Solidly performing planer

  • Advertise with us
Review by BehindTheCurve posted 12-21-2015 01:53 PM 6436 views 0 times favorited 11 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Solidly performing planer No-picture-s No-picture-s Click the pictures to enlarge them

......I’m too lazy to get up and take a picture just for this so I found one in which the described planer is in the background…......

After reading the reviews for the Steel City Planer I thought I’d ad my two cents, as this is a piece of equipment I’ve never once regretted buying.
I’ve had the planer 2 years, have used it extensively on many different kinds of woods, and it performs very reliably. Bought it for the supposed decreased sound output as compared to the DeWalt. I believe it is much quieter.
Also bought it for the helical head aspect, even though I feel a true helical head should have its blades oriented at an angle to elicit a slicing vs. chopping action. Regardless, the finish on planed boards has been excellent, for woods from Poplar to Curly Koa.
Snipe is an issue, as it is on every planer I’ve ever used. I don’t feel like the locking mechanism helps with snipe at all, but can avoid snipe by taking a very shallow final pass. I also reduce snipe by running boards directly abutting previous boards… only the final board in a string of boards is even exposed to snipe action. Final snipe offset approach is to pull boards as they exit the planer, which is hit or miss, but I still do it whenever possible.
I must have gotten a model of the planer that came after the reported grease issues, as I never had a problem with grease coming out of the machine/ending up on boards.
After two years of heavy use, the feed wheels on the left side of the planer occasionally slip (exacerbated by harder lumber where the cut is very stressful). It’s also time for new knife inserts….I spun after about 1 year of use (and a very ornery lot of white ash).....but I’m having a difficult time finding a source for these knives. And it seems Steel City has discontinued the manufacture of the machine, although I’m not sure why as I’ve been very happy with mine…..and I’m not happy with much of my equipment.

View BehindTheCurve's profile


2 posts in 1698 days

11 comments so far

View WoodNSawdust's profile


1417 posts in 1986 days

#1 posted 12-21-2015 02:19 PM

Thanks for the review.

-- "I love it when a plan comes together" John "Hannibal" Smith

View b2rtch's profile


4920 posts in 3858 days

#2 posted 12-21-2015 02:20 PM

Not to be mean, but what has the picture to do with the planer?
If you are tool lazy to take and post relevant picture may be you should not post at all.
You could even have found a picture on the Internet which would have been more relevant than this one.
Am I too picky? I do not think so.

I am glad that you are happy with your planer.
I put a Shelix head in my Rigid planer, I like it very much too.

-- Bert

View jacquesr's profile


347 posts in 2232 days

#3 posted 12-21-2015 03:22 PM

They carry the same planers and that have parts.

View BehindTheCurve's profile


2 posts in 1698 days

#4 posted 12-21-2015 03:31 PM


It was my first post to lumberjocks, EVER, and I didn’t expect that at the end of the review process I’d be prompted to add a picture or not post at all. Since I’d already spent more time than I wanted to writing the post, had my wife and daughter waiting for me to finish, and didn’t (already) know how to save the post for later publishing, I opted for a photo of the planer in the background of my shop (proving, somewhat, that I actually own it).

Did my description of the equipment and its performance fall flat on its face because there wasn’t a pristine pic of the machine to compare it against? I think not!

Flat out Bert, you are too picky! But more relevant, your perception of the value of your opinion is skewed in a manner that has you believing if you have a thought, you should share it on the internet. Why in gods name would you waste your time sending the negative message you sent? At 4699 posts you clearly spend a lot of time typing into this website. As such I’d think you’d be observant enough in this environment to notice that I have posted here ONCE! Is this how you welcome new folks to the forum, nit-pick them on totally meaningless details???

In general I avoid social interactions on the internet because of people just like you! I thought posting that I loved the machine might help someone, someday, who was thinking about buying one used, or buying some other Steel City equipment. I thought maybe someone would read it send me some advice on finding new knives. I did not think after posting I’d wake up the next morning to some dude in Utah scolding me for my post…..or that by trying to do something good with my time I’d be totally pissed off the following morning.

And because I’m guessing your knee jerk reaction will be to write back at me, to defend your actions, to scold me some more for what I’m saying now…..........I’ll offer you a suggestion: DON’T! Don’t waste your time. Because of YOU I’m now going to close this account and therefore I’m not going to read ANYTHING you write. And really, other than offering an unconditional apology, anything you write will only support the FACT that you didn’t need to post your original message. REALLY. You didn’t need to do that. So turn off your computer and spend the next 10 minutes repeating that in your head. Learn from your mistake. Spend some time improving your human functions instead of upgrading a cheap planer with a really expensive cutter head (it’s like putting crazy expensive wheels on a Honda Civic).

But really, thanks for such a quick confirmation that even in the woodworking community I can’t avoid ‘folks’ like yourself.

View pintodeluxe's profile


6181 posts in 3623 days

#5 posted 12-21-2015 05:00 PM

I understand that at one time Amana made carbide replacement cutters for these planers. Might be worth a look to see if they are available.

Thanks for the review.

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

View pintodeluxe's profile


6181 posts in 3623 days

#6 posted 12-21-2015 05:24 PM

Actually I couldn’t find them on Amana’s site, but found some carbide inserts for that planer here…

They run about $33 per 10 cutters. They have two sharp sides just like the stock inserts. Looks like they are slightly larger in size than the Shelix inserts.

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

View WhoMe's profile


1568 posts in 4053 days

#7 posted 12-21-2015 05:37 PM

Thanks for the review, picture or not, you provided good input as to how the planner works, any issues you encountered and how you use it.
And in my opinion your text review is how most reviews should be written.
Although I never considered a steel city tool, the performance of the cutter head and it’s maintenance is more important to me anyway.
Thank you for posting this review. I for one appreciate it.

-- I'm not clumsy.. It's just the floor hates me, the tables and chairs are bullies, the wall gets in the way AAANNNDDD table saws BITE my fingers!!!.. - Mike -

View Alan72's profile


222 posts in 2842 days

#8 posted 12-21-2015 07:45 PM

My friend has the same planer he ran into the same issue not able to find replacement cutters. I saw this brand on Craigs list and told him about it, He ordered the cutters from this company and he hasn’t had any issue so Far. THe company is called Cutechtool. Hopes this helps

View Todd's profile


421 posts in 2486 days

#9 posted 12-21-2015 08:45 PM

Yep. I have the same planer and love it but Steel City no longer sells it. Cutech now supports it.

-- Todd, Huntsville, AL

View cmmyakman's profile


289 posts in 3466 days

#10 posted 01-08-2016 01:59 PM

Thank you “Alan72” for the link to cutechtool and their inserts for the planer. I have this planer and really like it, except for the occasional snipe. I always make my parts long so if the snipe rears its ugly head I will be able to cut it off. I’ll try “Behind the Curve’s” method of making the last passes very shallow or light.

-- You can't fail if you don't give up.

View KarnWoodworks's profile


9 posts in 1673 days

#11 posted 01-24-2016 08:14 AM

Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics