noise issues regarding thickness planers, also straight knife vs. helical head

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Forum topic by marc_rosen posted 12-24-2013 03:45 PM 4392 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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146 posts in 3422 days

12-24-2013 03:45 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question planer

Hey All,
Hope everyone is doing well out there. I am considering upgrading my 15 inch planer to either a helical head or buying a new planer that is already fitted with one. Besides the benefit of a “better” finish, diminished noise output is also claimed as a feature for these heads. I have a 15 inch Delta that exhausts through a 5 inch hose coupled to a 6 inch line to a very substantial cyclone dust collector nearby. Run separately, the planer itself is not very noisy – 85dB – and the dust collector registers 78dB at the planer. In operation with the dust collector on and the blast gate open, the planer emits 106dB. If I run the planer without using the dust collector the noise level is in the low 90s (but the planer winds up full of chips; this was done for scientific purposes only and is not recommended for you to try it at home). The cyclone resides in an adjacent room separated by 12 inch concrete block so its noise contribution is minimal.
Has anyone here gone from straight knife to helical and noticed a welcomed noise reduction? I know the manufacturers claim it but I’d like to read from real folks who have experienced a difference. I’ve only witnessed one demonstration of a jointer with helical head and the cutting noise was not uncomfortable.
I’d appreciate any comments from you all and to all of my Christian friends here’s wishing you a very Happy and Merry Christmas with your family and friends. Marc

-- Windsurfing, Woodworking, Weaving, and Woodducks. "Most woodworkers are usually boring holes"

6 replies so far

View Mark Davisson's profile

Mark Davisson

597 posts in 3558 days

#1 posted 12-24-2013 05:06 PM

Hi, Marc! Merry Christmas to you, too!

I have a “bladed” planer. I belong to a club that has a Grizzly G0453Z with the spiral cutterhead. I wear hearing protection in both places, but I can tell a dramatic difference between mine and the club’s – with the club’s being much quieter. If you think about it, an 12-inch wide board has 12 inches of blade hitting it at once in a bladed planer. With a spiral cutterhead, it has only about an inch of blade whacking into it at a time.

Roughly speaking, the difference can be replicated by comparing the sound of an 12-inch wide board to a 1-inch wide board running through your bladed planer.

-- I'm selfless because it feels so good!

View Shawn Masterson's profile

Shawn Masterson

1325 posts in 2190 days

#2 posted 12-24-2013 05:17 PM

Just my thoughts. I have often wondered about a spiral head. More for the ease of replacement of chipped knives. as for noise, it is a large wood working machine, and a dust collector. Its going to be noisey thats just a fact of life. I have a 20” planer, the cost of knives is really the only reason I considered going spiral, and for $1000 I can buy 5 sets of knives and 8 sharpenings. I just can’t justify the expense VS the return. just my thoughts

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

5243 posts in 2734 days

#3 posted 12-24-2013 05:41 PM

My Delta 15” was the only tool that while running I had to wear my shooting muffs. The air flow across those knives from the DC really made it scream. After I put the Byrd head in, I now only wear the ear plugs I use for everything else. To me, the noise reduction by itself was almost worth the price of admission….the other stuff is gravy.

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

View BryanatWoodstock's profile


101 posts in 2275 days

#4 posted 12-25-2013 10:40 AM

I had a 20” asian planer for 20 yrs, thought an old 5 hp 20” Delta Invicta was the beast to have. Cut quality was no better, maybe worse than the asian planer, tearout was terrible at times. When I moved up from an 8” Dj-20 jointer to a Grizzly helical 12”, I had to have helical in a planer. Sold the Delta Invicta, got a 20” HH Powermatic. Now the Dust Collector is the noisy machine! LOL!

View pmayer's profile


1032 posts in 3306 days

#5 posted 12-25-2013 11:19 AM

I have a Woodmaster 18” planer with both a spiral cutterhead and traditional cutterhead. When planning using the traditional cutterhead it reads about 92 db, and with the spiral cutterhead it drops to 82 db. My old portable planer with straight blades would peak out at 105 db. Sound reduction was my biggest reason for going to a spiral cutterhead.

-- PaulMayer,

View bear123's profile


4 posts in 1942 days

#6 posted 12-28-2013 12:05 AM

Santa put a new Jet 6” Heical head jointer under the tree WOW, put it to work this AM and bottom line, 1. noise level 50% less 2. no breakout 3. smoother cut

Put old jointer on Craiglist day after Christmas SOLD in 30min. WOW

Now the planer….... SANTA where are you

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