Which planer would you pick?

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Forum topic by RussellAP posted 06-12-2012 03:23 PM 1956 views 1 time favorited 25 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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3104 posts in 2523 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


1459 posts in 3222 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


381 posts in 3038 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


8539 posts in 2813 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


16281 posts in 4455 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


2875 posts in 2448 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.

-- You can collect dust or you can make dust. I choose to make it.

View lew's profile


12498 posts in 3992 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 3671 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

68 posts in 2566 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 2873 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 Belle City Woodworking's profile

Belle City Woodworking

356 posts in 4253 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.


-- Formerly known as John's Woodshop - and NO not the one from Ohio!

View dbhost's profile


5767 posts in 3468 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…

-- Please like and subscribe to my YouTube Channel

View dhazelton's profile


2805 posts in 2533 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 3410 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


2899 posts in 2485 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


846 posts in 3302 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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