Please recommend a thickness planer

  • Advertise with us

« back to Power Tools, Hardware and Accessories forum

Forum topic by woodengolfer posted 03-03-2014 05:10 PM 1376 views 0 times favorited 15 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View woodengolfer's profile


9 posts in 2075 days

03-03-2014 05:10 PM

So from the responses I received from so many of you ( and thanks for responding) whether to buy a jointer or planer first, it is clear that the thickness planer will be my next purchase.

I don’t want to spend a large amount of cash, but at the same time don’t want to buy something that is going to be a source of frustration. I don’t have a big shop, and I am really just getting into woodworking.

So what would you recommend as the unit I buy?


15 replies so far

View BinghamtonEd's profile


2298 posts in 2367 days

#1 posted 03-03-2014 05:35 PM

I have a small shop (our garage), and I have the Dewalt D734 on a mobile platform. I bought mine off Amazon, no problems whatsoever with the transaction. I haven’t had any issues with the planer, it works very well (I’ve been using mine for around 3 years). The 735 looks nice too, just be advised with the 735 you have to purchase the infeed and outfeed tables separately. No information on anything else, just because I only know about what I own, and that I’ve been very happy with it.

-- - The mightiest oak in the forest is just a little nut that held its ground.

View jmartel's profile


7891 posts in 2147 days

#2 posted 03-03-2014 05:47 PM

Dewalt 734 or 735 depending on budget.

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

View Ripthorn's profile


1458 posts in 2982 days

#3 posted 03-03-2014 05:48 PM

I have the 13” Ridgid planer currently sold at HD. I got a good deal on it and have been happy with it. The one thing to be careful of is the bolts holding in the knives. They can be very tight, so what I did was loosen and re-tighten them as soon as I got it. Has worked great for the 2 years or so that I have had it.

-- Brian T. - Exact science is not an exact science

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

29226 posts in 2335 days

#4 posted 03-03-2014 05:52 PM

Dewalt is the most common answer. If you’re not doing much work with it, the Rigid is more economical. My experience with the new Delta is to stay away from it.

-- Nature created it, I just assemble it.

View DIYaholic's profile


19620 posts in 2672 days

#5 posted 03-03-2014 05:58 PM

The only experience I have is with my DeWalt DW735….
I do love it, but have no baseline for comparison.

You can save some money by searching Craigslist.
I got my 735 for $100.00, then put $250.00 into parts….
Replaced the dust shroud, cutter head and added the tables.
So, all in, I have $350.00 into a DW735!!!

-- Randy-- I may not be good...but I am slow! If good things come to those who wait.... Why is procrastination a bad thing?

View WhyMe's profile


1013 posts in 1558 days

#6 posted 03-03-2014 05:59 PM

I have the Delta DW735 and am very pleased with it. I like that it has 2 cutting speeds, 96 CPI and 179 CPI.

View NiteWalker's profile


2737 posts in 2574 days

#7 posted 03-03-2014 05:59 PM

Dewalt DW734. I bought mine last year and it’s been a workhorse. Love it.
Byrd makes a shelix head for it should you want one down the line.

-- He who dies with the most tools... dies with the emptiest wallet.

View Bobsboxes's profile


1367 posts in 2661 days

#8 posted 03-03-2014 06:06 PM

I have had a 733 for 12 years, recently gifted it to my son, still in use. I also had a 735, It is a very big tool. They both ate several thousand feet of wood. I traded off my 735 for a 15” spiral Grizzly and can’t be happier. That said if you can find a Rigid or dewalt on Craigslist or 2 nd hand that is the first planer I would get on a limited budget. Run a foot long piece of hardwood thur it and that should give you an idea of its condition.

-- Bob in Montana. Kindness is the Language the blind can see and deaf can hear. - Mark Twain

View ChipByrd's profile


146 posts in 1924 days

#9 posted 03-03-2014 06:19 PM

I picked up one of these and have been really happy. Like you, I have a small shop. Works great.,default,pd.html?carousel=3


View jmartel's profile


7891 posts in 2147 days

#10 posted 03-03-2014 06:26 PM

I had a very bad experience with the Rigid R4331 planer. 2 of them died on me. 1 of them took about 2 weeks, the other only lasted an hour. Stay away from them. My Dewalt 735 is much better in every way (except it’s heavier).

I don’t use the slow feed rate on my planer very often, but if I’m planing figured stock or below about 3/8”, I’ll use the slow feed rate.

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

View crank49's profile


4030 posts in 2968 days

#11 posted 03-03-2014 07:12 PM

You shouldn’t ignore the Ryobi either.
Ryobi is probably the bottom end I’d look at from a price perspective, and it does not have some of the convenience features of the Ridgid or Dewalt offerings, but it is a good basic machine. Ryobi invented the portable planer so it’s not like they are making a cheap knock-off of someone else’s product.
They sell for $200 brand new and I got mine refurbished with a new warranty for $140.
Been using it for 3 years and it works well.

View Newbiewoodworker43's profile


150 posts in 2440 days

#12 posted 03-03-2014 07:14 PM

I am only a hobbyist woodworker and when I went to get a planer I did not want to spend a ton of cash. The Dewalt 735 was what most people recommended but they were just too much money for me. I kept a close watch on CL and ended up with a Rigid 4331 for $150. I had to get a new set of knives for $30 at HD but it is working great for me.

It is loud (and I believe all of them are) and does make a ton of wood chips (as they all do) but it is easily stored out of the way when not in use and does what I need.

I had a little snipe until I got the hang of lifting up / stabilizing the board on the way in/out. I was going to make an auxiliary bed but the snipe is not that much of an issue, so far.

Now, you have to realize that I have not run 100’s or 1000’s of bdft through the planer and I don’t really plan to. If I was, I would probably invest in the Dewalt.

I am very happy with the Rigid 4331 planer.

-- ---Howard, Amesbury MA

View retfr8flyr's profile


384 posts in 1666 days

#13 posted 03-03-2014 11:32 PM

This one Is a little more money then the DeWalt but has good reviews and a helical cutter head, which is a big advantage.

-- Earl

View pintodeluxe's profile


5658 posts in 2811 days

#14 posted 03-03-2014 11:40 PM

Dewalt 735 is a good one. It has an automatic cutterhead lock, and multiple depth stops for common board thicknesses.

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

View CharlesA's profile (online now)


3322 posts in 1795 days

#15 posted 03-03-2014 11:59 PM

I have a Ridgid lunchbox and am very happy with it. it’s adjusted for virtually no snipe. Works well. and I got it for $300 from CPORidgid.

That being said, if I were spending $500 or less, I would look at the Highland Woodworking Steel City with the helical cutterhead. This is just a bit more than a helical head by itself. I don’t have a lot of complaints about the normal planer blades, but I’ve begun working in some more figured wood, and I can make it work with skewing the wood and dampening the surface, but i’d love to be able to just feed it in.

-- "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

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics