Buying a "portable" planer

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Forum topic by DanM posted 04-02-2008 12:58 AM 11761 views 0 times favorited 23 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View DanM's profile


90 posts in 4271 days

04-02-2008 12:58 AM

I’m just setting up my shop & am about to add a planer. Am leaning toward the Makita 2012NB, which is on sale at for a very good price. My only reservation is the 2 knife system, rather than 3 in some others like the Dewalt. Anyone have any opinions on the best planer of this sort? I’ve looked at the reviews here (JC’s video on the Griz is great, what a talented group! ;-) I had my eye on the Dewalt, but have seen some negative comments on it at Amazon. Any additional thoughts on the Makita or the others?



23 replies so far

View hokieman's profile


196 posts in 4315 days

#1 posted 04-02-2008 01:25 AM

I have a Dewalt and love it. I have not had to change knives yet. Finewoodworking reviewed planers and Dewalt and, believe it or not, Craftsman got the highest reviews. Both are three knife planers. Check out the annual Tools and Shops issue (FWW edition number 195). Ryobi AP1301 got best value at $280.

View Paul D's profile

Paul D

2131 posts in 4310 days

#2 posted 04-02-2008 02:32 AM

I too have a Dewalt and no complaints whatsoever. It was a bit of an investment but I doubt I’ll be needing a new planer any time soon unless I want to upgrade to a bigger one.

-- Paul D - Lawrenceville, Georgia

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27250 posts in 4384 days

#3 posted 04-02-2008 03:16 AM

I have a Delta 22-580 for 3 years now and have run several hundred feet of maple and cherry through it. It still runs just as well as it did out of the box. Three knives will give you a smoother finish as opposed to a 2 knife system.

-- Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful- Joshua Marine

View Thos. Angle's profile

Thos. Angle

4444 posts in 4524 days

#4 posted 04-02-2008 04:33 AM

DW 735

-- Thos. Angle, Jordan Valley, Oregon

View Blake's profile


3443 posts in 4436 days

#5 posted 04-02-2008 04:41 AM

I have the 13” Dewalt. I don’t know what the complaints are, but this planer is WELL worth its (heavy) weight in gold. It’s an amazing machine and you will never look back and never regret it. It is smooth enough for the finer jobs and strong enough to be a beast.

-- Happy woodworking!

View DanM's profile


90 posts in 4271 days

#6 posted 04-02-2008 05:23 AM

Thanks for the input. I do like the look of the Dewalt, the negative comments I’m refering to are here I would be very interested in what the satisfied owners think about them.


View IowaWoodcrafter's profile


280 posts in 4638 days

#7 posted 04-02-2008 05:44 AM

Dewalt DW735 here as well. It is a great machine. That being said I plan on eventually upgrading to a 15 or 20 inch planer with spiral carbide cutters.

-- Owen Johnson - aka IowaWoodcrafter

View DanM's profile


90 posts in 4271 days

#8 posted 04-02-2008 06:58 AM

Thanks Owen, do you have any opinion of the negative comments in the post right above yours?


View GaryK's profile


10262 posts in 4550 days

#9 posted 04-02-2008 07:35 AM

I have the Delta 22-580 and think that it is an excellent machine.

Check out the review section on this site. There are 5 different planers reviewed.

-- Gary - Never pass up the opportunity to make a mistake look like you planned it that way - Tyler, TX

View ShipWreck's profile


557 posts in 4314 days

#10 posted 04-02-2008 10:51 AM

The Dewalt 735 is a very nice machine. But the Dewalt 734, or the Delta 22-580 do just about as nice a job and will save you a few bucks.

View Thos. Angle's profile

Thos. Angle

4444 posts in 4524 days

#11 posted 04-02-2008 02:40 PM

Dan, I looked at the list of complaints on the 735. I have had none of those experiences. They seem to be from when the planer first came out. I routinely run 250-300 BF through my 735 at a setting and get good results. I would guess I’ve run over 2500 BF of Red Oak, Walnut, Sapele, Poplar, Alder and Pine with nothing but the usual problems. You do have to keep sharp knives in it which is not cheap. I never take more than 1/2 turn on the down feed(less than 1/32). I would bet the guys with troubles tried to feed it too heavy. You also have to keep the feed rollers clean with de-natured alcohol and waxing the platen helps as well.

-- Thos. Angle, Jordan Valley, Oregon

View DannyBoy's profile


521 posts in 4427 days

#12 posted 04-02-2008 03:53 PM

I don’t have a planer, but I’m going by the rule that seems to have presented itself her: If the manufacturer’s name starts with a “D”, then it probably is the choice for a planer.

-- He said wood...

View JetJock's profile


20 posts in 4288 days

#13 posted 04-02-2008 06:59 PM


I’m also in the market for a portable planer. I am leaning toward the Dewalt 734. I really wanted a three knife set up and the Dewalt looks like the best choice. I, like you, have been reading all of the reviews about the Dewalt and Delta machines and I was even considering the Ridgid 13” at one point. I’ve used the DW 735 and it produced VG results, but at a higher price than its little brother the 734. I have a friend who owns a 734 and so I asked if I could use the machine for a day or so, which he agreed. I ran about 20 bdft of hard maple through the machine and I was very satisfied with the results. I used calipers before and after the cuts to determine effectiveness and the results were very postive. I have not used the Delta or the Ridgid, so I can not comment on those machines. I think some of the negative reviews you’ve seen regarding the DW can be chalked up to personal preference, or, as other have indicated, misuse of the machine (depth of cut). Hope this helped.

-- Todd C, Central Illinois

View damnHippie's profile


35 posts in 4337 days

#14 posted 04-02-2008 07:24 PM

Yeah, I have the DeWalt 734 and am very satisfied. I haven’t had a problem with it, and the surface for all the wood I’ve put through it (hard maple, purple heart, mahogany, spalted beech) has been smooth and accurate. I thought about the 735, but in the end price and sound volume were the deciding factors (my shop is in my basement).

-- 10 fingers, 2 eyes, and healthy lungs. for now. :P

View DanM's profile


90 posts in 4271 days

#15 posted 04-03-2008 09:15 PM

Thanks for the replies. On Dewalt, I was looking mostly at the 735, maybe I’ll check out the 734 as well. Looks quite similar to the Makita, but 3 blades.

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