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Tool review: Benchtop Planers

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Here's what we'd buy

Here's what we'd buy

Two planers stood out from the field in this test: The 13" DeWalt DW735 and 12" Makita 2012NB. Both produced exceptional cut quality that needed little sanding, and both left boards nearly snipe-free, although the DW735 needed its optional infeed and outfeed tables (an extra $50) to do this. The DW735 features two feed speeds, easy-to-use depth stops, a depth-of-cut gauge, and a built-in chip blower powerful enough to clear nearly all chips and inflate the bags on a dust collector by itself. The Makita offers few frills, but exhibited the second-longest knife wear and lowest noise level; however, a dust hood will cost an extra $25.

If you can't pay $500 or more for a planer, we recommend the Ridgid R4330. Although not the lowest-priced unit in the test, it delivers nice cut quality with manageable snipe, with accurate and easy-to-use scales and gauges. If that's still too steep, consider the Craftsman 21758. It's a bare-bones unit that thicknesses wood accurately with respectable knife wear, although you will have to sand a little more to clean up board surfaces.



Comments (5)
lefty442 wrote:

I do have a limited budget, but need a surface/thickness planer. Several have piqued my interest, and I could use some advice. I am considering a 13" machine; Sears has three or four under the Craftsman name, and Home Depot has a couple made by Steel City. My dithering is whether a spiral cutter head is really worth cost vis--vis a straight cutter head.

10/24/2013 04:08:49 PM Report Abuse
chpjep893595 wrote:

My DW 735 has been a great addition to my shop. I work with cherry most of the time and the blades and chip ejector are great.

4/4/2013 11:43:43 AM Report Abuse
bob_julie1 wrote:

The Ridgid R4331 is much better than the 4330, I highly recomend it for the price and warranty.

4/4/2013 11:09:22 AM Report Abuse
wesgarcia wrote:

I agree with your finds on planers. I have a DeWalt DW-735 and it is great!

4/19/2012 10:51:03 AM Report Abuse
mrcliff wrote:

What issue of Wood Magazine was planer review in?

9/2/2011 03:26:27 PM Report Abuse

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