Shopping for first planer

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Forum topic by stockwes posted 09-12-2011 09:56 AM 1398 views 0 times favorited 12 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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1 post in 2418 days

09-12-2011 09:56 AM


I am a newbe who is just catching the woodworking itch and am in the market for my next tool. As of recently i found a great hookup on rough cut hardwood lumber and am trying to make use of it. A planer seems like the logical next step for me.

I am on somewhat of a budget however i understand the value of nice tools. Ideally i would be in the 400-450 price range. The first machine that really caught my eye was the JJP-10BTOS from Jet. This had the appeal that not only was it a planer, it was a jointer as well. I even found a barely used one for $300. This puts it well within my budget. I am confident that 10” width would be more that needed, so this is not a concern to me. Jet has always been an extremely nice tool in my experience so this a plus too.

I did some more searching and one other machine caught my eye. It is the dewalt dw734. This machine is about the same price as the jet, however it dosent have the ability to be a jointer. It is a dewalt, a quality brand. It is also 12.5” width, however i cant forsee myself really using the added capacity.

I am wondering what opinion you experienced woodworkers have of those tools or if anyone would steer me a different direction entirely. I am not by any means a pro, and my shop is small, however i want a good tool that i wont be dreading using and wanting to replace in a few years.

Thanks for any input.

12 replies so far

View knotscott's profile


7985 posts in 3345 days

#1 posted 09-12-2011 01:01 PM

I’d try to find a planer that at least has some form of snipe control, whether a cutterhead lock or 4-post screw design. Dust collection is another feature I’d look for. A refurbed unit can offer some good savings. My short list would include the DW734, DW735, Delta 22-580, 22-590, Ridgid R4330, or Makita 2012.

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

View HorizontalMike's profile


7749 posts in 2884 days

#2 posted 09-12-2011 04:12 PM

You can always build your own “snipe control” platform/table for your chosen planer. Here is the one I built for my 13” Ridgid:

Simple to build and has worked out great.

-- HorizontalMike -- "Woodpeckers understand..."

View David's profile


198 posts in 2633 days

#3 posted 09-13-2011 07:29 PM

I have the DW734 and have had great results from it. For longer pieces I do something similar to Mike, otherwise I just hold the pieces by hand so they stay level. I’d suggest getting something wider than you “need”, that way when you get a nick in a blade you can just run it through twice at the same height, the second time through a different portion of the blade and the high spot left by the nick will be removed on the second pass.

If you’re going to be running the planer indoors at all you’ll need a good dust collector, they make a mess.

-- Perilous to all of us are the devices of an art deeper than we ourselves possess. --Gandalf the Grey

View Gene Howe's profile

Gene Howe

10383 posts in 3398 days

#4 posted 09-13-2011 08:18 PM

I found a Delta 22-590 for $470. It’s a true 13” planer and I’m really happy with it.
To control snipe, I purchased a piece of 3/4” melamine surfaced particle board that Lowes laughingly calls shelving. I just added a cleat and put in the planer allowing 6” beyond the infeed table and 12” past the end of the out feed table. Losing that 3/4” is no biggie. Not really sure how high the head will crank up, but it’s far more than anything I’ll be planing and I get absolutely no snipe!

-- Gene 'The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him.' G. K. Chesterton

View David's profile


198 posts in 2633 days

#5 posted 09-13-2011 08:26 PM

Genius idea Gene.

-- Perilous to all of us are the devices of an art deeper than we ourselves possess. --Gandalf the Grey

View Gene Howe's profile

Gene Howe

10383 posts in 3398 days

#6 posted 09-13-2011 08:33 PM

(blushing) Well shucks, thanks David. Even a a blind pig….etc.

-- Gene 'The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him.' G. K. Chesterton

View gawthrrw's profile


207 posts in 2417 days

#7 posted 09-15-2011 12:06 AM

My Step father has the JJP-10BTOS. He bought it without even seeing it. It didnt seem like it was well put together and we had several issues getting it to change from planing to joining. I also have the DW734 and love it. I was going to buy a Grizzly 15” planer but after my Step father sold his Jet and bought the Dewalt I didnt see a reason for it. The DW734 is a great machine with built in dust collection. You can get a hose and drawstring dust bag that hooks up to a 55 gallon drum on their website for I believe 39 dollars. This saves you from having to run d/c hoses all over. The only downside is the blades IMO, but you can get better one’s online that last a lot longer.

-- Rob, Dallas TX

View doninvegas's profile


334 posts in 2877 days

#8 posted 09-15-2011 01:01 AM

I also have the Delta 590 I’ve had it for about 6 years now and it’s a very good machine. I filliped the knives, keep it clean and it has done me good. I saw their newest model at AWFS and it seems to be even better.

-- "Courage is being scared to death -- but saddling up anyway."

View tyskkvinna's profile


1310 posts in 2955 days

#9 posted 09-15-2011 01:35 AM

I have the slightly more expensive Dewalt planer and I love it dearly. It’s been rock-solid, easy to change the blades and even easy to totally disassemble in case you need to replace the rollers (because, if you were like me, you ran wood through it that still had gunge on the surface. a lot of it…... )

I would get the slightly bigger one if you can afford it (width wise). I thought the size of my planer was a little overkill when I got it but I’ve been VERY happy that my planer is never a limiting factor in what I can do. It’s rare that I push something through that’s 12” wide, but it is SO nice to be able to if I want to. Makes glue-ups super easy.

-- Lis - Michigan - -

View johnso's profile


7 posts in 2590 days

#10 posted 09-15-2011 01:55 AM

I really love my Steel City Helical head. It seems to run on sale for under $500 pretty frequently. Good luck with your purchase.

View NiteWalker's profile


2736 posts in 2546 days

#11 posted 09-15-2011 02:11 AM

My choice would be the DW734 based on price and reviews. I hope to get one soon after new years.

I’m sure the other machines are nice, but really they’re just too expensive for what they are and their prices are not much more than stationary planers.

-- He who dies with the most tools... dies with the emptiest wallet.

View MrDan's profile


205 posts in 3257 days

#12 posted 09-15-2011 02:14 AM

Can’t speak to any of the new planers you mentioned, but to comment on Gene’s post, I did the same thing as him and it works great. Snipe is practically eliminated on my old Delta 22-540. So I think most planers will do a good job if you compensate for the inevitable snipe. Maybe some of the newer ones REALLY don’t have snipe right out the box, but part of me thinks that’s just stuff of legend… :)

Here’s a picture of my setup:

The wings are lifted up slightly at each end, so the cutting action of the knives doesn’t lift the board (and cause snipe) when the wood is being fed through.

By the way I have an identical machine like this for sale for $120 if you are anywhere near northern California.

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