:36 AM

+1 on the 734.
No need to spend more unless you want a stationary.

-- He who dies with the most tools... dies with the emptiest wallet.

View Ripthorn's profile

Ripthorn

798 posts in 1734 days


#4 posted 08-19-2012 12:51 AM

I do need the full 13”. I build a lot of guitars, and most bodies are just a shade under 13” wide, so a 13” blank is very common. 12 1/2” is too narrow for what I want to be doing.

-- Brian T. - Exact science is not an exact science

View 47phord's profile

47phord

175 posts in 986 days


#5 posted 08-19-2012 01:17 AM

Well then, I say if you can afford it, go with the Dewalt 735. If you want to save a few bucks, go with the Rigid.

View bhog's profile

bhog

2177 posts in 1439 days


#6 posted 08-19-2012 01:28 AM

Another vote for a 735,I have used the crap out of mine,and im not talking cedar and pine.

-- I don't drive a Prius.

View Dominic's profile

Dominic

39 posts in 1082 days


#7 posted 08-19-2012 01:29 AM

Buy the DeWalt 735. It will actually plane a shade over 13”. Save up a few more pennies and pickup a Byrd Shelix. I just made the switch over and it is the quietest machine in the shop, prior to this it was the loudest. The chip ejection system works great too. If you don’t have a dust collector they make a collection bag that mounts on top of a shop vac canister or garbage can. I just so happen to have one for sale (:

-- Dominic

View gfadvm's profile

gfadvm

11514 posts in 1439 days


#8 posted 08-19-2012 01:43 AM

Don’t know about the DeWalt blades but I have my Ridgid blades sharpened and they cut better and last longer than new ones.

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

View tommyt654's profile

tommyt654

122 posts in 2197 days


#9 posted 08-20-2012 10:38 AM

The Steel Citys as good as the other two and will do the same as well with less final finishing in the long run as you will get a much smoother finish. Its as good as it gets and a newer planer than either of the other 2 models listed, while the 735 has great chip vacumn during the planing process due to it’s included fan you can get the same from others with a good DC unit. I’d go that route as its also less money in most case’s and Dewalt is phasing out both planers for newer models to come out soon from what I hear.Personally I have never heard a bad word said about the Steel City by anyone who knew how to setup a planer correctly in the 1st place , http://www.popularwoodworking.com/article/helical-cutterhead-in-a-suitcase-planer , http://lumberjocks.com/reviews/product/877

View ellen35's profile

ellen35

2596 posts in 2181 days


#10 posted 08-20-2012 10:49 AM

I have the General International helical head that is the sister to the Steel City. It is an excellent machine. I replaced the Ridgid with this machine (passed it along to a new woodworker friend). Both the Ridgid and the General are good planers… but the helical head is what made me go with the General. I don’t think you can go wrong with any of them but I’d go with a helical head as they are the future of planers. I suspect Dewalt with come out with one soon too.

-- "Don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good." Voltaire

View toolie's profile

toolie

1774 posts in 1377 days


#11 posted 08-20-2012 12:11 PM

if quality of finished product is your primay focus, the DW735 appears to be the unit for you. ive never seen a comaprative test where it wasn’t rated as the top performer. i’m personally partial to ridgid, but the 735 consistently dominates the 13” benchtop planer field.

-- there's a solution to every problem.......you just have to be willing to find it.

View b2rtch's profile

b2rtch

4351 posts in 1797 days


#12 posted 08-20-2012 01:11 PM

Ridgid,I have one and I like it and the blades can be sharpened

-- Bert

View robjeffking's profile

robjeffking

26 posts in 855 days


#13 posted 08-20-2012 01:23 PM

I have the dewalt 734 and the older 2 speed 13 inch delta 580 The delta 580 is a brute I use the dewalt for smaller thinner boards but the 580 is my workhorse for my big pieces of cherry.

View Cato's profile

Cato

641 posts in 2061 days


#14 posted 08-20-2012 01:59 PM

I have the DW735, and bought it because of its heavy built construction. The first side of my blades lasted over a year planing hardwoods.

