which planer would you choose?

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Forum topic by shelly_b posted 08-22-2013 03:33 PM 2039 views 0 times favorited 31 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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850 posts in 2117 days

08-22-2013 03:33 PM

I know, not another which tool should I buy, but I can’t decide. I have been looking for a good used planer for a month or 2 now since my delta lunch box broke down. Of course, 2 that I like have came up at the same time. I found a 13in jet planer/molder on CL for $600, supposedly not used but has a little surface rust from sitting in a garage, then I found a 15in jet on ebay with a $900 reserve. What do you guys think? Is 2 more inches really worth $300? And I think the molding capabilities would come in handy. They both seem to be good prices at about half off. Thanks everyone and sorry for the “what should I buy” question.

31 replies so far

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

29232 posts in 2338 days

#1 posted 08-22-2013 03:38 PM

I personally if I could afford it, would get the extra 2 inches. For the type of stuff I do anyway.

-- Nature created it, I just assemble it.

View Mosquito's profile


9305 posts in 2292 days

#2 posted 08-22-2013 03:38 PM

I will preface this by saying I don’t use or own a power planer (workshop environment restrictions, mainly).

That said, I would take a look at what you typically build, and what stock you generally use. The only time that 15” would be an advantage over 13” is when the work piece is between 13” and 15” wide. If you’re not usually between 13” and 15” stock regularly, I would probably go with the 13” myself, and save the 50% increase. Both planer widths will work the same with a 0-13” board, add have the same results with anything >15” :-)

With that, however, I don’t have any experience with either unit, so there may be quality and usability factors that I’m sure others would be more suited to answering. Just thought I’d share my logic

-- Mos - Twin Cities, MN - -

View PurpLev's profile


8535 posts in 3648 days

#3 posted 08-22-2013 03:39 PM

I am not a fan of machines that are “jack of all trades” you end up wasting a lot of energy and time switching and changing settings then having to reset and realign the knives and esp. with planers like these the process isn’t the easiest (to say the least).

I would go for the 15” which is probably also heavier and more stout. will you need to plane wider boards? maybe… maybe not, but this will give you 2” extra of blade surface where you can shift the boards left and right to get “more blade for your buck” so to speak or you could plane 2-3boards at the same time where as the 13” would have less width to it.

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View pintodeluxe's profile


5661 posts in 2813 days

#4 posted 08-22-2013 03:42 PM

To me 13 vs 15 inches is negligible. A 13” planer will allow you to plane a pair of 6” boards that have been glued up. However a 15 inch planer won’t handle a panel that consists of three 6” boards.
Also, most table, dresser, and night stand tops are wider than 15”. So with a 20” wide top, either machine will still yield a glue line that needs to be sanded.

I would focus more on the features of the planer like depth stops, ease of adjustment, good dust collection etc.

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

View Dwinkel5's profile


36 posts in 2376 days

#5 posted 08-22-2013 03:43 PM

I have a 13” planer that does most of what I need it to do. That being said, if you have room in your shop and can afford the extra $300… bigger might be better. If you decide at some point that the 15” is bigger than what you need, you can always sell it and downsize. (Or send it to me for a trade :-))

I would also take into consideration the condition of the machines…..

View Dabcan's profile


255 posts in 2671 days

#6 posted 08-22-2013 03:44 PM

funny, this just happened to me as well. My rigid lunch box broke and was going to cost more to repair than to replace. I had planned on getting another lunchbox for $5-600 then a 15” came up for $800 new and I went for it. I have to say you can’t compare the two. The fit and finish of the 15”, the exactness of the adjusters, and the quality of the cuts is just amazing.

That being said, a few things that I hadn’t really considered:

blades – no longer disposable, so now you need two sets, one on the planer, and one getting sharpened
weight – this thing weighs almost 600lbs, so I had to pay to have it delivered, and should I ever move, I won’t be able to move it myself
dust collection – my Ridgid was fine without a dust collector, it just spat the shavings out the side into a big pile. The 15” doesn’t do this, it just clogs up without a dust collector hooked up, which is something I just haven’t got around to doing.

I’m still super happy with it, and if I had to make the purchase again I would still go with the 15”. Another thing to consider is that the 15” won’t lose much value if you ever decide to sell it.

