Best Thickness Planer – From My Personal Experience!
DeWalt DW735 13" Planer
Owning the DW 735 is great. However, curiosity got the best of me. I had to find out what the DW 735 X series came with.
From my assessment, these two planers work more or less the same. They are similar and have so many identical features. However, the X series have a few differences that I will mention right here.
- Size – The DW 735 X actually includes a longer table. Remember I said mentioned above that the table can be extended from both sides? Well, the X series has a longer table from all fronts. The extension table in the X series is called the trigger table.
- Blades – Unlike the 735 model that I own, the 735 X also comes with an extra set of blades. The previous model has three blades but this one has more.
NOTE: because these two models are almost the same, it comes down to your needs. Think about how important the extension tables and the knives are for your project. If you can do with an extra inch of space or blade, you know where to look at.
The DeWalt DW735 13″ Planer works so well. It has a 13-inch wide bed and up to 6 inches for the height. It is a medium sized planer which bridges the gap between the smaller models and the 20-inch big industrial planers.
The surface planer goes for around 600 USD. But I was lucky to get mine on sale for 525 USD. What I have, comes with the infeed and outfeed tangles.
It also comes with a set of knives, which you can replace in case one gets dull or naked. The knives are reversible/ double edged so you can take them out and flip them if one side dulls up.
- Simple Controls
According to several thickness planer reviews, this planer is also easy to use. In the front are all the controls you will need. They are easy to access and also to learn. You have a circuit breaker, on/off switch, speed control, and many other controls that I will mention.
- Simple Switch
The on and off switch is designed with a lift on and tap off technology. So if you’re you have a plank caught on the surface planer, it’s an easy remedy. You just have to tap on it and you’ll be good to go. The switch is also set on the feed side as a safety measure.
- Pre-Set Trimming Levels
Another fascinating feature that I love about this machine is the pre-set trimming levels. Ideally, you can go straight from 179 cuts per inch to 96 cuts per inch in seconds. The latter is best if you’re taking off a lot of material while the former is for the perfect finish.
When Can I Use the 179 Cuts per Inch Setting?
This setting is best for finishing. It can be used where there is no scalping. In addition to that, I often use it on very flat and even smooth surfaces and have never been disappointed. So basically, you don’t need to start your planning with it.
- Depth Removal Gauge
The next feature is the depth removal gauge. I really like this feature, partially because it is easy to set. More importantly, I love it because I don’t have to measure the thickness of my stock once I have set it.
- Depth Stop Gauge
And if you don’t want to exceed a certain thickness, you can use the “depth-stop gauge” too. This stop mechanism prevents the user from going past a set number. Once you crank this dial you can’t go past the set depth.
The depth-stop gauge is highly efficient and can go up to 1/8 of an inch. There are other calibrations such as a quarter, half, and three quarters among others. It is the flexibility of the gauge that I love.
- Measuring Ruler
Next you’ve got the ruler gauge on the side of the best benchtop planer. The ruler goes from zero to six inches. It is properly calibrated and reading it is not a problem at all.
However, the one thing that bothers me about this ruler is how far the adjustable screws are. I measured them and they sit about sixteen inches away. This causes a little bit of parallax when viewing from an angle.
What is a Parallax?
Parallax occurs when you take your ruler reading from an angle rather than at the same level. For instance if you are viewing your ruler from the top, you will see a lower marking. The marking won’t be the actual reading and that’s a parallax.
- Adjustable Wheel
Nonetheless, the ruler works well with the adjustable wheel that raises and lowers the direction of the cutter. Every turn is set at 1/16th of an inch in height and lowers or raises the cutter’s head with the same margin.
The wheel is easy to hold and rides on the four screws easily. Each spin is actually 1/16 of an inch so obviously half a spin is 1/32 of an inch. Keep that in mind.
The adjuster doesn’t need a lock down mechanism since it is beefier and the pressure from the wood can’t push it. Thanks to the four height adjustment screws that don’t bulge to any pressure.
- Chip Ejection Port
On the back of this portable planer is the chip ejection port. This thing is no joke. It will shoot chips out at unbelievable speed. I have never used a dust collector because of the speed. However, I use a four inch hose that I hooked up to lead off the chips.
