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Buying first Jointer/Planer Questions/Recommendation - CUTECH?

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Forum topic by kTerminator posted 04-08-2020 02:42 PM 916 views 0 times favorited 16 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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kTerminator

7 posts in 88 days


04-08-2020 02:42 PM

It seems that most gear can be calibrated to be flat/level/aligned with some work, but I’m still trying to get the most long term value within my budget. It also seems that a lot of learned skills/expertise can make up for shortcomings in your tools.

I’m a hobbyist that likes to make desks/projects for the house, and I want to start making tables/drawers/other furniture. I live in a small townhome and have a 1 car garage; my workshop is more of a mobile workspace and shares room with my home gym in the garage. I am planning on making some tables along the walls for storage and potentially have extenders for the jointer/planer tables.

The only clear choice has been the Dewalt jobsite table saw, DWE7491RS. Please help me understand more about the features options

Questions:
- Flat vs Spiral blades – It seems to be universal that spiral are ‘better’ than flat, and helical spiral are best.
- Blade replacements and smaller companies – CUTech and Wahuda seem like they have strong offerings, but long term support is questionable. Should I stock up on blade replacements or stick with flat blades for more universal units?
- Cast Iron vs. Aluminum Top – I understand that wear is better with cast iron – but at my price point (350-450), it seems like the options are limited. My dad has had a porter cable unit with aluminum table for years and it’s done fine with light use.
- 8” vs 6” – It seems there are workarounds to joint pieces larger than you have capacity for, but I figured if I can an 8” at top of my Jointer budget, why not?
- Retailer vs. online – I’ve seen value in being able to return/swap in person if my units are not square/broken; is this overrated?

Jointers (price /w shipping and tax) – I’m leaning towards the 8” CUTech -feedback/recommendations are appreciated
$351 Porter Cable 6” – Aluminum top – 6” – 2 blade
$360 CUTECH 40160H – Aluminum Top – 6” – 2-sided spiral carbide
$400 – Wahuda Model 50160CC-WHD – Cast iron Top – 6” – 4-sided spiral carbide
$437 – Grizzly G0893 – Aluminum Top – 6” – 3-row spiral – helical- with 18 inserts $450 – CUTECH 40180H – Aluminum Top – 8” with extenders – 2-sided carbide /w extra blades

Planers: Again I’m leaning towards CUTech $434 – CUTECH 40700H – 12.5” – Spiral cutter
$464 – DW734 – 12.5” – 3 blade
Max budget is $500 EACH for planer/jointer ($1000 total)

Thank you for your help and advice, this is my first post!

Kyle


16 replies so far

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

6236 posts in 3264 days


#1 posted 04-08-2020 03:33 PM

There are those that can set jointer blades dead one with some work, I am not one that can do that. So to me the advantage is the insert heads is that no longer have to screw around setting the blades. The others advantages extolled (smooth cut, long life, less noise)are there as well, but (at least to me) ithose are a lot less important on a jointer than they are on a planer.

There’s no reason to avoid an 8” if you have the money and space (and maybe 240V power), you will eventually wish you had one that wide (or wider) anyway.

I don’t have a single tool in my shop I bought at a retailer, there are none very close to me. So my table saw, my jointer (8”), planer (15”) and other large (and small) tools all came from on-line (or phone) order. So I see no advantage to buying from a retailer. I’m pretty sure I’m in a minority on that point but my approach has never caused me a problem.

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

View WoodenDreams's profile

WoodenDreams

1066 posts in 681 days


#2 posted 04-08-2020 04:29 PM

On my aluminum top out feed side, I’m starting to get a light scratched surface from jointing hardwood stock after three years. but I use it quite often. It’s not affecting my jointer cut yet. I would recommend using a dry lube with no silicone on the top surface the same as you would a table saw or band saw. I’m sure you’ll be happy on which one you decide.

View Bill_Steele's profile

Bill_Steele

705 posts in 2502 days


#3 posted 04-08-2020 04:55 PM

You have alot going on in this post so I will try to address your questions:


It seems that most gear can be calibrated to be flat/level/aligned with some work, but I m still trying to get the most long term value within my budget. It also seems that a lot of learned skills/expertise can make up for shortcomings in your tools.

Generally speaking you can probably perform most operations with hand tools but it will likely take longer and require skill to achieve the same results that you can get by using a purpose built machine. There are craftsman that make things with no machines who still achieve outstanding results. Machines add cost and will require setup, maintenance, and understanding on how to use, but in my opinion will often improve accuracy and throughput.


