Looking for a planer

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Forum topic by Don Butler posted 03-28-2010 02:48 PM 1554 views 0 times favorited 17 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Don Butler

1092 posts in 3394 days

03-28-2010 02:48 PM

The wife and I travelled to a small city about 50 miles away to buy some nice hardwoods. This guy has burls and galls, curly maple, curly walnut, curly everything.
He also has surprisingly low prices. We bought a load of pretties for $150.

So on the way home SWBMT (She Who Buys Me Tools) turned to me, talking over the boards that were too long to stay in the back of the Outback, and said, “Well, now you need a planer, don’t you?”

After my head cleared a bit I stammered, “Yes, Honey, I think you’re right about that!”.

Now I’ve been searching the Internet for about two hours, looking for reviews and prices on planers. I know I want a 12.5” or 13” wide machine and I don’t want to spend thousands (I don’t have access to thousands), so I kept my search in the range up to about $500 or $600.

My problem is that I’m seeing both some raves and some devastatingly bad reviews about every planer in that range. Delta, DeWalt, Grizzly, Ridgid and Makita all seem to have machines in this range and there’s some very nice features on some, but for every nice feature I find some serious reviews that seem to point out nasty design or manufacturing defects.

So, all you woodworkers with planers, tell me your experiences. I especially want to hear about newer machines, but if there’s an oldie I should try to find, I want to hear about it, too.

Here’s me, waiting for all that good advice!


-- No trees were damaged in posting this message, but thousands of electrons were seriously inconvenienced.

17 replies so far

View Ingjr's profile


144 posts in 3015 days

#1 posted 03-28-2010 02:56 PM

In that price range and the width you want I’d highly recommend Ridgid 13”. I’ve had one for several years and if you shop around you can find one for less than the $550 retail. It’s a 2 speed which gives excellent results. You can read where knife life was short on these planers at one point but I think they’ve got that figured out. BTW, I never had any knife problems in the 3+ yrs. I’ve had mine. HTH Don Jr.

-- The older I get the faster I was.

View richgreer's profile


4541 posts in 3073 days

#2 posted 03-28-2010 03:19 PM

I’ve been using my DeWalt 733 for over 10 years. It remains solid and dependable. They no longer make the 733 (2 knives) but they make the 734 (3 knives). The 735 is even nicer with 2 speeds for feeding the material in. However, I think the 734 is sufficient and I cannot justify the extra cost of the 735.

With the metal hood (which I added later) and a good dust collector you capture virtually 100% of the chips and dust.

-- Rich, Cedar Rapids, IA - I'm a woodworker. I don't create beauty, I reveal it.

View webwood's profile


626 posts in 3249 days

#3 posted 03-28-2010 03:25 PM

i’ve got the 733 as well and have really pounded it for 10+ years

-- -erik & christy-

View CharlieM1958's profile


16274 posts in 4217 days

#4 posted 03-28-2010 03:26 PM

I followed the conversations about planers for a long time here before I bought one, and the names that kept coming up were Ridgid and DeWalt. I think you’d be happy with either. I found a good price on a reconditioned Ridgid, and I’m very satisfied with it.

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View SueNH's profile


19 posts in 3082 days

#5 posted 03-28-2010 03:33 PM

You should look at the Dewalt 735. It is workhorse and the blades are relatively inexpensive and very easy to change when the time comes. Each blade has two usable sides so a replacement pack is really like buying a “2-pack”.

As for the price, if you go to the Dewalt factory authorized dealer on line, you can pick up a factory reconditioned one for about $499. It comes with a 1 year warranty and it’s basically rebuilt by the factory techs.

I have a 735 and use it non-stop. It’s been a great tool for my purposes. Good luck with your quest!

View Sawdust4Blood's profile


404 posts in 3020 days

#6 posted 03-28-2010 03:36 PM

I have a Dewalt 734 that I am very happy with. I was actually in the market for a 735 but found a deal on a 734 that I couldn’t pass up ($300 new as an overstock clearance at Lowes). As happy as I am with my Dewalt, I honestly believe that you could get good service from any of the machines you mention. In my limited experience, most of the problems people have with planers stem from alignment issues. But if you get the alignment correct, the product can be a thing of beauty. To make sure that you have realistic expectations though, most planers will still require light sanding after planing unless the blades are brand new and set perfectly. Also, burls and curly grain woods are notoriously difficult to plane so you’ll need to do those with very light passes to prevent tear out. All that being said, my planer paid for itself easily in the first year by allowing me to buy rough cut lumber much cheaper than dimensional lumber. Good luck with your hunt.

-- Greg, Severn MD

View Dan'um Style's profile

Dan'um Style

14172 posts in 3982 days

#7 posted 03-28-2010 03:38 PM

I’ll go with the Dewalt recommendation. I have one and have no complaints.

-- keeping myself entertained ... Humor and fun lubricate the brain

View Joe's profile


185 posts in 3392 days

#8 posted 03-28-2010 03:57 PM

Zero complaints about my 735. Outfeed tables ($50 extra) and to me are a must to control snipe. Top tool last year in FWM and also this year in March issue Wood magazine.

-- Senior Chief

View Toolz's profile


1004 posts in 3741 days

#9 posted 03-28-2010 05:03 PM

I have a Dewalt 735 and highly recommend it!

-- Larry "Work like a Captain but Play like a Pirate!"

View Brian024's profile


358 posts in 3399 days

#10 posted 03-28-2010 06:03 PM

Dewalt 735 you won’t be disappointed.

View wiswood2's profile


1138 posts in 3695 days

#11 posted 03-28-2010 06:23 PM

I have 2 grizzlys a 12 inch and a 15 inch bought the 12 in first works great but found out a 12 in was not wide enought got the 15 inch it is great I had it 6 years n know and I am just putting in my 3red set of blades and I do a lot of planing I would get the 15 in. you will never be sorry a bout going liitter bigger. I have never had a problem with eather one but they are heavy. good luck on wat ever you get.

-- Chuck, wiswood2

View bigike's profile


4052 posts in 3287 days

#12 posted 03-28-2010 06:32 PM

i have a ridgid and it works perfect i think its 13”. It’s a bench top model or so they say i think it’s a tank. My other one was a delta that too worked perfect no snipe at all well the ridgid had some but i adj. the tables and now nothing the ridgid model # is TP1300 or TP13000 one of the two i got both of my planers off ebay so they were used but in new cond. The delta was an older machine so i sold it and got the ridgid, i wanted to get another delta to go with the machines i have in my shop all delta. Either any delta or ridgid or dewalt should do ya good. Just keep looking on ebay or craigslist and you should get something real cheap cheaper than the $500 you listed but for the $500 i would go with the new dewalt with the two speeds 13” model #DW735 some places have it on sale for $499 new.

-- Ike, Big Daddies Woodshop,

View TheDane's profile


5423 posts in 3662 days

#13 posted 03-28-2010 06:43 PM

My DW733 is just like the Energizer Bunny … I have really pounded that machine, and it just keeps right on ticking. If I were buying a new planer today, my money would go for a DW735.

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

View RZH's profile


73 posts in 3108 days

#14 posted 03-28-2010 06:43 PM

I love my 735. Easy to service and parts are readly available. After markets blades are also available.

-- Ron

View Padre's profile


930 posts in 3488 days

#15 posted 03-28-2010 06:51 PM

I bought a Dewalt 735 rebuilt for about 325, and I love it, and it’s a workhorse.

-- Chip ----------- 6:8

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