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Shelix or Lux Cut III spiral cutterhead for my Dewalt planer?

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Forum topic by PBWilson1970 posted 10-11-2020 11:27 AM 3152 views 1 time favorited 15 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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PBWilson1970

193 posts in 444 days


10-11-2020 11:27 AM

Topic tags/keywords: planer blade

After installing the last set of straight knives on my Dewalt DW-735 I decided to not keep buying these crummy blades and will upgrade to a spiral carbide cutterhead once these wear out (which should be soon, based on the longevity of my other sets).

A while ago I saw a Stumpy Nubs video on the Lux Cut III cutterhead with a few differences compared to the Shelix and was wondering if anyone has some real-life experience with the Lux Cut III. I’ve read a great deal about the Shelix and believe I’d be happy with them, but are the advantages (less prone to rust and easier to index cutters) worth the small amount in cost? What about customer support down the line?

Thanks in advance for any help.

-- I love the smell of sawdust in the morning.


15 replies so far

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

6917 posts in 3544 days


#1 posted 10-11-2020 05:26 PM

Interesting, I had never heard of them (Lux Cut) until now. Just a comment, if you’ve been buying OEM blades for your 735 you would have done much better with after market knives. Not trying to talk you out of an insert head (just the opposite) but the Dewalt knives have a reputation for being junk.

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

View PBWilson1970's profile

PBWilson1970

193 posts in 444 days


#2 posted 10-11-2020 05:46 PM

The Dewalt knives were extra sets that came with the planer as a package deal. I had heard about their “quality” and looked into some of the sharpening techniques found on youtube but realize that over the life of the tool and the work I will do, a spiral carbide cutterhead is the way to go.

-- I love the smell of sawdust in the morning.

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PBWilson1970

193 posts in 444 days


#3 posted 10-12-2020 03:43 PM

So it appears that everyone is either in the shop or out enjoying a nice fall weekend or maybe few have experience with the Lux Cut III cutters.

How about this?: Does anyone have difficulty keeping their Shelix cutterhead rust free? Mine will live in a garage with hot, humid summers and cold, dry winters.

Also, does anyone struggle with indexing the Shelix carbide cutters?

These seem to be the two advantages Lux Cut III touts as being better than Shelix. One thing that may lead me to lean toward Shelix is that they are made in the USA while Lux Cut III are made in Taiwan.

Any thoughts?

-- I love the smell of sawdust in the morning.

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

6917 posts in 3544 days


#4 posted 10-12-2020 04:23 PM

I have the Shelix on my planer as well as the jointer, and have no problems with either rust or rotating the cutters. I don’t watch Stumpy so I’m not sure what you saw, but there’s not really anything difficult about rotating the cutters…it’s just tedious (at least on the planer). My tools live in a shop that’s heated in the winter (50 at night, 65 when I’m in there) and while I have a window AC for it, I seldom use it. I bought the one for the planer in 2009 and while it has a spot or 2 of rust on it here and there, I don’t consider it a problem (I’ve rotated the cutters once in that time). I also moved twice in that time and the tools sat in an unheated garage about 10 months each time waiting for me to get their new home ready. For whatever reason the jointer head (which isn’t as old) has a little more rust, but not enough to be considered a problem. Rotating the cutters does require a way to torque them down correctly, and you will likely need to clean the seats…otherwise I’m not sure how anything could be easier.

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

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PBWilson1970

193 posts in 444 days


#5 posted 10-12-2020 05:23 PM

Thanks for the detailed feedback. I’m not worried about rotating the cutters or removing and installing them in order to get them installed in the planer. It was something that Lux mentioned and wondered if it was as big an issue. I wonder if a spray of Bostik Top Cote would help keep rust at bay.

-- I love the smell of sawdust in the morning.

View Aj2's profile

Aj2

3753 posts in 2848 days


#6 posted 10-12-2020 05:24 PM

When I had a 735 I bought infinity’s carbide tipped knives. The finish that came out of that machine was super nice much better then my hh head in Pm 15.
Once a year I would take them out and hone a new edge on them with a shop built fixture.
I’m really don’t like the insert head anymore I think they are far over hyped. The only place they make sense to me is if one used a lot of dirty wood or exotics with high silica.
Its also well documented they take more power to run and take a smaller cut due to the high angle scraping action.
Good Luck

-- Aj

View Rodango's profile

Rodango

30 posts in 279 days


#7 posted 12-05-2020 03:19 PM

PBWilson1970 – I wonder if you bought a helical head for your 735, if so which you chose?

I have the same questions as you. I also wonder if either has inserts that are common enough in tooling that they will be findable in 10 or 20 years – when I hope to be woodworking still.

