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Hello Guys,

So I've been looking to get a planer, but i don't know which to get, I think I'm between a Steel City Planner with helical cutters and a Dewalt planner (either DeWalt DW735X Or DW734)
If you guys have any of these three machines please let me know what you think of 'em.

Thanks!!
 

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I have the Dewalt DW735. I have nothing to compare it to, but for its price point it's been awesome for me. Planed >500 bf in the past year without blinking an eye.

The planed surface is surprisingly smooth with the regular straight knives, but I'm considering the upgrade to helical head to reduce noise and improve the surfacing even more.
 

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I've got the discontinued 733. Basically the same as 734. 734 has three cutter head where the 733 has only 2. I've had it for about 15 years and it has been great. I figure if it breaks down on me I will go with the 734 if it is still in production. The 735 is too big and heavy for my space.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
So the only thing I was concerned about was with the regular straight blades on the dewalt units, they hold up pretty well? Do they stay sharp for a good while? And if you had.to sharpin them how bad would it be, or would it just be worth buying the new blades which I think are about 50 bucks
 

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I have the 735X and have had absolutely no problems. The two speeds are awesome. It produces a silky smooth finish that requires very little sanding.
As to replacement blades, after a year of use, I still have not needed the ones bought with the planer. Amazon has them for $20 per set of 3.
 

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Have absolutely no experience with anything but the 735 which I chose over the 734 simply due to the perceived appearance of it being a sturdier machine. Have been using it for a few months now without any issues aside from my lack of a DC/commitment to a dedicated cabinet build. Went the quick inexpensive way out fitting it with a 4" dryer hose which I clamp to the Shopvac line while in use. Method works well for me, but is far from a sexy solution to its imense output.
 

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As for the Dewalt 735 blades, they seem to be pretty durable. They are reversible, and I reversed them for the first time last month after about 8 months of use. I have another set that came with the planer package - so that's basically 4 sets of blade edges to use before either sharpening or buying new ones.

Just like all straight blades, the downside is that if you get a knick early in the blade life, you'll get those ridges in the knicked spot every time you plane. Another reason why I'd like the helical cutterhead someday.
 

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I have a General same as the Steel City with the Helical heads, only fault I see so far is they are not carbide like my Laguna jointer. The finish is great and only minimal snipe, I will replace the cutter heads with carbide ones when the time comes. The general cutters are only 2 sided HSS but the carbide ones are 4 sided so will probably outlast the rest of the machine. Would of been real nice to have a 15" planner but lack of 220V power, space and of course $$$$ prevented that! I saw a way of sharpening planner blades very simple actually, take a piece of hardwood cut 2- 45degree grooves facing each other about an inch apart. Place your blades in them and run a 1000 water stone over both blades to flatten edges then hone with a 8000 water stone in same manner. Hard to explain with out seeing it done but even brand new blades can to polished to a sharper edge with this jig. Credit for this Jig goes to Robert at the Inside Passage! I am just lazy and decided to go the Helical head route!
 

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The 733 came with sharpenable blades that I've been using for 15 years. I have three sets, keep some sharp to swap out and then take more in. The 734 and 735 blades aren't supposed to be sharpened, but I've heard you can. The difference is that the steel is much harder and lasts a lot longer. Like Gene said. They last a long time. They are double sided as well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Okay so the blades are pretty good then.
I think I'm going to get the 735, it looks like I can get the planer with two tables and an exra set
of blades for about $580 from home depot.

rad-can you post a pic of the jig your talking about?
i think i understand what your saying i just want to be sure.
 

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I have a 735, the blades seemed like junk to me, they didn't last long and were a PITA to change. So I put a helical cutter with carbide inserts, now it cuts like a dream. I have run all kinds of wood through it, even recycled stuff, several hundred feet and haven't had to rotate any of the inserts yet.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Hey, Thanks endgrain!
I have a 735, the blades seemed like junk to me, they didn t last long and were a PITA to change. So I put a helical cutter with carbide inserts, now it cuts like a dream. I have run all kinds of wood through it, even recycled stuff, several hundred feet and haven t had to rotate any of the inserts yet.

- verdesardog
Were did you get the cutter head and how much was it?
I'm still thinking the 735 is a very nice machine, and maybe in a few years i could upgrade it with the helical cutters if I want.

You might also want to take a look a the Ridgid R4331 if you re ok with three straight blades. I have the previous model and I ve never had a single problem. I ve flipped the blades about a year ago which was about 5 years after I purchased it. The blades are also easy to change and are easy to find in home depot.

http://www.homedepot.com/p/RIDGID-13-in-Thickness-Planer-R4331/100634358

- Mike
I'm concerned with the possibility for snipe, and it almost seems like a lower quality tool. If I were to go that route I think I would just stick with the 734, or maybe get a steel city plannerhttp://www.woodcraft.com/Product/2021202/25653/Steel-City-13-Portable-Planer-with-Helical--Head.aspx with the helical head from woodcraft
 

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Don't buy the Rigid. I killed 2 within 2 weeks. I bought the 735 instead and haven't looked back. I only just flipped the first blades over after about a year and a half of use.
 
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