Snipe & new Dewalt 734 planer

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Forum topic by DanM posted 04-07-2008 10:49 PM 15990 views 2 times favorited 20 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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90 posts in 3885 days

04-07-2008 10:49 PM

After much deliberation & consultation, I bought my 1st planer, a Dewalt 734. My 1st test passes through it have been less than spectacular. Running some fairly straight/flat pine scrap through the machine, pieces sized 18.5×2.75 x .875, I’m getting what I’m thinking is a significant amount of snipe, as in this pic: LINK= . Basically, the 1st & last 2” of the board are coming out thinner than the rest of the piece, with a very obvious transition at this point. In a worst case (the board in the picture), using a dial caliper, one end was 0.026” thinner at the snipped portion than at the portion just before the sniping, which seems like an awful lot. Is this an acceptable amount of snipe? You’d have to saw the ends off to use the board, 4” off each board’s really going to add up over time.

I’m getting the same result on other sizes as well, including a bit of 2×6 about 10” long, & a 20” piece of cedar 4×4. I tried various lifting techniques, etc; w/o much luck, looks like I’ll need to practice that a bit. So far, I’ve only run soft woods, could this be a factor? This is supposed to be a decent planer. Finish is nice & smooth, apart from the snipe. I have set the infeed & outfeed tables as described in the manual, was removing 1/16” at a time & the head was locked. Lesser cuts do produce a bit less, but it’s still present.

My main concern is that there’s something amiss with this particular machine, in which case I’ll exchange it, or that the model itself is not that great. I have seen good reviews of the machine & the 733 that come before it (the same I think except a 2 blade design). Do any of these actually produce NO SNIPE?

Thanks for any advice.


20 replies so far

View GaryK's profile


10262 posts in 4164 days

#1 posted 04-07-2008 11:14 PM

Yes, that is snipe. I don’t have a dewalt so I can’t say if this is common or something wrong with the machine.

Soft or hard wood should not make a difference.

I had an old (20 years ago) Delta planer that sniped no matter what I did, but my newer Delta 22-580
produces no snipe at all no matter what I do.

-- Gary - Never pass up the opportunity to make a mistake look like you planned it that way - Tyler, TX

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27250 posts in 3998 days

#2 posted 04-07-2008 11:31 PM

One suggestion I would make is to get a long straight edge and make sure that the infeed and outfeed tables are coplanar. If they aren’t this will produce snipe. Like Gary I have a 22-580 and don’t have a snipe problem unless I put pressure on the outfeed side as it is exiting the planer.

-- Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful- Joshua Marine

View DanM's profile


90 posts in 3885 days

#3 posted 04-08-2008 12:35 AM

Well ya know, Gary suggested the 22-580, but did I listen? Noooooooooooooo…

In my defense I should say I had a Delta 6” “professional” jointer a few years back which I subsequently sold prior to moving. It had not one but TWO warped fences. Kinda put me off the brand.

I have a Lee Valley 50” aluminum straight edge which I used to be sure the tables were set relative to the inside of the planer as is spec’d in the manual. Out of the box the outboard edges were way higher, changing it made no appreciable difference. It is possible they are still not co-planar, in that one side of a given table may be slightly higher/lower than another. I’ll go futz with it some more. The tables deflect pretty easily, being stamped. Not sure a couple thousands here or there on the 2 of them will make much difference.

Fortunately, I bought the planer at Lowes, where if nothing else you can return things easily.

Anyone know who has the best price on a 22-580???

Thanks for the replies.


View tenontim's profile


2131 posts in 3920 days

#4 posted 04-08-2008 12:46 AM

Dan, the snipe is caused by the board lifting after it leaves the infeed roller. Try cutting an extra piece of the wood you’re planing, about 10-12” long, and butt it up to the board, so that it follows the work piece through. It will help prevent the board from lifting and cut down on the snipe.

View jimp's profile


208 posts in 3937 days

#5 posted 04-08-2008 12:54 AM

Dan – You might want to check out FWW Tools & Shop Annual Issue (#195). They reviewed Benchtop Planers. The tester got very good results with the DW734. The author talks a little about snipe and some methods to improve it. You might want to check out the article.

Here is another link to a video on FWW’s website titled, “Get the Most from your Planer”. I hope it helps.

-- - Jim, Carroll, OH

View Dorje's profile


1763 posts in 4173 days

#6 posted 04-08-2008 12:55 AM

I also have the 22-580 – but, I do get some snipe, primarily on longer pieces and when taking larger bites (1/16”). I don’t get much snipe, if any at all, when taking light passes (1/32” and less) and when the boards are relatively short. I’ve been very happy with the planer…maybe mine isn’t set-up as precisely as the others’...

I just saw it over at Rockler on Stone Way for $429 – not sure if that is a good price, but I thought that the price skyrocketed in the last year or two, so I’m guessing it’s decent for that model.

