Tool imbalances, just bought planer nicer than all my other tools combined

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Forum topic by joshtp posted 12-27-2016 04:10 PM 1515 views 0 times favorited 17 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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35 posts in 1114 days

12-27-2016 04:10 PM

Topic tags/keywords: planer tablesaw

Weekend woodworker here. I’ve been wanting a planer for a while now (never used one before even), and I went for the deal on Amazon which got me the Dewalt DW735X (DW735 with tables and extra knives) 13” thickness planer for about $475 after tax and cash back.

The only problem is this is now the nicest, most expensive power tool in my garage. My tablesaw is a DW745 jobsite saw that I got for under $200 new, which has a very small table, especially small distance between front of table and blade, and no dado ability. My bandsaw is a small 10” Crafstman handed down from my grandfather, along with his small 8” Harbor Freight drill press. My miter saw is a sub-par $100 Harbor Freight 10” compound. No jointer here. My handheld power tools are pretty low end to include a $20 Black & Decker jigsaw, $30 circular saw. My only decent ones are a Bosch 1617EVS router, Milwaukee M12 drills, Bosch ROS.

So my question is why am I spending this much money on a tool which I’ve never used and don’t know how much I’ll actually use, all the while having a tablesaw and other tools which I know I’m unhappy with.

Problem is, even a used DW734 planer seems to run about $300, so if I ever want to get a decent planer it seems I can’t save all that much money over the DW735X for $475.

If I can swing the money to also upgrade the tablesaw and my wife won’t kill me I suppose I shouldn’t be complaining. If I can’t upgrade the tablesaw for a year or two if I keep the planer then perhaps I’d be better off returning the planer and using the money to buy something else.

17 replies so far

View RogR's profile


113 posts in 1101 days

#1 posted 12-27-2016 04:26 PM

More cam, more tire, more gear. Welcome to our world.

Tablesaw is next.

View AZWoody's profile (online now)


1419 posts in 1459 days

#2 posted 12-27-2016 04:31 PM

A jointer would be the perfect complimentary tool for your planer. Then, you can tell the wife you can buy rough lumber cheaper and save money in the long run :)

View brtech's profile


1054 posts in 3158 days

#3 posted 12-27-2016 04:34 PM

If you aren’t going to get a jointer soon, it may not be the wisest purchase. It’s quite a deal, for sure.

You can manage to get S4S wood out of rough stock with a table saw and a planer, but it’s more work, and you often waste wood doing it. Basically, you build a sled to hold a rough plank stable as you run it through the planer to get one smooth, flat surface. Then you put that surface down, and cut off one edge with the table saw. You now have two smooth surfaces perpendicular to each other. Then you can plane the other surface to be parallel to the smooth surface, and cut the other edge to width against the TS fence.

You need a better table saw, no doubt about it. You don’t need a miter saw unless you are a carpenter, so no problem there. You can do a surprising amount of good drilling with that drill press, and a 10 in bandsaw is handy, but no doubt bigger ones would let you do more interesting projects.

If you think you can upgrade your TS soon, then let the 735 be an inspiration to do more woodworking (and save money on purchasing wood in rough form so you can afford a better TS). Start looking at CL so you know what you can expect to see once you have some $$ for that TS upgrade.

View knotscott's profile


8174 posts in 3611 days

#4 posted 12-27-2016 04:47 PM

Just upgrade the other tools. Problem solved.

-- Happiness is like wetting your pants...everyone can see it, but only you can feel the warmth....

View Jim Finn's profile

Jim Finn

2688 posts in 3157 days

#5 posted 12-27-2016 05:45 PM

I have a similar situation. I became frustrated with my DeWalt scroll saw because it kept breaking down. I then bought a $3000 scroll saw! That tool cost as much as all my other tools combined. I do not regret it. I guess I have just started in on up-grading my entire shop. I sell enough of my wood working product to allow me to do that without impacting my household budget. (Life is good)

-- No PHD just a DD214 Website>

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

5233 posts in 2729 days

#6 posted 12-27-2016 05:48 PM

I wouldn’t return it, although you know you know best what you need to do. Just upgrade the other tools as you can and don’t look back is my suggestion.

-- Our village hasn't lost it's idiot, he was elected to congress.

View TheFridge's profile


10815 posts in 1721 days

#7 posted 12-27-2016 05:52 PM


-- Shooting down the walls of heartache. Bang bang. I am. The warrior.

View OSB's profile


147 posts in 761 days

#8 posted 12-27-2016 06:20 PM

Good used table saws are often available cheap on Craigslist.