Key for me is to take a wire brush to rough stock prior to planing or jointing to get any grit or silica out.

It is the loudest machine I have, and maybe one day I will get a helical head for it, but otherwise it is a workhorse and I have it on the DW mobile base, so weight is not an issue.

I added a Wixey to my planer and wow that really adds precision and repeatability to an already great machine.

Good luck, all the units you are looking at should be good performers for you.

View knotheadswoodshed's profile

knotheadswoodshed

174 posts in 921 days


#15 posted 08-20-2012 02:11 PM

you can also upgrade the cheap Dewalt 735 blades for some nice ones from Infinity…I really like them

-- Randy - "I dont make mistakes, I make design change opportunities" www.knotheadswoodshed.com

View ChuckC's profile

ChuckC

724 posts in 1684 days


#16 posted 08-20-2012 02:40 PM

+1 for the 735.

View Matt Przybylski's profile

Matt Przybylski

468 posts in 1126 days


#17 posted 08-20-2012 02:52 PM

I’m in the same boat and have decided pretty much on the DW735X. Amazon has it right now for around $550 though I got $600 in gift cards to home depot through my credit card miles so will be forced to buy it there.

@tommyt654: curious, where did you hear they are coming out with new models? I’ve not been able to find any info online that supports that and would love to know more.

-- Matt, Illinois, http://www.reintroducing.com

View Ripthorn's profile

Ripthorn

798 posts in 1734 days


#18 posted 08-20-2012 03:50 PM

I think I have eliminated the Steel City from consideration based on the fact that it does not have a true helical head (doesn’t shear cut). So that brings me to the Ridgid and the Dewalt. I like the fact that Byrd makes a helical head for the Dewalt, but it is expensive enough that I would not be able to put one in for quite some time. The 735 has several features I like, including the 2 speed gear box. However, the Ridgid has the LSA and I can use a coupon that would make it around 350 + tax. I guess I need to decide if I want to replace this planer in the future with a bigger one or not. If I do, I should get the Ridgid, if not, perhaps the Dewalt. Choices, choices…

-- Brian T. - Exact science is not an exact science

View Matt Przybylski's profile

Matt Przybylski

468 posts in 1126 days


#19 posted 08-20-2012 04:03 PM

I forgot to mention one thing that may change your mind and go for the Ridgid: this may be YMMV but I was in my local HD yesterday and they had the Ridgid on sale for $339. You may want to visit your local store and see if it’s on sale there as well and with your coupon you may be able to get it for even less. Curious, what coupon do you have?

-- Matt, Illinois, http://www.reintroducing.com

View robjeffking's profile

robjeffking

26 posts in 855 days


#20 posted 08-20-2012 04:17 PM

And bonus most all tools made by rigid come with a lifetime warranty I have the 4512 TS and when I needed a new motor they pulled one from the shelf and traded my old saw for a brand new one. Customer support top notch.

View tommyt654's profile

tommyt654

122 posts in 2197 days


#21 posted 08-20-2012 10:13 PM

Matt, One of my friends is fairly high up the chain @ HD and we spoke about planers a while back and he said they expect newer models from DeWalt sometime later this yr. I have an old RC-33 from Brazil I still use that blows benchtops away so I have little need but have a friend with the SC he got from Highland and he’s very pleased with it for the money. Might be worth waiting for but if you need one now my predecessor to the RC was a grey Ridgid that worked well.I’ll try to get more info seems I recall he said something about them having a go at Helical heads like the SC, Just a rumor for now tho:)

View Prplhrtjarhead's profile

Prplhrtjarhead

80 posts in 855 days


#22 posted 08-20-2012 10:45 PM

Having just bought the Grizzly 13” a couplke months ago, I think it really is going to come down to what your working stock is primarily going to be. The smaller bench top/portable planers do very well with smaller stock and I would argue, most reputable brands perform pretty much the same with smaller (length) stock. The key is finding the bench/portable planer that handles longer stock with as little end snipe as possible.

Since I didn’t read every comment, I hope I didn’t just needlessly repeat stuff. I was really just responding to the original question as further consideration for your purchase.

-- "We'll preserve for our children this, the last best hope of man on earth, or we'll sentence them to take the last step into a thousand years of darkness." R. Reagan, "The Speech", 1964

View JuniorJoiner's profile

JuniorJoiner

451 posts in 2189 days


#23 posted 08-21-2012 12:26 AM

-1 for the dw735. I have one, and it snipes horribly, i have not been able to tune it out. Wood often stalls on the rubber rollers. and it eats thin stock.

-- Junior -Quality is never an accident-it is the reward for the effort involved.

View mandatory66's profile

mandatory66

98 posts in 879 days


#24 posted 08-21-2012 05:20 AM

I have the 13 inch Rigid and have used it mostly on 4/4 oak taking it to 3/4 inch. It came with a spare set of knives that I have not used yet. I have had no problems with the unit and no issue with snipe. The DeWalt looks like a heavier duty machine but is expensive compared to the Rigid. I initially thought I would want a heavier machine but I find the Rigid fills my needs. I have only made two end tables, two sofa tables,a three drawer night stand, a coffee table and a saw bench with it so it has not seen that much use.

View Bob Kollman's profile

Bob Kollman

1797 posts in 1939 days


#25 posted 08-21-2012 05:56 AM

I have had the DW734 for 6 years no complaints, I think the 735 is a good choice especially if you need the variable speeds.

-- Bob Kenosha Wi.

View CplSteel's profile

CplSteel

142 posts in 913 days


#26 posted 08-21-2012 07:09 AM

I know quite a few people who use a drum sander instead. Either they use a low grit and it works about the same (they buy sandpaper instead of new blades) or they resaw to near thickness and finish it off on the drum sander. Either way, if you are putting through enough board feet, you are going to want a drum sander anyway.

View Manitario's profile

Manitario

2378 posts in 1632 days


#27 posted 08-21-2012 07:14 AM

I had the Dewalt 735; just upgraded to a 20” planer otherwise it was a great planer. A couple years ago when I bought the 735 I couldn’t seem to find a bad review anywhere about it, it is a solid, well built, reliable machine.

-- Sometimes the creative process requires foul language. -- Charles Neil

View thedude50's profile

thedude50

3532 posts in 1226 days


#28 posted 08-21-2012 07:42 AM

I have the 733 and if it were to die I would get the 735 in a heartbeat. The above person with problems dose not have his machine set up correctly. and if he hates it realyl hates it Ill be happy to trade him for some hand planes. The noise on most of the machines is in the same db area so noise is a non issue. wear hearing protection. as far as whining about long boards I just planed my bench-tops they are 12 plus inches wide close to 5 inches thick and over 8 feet long. I ran the tops through the little planer till the tops were flat. No snipe no problems small bites and the machine did what it was designed to do. Daniel has the 735 in our Oregon shop and he has used the one I have he says the new one is a much more powerful and very easy to use machine THAT YIELDS A GREAT FINISH. One other thing big planers dont give you the fine finish the lunchbox planers do. I dont know exactly why I just know its true.

-- when I am not on Lumberjocks I am on @ http://thisoldworkshop.com where we allow free speech

View fussy's profile

fussy

980 posts in 1799 days


#29 posted 08-21-2012 07:47 AM

I havr been using the 735 for as long as it has been around and will keep using it. I got it for $500 at Lowes and have not looked back. I get beautiful finish-ready work out of it with no trouble yet. It does what I want which is to make big boards smaller and smoother. Snipe hasn’t been a problem nor has been blade wear.

I purchased it at Lowes for $500 on sale at the urging of my wife who turned out to be right on a lot of purchases. No problems with the 735, consistent results, and good blade wear. I just purchased 2 replacement sets for $55/2-pair with about $6 shipping. Higher now http://www.tools-plus.com/dewalt-dw7352-2.html?utm_medium=shopeng&utm_source=nextag&utm_term=D-ADW7352-2 but worth it/ Under protest, I flipped my first set to the virgin side, ans can’t tell a lpt of differemce between. Don’t seem to have problems with DeWalt blades. SOrry. I have run mine over a thousand board feet at least and have just flipped the first set of blades. I get good service.

