Heavy, Heavy Duty, and a Very Good Performer

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Review by PurpLev posted 08-31-2009 10:02 PM 8385 views 0 times favorited 36 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Heavy, Heavy Duty, and a Very Good Performer Heavy, Heavy Duty, and a Very Good Performer Heavy, Heavy Duty, and a Very Good Performer Click the pictures to enlarge them

After getting a Jointer, I realized very quickly that I should have gotten a planer FIRST. I was able to flatten a board, and joint an edge, but that is something that I can do fairly easily with hand planes. thicknessing that board on the other hand is sometimes a bit more challenging to do by hand – especially when you have multiple boards to mill.


I have limited funds, and so visit craigslist often for tools. I was actually not expecting to find the Dewalt 735 in my budget, but was searching for Deltas and other planers until I saw this one with the mobile base, extension wings, and extra sets of blades for a very very very attractive price – needless to say, I bought it. and didn’t even feel the need to negotiate the price. with that said – MSRP is a bit higher than other lunchbox type planers. but it is a more robust built machine, which justifies the extra cost, although might put this unit out of reach to some (me included… without that once in a lifetimes deal, I wouldn’t be able to justify it’s purchase at the moment).

Build and Weight

This unit is WELL BUILT! it’s built like a tank, and weighs like one at 79lbs. it’s great for me since it means the planer doesn’t move anywhere once placed on it’s stand – I don’t even bolt it in place, however – this might be a con if someone is planing to use this as a portable machine. it’s portable, but heavy to lug around.

OK, I really like the controls on this one, compared to other machines – the side wheel is very convenient to use as opposed to a top handle. I like the fact that it can be grabbed anywhere along the wheel, including the handle (obviously) for minor adjustments.

the front cut gauge is nice and easy to read, nothing too extreme here -looks kinda the same on all the planers I’ve seen.

Depth stop is excellent – as can be seen in 3rd picture, you can set a depth stop to most common board widths, which will stop the cutters from going any lower – this is a nice feature as you can always go back and mill more boards to same exact width even several months down the road. so far I haven’t really used this much as I usually try to mill my parts as thick as possible (from the rough boards) so not really trying to match a “common” width – but its a nice feature to have when you need it.

unlike some other models, this planer does not have a cutterhead lock, because it does not require it since the cutterhead/motor assembly rides on the 4 spiral posts (consider this an auto-cutterhead-lock). which is nice, as this is one less thing to worry about/deal with.

Extra Features
As mentioned above – this planer comes with a depth stop for most common thicknesses.

This planer can run on one of 2 speeds, either for rough planing (faster rollers) or finishing planing (slower rollers). the switch has to be turned AFTER the planes is turned on and the motor is running. I do find mine to be somewhat hard to turn at times, and for most – I just use the rough setting for faster planing as I hand plane the boards anyways afterwards with a #4 smoother.

Built-in Chip blower – the planer blows away the chips real well, it will inflate my 4” DC hoses if I don’t have the DC on. you can either hook it up to a DC, or just blow the chips away / bag / trash bin.

This planer is LOAD, but I guess not any louder than any other universal motor planer. ear protection is a MUST – really!.

I only take 1/16” and lighter cuts with this planer, mostly at ~1/32. and it works great. I can double feed it, and really quicken things up (load 2 boards side by side).

to tune the planer, I use paste wax on the bed to make it smooth, I did notice that on a humid day the bed became somewhat rough, and I had to retouch it with some more paste wax. also if there is a build up of chips on the bed, it will interfere with the power feeding of the boards – I had the boards stop midway and had to manually pull them out before I reapplied paste wax to solve that problem.

the planer cuts very nice and smooth. I do get some lines in certain places on the boards since there is a nick in the blade – but since I smooth my boards with a hand plane it doesnt really bother me. I could move one blade to the left, and another to the right to eliminate it , and eventually flip the blades around (dual edge blades), but for now this is no big deal for me, and something that is to be expected.

Other than that , I’m extremely happy with it as it frees me from having to consider which board I should use since I can use whatever I want, and mill it my way.


