Cabinet planner verses Sketchup

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Forum topic by , posted 11-01-2009 05:11 AM 10217 views 0 times favorited 20 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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2387 posts in 3716 days

11-01-2009 05:11 AM

Hey everyone,

Any advice on this subject, cabinet planner verse sketchup. I have been using cabinet planner for the past 6 jobs. Cabinet planner gave me 20 free logons. So I have been using it free and it is simply awesome for what it does and with the price point. At less than 100.00 it does some really good stuff, I have been using it to build my kitchens and provide my customers with 3D renderings. It is also extremely user friendly, very easy to configure using your own construction parameters. Now I can draw a average kitchen in about 30 minutes or so. Very easy.

The thing is, I am out of logons, now it is time to pay the piper. I am ready to purchase it but have not tried Sketch up yet and I know it is free. Would it be worth my while to try sketch up. I am looking for quality versus price and ease of use. I cannot afford a large learning curve and a lot of times I will draw a kitchen at the customer’s home so I do not want to spend big time trying to figure something out while a customer is being patient.

Any info would be great.



-- .

20 replies so far

View lew's profile


12376 posts in 3925 days

#1 posted 11-01-2009 05:19 AM

Send a message to DaveR. He can advise you and show you the limits- or lack of- for sketchup.

-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

View GFYS's profile


711 posts in 3640 days

#2 posted 11-01-2009 05:29 AM

I’d rather design my own but you don’t sound like you are interested in that. so…I don’t think you’d like SU.

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2387 posts in 3716 days

#3 posted 11-01-2009 05:42 AM

yeah, I am thinking about trying sketchup just to see how hard it would be to work with. Free is better then 100. But yes, I am not as much into designing my own, I like simple does it. I actually think cabinet planner might be comparable t o software worth 2000 or more. Course I could be wrong on that opinion.

By the way, for those reading this, I look at projects page on a regular basis, and you woodworkers here are nothing short of amazing with the projects you all complete. All great jobs. We build kitchens and do a great job but the custom furnishings I see on here appear to be packed full of artistic flavors combined with great building skills.

-- .

View a1Jim's profile


117265 posts in 3747 days

#4 posted 11-01-2009 06:37 AM

Have you also checked out ecabinets its free also

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View Straightpiped's profile


89 posts in 3661 days

#5 posted 11-04-2009 02:18 PM

I have a copy of ecabinets. The only complaint that I have is the learning curve is big. I need to spend more time trying to understand it but it is very difficult. But it is free.

-- T. Nelson

View Chris Wright's profile

Chris Wright

540 posts in 3651 days

#6 posted 11-04-2009 04:26 PM

Sketch up is a great tool, but I’ll be honest, I hate it. I’ve sat for an hour an a half trying to figure out how to create the shape I want, then just said to heck with it, and drew it by hand using an architects scale. There is a lot of info available for Sketch Up available online, if you’re willing to watch a bunch of YouTube videos, but when I first read about it, I got the impression that it was an intuitive program, which I don’t think it is at all. Now what I use the most for designing is a graphic design program, Adobe Illustrator.

-- "At its best, life is completely unpredictable." - Christopher Walken

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2387 posts in 3716 days

#7 posted 11-04-2009 05:50 PM

Yeah, I agree and think I will likely ‘pony up’. The cost for cabinet planner is tiny in the big picture and since I know it and like it, then great! The one thing I don’t like though is you must have a wall in order to place a cabinet. This means I cannot draw an island into a kitchen, so I just place a fake wall in the drawing and put the island on that, though then it does not look to be an island which just means I have to explain to the customer. Otherwise, it is very user friendly and even will give me a material list. I have been doing my own designing and material list for so long though, I mainly just use the material list it provides as an estimation. Before cabinet planner I used graph paper and excel documents for calculations. I still use excel to organize door and drawer parts and calculate my material.

Oh, and by the way, I am going to go look at a North State 20” planer ($750) tonight, I likely will buy it and hope this turns into a gloat. Not sure what the North State retails at but a comparable Grizzly would be around $1500. I am hoping he will take an offer of $600. It is 5hp, 25 amp and around 900 lbs so I am sure it is built strong. With the sale of my DW735 the upgrade should only amount to about 400.00 out of pocket. Just to good to pass on.

