I'm looking for a thickness planer and plan on getting it from Home
Depot. They have Rigid, Ryobi, Delta, and Dewalt brands. The Ryobi is
fairly cheap $200 I think. I have a Rigid router that I am quite happy
with and have been leaning towards that model.
Any suggestions on features I should look for? I have never used one
and am not sure what to look for. The basic use is for rough saw oak
and other hardwoods. Most pieces will be less than 6 feet in length,
width around 8"-12" and thickness from 1/4" or so up to 3".
I have a freind that purchased a harbor freight
3 H.P. 13" last summer, (they run about $399.)
cheaper when there on sale, anyhow, he had a ryobi before and say's the
H.F. is a real horse compaired to the pony he had. know another guy's
got one also and say's his works fine to.
they also have a 2 h.p. 10" for $199.
worth check'in out
I've been using my planer, jointer, bandsaw and lathe -- all from HF --
for about two years now and have yet to have to rewire anything.
I had to junk a motor ... but that's another story altogether (the
capacitor smoke had all leaked out).
I am disillusioned enough to know that no man's opinion on any subject
is worth a **** unless backed up with enough genuine information to make
The Rigid probably has the best warranty and that includes parts that
naturally wear out. Don't get too caught up on the multiple speeds on the
bench top models. Sure the slow speed makes a nice smooth cut but that is
simply short lived as the blade will probably develop a nick or two with in
a few hours of usage. That is true with the stationary planers also. The
two speeds on the larger planers are useful because slow is a good speed
and faster is, well faster. The 2 speeds on the bench tops are a good speed
and slower. Remember, it is a thicknesser not a finish surfacer. If you
are going to do a "lot" of rough to final dimension planing you may want to
seriously consider a stationary planer.
A bench top does a good job on common thickness boards, 3" is probably
pushing it weight wise if you are thinking 3x8x72.
I bought a Ryobi planer from HD about four years ago or so. I also
have a Ridgid table saw, the 3650, and a Ridgid jointer from the Borg.
They have all served me well. I bought the Ryobi after some
woodworking mag gave it a good review and rated it a "Best Buy" or
"Good Value" or something like that. It's the only planer I've ever
used so I don't have anything to measure it against but it does a good
job as far as I know. I do get some snipe the last inch or two on a
board. I've just learned to leave my stock longer than what I need for
the final dimension and trim off the part with the snipe. HD even
carries the replacement knives for the Ryobi which are fairly
reasonably priced, especially since you can flip the knives around
once. I guess if I had a complaint about my Ridgid jointer it would be
that the three HD's within 30 minutes of me don't stock replacement
knives. I end up buying them at Sears or on Amazon. I've run 4/4
through 8/4 oak, maple and walnut, through the Ryobi with no trouble
at all. What I've learned is that you need to take several passes
removing a small amount of wood at a time. If you get greedy and try
to plane off too much on a single pass you run the risk of tearout
which depending on the species and the grain can get quite ugly.
Better to run it through, unlock the cutterhead, turn the crank a 1/2
turn or so and lock it down again for another pass, repeating the
procedure until you get down to the desired thickness. As far as order
of operations with rough lumber, AFAIK, you want to face joint one
face, then edge joint with the smooth face against the fence then
plane with the jointed face down to the bed and finally rip the rough
edge using the jointed edge against the table saw fence. This gives
you four square stock and Bob's your uncle. Oh yeah and make sure that
there isn't any metal, even an 18 gauge brad, in the stock you are
milling. It will take a divot out of your planer blade. Ask me how I
know. Well, the first day with the planer and wanting to set it up and
play I grabbed a piece of scrap stock and sent it through. Doh! The
metal on metal sound put a damper on the celebration. I got a quick
lesson on how to flip the blades around on the first day. Have fun.
If you're not married to getting it at Home Depot, you may want to
look at the Dewalt DW734. I've had this one for over a year now
and it does a good job. The knives (3 of them) on it are supposedly
"disposable", but I've heard that some people are able to either
hone or sharpen them. The knives are double sided, and to date
I've only had to flip mine around--that's using the planer perhaps
two or three times a week. I bought an extra set and they run about
$45. If you're doing hobby type stuff and you're careful about
what you put through it, the knives should last you awhile.
When I was originally looking for a planer, I also looked around at
Home Depot, but they only carry the Dewalt DW735, which is
considerably more expensive. If there's a Lowes in your area, they
carry the DW734 or you could buy it from some place online like Amazon.
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