Unable to remove screws from cutter head on my DeWalt Planer

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Forum topic by Clarkie posted 03-09-2021 04:31 PM 1067 views 0 times favorited 19 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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515 posts in 3079 days

03-09-2021 04:31 PM

Maybe someone else has run into this problem and can offer some help. I have the 735 De Walt planer, a real work horse, yet I can’t get the screws in the knife holder to release. When I set the wrench and turn it, it just comes up and out of the slotted top. I did manage a few months back to get all the screws loose and replace the knives and that was a struggle. This time I have tried five different sets of hex wrenches and WD-40, and various other liquids to try and help loosen the hold, nothing works. Short of pulling the few remaining hairs from my head and chucking the machine, I hope someone here has had a similar problem with the machine, thanks in advance, Clarkie.

19 replies so far

View dschlic1's profile


515 posts in 3208 days

#1 posted 03-09-2021 05:57 PM

Do you have a small impact driver? Lacking that there are hammer driven drivers which you place a drive bit in one end, place on the screw and then hit the other end with a hammer. Also be sure that your hex wrench is exactly in inline with the axis of the screw, Any angle will result

A possible example.

View EarlS's profile


4748 posts in 3586 days

#2 posted 03-09-2021 06:20 PM

I’ve always used the tee handle wrench that comes with the DW735. Never had an issue. It also has magnets in the handle so I don’t have to worry about cutting myself pulling the blades out.. After flipping the blades, I hand tighten the screws then snug them down firmly with the wrench. I also make sure I work my way around along the blade so I don’t over tighten one side

-- Earl "I'm a pessamist - generally that increases the chance that things will turn out better than expected"

View LesB's profile


3089 posts in 4681 days

#3 posted 03-09-2021 06:24 PM

+1 for the impact driver. They are only abut $16 at Napa Auto parts; probably cheaper at Harbor freight. They work on the principal of sudden torque applied in a twisting action when struck with a heavy hammer.

PB blaster is good for loosening screws and bolts. Be patient in allowing it to penetrate…like over night or longer with repeated applications.

When you replace the screws use an anti seize compound on the threads to prevent further problems.

On really tough screws I have had to cut a new slot in the head (deep and all the way across) with a cut off disk on my Dremel tool. Then use the impact.

-- Les B, Oregon

View Madmark2's profile


3092 posts in 1827 days

#4 posted 03-09-2021 07:35 PM

Gib screws often tighten the “wrong” way. Have you tried that?

-- The hump with the stump and the pump!

View Redoak49's profile


5383 posts in 3227 days

#5 posted 03-09-2021 09:39 PM

This is a common problem. I would not use an impact driver that you hit with a hammer. That i s not good for the bearings or internals. You can try an impact power driver. I use my 18v Makita.

I ended up drilling the head off of a bunch of them. The replacement ones I got were Torx head. I would go ahead and order a set.

View Loren's profile


11267 posts in 4886 days

#6 posted 03-09-2021 10:12 PM

Failing all these, you should be able to purchase a cutterhead on ebay since so many replace them with Byrd heads.

View Clarkie's profile


515 posts in 3079 days

#7 posted 03-09-2021 10:43 PM

Loren, while all of the ideas are welcomed, I thought of taking the head out, problem is you have to remove the blades first and I can’t do that without removing the screws, ARGH! I’ve tried everything I know of and am at the point of frustration. I’ll keep away from it for a couple days and then start again. Just thought maybe someone would have had the same experience and could offer assistance.

View Jackryan's profile


23 posts in 3114 days

#8 posted 03-09-2021 11:32 PM

Use valve grinding compound with screwdriver or sockets to remove worn fasteners.

-- Dave, Wi.

View WhyMe's profile


1413 posts in 2799 days

#9 posted 03-09-2021 11:50 PM

I had problems removing the screws. It felt like the hex wrench would break. I ended up trying the impact driver and had good results getting the screws loose.

View Aj2's profile


4065 posts in 3036 days

#10 posted 03-10-2021 02:16 AM

I remember having that problem when I had a dewalt planer. I used a cordless drill with a very good bit and some elbow grease. I also bought a better t-handle wrench to tighten them.
Don’t over tighten them

-- Aj

View tvrgeek's profile


2281 posts in 2888 days

#11 posted 03-10-2021 10:27 AM

Once out of the bottomless pit:
Horrible Freight has a inch-pound torque driver for $20 for when you put it back.
Just a tiny dab of anti-sieze on the screw threads is smart.
Torx head as replacement for sure.

I like the idea of a bit of grit on the driver tip. Had not thought about that.
A pit of penetrating oil, soak for at least TWO DAYS sometimes helps. I like CRC.
I kept my Ridgid 18V pact driver as my M12 is not that strong, but my Makita 18V is too strong and snaps screws too easy. Ridgid right in the middle.

View splintergroup's profile


5844 posts in 2461 days

#12 posted 03-10-2021 10:40 PM

I agree with not getting too aggressive with an impact driver (that you whack with a hammer), light taps will probably be enough however.

I suffered the same issue with my Delta on the first blade change, feared the supplied wrench would either strip or bend. They did break loose however with a very loud snap. Never went too tight after that.

View 18wheelznwood's profile


146 posts in 268 days

#13 posted 03-11-2021 12:27 AM

The knives on my Delta bench top planer were a bear to remove, the screws were so tight that they literally gave off sparks when they broke loose. The factory supplied hex wrench was completely useless. A good heavy t handle hex wrench or an impact drill driver is necessary. One screw stripped out, had to drill it and use an easy out on it. Luckily it came out and our local Ace Hardware had the same size screws in stock. Good luck!

View tvrgeek's profile


2281 posts in 2888 days

#14 posted 03-11-2021 01:11 AM

Guess I won’t have that problem if I get one and drop a Lux or Shelix head in it. :)

View Broglea's profile


695 posts in 4329 days

#15 posted 03-11-2021 06:35 AM

If your at your wits end and all else fails, use an angle grinder to cut a slot in the head of the bolt. You may be able to use a screw driver to get them out.

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