From what I understand Shop Fox is the Grizzly brand that you buy at a local
dealer. You may be able to save by buying direct from Grizzly.
Something to consider, I just read an article in the latest Wood magazine
that tested 8" jointers. Half had some type of spiral cutter vs. the
straight cut knives. None of them gave as smooth of a cut as the standard
straight knife cutter. Wood contacted the manufacturers about this and
apparently the manufacturers have indicated that to get a cut as smooth as
a straight knife blade that the spiral cutter has to be with in a .0005"
tolerance. Apparently those with spiral indexable cutters that can be
clocked 90 degrees 4 times for a refreshed edge can be thrown off by a film
The test did however indicate that the advantage of a spiral cutter is that
the machine is quieter while milling and the motor does not have to work as
I just purchased the Delta 15" planer with 3 straight knife cutters and am
very pleased with the results. That said however I do not ever expect the
surface out of a thickness planer to be my final step in preparing the
surface for a stain or varnish. I will always follow up with a sander, hand
plane, or scraper.
Just something to think about.
would opt for both types of cutter equipped jointers. I'd previous
assumed that the spiral would cut more quietly and smoothly in all types
of wood. apparently that's hardly the case. Now I don't feel left out
by having "just" a 6" straight knife jointer. My jointer NEVER seems to
be working hard, but my DeWalt planer bogs down on wider cuts that
aren't all that deep. I switched circuits last year and found that the
first circuit I had it plugged into was starving the planer for current,
causing a more radical decrease in cutter head speed.
Well just keep in mind that these are Thickness planers and not final
surface planers and you should be happy with just about any of them
regardless of what type of cutter it has.
AND speaking of which, I am about to post a summary of a sled for my planer
that I built to flatten rough sawn boards.
I know several people who talk about the "finish" left by their
thickness planers. I think they need new glasses... <G>
Jointers and thickness planers are dimensioning tools. To me nothing
screams "amateur" louder than mill marks visible through a finish. I
also see them often on routed edges. If a machine cut or formed it
with a blade and it's going to show, it's going to need SOME sort of
sanding or scraping before finishing.
I have the black and blues on my shins from where my wife kicks me to
bite my tongue...
The new DeWalt and Delta planers have been advertised as providing a good
Quote from Delta about the 13-580 Finishing Planer:
. Two-speed material feed rate system: dimensioning speed (60 CPI) to
quickly reach desired thickness; finishing speed (90 CPI) for an ultra
smooth surface on final pass.
DeWalt is more cautious and calls their models thickness planers:; Three
knife cutter-head provides 96 cuts per inch, one of the finest finishes of
any portable planer
None of this matters once you get a nick on a blade though.
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I see it on commercial trim and business furniture, like hair salon
"cash wraps" and bank counters all the time. It looks terrible.
The salon "or Spa, as they call themselves" where my wife gets her hair
cut has a dark cherry counter for the receptionist and cashier. Take a
closer look and it looks corrugated. <G>
Some of the wisest words ever spoken... in here at least. <G>
A planer, IMHO, has nothing to do with the 'finish' of a job.
All it HAS to do, is to take a piece down to the dimension I want,
without it damaging the material. Preferably, it will do so quickly and
So many people seem to want more than that.
100/120 in a decent 6" ROS and off you go.
(Got to love that SpeedBloc too!)
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