Shelix spiral cutter heads.

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Forum topic by pontic posted 11-28-2017 11:18 PM 1073 views 0 times favorited 11 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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797 posts in 1385 days

11-28-2017 11:18 PM

I hear a lot of good things about these cutter heads. I’ve seen just about every instructional video on how to install one on a Dewalt 735 cutter planer.
One person; who got the model that just slips thru the bearing races without removing the carbide cutters first, reported that his rollers were straining a little more than normal. Other than the cutting gage being off 1/16”; is this extra roller pressure posing a problem for anyone that has done this upgrade?
I see that the Shelix is quieter, smoother and draws less amps than a similar model with the standard cutter.

1) How do you re set the depth gage or do you just add or subtract 1/16” ?

2) Can you reset a digital gage if you already have one?

3) how much extra pressure do you have to put on the feed rollers to engage the shelix cutterhead.

-- Illigitimii non carburundum sum

11 replies so far

View runswithscissors's profile


3099 posts in 2801 days

#1 posted 11-28-2017 11:58 PM

Not speaking from experience here (I have a different planer), but some reports say the helical head actually increases the amp draw. If so, I would surmise that it’s because there are cutters in contact with the material continuously, as opposed to intermittent contact as with normal knives. Maybe somebody can clarify this?

That being said, I am convinced the helical head (especially with carbide cutters) are well worth the investment.

-- I admit to being an adrenaline junky; fortunately, I'm very easily frightened

View Bob5103's profile


159 posts in 1610 days

#2 posted 11-29-2017 12:23 AM

I installed the Shelix about a year ago. I am extremely happy with it. I haven’t tested the amp draw but I suspect it is higher, the planer will trip a 20 amp circuit if I have anything else running when I start it up and that didn’t happen before the install. I already had the Wixey gauge installed when I did the upgrade, it was easy to reset to zero. I don’t know anything about added pressure on the rollers, I clean the rollers regularly and never have a problem. As far as the planer being quieter, that is true, kind of, it is quieter but still requires hearing protection.
I was so pleased with the cut quality in the planer, that when I bought a new jointer last month, I bought a Shelix head and put it in as I was setting it up. I highly recommend a Shelix in your jointer too!

View TheFridge's profile


10859 posts in 2262 days

#3 posted 11-29-2017 01:17 AM

I have one in a 735 and in my jointer. I have the slip through. Would rather the other if I did it again.

Yeah there’s more pressure to feed it in. It can be annoying sometimes during the first run through and it gets stopped because you don’t have that little bit extra capacity.

I ran a couple hundred board ft of dirty barnwood (went through a flood and had dirt and grit settle on it) through it and it I only had to turn cutters because of nails.

I’d suggest a 1/4” inlb torque wrench as well. Makes it stupid proof as long as you clean the cutter seat.

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

View Aj2's profile


3088 posts in 2574 days

#4 posted 11-29-2017 03:05 AM

I had a jointer with a HH head and didn’t like the extra feed pressure both down and on the end pushing. I believe this is because of the face bevel on the inserts. If they didn’t put them on a angle with a slight radius edge it would be a heavy scraping cut.

-- Aj

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

6245 posts in 3270 days

#5 posted 11-29-2017 11:51 AM

The digital gauges (at least mine) are calibrated to the thickness of the board after it’s planed…so they are easy to set. Everything I’ve read said the amp draw increases, I wish I had done a before/after when I put mine in (not a 735).

-- Our village hasn't lost it's idiot, he was elected to congress.

View johnstoneb's profile


3145 posts in 2949 days

#6 posted 11-29-2017 12:41 PM

I installed the shelix a couple of years ago on my 735. I had to adjust a couple of the bits. It wasn’t covering everything there is not any overlap between bits(or very little). I never noticed anything with increased pressure from the feed rolls still need to keep them clean. It is quieter but still need hearing protection. There is an increase in amp draw because there is always contact between cutters and the wood. Because I plane some thin wood I did miss the ability to go down to 1/8” but compensated by using a thick piece as a shim and double face taping to it to get to my thickness. I have a drum sander now and that is much better and safer than the planer at those thicknesses.
Don’t have the wixey use calipers instead.

-- Bruce, Boise, ID

View jmos's profile


917 posts in 3146 days

#7 posted 11-29-2017 01:06 PM

I upgraded my 735 to a Byrd head (the type that went in with the cutters installed, the only option at the time) a couple of years ago. I haven’t noticed any issues with the feed roller pressure; it may be higher, but enough that I noticed it. I agree, the noise is less, but not tremendously, and since my dust collector is louder anyway, not an important difference. I’m pretty sure you can adjust the stock thickness scale by just loosening two screws; I only use the scale as a rough guide anyway.

The surface quality is great, and the cutter life is amazing (haven’t rotated the cutters yet.) I don’t consider it a finish-ready surface, so I’m always handplaning or sanding anyway.

I did recently have to replace the main drive belt; don’t know if the cutter head had anything to do with it wearing out faster, or if would have failed anyway. If your 735 is more than a couple of years old, I’d recommend having a new one on hand.

-- John

View pontic's profile


797 posts in 1385 days

#8 posted 11-29-2017 08:26 PM

Thanks I meant draws more amps. Sorry. More cutterhead in contact. Does it do well with wild grain? How about snipe?
Anyone have the Jet model? What do you think of it?

I do have a jet 8” jointer with a helical cutter head on it. It is hands down better than my old one.

I’m looking at the Jet 15” planer w/Helical Head. Going to use the 735 for finish planning.

-- Illigitimii non carburundum sum

View greatview's profile


135 posts in 3934 days

#9 posted 11-29-2017 09:26 PM

You might look up my comments under the “review” section. I explain that I eventually had to replace the Shelix to get it operating properly.

-- Tom, New London, NH

View greenacres2's profile


354 posts in 2944 days

#10 posted 11-30-2017 03:53 AM

The depth stop on the DW735 is just a threaded stud with a lock nut if I recall correctly. I looked at it, loosened the nut, turned it down (since the Byrd is a smaller diameter) about one rotation if I recall correctly and got it close. I use a set of calipers anyway, though someday i’ll spring for a Wixey.

Been about 2 1/2 years and have probably saved half the cost of the head in not replacing knives—and i’m a light duty hobby woodworker (who loves figured wood!!) Factor in the reduced tear-out in curly maple and burls, and i’d bet i’m up on the deal—though that is not really something I can measure.

View TheFridge's profile


10859 posts in 2262 days

#11 posted 11-30-2017 05:10 AM

Works like a champ on wild grain.

Don’t know about amperage. Haven’t had any problems with tripping.

Snipe is the same as before. Sometimes some. Sometimes none.

Love it and the one in my jointer as well. I think a jointer definitely benefits more because once the outfeed is set it’s so easy to get it dialed in after turning knives.

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

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