I also wonder if anyone has bothered to try sharpening the carbide inserts or if there are HSS inserts available for either (sharper in theory than carbide, which even in ‘micro-grain form doesn’t make as fine of an edge)

Out of left field, since the DW735 is common now, wonder which wear parts I should stock to keep it running after Dewalt declares EOL or does a Delta-tools. I’m thinking a pair of the gears, another drive belt, ?

I’m going to look for knives now @ infinity tools.

-- I won't even try to tell other people how to live their lives: they're not listening and I'm probly wrong.

View PBWilson1970's profile

PBWilson1970

193 posts in 444 days


#8 posted 12-05-2020 05:13 PM

I haven’t pulled the trigger yet (waiting on some project sales money) but I’ll probably lean toward the Shellix head. I’d like to support companies that makes products in the US and they’ve had the greatest track record.

I’ll be glad to get it though. After not too many board feet of walnut and cherry and oak, I’ve already got ridges in my workpieces from chips in the blades. Not terrible to fix with a scraper but the idea of replacing blades with not the best quality over and over bugs me.

-- I love the smell of sawdust in the morning.

View Chameleon's profile

Chameleon

49 posts in 1125 days


#9 posted 03-05-2021 11:19 PM

Just stumbled across this thread and wanted to add one thing: Stumpy’s video says that Lux Cut claims that their cutting inserts are easier to install in exactly the right orientation than the Shelix cutting inserts. I have no idea whether this is true, but if it is, I think that’s significant. I say this based on experience with spiral cutterheads, which are not exactly the same as helical but do have individual square cutting inserts like the Lux Cut and the Shelix. If you rotate one to use a new surface and tighten it after an 88 degree turn rather than 90, it will have a noticeable effect on the smoothness of the cut. If the Shelix always registers at 90 degrees when tightened, the Lux Cut claim may be incorrect. Howard

View darthford's profile

darthford

666 posts in 2974 days


#10 posted 03-06-2021 02:07 AM


Just stumbled across this thread and wanted to add one thing: Stumpy s video says that Lux Cut claims that their cutting inserts are easier to install in exactly the right orientation than the Shelix cutting inserts.

That’s utter nonsense.

View Rich's profile

Rich

6768 posts in 1640 days


#11 posted 03-06-2021 04:04 AM


Just stumbled across this thread and wanted to add one thing: Stumpy s video says that Lux Cut claims that their cutting inserts are easier to install in exactly the right orientation than the Shelix cutting inserts.

That s utter nonsense.

- darthford

For sure. I’ve rotated mine without a hitch several times. I can’t compare it to the Lux since I’ve never used one, but I can’t imagine it could be any easier.

-- Half of what we read or hear about finishing is right. We just don’t know which half! — Bob Flexner

View woodbutcherbynight's profile

woodbutcherbynight

8740 posts in 3459 days


#12 posted 03-06-2021 04:45 AM


For sure. I ve rotated mine without a hitch several times. I can t compare it to the Lux since I ve never used one, but I can t imagine it could be any easier.

- Rich

Well they could rotate themselves and save me the tedious trouble. LOL

-- Live to tell the stories, they sound better that way.

View tvrgeek's profile

tvrgeek

1747 posts in 2700 days


#13 posted 03-06-2021 10:23 AM

Been doing a lot of research.
Lux head is smaller diameter. Easier to install, but messes up the feed pressure. Byrd quit making the smaller one because the convenience was not worth the result. Go read their comment on MyWoodcutters.com ( they sell both so it is not a sales pitch)

You can get an inch pound torque wrench from HF for $20.

Inserts are made by several companies in about 14 sizes from about $2 up. The 15×2.5 is quite common.

View eddo's profile

eddo

1 post in 30 days


#14 posted 03-12-2021 05:35 PM

Where have you “been doing a lot of research”? :-) It’s exactly the opposite of what you said. Here’s what Lux says, it’s not a smaller diameter head. From their Q&A section:
“Cutter Head Diameter
What is the cutter head diameter? Is it the same as the OEM, or slightly less? Are there two different diameters?
Anthony C
The LuxCut Head for the DW-735 comes exclusively with the original OEM diameter. The reduced head diameter version is only offered with the SHELIX head by Byrd.
You will have to remove all knives from the head for the installation and re-install them once the head is in the machine. This is a one time job and well worth the effort… Steffen Morning”
And here’s Byrd’s reduced diameter head for sale from their own web site: https://www.byrdtool.com/online-store#!/DW735/p/77479529/category=21888154). The comment from Byrd on the Woodcutter’s page doesn’t say they aren’t selling them anymore, it just says if you’re having a problem with your reduced diameter head they’ll do a trade-in for you.

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tvrgeek

1747 posts in 2700 days


#15 posted 03-12-2021 06:39 PM

Older LUX head was the smaller diameter. New one is full. Shelix is not selling only the full size I believe.
My research covers more than a year. Things change.

I woudl stil love to see side by side results between the two.

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