Delta - 22-580 Benchtop Planer
The Delta 13-in. planer features slotted knives and two cutting speeds
The Delta is a good, solid machine with lots of power. It leaves an excellent finish surface. The machine includes two feed speeds. The low feed speed setting increases the cuts per inch creating a better surface. Blade changes are easy. My two picks for best overall are the DeWalt 735 and the Craftsman 21759. The Delta 22-580 and Steel City planers were just behind these two leaders.
Photo: Anissa Kapsales
Today’s thickness planers vary in price from less than $300 to nearly $500. In an effort to learn whether the price differences reflect the quality and features of the machines, I put nine of them through a hands-on test. To begin with, it’s important that the infeed and outfeed tables be flush with the bed, and I found that all of these machines made it easy to adjust the tables up and down. In addition, I tested how accurately and smoothly the planers cut (all produced amazingly smooth cuts). I also measured the noise level of the machines, checked to see how easy it was to change knives, and gauged the effectiveness of the dust collection.
The Delta is expensive, and it’s the heaviest of the lot. It had excellent carriage parallelism, the best dust collection, and was one of the least noisy. It also tied for the smallest amount of snipe. It has slotted knives and two cutting speeds.