Choosing a thickness planer

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Forum topic by Jr604 posted 11-27-2017 05:30 PM 3479 views 0 times favorited 34 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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5 posts in 1232 days

11-27-2017 05:30 PM

Topic tags/keywords: planer new woodworking buying purchase new thickness planer

Hi All,

I’ve come to the point in outfitting my workshop where I need to purchase a portable thickness planer. Ive been doing some research and narrowed it down to two planers I’m considering buying. I thought I’d get some input from seasoned vets before I make the purchase.

Im looking at buying the Dewalt dw735 13 in planer or the ridgid r4331 13 inch planer.

For those of you who have these what are the pros and cons of these??

Im also open to other recommendations on planers. My budget is around 500-600 and it will be for hobby woodworking.

Regards Jeff

34 replies so far

View AlaskaGuy's profile


6476 posts in 3360 days

#1 posted 11-27-2017 05:39 PM

DeWalt hands down IMHO

-- Alaskan's for Global warming!

View HorizontalMike's profile


7915 posts in 3965 days

#2 posted 11-27-2017 06:02 PM

I have had my Ridgid planer for several years. It is the “older” version R4300. I like it and it works for my light duty hobby WW-ing. I have planed 12inX 89inX3in planks with it, though I had help it along. The older version has all four corner rods threaded and turning for adjustment, the newer has two.
That said, IMO, either one will do.

Notice that RIDGID has changed their set adjustment to match that of the DeWalt, so it is a toss-up on which is better at this point. Bought mine at the local HD, when RIDGID has a service center “close” if I needed it. Now its 3hr one-way, so the cost of time&gas offsets any “lifetime Service Agreement” benefits.
Good luck choosing…

OLDER (I have this one):

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

View JRsgarage's profile


389 posts in 1561 days

#3 posted 11-27-2017 06:28 PM

i just picked up a makita 2012nb because i needed a portable unit. it’s pretty light and quiet compared to my last benchtop unit. i ran few boards through it and finish was very nice although there was some visual snipe

-- “Facts don't care about your feelings.” ..., Ben Shapiro

View jdh122's profile


1232 posts in 3869 days

#4 posted 11-27-2017 06:47 PM

I bet the Dewalt is a better machine, based on its popularity. It also has 2 speeds rather than 1. But it costs almost $200 more, so it’s not an apples-to-apples comparison. I have the Ridgid and like it a lot. It reliably does what it’s supposed to, long as you don’t take off too much at a time. Then again, I suspect that’s true of most other similar planers.

-- Jeremy, in the Acadian forests

View Manitario's profile


2818 posts in 3934 days

#5 posted 11-27-2017 07:11 PM

Dewalt. Had it for several years and it was a reliable, well built machine. Eventually upgraded to a 20” planer, otherwise would still be using it.

-- Sometimes the creative process requires foul language. -- Charles Neil

View ScottM's profile


756 posts in 3198 days

#6 posted 11-27-2017 07:21 PM

I have the 4331 and it does fine by me. I chose it over the Dewalt based just on price but many people here rave about the Dewalt I think you’d do fine with either one, but you’ll have to decide on your price point.

View jmartel's profile


9168 posts in 3201 days

#7 posted 11-27-2017 08:01 PM

Don’t buy the r4331. I killed 2 within 2 weeks of each other. One only lasted an hour before the internals started eating itself. I bought the Dewalt 435 after and haven’t had any issues since.

-- The quality of one's woodworking is directly related to the amount of flannel worn.

View Jr604's profile


5 posts in 1232 days

#8 posted 11-27-2017 08:34 PM

For those that have the Dewalt planer. Have you noticed any issues with the knife quality. I’ve read reviews of the knives getting chips or going dull quickly.

Slightly leaning towards the Dewalt. It’s on sale right and only $100 more then the ridgid. Also the Dewalt service center is 5 min drive from my house…

View TheFridge's profile


10863 posts in 2537 days

#9 posted 11-27-2017 08:49 PM

The dewalt knives are ok. I got mine to last awhile until i changed over to a helical head.

