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Thread: Hobbyist Looking for the Planer Truth

  1. #16
    Join Date
    Oct 2015
    Location
    SW Florida
    Posts
    113
    Great comments continue with thanks...all great points mentioned. No, the helical/spiral head is not mandatory and I've done just fine with the straight blades for the prior 10+ years. But I asked as they seem to be the "thing to go with" and since I'm having to do a replacement, thought it prudent to examine that route. As mentioned before, I've not experienced much tear-out but I've also not made anything of woods prone to it. Since power was mentioned, it too is an advantage of staying with the smaller machine since I only have access to 120 without having an electrician come in. Not that I wouldn't if the need arose, but currently it's all single phase in my shop.

    I will say the space is a greater limitation than the willingness to spend a little more on a nice piece of equipment, within reason of course.
    A wannabe woodworker!

  2. #17
    If space is an issue, more the reason to consider a jointer planer especially if you are ok spending a little more. Upgrading to 220 gives you more possibilities and is nice. Cry once....

  3. #18
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Cedar Park, TX - Boulder Creek, CA
    Posts
    541
    Felder introduced an insert head on their machines. Kinda bummed me out that the parts were not interchangeable with the older machine I have.

    Fast forward ... Just taking all the (few) screws out and cleaning everything to flip the straight blades is about the limit for the amount of work I want to do on it anyway ;-)

  4. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew Seemann View Post
    I've never quite understood the obsession with spiral/helical heads. I know why they get used, but at the same time, I don't understand why they are thought of as "essential" and an "automatic upgrade". I have had straight HSS knives on my 15" Grizzly for 15 years and had no problems despite running thousands of board feet through it. I wouldn't turn a spiral head down if it was a great deal, but I don't see it as essential either.

    I'd rather spend the money on larger and heavier and bigger motor than a spiral/helical head, but I also I have the space and power for it, which I know everyone doesn't.
    For starters, hit an inclusion and chip the straight knives and it's a major hassle to fix but with inserts rotating to a new edge is fast and easy. Second, the noise holy crap straight knife planers are loud, much quieter with inserts. Finally shove the most figured up mess of curly maple through a straight knife planer and you WILL get tear out. Zero to almost zero with the insert cutter head. Just saying.

  5. #20
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Punta Gorda, FL
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    2,975
    Quote Originally Posted by David Lageman View Post
    I will say the space is a greater limitation than the willingness to spend a little more on a nice piece of equipment, within reason of course.
    You should see my garage shop, David. Maybe in a former life I worked canning sardines. But everything is mobile. All that's needed is an open space down the middle.

    The evolution of the workshop is interesting. Buy a jointer and you find yourself looking for rough sawn edges. Buy a planer and that quest widens. Buy a bandsaw and you're looking for thick boards to resaw. And on it goes. Next thing you know you have a mini mill. But it sure can be fun.
    “Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness..." - Mark Twain

    Diapers and Politicians need to be changed often... Usually for the same reason.

  6. #21
    Join Date
    Jun 2020
    Location
    Leeds Point, NJ
    Posts
    15
    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew Hughes View Post
    I used to have both a 735 and a pm15 hh at the same time. The dewalt with carbide tipped knives from infinity left a much better surface then the bryd head.
    I tried the carbide blades for the 735 from Infinity earlier this year. The cutting edges weren't straight on my surface plate on any of the knives, and to the point they left a visible curve in the surface of boards, so I tried customer service. That was the most terrible experience I've ever had trying to get them replaced. They eventually did, 5-6 weeks later. The replacements were no better. I gave up and put them in a drawer. (Anyone want them? PM me! They're nice looking, and perhaps it's me not the blades)

    Roll forward time, I since bought and installed the Lux Cut III and am delighted. Not quite as smooth feeling, but easily sanded smooth and no more lines in planed boards after getting nicked in under 50 linear feet of work. Those HSS blades just don't like the Walnut I have I guess. I never take big bites with a planer in any case so not overly worried about the motor.

  7. #22
    Join Date
    Jan 2019
    Location
    Fairbanks AK
    Posts
    755
    I am not sure it will help, but I agree with David Basset, post #2 this thread.

    I don't own a dust collector or a planer yet, but I have done my research. I am constrained on both space and breaker availability currently. I do have room in the breaker panel for one 220V circuit - if I do a bunch of drywall work. DC and planer will be my next two power tool purchases.

    For planers that run on 110-120VAC, the DeWalt 735 is top of the heap, to the point I stopped reading any more planer reviews. Some folks like the helical head, I am going to pass. My local utility only supplies 110vac to my home, so I would already be at increased risk for drawing extra current on day one.

    I will have to make the 735 work until I am in a different shop. If I am not happy with the 735 I will start looking at 220 powered machines. I have a buddy from church with a 110vac planer - not a 735, not a DeWalt, with straight blades, that has done fine on every piece of stock I have taken over there. I expect I will be perfectly happy with the 735.