-- @craftcollectif ,,

View mantwi's profile


312 posts in 1896 days

#7 posted 08-22-2013 04:41 PM

I had an old Sears branded Belsaw planer with molding capabilities. It was a 2 HP unit with a 12” X 6” capacity. Owned it for years and never bothered with the molding set-up. It just seemed like too much hassle to take out the planer knives, install the molding knives then break it all down again and have to reset the planer knives height. If you’ve changed knives on a planer with a jackscrew adjustment instead of drop in blades you know what I’m talking about. Unless you do a lot of molding it’s a wasted feature. Get the 15” planer, one thing that’s not been mentioned is that the knives on it will go longer between sharpenings because of the added length and you can easily find video instruction (youtube) on making a jig to sharpen them yourself using the scary sharp method. It’s how I sharpen knives for my jointer and my 12” and 20” planers.

View Handtooler's profile


1554 posts in 2132 days

#8 posted 08-22-2013 06:18 PM

If either has a difference in HP 2 v.s. 5 go with the larger hp with hard woods it’ll make a BIG difference. Check on repslacement blade cost. It may be succnificant. Although two sets should suffice for its lifetime unless you discover that hidden nail or hammock hook that ya just didn’t know was there will distroy ‘em.

-- Russell Pitner Hixson, TN 37343

View AlanBienlein's profile


159 posts in 2674 days

#9 posted 08-22-2013 06:47 PM

For $1200 delivered you could get a brand new grizzly G0453 15” planer delivered. $900 for the used jet is a little steep in my book.

View Shawn Masterson's profile

Shawn Masterson

1325 posts in 1948 days

#10 posted 08-22-2013 06:53 PM

I ended up going from a 12” C-man (folley&bellsaw) to a 20” jet knockoff. I got it for $675 and a 3 hour trip. That being said I spent over a year searching CL for a 15”. I refused to pay more than $600 for a used 15” planer. I was almost going to pull the trigger on a new grizzly for $1200. There are two major things to consider. Does the 13” have rubber or a serrated infeed roller. The 15” I am almost certain has a serrated infeed.
1. While the serrated will feed with without slipping you have to take a deep enough cut to cut out the marks made by the infeed roller. No removing just a fuzz. Mine requires a 1/16 cut to get the marks out. I have been gently watching for a deal on another planer with rubber feed rollers just to be able to take thet fine cut.
2. Will you use the moulder? If no then it is a null point. Most moldings are cheaper to buy than make. The only real time it is handy is if you need a moulding for a screwball material.

just my thoughts, but I would probably go with the 13” if it had rubber and could be had for $450-$500. It seems like 15” planers come up pretty often on CL, but if they are stay price to high then the G0453 15” Planer really is a pretty sweet deal.

View b2rtch's profile


4861 posts in 3048 days

#11 posted 08-22-2013 07:00 PM

The prices seems to be pretty steep, you should be able to find used planers for less money.

-- Bert

View Marcus's profile


1163 posts in 2019 days

#12 posted 08-22-2013 07:01 PM

I’ll second what Shawn said. There is little difference (for me anyways) between the 13” and 15” planers. What features they have would help me decide.

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

4986 posts in 2493 days

#13 posted 08-22-2013 08:12 PM

Shelly, I also think $900 for that Jet is too much. If you watch you should see them closer to the $500-$600 range. That said, I would suggest you go with the 15, and the Jet at the right price would be a nice one.

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

View Loco's profile


210 posts in 1749 days

#14 posted 08-22-2013 10:17 PM

I got rid of mine. Futt Datt terrible noise.
I make a call, set a date and drop it off, do my shopping and grab it (or have delivery) on the way home.

-- What day is it ? No matter. Ummmm What month is it ? No moron. I paid for a 2 x 6. That means Two inches by six inches. I want the rest of my wood.

View joeyinsouthaustin's profile


1294 posts in 2072 days

#15 posted 08-22-2013 11:00 PM

The factory rebuild on the dewalt is around $250 in my part of the country. Even though I have a woodmaster 7 hp 18” planer now, we still use the good ole lunch box alllll the time.

That my vote.

-- Who is John Galt?

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