Which bench-top planer?

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Forum topic by Jon11 posted 02-05-2014 10:37 AM 1473 views 0 times favorited 21 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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4 posts in 1774 days

02-05-2014 10:37 AM

Topic tags/keywords: planer new purchase question advice

I have enjoyed woodworking as far back as I can remember; however, a planer is one of the few tools that i do not have much experience with. Now that I have gotten married, graduated college, gotten a full-time job, and have been renting for a year, I am getting ready to purchase a home and build my tool collection.

I am new to LJ, and I am looking for a bench-top planer that works well with hardwoods, up to 6 inches thick, and produces minimal snipe.

This will not be a forever tool, but one that can last for 5+ years. For this purchase, the lower the price the better. Someday, I will purchase a larger floor-standing unit. Thanks for the advice!

21 replies so far

View jonah's profile


1925 posts in 3500 days

#1 posted 02-05-2014 01:07 PM

The Dewalt 735 is a popular recommendation. I have one and it’s been very good.

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Don W

19014 posts in 2769 days

#2 posted 02-05-2014 01:37 PM

I’d look for a deal on a used one. Most of the name brands are usable.

-- - Collecting is an investment in the past, and the future.

View HerbC's profile


1790 posts in 3061 days

#3 posted 02-05-2014 01:38 PM

I’ve had good luck with my Ridgid R4331.

It’s $369 at Home Depot.


-- Herb, Florida - Here's why I close most messages with "Be Careful!"

View lightcs1776's profile


4234 posts in 1856 days

#4 posted 02-05-2014 01:47 PM

I’ll second the idea of a used planer, if they are available in your area. There wasn’t anything around here, so I went with a new Dealt 734 as the 735 was just too much money. I’m very happy with it’s performance. I also used a Harbor Freight 20% coupon and Lowes military discount, and was surprised they gave me both. I went to Home Depot first but they wouldn’t allow the HF coupon. It might be hard to get them to accept the 20% coupon if you don’t have a HF store in the area.

-- Chris ** If there must be trouble, let it be in my day, that my child may have peace. — Tom Paine **

View Whiskers's profile


389 posts in 2229 days

#5 posted 02-05-2014 02:05 PM

I’ll 2nd the Dewalt, but watch your packages. It comes bare tool or with the optional infeed/outfeed tables and a extra blade. I believe the Package has a extra x or something on the model. The big package goes on sale often for the same or less than the bare tool, and you don’t want to have to buy those things later at a jacked up price. Run a camel alert on that thing for a decent buy. That’s what I did and saved a good hunk of change.

View dbhost's profile


5767 posts in 3434 days

#6 posted 02-05-2014 02:15 PM

The DW735 (DeWalt) is a very popular lunchbox planer. Depending on the amount of use and maintenance, this tool should last most hobby / home improvement users decades. A busy pro shop could probably trash one in a matter of a couple of years, but then again, they should be looking at a much heavier duty machine.

I own the oft maligned Ryobi AP1301 13” bench top planer. Not it does not have a cutter head lock so yes it snipes. The snipe isn’t too bad, and when you consider the snipe I have gotten is all on sections of the lumber that would have been cut out anyway, it has been a non issue. Mine was a V-day gift from my wife in 2008 and has been used pretty heavily with only one problem (broken elevation handle) that Ryobi took care of under warranty no hassle.

The Ridgid R4331 is another well thought of planer. Cutter head lock, very little to no snipe, infeed and outfeed support tables, and good dust collection at a good price…

One thing you might consider, if your shop is space constrained, looking into a combination planer / jointer. I would steer clear of the Jet machines unless you want to do some re engineering of the tables, but the Rikon and Grizzly machines seem to be fairly decent…

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View sawdustjunkie's profile


391 posts in 1919 days

#7 posted 02-05-2014 02:26 PM

I just bought a 735x at HD for $339 with military discount. I don’t know how they came up with that price, and I didn’t question it. They’re are usually $599 here. It’s been so cold here, I haven’t taken it out of the box yet. Lots of great reviews on this site, which made me choose that one.

-- Steve: Franklin, WI

View CharlesA's profile


3351 posts in 1999 days

#8 posted 02-05-2014 02:47 PM

If you look at different brands, most seem to be the same basic design with a couple of exceptions. I have a Ridgid (299”refurb), and once I got the tables correctly adjusted, it has been great. The two exceptions to the common design are the DeWalt 735 that a lot of folks like (and is the most expensive lunchbox planer out there) and the highland woodworking version of the Steel City with the spiral cutting head.

-- "Man is the only animal which devours his own, for I can apply no milder term to the general prey of the rich on the poor." ~Thomas Jefferson

View Don's profile


551 posts in 3444 days

#9 posted 02-05-2014 02:56 PM

I have the Dewalt 735 and I love it. Only one issue is the built in fan. I’ve had to run it directly to my DC and bypass the chip separator. When I had it hooked up to the chip separator, it would lift the lid and get sawdust all over the place.

Still looking for a better solution for this….

-- -- Don in Ottawa,

View lepelerin's profile


495 posts in 2527 days

#10 posted 02-05-2014 03:08 PM

I do have a wnd hand DW735, paid 350 with in-outfeed table. I find this is a wonderful machine.

View jmartel's profile


8233 posts in 2352 days

#11 posted 02-05-2014 03:40 PM

Do not buy the Rigid R4331. I blew up 2 of them within 2 weeks. The second one didn’t even last an hour. I did everything per the manual, and the machine ate itself from the inside out. Spend the extra money on a Dewalt 735 and be done with it.

-- The quality of one's woodworking is directly related to the amount of flannel worn.

View hoosier0311's profile


706 posts in 2227 days

#12 posted 02-05-2014 03:53 PM

I second those who recommend the Dewalt 735. I know several people that own one and all seem pleased. i had craftsman lunchbox planer before getting my Grizzly. It did a good job, knives were easy to get and change, but when the motor died it was about 3/4 the cost of new planer. I just couldn’t see spending nearly 200 bucks to repair a $290.00 12 inch planer. Something to keep in mind if you are considering a craftsman.( It did work very well prior to the motor failure)

-- atta boy Clarence!

View Gene Howe's profile

Gene Howe

11065 posts in 3630 days

#13 posted 02-05-2014 03:54 PM

Second all the 735X recommendations. I replaced a Delta. The 735 is more than worth the small amount of extra cash.

-- Gene 'The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him.' G. K. Chesterton

View Gixxerjoe04's profile


850 posts in 1778 days

#14 posted 02-05-2014 07:25 PM

So do you have to go to customer service and ask if they take HF coupons or just the cashier or self scan? Home Depot has the Dewlat 735 combo for 10% off, it was 20% just a couple days ago. I’ve been checking craigslist because I’m looking for one as well and they’re rare it seems on there.

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17761 posts in 3208 days

#15 posted 02-05-2014 07:34 PM

I just seen a steel city with a helical head on it for around $500. I read the reviews both on the homedepot and here on LJ’s. Seems to be mostly good with a miss every now and again. Extra grease being the main PITA.

My delta AKA Sir Snipesalot, is begging to be replaced. Ill be watching.

-- Its not a crack, its a casting imperfection.

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