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Thread: upgrading planers,,

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
    greensboro nc

    upgrading planers,,

    i have a porter cable 12 1/2 planer which does a good job but i am wanting to upgrade to a better one,,i was thinking about the g0815 grizzly planer,,,some of my concerns are its a 3 knife system and i was wandering how hard it is to change the blades,,my porter cable was 2 knife but there was no adjustment,,,you just removed the old ones and replaced with the news ones,,plus they were double edged,,i know this planner isnt like that,,so can anyone tell me how much trouble it is to replacing the knives,,i was also looking at the spiral cutterhead and was also wandering about how hard it is to replace,,i know alot of people will say just get the planer with the spiral head but the weight of the planer is a big concern,,its nearly doubled to get the spiral cutterhead,,can anyone give me some input on this,,,,and i have also thought about getting a 13 inch spiral cutterhead benchtop planer,,but i was really wanting the extra 2 inches,,,,

  2. #2
    Not necceassarily a direct reply to your question, but I have a couple of concerns to share.
    One in regard to Grizzly powere equipment, recently sent back 3 G0940 13" helical cutting head benchtop planers, all damaged in shipment via UPS. Grizzly would not accomodate me to add extra protection in shipping claiming it was all due to UPS' rough handling. I did not feel the company's attempt to keep a customer was a reflection of good customer care. Proceed carefully with Grizzly. Shipping would probably be more secure on a palate.
    There are not many benchtop models with a true helical cutting head, plus if you are doing production work a floor model would probably give you a longer life. The cost of a helical cutting head ranges approximately from $400 to $800. A costly investment for upgrading a benchtop model.
    Customer service and technical support are under valued qualities to pay attention to.
    Good luck!
    Mark Mrsa

  3. I've tried several benchtop planers, and the best one, in my opinion, is

    That being the case, I don't use a benchtop anymore. I upgraded to a 15" 3HP, and am so glad that I did.

  4. #4
    A spiral cutterhead will have 'indexed' knives. In other words, they go in a certain way and when you get a knick, you turn that corresponding cutter 1/4 turn. You will still have 2 more fresh surfaces on that 'blade'. They'll usually be made of carbide, which is like 10x longer lasting edge than a high speed steel knife blade, too. Then, there's the fact that you'll actually have how many cutter heads over the corresponding 13" or 15" or ?? I have a Hammer, which I think has 64 individual cutterheads, spread out over 16". I don't have many problems with tear out. I just did some birdseye maple. There was a little tear out. I turned the wood around and ran it thru the other way and reduced the depth of cut and it cut it almost perfectly smooth.

    My first planer was a Rigid lunchbox. It was great as a starter machine. If I were to upgrade from what you have, the next step would probably be the DeWalt (735) with the locking 4 post head and a spiral cutterhead (Byrd?). If you were to go up from that, then a Grizzly with a 15" cutterhead, lots of cast iron and a spiral would be a good start. I don't know that I'd ever go back to a 3 knife cutterhead again. If you knick a knife, you'll have to pull it and get it resharpened or replaced. The carbide ones last much longer.

    If you have decided to woodwork for any long period of time, cry once and do it right to start. I've done lots of 'crying' (spending) in 25 years. 6" jointer to 12" jointer to 12" spiral cutter to 16" spiral... 13" lunch box planer to 12" heavy duty planer to 12" spiral cutterhead planer to 16" planer, etc. table saw w/ 52" fence, Felder, Bosch portable TS, to the current 3hp SawStop w/ 36" fence & a track saw.
    Last edited by Rod Wolfy; 12-27-2021 at 7:50 PM.

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