Thickness Planer Reviews
There are quite a few things that determine which thickness planer you should buy.
For instance, your skill level, how much space you have, how often you will use it, do you want it to be portable or stationary, overall ease of use and of course, how much does it cost and where is the best place to buy.
If you already know which thickness planer you would like, I have found the best prices are consistently at Amazon and in almost all cases, include free shipping.
Thickness Planer Reviews
I will discuss each of these models below. To go directly to a specific planer review, click the link.
I have been a woodworker for 20 years and although I’m not a professional carpenter, I do consider myself an experienced and serious woodworker.
My reviews are based on personal experience and what I have learned over the years.
I would suggest you consider the following before you make your purchase.
What is snipe?
When I first started to learn about thickness planers, all I heard from other planer users was that snipe was aggravating and to be expected. I then learned that snipe is when the blades cut into the very front or back end of the board as it goes through the machine. It creates a small cup, indention or “snipe”.
This can be incredibly frustrating because if the snipe is enough, it can ruin your just planed board.
So the question is how to eliminate or significantly reduce snipe?
In using a planer, I found that there is a small learning curve for any machine. In the beginning, your tendency is force the wood through the planer instead of letting the planer do the work. The other tendency is to try and take too much wood off each pass.
Yes, these “improper techniques” will indeed cause some snipe, regardless of the machine. After a little experimentation, I found a feed rate that eliminated almost all snipe. With a little practice, I think you will, too.
Many thickness planers will take 1/16 if an inch or more off each pass. That’s fine, but for me, I found that taking 1/32 off each pass, while taking more time, provided a consistent snipe free board.
Another thing is to make sure your infeed and outfeed tables are long enough to handle the board you’re using. If not, the board may tip and certainly cause snipe.
The last thing to realize is that all machines can cause some type of snipe. But a better machine combined with your good technique will virtually eliminate this issue.
I’m convinced that most of the people who experience significant amounts of snipe are not following the practices I mentioned above. So I would suggest that if snipe is a concern, you’ll be able to work through it with a little practice, regardless of the brand of planer you choose.
How long will the blades last?
The other issue for me was how long will the blades last? Good question. The real answer is it depends. It depends on your technique, how much you take off each pass and of course whether you’re cutting soft or hard woods.
Many planer users of each of these models report 1500 plus feet of use and their blades are still going strong. I’m personally Ok with having to replace or sharpen my blades after cutting 15 football fields of wood.
With proper use, all of the planers I talk about will give you a reasonable time before the blades need work. What I would suggest is that realize just like your table saw blades, planer blade maintenance is part of the price you pay to have that perfectly sized piece of cherry or walnut.
What’s the difference in cuts between planers with two and three blades?
You first thought would be that three blades must make a smoother cut with less stress on the motor? Right? I would agree that’s a logical thought.
However, I don’t see any difference in the cut between the Makita that has two blades and the Dewalt that has three. Maybe you could. If I were an engineer, maybe I could give you some technical reason why three is better than two, but simply as an end user, I can’t.
All I would say to you is that in the blade comparison of models above, I can’t tell a difference. If I were you, I wouldn’t let blade number sway your opinion on which thickness planer to buy.
Here’s a simple video of the dewalt dw735.
Which model is best for you?
I hope these thickness planer reviews have been helpful. I have tried to cover some basics on this post. However, to see more model and brand specific information click the links to the right.
You can certainly find the basic quality models at Home Depot or Lowes. If that’s all that you need, you’re fine there, but for overall selection, higher quality models and best prices, the best prices are at Amazon. The thickness planers mentioned above from Amazon will also include free shipping and in most cases, no sales tax.