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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.


 

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Comments (6)
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america4ever541 wrote:

In the article about Bench Top Planers lefty442 asked for something he could afford. He doesn't have a lot of money to spend. Many of us are on fixed incomes. Dewalt, and Ridged are great tools BUT the price is higher than some can afford. Don't mean to ruffle any feathers but many times I will find people trying to help. But they forget how fortunate they may be and how little others have. Keep helping.Just help a little better. Have a Great Day. Have a Great Day.

1/20/2015 12:45:28 PM Report Abuse
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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