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Forum topic by RichCMD posted 05-30-2018 12:49 AM 3454 views 0 times favorited 30 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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RichCMD

426 posts in 2364 days


05-30-2018 12:49 AM

Topic tags/keywords: planer

I am looking to buy a bench top planer in the near future. I do not expect to use it too heavily, I have a rather small workshop, and a limited budget, so a bench top seems the best option for me. I have been looking at several that are within my budget. I would like to hear thoughts and recommendations from anyone who owns one of the following bench top planers:

  • PORTER-CABLE PC305TP (12 inch)
  • WEN 6550 (12 ½ inch)
  • WEN 6552 (13 inch)
  • DEWALT DW734 (12 ½ Inch)
  • Triton TPT125 (12 ½ inch)

I expect my usage mostly will involve dimensioning rough cut lumber for smaller projects, thicknessing boards used to make segmented turning rings, and perhaps flattening an occasional cutting board.

-- Ride the bevel!


30 replies so far

View Loren's profile

Loren

10477 posts in 4070 days


#1 posted 05-30-2018 12:58 AM

The long extension tables on the DeWalt are
a nice feature that will help reduce sniping.
I’ve seen complaints about knife longevity.
I had a 733 before they brought out the
current insert knives. It had solid knives that
were a bit of a job to change but held up well.

View Rich's profile

Rich

4583 posts in 1012 days


#2 posted 05-30-2018 01:09 AM

Don’t discount the DW 735 just because of price. eBay has been running deals lately that make it very price competitive with the 734. I got mine for $440, no tax and free shipping. It was the X model with included in feed and out feed tables and a spare set of reversible blades which sells for $660 retail. Some on here even nailed $425 deals. Keep an eye on Rick M’s HOT DEALS Thread.

I upgraded my 733 with the 735. The 733 served me well for over 20 years, but the 735 blows it out of the water. I love the dual feed speed. The finishing setting for the last pass or two has completely eliminated tear out even on highly figured wood that gave the 733 fits.

-- Knowledge is not skill. Knowledge plus ten thousand times is skill. -- Shinichi Suzuki

View BroncoBrian's profile

BroncoBrian

875 posts in 2381 days


#3 posted 05-30-2018 01:16 AM

Definitely the DW735. Buy it once.

I wish I hadn’t because I would have upgraded to a much more serious planer as my shop grew. Now the 735 is the least expensive tool of the majors, and I cannot justify the upgrade without spending 5X.

-- A severed foot is the ultimate stocking stuffer.

View Mrowell's profile

Mrowell

275 posts in 1562 days


#4 posted 05-30-2018 02:43 AM

I would agree if you can get the 735 you will be much happier. I have the 733 and although it works well it does struggle with grain tear out. I’m in the process of saving up to upgrade mine when I get a chance

-- Matt R

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mel52

869 posts in 687 days


#5 posted 05-30-2018 03:42 AM

On the knife longevity on the Dewalt 734/735, the older sets were a softer steel. The newer style is a more high speed, much longer lasting steel. The only way you can tell the difference in the pkg., is that the new style has a very little and faint looking triangle in the middle of them with a letter in it. When I was in HD to get a set, I checked for this and some had it and some didn’t. They had put the older ones to the front. This info was given to me from the Dewalt rep at a store that was redoing a display when on vacation in Colorado.

-- MEL, Kansas

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Rich

4583 posts in 1012 days


#6 posted 05-30-2018 04:10 AM


On the knife longevity on the Dewalt 734/735, the older sets were a softer steel. The newer style is a more high speed, much longer lasting steel. The only way you can tell the difference in the pkg., is that the new style has a very little and faint looking triangle in the middle of them with a letter in it. When I was in HD to get a set, I checked for this and some had it and some didn t. They had put the older ones to the front. This info was given to me from the Dewalt rep at a store that was redoing a display when on vacation in Colorado.

- mel52

Great tip. I’m going to look for that.

-- Knowledge is not skill. Knowledge plus ten thousand times is skill. -- Shinichi Suzuki

View Walker's profile

Walker

159 posts in 895 days


#7 posted 05-30-2018 04:43 AM

+1 for Dewalt.

I have the DW734, although it’s my first planer and I have nothing to compare it to. I built a stand for it (2×4’s and 1/2” ply). I made the height just right to outfeed on to my table saw, with the blade down of course. It’s done everything I ask of it. Perfectly smooth finish, with almost no need to sand afterwords. The extension tables do reduce snipe, I’ve set them once and have not had to readjust them ever. My only complaint is the dust/chip collection could be better. It makes quite a mess even with the dust hood attached.

