I’d like to get a planer for my garage shop, something inexpensive but solid and reliable. The lunchbox style seems to be the most common that almost everyone has a version of. Does any particularly model stand out for one reason or another?
While I have a Makita 2012NB in my Garage - If I were going to buy one again I might also look at the Dewalt DW735X kit too. I like the Makita but it is prone to tear-out with figured hardwoods. Not sure if the Dewalt would do any better with its stock cutters - but it probably would if you added a $469 Shelix cutterhead
Y have the DW734. Great little planer, have had no problems with it. I would probably have gotten the 735 had I the money at the time however my next one is goi g to be a Grizzly or a Powermatic when I move my shop outdoors to a small building.
Bought a DeWalt 735 years ago, when Dewalt did a show at my local Woodcraft. One of my very few purchases of a new tool (I buy mostly off CL). It’s a great planer. Always thought I’d one day upgrade to a bigger belt drive planer, but so far this thing has handled everything I need to do, and it’s so popular you can get parts and accessories easily. It is a little pricey for the “lunchbox” class, but to me well worth it.
Fun fact - the DW735 has an internal fan for dust collection. If I hook a dust hose from the planer to my dust collector, and DON’T turn on the dust collector, the planer fan still fully inflates the dust collector bag. Pretty cool.
Yes, I think this would be ideal for me. I didn’t know about the internal fan, that is good to know! Not to just find a way to justify the expense!
fyi - that fan is key to good dust collection. For lunchbox units that don’t have the fan, you need really good suction at the dust hose connection or it tends to clog up when you’re doing heavy planing. The fan in the DeWalt makes sure the debris does not collect and clog within the planer or at the dust hose connection. When I first got the planer I didin’t have a dust collector. I’d plane outside, with a short hose hooked to the planer dust port, and would shoot debris 10’ out into my yard.
I have had good experience with the blue 12 inch Ryobi. Not quite as nice as the Dewalts but if you are on a budget it gets the job done.
Does anyone have any experience with the Rikon 25-130H HSS?
From what I am seeing, the Dewalt dw735 is probably the best option, especially with the Shelix head. However after that, I would be in about $1200+ for a portable planer.
I realize that the Rikon is not a helical head, but a “spiral” without the shear cut, and high speed steel 2 sided cutters. However I could buy carbide tipped cutters, and I think for the price it would be much better than a standard lunchbox planer right off the bat.
No experience with the Rikon, but my 2 cents on shelix, helix, carbide, and spiral cutters. I’ve used the plain steel blades for 10+ years and they’ve met all my needs. And if one gets nicked, cheap to replace, just keep a spare set. My advice, save the cost of the fancy cutterhead, start using it , and see if you really think you need to spend that kind of $$.
I’ve got the DeWalt 735X as well. No complaints so far - I’ve made 3 dresser tops in the past few years, and it’s great for doing pre-glued panels. I usually only end up with one joint to sand smooth, since it handles up to 13" boards width-wise.
The chip ejection is great, as others have mentioned. The only problem I’ve had with it is that the rubber feed rollers don’t like to grab lumber when it’s below 40° outside in the garage. The first time it happened I had the whole thing apart trying to figure out what was wrong. Finally I Googled it and saw that other people had come across the same problem during the winter. I parked it in front of a space heater for about 30 minutes, and sure enough, it worked just fine after that.
For what it is worth, Fine Woodworking just did a review of the best benchtop planers in their most recent issue. They rated the DeWalt 735x the best overall and the Ridgid R4331 the best value. Four of the tested planers were rated higher in cut quality than the Rikon 25-130H: Makita 2012NB, DeWalt 734, DeWalt 735x, and Ridgid R4331. All four of the higher rated planers used two- or three-knife cutterheads rather than segmented cutterheads.
I’ve got a Mastercraft Planer that I picked up cheap. Works well though I find it very hard to accurately adjust thickness. I want to get one of those Wixey Digital Readouts. Will make things so much easier.
The only problem I have is with Purple Heart. I don’t know if the blades are just dull or if Purple Heart is always very hard to plane?
Another vote for the DW735 here. The dust ‘collection’ or more accurately ‘ejection’ is incredible. I ended up building a passive dust collection box as part of my planer cart (build, pictures and video here). The planer is heavy, about 90 lbs I think, so I would certainly recommend that you either have a permanent location for it or put it on wheels! I find the cut to be very good and have not felt the need to upgrade beyond the plain blades. I did manage to chip mine (through my own stupidity) and appreciated the fact that they are reversible.
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The only problem I’ve had with it is that the rubber feed rollers don’t like to grab lumber when it’s below 40° outside in the garage.[/quote]
I had the same problem and never realised it was the temperature to blame (I was planing with the door open at below freezing point!) I was planning to put in another bed/wings using melamine as I had seen others resolve sticking problems like that, but perhaps it was all down to the temperature.
Thanks for the comment on the temperature. I’m in the Houston area where it rarely gets below 40. Did some planing on one of rare mid-30’s days a couple weeks ago, and that’s exactly what happened. I had to push on the boards to help them feed through. I thought the drive rollers were hosed and put it on my shop to-do list to troubleshoot. Glad to know it’s probably just the temp, will test this evening.
After seeing a that other people on here have had the same issues, I went ahead and posted a quick YouTube video explaining the fix. Hopefully anyone Googling the issue will be able to find it.
Will have to watch the video later when I’m home, so sorry if this is addressed in your video, but Spagnuolo and the guys talked about this planer and the same issue on the most recent Wood talk podcast. They recommended waxing the table, cleaning the rollers, not cutting as much per pass, and then also the temperature.