Slow Feed Rate Signals Dull Planer Blades
I take light cuts with my portable power planer. However, when I send a piece of lumber through the planer, it often comes to a stop and I must push it through. When the board comes out, it has black marks on its surface. What’s wrong with my planer?
Lou Verda, Granville, IL
It’s time to change your blades. Dull blades can significantly slow a planer’s feed rate and, if especially dull, can actually cause friction burns. You also should clean the rollers, and clean and wax the table. Quick tip: Taking a lot of shallow cuts accelerates wear, so take heavier cuts. A portable planer with sharp knives can remove at least 1/16 in. per pass on all but the hardest and widest boards.
Planer feed rate is affected by three components: The knives, rollers, and bed work together to feed wood through. A problem with any of the three can slow the feed rate.