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

View pintodeluxe's profile


6344 posts in 3864 days

#10 posted 11-27-2017 09:26 PM

Yes, the Dewalt knives dull rather quickly. They can chip on knots or with prolonged use.

I upgraded to the Shelix head which solved all my issues.

I still vote for the Dewalt. Even once I upgrade to a 20” stationary planer, I will keep the 735 for finish planing. I hardly consider it a portable planer, even though technically it is.

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

View Andre's profile (online now)


4444 posts in 2857 days

#11 posted 11-28-2017 12:14 AM

Magnum Industrial 13” Helical Head Planer on sale at KMS tools right now for $600 CAN.
Believe they were General before, I had the general version a few years ago plenty for hobby use,
anyways Helical head is IMO the only way to go and they are now carbide!

-- Lifting one end of the plank.

View ChuckM's profile


665 posts in 4718 days

#12 posted 11-28-2017 12:34 AM

I have the Ridgid (new model) and have also used the two models of Dewalt thickness planers. Their main difference is in the price, if you asked me.

Life-time warranty for Ridgid but I have the unit for just a year, too young to benefit from any warranty.

I plane boards as a lot at a time (80 to 120 board feet) and so far the knives are holding up well. As someone has pointed out, take light cuts and take your time, if you want great surface results. Set and tuned right, it is almost zero snipes.

-- The time I enjoy wasting is not time wasted

View msinc's profile


567 posts in 1555 days

#13 posted 11-28-2017 01:00 AM

For those that have the Dewalt planer. Have you noticed any issues with the knife quality. I ve read reviews of the knives getting chips or going dull quickly.

Slightly leaning towards the Dewalt. It s on sale right and only $100 more then the ridgid. Also the Dewalt service center is 5 min drive from my house…

- Jr604

I have a 735 and I believe the knives have gone dull on it sooner than they maybe should have. One thing about it, they are cheap enough to replace and can be found everywhere that sells DeWalt stuff. I bought my extra sets at Lowe’s. It could be that for it’s size it is a little under powered, so slightly dull knives might seem like they are worse than those on a more powerful planer.
In all fairness, some wood in some areas has impurities that can dull blades quicker than some other woods. Might be the case here, although I previously owned a Grizzly and had zero issues with those knives. This planer does do a very good job of getting the wood very smooth with little sanding required.
I have wheels on mine and take it outside to make the mess there when I have boards to plane. Maybe it was the cold, but the last time I used it it didn’t want to feed properly and kept stopping. The original set of knives, which are still in it, but dull do have some very small chips and leave tiny little lines in the planed boards. I have had this planer for almost a year. Haven’t really planed that much wood with it, but it has all been very hard, dry black cherry.
They make carbide knives for it, I think my next set will be those. They are not terribly expensive as carbide tooling goes.

View laketrout36's profile


201 posts in 3078 days

#14 posted 11-28-2017 01:18 AM

I have the Dewalt 735x. I Bought it around this time a couple of years ago and it included the free stand. I’ve run over 200’ of 8/4 hard maple through it to be used for my workbench. The Dewalt had no problem with cutting quality or ability. My only criticism of the product is the foot activated tilt lever for the wheel that allows you to move the planer base around. There must be a better design such as legs that would support swivel casters. The machine itself has worked great without any issues. I’ve feed plenty of other wood through it for various projects and it’s performed great.

As a side note; I connected a dust collection flexible hose with a plumbing clamp to the exit port on the machine. The other end of the hose I connected into a lawn leaf collection bag that belongs to my Toro blower. When the bag fills up I empty it and continue. Very little mess and very effective.

Good luck. I didn’t hesitate and bought the 735 and have been happy with it.

View JohnDi's profile


87 posts in 2485 days

#15 posted 11-28-2017 11:10 AM

I upgraded to the 735 from a Delta 12” bench top and I found the difference significant.
The finishing speed on the 735 has produced glass like surfaces.
I put a new set of the DeWalt knives on it as soon as I bought it (used) and after about 2 years of use am still on the second side of that set.
If this is your last planer, I vote for the 735 and a set of carbide knives from Affinity.

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