Which type of planer?
Yesterday my Delta 22-589 13-inch portable planer died, after 7 years of good service. I’m trying to decide whether to replace it with a similar size (e.g., Dewalt 735 13″) OR with a larger, 3 HP floor model (e.g., Delta 22-790X, 15″). Advice? I’m not concerned about individual models (like Steel City versus Makita) but rather the general type of planer. Cost is some consideration, as the 15″ planers are usually about 2 1/2 times the cost. But what are the advantages? Also, is there a ball park amount of usage or board-feet when it becomes beneficial to get the bigger planer? Thanks. Jim
I don't have one of the
I don't have one of the larger units*, so I may be talking through my hat here. But, the 15" Delta (imported) does appear to be more robust than the benchtop models, and is certainly more powerful. It also has more reasonable infeed and outfeed supports. But, aside from those points, you're paying about $1,000 for 2" more capacity. The added capacity may be of marginal value, but the additional stability and power might be worth the extra money. Depends on how much you'll use it, I'd guess.
Note, too, that Delta is supposed to be coming out with a new 13" model later this year. How it will be differentiated from the DeWalt is yet to be seen.
* I have an 8" Inca jointer/planer combo, which has worked well for me.
It's kind of an apples
It's kind of an apples and oranges comparison, like comparing a job site table was vs a cabinet saw.
I replaced my portable with a 15" floor model a few years ago. There are a couple of distinct advantages and a few disadvantages with a bigger planer.
On the plus side:
-A big planer is much quieter due to the standard motor(induction motor vs universal motor).
-Absolutely everying is adustable on a bigger planer, so if you don't like the way a particular component works, you can adjust it to perfection.
-Big planers are made to last and be serviced. Virtually all the parts are cast iron or steel. When the bearings in my 3hp motor went out, I replaced them for about $12.
-You can hog off much more wood in a single pass.
-You can get one with a spiral carbide head and forget about blade changes, tearout, etc.
On the minus side:
-500+ lbs makes them more difficult to move around.
-Blades aren't typically self adjusting, so they require more finicky adjusting (like a jointer). Of course if you buy a spiral carbide head, this is a non-issue.
-Because the components are individually adjustable, initial setup is a bit of a chore.
-The finished surface is typically not quite as smooth as with nicer benchtop planers.
I personally couldn't stand the deafening scream of my benchtop, so the choice was easy.
Thanks for the great reply, David. Noise? When I was checking out the top-rated Dewalt portable 13" planer today, I had the salesman look up the decibels. As he said, "103--just slightly below a jet engine."
Yeah Jim, I just can't handle
Yeah Jim, I just can't handle the noise of those things. I bought the new model Rigid benchtop, then returned it after turning it on. I couldn't believe how loud it was. That's when I went shopping for a 15" model.
BTW, I don't know about your area, but those things routinely show up on craigslist in Seattle. I think I paid around $400 for mine.
Best of luck,
If your old one did all you ever needed then either fix it , get another or increase your capacity .
I still use an old Makita 15" and have brought it back from dead several times .The surface is superior from most any machine that has soft feed rollers .This is where dust collection comes in handy to remove those chips .
Some chips get between the roller and the wood and with steel rollers I call them chip dents as well as the steel rollers them selves can leave road rash on the wood where the Urethane rollers do not mar the wood .
The old issue is now at hand. Why buy a "wide" planer for use with a "narrow" jointer? I converted to a combo J/P, and have never looked back.
P.S. I added a slot mortiser attachment. That's a bonus.
I just went through the same decision tree when I got tired of my DeWalt 733. I ended up purchasing the DeWalt 735 based on reviews and folks on the forum raving about it.
From what I understand, you ideally need both models. The floor standing machines can hog more wood but leave a rougher finish than the 735. But it's not as if you use the planer for final finish, although the 735 seems to be able to do that... until you nick a blade. For me, I'm a hobbyist that really isn't concerned with the ability to hog off a lot of wood, and also, the 735 sits under the side table on my table saw so I have the feeling of more room.
What really would have been nice would have been a 12-inch combo machine. But I wanted a new planer now and didn't feel like going through the hassle of selling my jointer. Also, overall, it'd have been a good chunk more change, I'm not sure what the resale on a Delta DJ-20 is. That said, I'm pretty happy with the 735 so far... I have owned if for a week!
I have been wanting to get a small planer for smaller boards. I am waiting for the new Delta before I make a decision. I currently have a Powermatic 180 18" planer.
I is a nice machine at 1600 lbs. The knives are quite pricey, so I am very careful what I feed it.
Ge222, Thanks for posting that about the weight, I have the same one and always wondered how much it weighed.
Everything already posted here sounds good. Don't overlook the power issue too. Portable planers can be run on 120V only, to my knowledge. Larger ones may be dual voltage or 220V only.
Does anyone make a portable planer with an induction motor. I hate the loud noise of the universal motors. I am limited in what I can get in my shop because its in the basement.
Just before I bought my DeWalt 735, I was looking at a smaller Jet planer (about $1000) with an open stand. Sorry I don't remember the model number, but it may have been a planer/moulder.
Here's the Grizzly version of
Here's the Grizzly version of the molder/planer. I haven't used one, but the features are kind of interesting.
You might look at Steel City's 13 inch planer. It has a helical head with offset mini knives, so that only one quarter inch knife strikes the board at any given time. This results in a quieter motor (less drag, yes?) and knife changes are less complicated and cheaper, because if one nicks, you only replace the offending quarter inch blade.
The blades have multiple 4 faces, so one can simply rotate the blades and get 4 times the use out of them.
It also has a five, as opposed to a 3, year warranty.
Finally, the machine includes two large infeed and outfeed tables which actually fold up, as opposed to the DeWalt 735.
I like the 735 but it is very noisy, it runs through blades like crazy, and the optional $70 tables do not fold up very well.
The Steel City planer looks nice,but does it have an induction motor? It really dosnt look like it would be that much quieter. The helical head might be nice, but quietness is important too.
No induction motor but it is about one half the db that a DeWalt is. No hearing protection needed. The reason it is so much quieter is that only one quarter inch piece of steel is hittinig the wood at any given time, unlike a regular planer which has 13 inches of steel hitting the board. The motor is not quieter, but the action is, if I've explained it right.
Do you think that the Steel City planer is overall just as good as the DW735?
I belive you can get a helical head for the Dewalt, but its pricy, and does the Helical head quiet the Dewalt down?
The DeWalt on slow speed with the three blades give a smooth cut. BUT: You have to buy the outfeed tables or the quality suffers. ANOTHER BUT: The DeWalt goes through blades quickly. Carbide are available for another $250.
The Steel City has a comparable cut. Tables are included. Blades last about 4x longer. 5 year warranty too.
I think if you buy all the extras with the DeWalt the quality will be the same, but you'll spend about $300 more and get less of a warranty.
I like both
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