Questions:
- Flat vs Spiral blades – It seems to be universal that spiral are better than flat, and helical spiral are best.
- Blade replacements and smaller companies – CUTech and Wahuda seem like they have strong offerings, but long term support is questionable. Should I stock up on blade replacements or stick with flat blades for more universal units?
- Cast Iron vs. Aluminum Top – I understand that wear is better with cast iron – but at my price point (350-450), it seems like the options are limited. My dad has had a porter cable unit with aluminum table for years and it s done fine with light use.
- 8” vs 6” – It seems there are workarounds to joint pieces larger than you have capacity for, but I figured if I can an 8” at top of my Jointer budget, why not?
- Retailer vs. online – I ve seen value in being able to return/swap in person if my units are not square/broken; is this overrated?

Flat knives on jointers and planers have worked well for years and will still provide good results in most cases (assuming they are sharp and free of nicks). Spiral and helical cutters have the advantage of a shearing cut and as a result often get better results especially when the grain is reversing or when cutting end grain.

Cast iron is heavier and as such will help to dampen vibration. Less vibration can result in a smoother running machine.

I would try to get the largest capacity possible within your budget, power, and space constraints. A 6” jointer and 12” portable planer may be all you need for hobby level woodworking. An 8” jointer is very nice to have but typically costs more, requires 220v, and occupies more space. I’m in the buy once cry once camp with respect to acquiring tools.

If I can walk into a store and return an item or see/feel/ touch a machine before buying that does add some value for me. Often online shopping gives me access to tools that may not be available at my local retailer. Sometimes you can buy online and process a return at a retail store (e.g. HD or Woodcraft). For larger tools I like ACME tools.

View tvrgeek's profile

tvrgeek

988 posts in 2420 days


#4 posted 04-08-2020 05:04 PM

It seems the clear choice in planers is the DeWalt 735x. You can get a carbide spiral head for it for another $360 or so after you get tired of replacing the steel blades. I have an old Delta benchtop. Does the job but fiddley on the blades, they nick if you look at them cross eyed and getting them true is almost beyond me. 10 times is not enough. The smaller Delta clones all have the same critical default of excessive snipe. I have a mod that prevents it, but a real pain to use. ( including the ones you listed) Enough to get me to buy a new DeWalt. A carbide head is not much use if the head assembly is not held rigid enough and it kicks as the wood hits and exits the rollers.

I had a benchtop jointer. Used it about twice before I found a real one on Craigslist. ( 6 inch Ridgid/Craftsman/Emerson) . A little easier to set the knives on and I have not nicked as many blades, but am considering a carbide head for it as well. I can sharpen a 6 inch jointer knife as they are very rigid, where the Delta planer blades are pure disposable. Sure, I wish it was an 8, but at least it works where the benchtop jobs don’t. The Grizzly G0814 and the dozens oc clones is the smallest jointer I would buy. If you go benchtop, you will very soon realize you wasted your money and then go buy a bigger one.

A recent tip was talc on the tops as it does not stain wood but fills the pores and is slick.

View AndyJ1s's profile

AndyJ1s

324 posts in 526 days


#5 posted 04-08-2020 06:33 PM

If you really need the extensions on the jointer, they won’t do what you want them for (straightening a long, bowed board). The heel will drop off the end of the outfeed table, then catch (or bump up, depending on the leading edge radius) on the extension. Jointer extensions should be like leaves on a table, not roller stands, etc. Also, I sure hope there are means to bolt that thing down on the bench top, otherwise it lacks the weight to keep it steady with wood resting on the extension.

There is no substitute for a long table or table extension.

As has been mentioned many times here, if you have a planer, and make a sled for it, and make a straight-line rip jig for your tablesaw (with a good blade on the TS), the jointer becomes secondary (albeit a good one can be very convenient).

In your limited shop space, saving up for a euro-style combo (over/under) planer/jointer would be a better bet, eventually.

-- Andy - Arlington TX

View tvrgeek's profile

tvrgeek

988 posts in 2420 days


#6 posted 04-08-2020 06:56 PM

Table saw can sure do a fine job of edge jointing, but it can’t flatten a board before planing to thickness.
The combo tool Andy talks about is actually more useful for that. Unfortunately, expensive.

