Replacing an old benchtop planer

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Review by Ian_S posted 02-13-2011 08:14 PM 7963 views 0 times favorited 7 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Replacing an old benchtop planer Replacing an old benchtop planer No-picture-s Click the pictures to enlarge them

I recently purchased ($1390.00) this planer from my local woodworking store Warren Cutlery in Rhinebeck New York. The planer was on display in the store, so all I had to do set up wise was bolt on the cast iron bed extensions, connect the dust collection hood and install a plug. Set up time under two hours. The adjustment screws on the bed extensions were easy to use when leveling the beds, though the screws on each end had limited room for turning the allen key.

This planer appears to be very similar to the Shop Fox and Grizzly model planers, both of which are less expensive by about $100-$200 when you add freight. I chose the General because there is something about seeing and touching the tool before you purchase it. And you can’t beat the feeling of driving to your shop with a new machine on the back of the truck!

In use the planer is quieter than I expected it to be, the two feed speed work well, 16 & 20 fpm. I will admit I don’t know what I will use the 16 fpm speed for yet. The crank operation on the bed is very smooth and cranks quickly with little effort. The base has wheels so no need for a mobile base but it is difficult to move at over 500 pounds.

Only downside is that the machines snipes more than I feel a machine of this price should. Not more than 1/16th deep but almost 3 inches up the board. When I have more time I will attempt some adjustment to cure this and will report back any findings.

All said I’m happy with the purchase and look forward to years of use from this machine.

For more specs from General

-- Ian, NY

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10 posts in 3486 days

7 comments so far

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10 posts in 3486 days

#1 posted 02-13-2011 08:18 PM

Forgot to add- 3 knife cutterhead very happy with the finish minimal high grit sanding.

-- Ian, NY

View Ollie's profile


146 posts in 4083 days

#2 posted 02-14-2011 12:50 AM

perhaps you could rig up a hold down roller on the infeed side above the bed, like a power feed roller only not neccesarily powered.

-- Ollie, UK.

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383 posts in 4484 days

#3 posted 02-14-2011 01:59 AM

I also have a 15” General , and my only beef with it is the snipe.. I have gotten into the habit of adding length to my boards just in case.. other than that, they are a good sturdy workhorse.


-- Master designer of precision sawdust and one of a kind slivers.

View Dustin's profile


393 posts in 4258 days

#4 posted 02-14-2011 01:14 PM

Planers have snipe if the second roller set has compression springs, and this one does for a good reason. Probably the best way to reduce snipe is to make sure the board is being supported after the outfeed table to keep it level. I upgraded to the Shop Fox version because after a few thousand bd ft of lumber my DeWalt benchtop planer just couldn’t take it anymore. I’d get a drum sander or belt sander to take care of the snipe if that last 2” is important to you. In most cases when processing lumber I end up cutting off the last 2 to 3 inches off the ends anyway.
Enjoy your awesome planer!

View Darryl Jones's profile

Darryl Jones

201 posts in 3977 days

#5 posted 02-14-2011 06:15 PM

Perhaps you should try adjusting the bed rollers or adjusting the outfeed table to compensate for the height of the bed rollers. Maybe it will work and maybe not but it may be worth looking into.

-- Dread Knot Wood Shop

View sawblade1's profile


754 posts in 3835 days

#6 posted 02-14-2011 06:29 PM

Your rear outfeed bed roller is out of adjustment (higher) read your owners manual it should explain how to adjust it do not mess with the front one unless you have snipe on the leading edge. Basically snipe can be eliminated what causes it is either bed roller is higher than the table and the feed rollers essentially lift the board up into the cutter head causing it to dig into the face of the board :)

-- Proverbs Ch:3 vs 5,6,7 Trust in the lord with all thine heart and lean not unto your own understanding but in all your ways aknowledge him and he shall direct your path [email protected]

View Dullchisel's profile


39 posts in 1797 days

#7 posted 02-25-2016 01:16 AM

I was wondering what your thoughts are now on the general planer? I have been researching planers and can’t make up my mind on what I would like. I research everything to death but don’t like to buy junk. I also can’t justify the purchase of the helical head, I am actually upgrading from a dewalt 733 two knife cutterhead and figure going to a two speed machine with three knives it would have to be better than my benchtop version. Thanks for any help

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