- Three-Year Warranty
Finally, this best thickness planer has a three year warranty. My warranty is almost up. Once it is done, I can open up this machine further and give you additional details on how it works.
- Chip Ejection Port
- Adjustable Wheel
- Measuring Ruler
- Depth Stop Gauge
- Depth Removal Gauge
- Weight: 92 pounds
- Disperse Chips Technology: Two
- Maximum Cut Depth: ⅛ inch
- Maximum Width Capacity: 13 inches
- Dimensions: 24 x 22 x 18.8 Inches
- Motor: 15 Amps
- Load Speed: 10,000 RPM
- Power Source: Corded-electric
- Maximum Depth Capacity: 6 inches
- Cuts per Inch: 179 for Finishing. 96 cuts per inch for Starting
DeWalt DW735: $600
DeWalt DW735X: $600
- Powerful 15-AMP, 20,000 RPM motor (10,000 RPM cutterhead speed) handles larger cuts in wider materials with ease
- Three knife cutter-head delivers 30-percent longer knife life and makes knife change faster and easier
- Two speed gear box allows users to change feed speed to optimizing cuts per inch at 96 or 179 CPI
- Fan-assisted chip ejection vacuums chips off of the cutter-head and exhausts them out of the machine
Benefits of the DeWalt DW735 Wood Planer Series
There are so many things that I love about this planer. I can go on and on about them. However, I will stick with the most fundamental ones for now.
- Reliability – This tool is very reliable. It is well driven by a sprocket and chain system, which always get me leveled work surface. On each side, you have a handle. The handles are sturdy and will easily lift this 90pounds tool.
- Spacious – On both ends of this machine is an extension. If you pull out the extension, it gives you more working space. It also allows you to plane larger planks easily. Even better is the X series that will guarantee more space.
- Durability – Again the DeWalt DW735 13″ Planer is very durable. I have recouped the money that I used on it. It is very sturdy and has been designed from a high end metallic alloy. Well, it’s not entirely a cast iron plate but stamped metal; which also works just fine.
- Precision – A good woodwork project requires the best precision measurement. You must get your measurements right. With the depth gauge, measuring ruler, and adjustment wheel, these two models have no margin for error.
- Stability –Stability guarantees safety. It also gives you zero shake and leaves you with a smooth pane. The stability of the DW735 starts with their weight. They both weigh 92 pounds. Well, that’s heavy for you to move around alone but with a little help, you’ll be okay.
Additional Tips: DW735/ DW735X Series
These two models are very similar. They also have the same type of user manual – I checked. Here are some additional tips that you should know about them.
How to Replace a DeWalt DW735 Planer Knife
First, unplug the machine from the power source. Now unscrew the screws that hold the cover. The cover should lift up. You will see the blower for the chip extractions. Underneath the cover you will get the planer’s knife access.
There are three wing nuts that you must loosen. Rotate them and slide the cover up to remove. As the cover pops out it reveals the cutter’s head. If there is any dust, redirect it to the blower. You can then unscrew all the fasteners and replace the planer’s knives.
Tips for Replacing the Planer’s Knives
- Use the magnetic touch in the side system to hold the knives in place.
- Wrap up your hands with the proper gear. You should wear hand gloves.
- Use the manual to identify the motor, dust fan, and the cutter’s head
- Once you have replaced the knives make sure everything is fastened.
- Do not test the portable planer while the top cover is opened – cover it first.
How Should I String My Hose?
You want your dust hose to stay out of the way. The best way to do this is to adopt my method. I like it if you can pull the hose to a 90-degree angle. With this angle I don’t always have to worry about my board getting stuck on the hose.
Why Can’t the Best Portable Planer Clog?
I have used this machine for years and it hasn’t clogged any day. I took my time to research. Here is what I now know. This model has high dust management technology. The chip ejection system throws very tiny chips.
In addition to that, it also sucks up the chips very fast just like a vacuum. Then it forces them down the 4-inch collection chute. This prevents clogging and also makes cleaning easy and faster.
In overall, I recommend these two best benchtop planers. Well, you can use the DeWalt DW735 or go for the DeWalt DW735X depending on your needs. The truth is there isn’t much difference between the two. They are both super cool tools and you will get the best result from them any day.