All Replies on 15" Planers-Ugh!

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View cso's profile

15" Planers-Ugh!

by cso
posted 550 days ago

24 replies so far

View Shawn Masterson's profile

Shawn Masterson

1253 posts in 580 days

#1 posted 550 days ago

all machine are going to have their quirks. That is why I like to stick with older used machines I just got an older(80’s I think) 20” planer made by Chang Iron Works (CIW). when the guy gave me the manual he got from CIW the pix in it had jet emblems on it. I gave $675 for it with a static phase converter (yes it’s 3pz). I had to put bearings in the motor ($45), and clean-grease it up and it was good to go. maybe 3 hours of labor.
the way I see it with a used machine most of the bugs are usually worked out and any repairs needed are minimal, and the right price allows for repairs/upgrades. this purchase lead me to building a rotary 3pz converter, because the static just wasn’t enough, even with the added cost of the converter(about 250 for a 10HP model) I am still less then the cost of a new a new 15” planer and have more machine. this also opens the Pandora’s box to heavier/cheaper 3phz machine since I now have the ability to run up a 7.5HP 3pz motor.

View ScottinTexas's profile


108 posts in 579 days

#2 posted 550 days ago

Thanks for passing this info along!

View oxyoke's profile


57 posts in 985 days

#3 posted 550 days ago

I bought 718 woodmaster 3 years ago .Made in usa .I’m very happy with it

-- Bill Byron Center MI

View Dakkar's profile


297 posts in 559 days

#4 posted 550 days ago

Thanks for the interesting insight. This doesn’t surprise me. You bring up a good point too—before buying it’s always a good idea to talk to someone who repairs them to find out which brands/models fare the best and worst.

I have no problem with older/used tools as long as replacement parts can still be found or made reasonably. Most of my tools I either inherited, our bought used. Shiny doesn’t always equal better.

View cso's profile


63 posts in 1319 days

#5 posted 550 days ago

How much is the Woodmaster? I checked the website…it’s a moulder too. I filled in the quote form.

View Jerry's profile


2181 posts in 2178 days

#6 posted 550 days ago

Woodmaster is a lot of money but worth every penny. We own the 725 and paid 2000.00 for it in like new condition. Came with the upgraded 7.5 hp motor. Excellent buy for us. Definitely recommend the woodmaster. I plan to buy a couple more. I want two 712 units, one for moldings, another for gang ripping. Our 725 does it all and very well but I do prefer machines that stay set up for one task. One reason we have 4 shapers.

-- Jerry Nettrour, San Antonio,

View wiwildcat's profile


51 posts in 593 days

#7 posted 550 days ago

Maybe Oliver Machinery is from the Taiwan factory??? Not sure.

-- Wisconsin Wildcat

View OnlyJustME's profile


1562 posts in 1008 days

#8 posted 550 days ago

Don’t know where you are located but can try for a good used one.

-- In the end, when your life flashes before your eyes, will you like what you see?

View pmayer's profile


565 posts in 1696 days

#9 posted 550 days ago

I’ll cast another vote for Woodmaster. It’s American made, high quality, and can serve as a molder, gang rip saw and drum sander as well. I have always wanted a drum sander but couldn’t justify the floor space for something that I would use so infrequently, but the Woodmaster converts over fairly quickly and doesn’t require any additional footprint. The design is quite ingenious.

-- PaulMayer,

View cso's profile


63 posts in 1319 days

#10 posted 550 days ago

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

1728 posts in 1124 days

#11 posted 550 days ago

My first reaction to that CL ad was” you got to be kidding”. A planer in that condition would not get anywhere near $800 of my money. That said, it wouldn’t be a bad planer once cleaned up, assuming it runs. I would think one in turnkey condition, and well maintained would bring maybe $600. Of course, prices vary widely across the nation, but that’s the way I’d see it.

-- Our village hasn't lost it's idiot, we sent 'em to Washington.

View Shawn Masterson's profile

Shawn Masterson

1253 posts in 580 days

#12 posted 550 days ago

I agree with fred, he’s going to sit on it at that price. he should be some where around 500-600 in clean condition. I just sold my 5HP 912 folley & bellsaw for $400. I was kind of surprised to get it, but it was very clean and ready to go. the thing that gets me with name brand tool is the amazing similarity to the knock offs.
I saw this one and was going to offer him 200 in this shape. you know it a lot like the jet.
happy hunting

View Dusty56's profile


11644 posts in 2319 days

#13 posted 550 days ago

He said if I could find one made in Taiwan, jump on it.”
He (and I) do not know of any 15” planers being produced in Taiwan currently.”

So ”He” is recommending something that may not even exist and is of unknown quality , but will be better than the ones made in China…... Strange , very strange.

”15” planers coming out of China (Powermatic, Jet, Grizzly, General, etc) have tons of issues, some not fixable at all.” Did he give you any real examples of the un-fixable issues ?

-- I'm absolutely positive that I couldn't be more uncertain!

View SamuraiSaw's profile


449 posts in 596 days

#14 posted 550 days ago

I had that same Jet model and would buy another in a heart beat if I could find one (at a reasonable price, which that one isn’t). It is a solid planer and I ran a considerable amount of lumber through it. In good condition the planer is worth $500-600.

-- Artisan Woodworks of Texas....

View cso's profile


63 posts in 1319 days

#15 posted 550 days ago

15” planers coming out of China (Powermatic, Jet, Grizzly, General, etc) have tons of issues, some not fixable at all.” Did he give you any real examples of the un-fixable issues ?

