Planer knives ware and best practise to setting depth of cut

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Forum topic by Maxact posted 03-01-2019 05:25 PM 346 views 0 times favorited 7 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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8 posts in 87 days

03-01-2019 05:25 PM

We all know the depth of cut our planers can be set to; however, what is the best practise for setting the depth of cut for prolonging knife sharpness. Example; if you have to plane an 1/8 is it better to simply set it to 1/8 and your done or set it to 1/16 with two passes. The later would mean the knives cutting twice, would that be more or less ware on them. It seems the heavier cut would ware on the motor more than the knives. Any thoughts about this.

-- John, Kershaw SC

7 replies so far

View Aj2's profile


2127 posts in 2126 days

#1 posted 03-01-2019 05:43 PM

Save the knives before the motor. If your planers max depth of cut is 1/8 I would go two passes.

-- Aj

View Bill White's profile

Bill White

5188 posts in 4289 days

#2 posted 03-01-2019 07:18 PM

Light passes always create better surfaces and less knife wear.

-- [email protected]

View pintodeluxe's profile


5898 posts in 3142 days

#3 posted 03-01-2019 07:36 PM

Listen to the planer motor and the sounds the machine makes. Every planer is different. Lunchbox planers start to howl if you hog off more than 1/16” at a time. That will lead to excessive motor wear, heat buildup, and knife wear.

Other industrial planers are built for heavy work. Thicker blades, bigger induction motors etc.
If the planer sounds happy, it probably is.

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

View Mainboom's profile


89 posts in 86 days

#4 posted 03-01-2019 08:02 PM

I tend to cut a 1/16th maybe more. You also need to make sure your infeed and outfeed tables are level with the cutting deck. I have been know to cut more then a 1/16 often I fact. Typically I dont worried to much about blade life. For a dewalt 734 the blades are like 30 bucks. I could be wrong on that but its close. You will know when they are getting dull it takes about 10 min to sharpen them.
Unless your running 300 board foot a day I wouldn’t worried to much about it. If you are get a helical head for it

-- CRANE OPERATORS START EARLY because iron workers need their heros ready when they wake up

View Maxact's profile


8 posts in 87 days

#5 posted 03-01-2019 08:44 PM

I agree that HSS blades are inexpensive and it may be better for thinner cuts to obtain smoother finish.

-- John, Kershaw SC

View Craftsman on the lake's profile

Craftsman on the lake

2934 posts in 3766 days

#6 posted 03-01-2019 08:49 PM

You can go by the sound. If the planer seems like it’s straining it’s too much. Depends on the hardness of the wood and the age of the blades. So, the depth of cut can vary because of those factores. As the blades get older you need to let up on the depth as they strain more at that point but can still work. After awhile they still cut but a thin skim off the top will seem like they’re having a hard time. Also, if they get dull they’ll stop pulling the wood through well.

-- The smell of wood, coffee in the cup, the wife let's me do my thing, the lake is peaceful.

View fivecodys's profile


1382 posts in 1965 days

#7 posted 03-01-2019 08:53 PM

Little bites work better for my planer. It works better for my DC system as well. I usually go a strong 1/32” .

-- When you leave your shop for the night, make sure you can always count to 10.

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