New Felder/Hammer segmented cutterhead might be best on market

comments (6) August 24th, 2012 in blogs

AsaC Asa Christiana, Special Projects Editor, Fine Woodworking magazine
thumbs up 13 users recommend

Felder/Hammers new Silent Power segmented cutterhead is available as an option in every one of the companys planers and jointers.


IWF
see more from IWF

Sounding like a Schwarzenegger movie, the new Austrian-made cutterhead is dubbed "Silent Power." Felder's Ruan du Toit took me through the many advantages of the company's innovative new segmented cutterhead, which it now offers as an option in every one of its Felder and Hammer planers and jointers.

Aimed at the high-end, shear-cutting Byrd head, but designed to surpass it, the teeth on the Felder/Hammer version are uniquely angled and curved, to make smaller chips and 10db less noise (equates to a 50% drop), with less tearout in the wildest woods, while also drawing fewer amps. That last bonus is why Felder was able to roll it out through its entire line, regardless of motor size. Be aware that they don't retrofit these heads into existing machines; you can only get them in original equipment, where a 12-in. head, for example, will add about $750 to the sticker price, roughly equal to the cost of a Byrd head.

The other big advantage of the Silent Power head is the spacing of its teeth, which du Toit said are closer than those on any other cutterhead, overlapping slightly in fact, which eliminates the tiny tracks that other segmented heads sometimes leave on the surface. And the advantages don't stop there. The channel in front of the teeth is deeper than others, meaning those smaller chips will eject more readily for better dust collection. Further, de Toit said, smaller chips pack more tightly in your dust bag, meaning you won't have to empty it as often.

Of course, the new cutterhead has the biggest advantage of the segmented technology: four-sided carbide teeth, which last many times longer than steel knives, and are a snap to pivot when you do finally need a fresh edge.

I'm pretty sure the guys at Felder won't use it, but here's a sales pitch: "Silent Power. Terminate Your Tearout."



posted in: blogs, workshop, tool, Jointer, planer, hammer, Felder, SEGMENTED


Comments (6)

red2ernest red2ernest writes: I have several Felder tools including a AD741 16" planar/joiner and I purchased a Byrd Shelix cutter head
to replace the standard head (from Ralph Byrd himself).
Ruan and you obviously don't understand deciBells, 10 dB is not
40%.You both get an F on that answer! You both might also
notice there are fewer and smaller inserts in the Silent Power
cutter than the Byrd which do less
work and are spaced further apart, cut less per rotation
and wear out faster. Please explane to Ruan its no wonder
it is "quiet" its not working very hard! LOL
I've also looked at the edges of the
inserts on an SEM and my Felder inserts have more
edge defects and larger radii than the Byrd inserts.
The straight blade cutter head pushes up on the work
quite a lot more than you'd expect so there is less operator
effort with a segmented cutter and less snipe/snape, etc.
With a Dylos or other particle indicator you will
also see a dramatic decrease in fine dust with the
segmented cutter which I attribute to less torn and
more "cut" wood fibers. Felder makes great products.
I would only change mine for ones with Martin on the
name plate!

Posted: 12:57 am on March 14th

345bart 345bart writes: Any chance of a FWW article comparing 15" planers with spiral cutter heads? Soon?
Posted: 11:00 am on September 2nd

AsaC AsaC writes: Hi, Trevor. Sorry for the delay. I spoke to Ruan from Felder/Hammer and he explained that the retrofit would require replacing the blocks that support the cutterhead, plus complete recalibration of the machine. That's why the company is not planning to offer that service for existing machines, but Ruan did not rule it out for the future either.
Posted: 1:52 pm on August 29th

AsaC AsaC writes: I'll ask Felder to comment here about retrofitting. And you cna be sure we'll test out the head in an upcoming issue!
Posted: 8:27 am on August 27th

Trevor Watson Trevor Watson writes: I own a Felder CF741 combination machine. I love it but my neighbour doesn't when I am thicknessing. Why can't the cutter head be retro fitted?
Felder, I am sure you can make modifications that will enable this. We are your loyal supporters.
Posted: 2:09 am on August 26th

Marhk Marhk writes: Looks nice, now if they would just support OLDER machines, I would jump in.
What we need is a comparison test.
Posted: 6:17 pm on August 25th

You must be logged in to post comments. Log in.

Advertise here for as little as $50. Learn how

Save up to 52% on Fine Woodworking

 

Become a Better Woodworker