choosing the right thickness planer?

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Forum topic by mtappe posted 04-29-2012 04:59 PM 3832 views 0 times favorited 14 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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15 posts in 2266 days

04-29-2012 04:59 PM

Im in the market for a thickness planer and not sure witch one to choose? I wont be running a whole lot of board feet thru it but i also want quality.Porter cable has one thats $250.00 the next step up is $399.00 for a Dewalt or a Ridgid, witch the Ridgid has a Lifetime warrenty. Also Steel City makes one that is $299.00 but i will have to pay shipping on that unit.
Any of you out there have any suggestions on witch model is right for my needs?
Please feel free to give me any thoughts on your preferences.

14 replies so far

View Loren's profile


10377 posts in 3643 days

#1 posted 04-29-2012 05:04 PM

Here are some good used ones in your part of the country. They
will outlast those portable machines and run quieter.

Portables have their appeal of course, but a heavier-built machine
holds its value better.

View Bill White's profile

Bill White

4929 posts in 3955 days

#2 posted 04-29-2012 05:51 PM

Stay away from the PC planer. The new PC stuff is cheaply built.
I have an older DeWalt 733 that has planed a bunch ( read that A BUNCH) of wood. The new DeWalt 734 has the same features, but has reversable blades. The 733 has sharpenable blades-not so with the reversable. This is not a deal breaker on the newer model.
Ridgid planer is not bad, but ya gotta follow ALL the registration required, and service is provided by Ridgid service centers. If ya don’t have one nearby, shipping will be a bear.
I have no experience with Steel City stuff.
Just my thoughts.


View popmandude's profile


109 posts in 3015 days

#3 posted 04-29-2012 07:30 PM

Another vote for lorens post. I use a 12” parks planer made in the late 40’s early50’s, and wouldn’t trade it for 3 lunch box planers. Don’t be put off by their age. Old delta, parks, and powermatic parts are easy to find. I have heard good about the dewalt 733 and 734 if you do go the lunch box route. ( old wood working machines ) has a swap & sell, It’s called boyd ( bring out your dead ) If you go the vintage route, that is a good place to start.

Good Luck

View knotscott's profile


8008 posts in 3371 days

#4 posted 04-29-2012 08:54 PM

Get something with a cutterhead lock or at least some form of snipe reduction….that rules out PC. The new Ridgid and DW734 get pretty good marks. Dunno much about the Steel City, but have read somewhere that the SC unit is the same as the old Ridgid TP1300 that was a workhorse.

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

View waho6o9's profile


8188 posts in 2572 days

#5 posted 04-29-2012 09:02 PM

+1 for Loren’s post.

I’d get that Delta for 500.00 in a heartbeat. Problem solved, and it’s the last planer you will ever need.

View NiteWalker's profile


2737 posts in 2572 days

#6 posted 04-30-2012 12:32 AM

The dewalt DW734 gets my vote.

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

View bhog's profile


2236 posts in 2685 days

#7 posted 04-30-2012 12:51 AM

I own a 735,decent planer-but if I had the chance to get the delta Loren posted or the 735 when I bought mine I would get the delta.

-- I don't drive a Prius.

View Fred Hargis's profile (online now)

Fred Hargis

4983 posts in 2488 days

#8 posted 04-30-2012 11:19 AM

Life is nicer with a stationary planer, but if you have to stay with a portable, avoid the PC…it’s just not built very well at all. The Dewalts are quite nice, and I’ve read nothing but good thing about the Rigid. But finding a used stationary should be fairly easy, and a much better approach. That is, if you have the space and the 240V power that many of them require.

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

View dhazelton's profile


2767 posts in 2292 days

#9 posted 04-30-2012 01:00 PM

I just used someone’s brand new Woodmaster yesterday, and have used the Dewalt. Both cut nicely but there was some pretty deep snipe on the trailing ends, so whatever you buy make sure you account for waste. The Woodmaster was 220 for the cutter and an additional 110 line for the feed. The Dewalt is nice nice because you can pick it up and use it anywhere. And these guys do make a ton of chips and dust, even with a dust collector.

View 8iowa's profile


1580 posts in 3756 days

#10 posted 04-30-2012 01:40 PM

Thanks to my brother’s gift of a 3 HP Grizzly 15” planer I now have two planers at my “Workshop in the Woods”. The Grizzly is on a moble base and is not too difficult to move it into position in a small shop. It is 240V which would be a disadvantage for some, but the 15” width is really nice to have for some projects. It’s actually a quiet machine and with two feed speeds gives a nice finish without snipe. This is an industrial quality machine that will last forever. Finding one used would present some moving problems as it is heavy, but this is a great planer that can really “hog” wood.

My original Shopsmith planer, purchased in 1985, is now mounted on it’s own power stand with a 120V, 1 1/2 HP induction motor driving the three blade cutter, and a planer mounted DC feed motor that allows feeds from 62 to 205 cuts per inch. With casters, it too can be moved around the shop. It doesn’t have the power to hog wood like the Grizzly, but the finish is really hand plane smooth without snipe. I can sharpen the blades myself. Shopsmith Pro Planers can be found used and would be worth considering.

-- "Heaven is North of the Bridge"

View popmandude's profile


109 posts in 3015 days

#11 posted 04-30-2012 09:15 PM

Reminds me of another good point for old arn. In-feed, out-feed rollers, and pressure bars are adjustable. No snipe.

View pintodeluxe's profile


5654 posts in 2808 days

#12 posted 04-30-2012 09:21 PM

My vote is for the Dewalt. If you decide to spend a little more, the 735 comes with an automatic cutterhead lock. This way you don’t have to lock the cutterhead after each height adjustment.

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

View woodman88's profile


144 posts in 2643 days

#13 posted 04-30-2012 11:54 PM

My vote goes to the dewalt Stay away from the PC Dewalt 734 735 will do you a nice job I am not that familiiar to the Ridgid

View NiteWalker's profile


2737 posts in 2572 days

#14 posted 05-01-2012 01:53 AM

Another thing the 735 has is a built in dust blower. IIRC none of the $400 and under models have it.
The older ridgid is a solid performer too, not sure about the new one.

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

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