Carbide blades

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Forum topic by OldWrangler posted 01-23-2014 09:09 AM 1196 views 0 times favorited 11 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View OldWrangler's profile


731 posts in 1589 days

01-23-2014 09:09 AM

Topic tags/keywords: planer

Who can tell me if the price difference is worthwhile to buy and use carbide blades in a Dewalt 734 Thickness Planer. If they would double the life of HSS then the extra cost might actually be cheaper. I plane a lot of free pallet lumber, mostly Oak but some softwoods and even occasionally I get some Maple I also buy Bois D’Arc and Mesquite at a local mill and both are harder than a whore’s heart. So who has experience with this and can lead me in the right direction. I am currently wearing out the HSS blades at a set a month.

-- I am going to go stand outside so if anyone asks about me, tell them I'M OUTSTANDING!

11 replies so far

View knotscott's profile


8008 posts in 3370 days

#1 posted 01-23-2014 10:00 AM

I’ve never tried them personally, so can’t say from first hand experience, but a friend who’s a seasoned veteran recently tried carbide tipped jointer blades and liked them so much that he ordered them for his planer too.

-- Happiness is like wetting your pants...everyone can see it, but only you can feel the warmth....

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

29220 posts in 2332 days

#2 posted 01-23-2014 10:49 AM

If you’re planing that much, then they are worth it. Not so much for the hobbiest.

-- Nature created it, I just assemble it.

View hydro's profile


208 posts in 1746 days

#3 posted 01-23-2014 01:44 PM

No way, Period.

You mention “Free pallet lumber” and that stuff is full of debris. The first grain of sand you hit will chip the edge of the carbide knife and you will leave lines in your work. It takes dedicated equipment to sharpen carbide knives if it is even possible on the knife set you are looking at.. If you are planing used lumber stick with steel knives and learn how to sharpen them on your bench grinder. The knives do not have to be perfectly ground to get a decent finish. I have been doing this for many years and this is experience talking.

-- Minnesota Woodworkers Guild, Past President, Lifetime member.

View verdesardog's profile


160 posts in 2606 days

#4 posted 01-23-2014 02:50 PM

for using with junk wood a helix set up would be best. You can just rotate the inserts when they get doull or chipped. It’s an expensive upgrade but well worth it in my mind. I put one on my dewalt 735 and love it!

-- .. heyoka ..

View OldWrangler's profile


731 posts in 1589 days

#5 posted 01-23-2014 03:35 PM

Kinda what I figured, 4 replies and 4 different answers. The free pallets are really some good wood. I gotten some figured Maple and quarter-sawn Oak on occasion. The Helix blades cost nearly what my planer cost but I was hoping the carbide would not need changing so often. Thanks for your answers. I hope a few more folks will answer until; I really get a concensus of opinions.

-- I am going to go stand outside so if anyone asks about me, tell them I'M OUTSTANDING!

View b2rtch's profile


4861 posts in 3043 days

#6 posted 01-23-2014 04:01 PM

I have switched to Byrd Tools Shelix heads on my jointer and planer for this reason.
I use mostly pallet wood.

-- Bert

View RobWoodCutter's profile


113 posts in 3224 days

#7 posted 01-23-2014 06:07 PM

Even though I have Byrd heads on my jointer and my Planer now, I don’t use them for first pass on rough wood that has dirt/sand on the surface. I have an electrical hand planer with a carbide knife that I will skip plane the face/edge of the board to knock the nasty stuff off and then I will run it though the Jointer/planer.

An electric hand plane would work well for a first pass on pallet wood. Amazon has P-C with two carbide blades for under $90. Then use the HSS knives to joint/plane to finish size. Replacement carbide blades are $7 each for the electric hand plane. For home/hobby use alot cheaper than a shelix head.


-- Rob-Yorktown "Shop's still not done, Tools are bought, Wood is bought, need to find time to start a project.."

View Julian's profile


1328 posts in 2685 days

#8 posted 01-23-2014 06:27 PM

I wouldn’t run pallet boards through my planer regardless if they were carbide or HSS. I would recommend thoroughly cleaning the boards with a steel wire brush or, as mentioned, with a electric hand planer. My 2 cents; carbide will outlast HSS and worth the extra $. “both are harder than a whore’s heart”; sounds like something from a western movie.

-- Julian

View b2rtch's profile


4861 posts in 3043 days

#9 posted 01-23-2014 08:00 PM

good advice Rob.

-- Bert

View OldWrangler's profile


731 posts in 1589 days

#10 posted 01-23-2014 08:12 PM

The Byrd cutterhead is priced way out of my league. I usually pressure wash all the pallet lumber before planning. I even got a pallet from behind Home Depot that was Teak. It’s these good woods I keep finding that keep me collecting pallets. Everybody just wants to get rid of pallets and it seems like they are making them out of better wood. I even found a store who got in a trainload of stuff from Costa Rica and the shipper had used Cocobolo for dunnage. It must be common down there. Anyways I get all I can and the soft stuff and the damaged I use to make raised beds for gardens so I don’t have to bend over to work. I use an electric scooter to get around and the raised beds are just right for me to tend with the scooter.
The comment about “harder than a whore’s heart” is something I have heard in Texas most of my life. My favorite is something is “slippery as eel snot on a glass door knob”. We have a whole language of our own here.

-- I am going to go stand outside so if anyone asks about me, tell them I'M OUTSTANDING!

View bigblockyeti's profile


5111 posts in 1715 days

#11 posted 01-23-2014 09:51 PM

I used a set of four 24” carbide edged knifes in the Delta planer I had at work, the knives performed well in clean lumber, i.e. not pallet lumber, and chipped easily if they hit something nasty. Didn’t really take much either. They were around $700 for the set of four and I don’t think they were worth it. You can get a Byrd head for the 734 for about $400, if I were using mine more, I’d consider it, though it can’t be justified yet. I’ve heard of some getting the disposable knives sharpened, haven’t tried that yet either. I did get a set of replacements that look identical to the factory knives off amazon for about $40. I just flipped my knives as the first edge was getting dull, it will be a while until I need to replace them based on my current usage.

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