Need a new planer with a small footprint

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Forum topic by PineSucks posted 07-05-2017 06:27 PM 1074 views 0 times favorited 16 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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283 posts in 1801 days

07-05-2017 06:27 PM

Looking to buy a new planer for my home shop, which is 3/4 of a 1 car garage, so a small footprint is a must. I do a fair amout of work at home, so it will need to run for hours on end.

Is there an American made brand that stands out above the rest?

prefer to look at old American iron first if possible – though they tend to run on the larger side – but will look into new machines if they’re worth it.

16 replies so far

View BenjaminNY's profile


136 posts in 2176 days

#1 posted 07-05-2017 06:33 PM

Woodmaster is made in made in the USA and is reasonable in price. Other than that, only northfield comes to mind for USA made and northfield is extremely expensive.

Most planers in the 12 to 20 inch range are going to take up a similar footprint.

I would look for something with a good mobility kit if space is tight or spend the money on a felder combo machine to get a good sized jointer as well.

View ArtMann's profile


1480 posts in 1590 days

#2 posted 07-05-2017 06:38 PM

It has been many, many years since I saw a small planer advertised that was made in the US. I don’t want to discourage you from buying American but there are zero new choices and not very many old choices that are small enough for your needs. If you have to buy new, your best choice could be the Dewalt 735. It gets a lot of praise. I now have a Jet jointer/planer combo machine but when I had a small planer, it was a Ridgid TP1300 lunchbox planer. It earned its purchase price a hundred times over.

View ArtMann's profile


1480 posts in 1590 days

#3 posted 07-05-2017 06:47 PM

Having read Benjamin’s post, I have to agree that Woodmaster is an option. I hadn’t thought of them. They offer the very useful option of converting over to a molder. Even their smallest one is fairly expensive for what you get but it may be worth it to you.

Felder is not an American company and isn’t made in the US, but I hear they are excellent machines. They are a little large and expensive for 3/4 of a garage bay but may be worth it. I would recommend my Jet JP12-HH machine but with a few caveats.

View bbasiaga's profile


1243 posts in 2769 days

#4 posted 07-05-2017 07:11 PM

Any of the 12 to 13 inch models can be put on a flip top cart and share the same floor space with another tool.


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

View teejk02's profile


504 posts in 1899 days

#5 posted 07-05-2017 07:36 PM

Any of the 12 to 13 inch models can be put on a flip top cart and share the same floor space with another tool.


- bbasiaga

I keep my Delta 13” on top of my rolling tool cabinet. Heavy duty construction and I need the tools anyway.

View HorizontalMike's profile


7873 posts in 3688 days

#6 posted 07-05-2017 08:13 PM

While this is not exactly what you may want, think about how you can combine an assembly table to incorporate a planer. The infeed/outfeed could serve as your work surface when you aren’t using the planer. Just an idea. My “cart” is 24”x24”x96” with locking casters.

-- HorizontalMike -- "Woodpeckers understand..."

View Loren's profile


10477 posts in 4422 days

#7 posted 07-05-2017 08:26 PM

The Belsaw is a good planer but chip collection
is poor. They aren’t too heavy, maybe 250 lbs.

Woodmasters and RBI planers are similar, come
in widths wider than the Belsaw’s 12”. At some
point Powermatic bought the rights to one
of these planers, forget which one, and sold
them badged Powermatic. Belsaws were also
badged Craftsman.

In older planers most anything over 12” is
going to be quite heavy to move. The Delta
12” planers are said to be quite good.

One advantage of the Belsaw style planers is
you can see easily how everything works.
The feedworks is open rather than enclosed
and the makers still supply parts. Belsaw
parts are reasonably priced.

The achilles heel of old planers is a knackered
feedworks. If you’re considering buying
one take a close look at that.

View Jim Finn's profile

Jim Finn

2836 posts in 3696 days

#8 posted 07-05-2017 11:12 PM

I have a shop a bit larger than yours but I once had one about the size of the original poster. I had a Ryobi 12” planer that works well for me but dust collection was lousy. I then bought a DeWalt 735 and it has powerful dust/chip extraction. I would recommend either of those.

-- No PHD just a DD214 Lubbock Texas

View dhazelton's profile


2839 posts in 3070 days

#9 posted 07-05-2017 11:24 PM

Sears alien planer?

View sawdustdad's profile


379 posts in 1659 days

#10 posted 07-05-2017 11:48 PM

My first planer (30 years ago) was a 12 inch woodmaster planer/molder. 5hp. I put it on locking casters to allow me to move it around the shop. While I replaced it’s planing duties with a 20 inch Grizzly about 15 years ago, I still use the Woodmaster for moldings.

The Woodmaster is a beast. It rattles and shakes a little, but it’s all standard hardware, so it’s easy to see how it works. It performed for me flawlessly for years, on thousands of bd ft of hardwoods and softwoods. It would take a 1/4 inch cut if you wanted to.

In some respects, I prefer it over the Grizzly because the rubber feed rollers would allow you to take whisper thin cuts (serrated feed rollers of the Grizzly mark the wood on infeed, forcing you to take at least 1/32 to clean up the marks).

The Woodmaster had a smooth lower table rather than the table with imbedded rollers in the the Grizzly. The rubber feed rollers had no trouble pushing the wood through. The Grizzly’s (and many others) lower table feed rollers can be tricky to set.

And, like I said, if you want to hog some wood off the boards, the Woodmaster will take much heavier cuts than the Grizzly is capable of (due to machine geometry, not horsepower).

The RBI planer is similar from what I understand, though I have no personal experience.

-- Murphy's Carpentry Corollary #3: Half of all boards cut to a specific length will be too short.

View PineSucks's profile


283 posts in 1801 days

#11 posted 07-06-2017 12:25 AM

Good info all around. Plenty of food for thought here.

View Woodchuck2010's profile


745 posts in 1632 days

#12 posted 07-06-2017 02:14 AM

+1 for the Dewalt 735. Dust collection is excellent!

-- Chuck, Michigan,

View jonah's profile


2121 posts in 4072 days

#13 posted 07-06-2017 02:43 AM

That 180 degree bend has to be killing your airflow!

View GR8HUNTER's profile


7561 posts in 1486 days

#14 posted 07-06-2017 02:53 AM

I’m guessing he pulls it out from wall then it would be a nice run …..clean floor Chuck :<))

-- Tony---- Reinholds,Pa.------ REMEMBER TO ALWAYS HAVE FUN

View Woodchuck2010's profile


745 posts in 1632 days

#15 posted 07-06-2017 09:25 PM

That 180 degree bend has to be killing your airflow!

- jonah

It actually worked good. I have ,
however, changed the run. It works great! I’m not sure if you know, but the 735 has a crazy strong blower to help with dust extraction. I’ve forgotten to turn on the collector a couple of times and you’d never know it. The chips get blown right into the collector.

-- Chuck, Michigan,

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