|Review by PurpLev||posted 08-31-2009 10:02 PM||6885 views||0 times favorited||36 comments|
- DeWalt DW735 Heavy-Duty 13" Three Knife, Two Speed Thickness Planer
- Brand: DeWalt | Category: Planers
After getting a Jointer, I realized very quickly that I should have gotten a planer FIRST. I was able to flatten a board, and joint an edge, but that is something that I can do fairly easily with hand planes. thicknessing that board on the other hand is sometimes a bit more challenging to do by hand – especially when you have multiple boards to mill.
I have limited funds, and so visit craigslist often for tools. I was actually not expecting to find the Dewalt 735 in my budget, but was searching for Deltas and other planers until I saw this one with the mobile base, extension wings, and extra sets of blades for a very very very attractive price – needless to say, I bought it. and didn’t even feel the need to negotiate the price. with that said – MSRP is a bit higher than other lunchbox type planers. but it is a more robust built machine, which justifies the extra cost, although might put this unit out of reach to some (me included… without that once in a lifetimes deal, I wouldn’t be able to justify it’s purchase at the moment).
Build and Weight
This unit is WELL BUILT! it’s built like a tank, and weighs like one at 79lbs. it’s great for me since it means the planer doesn’t move anywhere once placed on it’s stand – I don’t even bolt it in place, however – this might be a con if someone is planing to use this as a portable machine. it’s portable, but heavy to lug around.
OK, I really like the controls on this one, compared to other machines – the side wheel is very convenient to use as opposed to a top handle. I like the fact that it can be grabbed anywhere along the wheel, including the handle (obviously) for minor adjustments.
the front cut gauge is nice and easy to read, nothing too extreme here -looks kinda the same on all the planers I’ve seen.
Depth stop is excellent – as can be seen in 3rd picture, you can set a depth stop to most common board widths, which will stop the cutters from going any lower – this is a nice feature as you can always go back and mill more boards to same exact width even several months down the road. so far I haven’t really used this much as I usually try to mill my parts as thick as possible (from the rough boards) so not really trying to match a “common” width – but its a nice feature to have when you need it.
unlike some other models, this planer does not have a cutterhead lock, because it does not require it since the cutterhead/motor assembly rides on the 4 spiral posts (consider this an auto-cutterhead-lock). which is nice, as this is one less thing to worry about/deal with.
As mentioned above – this planer comes with a depth stop for most common thicknesses.
This planer can run on one of 2 speeds, either for rough planing (faster rollers) or finishing planing (slower rollers). the switch has to be turned AFTER the planes is turned on and the motor is running. I do find mine to be somewhat hard to turn at times, and for most – I just use the rough setting for faster planing as I hand plane the boards anyways afterwards with a #4 smoother.
Built-in Chip blower – the planer blows away the chips real well, it will inflate my 4” DC hoses if I don’t have the DC on. you can either hook it up to a DC, or just blow the chips away / bag / trash bin.
This planer is LOAD, but I guess not any louder than any other universal motor planer. ear protection is a MUST – really!.
I only take 1/16” and lighter cuts with this planer, mostly at ~1/32. and it works great. I can double feed it, and really quicken things up (load 2 boards side by side).
to tune the planer, I use paste wax on the bed to make it smooth, I did notice that on a humid day the bed became somewhat rough, and I had to retouch it with some more paste wax. also if there is a build up of chips on the bed, it will interfere with the power feeding of the boards – I had the boards stop midway and had to manually pull them out before I reapplied paste wax to solve that problem.
the planer cuts very nice and smooth. I do get some lines in certain places on the boards since there is a nick in the blade – but since I smooth my boards with a hand plane it doesnt really bother me. I could move one blade to the left, and another to the right to eliminate it , and eventually flip the blades around (dual edge blades), but for now this is no big deal for me, and something that is to be expected.
Other than that , I’m extremely happy with it as it frees me from having to consider which board I should use since I can use whatever I want, and mill it my way.
I got this with the extension beds which work nice for added support for boards on both sides. curious though – these wings are supposed to fold up for storage – but only the infeed table folds properly – the outfeed table cannot fold up because something is in it’s way, so I just leave it unfolded.
I also got this with the mobile base – this base is fantastic! moves smoothly and locks down firmly. also it has some storage shelves ,and is a base well made.
Highly recommended machine, although a bit on the pricy side. If I had the space and money for a new one – I’d probably go with an induction planer all together, but for a mobile planer, I think this one is one of the toughest machines in the market today.
EDIT: There are several third part companies that make replacement knives/cutterheads for this planer:
Accu-Head makes a helical cutter head (this is the same company that makes the helical cutter heads for the steel city planers)
Infinity Tools makes replacement HSS and Carbide blades for this planer
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