View kTerminator's profile

kTerminator

7 posts in 88 days


#7 posted 04-08-2020 07:14 PM


On my aluminum top out feed side, I m starting to get a light scratched surface from jointing hardwood stock after three years. but I use it quite often. It s not affecting my jointer cut yet. I would recommend using a dry lube with no silicone on the top surface the same as you would a table saw or band saw. I m sure you ll be happy on which one you decide.

- WoodenDreams

Great information;sounds like I should have no issues with aluminum other than lack of weight

It seems the clear choice in planers is the DeWalt 735x. You can get a carbide spiral head for it for another $360 or so after you get tired of replacing the steel blades. I have an old Delta benchtop. Does the job but fiddley on the blades, they nick if you look at them cross eyed and getting them true is almost beyond me. 10 times is not enough. The smaller Delta clones all have the same critical default of excessive snipe. I have a mod that prevents it, but a real pain to use. ( including the ones you listed) Enough to get me to buy a new DeWalt. A carbide head is not much use if the head assembly is not held rigid enough and it kicks as the wood hits and exits the rollers.

A recent tip was talc on the tops as it does not stain wood but fills the pores and is slick. – tvrgeek


I think the DW735 and 735X are out of my planer price range ($500 max), especially with any spiral head. Good Tip on the Talc + aluminum trick

Flat knives on jointers and planers have worked well for years and will still provide good results in most cases (assuming they are sharp and free of nicks). Spiral and helical cutters have the advantage of a shearing cut and as a result often get better results especially when the grain is reversing or when cutting end grain.

Cast iron is heavier and as such will help to dampen vibration. Less vibration can result in a smoother running machine.

I would try to get the largest capacity possible within your budget, power, and space constraints. A 6” jointer and 12” portable planer may be all you need for hobby level woodworking. An 8” jointer is very nice to have but typically costs more, requires 220v, and occupies more space. I m in the buy once cry once camp with respect to acquiring tools.

If I can walk into a store and return an item or see/feel/ touch a machine before buying that does add some value for me. Often online shopping gives me access to tools that may not be available at my local retailer. Sometimes you can buy online and process a return at a retail store (e.g. HD or Woodcraft). For larger tools I like ACME tools.
- Bill_Steele

Would mounting an aluminum to a heavy/solid table improve vibratiion damping? My thought is ‘no’ but it would help with larger work pieces. Sounds like ordering online may be just fine.

If you really need the extensions on the jointer, they won t do what you want them for (straightening a long, bowed board). The heel will drop off the end of the outfeed table, then catch (or bump up, depending on the leading edge radius) on the extension. Jointer extensions should be like leaves on a table, not roller stands, etc. Also, I sure hope there are means to bolt that thing down on the bench top, otherwise it lacks the weight to keep it steady with wood resting on the extension.

There is no substitute for a long table or table extension.

As has been mentioned many times here, if you have a planer, and make a sled for it, and make a straight-line rip jig for your tablesaw (with a good blade on the TS), the jointer becomes secondary (albeit a good one can be very convenient).

In your limited shop space, saving up for a euro-style combo (over/under) planer/jointer would be a better bet, eventually. – AndyJ1s

I was thinking about making extender plates like in this video; https://youtu.be/cdpdqupCKb4, so it doesn’t drop off of the extenders. That said, I’d probably be using it for shorter boards most of the time. I could also just make it drop into a table that acts as an extender on either end.

The CUTECH 8” bench top is not much bigger than the other 6” jointers. It sounds like if you want to do anything with 6” boards then you’ll need an 8” jointer unless you want to make a sled for a planer and so some work-arounds. My question is which has the best combination of features based on the models I have found?

View kTerminator's profile

kTerminator

7 posts in 88 days


#8 posted 04-09-2020 01:32 AM

Well, the Grizzly true helical spiral 6” sold out. Since the CUTech 8” is on Sale /w extra carbide cutters for $450 shipped, I’m thinking I should jump on it. Thoughts?

Some reviews are saying the CUTech planer might struggle with hardwoods. Perhaps I should wait for a sale on the DW735x?

View WoodenDreams's profile

WoodenDreams

1066 posts in 681 days


#9 posted 04-09-2020 01:59 AM

I have the Delta 12” planer (older lathe) I got used 4yrs ago. A good planer til the bearing went out. I’ll replace the bearings later this summer. I also have a new Delta 22-590X 13” planer. nice planer with three knife cutting head. Got this on sale for $430. A lot nicer than the 12” models.

