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Discussion Starter #1
Hey guys.

The wife has given me an "allowance" for the purchase of my first planer. I'm pretty excited about it, but I don't want to rush into anything. I've been lurking on CL for a couple weeks and watching for other deals. Unless a great deal comes up, I'd rather purchase new. My budget is around $800.

So, a decent deal may have come along on CL, but I'd like some advice from those more experienced than myself. The ad is for a Jet JPM-13, open stand model with an extra set of blades. It was purchased in 1996 and the seller states that it is in very good condition. I don't have pics yet, but will call to ask for them tomorrow. Asking price is $500.

Does this sound like a good buy, assuming it is really in very good condition? Anyone have experience with this model from that time period? Not sure the open stand version is still sold, but it looks like a new closed stand sells for around $1119, somewhat above my given budget.

Do you think I'm better off buying new? In my budget range, that basically means a bench top planer and a stand, though I'm pretty certain I could make my own basic stand. I get the impression that the DeWalt 735 is a very popular bench top model, but where can I go from there with another couple hundred dollars?

As always, thank you all for your advice. Very happy I found this community.

DK
 

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If you look at Amazon.com you will find a number of reviews for this item. In general it seems to get good ratings.

It is my opinion that with major woodworking pieces of equipment, the best (from a value perspective) buys are in the used market. There is nothing very complicated about the equipment that prevent the buyer from getting a good look at the condition of the unit. If you use due diligence on your used purchase you should get a good piece of equipment.

Whether or not buying used is feasible or not depends a lot upon the area where you live. If you live in a lower populated area like I do it could take a long time to find what you want.

On this specific piece of equipment I would think that $500 is a little high. Just my personal belief that used equipment should sell for less that half of new.
 

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Sawdust Creator
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You may check the Appleton Craigslist. There was a delta and a shop smith stationary units listed within the last week or two.
 

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Old Methane Gas Cloud
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The Jet lists for about $1200 new. In superb condition the max for a used one should be no more than $600. (General rule of thumb)

I was looking for something comparable from Grizzly but their web site seems to be in the toilet at the moment.

You may want to hold off until about March or early April for a used one. Sometimes guys get in a panic when trying to raise money to pay the IRS on April 15.
 

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No Longer Here, BY CHOICE
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I think your correct in thinking youll have to go used if you want a stationary unit.

If you decide to go new and go with a portable unit, I highly reccomend this one http://steelcitytoolworks.com/products_tools.cfm?section=2&category=9&tool=40200H Ive had mine for 2 years now and I absolutely love it. I think its the best bang for the buck in planers right now. Yes the DeWalt gets excellent reviews but I hear the thing SCREAMS. This one is very quite and is a helical head. IMO the helical head is a huge advantage over straight knive units in so many ways. I really feel if more people owned this planer and if more reviews were out there for it, it would be much more popular than the Dewalt. If I remember correctly, I purchased mine for right around $550. I got it at WoodCraft and mounted it on a cheap Craftsman tool stand that I stiffened up with 3/4" plywood shelves.
 
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If you buy a stationary 15" you will not regret it. A lot more power then benchtops.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Well, my CL replies are going nowhere, and the more I think about it,the more I think a higher end bench top/portable is a better idea for me right now. I will be building a new garage in the next year or two and will have more space for a "workshop" but right now I just have a small space in the basement. I'll budget for upgrades when I get there.

I'm really liking the Steel City 40200H. I also looked at the 40300H which is apparently a newer model. Design looks a bit different and it's 20 lbs lighter and about $100 cheaper. I think I would prefer the beefier 40200H unless someone with experience with these models can sell me on the cheaper lighter model.

Your thoughts?

Thanks again for your help!
 

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Sawdust Creator
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If your leaning towards a bench top.....I don't know how you can't default to the 735x from dewalt. 519 right now from amazon, and it is the gold standard to which all othe bench top planers are measured. If mine died tomorrow...I'd order another in a heartbeat.
 

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And for the record....I'm a huge fan of steel city tools....but I think the dewalt planer is a no brainier
 

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How is the DeWalt a no brainer? Ive always been curious why the thing is so popular when all I hear is people complaining about noise and snipe. Apparently you need ear plugs AND muffs to operate the thing. Everyone that has it also complains about having to figure in extra length for every project due to unavoidable snipe. Im not saying your wrong, Im really curious why everyone complains about this machine yet they all love it. Im also curious why a machine with so many negatives is considered the "gold standard".

