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Planer upgrade: Makita 2040 vs. Powermatic 209

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Forum topic by RipFence posted 03-26-2015 01:09 AM 1269 views 0 times favorited 5 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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RipFence

48 posts in 2156 days


03-26-2015 01:09 AM

Hello All:
I’m writing for advice about some planer upgrade options.
I have a Makita 2040 which I am thinking about upgrading to a Byrd cutter head. I really like the Makita’s poly feed rollers that allow a very small finish cut with no marks like you might get from serrated rollers. I don’t love the noise of the 6500 rpm universal motor so much. I have thought about replacing the motor with a good induction motor which will be a bit of a project but nothing I can’t handle. The Byrd head will be about $1100. Changing out the motor might be two or three hundred by the time I’ve got the motor and pulley etc.
But…
There is a used Powermatic 209 for sale near me for a screaming good price and the guy will deliver. Byrd cutter heads for those are only $875. Its possible to turn down the feed rollers and have them poly coated so that I could still have my near zero cut option. My guess is that I could have the Powermatic with Byrd head and poly rollers for ~$2k. One thing I noticed when I looked at reviews on the Powermatic is that most reviews are highly positive but several people have posted fairly negative reviews.
Selling price on a Makita 2040 is a crap shoot but I wouldn’t count on getting more than $400-500.
Just in the process of writing this I may have convinced myself that the Powermatic option might be the way to go.
What would you guys advise?
Of course, I could just keep using my Makita as it sits which is a really nice but loud planer.
Cheers,
Jim


5 replies so far

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Fred Hargis

3937 posts in 1956 days


#1 posted 03-26-2015 11:01 AM

I’m not familiar with the Makita, but the PM is a very good planer. Bear in mind, almost anytime you read reviews on anything, there will be some complaints. Hell, I have a Delta 15” which i really like and I still have some complaints about it. The PM is built along the lines of most of the planers, is easy to service (relatively) and a work horse. As I read through your points, I think I would go with the PM. One thing I can guarantee you is the you will be happy with the lower noise level (after the Shelix is installed). Before I installed mine, my planer was the only tool in the shop where I had to wear my shooting muffs while I was running it (this is with a DC hooked to it). The howl was awful. With the Shelix, I can use the same ear plugs I use with the other tools.

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

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MrUnix

4224 posts in 1662 days


#2 posted 03-27-2015 05:53 AM

I’ve got the Makita 2030 (actually, two of them), which is the baby brother to your 2040 (with a jointer added), and love it even though it is a bit on the loud side. But not as loud as many of the lunchbox things out there! I’ve thought about retro-fitting an induction motor, but it seems like too much hassle and it’s so much easier (and cheaper) to just wear some ear muffs when using it. Never considered getting a helical head for it either as the finish that the machine produces is smoother than a babys butt, and I have never found any other machine that is easier to set knives on (that can be sharpened).

I agree with Fred that pretty much every machine will have some negative reviews… however I’ve never really seen any for the Makita 2030/2040 machines other than about the OEM feed rollers that deteriorate after about 30 years :)

In the end, it’s really up to you to decide if the extra ~5” and less noise is worth it to you. Everybody has different needs and circumstances. I’m not sure the helical head would buy you any better of a finish than what the Makita can produce (it’s considered a finish planer, which is why you can’t hog off huge cuts).

Cheers,
Brad

-- Brad in FL - To be old and wise, you must first be young and stupid

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RipFence

48 posts in 2156 days


#3 posted 03-27-2015 02:09 PM

Thanks Brad! I agree on all points. The noise isn’t that bad for me personally but lots here are 1/8 acre and I feel like its pretty loud to my neighbors with small children. I don’t want to be That Guy in the neighborhood. I also love how easy it is to change blades and agree that the finish is really good. I have the slow speed gear option on mine so the finish is even better than standard. But, I work mostly with quarter sawn white oak. Often times the most spectacular figure gets torn out due to grain direction changes. I have a Byrd head on my jointer and it gives me a great surface with no tear out. My 2040 came with non-original feedrollers that have not deteriorated at all.
So, as it stands now I have a really really good set up. I just want to see if I can improve it a bit on noise and tear out. The additional 5” isn’t really that attractive to me but might come in handy with a glue up now and again.
I went ahead and committed to the Powermatic 209. The deal was so good ($950 delivered) that if I don’t like it I should be able to sell it and not lose much if anything.
Cheers,
Jim

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MrUnix

4224 posts in 1662 days


#4 posted 03-27-2015 02:30 PM

I have the slow speed gear option on mine so the finish is even better than standard.

You are lucky… I’ve been searching for the low speed gear set for years. They are a rare beast.

Cheers,
Brad

-- Brad in FL - To be old and wise, you must first be young and stupid

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RipFence

48 posts in 2156 days


#5 posted 03-27-2015 02:34 PM

I didn’t know those were rare. When I got my planer in about 04 I simply googled and ordered it. Sorry but I don’t know where I bought it.
Cheers,
Jim

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