One example that stood out for me was 3 powermatics he went on service calls for. I’m not admittedly familiar with the construction of these, but the areas surrounding the cutterhead were mis-cast when in production. He had other examples as well (motor issues, etc.), but the problems started all at the same time and the consistent factor is country of origin.

He recommended going with an older used model. I’m not sure why I should cast suspicion on him as he could have easily sold me a brand-new Chinese-made planer. I think he was being brutally honest with me at the expense of a sale. I think he doesn’t want to come out for a service call when there is an issue. Obviously, it’s happened enough recently for him that he doesn’t want to waste his time. This leads me to wonder about the future of cast-iron stationary machines and being able to get them at the hobbyist level. The industrial machines will be around for awhile I think. Lucky for him, the Festool stuff is selling like crazy and he can’t keep enough in stock.

View Tennessee's profile


1447 posts in 1146 days

#16 posted 550 days ago

The burning question I have is…if he is so down on Chinese planers, and hates to service them, why is he still carrying them?
I think money talks, and BS walks. For my money, I’ve had my Grizzly 15” spiralhead polar bear for almost 15 months now, and save for a couple adjustments on the rollers, and keeping things clean, I have not even had to rotate the carbides yet. And I put through a lot of tough wood. It gained a small oil leak around the gearbox in the last few months, but I’ve seen plenty of oil soaked planers in my time.

-- Paul, Tennessee,

View SCOTSMAN's profile


5347 posts in 2216 days

#17 posted 550 days ago

I too would be wary of Chinese stuff do your homework .I realise their stuff will get better as with the Indians too but why should you and you’re money be first guinea pig out of the box.I tend to buy well known used semi or downright industrial stuf.f It usually has no issues which are unrepairable.If you must buy new then read up as much as possible re what the stuff is like or buy American or european. All my 2 cents as I see it however it might be fine not all chinese stuff can be that bad surely

-- excuse my typing as I have a form of parkinsons disease

View cso's profile


63 posts in 1319 days

#18 posted 549 days ago

The burning question I have is…if he is so down on Chinese planers, and hates to service them, why is he still carrying them?

He has stopped carrying them. He had nothing in the store. He could order them at anytime as he is still technically a dealer for a lot of the big brands, but has stopped purchasing them from the distributors because of the aforementioned issues.

View joeyinsouthaustin's profile


1245 posts in 704 days

#19 posted 549 days ago

I also went with a woodmaster. American made. I got mine off of CL for 600 with the 7 hp motor. I am handy and have bought most of my tools used, incidentally the 735 still sits right next to it. it is quite nice to have one big and one small.

-- Who is John Galt?

View Delta356's profile


463 posts in 1485 days

#20 posted 546 days ago

The last 15” planer’s made in Taiwan were model’s ranging from the 90’s to about 2000. Everything else is made in China. I KNOW THAT POWERMATIC’S 15” AND JETS 15” PLANERS ARE MADE IN TAIWAN.. The Delta DC-380 was the last model made in Taiwan. I think Generals 15’ model is made in Taiwan. Grizzly, craftsman, shop fox, Delta are all made in China. Delta does not make there model anymore. Try to look for Delta 80’s planers. There Delta/Invita line was made in Brazil… I think only the 13”model. No 15” planer had been made in The USA since 1978…All overseas.
Just because it says made in Taiwan does not mean all the parts are. Geetech has plants in china and taiwan. I call the machines today chi/Ti made…LOL.. What I have heard is all castings for the machinery are all made in China, but the machined parts are in Taiwan. The machines origin only matters if that machine has more parts from one country then the other…I love American made, and buy as much as i can, even if it’s triple the price. I just bought a Delta X5 22-790X 15”planer… The sad fact is it’s made in China. I wanted this model so I have to live with it. will see how it does…. I know a local sawmill who has had a grizzly 20” planer for 25 years and it’s still running.. Still on the shipping pallet, and same motor. They have been running wood through it ever since…. No repairs… So in todays world is Chi/Ti quality up there with american made machinery? that ’s the question….
My two cents….. Hope the info helps you…Thanks for poping the question.

Take Care, Michael Frey
Portland, OR


View Kickback's profile


127 posts in 1266 days

#21 posted 546 days ago

I have a used Delta DC-380 and it is a beast of a planer. I got it for free well someone else paid for it not me and it has been an awesome planer. I took it all apart after getting it and had to replace a couple of broken gears for the head raising chain that broke on the ride home. I also changed the oil and replaced some gaskets. I also sharpened the knives on my Tormek and the thing just runs and runs. The only thing I do not like is the dust hood which I had to order from Delta. It has a weird size outlet like 6” and there is no adapter I have found that fits it. I had to cobble together something. If you can find one of these planers I would buy it as I think this thing will be around long after I am gone and my kids are gone as well.

-- "I work so I can fish"!

View runswithscissors's profile


907 posts in 656 days

#22 posted 545 days ago

I had one of the old (early 80s) Rockwell/Invicta planers made in Brazil. It was the 13X6. It was the best planer I ever had. Seriously contemplated getting the Byrd cutterhead for it, about $875. Hesitated for a while, finally went in another direction. If you can find one of those, they are built like a tank.

View cso's profile


63 posts in 1319 days

#23 posted 545 days ago

Thanks for the advice…have my eye on this Bridgewood. Made in taiwan during the “good years” of production. Price seems right to me.

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

1728 posts in 1124 days

#24 posted 545 days ago

That’s a heck of lot more reasonable than the Delta….deserves a call and looksee at the least.

-- Our village hasn't lost it's idiot, we sent 'em to Washington.

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