LumberJocks

Good performance but I wouldn't buy it again

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Review by JSB posted 09-25-2014 02:21 PM 14356 views 0 times favorited 27 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Good performance but I wouldn't buy it again No-picture-s No-picture-s Click the pictures to enlarge them

The planer itself performs very well. It has a heck of a chip ejection system that will allow you to pipe this into a filter bag without the need for a dust collector. I’ve never had an issue with the amount of power it has even at full 13” wide passes. Snipe is horrible out of the box but the way I have my auxiliary bed setup it reduces it significantly. Lots of upgrades and options available on the internet.

The reason I wouldn’t buy it again is that it’s a money pit in my opinion. As many others have noted, the factory and replacement blades have a very low lifespan. The fact that they are indexed with no height adjustment during installation means you can’t sharpen them. You could upgrade to carbide blades or even a helix cutter head but at that point you have a considerable investment in a benchtop planer. I understand blades are a reoccurring cost with every planer but $55 for a set of low lifespan blades that you can’t sharpen can get expensive in a hurry.

I’d either spend less on a cheap benchtop planer and use the extra money elsewhere in the shop or save up and get something with a helix head.

I put together a much longer, picture filled article with more thoughts on the planer as well as my current setup in the shop that seems to be working quite well. For those interested you can find it here:
http://jayscustomcreations.com/2014/09/my-dw735-planer-setup-and-thoughts/

-- Jay - http://www.jayscustomcreations.com




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JSB

737 posts in 2077 days



27 comments so far

View MrNorwood's profile

MrNorwood

180 posts in 1712 days


#1 posted 09-25-2014 02:56 PM

Excellent review Jay. And I agree, excellent machine, but the blades do get quite costly. I do alot of pallet projects and and I may get 3 or 4 pallets planed smooth before the blades are completely shot.

-- Remember, Jesus was a carpenter.

View Manitario's profile

Manitario

2630 posts in 2882 days


#2 posted 09-25-2014 03:47 PM

I’d be curious to know how many LJ’s actually sharpen their own blades. If you do, then yeah, $55 is steep for something that you can’t sharpen. If you don’t, well, planer blades will typically run $30 or more for a set for any other lunchbox planer…and the Dewalt 735 blades are double sided so you can flip them once they’re dull whereas the other blades are single sided.
Personally, as being a non-blade sharpener, I liked the way the Dewalt blades were set up; pull the old ones out, drop the new ones in. No time spent having to check and recheck blade height…

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

View CharlesA's profile

CharlesA

3322 posts in 1796 days


#3 posted 09-25-2014 04:08 PM

My ridgid blades are two sided and cost in the $20’s.

-- "Man is the only animal which devours his own, for I can apply no milder term to the general prey of the rich on the poor." ~Thomas Jefferson

View tyvekboy's profile

tyvekboy

1752 posts in 3012 days


#4 posted 09-25-2014 04:24 PM

For a home workshop I actually like my DeWalt 735. I bought the extension tables and extra blades when I got mine and have bought extra blade sets when they are on sale. I like the fact that blade changes are quick and easy and as mentioned before, they are 2 sided. I also like the fact that it has 2 speeds … course (fast feed) and fine (slow feed).

Rockler sells the DW735 with an extra set of blades and the out feed tables for around $700 on sale. Iʻve seen offers where they even throw in the DW compact router which I also love.

The main reason I got mine is because I scrounge a lot of free wood and need to plane it down to sizes I need after I glue then up. So far Iʻve gotten decent service from the blades. I donʻt plane a lot of wood off a at one time … maybe a HALF turn of the wheel or less at a time. I donʻt know if that is easier on the blades or not.

I also like the fact that it has a longer footprint (front infeed to back outfeed) and that helps in reducing snipe.

The chip ejection is awesome. I use mine with a dust collector/cyclone. Ear protection is mandatory.

I would recommend this for the home hobbyist and would buy another one.

-- Tyvekboy -- Marietta, GA ………….. one can never be too organized

View timbertailor's profile

timbertailor

1594 posts in 1423 days


#5 posted 09-25-2014 04:42 PM

This planer is really designed for the weekend warrior using dimensional lumber where blade wear is minimal over time used IMO.

I believe it fits its intended users well.
If you are building fine furniture or working with really rough stock on a more frequent basis, something more formidable would probably be a good idea.

Thanks for the review Jay. It is appreciated.

-- Brad, Texas, https://www.youtube.com/user/tonkatoytruck/feed

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CharlesA

3322 posts in 1796 days


#6 posted 09-25-2014 04:51 PM

Really? I bought my lunchbox planer specifically so I could use rough cut lumber.

-- "Man is the only animal which devours his own, for I can apply no milder term to the general prey of the rich on the poor." ~Thomas Jefferson

View ThorinOakenshield's profile

ThorinOakenshield

112 posts in 2097 days


#7 posted 09-25-2014 05:00 PM

JSB – I noticed you do a lot of pine project from old/leftover pine lumber. Pine (especially air dried) is known to shorten the life of jointer/planner blades due to the pitch that builds up causing additional heat. After the pine, no matter what you put through it will likely run hotter, ruining the blades faster.