Take off just a little bit at a time and make lots of passes. To reduce the time and strain on the machine, I usually start with a No. 6 Hand plane to get the work piece most of the way there before going through the planer.

Surprised nobody’s mentioned yet putting cutting boards (assuming they’re end grain) in a planer is a risky decision at best.

-- ~Walker

View knotscott's profile

knotscott

8298 posts in 3798 days


#8 posted 05-30-2018 11:56 AM

From your list I’d go with the DW734….it’s a well proven workhorse, has a dust chute, and a cutterhead lock to reduce snipe. I’d dismiss any on your list that don’t have some sort of snipe control and a dust chute. To me, “Wen” = “who?” Triton has been around, but their planers haven’t AFAIK. The PC has an optional dust chute for extra money….not sure about snipe control.

The DW735 is a step up from the 734, but cost more. It has a built in chip blower, so could be worth some extra money if you don’t already have dust collection.

I wouldn’t dismiss the Ridgid R4331 without some consideration either. It’s a decent planer that meets my requirements, and is a nice improvement from what I felt was a flawed R4330.

-- Happiness is like wetting your pants...everyone can see it, but only you can feel the warmth....

View RichCMD's profile

RichCMD

426 posts in 2364 days


#9 posted 05-30-2018 12:10 PM

Surprised nobody s mentioned yet putting cutting boards (assuming they re end grain) in a planer is a risky decision at best.

- Walker

I haven’t made any cutting boards yet, but I plan to. From your comment it sounds like a drum sander is a better tool for flattening end grain cutting boards. Is that correct?

-- Ride the bevel!

View Blindhog's profile

Blindhog

126 posts in 1471 days


#10 posted 05-30-2018 12:23 PM

Another happy DW735 owner! Great little workhorse that has been very reliable over the 3+ years I’ve owned it. Recently upgraded with Shelix head and now runs highly figured hardwoods with no problem. The price difference is definitely worth it; you won’t regret it.

-- Don't let perfection get in the way of plenty good enough

View ppg677's profile

ppg677

216 posts in 1278 days


#11 posted 05-30-2018 12:38 PM

Dw734 works very well for me. It works so well that I have no idea what I’m missing from a more expensive planer.

I did have to send it away for repair after 1 year due to a faulty thermal breaker that kept tripping. DeWalt fixed it for free, though I had to pay a pretty penny to ship it there.

View msinc's profile

msinc

567 posts in 926 days


#12 posted 05-30-2018 02:43 PM

Surprised nobody s mentioned yet putting cutting boards (assuming they re end grain) in a planer is a risky decision at best.

- Walker

I haven’t made any cutting boards yet, but I plan to. From your comment it sounds like a drum sander is a better tool for flattening end grain cutting boards. Is that correct?

- RichCMD

That is correct. End grain needs to be either drum or belt sanded. I tried it with my 735 and no, it don’t work out too well. I don’t know if a Shelix head would enable you to run end grain or not….maybe.
Brother-in-law has the 734 and finish product wise I cant tell any difference.

View Walker's profile

Walker

159 posts in 895 days


#13 posted 05-30-2018 04:12 PM

Running end grain through a planer is dangerous. It can shatter, throwing pieces all over your workshop and damaging the machine. There are usually a few contrary voices who say “if you take very very very light cuts and go slow it will be fine”. But it says not to do it in the owners manual, and enough Lumberjocks have posted about ruining their planers that I’ve never tried it.

-- ~Walker

View Rich's profile

Rich

4583 posts in 1012 days


#14 posted 05-30-2018 04:20 PM

I had some mesquite rounds (endgrain) that I had flattened with my router sled and decided to try running them through my DW735. It did a flawless job, however it dulled the blades completely in no time flat. A round is a different thing than an end grain glue up like a cutting board however. Anyway, I won’t be passing either through the planer in the future, at least not until I upgrade to the Shelix head.

-- Knowledge is not skill. Knowledge plus ten thousand times is skill. -- Shinichi Suzuki

View dday's profile

dday

172 posts in 1852 days


#15 posted 05-30-2018 04:25 PM

I have a Ryobi AP1300 13 inch planer that I’ve used the snot out of and really like.
There newest model, the AP1301 should be about the same price as the ones you list ,
or maybe cheaper. Check it out

showing 1 through 15 of 30 replies

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