|Review by Purrmaster||posted 09-21-2013 02:54 PM||13337 views||3 times favorited||19 comments|
I’ve had this planer for about 2 years now and have run lots of wood through it. From easy stuff like aspen to nastier stuff like ipe and purpleheart. My overall experience with the tool has been excellent. I don’t know how I got along before I got a planer.
The DW734 is the lower end of DeWalt’s “lunchbox” planers. The fancier one being the DW735.
This planer has three knives, of the disposable variety. They are “double sided”. When the knives get dull you can flip the knives for a new edge. Once both sides of the knives wear out you have to get a new pair. A new set of knives is about $40-50. They last a pretty long time but I am on my third set of knives already.
The planer is easy to use. Just set the thickness and run your boards through. The extension tables are sufficiently long for a planer of this size. The few settings the planer does have are easily fiddled with. The dust collection hood that comes with the planer works well and has adapters for other hose sizes. Mine is hooked up to a Shop Vac. You need to have some kind of dust collection on it. If not it will spew gobs of shavings out the front and back and be very messy.
It gives the wood a nice, smooth finish and the thickness is accurate. It’s heavy enough that it doesn’t jump around or vibrate excessively. You will get snipe with it unless your board is well supported at both the infeed and outfeed of the machine. That being said, even without that good support the snipe will only be on the last inch or so of the board and can sometimes be sanded out.
It does a good job of powering through wood. It can bog down if you’re trying to take too much good off a large board, especially with very hard wood. If you take too big a chunk at a time you will probably get some tearout. On the harder woods even if you take light passes you’re likely to get some minor tearout, especially if the knives aren’t new.
When you fold up the extension tables it takes up surprisingly little space.
As I said, I’ve been very satisfied with this machine and would get it again.
Now the downsides/gripes:
It’s loud. I mean really loud. It sounds like a freight train going by. It’s not going to burst your eardrums but it will assault your senses. It’s easily the loudest tool in my shop. If you had to run it for more than 10 minutes at a time you might want to consider ear plugs.
Changing the knives is a bit of a pain. You have to remove the dust collection hood and then take part of the back off. Each knife has several screws that hold it down. The biggest issue I had was getting everything back together again. It always takes more than a little trial and error to jam everything back into place. Screwing the dust collection hood back on is annoying, as it’s hard to access the screw holes. Thankfully you don’t need to change knives very often.
It doesn’t have enough preset settings for thickness. I would have liked a 5/8” setting and possibly a 7/8” setting. You can custom set one of them yourself.
The last gripe is that if you have the dust collection hood installed (which you should) you can’t fold up the rear table. If you move it around a lot this could be annoying. If you can plunk it down in one location you’ll be fine.