If interested in the 735, get it here on sale. Shipping is cheap, or free http://www.reconditionedtools.com/factory-reconditioned-dewalt-dw735r-13-in-two-speed-thickness-planer/dewrdw735r,default,pd.html?start=1&cgid=dewalt-planers Price is hard to beat and you get a new warranty.

Steve

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

View Tennessee's profile

Tennessee

1556 posts in 1263 days


#30 posted 08-21-2012 01:19 PM

I used a Rigid for 11 years, and still have the original blades as well as a couple other sets, sharpened many, many, many times. That being said, now that I have a helical, I would never, never go back. Not only is it quiet, it will plane down a nice piece of crotch where the straight bladed unit would tear it to pieces. Not even a contest on cutting ability. You want to put that beautiful piece of flame maple on a piece, you need a helical.

-- Paul, Tennessee, http://www.tsunamiguitars.com

View djg's profile

djg

104 posts in 911 days


#31 posted 08-21-2012 05:17 PM

Another vote for the 735. bought one about 4 months ago. Its a quality machine with great features. Uut of 3 planers I have owned it is the best I have owned.

-- DJG

View pintodeluxe's profile

pintodeluxe

3559 posts in 1562 days


#32 posted 08-21-2012 05:51 PM

I like my 735. After extensive use milling rough lumber over the past few years, buying 200-300 bf at a time, I am looking at the Shelix upgrade.
The helical carbide cutters apparently last much longer, are quieter, and are more cost effective.
Any of these planers would need upgrading to be a great small production machine.
I do not believe the Ridgid is upgradable to helical or carbide cutters.
The Steel City maybe. I have heard many regrets on this site with Steel City purchases, although not specifically the planer.
The Dewalt is pretty good right out of the box. Buy the stand and the infeed/outfeed tables and it will work well for you. At a productive hobby shop level, it makes sense to upgrade to the shelix head at some point. If you are only going to plane 200 b.f per year, it is just fine stock. If you plane 1000 b.f. per year, you will want carbide cutters.

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

View b2rtch's profile

b2rtch

4351 posts in 1797 days


#33 posted 08-21-2012 05:58 PM

” I do not believe the Ridgid is upgradable to helical or carbide cutters. ”
It is: http://www.holbren.com/ridgid/

-- Bert

View gfadvm's profile

gfadvm

11514 posts in 1439 days


#34 posted 08-22-2012 02:15 AM

Bert, Thanks for posting that link but the new head costs more tham my planer did new.

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

View b2rtch's profile

b2rtch

4351 posts in 1797 days


#35 posted 08-22-2012 09:58 AM

I know, you are better off buying the steel city (same planer) with this head on

-- Bert

View Ripthorn's profile

Ripthorn

798 posts in 1734 days


#36 posted 08-22-2012 09:40 PM

Thanks for all the input everyone. I went in to HD last night to pick up some Romex and while I was there, I politely asked the lady at the customer service desk if they would take a Harbor Freight coupon. She said they normally don’t, but called the manager, who, after a pause, said sure but wanted to make sure that I knew I was getting a better tool. So I raced back to the planers before they could change their minds and found it to be on sale for $360 (down from $400). So it ended up being $288 before tax. When I got home, I told my wife that I needed an alibi and a place to hide, because I felt like I had just robbed the place. Just goes to show that it can’t hurt to ask…

-- Brian T. - Exact science is not an exact science

View b2rtch's profile

b2rtch

4351 posts in 1797 days


#37 posted 08-22-2012 09:50 PM

So , what did you get?
The Ridgid?

-- Bert

View robjeffking's profile

robjeffking

26 posts in 855 days


#38 posted 08-22-2012 09:53 PM

I know you put a board through it how does it run? Did it come with the lifetime warranty?

