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Forum topic by Branum posted 03-30-2010 01:26 AM 1521 views 0 times favorited 10 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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54 posts in 3406 days

03-30-2010 01:26 AM

Topic tags/keywords: planer

Hello all

I am currently starting a search for a planer. I do not have much experience with planers but am getting frustrated with projects being affected by slightly warped wood. I have read most of the forums on this site but they seem to mostly be reviews of different brands or people debating straight vs helical blades. I was wondering if there is any other accessories that make a certain brand better than others? Maybe a certain locking mechanism, height adjustment, or easy blade changes and adjustments? I have read that slower feed speeds make for a better cut, is it possible to get variable speed rollers? What hp and size should I aim for? Thank you all for your expertise in advance!! One more piece of info, I am not a career carpenter but I do see it as more than just a hobby. In other words, I expect me and my tools to perform at a high level. Thank you Thank you!!

-- Branum

10 replies so far

View MarcusM's profile


57 posts in 3220 days

#1 posted 03-30-2010 02:43 PM

Hi Branum…First, you need to know that a planer will not take a warp out of a board, well, it is possible with the use of a planer sled. Generally, when you pass a piece of wood through a planer the pressure of the roller will force the piece flat to the table at the roller. Once that portion of the board sufficiently clears past the roller it will re-assume the warp…so all you get out the other end is the same warped board…just thinner. What you need, in addition to a planer is a jointer. You use the jointer first to get one side of the board flat, and use that flat side referenced to the planer bed to end up with a flat board with two parallel sides. As I mentioned, this can be done if you build/use a planer sled instead of a jointer (google “planer sled” and I’m sure you will come up with several designs of sleds.
As to a choice of planer, if you expect it to perform at a high level, I’d bypass the purchase of a portable “lunchbox” planer and go to a floor model planer. There are many 15” planers to choose from that are very similar in appearance and features and, depending on where you are (the U.S. ?) I’d seriously give the Grizzly offerings a close look; great bang for the buck I think and excellent customer service. Good luck with your search. Mark

-- Tilbilly Mark

View richgreer's profile


4541 posts in 3314 days

#2 posted 03-30-2010 02:49 PM

I am assuming that you are looking for a 12 – 13” planer that runs on 110 volts. Bigger planers are in a whole different category and price range.

The DeWalt DW735 has 2 speeds and in virtually all other regards it is top notch. It is also somewhat expensive and you really need to buy the optional table extensions to minimize snipe (making it even more expensive). You do not have or need a separate lock to hold the head in place.

I have over 10 years experience with the more basic DeWalt DW733. It is a very solid and dependable machine. It is a single speed machine. You have to apply a lock to hold the head in place (and release it to move the head). Note – this model has been replaced with the very similar DW734.

Grizzly offers a 15” planner that runs on 110 volts with a 1.5 hp motor. I think (not certain) it is a 2 speed. I’ve never used it, but it would be on my list if I ever wanted to replace my existing machine.

Be advised – the planer is, by far, the loudest machine in my shop. I ALWAYS wear ear protection when running the planer.

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

View ellen35's profile


2739 posts in 3672 days

#3 posted 03-30-2010 03:10 PM

I have a ridgid. I like it very much. The blades (3) are easy to change and it is a workhorse. It is a 13 inch planer. It is reasonably priced at the Orange Borg. Check out some of the reviews on LJ for more info and other choices.

-- "Don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good." Voltaire

View SnowyRiver's profile


51457 posts in 3720 days

#4 posted 03-30-2010 03:22 PM

I have the Dewalt DW735 and like Rich said, its a great planer. I have seen them on sale at various places for much less than what I paid so it might not hurt to check it out. I like the two speeds, and I also like the blower it has in it to help move the chips out.

-- Wayne - Plymouth MN

View Alonso's profile


949 posts in 3478 days

#5 posted 03-30-2010 03:31 PM

I also have the Ridgid R4330, I just bought it last week, I had run a couple of boards throught it, and I get very clean results, I still have to tweak it a little bit to reduce the snipe, but so far I’m happy with the results, also same like Ellen, the price was right $399 plus tax but you also get the LSA from Ridgid, which to me that is a deal breaker.

-- The things I make may be for others, but how I make them is for me.

View Tim_456's profile (online now)


172 posts in 3835 days

#6 posted 03-30-2010 03:53 PM

I’ve got the DeWalt 735 and couldn’t be happier. Lowes (in the Chicago area) has them for ~$550 and with the extension tables it brings it up to $600. Pricer than most others but it worked great right out of the box. Having no experience with a planer it was easy to use, almost a no brainer. Plus, as SnowyRiver says, the the blower really works. If you don’t have a hose attached to the port you’ll have chips all over the opposite wall. Anyway, for my two cents this is a great planer.

View Branum's profile


54 posts in 3406 days

#7 posted 03-30-2010 10:50 PM

Thanks everyone! This is one of the reasons Lumberjocks are the greatest!!!!

It seems as if most woodworkers use the Dewalt line of portable planers. I have noticed many of them in profesional and amatuer shops!! I guess I better look closer at them.

Again thank you!

-- Branum

View dbhost's profile


5767 posts in 3471 days

#8 posted 03-30-2010 11:07 PM

Not necessarily. The DeWalts are popular in all honesty because they are an excellent machine. They are also hideously expensive, and incomplete (you have to pay extra for the infeed / outfeed tables).

The lowest current price for a DW735 is $551.00 for a new one (Amazon) or $499.99 for a refurb (ToolKing). Add to that the additional expense of the “folding table set” (infeed / outfeed tables) at $189.99 and you can see this is NOT for the low budget shop.

If you’ve got the bucks, and don’t mind spending the money to pick one up, grab it! They are popular for a reason, but if you are wanting to put money elsewhere, like more tools, vacations, whatever… Look at a different machine…

-- Please like and subscribe to my YouTube Channel

View ToddTurner's profile


144 posts in 3562 days

#9 posted 03-30-2010 11:24 PM

I’m with the guys above, the Ridgid is an honest and great machine. Again very very loud always use ear protection, the helical heads are much quieter, but still noisy. They also are forgiving when running a nail through by accident-you dont have to change the entire blade, only a portion. If i were to do it all again, i would go for the semi-industrial model such as a 15-20 inch Grizzly or Powermatic (PM used of course, they like their stuff). IF you want to take the warp out of material, a planer isnt the machine you need. You need a jointer. In the shop, its the jointer to flatten one side, then the planer to do the other side. Or, use a drum sander on the 2nd step to avoid tearout on most hardwoods. Shop craigslist for used stuff.

View Ken90712's profile


17616 posts in 3428 days

#10 posted 03-31-2010 10:52 AM

I have a Baby dewalt, the single speed and love it. It has done me well and have very little snipe. I bought this one being my father has had the same one for yrs and has run 1000’s of board feet thru his. (he’s retired)... Good luck.

-- Ken, "Everyday above ground is a good day!"

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