Does Dewalt make a 15" planer? Their new, highly rated planer, is a 12 or
13", I think.
Workbench magazine just gave Powermatic's new 15" a top tool award.
They like it's spiral cutterhead. It also sells for $1800.
I bought the Delta X5 and it is one Delta tool that I am thoroughly
satisified with. I like the head moving up and down to adjust thickness
leaving the infeed and outfeed tables at a fixed height -- much easier to
set up the infeed and outfeed supports. Both the Jet and Powermatic raise
and lower the bed to control depth of cut. I plane exotic and highly
figured woods and the Delta does a job that my Dewalt benchtop can't compare
to. The unit has plenty of power to "hog" wood at the higher feed rates and
the lower feed rate results in an extremely smooth final pass.
I have a Powermatic. It does a fairly good job, except for a little
snipe that I can't seem to get rid of. After a lot of frustration, I
bought a Performax 16-32 drum sander to go along with the planer. The
procedure that I use now is to plane 1/16" or so overthick and then use
the sander to get down to the final thickness.
I have the 15" Jet and give it a C+. It's strong and accurate and came out
of the box well-adjusted and ready to use. However, it prefers the slow feed
rate and doesn't really like taking off more than about 1/16" at a time.
The finish it gives is quite good and the knives are still sharp after three
years. Ergonomically, it could use improvements. The head locks and on-off
switch are on the opposite side from the height adjustment so I'm forced to
move from side to side to loosen or tighten them and then change the depth
of cut and then loosen/tighten again. Also, the locks are too far down on
the side and take too many turns to grip or release.
Occasionally the unit fails to grip incoming boards and I need to force them
into the rollers. Once in while I get snipe, but it usually planes out on
the next pass.
If I were buying again I'd look at other units closely before deciding.
The one that's set up properly. I've got a Delta and I'm very happy with it
though it was difficult to clean all of the anti-rust grease off of it. I
also like the fact that the cutting head moves instead of the table.
Extension tables are easy to add.
Thanks for all of the input. I went with the Powermatic deluxe. It was
$1800.00 reduced down to 1100. and change due to woodworkers is going
out of business. It seemed to be a great deal,.. I will soon find out!
Greetings and Salutations.
On 29 Dec 2003 20:49:53 -0800, firstname.lastname@example.org (freefalling)
The best planer is the one that you have at hand to use.
In a less smart-ass mode, though....I have the Delta
15" planer (the precursor to the x5 model), and have run quite a bit
of wood through it. I am very pleased with its performance, in that
it cuts very smoothly, with essentially no snipe and has enough power
to deal with anything I throw at it without slowing down. I would
not have dropped the $1200 for it, but, I found MINE at an MSC
tent sale for a fairly painless $780 or so. That is still a chunk
of cash, but, it was small enough that it was only MILDLY painful.
Powermatic has had a good reputation, although just
recently there appear to have been some rough spots in the
Jet makes a good product, but, I don't think that it is
any better than the equivalent model from www.grizzlyindustrial.com,
and, is probably made on the same production lines. I would probably
take the price savings and go with Grizzly if I was going to take
Got to remember, too, that it is vital to have a good
jointer in conjunction with this tool. The planer will do nothing
but produce a nice, fairly smooth surface that is parallel to the
OPPOSITE face of the wood. If that opposite face is not flat...
you will end up with a nicely parallel, wavy piece of wood.
Although this may be old news...the usual sequence of
cuts for the wood are as follows:
1) flatten one face on the jointer.
2) Thickness plane the wood to NEAR final dimensions with
3) run the planed face through the jointer to smooth
to final dimensions.
4) Joint one edge flat.
5) Run the board through the tablesaw, to bring the opposite
edge to near final dimensions.
6) Joint the sawn edge to smooth and bring to final size.
At this point, if you have worked carefully, you should
have a board which has flat, parallel faces and flat, parallel
edges at a precise 90 degree angle to the faces. It may only
stay that way for a day...but it is there *smile* - wood moves,
In any case, all three planers are good tools, but,
I would probably rank them in this order: Delta, Powermatic, Jet.
I'm pretty sure the Powermatic 15" and the Jet 15" are the same basic
machine in a different color with slightly different external features.
Powermatic does make a 15" planer/molder that is different.
I've looked at both up close.
I'd bet, though I'm too lazy to look, that the planer/molder is the same one
Jet was selling something like 5-6-7 years ago when I tested 3 of them for WWJ.
There's a lot of crass-branding going on at WMH Tools these days.
"If you want to know what God thinks of money, just look at the people he gave
it to. " Dorothy Parker
The old Powermatic Model 15 was about the same as the Jet.
Powermatic just came out with the Model 15S. It has a 3 knife cutter
head with spiral blades as well as cast iron infeed and outfeed
tables. There is a review in the latest (Feb.) Workbench magazine.
I just saw a demo if it at the Hardwood Connection in Sycamore Il.
It did an awesome job on some curly maple, no chip out. Retails
for $1800 but I think there's a deal on it for $1600 until April.
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