Powermatic vs Jet 20" helical head planers

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Forum topic by Jeff_F posted 09-07-2011 04:54 AM 5381 views 0 times favorited 3 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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36 posts in 2572 days

09-07-2011 04:54 AM

Topic tags/keywords: planer

I am in the market for a new 20” helical head planer. I have an opportunity to purchase either a Powermatic or Jet with an employee discount from a retail store that carries these machines, so I am looking at those two models. Even with the discounts, there is about a $1000 difference between the two machines. The Powermatic uses a Byrd Helical head whereas the Jet uses a non-Byrd head. Probably an in-house or 3rd party head. The only other siginificant difference in the infeed/outfeed table size…the Powermatic has about a 5” larger tablesize. I do ‘word of mouth’ commission work so I would put more wood through these machines than the average hobbiest but not 8 hrs per day. So….

Does anyone have experience with these machines and can offer some use and reliability information? I am concerned about the non-byrd head for both cutting quality and reliability. Both Powermatic and Jet have the same parent company so the inner workings of the machines may be very similar but is the Powermatic worth a $1000 step up?

Any thoughts and insights would be helpful!

-- Jeff,

3 replies so far

View Steven H's profile

Steven H

1117 posts in 2480 days

#1 posted 09-07-2011 08:33 AM

Since they both are manufactured in same factory just different client specs.
I suggest you to
Look at them both really closely.

Look at the both metal frame. Is the powermatic metal thickness is thicker than JET?
Who cares if one weighs more than other. If that infeed table does not stay flat and needs adjustment all the time. You are screwed.

I think they are charging use more for factory installed those Byrd head.

View pvwoodcrafts's profile


234 posts in 3342 days

#2 posted 09-07-2011 02:40 PM

Don’t know ‘bout the other heads but I have 2 – 20 in planers and put byrd heads on both. Best thing I ever did. They will pay for themselves in money saved on blade sharpening , not to mention the super smooth cuts and noise reduction

-- mike & judy western md. www.

View Bertha's profile


12989 posts in 2113 days

#3 posted 09-07-2011 03:18 PM

Powermatic, hands down in my opinion. I played with them both at Woodcraft one day. PM all the way.

-- My dad and I built a 65 chev pick up.I killed trannys in that thing for some reason-Hog

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