Why 3-1/4 over 4-3/8 planer?

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Forum topic by DMiller posted 06-09-2017 12:58 AM 1118 views 0 times favorited 1 reply Add to Favorites Watch
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537 posts in 1325 days

06-09-2017 12:58 AM

Topic tags/keywords: question planer food-for-thought

I’ve been wondering for some time about why are 3-1/4 inch handheld planers more common than the 4-3/8 inch handheld version? My brother and I’s woodshop has the Makita KP0800K 3-1/4 and Makita 1912B 4-3/8 inch planers, and I often find that whenever I need to plane a board, the board is normally slightly wider than the 3-1/4 in. and slightly less wide than the 4-3/8. Another example, whenever you need to plane a 2×4, the 3-1/4 in. planer is 1/4in. to narrow. The only reason I know is that weight and price might be a factor. Does anyone know why 4-3/8 in. is not the standard blade width over the 3-1/4 inch? Just a question I’ve had for a while; if anyone’s got an answer i’d be glad to here it! Thanks!

-- Dale Miller Modesto, CA "I can do all things through Christ, which strengtheneth me." Philippians 4:13. "Woodworking minus patience equals firewood."

1 reply so far

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10594 posts in 4500 days

#1 posted 06-09-2017 01:15 AM

I think you’ll find those blade lengths are
actually metric sizes. I’ve had the impression
for awhile that metric won out as the standard
for handheld planer blades, perhaps as
Japanese companies like Makita developed
some of the earlier wider-format handheld

I am just guessing. The early American-made
handheld planers I am aware of were like
a hand plane with a router on the side and
were about 2” wide.

Weight is certainly a factor. I have a 6” Ryobi
planer and it is not so easy to push around.

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