I got this with the extension beds which work nice for added support for boards on both sides. curious though – these wings are supposed to fold up for storage – but only the infeed table folds properly – the outfeed table cannot fold up because something is in it’s way, so I just leave it unfolded.

I also got this with the mobile base – this base is fantastic! moves smoothly and locks down firmly. also it has some storage shelves ,and is a base well made.


Highly recommended machine, although a bit on the pricy side. If I had the space and money for a new one – I’d probably go with an induction planer all together, but for a mobile planer, I think this one is one of the toughest machines in the market today.

EDIT: There are several third part companies that make replacement knives/cutterheads for this planer:

Accu-Head makes a helical cutter head (this is the same company that makes the helical cutter heads for the steel city planers)

Infinity Tools makes replacement HSS and Carbide blades for this planer

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View PurpLev's profile


8598 posts in 4536 days

36 comments so far

View Lee A. Jesberger's profile

Lee A. Jesberger

6872 posts in 4867 days

#1 posted 08-31-2009 10:07 PM

HI Sharon,

You sound pretty pleased with this. I haven’t heard anything but good about this planer.

Have fun with it, but remember to wear hearing protection. I said, wear hearing protection. LOL


-- by Lee A. Jesberger

View DrDirt's profile


4614 posts in 4630 days

#2 posted 08-31-2009 11:49 PM

I know I shouldn’t say ‘only’ four stars but what didn’t you like? That kept it from the top score
I do like mine – I do occasionally still fight snipe even with the outfeed tables set to tip up a nickels thickness which helped.

For a ‘portable’ – I haven’t heard of a better unit.

-- “The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.” Mark Twain

View RexMcKinnon's profile


2593 posts in 4083 days

#3 posted 09-01-2009 12:30 AM

I have this one also. Hard to compare as it is my first and only planer ever owned/used but I think it is a really good unit. I rarely get snipe. If I do it is usually my fault. Long board need support and sometimes I get lazy then I get snipe. One of best setting is no blade alignment. Drop them in and its over. Takes me about 15 minutes to change 3 blades. If there is any complaint; blades seem to be an issue for some. I am on my 3rd set and I have planned a couple hundred board feet. I can’t say if this is good or bad becasue of my lack of comparison. I know Byrd sells a spiral cutter head for this unit with carbide blade but it is around $600. With four sides to each carbide cutter it could last the life of the planner. At $60+ for a set of HSS from dewalt it will not take long to spend the $600 for the spiral head cutter. Now you have to think about the fact that your planner just doubled in price. For that amount could you have just bought a better one? I am still debaiting and every time I order a set of blades I wonder if I should just spend the money on the spiral or never spend it. That is not a complaint but an issue I have make a decision on. I love the machine though.

-- If all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail!

View a1Jim's profile


118143 posts in 4465 days

#4 posted 09-01-2009 12:36 AM

congrats on a new toy.Hope it serves you well. good review.


View nanoman's profile


18 posts in 4151 days

#5 posted 09-01-2009 12:36 AM

I love my Dewalt 735. It has power to spare and it’s 3 blades makes rough board smooth pretty quick. I like the finishing function and find while it does take a good twist to turn on, it really does a good job.

-- Nano Nano - Live long and prosper

View Julian's profile


884 posts in 4413 days

#6 posted 09-01-2009 01:06 AM

I’ve been abusing my 735 for about 5 years now. It stands up to the task without any problems.

-- Julian, Homewood, IL

View Karson's profile


35227 posts in 5288 days

#7 posted 09-01-2009 01:16 AM

Sharon: Great review. I’m glad that you got a planer that suits your needs.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Appomattox Virginia [email protected]

View Craftsman on the lake's profile

Craftsman on the lake

3530 posts in 4326 days

#8 posted 09-01-2009 01:21 AM

I’ve got the 734. Nothing like having a good planer. My space is a little limited and it was one of those tools I put on a wheeled cart that is slid in between other power tools for occasional use. I find that it’s sitting out in the middle of the floor more often and that I’m accessing it all the time. Not only for flatting wood for use but things like making some nice svelt thin sides for drawers or getting wood down to 1/2” for some other use. With it you’re not stuck at 3/4” all the time.