EDIT – just checked Amazon: $419

-- Dorje (pronounced "door-jay"), Seattle, WA

View OttawaP's profile


89 posts in 3902 days

#7 posted 04-08-2008 04:20 AM

Your setup may be off because my 734 is snipe free 98% of the time. A long heavy board that is not supported properly will snipe a bit but that’s to be expected.

-- Paul

View DanM's profile


90 posts in 3885 days

#8 posted 04-09-2008 02:10 AM

So far, I haven’t run anything much longer than 20”, so I don’t think it’s that factor. Taking smaller bites does help. I haven’t gotten a jointer yet, though one’s on the way. The test boards seem reasonably true, but again, have not been face jointed.

Running the boards through at an angle helps. Oddly, so does running them through on the left or right side of the table (as opposed to in the center).

Dorje – I’ve been to that Rockler. Bit of a pain to park there (like all of Seattle… ) I saw the Delta on Amazon for $419, unfortunately, we have to pay tax! Really got a great deal on the Dewalt, $313 + tax at Lowes. so the Delta, which appears to be pretty identical in design type & capability, would be over $100 more.

Paul – did you do anything special in setting up your 734? So far I’ve set the tables so the outboard edges are
level with the bed of the planer, seems to be the only adjustment in the manual. Do you have to do anything else to yours?

This really seems like a nicely made machine & Dewalt i a respected company. Seems like with all this stuff though, no matter what you buy, some are swearing by it while others are swearing at it. Really makes for a frustrating selection process.


View Dorje's profile


1763 posts in 4173 days

#9 posted 04-09-2008 07:15 AM

Dan – I got my Delta when they were in the $300s…at over $400+tax, it does seem way too steep…

Does the DeWalt have quick set knives of some sort or do you have to set them when you change them? Also, is there any kind of feed roller adjustement?

-- Dorje (pronounced "door-jay"), Seattle, WA

View DanM's profile


90 posts in 3885 days

#10 posted 04-11-2008 04:42 AM

Dorje – From what I see in the manual, there appear to be index pins in the cutter head which align the blades, which I assume qualifies as “quick set”. There doesn’t seem to be any adjustment of the blades or head possible, nor of the rollers.

I think my technique is improving. By running shorter lengths (up to 3’) at a bit of an angle, and by lifting longer lengths a bit, I think I’ve eliminated the snipe for all intense & purposes. I guess as with most things, practice makes perfect ;-)

Thanks everyone for the advice.


View Furnitude's profile


380 posts in 3683 days

#11 posted 08-31-2011 03:36 PM

Hello all,
I have a Dewalt DW734 and have just started getting snipe. as the board is going through the planer, it seems to slip a bit. I can feel it not being carried along by the feed roller. I hear a Nya-nya-nya sound (how do you like that spelling?!) and, more pronounced than snipe, there are pronounced ridges on the back 3 or 4” of the board. There was even some burning on a piece of butternut inside one of the ridges.

I bought this machine used (if not abused) and have thought that I probably need to either sharpen or replace the blades. But I’m also wondering if there isn’t some way to clean or tighten up the feed roller. Any thoughts are appreciated.

-- Mitch, Also blog at

View Chipy's profile


374 posts in 2769 days

#12 posted 08-31-2011 06:23 PM

I think you can minimize snipe but I think it’s real hard to get rid of it all together.I set up temporary in feed and out feed tables in addition to the ones on my planer.I put a straight edge on all surfaces to insure every thing is flat.I find snipe appears mainly on the out feed side.If you getting 1or 2 inches of snip that’s about par for the course.If your ending with 4or 5 inches then the planer need some adjustment.

View Chipy's profile


374 posts in 2769 days

#13 posted 09-01-2011 01:51 AM

I agree with cr1. also on exit make sure you suport the stock as it exits the planer.

View vernonator's profile


75 posts in 2827 days

#14 posted 09-02-2011 03:37 PM

I have a 734 and here is how I get snipe free cuts
1) you MUST remember to use the head lock, if I forget I get snipe 100% of the time….
2) set my out feed table just SLIGHTLY higer than the bet, this lifts the board up a hair and supports it – eliminated my snipe
2) If you dont line #2 above, just lift slightly on the end of the board as you feed it in and out and you will be good.

But honestly #1 was my big problem, forgetting to set the head lock….

View Furnitude's profile


380 posts in 3683 days

#15 posted 09-02-2011 09:36 PM

Hi everyone. Thanks for your comments. Last night I checked out the blades on the planer and even touched them with my fingers. They were as dull as a breadknife. the first thing I’m going to do is change the blades (or, rather, reverse the reversible blades). Vernonator, I do always use the head lock, so I don’t think that’s the problem. Thanks for your help though. When I change the blades, I’ll clean the rollers the best I can then I’ll see how it does. The next step would be raising the out feed table. I’ll keep you posted on my progress!

-- Mitch, Also blog at

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