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I've got some money saved up for a benchtop planer. And while the DeWalts are pretty ubiquitous, I'm not entirely sold on the idea that they're the best. For instance, the Grizzly G0889 has a three-blade cutterhead, the blades can be sharpened rather than replaced, it has a cutterhead lock, and is only $400. Not only does it seem to be better in a lot of ways, it's also cheaper. I can put that saved money towards a small jointer.

Are the DeWalt benchtop planers really the best bang for the buck? Or are there better alternatives out there?

Edited by Dave Trendymiddlename Starr
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The DW is also three-blade. Another option to consider is the Ridgid R4331 if there are Home Depots in your area. I have it and have been pleased with it. I get a bit of snipe but I have never attempted to remedy it, as it's not too bad. The blades are disposable, but I do like that they are two sided and indexed so that you don't have to fiddle with alignment. You can buy 3rd party blades for the DW and the Ridgid that can be sharpened, for the record. Inifinitytools.com blades is what many people recommend.

One thing the DW has that the Grizzly and Ridgid don't is two speed settings.

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I have the dewalt 735 and I love it. It is a 3blade system and the cutter head does lock. At first I was not sure I liked that the blades were replaced and not sharpened. But after the second time I changed the blades while in the middle of doing a project I realized I was saving time not having to sharpen and then having to do a blade set up. Precious time was saved. Plus I love the 2speed system. Depending on the type of project I’m doing,  the fine setting has been good enough that I could sand with a lot higher grit. Cutting my sanding time down. That’s just another area I saved time. Unless the time comes where I need a larger planner or this one does I will replace it with the same. 


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I can't say the Ridgid is better than the Dewalt ones never having used them. I purchased a refurbished Ridgid one but this site also has factory blemished ones that include the warranty. I'm not in the shop enough to justify spending twice as much. If the Ridgid one wears out on me years from now I'll upgrade. Ideally it will last until we one day move and I can look into a floor standing one. 

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Are you doing the sharpening your self? If so you can get upgraded blades for the 735 that can take a hone or 3. Infinity has a good set https://www.infinitytools.com/.

The other thing to keep in mind if you are paying for sharpening is that it's not entirely cheaper. You are going to want a spare set of blades or 2 so you can keep going while one is being sharpened and possibly have a 3rd just in case. I'd account $1 to $1.50 per inch. So at 13" x 3 your talking $39 or $78 for 2 sets. This is very close to what the disposable blades cost. Now there are a lot of discussions about if the disposable blades last as long or not but i can't help there. You can't sharpen blades indefinitely either so your 3 sets will wear out.

The BIGGEST benefit to disposable knives is you never have to set the blade height, ever. They index and are fast and easy to replace. That said the grizzly planer you have in your post uses disposable knives. You'd have to get into the larger stationary type planers to have knives that would be sharpened.

If this is fully about cost get a helical head. Huge upfront cost but it's quieter and the inserts last heavy users years. Light users could be decades.

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I have a Dewalt 735 and I installed a helical cutterhead and , aside from replacing the brushes, I’ve never looked back. I was purchasing the Infinity cutting blades and they were definitely lasting longer than the Dewalt but the helical head produces a cleaner product.

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I use a DW735, and aside from sounding like a 747 at take-off, I have no complaints. Chip collection is powerful, the machine is beefy, and it makes a smooth cut. Short of making the leap to stationary machine witb 4 digits of cost, its about as good as you can get. The Grizzly, and others of like design (Delta, Rigid, Cutech, and Central Machinery) can certainly do the job, I'd look more at lifespan.

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I think this is pretty much a 735 group. As previously mentioned, the Infinity blade is the perfect replacement to have on hand when the stock blades crap on ya. Deulen makes a sharpening jig that works great. For the bucks, opt for the 735 over the 734. I have a friend that bought the 734 and I’ve told him “I told you so”, many times. 

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I've had the ridgid and sold it to upgrade to the 735. It's always been highly reviewed, and I think it's by far the best planer in the 13" class. The only gripe I have is the placement of the dust collection port.

