Thickness planers!


Recommended Posts

I was just checking out all of the tools people had listed in their shops and I was wanting to see what your recomendations on a portable thickness planer would be.

I was looking at the Makita and reading reviews on Amazon. The reviews seem to be pretty good. Anyone have any input on the Makita or any others would be GREATLY appreciated.

Thanks

Brett

Link to post
Share on other sites

I was just checking out all of the tools people had listed in their shops and I was wanting to see what your recomendations on a portable thickness planer would be.

I was looking at the Makita and reading reviews on Amazon. The reviews seem to be pretty good. Anyone have any input on the Makita or any others would be GREATLY appreciated.

Thanks

Brett

I bought the Makita when my Delta went south. The quality of cut is good and the machine is relatively quiet for what it is. A feature I really like is that the cutterhead locks automatically at each depth setting - there's no lever to lock/unlock, just set the depth and feed.

I had a quality issue out of the box - the cutterhead wasn't parallel with the bed. I corrected this by removing the bed cover and adding aluminum foil "shims".

I'll throw another contender into the ring, the Rigid. A friend has one and loves it. Also, every review I've read was positive.

Good luck!

Joe

Link to post
Share on other sites

I was just checking out all of the tools people had listed in their shops and I was wanting to see what your recomendations on a portable thickness planer would be.

I was looking at the Makita and reading reviews on Amazon. The reviews seem to be pretty good. Anyone have any input on the Makita or any others would be GREATLY appreciated.

Thanks

Brett

Hey Brett. Check out the responses on this thread.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I've only owned the Ridgid 13 inch, but I think it is a great machine. It routinely scores in the best value category on magazine reviews. It has about 2-3 inches of snipe that you learn to live with or compensate for (lifting up on the board as it goes in and comes out helps as does the usual home remedies) , but the finish speed doesn't need much plane/sandpaper touch up afterward. Nice machine.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I've only owned the Ridgid 13 inch, but I think it is a great machine. It routinely scores in the best value category on magazine reviews. It has about 2-3 inches of snipe that you learn to live with or compensate for (lifting up on the board as it goes in and comes out helps as does the usual home remedies) , but the finish speed doesn't need much plane/sandpaper touch up afterward. Nice machine.

Not to be picky here but how can it be a nice machine if it constantly causes 2-3" of snipe?

Link to post
Share on other sites

practically all lunch box planers cause some amount of snipe because of the roller design, but there are a number of remedies to help lessen this problem. The best planers have very little snipe, but it's still something you have to learn to compensate for.

There are some great CMS saws out there and they all cut accurately. Now, you might find that the dust collection might be excellent on the Kapex compared to the Makita, but the makita makes incredibly accurate cuts and you feel it is easier to use than the kapex. Of course, the makita is around half the price of the Festool, so I would still consider the makita a nice machine, despite one short coming.

The price, portability, and quality of the Ridgid makes it a nice machine to me, despite a very common short coming that most all portable planers suffer with. Does that answer your question?

Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, thank you everyone for your insight on planers. I still have some time before I can get one but it's good to have the info to think about. I have gotten by without one for so long and when I get one, I really want it to be "The One". I am going to take a trip up to Grizzly in Bellingham and I am hoping to "stumble" on a smokin' deal on the 15" stationary model, but I'm not getting my hopes up.

Thanks again.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Another happy Ridgid user... Its done everything I've asked of it. It does get snipe if you aren't careful or try to leave the trays perfectly flat. No marks on the surface when you take lighter cuts, almost finished. I just used it on some birdseye maple this weekend and it didn't even tear out any of the birdseye thingies... I haven't bogged it down but then I don't take super deep cuts with it.

Link to post
Share on other sites

+1 on the Ridgid. Comes with extra set of knives and all knives are double edged (so like 4 sets).

All lunchboxes will get snipe, it's the nature of a tiny infeed table; depends on its rigidity (sic).

I made 3' infeed and outfeed tables for mine; never have any snipe and no need to lift the board (though I believe people have good luck with that). I made the tables before starting a 12' long cabinet so my stock was 12'+ . I had to balance the end on the feed, yes, but with the typical 12" infeed table on a lunchbox, the table itself would have flexed beyond reason.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I have a Makita 300mm planer. It does an OK job but the one shortcoming that really gets me is that the table adjusts instead of the cutter head. This makes in/out feed tables near impossible. Just something to think about when looking to buy. The DeWalt that Sac speaks of is a sweet machine. I like the new Steel City one with the helical cutter head too, no more blades and when it gets dull, just turn the inserts. I really can't complain about the Makita, I am "storing" it permanently for my Father In Law, so the price was right.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree with Sac. But, I've also been able to eliminate snipe on my DW734.

When I was shopping for one, I thought that snipe would drive me nuts and the Dewalt seemed the best at minimizing snipe, so I decided on a DW735 but after finding out that the extension tables had to be ordered in and how much they cost, I settled on the DW734 which came with the extension tables, I am still perfectly happy with it.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I have had the 13" Delta for about 6 years. It's been a great machine until I pulled it apert for cleaning and lubing. Changed the knives etc. and ever since it's acting strange. It is even have trouble planing my soft Cedar.Don't know what's wrong. Guess I'll have to rip it apart and start over.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Steel City just came out with a 13" lunchbox planer with a helical cutterhead. It's a bit pricey at 600 bones but I think the helical cutter will eliminate any concerns that you may have regarding snipe. I am considering this planer myself. Happy Hunting! :D

http://www.steelcitytoolworks.com/products_tools.cfm?section=2&category=9&tool=40200H

Link to post
Share on other sites

I was just checking out all of the tools people had listed in their shops and I was wanting to see what your recomendations on a portable thickness planer would be.

