|Review by lumberjoe||posted 05-15-2012 12:15 PM||9212 views||1 time favorited||11 comments|
Note this 4 star rating is not for a brand new 21758. With that said, this is actually a decent planer. I’ve been doing a lot of research lately and came across this one on craigslist. Actually I came across a Ridgid R4331 that I went to look at. The gentleman was extremely knowledgeable and had a very impressive and immaculate shop. He had the craftsman for sale as well and was only asking 100.00 with a brand new set of knives installed, and a set in the package still. He was kind enough to show me how they both operate and let me run some rough cut red oak through each. The ridgid was a little faster and a little smoother (I believe it is a 3 knife cutting head), but not enough to concern me. I took a chance and grabbed this one. Also after close examination, I believe this planer is identical to the Porter Cable PC305TP.
I got it home and set it up. Dust collection works well with just a shop vac and the port is reversible, which comes in pretty handy. Even though the blades are new, I went through the blade change procedure just to see how to do it. It’s really simple and didn’t take much time at all. A tip the seller clued me in on – he noticed increasing levels of snipe from time. The screws holding the blades in tend to back out a tiny little bit, especially if you are taking really deep cuts in hardwoods. If you notice a lot snipe, hammer them down again.
After I got it mounted on the stand, I decided to run some scrap though it. I was hoping to find some flaws so I wouldn’t have to give a craftsman tool a good review, but this thing just did what I asked it to do – remove material from wood in a uniform fashion. I even laminated two 26” long 1×4 pieces of poplar together and was not at all meticulous in the glue up. The next day after removing the excess glue, I sent it through the planer to get rid of the very noticeable glue line down the middle and it did in 4 passes (2 each side).
Most importantly, this will save me about a dollar a board foot at the mill for the planing charge
For 100.00 that also included 50$ worth of knives, I really can’t find anything wrong with this planer. I don’t think I would have paid 259.99 for it brand new. Not because of lack of quality or poor performance, I just feel there are better models with more features in the same price point. For example, Steel City offers a 13” planer with a cutter head lock for just 289.99, or the Grizzly G0505 at 295.00, and there is the PC305TP at 270, but as mentioned I’m pretty sure the PC and the Craftsman are the same model in a different dress. However if you are on a budget and need a decent little planer, keep an eye out for a well maintained 21758. As with everything Craftsman, they will be all over the used tool sections of popular websites.