View Ripthorn's profile

Ripthorn

798 posts in 1734 days


#39 posted 08-23-2012 01:34 AM

I got the Ridgid, it did come with the lifetime warranty, but alas, I have not put a board through it yet. I am under the gun to get the wife’s craft room drywalled in the basement, and still have some electric left before I can start the drywall.

-- Brian T. - Exact science is not an exact science

View b2rtch's profile

b2rtch

4351 posts in 1797 days


#40 posted 08-23-2012 09:42 AM

Good choice, you will be happy with it.
Remember that the blades can be sharpen.

-- Bert

View thedude50's profile

thedude50

3532 posts in 1226 days


#41 posted 08-25-2012 05:39 PM

I am curious why you went with a planer only 2 people recommended If you read this thread the consensus was the 735 which is clearly a step above the Ridgid. After all the advise you went against the clear choice I would like to know why.

-- when I am not on Lumberjocks I am on @ http://thisoldworkshop.com where we allow free speech

View b2rtch's profile

b2rtch

4351 posts in 1797 days


#42 posted 08-25-2012 06:17 PM

thedude50:may I suggest that the the answer is: money
I notice on your website that you get money from Ridgid, so should you not encourage people to buy Ridgid tools instead of DeWalt?

-- Bert

View jmartel's profile

jmartel

2799 posts in 899 days


#43 posted 08-25-2012 08:47 PM

I don’t feel like making a new thread for this question, but:

How does the Dewalt 735 do on figured wood like curly maple? I’m planning on buying the 735 in a few weeks, but will it just end up with nothing but tearout?

-- End grain is like a belly button. Yes, I know you have one. No, I don't want to see it.

View Bertha's profile

Bertha

12951 posts in 1442 days


#44 posted 08-25-2012 08:51 PM

I haven’t gone through all the replies but I’ve been really happy with my 735. You’ll probably need a stand and some out-/in-feed tables, which are a bit pricey. If I had it to do all over again, I’d probably save up for a stationary rig. I’d save up a little longer to avoid Grizzly but that’s my own thing (no offense to Grizzly guys meant). Win the Powerball and it’s the PM helical. Good luck!

-- My dad and I built a 65 chev pick up.I killed trannys in that thing for some reason-Hog

View Ripthorn's profile

Ripthorn

798 posts in 1734 days


#45 posted 08-25-2012 09:15 PM

After all was said and done, the Ridgid came in at about half the price of the Dewalt. The way I see it, I can buy a low angle jack plane from Lee Valley with the difference, which I don’t think anyone will really argue with :)

-- Brian T. - Exact science is not an exact science

View fussy's profile

fussy

980 posts in 1799 days


#46 posted 08-26-2012 02:12 AM

jmartel,

Short of getting helical head for a planer, no planer will guarantee tear-out free planing on curly maple or any other highly figured wood. The helical heads, indexable carbide or hss, shear the wood instead of hacking. Even they will tear out at times. The idea is to take light cuts, wet the wood with mineral spirits to soften the fibers, run it through at as great an angle as you can and pray to the gods of woodworking to make it good. You will always get some. That’s why they make scrapers.

Steve

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

View cutworm's profile

cutworm

1065 posts in 1542 days


#47 posted 08-26-2012 02:04 PM

Good choice. If you look at bang for the buck it’s hard to beat Ridgid tools.

-- Steve - "Never Give Up"

View robjeffking's profile

robjeffking

26 posts in 855 days


#48 posted 08-26-2012 02:17 PM

It might not be people’s first choice in planers but my planer(delta 580) works very hard in my shop and you have a lifetime warranty and I don’t see delta or dewalt standing behind their product wth that kind of commitment. Keep us updated on performance and customer service.

View b2rtch's profile

b2rtch

4351 posts in 1797 days


#49 posted 08-26-2012 02:19 PM

cutworm, Amen

-- Bert

View b2rtch's profile

b2rtch

4351 posts in 1797 days


#50 posted 08-26-2012 02:33 PM

“lifetime warranty” not exactly. This is Life Service Agreement

-- Bert

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