Well, I pulled the trigger and picked up the Ridgid planer. (the # of orange tools is catching up to the number of green tools, lately) With a handful of hours playing with it I am pretty happy so far, I'll try to post a detailed review in a month or so.
The local store had it for $399, but they matched Homedepot.com 's price of $369. That minus a gift card for $250 I got for cashing in my VISA rewards points-- out the door for $137. Not too shabby if I have to say so myself.
Few items I've noticed so far.
Noise- Quiet compared to what I have used before, but I've been taking pretty light cuts.
Dust Collection- Very good- I planed down 3 rough walnut boards (approx 5' x 5.5") down about 1/4 inch to 3/8 inch thick, and was left with barely half of a dustpan full of chips on the floor around the planer. The only thing that would be nicer is if the dust collector connection was on the other side of the dust hood.
Assembly- a snap. 2 screws to put the cutterhead elevation knob on, 2 thumbscrews to put the dust hood on, that's it. Tables were level out of the box. (one slight gripe, there were chips still on the surface of the tables from the test run at the factory...)
Repeat-a-cut feature- Pretty neat, I just wish they had one for 3/8 inch thick as well.
Thanks for your input ahead of time, I think I'm going to like this one.
Last edited by kp91; 01-26-2010 at 01:09 PM.