What's the real story on the DeWalt 735?

  • Advertise with us

« back to Power Tools, Hardware and Accessories forum

Forum topic by mrcando posted 03-12-2012 02:10 PM 38230 views 2 times favorited 39 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View mrcando's profile


13 posts in 3224 days

03-12-2012 02:10 PM

Topic tags/keywords: planer dewalt 735

As I’m a newbie here, I probably could have asked this question in the thread of a previous query I had on planers in general, but I’m hoping this will reach some of the same people that responded earlier.

I’m trying to decide on my first planer, and am leaning toward a new lunchbox model. The Cadillac of them all seems to be the DeWalt DW735, but if you read the reviews (and I’ve read a lot of them) there’s a huge difference of opinion from owners about blade life. Half the people say they are extremely disappointed in how few board feet it takes to go through a set of knives, while others say they get many hundreds of board feet on a set of knives. A lot of the negative reviews are from people who claim to be seasoned professionals who should know what they’re talking about. On the other hand, publications like Fine Woodworking and others always rate the 735 as the best. I’m inclined to go with the Ridgid 13” unless someone can explain to me what’s behind this wide disparity.

-- Phil

39 replies so far

View Bertha's profile


13529 posts in 2719 days

#1 posted 03-12-2012 02:20 PM

All I can tell you is that I’ve put hundreds of bf through mine on the same set of blades. It won’t compete with a powerful stationary planer but on the high cut setting, it’ll give a good finish. Global Tooling has the knives for $39.99 a set ($150 a set for carbide tipped) and they ship fast.
DeWalt DW735—13” HSS Planer Knife set of 3
13” x 7/8” x 1/16”, High Speed Steel, double edged, honed cutting edges, 3 piece set of blades. PKH-12800

You can place a carbide helical head for $200-400. Until I can find a big vintage planer, I’m happy with my 735.

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

View HalDougherty's profile


1820 posts in 3263 days

#2 posted 03-12-2012 02:20 PM

I wish I knew myself. When I was purchasing a new planer, I looked at everything on the market and bought the Ridgid (2 blade model) planer. The new one has 3 blades. I have no idea if the DeWalt planer is better, but I suspect it is. The three reasons I picked the Ridgid were: 1. It was a lot cheaper than the DeWalt to start with. 2. It came with a stand the DeWalt did not. 3. It came with infeed and outfeed tables, while the DeWalt had them as extra cost items.

-- Hal, Tennessee

View SnowyRiver's profile


51457 posts in 3506 days

#3 posted 03-12-2012 02:25 PM

I’m not sure either why there would be some disperity on blade life. I have the 735 and have planed hundreds of bd of hardwood one one set of blades without any problems. I tend to always run the planer on the higher speed and I only take off about 1/32 each pass. This may have something to do with the life of the blades. The boards are smooth as glass.

-- Wayne - Plymouth MN

View jmos's profile


839 posts in 2395 days

#4 posted 03-12-2012 02:27 PM

It’s an interesting question. I’m no professional. I have a 735. The blade life doesn’t seem too bad. I think part of it may be how good a surface you expect out of the planer.

I just finished a work bench build. I jointed and planed a lot of boards. By the time I was half through the surfaces were good, but not great, and there were some tracks from knicks in the blades. I didn’t care, I was just hitting surfaces that had to be flat with a jointer plane, and leaving non-critical surfaces as is.

With new blades the surface out of the 735 is glass smooth. As the blades wear, the surface isn’t as good (still nice, but not as stunning). Perhaps the pro’s out there want excellent surfaces all the time, and change blades more often and the amateurs are not quite as picky and get longer life?

I’ve also heard the factory blades don’t hold up well, but you can get replacement that are better. I just replaced my stock blades with Infinity HSS blades. I felt I got a reasonable amount of BF out of the factory blades. It will be interesting to see how well they hold up in comparison.

You can also get carbide blades for the 735, but given the cost of them I’d have to seriously consider the helical head upgrade.

Overall I’m happy with my 735. I’d love to have a big stationary Powermatic, or the like (which would require shop space and money I don’t have), but for what it is it works well.

-- John

View Willeh's profile


228 posts in 2365 days

#5 posted 03-12-2012 02:32 PM

I’ve used both the new Ridgid (3 blade model) and the Dewalt, and from my experience, i much prefer the Ridgid. Found it easier to adjust, better dust/waste removal.. the replacement blades for the ridgid retail for 50% less than the replacement blades for the dewalt (canada pricing atleast).... Also, found the rollers smoother in the ridgid.. Me personally, i plan to get the ridgid in the next few months..

-- Will, Ontario Canada. "I can do fast, cheap and good, but you can only pick two... "

View NiteWalker's profile


2737 posts in 2602 days

#6 posted 03-12-2012 08:18 PM

I’m not convinced the 735 is worth it over the $400 planers out there (dewalt DW734, ridgid, etc.).
The 734 is my choice.