I was looking at the Makita and reading reviews on Amazon. The reviews seem to be pretty good. Anyone have any input on the Makita or any others would be GREATLY appreciated.

Thanks

Brett

Okay, I am replying to my own post, but I have a reason.

I wanted to thank everyone for their input on planers and I wanted to let you all know that I went out this morning and bought one!

Which one you ask?

I ended up with the 13" Ridgid.

I started out really leaning towards the Makita. The price tag is high on these and also on the DeWalt 735, so that was one of the factors that took those two out of the race. Well the price tag is high on all of the choices, really, especially on a single income and 7 chillins!

I was looking on the lower end of the price range and some of the reviews weren't all that stellar so those were eliminated from the race too.

So what is left? The middle road, as far as expense.

Remember this, I don't "need" a planer, this is a want, and a useful want at that. So a planer purchase in all reality could have waited, but I am weak, and I succomed to the pressure that I inflicted on myself.

I really narrowed it down to two choices. The DeWalt 734 and the Ridgid. Both users of the two machines really seem to like what they have, so it seemed as if I could not go wrong either way I went. My Dad has the Dewalt and went with the ridgid so we could have two tools to reference to, and I liked the color scheme of the Ridgid! I already have a lot of yellow and black tools.

So all of this to say thanks to all of you who helped me with your experiences and IF any issues come up with the Ridgid planer, I will let you know. And if something goes south with it, I will have someone to point my finger at and say "you told me it was a good one, and that is why I bought this one!" Just kidding! ;)

Thanks once again!

post-351-053200700 1282938609_thumb.jpg

post-351-091065700 1282938629_thumb.jpg

post-351-031883900 1282938638_thumb.jpg

Link to post
Share on other sites

Remember this, I don't "need" a planer, this is a want, and a useful want at that. So a planer purchase in all reality could have waited, but I am weak, and I succumbed to the pressure that I inflicted on myself.

That is the story of my life and my shop. I have a weakness when it comes to tools. But hey, congrats on the purchase.. I have heard several people that have been happy with those. If you take care of it, it will last you a long time, and give you consistent results. Enjoy, and make sure you let others know what you think about it. And there is nothing wrong with answering your own post...

Link to post
Share on other sites

Congrats on the new planer! My big tool purchase this year was a planer as well, and I ended up going with the Dewalt 734 that you had looked at as well. If you can find a good supplier of rough sawn hardwood, that planer will pay for itself in a short period of time. I have found that the cost of board foot when comparing to the big box stores is about a 1/3 of the cost. The savings is more like I would estimate to be closer to 1/2 (still very good!) after figuring in waste due to snipe and sizing.

I had actually looked at going with the lower end models of planers (around $200 vs $400 for the 734) but after realizing how much they can potentially save you, not to mention opening up the door to higher end hardwoods that are not available at big box stores, paying for the high-end was almost a no-brainer. One word of advice, and I have learned this the hard way, do not lay your rough saw lumber directly on the garage floor, especially if you use it for more than just your workshop (assuming of course your workshop is in your garage). You would be amazed at the small particles of metal they will pickup that a metal detector will not find, but your knives will. *sigh*

Link to post
Share on other sites

I own the Ridgid 4330 planer. The machine runs well, blades stay sharp, but I have 2 3/8" of snipe on both ends of the board. If I feed boards back to back, I don't get the snipe. I am disappointed with the machine. I love my other Ridgid products, just not this one.

I just read a blog on how to decrease the snipe. I'm going to make a 48" MDF platform to cover the planer's table. Then process the lumbar on top of that. The blog stated that it drastically reduced snipe. I'll report back with my findings.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I own the Ridgid 4330 planer. The machine runs well, blades stay sharp, but I have 2 3/8" of snipe on both ends of the board. If I feed boards back to back, I don't get the snipe. I am disappointed with the machine. I love my other Ridgid products, just not this one.

I just read a blog on how to decrease the snipe. I'm going to make a 48" MDF platform to cover the planer's table. Then process the lumbar on top of that. The blog stated that it drastically reduced snipe. I'll report back with my findings.

If you have a nice flat assembly table, I blogged about what I used to do with my lunchbox planer to kill snipe and make feeding 14' boards pretty easy (back then I was making a bunch of big stuff for some reason). In the entry it also talks about using one of the two tables inside the planer for smaller parts although pushing long boards through there won't work that well.

If you normally store your planer somewhere (rather than leave it setup), a platform may be more cumbersome than some boxes, but it's just some other ideas to use.

(Oh, my lunchbox is a Ridgid planer)

Link to post
Share on other sites

If you have a nice flat assembly table, I blogged about what I used to do with my lunchbox planer to kill snipe and make feeding 14' boards pretty easy (back then I was making a bunch of big stuff for some reason). In the entry it also talks about using one of the two tables inside the planer for smaller parts although pushing long boards through there won't work that well.

If you normally store your planer somewhere (rather than leave it setup), a platform may be more cumbersome than some boxes, but it's just some other ideas to use.

(Oh, my lunchbox is a Ridgid planer)

Thanks you for the idea. I will give it some consideration. Looks like a "beefier" version of what i was thinking of doing. Good Idea!!

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Who's Online   3 Members, 0 Anonymous, 167 Guests (See full list)

  • Forum Statistics

    29451
    Total Topics
    399075
    Total Posts
  • Member Statistics

    22200
    Total Members
    3644
    Most Online
    GAbriel
    Newest Member
    GAbriel
    Joined