OP, I cant comment on the 40300H as that model wasnt even on the market when I purchased my 40200H so Ive never even saw it beyond pics on the site. Best I can tell the biggest difference is the elevation mechanism. It looks like the mechanism that comes standard on some of the lower class machines such as Ryobi and Craftsman. All I can say is that I love my 40200H and Im glad thats the one I picked. After nearly three years, Im still getting perfect cuts one the first side of the inserts. My only complaint to this day is the grease I had to clean out of the thing when it was new. You hear people all the time dreaming of changing thier jointers and planers over to helical heads. This one comes that way fromn the factory. IMO, this one is the no brainer.

Heres a short write up I did when I first bought it...
http://www.woodworkingtalk.com/f24/steel-city-40200h-13-planer-23369/

Heres some reviews from Amazon. Youll see that about half of the people who wrote reviews replaced a DeWalt...
http://www.amazon.com/Steel-City-Tool-Works-40200H/product-reviews/B0046RDUHS
 

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Sawdust Creator
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The dewalt has long been considered the standard to measure against. I don't think you'll find a planer anywhere that doesn't produce snipe under some circumstance. The dewalt is renown for its durability, it's chip ejection ( from time to time I forget to turn on the dust collector and the chips still end up in the dust collector 15 feet away just from the internal fan. It's multi speed feed is a great feature in my opinion....one that not all planers share. The cast aluminum base is larger than most planers, and more ridgid than many with stamped steel bases.

If I had to pick a second planer...it would be the steel city. But I suspect if you took a poll....the happy to unhappy 735 owners would be 5:1 or better. Besides myself I personally know 3 other people with a 735....one Of them replaced the ridgid 3 blade unit that bears some similarity to the steel city with a 735....and everyone of us would buy another
 

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The dewalt has long been considered the standard to measure against. I don't think you'll find a planer anywhere that doesn't produce snipe under some circumstance. The dewalt is renown for its durability, it's chip ejection ( from time to time I forget to turn on the dust collector and the chips still end up in the dust collector 15 feet away just from the internal fan. It's multi speed feed is a great feature in my opinion....one that not all planers share. The cast aluminum base is larger than most planers, and more ridgid than many with stamped steel bases.

If I had to pick a second planer...it would be the steel city. But I suspect if you took a poll....the happy to unhappy 735 owners would be 5:1 or better. Besides myself I personally know 3 other people with a 735....one Of them replaced the ridgid 3 blade unit that bears some similarity to the steel city with a 735....and everyone of us would buy another
Yeah I understand its the standard, Im questioning why.

The SC planer dosnt produce any snipe provided your tables are adjusted properly and you use the snipe lock feature. It will also blow chips across the shop. I forgot to hook my SV up one time and made a nice mess. I agree multi speed is a nice feature. Mine has one speed. Yes its basically the same planer as the Ridged model except it has steel sides where the Ridgid is plastic. Also has a helical head which to my knowledge is the only portible unit to come from the factory with such a feature. I also understand there are lots of happy 735 owners. I just dont understand why when all of them complain. Im just saying, just because there are lots of them out there and they ruled the roost at one time, dosnt mean something better hasnt come along. At one time, those giant phones that had a briefcase full of bateries were the gold standard in mobile phones but weve come along ways since then. Again, I say, if more people knew about the Steel City planer and would try it, it would easily replace the DeWalt as the "gold standard". Look at this thread alone, the OP mentioned the DeWalt in his first post and hadnt even heard of the SC planer. Go read the reviews of the SC planer. Everyone that replaced a DW with a SC is happy. Theres only a couple of bad reviews out there for this planer and Id argue against those. Youve accepted that a screaming machine and snipe is okay because thats just the way it is but it dsont have to be that way.
 

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Sawdust Creator
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Not at all. Of the four guys I know with 735's, only one of them produces snipe, which was solved by adding the tables. Two of them don't use infeed or outfeed tables at all.

My planer doesn't have snipe, and I don't think it's particularly loud....any planer requires hearing protection.

I'm not saying the steel city is bad....it may very well be the next great tool.....but for a lot of guys the investment in a known tried and true winner of a machine has some appeal.
 

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Yeah I get that I guess.

There was a thread recently, just in the last week, that I cant find now for some reason. It was about the DW 735 and snipe. I dont know the exact numbers but Im guessing about 90% or greater of the people that posted in that thread complained of snipe problems and that they just figured extra wood into thier projects to correct it. Thats rediculous IMO.

All Im saying is that this machine corrects every negative the 735 has. The only thing I cant speak on is how long this machine will actually last. Im about three years in and its running like the day I brought it home. Obviously this is a hobby shop but I dont think production shops are using bench top planers.

I understand that theres alot of people that just accept the negatives and love thier planers. I just dont understand why is all so I like to give people an option that they probably dont know about and that I feel is better.:thumbsup:
 

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I bought a 15" a Delta about 2 years ago. At that time I already had the DeWalt 735. I still have the DeWalt and don't plan to get rid of it. If I need to make a very light cut I go to the DeWalt. The Delta has serrated infeed roller verses the DeWalt rubber roller. If you try to take a light cut with the Delta you get marks on the board from the infeed roller. I guess what I am trying to say they both have advantages.
Tom
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Thanks guys. Yeah, I mentioned the DW 735 in the OP because I realize it's very popular. I haven't decided on anything yet, and I'm still open to the DW. I imagine both the DeWalt and the Steel City can be properly set up to minimize snipe, and I would do that to the best of my ability with whatever machine I end up purchasing. All other things being relatively equal (price, weight, quality, reputation), the one thing for me that sets the Steel City up a notch is the quieter operation, as it will be in my basement for a while.

Still browsing and contemplating. I appreciate the opinions. I may look into a new vac with the remaining budget I have...

DK
 

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Yeah, you certainly cant fault anyone for considering the DW. Theres enough of them out there and most people that have them seem to love them even with said negatives. I just never understood why people seem to accept those negatives as normal. Maybe it is normal. Prior to the SC I own, I have no planer experience.

Ryan is a respected member here and I certainly respect his opinion. I hope no one thinks I am calling him out. Im not. Im simply questioning why people accept negatives as being okay.

I think either way you go, you cant really go wrong. I guess you need to look at the pros for all your options and decide what works for you.

My shop is in my basement too. When my daughter was a baby, she slept in our room which is directly above my shop. I never woke her up with the planer and vac running.

Yes, definately consider a new vac as well if you dont have a DC. A planer makes a ton of shavings, or in the case of the SC, a ton of small chips. If you dont hook it up to a vac or DC, it will blow chips 10 to 20 feet across your shop and just make a horrible mess. I use a Ridgid shop vac and a hame made Thien style seperater. Works great. One of these days when I have more room, Ill upgrade to a real DC system.
 

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BassBlaster said:
Yeah, you certainly cant fault anyone for considering the DW. Theres enough of them out there and most people that have them seem to love them even with said negatives. I just never understood why people seem to accept those negatives as normal. Maybe it is normal. Prior to the SC I own, I have no planer experience. Ryan is a respected member here and I certainly respect his opinion. I hope no one thinks I am calling him out. Im not. Im simply questioning why people accept negatives as being okay. I think either way you go, you cant really go wrong. I guess you need to look at the pros for all your options and decide what works for you. My shop is in my basement too. When my daughter was a baby, she slept in our room which is directly above my shop. I never woke her up with the planer and vac running. Yes, definately consider a new vac as well if you dont have a DC. A planer makes a ton of shavings, or in the case of the SC, a ton of small chips. If you dont hook it up to a vac or DC, it will blow chips 10 to 20 feet across your shop and just make a horrible mess. I use a Ridgid shop vac and a hame made Thien style seperater. Works great. One of these days when I have more room, Ill upgrade to a real DC system.
Sometimes we learn the hard way.... After I bought my Ridgid planer, I hooked up the shop vac to it, and chips flew everywhere.... At first I thought the dust shroud was defective.... After further study, I realized a shop vac (at least mine) didn't have the capacity to handle the volume.... I bought a ShopFox 2 hp DC... No issues after that....

Sent to y'all offen' a iPad thing......
 
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