Thanks everyone,


-- .

View GFYS's profile


711 posts in 3640 days

#8 posted 11-04-2009 05:52 PM

I bet even Christopher Walken would find sketchup predictable.

View lovinmrv's profile


101 posts in 3229 days

#9 posted 04-26-2011 03:22 AM

I am somewhat computer literate and, for the life of me, I can’t figure out how to do anything in Sketchup.

In Cabinet Planner, however, it is so intuitive, that I was able to render a basic kitchen on my first sitting (approx 2 hrs) with the program.

Let’s look at the economics:

Sketchup – free – infinite learning curve.
Cabinet planner – $70 (or, the cost of 2 sheets of plywood), productive immediately

I don’t know what your time is worth, but anything times infinite is a big number. I figure i paid for the program just in saving 2 sheets of plywood with the cutting diagrams.

...just my opinion…

-- Life is a sales job.

View cabs4less's profile


235 posts in 2932 days

#10 posted 04-26-2011 03:39 AM

to be honest in my cab shop I a 2-d guy i draw on A+ cad and give the customer an over head view as part as my free estimate pack I do draw in sketchup if they sign the contract for us to build or pay upfront for the 3-d rendering I like sketch up i prefer to build by a 2-d and cut sheet but sketchup is worth a shot check out medailon cabinetry they have uploaded tons of shaker and modern cabinet models that i bring and alter

-- As Best I Can

View ScottN's profile


261 posts in 2849 days

#11 posted 04-26-2011 04:22 PM

I bought the cabinet planner a while back. I like it… Its a simple ,to the point program. The only thing I want is the sheet layout for the job.
I’ve tried sketchup and I don’t get the big hype. I actually prefer a chalk board and an eraser.

flyforfun…If I remember right and hoping I don’t have this confused with ecabinets, I think you have have to pick a wall for your island to be referenced from. when you place your island against the wall there’s a section where you enter the amount of distance from the wall you want your cabinet and that should throw your island out in the middle of the room.

-- New Auburn,WI

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2387 posts in 3716 days

#12 posted 04-26-2011 04:55 PM

Scott, I am happy to help. I still use cabinet planner. Actually, the way you described it would not be accurate as to how I complete the island/peninsula cabinets in the program.

Go into the set walls category, and set your wall up for the island. If the island is 48” long then set that wall at 48” long, then set the hieght of the wall to “0” and the depth of the wall to “0” and all of a sudden you have a place to put your island. This is much easier. You can also place finished panels on your visible ends of cabinets by using this “0” method, I do it all of the time.

-- .

View Loren's profile


10477 posts in 3817 days

#13 posted 04-26-2011 05:43 PM

Sketchup: Architects like it and many use it. If you work with architects,
it can be a good thing to know the software.

I’ve used ecabinets. I like it but it takes a lot of learning and setup. You can
build a very customized system to bid jobs in it though.

View Paul Pomerleau's profile

Paul Pomerleau

309 posts in 2863 days

#14 posted 04-26-2011 06:02 PM

The problem with trial software is, even after your 20 logins, if you delete it and re-install it, the registry already knows that you used your 20 logins.
What you have to do is delete the registry count as well.
Here is what you can do:
Install the new trial software – use your 20 tries – uninstall it – clean the registry with the free version of Ccleaner available here – reinstall your trial software and get another 20 uses – keep doing this forever.

I can’t guarantee that it will work on your drawing program as I’ve never used that one.
This works on a PC – don’t know if there is a Mac version available.

-- Close to Ottawa Ontario Canada

View ScottN's profile


261 posts in 2849 days

#15 posted 04-26-2011 11:02 PM

hey Paul…What about the guy that created the software… Is it fair?

Thanks flyforfun, I’ll try that next time.

Loren… I really liked ecabinets. The only thing I didn’t like, was I needed excel to transfer my measurements to cutlist. If they had a sheet optimizer program included with there software, I would have stayed using the ecabinet program.

-- New Auburn,WI

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