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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I know some of the answers can be found elsewhere. But the first question is the big one.

1. I am looking at a Dewalt 3 cutter planer (735) or similiar Porter Cable. How long do the blades last before you have to replace them? I guess an answer in board feet would be difficult LOL....I am a hobbyist so It would not be used daily.

2. Porter Cable or Dewalt or other?

3. Traditional cutters or helical cutter head?

4. I have heard that factory refurbished is sometimes better than brand new because they have gone over the equipment in detail. true or not true (obvious costs savings question)

5. SHould have been the first question. Should I look at jointer first or get a planer?

Budget is approx 500-600. But will go lower if need be LOL.....
 

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I know some of the answers can be found elsewhere. But the first question is the big one.

1. I am looking at a Dewalt 3 cutter planer (735) or similiar Porter Cable. How long do the blades last before you have to replace them? I guess an answer in board feet would be difficult LOL....I am a hobbyist so It would not be used daily.
I have the DeWalt 735. I felt to get decent life out of the first edge of the factory blades. At least 12 months. Like you not a lot of lumber being planed. I then started to have difficulty feeding the wood through the planer, I had to push or the rollers would slip, read in various posts that the blades may be dull. Made sense.

I changed the blades to the other edge a few weeks ago. I was planing a piece of Jatoba this weekend and noticed a streak. I thought something on the rollers. I took off the cover and found the new edge had more than a ding, small section about 1/4in long was curved. I have no idea which piece of wood did this.

So two days ago I replaced the first set of blades with a new set which had come with the planer.

I have read that the DeWalt blades do not hold their edge well, so now having my own experience.

I will be looking to get future blades from perhaps Infinity Tools.

2. Porter Cable or Dewalt or other?
The 735 planes well, although I seem to have one of the few machines which has a lot of snipe, and with the automatic head lock, not having much luck in trying to eliminate.

These days I cannot recommend Delta, but my old 2 knife 22-580 planer had less snipe with the manual head lock.

3. Traditional cutters or helical cutter head?
I love the helical cutter heads if your budget allows. I think Steel City has an inexpensive helical head lunch box planer. I have no experience with this unit.

4. I have heard that factory refurbished is sometimes better than brand new because they have gone over the equipment in detail. true or not true (obvious costs savings question)
I have always thought of Factory Refurb as good as new, but not better. It can be hit or miss though.

5. SHould have been the first question. Should I look at jointer first or get a planer?
There are many options to joint a board, but not many options to plane two surfaces to be parallel to each other. I would recommend planer first, but appreciate this may be personal preference.

Build a sled for the planer and you can joint a warped board with a planer. WoodnThings has a thread.

http://www.woodworkingtalk.com/f2/planer-sled-rails-14940/
 

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I have a 735 and knife wear can be a factor my first 2 sets I went though quick. I wouldn't say they where dull but defiantly nicked up and leaving lots of ridges. I'm on my 3rd set and it is lasting way longer then the first 2 so maybe dewalt figured something out.

When I'm ready to change knives again I'll be going with a Byrd head for sure since I'm slowly getting a lot of wood collected that is prone to tear out.

I can't speak of the proter cable unit I never used one so I'm not sure how they are.

A jointer seems to go hand and hand with a planer but if you don't have the extra cash you could always get away with a sled for the planer to use as a work around till you get one..
 

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I have both the Dewalt 735 and the Ridgid 13" planers. I've compared the surfaces of oak boards these machines produce and the Ridgid produced a slightly smoother surface. The Dewalt is very loud...about 100db at the machine. The Ridgid is around 90-95db so ear protection should be worn with both. The Dewalt has a fan assisted dust ejection that is better than the Ridgid but I use a shop vacuum for both and it works very well. I've put the Dewalt aside now and use the Ridgid for all of my planing. The Ridgid has adjustable tables and I can plane a board with very little snipe and if I'm careful and hold the boards I can get snipe free surfaces with both machines. Home Depot has a 90 day satisfaction guarantee on the Ridgid and they offer a lifetime service warranty
Parts for both should be readily available and there are Dewalt service centers nearly everywhere. The Dewalt is an impressive solid piece of equipment and I would purchase it and the Ridgid before the Delta.

I don't think you can plane boards parallel.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I have both the Dewalt 735 and the Ridgid 13" planers. I've compared the surfaces of oak boards these machines produce and the Ridgid produced a slightly smoother surface. The Dewalt is very loud...about 100db at the machine. The Ridgid is around 90-95db so ear protection should be worn with both. The Dewalt has a fan assisted dust ejection that is better than the Ridgid but I use a shop vacuum for both and it works very well. I've put the Dewalt aside now and use the Ridgid for all of my planing. The Ridgid has adjustable tables and I can plane a board with very little snipe and if I'm careful and hold the boards I can get snipe free surfaces with both machines. Home Depot has a 90 day satisfaction guarantee on the Ridgid and they offer a lifetime service warranty
Parts for both should be readily available and there are Dewalt service centers nearly everywhere. The Dewalt is an impressive solid piece of equipment and I would purchase it and the Ridgid before the Delta.

I don't think you can plane boards parallel.
I can take one of them off of your hands if it is taking up too much space LOL!
 

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I'll go ahead & throw my $0.02 here, mainly cause I can :icon_smile:

As a hobbiest, I purchased my DW735X around Oct of last year. It has planed awesome up until this past weekend. I noticed a bad spot on some boards coming through it. Since the bad spot is about 2" from one side, I finished my project using the other part of the blades with good results. I have no idea how many BF these original blades have done, though I made (9) 12"x18" edge grain cutting boards last Nov and I've ran a bunch more through lately.

Someone else mentioned snipe above. The reason I purchased the DeWalt was based on reviews that rated it #1 ahead of the Rigid, which is actually $200 cheaper. Reviews I read said the locked head virtually eliminated the snipe. I find this to be an an inaccurate statement, as I tend to experience 3-6" of snipe on both ends. In hindsight, I would honestly buy the Rigid with the lifetime guarantee.

Now, if you still want the DeWalt, I suggest keeping an eye on Rockler. http://www.rockler.com/product.cfm?page=30949
This is the same deal I got, and I was able to get free shipping too. I figured the infeed/outfeed tables, extra blades, and the 1.25hp palm router were definitely worth the extra $30. I love that palm router!!! I use it alot.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I'll go ahead & throw my $0.02 here, mainly cause I can :icon_smile:

As a hobbiest, I purchased my DW735X around Oct of last year. It has planed awesome up until this past weekend. I noticed a bad spot on some boards coming through it. Since the bad spot is about 2" from one side, I finished my project using the other part of the blades with good results. I have no idea how many BF these original blades have done, though I made (9) 12"x18" edge grain cutting boards last Nov and I've ran a bunch more through lately.

Someone else mentioned snipe above. The reason I purchased the DeWalt was based on reviews that rated it #1 ahead of the Rigid, which is actually $200 cheaper. Reviews I read said the locked head virtually eliminated the snipe. I find this to be an an inaccurate statement, as I tend to experience 3-6" of snipe on both ends. In hindsight, I would honestly buy the Rigid with the lifetime guarantee.

Now, if you still want the DeWalt, I suggest keeping an eye on Rockler. http://www.rockler.com/product.cfm?page=30949
This is the same deal I got, and I was able to get free shipping too. I figured the infeed/outfeed tables, extra blades, and the 1.25hp palm router were definitely worth the extra $30. I love that palm router!!! I use it alot.
I am still researching. Ridgid has not been ruled out.
 

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You might also consider the Dewalt 734, a fine machine, outfeed tables included, and is available on Amazon for $371. I've had mine for approx 1 year and despite using it with some very hard woods (purpleheart, hard maple, padauk), the blades are still good (a few minor ridges due to nicks in the blades - possibly from hardened glue from my cutting boards - very easy and quick to sand out). Never used the 735, but I would think that small nicks in the blades will, like all planers, be apparent sooner or later and thus negate the advantage of its high speed finish-cut feature.

I'd go for the planer over the jointer. My basement shop is on a small space; that combined with the hassel of dragging another heavy tool down a flight of stairs is enough of a turn-off for me.

My procedure for jointing boards is as follows:

- buy 1' x 4' particle board shelving from Home Depot for approx. $2.75
- rip into 2, 2' length sections
- Glue a 1/4" cleat to one end - this is now your planer sled
- with the sled on a flat surface, place your rough cut stock on the sled and determine where it rocks. Shim those regions to eliminate rocking. Now take a pencil and draw random lines all over the upward facing surface.
- Send board + sled through planer, removing ~ 1/32" at a time (the shallower cut prolongs blade life). When the pencil marks are entirely planed away, the face is dead flat.
- Turn board planed-side down on sled, remove all shims, and repeat. Voila, 2 sides dead flat and parallel to one another.
- Now tape board and place on the remaining piece of particle board shelving, using double sided tape to adhere the workpiece to the shelving (fancier methods such as clamps can certainly be employed here, but the tape method suits me fine). Let a long edge of the workpiece overhang the particle board sled by approx. 1/4" or less.
- With the workpiece placed on the table saw surface (sled is on top), run through table saw, removing as little of the overhanging edge of the workpiece as possible, yet sufficient to assure that the cut runs through its entire length.
- you now have one edge straight and true. Remove board from sled, place the jointed edge against the fence and let her rip. Two edges trued up and parallel.

Good luck with your quest.
 

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Theres a reason that virtually every portable planer is compared against the 735. Its by far the best portable planer you can buy. Now to be fair....I own one. I've added the factory outfeed and infeed tables, and i'm still using the first set of knives after a few hundred board feet of soft maple, red oak, and a bit of hard maple.

Just my two cents......and a few million other peoples too...:laughing::laughing::laughing:
 
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