Newbie needs help choosing between Craftsman Planer Models

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Forum topic by RichardDePetris posted 01-18-2014 01:49 AM 1655 views 0 times favorited 9 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View RichardDePetris's profile


61 posts in 2136 days

01-18-2014 01:49 AM

Topic tags/keywords: planer milling shaker traditional

I’m slowly building up my shop and in the market for a thickness planer. I’m a small garage shop hobbiest woodworker, but that doesn’t mean I take crap from my stock. I want them true and square. My wife got me a gift card from Sears, so it’s a great opportunity to buy a decent planer. I want the best bang for the buck, but all the reviews seem out of date.

Here’s what Sears offers as of this writing:

Craftsman 12 amp 12-1/2in. Bench Planer

It would cost me ~$149.99 out of pocket

Craftsman Professional 15 amp 13in. Planer

It would cost me ~$269.99

Steel City Steel City 40100 13-Inch Portable Planer

It would cost me ~$238

Which one of these bad boys should I invest in, or is it better to forgo on the gift certificate and purchase another brand from another retailer? Overall cost of ownership and ease of operation are important to me. BTW, I’ve never used one of these before.

Thanks in advance for your help.

9 replies so far

View exelectrician's profile


2339 posts in 2878 days

#1 posted 01-18-2014 04:15 AM

Get the DeWalt 734. You will be sorry if you buy anything else.

-- Love thy neighbour as thyself

View BentheViking's profile


1782 posts in 3015 days

#2 posted 01-18-2014 04:31 AM

ive had the professional for over a year and a half now, but its still sitting in the box so im not much of a help here. Caught it on a super deal at only $200

-- It's made of wood. Real sturdy.--Chubbs Peterson

View tefinn's profile


1222 posts in 2888 days

#3 posted 01-18-2014 04:37 AM

I’m with exelectrician. If you can afford it, get the Dewalt. If that’s a budget breaker, out of the three you listed, get the Steel City. It’s the exact same planer (minus the granite table) as the Craftsman Professional 13” (Steel City makes both) for less money.

-- Tom Finnigan - Measures? We don't need no stinking measures! - Hmm, maybe thats why my project pieces don't fit.

View NiteWalker's profile


2739 posts in 3028 days

#4 posted 01-18-2014 07:11 AM

I bought the dewalt 734 on sale for $330 shipped and it’s been a hard worker in my shop. No complaints. Byrd makes a shelix head for it should you want to go that route later on.

Of those listed above the steel city is a solid machine with 4.5 star average on amazon with 39 reviews.

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

View lunn's profile


215 posts in 2760 days

#5 posted 01-18-2014 10:31 AM

Get anything but a Craptsman. Throw away knives dbl. sided not bad. But what eeerks me they come in a 2 pack and it takes 3. Plus the Sears nearest me abt, 70 miles round trip only to find they only carry 1 pack at a time. The rubber outfeed roller leaves a nice rubber burn mark if the board stops feeding. 12in. wide board forget it, maybe a 8 on very soft wood and thats pushing it. So here’s what to do. Take the gift card any buy the wifey something. Then seek out out and buy a great big planer! Say abt. $2k She’d be so happy with her new pots and pans she whouldn’t notice .

-- What started as a hobbie is now a full time JOB!

View dhazelton's profile


2839 posts in 2747 days

#6 posted 01-18-2014 03:16 PM

You can buy Dewalt at Sears. I agree with what folks said.

View knotscott's profile


8302 posts in 3826 days

#7 posted 01-18-2014 04:11 PM

A cutterhead lock or some form of snipe control is a worthwhile feature, as is a dust chute. Sears does sell the DW734. If the Steel City has those features, I’d consider it too. If you originate your purchase through, and order online, you may be able to shave another 3% off the total.

-- Happiness is like wetting your pants...everyone can see it, but only you can feel the warmth....

View oldnovice's profile


7496 posts in 3819 days

#8 posted 01-21-2014 06:56 AM

I have an old Delta but I like the DeWalt as that is my next one when the Delta stops working for good!

-- "I never met a board I didn't like!"

View RichardDePetris's profile


61 posts in 2136 days

#9 posted 01-30-2014 05:52 PM

Thanks to everyone for your suggestions. I’ve decided that the Craftsman models are probably not worth it. They frequently change their models and don’t tell you who manufacturers them. If something goes wrong, or more likely, you need new knives, you’re dependent on them or another supplier. Sears is to power tools what Dell is to computers.

I think I’ll go with the Dewalt 734 as per your suggestions. I own a set of 12V MAX Drill and Driver set from DeWalt and I have been very impressed. Before my post, I was leaning towards getting a Ridgid, but for roughly the same price, I can get a DeWalt. No brainer here.

What do I plan on doing with those gift cards? I discovered an interesting hack, but not sure it will work. Supposedly, you can use Sears Gift card to purchase other Gift cards. K-mart, a Sears subsidiary, sells a bunch of different ones, including Ebay, Amazon and VISA.

If this works, I will use the new card to buy it somewhere else, but I also heard you can also use the gift cards to purchase from Sears Marketplace vendors, which includes Grizzly and CPO outlets. The prices are pretty competitive as well.

I’ll keep you posted on how it goes. Thanks everyone.

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