    If you have been happy with the old one and already have accessories for it I see no reason to change to a different current offering at 110-120 volts. I don't know of any planers that run quiet enough for hearing protection to be optional.

    Good luck and best wishes.

  8. #23
    Join Date
    Oct 2015
    Location
    SW Florida
    Posts
    113
    Quote Originally Posted by Prashun Patel View Post
    If space is an issue, more the reason to consider a jointer planer...
    You're probably correct Prashun and maybe this is the time to take a closer look at my shop layout.

    Quote Originally Posted by Julie Moriarty View Post
    You should see my garage shop, David. Maybe in a former life I worked canning sardines. But everything is mobile. All that's needed is an open space down the middle.

    The evolution of the workshop is interesting. Buy a jointer and you find yourself looking for rough sawn edges. Buy a planer and that quest widens. Buy a bandsaw and you're looking for thick boards to resaw. And on it goes. Next thing you know you have a mini mill. But it sure can be fun.
    Julie...therein lies the issue. I've only been able to commandeer about 2/3 of our two car garage and everything you've mentioned is here and already modular, with the exception of the table saw and out feed table that doubles as my work station. As just mentioned, maybe it is time to remodel the shop.

    On a side note Julie, you're just up 75 from me and I'm wondering if you've been to Alva Hardwoods? I've never made the trip so I'm curious what it's like.
    A wannabe woodworker!

  9. #24
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Location
    Alberta
    Posts
    1,820
    OP if that Dewalt did everything you needed stick with it. I would not change heads in it though. My planer is a 20'' Cantek with a helical head. It is way quieter than straight knives and has mostly eliminated tear out on Maple that I have used a lot in the last year. The surface left behind is not perfect. If held up to the light there are slight "tracks '' on a diagonal cross the wood. I actually liked my old planer with straight knives better ,as seeing the slight scallops was easier to see when sanding out. The planer I sold was also a 20'' machine and the knives were very easy to change and set .Since I have a Grizzly blade grinder and sharpen myself this worked real well. Not looking forward to rotating 120 carbide inserts so much ,pretty sure that will take me more than the hour it used to to change and sharpen/reinstall knives. Tersa is the best option out there for precision and speed of changes, as well as choices in knives.

  10. #25
    If it were me, I would stick with the existing planer and spend my $$$ on bringing 220V into the shop. The lack of 220V will continue to be a roadblock every you think about upgrading any machine. Just my 2-cents.

    Erik
    Felder USA Territory Representative: Central & South Texas

  11. #26
    Join Date
    Oct 2015
    Location
    SW Florida
    Posts
    113
    Quote Originally Posted by Erik Loza View Post
    If it were me, I would stick with the existing planer and spend my $$$ on bringing 220V into the shop. The lack of 220V will continue to be a roadblock every you think about upgrading any machine. Just my 2-cents.

    Erik
    Great suggestion Erik...After reading through all the replies last evening a few more times, this is actually something I considered. Stay with the known for now (minimal equipment investment) and use the difference to upgrade the shop infrastructure. Between that and reconsidering the shop layout, when the next buying decision comes up (and we all know it will) it would open options to me currently unavailable. I could also take the time and resources to get the mini split I've had for a while installed!

    I have to keep telling myself I'm just a hobbyist and don't need the best of everything but eventually I'll stop listening to myself...lol.

    Thanks to this great community for all the comments and suggestions...it's truly appreciated.
    A wannabe woodworker!

  12. #27
    "I have to keep telling myself I'm just a hobbyist and don't need the best of everything but eventually I'll stop listening to myself...lol."

    Until you realize that "Life's too short not to have things you want and can afford."

    Good tools are wasted only on those who don't use or appreciate them. if you can do both there's no shame in your (read "my") game.

    I recently upgraded to 220 in my garage and love love love it.

  13. #28
    Join Date
    Sep 2020
    Location
    Oakland, CA
    Posts
    130
    If you're adding 220 and only have one (double) space for it, install a subpanel with those slots instead and suddenly you'll have space for multiple new 110 and 220 circuits. This way you can have 220 DC and all the 110 or 220 tools you desire.

  14. #29
    There's also a new style breaker that's 110/220/110 or 3 breakers that fit within the space of 2. So if you have 2 110 breakers next to each other pull them and shove this one in that spot.

  15. #30
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Punta Gorda, FL
    Posts
    2,975
    Quote Originally Posted by David Lageman View Post
    On a side note Julie, you're just up 75 from me and I'm wondering if you've been to Alva Hardwoods? I've never made the trip so I'm curious what it's like.
    I've been to Alva a few times. Their advertised prices looked good but he always jacked up the prices when it came time to pay, giving some BS about how special the wood is. I stopped going there long ago. BTW, they are closed during the summer.

    I go to Advantage Lumber in Sarasota. VERY reasonable prices and a decent selection of woods, some woods I never saw before. And if you like live edge boards, you love it. I took my neighbor there and he was like a kid at an amusement park.
    “Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness..." - Mark Twain

    Diapers and Politicians need to be changed often... Usually for the same reason.

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