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

View ajosephg's profile


1880 posts in 3587 days

#7 posted 03-12-2012 08:36 PM

If you are looking for a consensus, you won’t find it here.

Having said that, I have had a 735 for several years and have run hundreds, probably over a thousand board feet through it and I am still on the back side of the original knives. I had a cheap Delta lunch box planer before this one, and the Dewalt isn’t even in the same league. If somebody steals it, I’d buy another one in a heartbeat.

-- Joe

View Loren's profile


10476 posts in 3673 days

#8 posted 03-12-2012 08:46 PM

If blade life concerns you, don’t run rough lumber through it
unless you’ve got it from a reputable dealer who has stored
it one pallets in a warehouse.

Rough lumber that’s been thrown on the ground at any point,
as a portable sawmill user may be prone to do, may harbor
grit embedded in the surface and that stuff will wreck your
blades. One workaround is to get a $100 electric hand planer
and skim plane your lumber before running it through the
planer. The grit will damage the blades in the handheld
planer instead of the blades on your thickness planer.

You can also use a scrub or jack plane with a sharp and
cambered iron to clean your boards.

View Sawkerf's profile


1730 posts in 3094 days

#9 posted 03-12-2012 09:05 PM

I tend to take owner reviews with a large grain of salt since they really aren’t running comparisons between machines doing the same task.

Blade life on the 735 seems to be a real issue with some people, but my experience has been that the knives do just fine. I’ve run a few hundred board feet thru mine – mostly poplar, maple, beech, and oak – and have only used up one set of knives. One edge of the knives got trashed when I ran some recycled redwood thru it. No metal in the wood, but it was pretty dirty. Apparently the knives don’t like being used to clean wood. – lol

-- Adversity doesn't build reveals it.

View Cato's profile


701 posts in 3338 days

#10 posted 03-12-2012 09:34 PM

I’ve had the 735 for maybe two years now and just flipped the blades to the back side of the set.

I prep every board the same before it goes through the jointer and planer and that is I scrub all four sides with wire brush to get the grit out and then run a hand brush over the board to make sure its clean.

Maybe that’s not necessary but two years and quite a few board feet and projects out of one side of blades works for me.

It is more expensive than many others, so it can be a budget buster for many.

I have heard lots of good things about the Ridgid and the 734, so all three appear to be good choices. Good luck on your choice and you will really like what a planer will do for your woodworking.

View Craftsman on the lake's profile

Craftsman on the lake

2794 posts in 3463 days

#11 posted 03-12-2012 09:40 PM

I’ve got the 734. I think it must use the same knives. about 2500 bd ft of oak and maple and I decided to turn them around to use the other side of the blade. So, for me about 2 yrs on a blade side.. so 4 years on a set of blades?

The only reason I turned them around was that they were cutting slowly and causing the circuit breaker to heat up and switch off. They were still giving a smooth cut. Turning the blades stopped this.

-- The smell of wood, coffee in the cup, the wife let's me do my thing, the lake is peaceful.

View Manitario's profile


2630 posts in 2909 days

#12 posted 03-12-2012 09:40 PM

I bought the 735 based on the large number of positive reviews and comments I’ve heard about it. I’ve had no problems with it; it produces a smooth finish with very little snipe and I managed to run about 1000ft of wood through it before I had to replace the blades. I’ve never used another lunchbox planer, so I can’t comment; they all may be just as good…if I had to buy another I’d buy a 15” stationary planer with a helical head, but as long as my budget constricts me to a lunchbox planer, I’ll stick with the Dewalt.

-- Sometimes the creative process requires foul language. -- Charles Neil

View ShaneA's profile


6956 posts in 2624 days

#13 posted 03-12-2012 10:08 PM

Got one too, blades last for me, still on backside of 1st set. At $40-60 for a reversible set, you can get a lot of use/value out of them.

View fussy's profile


980 posts in 3076 days

#14 posted 03-13-2012 12:48 AM

Like Cato and a few others, I have run hundreds of board feet therough mine and just recently flipped the blades. They wee still doing fine, mind, but after several years, I just elt it was time. I also prep my boards; brush them off with a stiff wire brush, then vacuum them off. No matter where they came from. For new blades, try here—
Two sets for $66. I have then, they’re new DeWalt, but I Still haven’t gotten to use them.

If you do pull the trigger, try here for a deal (shipping only $7.00)—,default,pd.html?start=8&cgid=dewalt


-- Steve in KY. 44 years so far with my lovely bride. Think I'll keep her.

View mrcando's profile


13 posts in 3224 days

#15 posted 03-13-2012 01:35 AM

Wow, 14 replies and all of them positive. Tomorrow, I go to look at a 15” Woodtek planer. Owner bought it new in 1998, says it works fine. Comes with a portable stand and a set of extra blades. $600. If I don’t get it,
then that’s the price of a new 735. If anybody knows anything about Woodtek, please reply before tomorrow afternoon. Thanks again for all the good information. Phil

-- Phil

showing 1 through 15 of 39 replies

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics