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25 Best Innovations of the Past 25 Years

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Ryobi benchtop planer

Ryobi benchtop planer

Prior to the mid-'80s, if you had a thickness planer it ran on 220 volts, used resharpenable steel knives, and weighed about a half ton. But Ryobi's AP-10 benchtop planer, launched in 1985, changed everything. It brought power planing to the masses in a portable, affordable, 110-volt machine. And it gave many hobby woodworkers their first opportunity to work with rough-sawn hardwoods. A few years later Makita introduced self-indexing disposable steel knives, eliminating the hassles of sharpening and resetting knives.

Shop Tested Benchtop Planers

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Comments (10)
bfgatrell wrote:

Still using mine and it still does a good job.

10/28/2010 04:47:49 PM Report Abuse
agcarson wrote:

Great competition and some great tools, Ryobi being one of the best.

5/24/2010 11:07:19 AM Report Abuse
bohica10 wrote:

I have a D4R and its the best and easiest dove tail jig to use. It takes a few tries to learn to use it and then its easy from then on.

4/4/2010 09:10:38 AM Report Abuse
ZekFussel wrote:

I must have been looking in the wrong places in '85 because Foley-Belsaw offered a 8" & 12" planer that had a motor that ran on 110v, did not weigh a ton although it did have resharpable knives which I think is a better system.

4/1/2010 06:13:09 PM Report Abuse
brousseau wrote:

I have one of these that I bought when they first came out.Pick up new blades 2 years ago from Woodworkers. Still works great for me!

4/1/2010 05:12:52 PM Report Abuse
tims.workshop wrote:

i love you paul weiss, with out you our school would go under you keep all the tools running so smoothly again i wast to say thank you

4/1/2010 12:28:10 PM Report Abuse
pweiss2290265 wrote:

At our school, Seattle Central Community College, The Wood Construction Center, we still have 5 of these great litle tools going strong. For anything under 10"m width, you cant beat these little guys. Paul Weiss,Tool Specialist

4/1/2010 12:24:54 PM Report Abuse
grandpa1791265 wrote:

I don't own one but I thought Grrrr-rpper was sort of push block,What is with the blades???

3/18/2010 04:37:40 PM Report Abuse
tru2changes wrote:

Great list. Where is the GRR-RIPPER?! The system has completely changed how I work around my shop and I'm sure as it has for 1000s of woodworkers. Its the safest way to feed wood on the tablesaw plus I can use it on the router, jointer, and bandsaw. Tell me another "innovation" that changes the game for woodworkers as well as that versatile! These things have saved my bacon so many times not just from cutting off my fingers but KICKBACK!! Demand a recount.

3/18/2010 02:03:29 PM Report Abuse
Dennerd wrote:

I have one of these, its a great tool and you can still get blades for it great for small shops but a little under powered. I still use mine regularly bought it about 1990

3/8/2010 08:52:24 PM Report Abuse

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