I have the Porter Cable PC-160-JT 6” jointer. THIS JOINTER IS RECENTY DISCONTINUED by Porter Cable. per Porter Cables website. Nice jointer, Any jointer of this size is really only efficient for jointing wood less than 3’ long. If longer, I use the table saw and 80” edge sander to joint the boards. If you by a 1”x6”, it’s probably only a 3/4”x5 1/2” board, so a 6” planer is fine.

View kTerminator's profile

kTerminator

7 posts in 88 days


#10 posted 04-09-2020 02:19 AM



I have the Delta 12” planer (older lathe) I got used 4yrs ago. A good planer til the bearing went out. I ll replace the bearings later this summer. I also have a new Delta 22-590X 13” planer. nice planer with three knife cutting head. Got this on sale for $430. A lot nicer than the 12” models.

I have the Porter Cable PC-160-JT 6” jointer. THIS JOINTER IS RECENTY DISCONTINUED by Porter Cable. per Porter Cables website. Nice jointer, Any jointer of this size is really only efficient for jointing wood less than 3 long. If longer, I use the table saw and 80” edge sander to joint the boards. If you by a 1”x6”, it s probably only a 3/4”x5 1/2” board, so a 6” planer is fine.

- WoodenDreams

Which Jointer of the following do you think I should go with?
$351 Porter Cable 6” – Aluminum top – 6” – 2 blade
$360 CUTECH 40160H – Aluminum Top – 6” – 2-sided spiral carbide
$400 – Wahuda Model 50160CC-WHD – Cast iron Top – 6” – 4-sided spiral carbide
$450 – CUTECH 40180H – Aluminum Top – 8” with extenders – 2-sided carbide /w extra blades

View AndyJ1s's profile

AndyJ1s

324 posts in 526 days


#11 posted 04-09-2020 03:42 AM



snip…

I was thinking about making extender plates like in this video; https://youtu.be/cdpdqupCKb4, so it doesn t drop off of the extenders. That said, I d probably be using it for shorter boards most of the time. I could also just make it drop into a table that acts as an extender on either end.

snip…

- kTerminator

Those extensions would probably work pretty well. I’d consider covering their top sides with laminate or something similar and slick. At the very least they need to be finished on all sides to help prevent warping, and waxed regularly.

Remember, the extensions need to move with the tables when adjusted (either for alignment or depth of cut), so a table supporting the jointer and incorporating the “extensions” might not work too well.

-- Andy - Arlington TX

View david2011's profile

david2011

40 posts in 4478 days


#12 posted 04-09-2020 08:08 AM

My table saw is an upgraded Craftsman with a cast iron top and I have an old commercial Craftsman cast iron 20” scroll saw. I’m thinking of getting an older cast iron Craftsman 6” jointer as well. Are they decent tools? I don’t mind working on tools to get them in good serviceable condition.

-- David

View WoodenDreams's profile

WoodenDreams

1066 posts in 681 days


#13 posted 04-09-2020 03:54 PM

If you want a smaller jointer, I’d go with the cast iron top and spiral cutter head. I do like my PC jointer, but expect wear on a aluminum bed over time. As the PC jointer is now a discontinued model, let it be known, PC does not have a reputation for replacement parts. My PC has not had any issues and runs good.

View kTerminator's profile

kTerminator

7 posts in 88 days


#14 posted 04-09-2020 11:58 PM


If you want a smaller jointer, I d go with the cast iron top and spiral cutter head. I do like my PC jointer, but expect wear on a aluminum bed over time. As the PC jointer is now a discontinued model, let it be known, PC does not have a reputation for replacement parts. My PC has not had any issues and runs good. – WoodenDreams

Do you think the cutter on the Grizzly (below) is worth moving to an aluminum top and the extra $40 over the Wahuda? It’s out of stock but I can still get on sale; plus it’s a more well established brand than Wahuda

The $400 Wahuda 6” has a ton of allure; I could put that $40 towards a better planer (although I’ll never complain about $40 for something that I’ll have 10+ years)

View kTerminator's profile

kTerminator

7 posts in 88 days


#15 posted 04-10-2020 01:36 AM

After comparing blades with a friend of mine, I’m going to go with the Grizzly; I’ll let you all know how it works out!

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