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post #1 of 62 (permalink) Old 05-13-2015, 12:11 PM Thread Starter
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Default Helical Planers

I've been in the market for a new planer. I have made up my mind to go with a helical head instead of knives.

Now for the conundrum! I was waiting for Steel City to come out with their new 13" model, instead they go out of business...NO Steel City in my future.

The next question is, what to go with. There isn't much out there that really compared to the Steel City in price, quality and accuracy. I suspect I'll hear DeWalt 735. However, it would be low on any list that I would compile. It has been described as a "Money Pit" because of the knife issue. Why not add a helical head? It would almost double the price...the list goes on. Unless someone out there has any counter arguments (which I'm open to considering) the 735 is probably out.

So, what am I looking for? First, a small helical planer in the 13+" size. It doesn't have to be "portable" (are any of them really portable?) as it will reside on a dedicated cart or stand. I would prefer, however, to stay away from a "cabinet" type due to the weight. Second, it has to be reasonably priced, lets say, less than $1,000. Last, it has to be accurate, and have parts and serviceability available.

So, guys, what is out there? I trust the members opinions so don't be shy. If you have a candidate throw it on the table and let's discuss the pros and cons.

Bill
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post #2 of 62 (permalink) Old 05-13-2015, 12:35 PM
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Steel City went under?!
No idea whether this one's any good...
https://www.kmstools.com/general-int...d-planer-11287

These reviewers gave Steel City #1 and #2 spots...
Benchtop Planers | Best Ratings and Reviews 2014

Bad news then.
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post #3 of 62 (permalink) Old 05-13-2015, 12:39 PM
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powermatic...

This would have been the week that I'd have finished chewing thru the restraints...
If only new layers hadn't been added....

Stick....
Forget the primal scream, just ROAR!!!
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post #4 of 62 (permalink) Old 05-13-2015, 01:35 PM
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You can get a helical head for the 735. Griz has a decent price on a byrd shelix. All in, it will pretty closely hit your $1K price. Griz has the best prices because, according to byrd, grizzly buys them by the palette load.

Or you could go the route I did - buy a used 15" and add a helical. My costs are about $1K also. Used Griz 1021 + byrd shelix.

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post #5 of 62 (permalink) Old 05-13-2015, 01:49 PM
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Hi Bill

Try Woodcraft.

They show a Rikon and a Wood River that may work for you.

Al B
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post #6 of 62 (permalink) Old 05-13-2015, 02:14 PM
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as I understand it there are two levels of Byrd Helical cutters...
there are premium stand alone retrofit and a lesser model that goes into OEM machines....

if you buy a planer w/ a Byrd head in it you'll be getting the economy version...

This would have been the week that I'd have finished chewing thru the restraints...
If only new layers hadn't been added....

Stick....
Forget the primal scream, just ROAR!!!
"SNORK Mountain Congressional Library and Taxidermy”
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post #7 of 62 (permalink) Old 05-13-2015, 02:20 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DaninVan View Post
Steel City went under?!

Afraid so, closed their doors on March 31
No idea whether this one's any good...
https://www.kmstools.com/general-int...d-planer-11287

Hmmm! Anyone with any personal experience with this planer?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Stick486 View Post
powermatic...
Just a tad more then the $1000 price range. If I was doing commercial work then I would seriously consider these, but I'm a small hobby shop

Quote:
Originally Posted by PhilBa View Post
You can get a helical head for the 735. Griz has a decent price on a byrd shelix. All in, it will pretty closely hit your $1K price. Griz has the best prices because, according to byrd, grizzly buys them by the palette load.

This is a possibility. What I don't understand is why DeWalt doesn't offer this planer with a helical as an option. Could be that they are too greedy making money off of their one-time knives.

Or you could go the route I did - buy a used 15" and add a helical. My costs are about $1K also. Used Griz 1021 + byrd shelix.
I would love to find a used grizzly, but can you say, "needle in a haystack"? I never see these types of equipment listed in any of the local 'for sale' sites. Used is no problem...if it is mechanical I can repair or rebuild it.


Try Woodcraft.

They show a Rikon and a Wood River that may work for you.
Good source and I have looked at these I just don't see too much in the way of independent positive reviews. the 13" Ricon looks like the Steel City...Hmmm, it's possible that it may be a SC in Ricon clothing! Anyone know for sure?

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post #8 of 62 (permalink) Old 05-13-2015, 02:27 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stick486 View Post
as I understand it there are two levels of Byrd Helical cutters...
there are premium stand alone retrofit and a lesser model that goes into OEM machines....

if you buy a planer w/ a Byrd head in it you'll be getting the economy version...
Interesting, Stick! I had not heard this before. I wonder what the tangible differences are between the two. You would think that someone with Byrd's reputation would be consistent with their products. I guess if this is the case, then, you would have to be careful buying a head aftermarket. You would have to know which one(s) are the better quality.
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post #9 of 62 (permalink) Old 05-13-2015, 02:32 PM
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I bought my G1021 at an auction, with buyers premium it was about 350. Byrd shelix for that (from Griz) was 600. I got a decent price but not a total fluke. I've seen them in the 400-600 range on CL.

I too am surprised that dewalt doesn't offer a helical version of the 735. A sub $1K helical would be a hot item. I suspect it's just not close enough to their core business to warrant the effort.

By the way, that rikon 13" planer doesn't have carbide cutters - HSS.
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post #10 of 62 (permalink) Old 05-13-2015, 02:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stick486 View Post
as I understand it there are two levels of Byrd Helical cutters...
there are premium stand alone retrofit and a lesser model that goes into OEM machines....

if you buy a planer w/ a Byrd head in it you'll be getting the economy version...
Stick, could you point me to more info on that?
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