Which planer would you pick?

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Forum topic by RussellAP posted 06-12-2012 03:23 PM 1804 views 1 time favorited 25 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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3080 posts in 1889 days

06-12-2012 03:23 PM

Okay, I have a $500 in store credit at Lowes. I need a planer so I plan to pick one of these.
Which would you pick and why?
Steel City at $560

DeWalt at $569

-- A positive attitude will take you much further than positive thinking ever will.

25 replies so far

View Ripthorn's profile


1433 posts in 2587 days

#1 posted 06-12-2012 03:27 PM

I have read that the Steel City has problems with excessive packing oil (see one of the current reviews on the front page). The Dewalt seems to be one heck of a work horse. I am looking to upgrade my planer as well, so I will be watching this.

-- Brian T. - Exact science is not an exact science

View Bobmedic's profile


354 posts in 2404 days

#2 posted 06-12-2012 03:31 PM

I’d go for the DeWalt, I have read awesome reviews for them and some not so great reviews about the Steel City.

View waho6o9's profile


7622 posts in 2179 days

#3 posted 06-12-2012 03:40 PM

Dewalt hands down, it has a proven track record and it will serve you well for many years.

Congrats on your joiner and the new planer of your choice Russell.

View CharlieM1958's profile


16260 posts in 3821 days

#4 posted 06-12-2012 03:41 PM

Nothing against the Steel City, but I’ve heard nothing but praise for the DeWalt.

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View Ted's profile


2808 posts in 1813 days

#5 posted 06-12-2012 03:44 PM

I’m surprised you have to ask.. look at that nice big crank the Dewalt, compared to the stubby little knob on the SC model. The big, visible thickness indicator, the big, grabable handles and most importantly, the dual speed selector. Switch it to the low speed and you’ll get such a smooth finish you’ll barely have to sand at all.

Steel City is like Harbor Freight but without the low prices. If you get the Dewalt you’ll be happy, if you get the SC you’ll be unhappy.

-- The first cordless tool was a stick. The first power tool was a rock.

View lew's profile


11542 posts in 3358 days

#6 posted 06-12-2012 03:55 PM

My Dewalt 735 has served me well.

A couple of things to make it better:
-buy/make infeed and outfeed tables
-you absolutely must connect it to a dust/chip collection system- the chip ejection system is from the afterburner of an F-14
-when you receive it, remove the blade holding screws, add some anti-seize compound to each and re-install the screws
-add a Wixey (or similar) digital height gauge

-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

View Roger Clark aka Rex's profile

Roger Clark aka Rex

6940 posts in 3037 days

#7 posted 06-12-2012 03:57 PM

Amazon sells it with free shipping, in and out feed tables and a spare set of knives, plus and additional #20 discount.

-- Roger-R, Republic of Texas. "Always look on the Bright Side of Life" - An eyeball to eyeball confrontation with a blind person is as complete waste of Time.

View Randy Woodworker's profile

Randy Woodworker

63 posts in 1931 days

#8 posted 06-12-2012 04:09 PM

I have the DeWalt. Great planer but the location of the DC port is a PITA. You have to support the hose somehow or it blocks the area where the wood comes out. I use a bungee cord to hold it to one side.

View rockindavan's profile


299 posts in 2238 days

#9 posted 06-12-2012 04:57 PM

I have used the dewalt quite a bit and it is awesome(from a anti-dewalty). It will snipe if you don’t support the pieces, but you can’t expect 100% snipe free from a benchtop. My school shop also has one to handle thin stock, as it can go down to 1/8”. People run the planer without DC or clogged DC and it gets pretty nasty in there and plugs up the gears. It now tapers a bit, but as long as you run it with DC you shouldn’t have this problem.

View John's Woodshop's profile

John's Woodshop

347 posts in 3619 days

#10 posted 06-12-2012 05:08 PM

I guess I am the odd man out here. I bought the Steel City and couldn’t be happier. I bought this model though.

Yes, there is packing grease to clean up, but after that is done, the performance of the unit is OUTSTANDING!

And I have not heard anything bad about the DeWalt except that it is possibly the loudest portable planer out there, and because my shop is in our basement, that made me choose the Steel City.


-- John -- Racine, WI -- Woodworking..."It's not just a Hobby, it's an Adventure"

View dbhost's profile


5648 posts in 2834 days

#11 posted 06-12-2012 05:22 PM

The DW735 hands down. HOWEVER, the Steel City model that John bought is a REALLY nice machine. I don’t recall the model, but it’s the same thing as the older model Ridgid that I wish I had gotten when I bought a planer, except the Steel City has a helical cutter head. I really have no clue what sort of help that is… Regular knives work fine by me…

-- My workshop blog can be found at, YouTube Channel

View dhazelton's profile


2506 posts in 1899 days

#12 posted 06-12-2012 05:44 PM

Friend has a $2,000 Woodmaster – it has snipe. THEY ALL HAVE SNIPE, so don’t let that sway you, just plan accordingly with some waste.

View WoodyG's profile


33 posts in 2775 days

#13 posted 06-12-2012 05:52 PM

I have the 18” Woodmasterr and I have snipe but it is not a big deal to deal with. I used to have a 12” Makita and I gotta tell you I loved that little planer but I have Dewalt and Steel City equipment in my shop and I love them all…....Go for it…....they are both good and you learn to deal with little idiocencracies that most machines have.

-- WoodyG

View lumberjoe's profile


2893 posts in 1851 days

#14 posted 06-12-2012 05:56 PM

The dewalt. It’s a no-brainer. I will be getting the same one soon. I have a craftsman that I got effectively for 50$ on Craigslist. It works, but not great. All planers snipe, but there must be ways around it on each one. I have a well orchestrated dance I do when feeding and retrieving pieces from the planer that, after a lot of trial and error, I get no noticeable snipe, or if any it can be taken care of with 150 grit.


View Woodbum's profile


785 posts in 2668 days

#15 posted 06-12-2012 06:06 PM

Don’t know anything about the Steel City. I have a 1 year old Dewalt that I replaced a 12” Delta with. Buy the DeWalt, you will not be disappointed. Mine is great

-- "Now I'm just another old guy wearing funny clothes"

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