Good purchase.

-- The smell of wood, coffee in the cup, the wife let's me do my thing, the lake is peaceful.

View lew's profile


13198 posts in 4643 days

#9 posted 09-01-2009 02:16 AM

Great review, Sharon.

I just got the same planer a couple of weeks ago. Had to replace my old Bridgewood Lunchbox planer. The only thing I don’t care for is the same thing you mentioned. After a couple of passes thru the planer, the boards started sticking. More wax fixed the problem but I can see that if you are in the middle of a “run” all the same thickness and have to stop, wind up the elevation, apply wax and then try and rest to thickness to exactly where your were- it’s going to be a real pain in the A**.


-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

View Ryan Brown's profile

Ryan Brown

72 posts in 4078 days

#10 posted 09-01-2009 02:28 AM

I love my DW735!

Instead of wax on the surface I use a spray lubricant with teflon and I feel that it lasts a LOT longer than wax. As for “shifting gears” always make sure that the planer is on and not under any load. I tell ya, mine shifts between speeds as smooth as butter. It’s about 2 years old now and probably has 1000 bf or so through it.

-- If you can't fix it with a hammer, you have an electrical problem. Roanoke, VA

View Routerisstillmyname's profile


763 posts in 4397 days

#11 posted 09-01-2009 02:38 AM

Didn’t think 735 came with infeed/outfeed table?

-- Router è ancora il mio nome.

View PurpLev's profile


8598 posts in 4536 days

#12 posted 09-01-2009 02:55 AM

I actually read some mixed review on older versions of this planer, some mentioned that the sprockets for the knives were faulty at some point – I decided to take the plunge and take a chance, and luckily, this one wasn’t one of the faulty ones. it works really really well, a true time and labor saver.


Dave personally I don’t care much for the 5 Star rating system, I think that a 10 star system is a bit more forgiving. this is definitely a 9+ machine in that resolution, but not a perfect 10. I did give some 5’s on previous reviews- but I find that in order for me to rate something as ‘perfect’ (for me) it really has to WOW me = overperform it’s price. in this case, this is a high priced item, and as such performs according to the expectations – but not beyond. which is why I rated it a 4 – aka really really good machine, but not perfect – lacked the ‘WOW’ factor for me.

RyanBrown – I’m curious – which spray are you using? as for the gears, I did change it while motor was running but NOT under load – I got this one used, so maybe it has seen it’s share of switching in the past – just thought I’d raise it up, but personally since I don’t use it that much it’s of no big difference.

Routerisstillmyname – it doesn’t ‘COME’ with infeed/outfeed, if you’ll read the review- I mentioned that it’s an Accessory – purchased separately (I bought this used, and the guy sold it with the tables and mobile base)

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View Cato's profile


701 posts in 4200 days

#13 posted 09-01-2009 03:42 AM

Purp- Noice!!! I have been eyeing this planer for some time, and waiting for the year end clearance prices to bring the cost down a bit. I considered a jointer, but think the planer will be first.

Good review and like your choice in tools.

View Bob #2's profile

Bob #2

3810 posts in 4909 days

#14 posted 09-01-2009 03:49 AM

That’s a good one Sharon, You willnot regret going for a bit more technology.


-- A mind, like a home, is furnished by its owner

View Dusty56's profile


11859 posts in 4576 days

#15 posted 09-01-2009 06:20 AM

Congratulations , Sharon : ) I’ve had my eye on this for quite some time and I think that they finally have all of the bugs worked out of it now. I have two DeWalt planers already and they have paid for themselves many times over : )
I think that you did make the right choice by getting the jointer first because if the board isn’t flat to start with , then it won’t come out of the Planer flat in the end. Enjoy your new to you toy !

-- I'm absolutely positive that I couldn't be more uncertain!

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