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Replacement due to a faulty part or to accommodate your dc system? I bought a 4” flexible hose from Rockler and my wife sewed an old bed sheet together to form a sock and attached it to the end of the hose. The 735 has enough discharge that you don’t need to attach it to your dc system. 

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I have the Makita.  It's done the job but can't say I recommend it over the Dewalt.  The main thing that turned me off the Dewalt was the really long minimum stock length.  I think it's over 12"?  In looking at the Grizzly G0889, looks like it has a 2-1/2" port.  That ain't gonna cut it.  The dust collection port for the Makita was a 2-1/2" off to the side like that and I had to make my own out of an HVAC boot.  Even with that and hooked up to a monster DC it's still not great.

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With the 12” min. length on the735, it just takes a little more planing and we get use to it. Or, run a sacrificial piece directly behind the good piece. Anything less and we break out the hand planes. 

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I too own a Dewalt 735. Being retired, I’m in the shop most afternoons for about three hours and have had the machine since 2016. The blades from Dewalt work well for me, but dull to the point of ripping chips out (my signal to do a change) about every project and ½ with the project being a piece of furniture (e.g. dresser, coffee table). They last longer obviously when I’m doing small projects. That sounds not so good, but the blades are relatively cheap compared to their carbide alternatives and a breeze to change or rotate to the second side. I also very much like the difference in speed. For some woods like walnut or soft maple I can use the dimension setting (speed 2) without problems. However, for hard maple I’ll get tear out at that speed which disappears when I move to the slower setting (speed 1).  Bottom line, mine has been running well for four years but will probably break this afternoon because I posted this to you all.

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I own the 734, which has one speed, three blade cutter and does require a dust collector as it won’t push the sawdust out of the way on its own(I tried!). But it’s never given me any snipe, right out of the box, and after about five years of using it I have yet to flip the blades. Still get a nice finish, and that’s after untold board feet of white oak (my staple wood), maple, mahogany, walnut, pine, poplar, pretty much anything I’ve ever had in the shop. 
I’ve looked longingly at the 735 but have no complaints about the 734 so for the cost difference (I think I paid around $350?) I think it’s a good deal. For a 13” planer it does everything it’s supposed to do, well. 

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10 hours ago, Coop said:

I think this is pretty much a 735 group. .... For the bucks, opt for the 735 over the 734. I have a friend that bought the 734 and I’ve told him “I told you so”, many times. 

Yeah yeah you’re a 735 snob!  :) 

I like my lunchbox!

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3 hours ago, RichardA said:

The 735 has a blower that pushes the chips out of the planer into your DC or in my case.

102_1369.JPG

Every time I see this picture I have to laugh and give it 2 thumbs up

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I will be a slightly dissenting opinion on this. I have problems with the Dewalt. They torque their bolts too friggin tight. I nearly break my arm getting anything loose. And somehow, even when I make sure not to over tighten them, they still end up super tight again. Maybe is there some magic stuff you can put on threads to help with that, but I'm not a machine guy so I don't know. 

Last year I replaced the cutter head with the helical. I had to grind the bolts off the head to get the blades off. You can't slide the head out without removing them. It never ran right again after that head swap, which is quite possibly entirely my fault. I have no idea. 

Last week the belt shredded itself, so the rollers won't pull wood through. I've had it 3-4 years so this may be normal wear and tear, it may be I screwed something up during the head swap. So I started pulling it apart, and absolutely cannot get the screw out that holds on the up and down adjustment wheel. I had to go buy some carbide drill bits to drill into it and then use an extractor thing. 

Overall, it's been a pretty good machine, but it could be better. I'm currently planning to replace mine with a Grizzly 15". 

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9 hours ago, Cliff said:

Maybe is there some magic stuff you can put on threads to help with that, but I'm not a machine guy so I don't know. 

Anti-Seize is what you're looking for.

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They must run the same torque setting as every mechanic who put my tires back on...

Just a heads up, the Dewalt 735X and stand are on sale today at Home Depot for $599.

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