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I have a small shop area and want to purchase a portable thickness plane. I have been doing some research on the various models and trying to get the best bang for my buck without breaking the bank. I have looked at models from Porter Cable, Rigid, and Dewalt. I wanted to see what you all may have to say about the various models and what you would suggest. Any assistance is greatly appreciated.

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I went with the DW735.  The reversible blades dulled quickly and were fairly expensive ($50-60 per set). I ended up replacing the cutter head with the Byrd Shelix head (about $400) and haven't even had to rotate a cutter yet in a year and a half.  I do like the finish that the combination provides.  The Byrd Shelix cutter head replacement is available for many models that you can do a future upgrade

I went with the 735 because the head was self-locking.  I tend to forget some details like locking the head before feeding. I can't tell you how many times I've started cuts on my band saw without locking the tension (and the tension lock hangs down into the table area).

CUTech has a couple of models that are comparable to the PC, Rigid and Dewalt 734.  Some have a helical head with either HSS or carbide cutters.  I would have gone with their 40100H-CT, but needed something in stock locally so I could put it to use immediately.

I am taking a hard look at the Wen 6550. It gets great reviews.

https://www.amazon.com/WEN-6550-Benchtop-Thickness-Planer/dp/B0106X...

Thanks Tim!
 
Tim Grace said:

I went with the DW735.  The reversible blades dulled quickly and were fairly expensive ($50-60 per set). I ended up replacing the cutter head with the Byrd Shelix head (about $400) and haven't even had to rotate a cutter yet in a year and a half.  I do like the finish that the combination provides.  The Byrd Shelix cutter head replacement is available for many models that you can do a future upgrade

I went with the 735 because the head was self-locking.  I tend to forget some details like locking the head before feeding. I can't tell you how many times I've started cuts on my band saw without locking the tension (and the tension lock hangs down into the table area).

CUTech has a couple of models that are comparable to the PC, Rigid and Dewalt 734.  Some have a helical head with either HSS or carbide cutters.  I would have gone with their 40100H-CT, but needed something in stock locally so I could put it to use immediately.

Thanks Dave! I did look at the Wen 6550 and saw several reviews on it. Let me know if you get it and what you think.
 
Dave Sweeney said:

I am taking a hard look at the Wen 6550. It gets great reviews.

https://www.amazon.com/WEN-6550-Benchtop-Thickness-Planer/dp/B0106X...

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