-- -Thorin Oakenshield, King Under the Mountain

View Straightlines's profile

Straightlines

70 posts in 1892 days


#8 posted 09-25-2014 05:25 PM

Jay, I agree with your conclusions. Years ago, when I 1st bought a bench top planer, I actually simultaneously bought a Ridgid 13” & the DW 735’s predecessor so I could compare them and return the lesser of the 2 machines—both came w/ a 30-day return program. The Ridgid was the easy and clear winner because the DeWalt’s vaunted snipe reduction system was a cruel joke. Generally, I get no snipe w/ the Ridgid, but if I’m careless then I’ll get sniped.

As CharlesA noted, the Ridgid blades are cheap, readily obtainable at any HD, and I’ve heard they can be resharpened if so desired. That said, I have planed a lot of old growth Doug Fir and the original edge is still fine!! Plus the blades are double edged.

—Bradley

-- Cut twice, measure once ... DOH!

View mramseyISU's profile

mramseyISU

534 posts in 1544 days


#9 posted 09-25-2014 05:50 PM

I run a lot of white oak through my planer and I’m still on the original blades a year after I started with it. If I had to guess I’d say it’s seen somewhere in the neigborhood of 100 board feet without any issues planing it from 1.25” nominal thickness down to 3/4”. I’ve only noticed snipe on a couple boards.

-- Trust me I'm an engineer.

View Ripthorn's profile

Ripthorn

1458 posts in 2984 days


#10 posted 09-25-2014 08:36 PM

I have a planer with double sided, throw away blades. However, I did resharpen them when they got dull and they still cut well. The thing with these is that they don’t sit in the cutting head with only one or two thousandths of clearance, they have much more than that. So you can resharpen, but your thickness scale will be off ever so slightly (maybe a thousandth of an inch or two per sharpening). I just used 1000 grit paper on a flat surface with a little bit of water. Took maybe 10 minutes.

However, it is true that the cost of blades will add up. Then again, my dad has a big old Grizzly and replacing the blades for him is significantly more expensive, and a sharpening on those knives costs about the same as a new set of knives for your DeWalt.

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

View Dedvw's profile

Dedvw

174 posts in 2880 days


#11 posted 09-25-2014 08:47 PM

I agree with your review, the blades are soft and expensive. I ran 50X the wood through my cheap Delta lunchbox before the blades needed replacement. You also need the folding extension tables if you want to get the snipe under control. One other part of this planer, and this one really bugs me, is that it’s not good at planing thin material. Anything 1/2” and below and it really struggles pulling the material through (clean rollers and all!). This is another area where my cheap Delta was better at. I could go down to 1/8 of an inch all day long on that thing! I know there are setups that will help this, but I didn’t have to do that before.

I might go as far as giving it 3 stars.

View TheDane's profile

TheDane

5423 posts in 3662 days


#12 posted 09-26-2014 12:47 AM

Good thoughtful review, Jay.

I have a DW733 (2 blade 12 1/2”) planer that I bought used 8 or 9 years ago. It came with a spare belt (which is still NIB), and a spare set of blades. I rotate the blade sets and get them sharpened every couple of years.

I have contemplated selling the DW733 and buying a DW735, but have drug my feet. I have never been unhappy with the DW733, and have been concerned about the throw-away blades on the DW735.

So long as my old DW733 keeps on keepin’ on, it will stay in my shop.

-- Gerry -- "I don't plan to ever really grow up ... I'm just going to learn how to act in public!"

View cebfish's profile

cebfish

155 posts in 2687 days


#13 posted 09-26-2014 12:49 AM

I made a jig by laying planer blades on table saw to get angle of blade. made three groves in a piece of purple heart. clamp the blades in jig make a few passes over sandpaper then leather to polish. Cuts better than new blades. Just keep arrow on blade the same when sharpening and installing. Works great.

View GarageWoodworks's profile

GarageWoodworks

531 posts in 2155 days


#14 posted 09-26-2014 02:06 AM

I’ve had the same thoughts on the indexing pins. I’ve contemplated grinding them off. Another solution would be to elongate the holes in the knives that go over the indexing pins in the cutter head. I tried this with no success. The knives are hardened steel and I have no way to elongate them. I tried.

I wouldn’t buy it again either.

-- Subscribe on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/user/GarageWoodworks?feature=guide

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GarageWoodworks

531 posts in 2155 days


#15 posted 09-26-2014 02:19 AM

More on my pains with this planer that I posted a couple years ago:

http://garagewoodworks.com/garage_blog/2012/03/09/my-planer-knife-sharpening-pains/

-- Subscribe on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/user/GarageWoodworks?feature=guide

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