Best bench top thickness planer - Router Forums
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post #1 of 42 (permalink) Old 03-23-2011, 08:35 PM Thread Starter
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Question Best bench top thickness planer

I am looking for the best bench top thickness planer for the money. I understand you get what you pay for but there must be some really good planers out there that are $500 or less. I have access to a very heavy 13" Rockwell planer at the neighbors to rough plane "rough sawn" lumber. I would like to get a finish planer to finish these boards to dimensional sizes with a very good surface finish. I have Delta in my sights but there are a lot of featurs and capabilities that I may not be thinking of. Can anyone help?

PS. I am new to the site. If there is a previous post on this subject, I appologize but would like guidance to this information.

Thanks........ Jim
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post #2 of 42 (permalink) Old 03-23-2011, 10:05 PM
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I read a review recently that rated the Dewalt very well. I can't comment personally, I have a stationary model.

Someone I consider a master woodworker once told me that a master woodworker is not someone who never makes mistakes. He is someone who is able to cover them up so that no one can tell.
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post #3 of 42 (permalink) Old 03-24-2011, 06:41 AM
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Ive got the Ridgid, and it's been doing a great job so far

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post #4 of 42 (permalink) Old 03-24-2011, 08:29 AM
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Great question, I'd like to know the current answer to that too. The advances that tools have made since I purchased my Hitachi r12p planer over 25 Years ago.

The one I've got is technically a bench top model but you don't want to have to pick it up to move it. I had to build a small cabinet with wheels to get around in my small shop. The nice feature with the one I have is that it came as a combo with a 6" joiner with it.
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post #5 of 42 (permalink) Old 03-24-2011, 09:09 AM
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I just replaced my 10 yr old Dewalt 12.5" 733 with a Dewalt 13" 735. Got a refrub unit for $400 I sold my 733 for $100 so it cost me $300 for the upgrade. so far it seems to be a good amchine. there is a night and day difference in the finnish of the boards coming out of the new planer. I havent tried the slow feed speed yet which should be even better. I didn't get the in/out feed tables, I feel they are just a waste of money. I do like the fact that there is no need for a "lock" on this new model.
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post #6 of 42 (permalink) Old 03-24-2011, 09:31 AM
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I don't have one yet but have been scouring reviews.
The Makita 2012NB get's good reviews and has a special anti-snipe feature, and can be had new or reconditioned for under $500 in the US.
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post #7 of 42 (permalink) Old 03-24-2011, 09:33 AM
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I have a DeWalt 735 and am very happy with it, although it was a bit heavy to frequently move around by it's handles. I ended up putting it on a Delta chop saw/planer stand and this has worked out very well. It can now be moved around like a hand truck and set up quickly and easily. I do all of my planing outside the shop, so this stand makes the planer very easy to move and set up, plus it allows the planer/stand combination to be stored on-end in the corner of the shop when not in use. The 735 planer leaves an amazingly smooth finish in the slow feed speed and does a good job removing 1/16-1/8" at a time in the higher speed. It's best feature is an almost complete lack of snipe. I plane a mostly 2-4' pieces of exotic wood, so getting 6" stock loss from snipe on each piece was killing me with my old planer. With the 735 all I get is a barely visible line a few inches from the board end that can be easily sanded away. There have been complaints with earlier DeWalt 735 blades chipping and dulling quickly, but I haven't experienced this. I've done a lot of planing with my 735 and I'm only on the first edge of my second set of blades. My first set had no chips. They were just too dull to use anymore.

If you buy a 735 be sure to buy the chip collector hose or plan to hook it up to your cyclone. It comes with a removable chip exit chute, but this just serves to scatter the chips. When I first brought the 735 into my shop I just had to try it on something, so with it just sitting on a workbench in the middle of my shop, I ran a 2' piece of 2X4 through it. The chips came out so fast that they hit the wall of my shop over 10' away with a nearly level stream. It might be OK to blow the chips outside on a construction site, but in a residential neighborhood or inside your shop you will really appreciate having some way of collecting them. The DeWalt hose/trash can cover option works very well and is reasonably priced, but the trash cans fill quickly (check it often).


Last edited by CharleyL; 03-24-2011 at 09:47 AM.
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post #8 of 42 (permalink) Old 03-24-2011, 10:08 AM
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I know this reply isn't about the best planer but it is useful to keeping sharp blades on hand without constantly buying new ones.

Here's a link to a site that explains how to make a jig to sharpen your blades.
Doug Abbott' Planer Knife Sharpening Jig
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post #9 of 42 (permalink) Old 03-24-2011, 11:32 AM
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I bought the Dewalt 734 about a year ago, and has proven to be a good planer. When going through the reviews, The 734 and 735 were basically tied. The 734 has a manual lock bar to keep the head from moving during planning where the 735 does this automatically. The 735 is also an inch wider and has 2speeds. However, the 735 was about $200 more.

For me, I wasn't able to fully justify the extra cost for the extra features, except maybe the 2 speed option. I ended up with the 734 and have been very happy with it.
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post #10 of 42 (permalink) Old 03-24-2011, 04:59 PM
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I have the 735 and could not be happier I agree with CharleyL on couple of issues
First the weight it is a big boy and you do not want to move it a lot I finnally settled into a place for it and the set up is a snap.
Second the chip discharge I am not using a DC on it. I found a Toro leaf bag set up with hose that fits perfect I put the bag portion over a Large trash can and away I go I have never had any issues with the chip removal.
Lastley I put a Wixey digital read out on mine ( it was very easy) and it has made set up so much easier for repeat thickness

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