Great Craigslist find, better options at retail price

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Review by lumberjoe posted 05-15-2012 12:15 PM 13549 views 1 time favorited 11 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Great Craigslist find, better options at retail price No-picture-s No-picture-s Click the pictures to enlarge them

Note this 4 star rating is not for a brand new 21758. With that said, this is actually a decent planer. I’ve been doing a lot of research lately and came across this one on craigslist. Actually I came across a Ridgid R4331 that I went to look at. The gentleman was extremely knowledgeable and had a very impressive and immaculate shop. He had the craftsman for sale as well and was only asking 100.00 with a brand new set of knives installed, and a set in the package still. He was kind enough to show me how they both operate and let me run some rough cut red oak through each. The ridgid was a little faster and a little smoother (I believe it is a 3 knife cutting head), but not enough to concern me. I took a chance and grabbed this one. Also after close examination, I believe this planer is identical to the Porter Cable PC305TP.

I got it home and set it up. Dust collection works well with just a shop vac and the port is reversible, which comes in pretty handy. Even though the blades are new, I went through the blade change procedure just to see how to do it. It’s really simple and didn’t take much time at all. A tip the seller clued me in on – he noticed increasing levels of snipe from time. The screws holding the blades in tend to back out a tiny little bit, especially if you are taking really deep cuts in hardwoods. If you notice a lot snipe, hammer them down again.

After I got it mounted on the stand, I decided to run some scrap though it. I was hoping to find some flaws so I wouldn’t have to give a craftsman tool a good review, but this thing just did what I asked it to do – remove material from wood in a uniform fashion. I even laminated two 26” long 1×4 pieces of poplar together and was not at all meticulous in the glue up. The next day after removing the excess glue, I sent it through the planer to get rid of the very noticeable glue line down the middle and it did in 4 passes (2 each side).

Most importantly, this will save me about a dollar a board foot at the mill for the planing charge

For 100.00 that also included 50$ worth of knives, I really can’t find anything wrong with this planer. I don’t think I would have paid 259.99 for it brand new. Not because of lack of quality or poor performance, I just feel there are better models with more features in the same price point. For example, Steel City offers a 13” planer with a cutter head lock for just 289.99, or the Grizzly G0505 at 295.00, and there is the PC305TP at 270, but as mentioned I’m pretty sure the PC and the Craftsman are the same model in a different dress. However if you are on a budget and need a decent little planer, keep an eye out for a well maintained 21758. As with everything Craftsman, they will be all over the used tool sections of popular websites.


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2902 posts in 3164 days

11 comments so far

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18119 posts in 3922 days

#1 posted 05-15-2012 12:21 PM

Hey for a $100 i dont think you can beat it. Like you said it will have its limitations but as long as you can work around that you’re good to go.

-- Its not a crack, its a casting imperfection.

View Tennessee's profile


2901 posts in 3430 days

#2 posted 05-15-2012 07:18 PM

If that is the only planer you own, every time you put a piece of wood through it you get your $100 back!

-- Tsunami Guitars and Custom Woodworking, Cleveland, TN

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2902 posts in 3164 days

#3 posted 05-15-2012 07:33 PM

It’s the first and only planer I own. In the near future I will end up with the DeWalt 735x. Or out of spite this thing knows I won’t get rid of a perfectly good tool for no reason and decide to run forever. Either way I would be happy. I wasn’t planning on getting a planer yet as I still have more important (to me) and pricey tools to buy, but my wife decided she loves mission style furniture now, and I need to turn a bunch of 3/4” stock into 5/8” stock.


View firehouse's profile


45 posts in 3706 days

#4 posted 05-15-2012 07:50 PM

joe i have the same planer for last 4 years you will love it.—————- FIREHOUSE

-- duke 66 ocala fl.

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1057 posts in 3192 days

#5 posted 05-15-2012 07:53 PM

was the guy in greenwood indiana?


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2902 posts in 3164 days

#6 posted 05-15-2012 07:57 PM

That would be a loooooooong ride. I’m in Massachusetts


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1057 posts in 3192 days

#7 posted 05-16-2012 03:08 AM

Oh sorry there was guy that was selling a rigid planner for 150$ in my area. I was thinking about buying it.


View mountainaxe's profile


157 posts in 3421 days

#8 posted 05-20-2012 11:30 PM

I’ve had this planner for a while and it’s a solid performer. Nothing fancy, but is easy to use and maintain giving decent results. Highly recommended if you’re on a tight budget.

-- Jeff, "The things I make may be for others, but how I make them is for me."

View Zinderin's profile


94 posts in 3048 days

#9 posted 08-11-2012 02:49 PM

I have not had the opportunity to use it enough to offer a rating on this, but I was able to pick it up at my local sears a couple of weeks ago (Aug 2012) for $149 close out.

I don’t understand that, because they still offer it on their website for $249. I can tell you, first impressions are awesome … I’lll leave it at that.

View hoosier0311's profile


706 posts in 2941 days

#10 posted 11-13-2012 04:12 PM

I had the same model planer. I bought it new in 2006 I think, replaced the motor in 2009, and the replacment motor just died a month ago. I went through the checks on the other mechanics thinking something may be binding up and overloading. Found nothing amiss. I just picked a Grizzly 15 inch model from a fellow LJer. I am thinking about making a 12”ointer out of the rest of my old craftsman planer.

I will add that when the motor was good it performed very well, nice smooth cuts and minimal snipe.

-- atta boy Clarence!

View NormG's profile


6508 posts in 3919 days

#11 posted 05-08-2013 01:41 AM

Glad to hear it worked out for you and was well worth the outlay

-- Norman - I never never make a mistake, I just change the design.

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