thickness planner options

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Forum topic by bigbird posted 06-03-2010 03:01 PM 1164 views 0 times favorited 13 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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13 posts in 2726 days

06-03-2010 03:01 PM

I am getting ready to start a project that is going to require a thickness planer. My wife and I are building a large walk-in closet, about 14’X16’. I was able to locate some nice eastern red cedar sawed from a large tree toppled by Hurricane Charlie in 2004. The wood was sawed on a band saw and the thickness varies from 1/2” to 7/8”. There are variations of thickness in some of the individual boards. Width also varies from 5” to 10”. And length varies from 4’ to 10’. Most all of the wood is clear and fragrant.

I have looked at some thickness planers including a portable 13” Rigid and the DeWalt DW734 and DW 735. I also checked out the one offered at Harbor freight which is about 1/2 the price. I would appreciate some advice from someone that has experience with portable planers. I’ve read about snipe problems related to the planer and ways to minimize that problem by supporting the lumber entering the planer. I have a lot to learn about this new tool.

13 replies so far

View SnowyRiver's profile


51452 posts in 2898 days

#1 posted 06-03-2010 04:03 PM

You usually get pretty much what you pay for. I use a Dewalt 735 and love it. It has 3 cutter blades and two speeds. I dont get much, if any, snipe.

-- Wayne - Plymouth MN

View wiswood2's profile


1138 posts in 3114 days

#2 posted 06-03-2010 04:28 PM

Look at grizzly , I have a 12 in. and a 15 in. The 12 in. is 15 years old and the 15 is 12 years old ,only had to replace the blades .No other problems.

-- Chuck, wiswood2

View a1Jim's profile


115171 posts in 2995 days

#3 posted 06-03-2010 04:40 PM

It has a lot to do with how much use the planner will get but generally I suggest buying the best planner you can afford. If you can afford a free standing planner there much better than portable models. and Grizzly makes some good models. I don’t think I’d get involved with a Harbor Freight planner.

-- Custom furniture

View Shopsmithtom's profile


787 posts in 3613 days

#4 posted 06-03-2010 05:14 PM

A year or so ago I bought a Delta TP-305 on, new for $188.00 including delivery. I thought it was a great deal from the price standpoint, so I didn’t have real high expectations, but I was pleasantly surprised at how well it has worked.

I’ve run a lot of wood through it with great results & manageable snipe…making a support in/out table is a good idea for any portable planer, in my opinion.

I don’t know if you can still get this model (maybe cheaper yet as a refurb or close out, who knows) but I’d get another in a minute, if I needed one. -SST

-- Accuracy is not in your power tool, it's in you

View tyskkvinna's profile


1310 posts in 2404 days

#5 posted 06-03-2010 06:38 PM

My Dewalt 735 is hands-down the best tool purchase I’ve made in years. Seriously. I use the hell out of it and it stands up great.

-- Lis - Michigan - -

View richgreer's profile


4541 posts in 2493 days

#6 posted 06-03-2010 08:57 PM

My DeWalt 733 has served me very well for over 10 years. It has been replaced with the 734 which has 3 blades instead of 2. Otherwise, they are virtually the same. If my 733 ever wears out I will replace it with a 734. I agree that the 735 is a nicer machine but, when you add in the extra cost for the infeed and outfeed shelves, it is nearly double the price. I can’t justify the extra cost of the 735.

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

View supervato's profile


153 posts in 2347 days

#7 posted 06-03-2010 09:04 PM

I use a dewalt dw734 it works great and has never had problems for three years of service. The best part is the blades i can find at lowes and they are a snap to change and they are double sided so when side gets dull just flip them around and you have fresh blades.

View Cato's profile


693 posts in 2731 days

#8 posted 06-03-2010 09:12 PM

735 fan here. Haven’t run the others, but it seems to be very well built and has a lot of nice features.

I see them used for pretty reasonable, so you might want to go look into that.

I was leaning toward the 734 until the Borg put the 735 on sale for under $300 a few months back and I was lucky enough to get one. Ordered the rolling cart and extension tables from Grizzly at a nice price as well.

I am very happy with the whole set up and one of my better if not the best tool buy I have made in WW.

View dbhost's profile


5590 posts in 2650 days

#9 posted 06-03-2010 09:21 PM

The DeWalt DW735 is probably hands down the most popular planer among the magazine reviewers… And it IS a good machine. From what I have seen, there isn’t enough difference in the results, or durability of most lower end machines to justify the price range. Yes cutter head locks help, 4” dust chutes etc… all help, but with some technique, and proper setup, I am doing just fine with my cheapie Ryobi AP1301. Yes I would prefer a DW735, but honestly, at full retail price, I can buy 3+ AP1301 for what 1 DW735 costs, or a single AP1301 and a bunch of stock to work on it…

And the way I figure it, even the DW735 snipes a little bit, so no matter which one you get, you really SHOULD be figuring the first couple of inches as waste anyway…

FWIW, AP1301, 2.5 years in use, 1 set of knives swapped out due to stupid operator error (loose knots in a piece that I didn’t think about…)

Now if you have the funds to afford one, a floor model planer, like the big 15 and 20” models from the likes of Grizzly, and Delta are a completely different animal… Well worth looking into…

-- My workshop blog can be found at

View ,'s profile


2387 posts in 2965 days

#10 posted 06-03-2010 09:23 PM

CL is the way to go I think. Look on and then you can search CL up to a 250 mile radius. Just search for “planer”. I had a DW735 for my first planer. I sold that planer on CL for 350.00 and bought a 15” 3 hp Jet planer for 400.00 on CL. The Jet planer came with an extra set of brand new knives that had never been installed. My Dewalt blades were on their second side so buying new blades for the Dewalt was going to be in my near future. I say go for a 15” planer off of CL, you should not go wrong and I am sure my Jet is not as loud as the DW735 I had which was crazy loud.

-- .

View spaids's profile


699 posts in 3111 days

#11 posted 06-03-2010 09:24 PM

I have the Ridgid. Its the only one I’ve ever owned so I can’t compare.

The good is three double sided knives so when they get dull you can just flip them over and you got a brand new set. The knives are not adjustable so installation is EASY. It has built in adjustable stops so you are able to recall a certain thickness at a later time and have it dead on match. Ridgid has an outstanding lifetime warranty on there tools including electrical parts.

The bad is I get snipe. I have tried adjusting my technique and the in/out feed tables and can’t get rid of the snipe. There is no speed control. The knives are not adjustable so if you were inclined to sharpen your own you are out of luck. Once you sharpened them you would never get them to line up again. My biggest issue is snipe. I really don’t understand how any portable planer gets around the snipe problem but it seems that others can.

I could only recommend this unit if you could live with cutting off the first and last 4 inches of every board.

-- Wipe the blood stains from your blade before coming in.--

View billthekatt's profile


46 posts in 2443 days

#12 posted 06-04-2010 06:57 AM

any 3 blade delta will do you fine..i even prefer the delta’s over my stand alone general.. on the deltas the cutting head moves up and down for planing, and on most stand alones the tables do the up and downs.. wich means with the deltas you can make a permanent in and out feed table for handling thos long cedar boards…

-- larry

View bigbird's profile


13 posts in 2726 days

#13 posted 06-07-2010 05:26 PM

I have a 12” DeWalt compound miter saw and the DeWalt adjustable saw horse type stand. I am thinking that the stand would be a decent way to feed the wood through the DW 734 or 735. I don’t think the 734 wieghs anymore than the miter saw and the stand is adjustable for some pretty long boards. Anyone use the Dewalt miter saw stand with one of the DeWalt planers?

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