spiral planer blades

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Forum topic by wingman posted 11-26-2012 01:58 PM 1935 views 0 times favorited 4 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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1 post in 1990 days

11-26-2012 01:58 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question

I am thinking about buying a new planer and am weighing the options between standard head or spiral. I like all of the benifits of the spiral but am leary of the cost to replace the blades. I am a professional and plan to run alot of wood through this machine. I do realize that they are four sided but, my math shows that it will cost almost $400 to replace all of them when the time comes vs $200 for the same four sets of straight blades and I can get those sharpened. So my question is do they last longer and do you ever have to replace all of them at the same time? Would apprecite any input on this but would like to hear from someone who has ran a similar machine for some time now. Thank you

4 replies so far

View RussellAP's profile


3103 posts in 2255 days

#1 posted 11-26-2012 02:05 PM

Spiral blades can sometimes be offset to cover any notches you might get in a blade. I have the DeWalt 735, and the second board I put through it had a loose knot that took a notch out of one of the blades. I can just switch them around and cover that notch now, if I ever get motivated to do it. It’s on the end so I just avoid that area.
What kind of wood do you plan to plane, and do you have a dust collector?

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

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

4954 posts in 2461 days

#2 posted 11-26-2012 02:15 PM

I read a post on another from a member who planed hardwood…in Peru, the really hard stuff. His testimony was that with straight knives he had to change them 3 times a day on the planer. He switched to the insert head, and rotates them (if I recall) about once a month. Now, if he gets that kind of service, I’ll never have to replace mine. That post was what cinched the deal for me. It’s very likely I’ll never have to replace all of them due to being dull.

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

View HorizontalMike's profile


7749 posts in 2882 days

#3 posted 11-26-2012 02:30 PM

The spiral cutterhead on my jointer is supposed to be “self-indexing.” I bought the jointer used and the 4-sided cutters were on their “second” cutter surface. I used these cutters for another year or so, before switching to the “third” cutter surface. I tried to be very careful about seating each and every cutter and used a torque wrench to set them correctly.

All said and done, I am now getting some slight difference in height and thus some hairline ridges on/in a few places along the 8” cutting surface. I have tried to “re-seat” the errant cutters, but with little success. Let me point out that this is a MINOR ISSUE, but never the less noticeable. My planer, on the other hand, is a 3-blade cutterhead and leaves a cleaner surface. All I have to do is run my jointed pieces through the planer and all is well.


Spiral cutters (PROs):
  • they last a very long time.
  • they are much quieter
  • jointed surface often shows slight lines/ridges on jointed surface


Straight Blade cutters (PROs):
  • much cleaner jointed surface
  • easier to replace
  • loud
  • blades do not last as long
  • still prone to nicks that can leave ridges/lines

-- HorizontalMike -- "Woodpeckers understand..."

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

4954 posts in 2461 days

#4 posted 11-26-2012 02:51 PM

Mike brought up a good point, and it’s a circumstance I have as well. My jointer leaves ridges down the length of the board. Like him, I cleaned the seats of the inserts and used a torque driver to tighten them. As he said, it’s minor, and takes only a few passes with an ROS to remove them, still….... In my case, the planer has the spiral head, but it leaves a really smooth surface. The results are the same, a pass through the planer solves everything (or the swipe with an ROS). Most guys report that these lines disappear if they clean the seats, and torque the inserts properly. Not so in my case, at least on the jointer.

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

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