I recently got a no name “made in Taiwan” contractor saw which seems to be a copy of an old Delta design and sold by many tool importers like Jet and Grizzly. It has surface rust on the table, it needs a new power cord and the original fence is workable at best but the blade runs true, there is little noise or vibration, it has solid top cast iron wings and best of all it was $75. I even found it about a mile from my house, closer than the home improvement store.

I live in a pretty densely populated area so if I don’t find a great deal immediately, I just wait a while and eventually I will find it. In a low density area the wait may be a lot longer.

I will probably spend about $100 on the basic restoration to clean off the surface rust, replace some bearings, clean it up and add new grease.

I’m going to spend more making a VSC/Biesemeyer style fence and router table wing for it but I’m still going to be far under the budget for a new saw of similar quality without the upgrades.

If you have the time to take on a project like that, that is the way to upgrade your shop on the cheap.

I have had good luck with Taiwan tools from the 80s. American is nice but you pay a premium.

Some times new is better like my Triton router which has features that would cost a lot to add to an older router so weigh your options before you put your money down. If you go used, take a little look at reviews of the tool you are considering, if it has a common failure mode, check to see if replacement parts are available. Luckily since a lot of import tools are copies, with a little digging usually you can find something that will work. Worst case, if you get a common enough type of tool you can also look for another Craigslist find to use for parts.

One more piece of advice, concentrate on one tool at a time until it is in the shop and working.

View JAAune's profile


1854 posts in 2552 days

#9 posted 12-27-2016 06:20 PM

Most of my machines (I do this for a living) are cheap Craigslist bargains. My CNC machine is worth more than the rest of them combined (not counting the eBay laser engraver). There’s no hard rule saying that all tools must be equally valuable. Save where you can and put down the cash where it counts the most.

I upgrade when a machine can no longer keep pace with the rest of my operation. As long as it’s not breaking down or creating a bottleneck, I keep what I have and save the money.

-- See my work at and

View joshtp's profile


35 posts in 1114 days

#10 posted 12-28-2016 12:30 PM

Thank you all for the advice. I plan to keep the planer which arrives today.

After talking it over with my wife, she seems supportive of spending more on the shop than I had planned on spending.

With that, I’ll start keeping watch on Craigslist for several tools, especially a table saw. I’ve thought of OSB’s suggestion before of getting a Craftsman 113 and tuning it up, but it does seem like quite a bit of time and money to get it into shape, especially considering I want a riving knife. I did find the Shark Guard for $200, but it seems to be just a splitter and not a true riving knife.

What’s the next best option to a 113 that has a true riving knife? I’d like to spend about $500, but might go up to $1000. Used or new would suit me.

View MrUnix's profile


7106 posts in 2434 days

#11 posted 12-28-2016 12:43 PM

What’s the next best option to a 113 that has a true riving knife? I’d like to spend about $500, but might go up to $1000. Used or new would suit me.

With that kind of budget, you could get real cabinet saw. Play it right, and you could outfit your shop with a lot of tools besides the cabinet saw as well. You will not find a used saw that has a riving knife unless you buy one that was sold after 2009. Every saw you will look at was designed for a splitter though. Remember, a riving knife is just a more convenient splitter and they both serve the same purpose.


-- Brad in FL - In Dog I trust... everything else is questionable

View rwe2156's profile


3230 posts in 1716 days

#12 posted 12-28-2016 03:09 PM

IMO you should have upgraded your tablesaw first but I would keep the planer it will serve you well.

-- Everything is a prototype thats why its one of a kind!!

View Carloz's profile


1147 posts in 827 days

#13 posted 12-28-2016 08:01 PM

If you aren t going to get a jointer soon, it may not be the wisest purchase. It s quite a deal, for sure.
- brtech

I would disagree. In a hobby setting a power jointer is easily replaceable by a hand plane.
In fact one can get away with hand planes for planning too but that is for young and strong, who can save on a gym that way. Jointing on the other hand is easy as you do not have to take off a lot of material as with planning.

View joshtp's profile


35 posts in 1114 days

#14 posted 12-29-2016 12:27 AM

Talk about cart before the horse. See my new planer?! Understandable if you might be having some trouble.

Before I even open the box, I need to clean up and start doing some actual shop planning, including thinking where my future table saw upgrade will go.

I think I’ll go ahead and start a project on here to start the planning of this 2-car garage, 22’ wide by 25’ deep, that has to accomadate a minivan once in a while.

View papadan's profile


3584 posts in 3604 days

#15 posted 12-29-2016 12:46 AM

Your Bosch router and a straight edge is your jointer, no special setups or space in the shop. My straight edge is the factory edge of a sheet of MDF.

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