Need help in choosing a portable 13" planer

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Forum topic by WhoMe posted 07-17-2012 07:32 PM 1814 views 0 times favorited 42 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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1564 posts in 3269 days

07-17-2012 07:32 PM

I may have the opportunity to buy a 13” portable planer and am down to two models that will be in my budget restricted price range and easily available to me. The DeWalt 734 and the Rigid 13” are my two choices I have. It will get occasional use as going up to the better Dewalt is not in the cards due to additional price and planned use. BUT, if it gets to that point where I would need it, I will deal with it then. Also, even though I could probably get a better unit used, that is currently not an option either.
I have read through all the reviews here on LJ and am still on the fence. I don’t see any real advantage to either.
SO, for those that have purchased either and compared the two, any differences that you found that would help me make a decision?

Any insight would be greatly appreciated.

-- I'm not clumsy.. It's just the floor hates me, the tables and chairs are bullies, the wall gets in the way AAANNNDDD table saws BITE my fingers!!!.. - Mike -

42 replies so far

View Alexandre's profile


1417 posts in 2216 days

#1 posted 07-17-2012 07:37 PM

I have the Ridgid.
Click for details
I have blunt blades from my project ^^^^
They are basically the same, Although I would get the DW 735, but due to your budget, the ridgid may be better as it has a lifetime warranty.
I usually buy Ridgid tools due to their Warranty, Quality, Performance and price.

-- My terrible signature...

View newwoodbutcher's profile


744 posts in 2875 days

#2 posted 07-17-2012 07:46 PM

I have a Makita in great shape. Fairly new blades includes a stand and thin cut sled. I live in North San Diego County. I just bought a used 15” delta that I’m still setting up. If we can close the geography gap between us and decide on a fair price It would be a good and reliable alternative to a new one. I can email you a picture if you are interested.

-- Ken

View MrUnix's profile


6766 posts in 2224 days

#3 posted 07-17-2012 08:42 PM

I am guessing that you are looking at purchasing new and around the $400 mark based on your two choices? If you are not dead set on new, I’d look around for a good deal on lightly used older models. They pop up all the time around here, generally from someone who needed a planer for a single project and doesn’t need it after it’s finished. With patience, you can find basically new machines selling for half their original price or less. And in some cases, the older ones may actually be better.. for example, the old DW733 uses standard knives that can be resharpened over and over again, while the DW734 (and DW735) use indexed disposable blades which, while convenient, will cost more in the long run.

Just for grins, I did a quick scan on CL.. I found 3 13” dewalts going for between $200-$250 and were listed as being “like new”, “barely used”, etc.. A Delta 13” two speed selling for $100 that, while not stated in the ad, looked like it had never been used! And a 13” Ridgid “used 5 times” and on a custom built roll around cabinet with lots of extras included for $300. I found several more various models around the same $200 price point, but you get the idea. They are out there, you just gotta look :)


-- Brad in FL - In Dog I trust... everything else is questionable

View teejk's profile


1215 posts in 2710 days

#4 posted 07-17-2012 09:37 PM

Ridgid went through those “tough times” with HD and from what I hear are trying hard to improve their image. Dewalt 734 is probably the same machine but the only guy I knew that had one traded up to the 735 pretty quickly.

I own the Delta 2 speed…it’s served me well once I got over the “snipe” thing…from what I read, there isn’t a portable made that can avoid it.

View MedicKen's profile


1615 posts in 3487 days

#5 posted 07-17-2012 10:32 PM

I had a 734 and it was a nice little planer. I did not like the amount of noise though. It is a LOUD planer and I cringed when I turned it on and felt for the neighbors. I did like the ease of blade changes. It uses double sided disposible blades that are a little pricey, about $50. Total time in blade changes is about 15 minutes. It has a pre-indexed system so the blades are set automatically, no tedious setting with the 734. I was also able to adjust it so I had no snipe, that was a little tedious and took some time, but once set I never had to change it again.

-- My job is to give my kids things to discuss with their

View Dallas's profile


3599 posts in 2512 days

#6 posted 07-17-2012 11:05 PM

I was given a Delta 22-580 13” two speed planer by a fellow about 60 miles from me.

I did a major overhaul because the problem we thought it had wasn’t and I ended up changing the gear pack.

Once up and running, it is a wonderful little planer, (huge by lunch box standards).

No snipe, (within .002” tolerance all along the length).

The newer model is the 22-590, but I can’t comment on how well that one works.

I see the 22-580’s on ebay a lot some for under $100.

-- Improvise.... Adapt...... Overcome!

View waho6o9's profile


8207 posts in 2602 days

#7 posted 07-17-2012 11:08 PM

+1 for the Dewalt.

View RibsBrisket4me's profile


1554 posts in 2531 days

#8 posted 07-17-2012 11:12 PM

If you are looking at the Ridgid be sure to check out the NEW Ridgid. It has a cutterhead lock and it has a top handle for cutter head height.

I have this one and it is really nice for $399.

View tyskkvinna's profile


1310 posts in 3011 days

#9 posted 07-17-2012 11:20 PM

I will sing the praises of my Dewalt planer to the end of time. I have the model slightly up from your price range, so take it for what it is worth. I’ve had to take it apart a few times (due to user error, the planer did its job just fine) and have been able to do so pretty easily, dig out or clean out the gunk and put it back together with no issue at all. I’m a huge fan of Rigid, but I LOVE MY DEWALT PLANER. :)

-- Lis - Michigan - -

View HerbC's profile


1764 posts in 2885 days

#10 posted 07-17-2012 11:46 PM

I just recently got the Ridgid. Haven’t used it much cause of honey-do’s that have to be done first but the little bit it seems very good. And the “lifetime” service agreement (not a warranty exactly but better than many mfgs seem to offer…) made it attractive. With my military discount, got it for $350 plus tax…

Good Luck!

Be Careful!


-- Herb, Florida - Here's why I close most messages with "Be Careful!"

View madts's profile


1862 posts in 2365 days

#11 posted 07-18-2012 12:04 AM

I have been very happy with my 13” Dewalt. Does what I need. I just seem to go through blades faster than I think I should.

-- Thor and Odin are still the greatest of Gods.

View SnowyRiver's profile


51457 posts in 3506 days

#12 posted 07-18-2012 12:07 AM

I have the Dewalt 735. I love it. Its been a great machine and havent had any problems in the years since I bought it with hundreds of BF of lumber through it. I chose the 735 because the dual speeds and also it had the blower for chip ejection. I know its a bit more than the 734, but its a nice machine and well worth the price.

-- Wayne - Plymouth MN

View rockinmichael's profile


35 posts in 2409 days

#13 posted 07-18-2012 12:11 AM

I have the Dewalt 735. The quality of cut is absolutely superb. I got mine for a steal at only 450 dollars from the toolking store in Lakewood, Co. I highly recommend it, even with the additional cost.

View lumberjoe's profile


2899 posts in 2274 days

#14 posted 07-18-2012 12:52 AM

I can’t tell you what brand to get, but make sure it has a cutter head lock! I recently got a planer SUPER cheap but it takes a lot of effort keeping that cutter head from wandering during cuts. When I upgrade it will likely be the ridgid for the simple fact that the knives are so much cheaper than the dewalt.


View gfadvm's profile


14940 posts in 2715 days

#15 posted 07-18-2012 02:29 AM

I have the previous 3 blade Ridgid and have really used/abused it with no problems. I just saw the new/improved Ridgid at HD (same price as the 734 DeWalt). It seems bigger/beefier than mine but someone who owns the new model needs to weigh in. If mine ever dies, I’m buying another Ridgid.

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

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