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I am looking to purchase my first planer to add to my woodworking equipment. I would love to hear from you guys and gals that have been doing this for awhile as to what your experiences have been with your planers over the years. What make and model do you like, not like. What about price: should I save up and pay a little bit more for the one that everyone says is a great unit or is there some hidden gem that takes a lickin but keeps on ticking. Just need a dependable unit that will perform light occasional but dependable duty for a just starting out, hoping to retire soon woodworker. Thanking you in advance.

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Jan,

For what you've described, I'd go with the DeWalt DW735X 13" planer 

a 2 speed model

3 cutting blades.

! speed for finishing and the 2nd speed for dimensioning lumber.

It can handle timbers up to 6" thick.

A very good machine.

Dewalt also offers a DW734, a 12-1/2" model.

Less costly than their DW735.

You'll get more for your money with the DW735.

Makita offers a good planer also, 

their 2012NB 12-inch planer.

Quietest planer in it class.

Comparable in price to the DW735

The DeWalt is more poplar than the Makita.

Thank You Ken,  That is the kind of input I was looking for.  The DeWalt 735 was what I was referring to in my post as "the one everyone says is a great unit". I have been doing my homework and know what the new price is but I have 3 used 735's available at a reduced price.  Am I just buying someone else's problems with a used unit or is it a viable option?  Thanks for your input.

Ken Darga said:

Jan,

For what you've described, I'd go with the DeWalt DW735X 13" planer 

a 2 speed model

3 cutting blades.

! speed for finishing and the 2nd speed for dimensioning lumber.

It can handle timbers up to 6" thick.

A very good machine.

Dewalt also offers a DW734, a 12-1/2" model.

Less costly than their DW735.

You'll get more for your money with the DW735.

Makita offers a good planer also, 

their 2012NB 12-inch planer.

Quietest planer in it class.

Comparable in price to the DW735

The DeWalt is more poplar than the Makita.

Jan,

I'd go with the used one, if it's a good price---

give it a tuneup and a new set of cutting knives (about $50).

When you get it, give it a good cleaning---

blow out the dust with a compressor and

lube all the applicable moving/sliding parts.

Lube the lift adjustment components with  "Dri-Lube".

(I you use machine oil, it'll cause sawdust to stick and accumulate).


Jan W. Nahorski said:

Thank You Ken,  That is the kind of input I was looking for.  The DeWalt 735 was what I was referring to in my post as "the one everyone says is a great unit". I have been doing my homework and know what the new price is but I have 3 used 735's available at a reduced price.  Am I just buying someone else's problems with a used unit or is it a viable option?  Thanks for your input.

Thanks Ken, I was hoping you were gonna say that.  Would $250 to $350 be a good range for the definition of a "good price"?

Jan,

Sounds like a bargain.

Go for it.


Jan W. Nahorski said:

Thanks Ken, I was hoping you were gonna say that.  Would $250 to $350 be a good range for the definition of a "good price"?

I second the DW735 planer.  I've had mine for about 5 years and while I don't use it everyday, it does a wonderful job on hard and soft wood.  I cut a lot of my own hardwood lumber with a chainsaw mill, so it comes in the shop pretty rough.  But it's no problem for the Dewalt.

I do recommend using it with a good quality dust collection system, because it will really produce a lot of shavings.

Thanks Doug. I guess I will be saving my money up now.  But appreciate the input-thats what I needed to hear.

Just got an e-mail "flyer" from Rockler.  They've got it on sale complete with an extra set of knives, 1 infeed and 1 outfeed table, and a heavy duty roll around cart for $ 599.00.

See it @ http://www.rockler.com/dewalt-dw735x-13-in-2-speed-planer-includes-...

All those accessories were extra when I bought mine, so that is a pretty sweet deal.

Hope this helps.......

Doug

NOTE:  

There are differences between the DeWalt DW734, DW735 and the DW735X.

Make a comparison between the different features/options that each model offers.

The DW735X includes an infeed and outfeed extension and planer blades.

The DW735 did not include the extensions, the last time I looked into this model.

A DeWalt mobile stand sells separately for around $150.

It weighs about 60lbs, but I'd add additional weight in the bottom section of the stand, to increase stability, during use and transport.

(The planer weighs about 100 lbs).

(A 40-50lb bag of sand, placed on a platform fitted and secured at the bottom of the frame/stand)

Stability

The planer should be bolted to the stand/base---the machine will "walk" during machine vibration and chatter.

When in use, the machine needs to be on a level surface, for proper machine operation.

(Use adjustable feet or use shims to level it up before putting the machine into operation).

Dust Collection

A dust collection bag can to connected to the chip-chute outlet, on the planer.

It will catch a good percentage of the chips.

A suitable VAC will do a much better job to extract and collect most of the chips/dust.

Without a bag or VAC, the machine will spew chips and dust all over the place---a big mess.

Accessories

A "digital" planer readout, can be purchased separately, and fitted to the DW735X.

This item is a Wixey model WR510. 

A nice feature for a "dialed-in" adjustment and to return to repeat settings.

Machine cover

Keep the machined covered, when not in use, so as to prevent unwanted articles from falling onto/into the machine.  If an undesirable object, such as metal, enters the machine, permanent damage could result, which is not covered by the warranty.

PS---

keep an extra set of replacement blades on-hand and at the ready.

It's easy to get a chip in the blade and be cause for an undesirable surface finish.

NOTE:

Rockler has an additional $50 ship charge for the item described.


Doug Lawton said:

Just got an e-mail "flyer" from Rockler.  They've got it on sale complete with an extra set of knives, 1 infeed and 1 outfeed table, and a heavy duty roll around cart for $ 599.00.

See it @ http://www.rockler.com/dewalt-dw735x-13-in-2-speed-planer-includes-...

All those accessories were extra when I bought mine, so that is a pretty sweet deal.

Hope this helps.......

Doug

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