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Forum topic by signalwarrant posted 02-15-2016 07:27 PM 1170 views 0 times favorited 15 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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4 posts in 2179 days

02-15-2016 07:27 PM

Greetings All,

I’ve been researching buying a lunchbox style planer and figured I’d solicit some advise from some of you more seasoned woodworkers.

My budget is no more than $400 ish. :) I’m a hobby woodworker, never owned a planer. I currently get lumber planed at the mill for $1 per board foot. I mostly work on small projects, cutting boards, plaques an occasional table here and there.

Looking at what’s available at the big box stores and on Amazon, I’m thinking the Porter Cable PC305TP, Rigid R4331, Dewalt 734, Delta 22-555. I’ve seen some reports of over heating with the Rigid though.

To be honest, I have no idea what I’m looking for, my only point of reference is reading the user reviews.

Any advise/experiences would be greatly appreciated.

-- Planer: DW734

15 replies so far

View dschlic1's profile


492 posts in 2892 days

#1 posted 02-15-2016 08:53 PM

DeWalt 735 is top of the line in my opinion.

View jacquesr's profile


347 posts in 2345 days

#2 posted 02-15-2016 09:23 PM


View TheFridge's profile


10861 posts in 2408 days

#3 posted 02-15-2016 09:41 PM


-- Shooting down the walls of heartache. Bang bang. I am. The warrior.

View bbasiaga's profile


1243 posts in 2917 days

#4 posted 02-15-2016 09:43 PM

Another vote for the Dewalt 735. If you look around, you can find it for sometimes not a lot more than the 734.


-- Part of engineering is to know when to put your calculator down and pick up your tools.

View MadMark's profile


979 posts in 2375 days

#5 posted 02-15-2016 10:18 PM

I have the griz G0505:

$375 delivered

Don’t forget to wax the feed trays & bed!

I also added a Wixey readout:

It is a LOT easier to read than the factory scale and there is no parallax error.

No matter which planer you choose, put a DRO on it.

Get the exhaust hood to 4” adaper, you’ll need it.

No, a shop vac (2-1/2”) will not keep up.


-- Madmark - [email protected]

View TheWoodRaccoon's profile


364 posts in 1852 days

#6 posted 02-15-2016 10:28 PM

I have the Delta 22-555. It’s a decent machine, I got it from UNIKOIN on eBay for $289 after a 20% off promotion last year. Blade changes are super quick and easy.
The cutterhead and crank move very smoothly. However, if I were to buy another planer, I would go for the newer Ridgid or Dewalt 734., because they have 3 knives instead of 2, and they have column locks.

-- still trying to think of a clever signature......

View Bill White's profile

Bill White

5312 posts in 4882 days

#7 posted 02-15-2016 10:54 PM

The Cutech has the segmented head and the cutters are easily changed.
I have the benchtop jointer for use with smaller projects. It is quite good for the money.
Check it out.

-- [email protected]

View Lee's profile


150 posts in 1800 days

#8 posted 02-15-2016 11:38 PM

I have the Dewalt 734 and its been a real work horse with no mechanical problems, my extended outfeed table (48”) is sloped up slightly and there is very little to no snip. The only thing I’ve found is when the shop is cold the feed rollers will occasionally slip on the board, probably due to the rubber getting hard, but if a slight pressure is applied helping the board through it does a great job.

-- Colombia Custom Woodworking

View endgrainy's profile


251 posts in 2810 days

#9 posted 02-16-2016 01:26 AM

Check out recent thread comparing DW735 and DW734:

-- Follow me on Instagram @endgrainy

View signalwarrant's profile


4 posts in 2179 days

#10 posted 02-16-2016 02:00 AM

Thanks for all the advise. Maybe i’ll go with the 734 unless i can scrape together a few more pennies for a 735.

-- Planer: DW734

View HokieKen's profile (online now)


15356 posts in 2061 days

#11 posted 02-16-2016 04:16 PM

I have the Delta 22-555 and love it. It’s the only one I’ve owned though so I can’t compare to any of the others.

-- Kenny, SW VA, Go Hokies!!!

View RossCapolupo's profile


10 posts in 1795 days

#12 posted 02-16-2016 08:28 PM

I bought the Dewalt 734 last summer, and it is a great tool… I wanted to get the 735 simply because it seemed like a step up, but decided to get the more affordable model. I am very happy with it. I am a hobbyist, and have ran a fair amount of ash and oak through it, and it does well. Recently, it was bogging down even running small boards. After all that hard wood, I assumed the blades were dull. Started poking around online, and found out the factory blades are double-edged so you can rotate them… Literally 10 minutes later, my blades were rotated and it was running like new again. Well designed and simple to use. Having said that, don’t expect more than is reasonable. If you want to run a 10 or 12 inch hardwood board through it, don’t expect to take more than 1/32 to 1/64 off per pass.

View abohnhoff's profile


5 posts in 1806 days

#13 posted 02-16-2016 09:58 PM

If your budget is $400, the Dewalt 734 is your answer. Other than waxing the feed tables every few weeks it is a very low maintenance unit. 735 usually runs around $650 from what I have seen. If you are a hobbyist looking for a good planer on a budget – the 734 is your ticket.

View signalwarrant's profile


4 posts in 2179 days

#14 posted 02-16-2016 10:35 PM

Took the plunge and picked up the DW734 today. Guess i’ll spend the weekend figuring out how to use it.

Looking at the PC and the Dewalt side by side in Lowes and there seems to be no comparison between the 2, the 734 is obviously better built.

Thanks to the community for your thoughts.

-- Planer: DW734

View Holbs's profile


2373 posts in 2951 days

#15 posted 02-17-2016 01:41 AM

I have had a Rigid 4331 for over 2 years. Has worked flawlessly. No complaints. But begs to question… with all the lunchbox planers out there, ARE there any bad ones to avoid? Simple machines, as are jointers. Cutterhead, knives, beds, on switch.
I can not speak of the components inside of this Rigid as nothing has gone wrong to replace or investigate something.

-- The Carpenter Bee is derived from the Ancient Greek word wood-cutter "xylokopos/ξυλοκὀπος"

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