planer upgrade?

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Forum topic by Dabcan posted 07-22-2013 01:30 AM 1547 views 0 times favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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255 posts in 4122 days

07-22-2013 01:30 AM

Topic tags/keywords: ridgid planer thickness blade bent broken repair upgrade suggestions recommendations

So I have a Ridgid 4330 planer which has served me well. The other day, I had a board shoot across the room and sparks fly out of the machine. After taking off the dust hood, it has become apparent that two bolts on one of the blades came a bit loose, enabling the blade to dig very deep into the wood (hence it shooting across the room). This broke one blade, but also bent the metal piece which holds it down, and sheared off another piece of metal which aligns the blades.

Now before everyone starts telling me it has a lifetime warranty, I didn’t send in the card, so it doesn’t. I’ll need to replace both of these pieces of metal, plus labour to repair it (not sure I can figure out how to get it all apart). And finally I’ll need a new set of blades. I’m thinking I could easily be in for $300 in repairs (on a $500 planer in Canada).

While I’ve been very happy with the planer, it isn’t the best on figured woods, and I wouldn’t mind if the width was a bit wider, so any recommendations on an upgrade? I’m happy to buy used, and under $1000 please…

Thanks for the help.

-- @craftcollectif ,,

8 replies so far

View bannerpond1's profile


397 posts in 3349 days

#1 posted 07-22-2013 02:00 AM

Dabcan, you say you’ve “been very happy with the planer,” but then you qualify that with its tear out on figured woods (did you try taking only a minimal cut or turning the board end for end for a better grain direction?) and it’s narrow limits on width.

I wore out a 12 1/2” Delta portable model on soft sugar pine and decided I was going to have a real machine. I bought a 6” Jet jointer with an extra long table and have been extremely happy with its performance. I use wood off my property, milled locally and airdried at my place. I have very little twisted or warped wood since I quarter saw virtually everything, but having a good jointer keeps your sanity when working with the slightest wood movement.

Besides my table saw, I use my jointer more than anything else. I would never go back to an economy brand or an entry level model.

I have found that if you buy less tool than you really need and really want, you end up buying it later and wasting your money on what you settled for.

Save your beer money and buy substantial machines. As a minimum, I’d look at Grizzly. A neighbor of mine had his whole shop outfitted with Grizzly and he was very happy making cabinets with them.

-- --Dale Page

View Dabcan's profile


255 posts in 4122 days

#2 posted 07-22-2013 02:45 AM

It’s not horrible on the figured woods, usually you can get around it, but I figure if I’m going to upgrade I’d like something that can handle it better. I completely agree on the buying better tools, I bought a used General 490 bandsaw and it is the nicest tool I’ve ever had. Unfortunately tools never seem to need replacing when you are flush with money, more when you are desperate for a machine to help finish the job you are already behind on…

-- @craftcollectif ,,

View NiteWalker's profile


2743 posts in 4028 days

#3 posted 07-22-2013 04:49 AM

$1000 gets you a really nice used machine, or if you can save another $200, a beast like this. If you want to stay portable, amazon still has the dewalt DW734 for $329.66 shipped. Another option is a portable model with a spiral cutter head. Byrd makes cutterheads for the DW734 and 735, and highland woodworking has a steel city model with the spiral head (and carbide inserts) installed for $524 shipped.

-- He who dies with the most tools... dies with the emptiest wallet.

View Marcus's profile


1165 posts in 3470 days

#4 posted 07-22-2013 11:53 AM

My thoughts line up with Nite’s. $1000 is kind of a soft spot in the market without much there. I just sold a DW735 and it was one heck of a planer around $530 ( If you were happy with the Ridgid though, I would look at another one of those, and this time fill out the warranty card!

View BigRedKnothead's profile


8594 posts in 3433 days

#5 posted 07-22-2013 12:52 PM

a steel city model with the spiral head (and carbide inserts) installed for $524 shipped.

oooohhh, I was wondering when they were gonna start making bench top models with spiral cutter heads. That’s in my future.

-- "At the end of the day, try and make it beautiful....because the world is full of ugly." Konrad Sauer

View Dabcan's profile


255 posts in 4122 days

#6 posted 07-23-2013 12:02 AM

The steel city seems to have mixed reviews, and I feel like it might be less of an upgrade. I went to the repair shop today and the parts may cost as much as a new planer, still need to take it apart a bit further to see if some parts can be salvaged. I think I will try to borrow a friends until I can either fix or save enough for something nicer

-- @craftcollectif ,,

View NiteWalker's profile


2743 posts in 4028 days

#7 posted 07-23-2013 01:54 AM

The somewhat irritating thing about planers, is you either go for a benchtop, or a big stationary model. There isn’t an in between; not new anyways.

If you can save for a stationary model (spiral head is the way to go IMHO), then borrowing a friend’s in the meantime isn’t a bad idea.

-- He who dies with the most tools... dies with the emptiest wallet.

View bowedstraight's profile


100 posts in 3224 days

#8 posted 07-23-2013 02:38 AM

yep I would go with the spiral cutterhead maybe a used 735 then upgrade to spriral no more blade changing just rotate the inserts

-- Work in the city woodshop in tha country

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