|Forum topic by DavidNJ||posted 391 days ago||1788 views||0 times favorited||31 replies|
391 days ago
In another thread, How Wide a Jointer? Otra Vez , it was determined I can get by without a jointer for the time being, but need a planer. The question is: which planer?
Given budget restrictions I see three options:
1) A portable planer with knives. The Steel City and Ryobi (Home Depot house brand) models are both under $300 and well reviewed. These come with HSS knives; carbide knives are more than the cost of the machine. There are more expensive options, like the Dewalt 735. That model has lots of options because of its popularity, but is as expensive as the next option. Helical upgrades are not really an option, typically costing as much as the planer. They are 13” wide.
2) A portable planer with helical cutters. There are two options here, both from Steel City. One is just under $500, one is just over $600. The differences between them are minor. These have the helical advantages of reduced noise and reduced tear out. However, the cutters on these models HSS not carbide and only have two sides. The manufacturer of the cutters was at one time also trying to sell them as upgrades to existing planers but has since withdrawn from the market (Accu-Head.com).
The cutter has 26 inserts on its cutter with minimal overlap reported to leave minor ridges needing sanding; people still like the finish. For comparison, while this 13” planer has 32 inserts, Grizzly’s 15” helical cutter planer has 72 heads. On the Grizzly the inserts are 4 sided and carbide; in my use probably enough to last a lifetime. On this one they are HSS, 2-sided, and only available from Steel City.
Still, it appears to be an attractive option.
3) Talking about Grizzly, while their 15” stationary planer with a helical cutter is out of my price range (around $1900 delivered), with three blades it is $1300 delivered. It can be upgrade to the carbide cutter for about $600. Grizzly actually offers three helical cutter upgrade options around that price, including the Byrd Shelix. While it comes with a mobile base, it is not going to leave the basement once it arrives. It is large, always requiring a nearly 4’ square footprint, even for storage. However, compared to the portable units it has a 46” long cast iron bed, nearly the size of the jointer bed on combo units. The blade will probably be a bit noisy, and it won’t help when I need to replace the deck floor (600 sq ft) and railing top (80 ft) later this Spring. It will probably be a lot better in the role of planer impersonating a jointer.