20" planer

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Forum topic by Wood60 posted 06-18-2018 05:25 AM 1050 views 0 times favorited 4 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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1 post in 754 days

06-18-2018 05:25 AM

Topic tags/keywords: planer

We’re shopping for a new 20” helical cutterhead planer. I’ve done some research and this is what I’ve come up with.
I liked the Laguna because it had the digital readout and the 6 row ShearTec 2 Cutter head with 138 cutters. I did read some poor reviews on Laguna CS. Also, I was hoping to get one shipped within a few weeks and they are into September on shipping this planer. The price on this planer was $4000 + $75 shipping.
There is a Jet with 92 cutters for less money ($3450 and free shipping) and one thing it mentions is 3 sets of steel infeed and outfeed rollers “to help prevent annoying snipe.” Does anyone have experience with this machine?
We’ve also looked at the Shopfox W1754S and with 20% off right now can acquire for $2524 but not sure what the shipping will be. It shows 98 cutter heads and just says they are German spiral carbides. Are those not as good as the helical ones?
The Steelex ST1014 has 100 insert cutter heads and with 10% off can get this for $2655 but probably would have to pay some shipping on this one also. It only has 4800 RPM compared to some of the others with 5000 RPM. Would that really make any difference?
We’ve looked at two of the Grizzly planers. The G1033X for $3395 plus $199 freight is the bigger of the two and one thing we don’t like is that it is not mobile. It shows 96 cutters and also says “the motor and cutterhead have ball bearings which are shielded & lubricated for life.” Is this a big deal?
The other Grizzly planer is the G0454Z for $2395 + Freight of $199. The speed on it is 4800 RPM and has 98 cutters. The feed rollers are rubber coated. Is that better? I think this one is on wheels which we like.
And the last one we reviewed is the Powermatic 209HH. It has the Byrd Shelix cutterhead with 100 cutters. It also has four speeds but we didn’t think much of that. The price is $4380 plus free shipping. I think maybe we can get a 5% discount at one of the sites.
So please feel free to comment and if you think of other things to consider, we’d appreciate comments.

4 replies so far

View Hazem's profile


254 posts in 2024 days

#1 posted 06-18-2018 04:47 PM

I can’t comment on the planers per se, but I have several Grizzly tools and I am very pleased with them. Plus they are a great value. Internet generally feels the same way about Grizzly.

Also, check craigslist (including nearby cities). You’ll be amazed at what you can find.

View CaptainKlutz's profile


3179 posts in 2270 days

#2 posted 06-18-2018 11:50 PM

I was looking to make same purchase earlier this year, until I found a local CL deal that delayed my purchase.
Can share what I learned?

Grizzly/ShopFox/Steelex are all basically same. Appears Steelex is using a Byrd head, while rest are using Grizzly design. Spare parts even ship from same warehouse. Tons of posts on the topic; such as

The Jet has many similar parts in design, and it appears to be coming from same mfg that Grizzly conglomerate uses.

IMHO – If you decide to buy one of these, buy which ever is cheapest, fastest delivery, and has given you best customer service in past.

There has been some WWW speculation that Laguna is using same high end Chinese machine tool manufacturer that Powermatic uses for planers/lathes (sorry, can not find Chinese web site to show images side by side). These are not ‘identical’ clones like Grizzly/ShopFox/Steelex/Jet, but base machine will be similar class of machine with different sheet metal/castings to create unique appearance. Where there are performance differences, these are due OEM design changes.

PS – Long delivery?
There have been many posts on LJ and elsewhere about shortages of WW equipment this year. Most common reason found is tightened clean air restrictions in China on cast iron mfg, that shutdown a couple of mfg and created a shortage of cast iron in 2017. Problems are supposedly fixed now with production ramping back up, but most USA OEM are reporting long delivery times on new machines. Hence, If you want machine before September/October, your may need to buy one that you can find in stock. :(
Some have posted finding machines in stock at local tool distributor/reseller, despite OEM saying 3-9 month shipments are earliest. Pays to make some phone calls and check local distributor stock if you want it fast.

Best Luck.

-- If it wasn't for bad luck, I wouldn't have no luck at all, - Albert King - Born Under a Bad Sign released 1967

View JBrow's profile


1368 posts in 1695 days

#3 posted 06-19-2018 03:44 AM


I have no experience with any of the planers you mentioned. Mine is a Woodmaster 12” planer recently upgraded with the Woodmaster helical cutter head. It has performed reliably since the mid-1990s. I have found the Woodmaster drum sanders are also very well-built machines. I am a hobbyist.

Woodmaster offers an 18” and a 25” planer (both available with a helical cutter head), and based on my experience, may be worth a look. I noticed that Woodmaster is now offering free shipping until June 25, 2018. Woodmaster is a USA made product, if that matters.

View Robert's profile


3748 posts in 2256 days

#4 posted 06-19-2018 01:45 PM

I would buy one based on the quality of the head, not the brand.

BTW why are you worried about mobility? My 20” Grizzly weighs in at 785#!!

-- Everything is a prototype thats why its one of a kind!!

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