I'm sure the life of planer blades varies with the type of wood, blade
speed, number of blades, etc...
That said how many bf of red oak & cedar should I expect to be able to plane
before needing to replace/flip blades
Are we talking 100's of bf or over 1000?
My guess is that, like all blades, bits etc., they will fail right is the
middle of a project...about 8:45pm...on a Saturday night...and ALL the area
hardware stores are closed on Sunday.
As the proud owner of a new DW735, I'm hoping the blades are good for a few
1,000 bdft. Good question though. I'll find out down the road a ways.
I've got the Delta 13 inch planer and had put about 3 - 400 bd feet of oak
and walnut through it then decided to clean the finish off a nice piece of
mahogany that was given to me. About 10 feet of mahogany with finish on it
took the edge right off the blades. These blades are double sided so I
turned them over and went out and bought another 2 sets to hang on the wall.
I've got another bunch of boards with finish on them so when I decide to use
them the dull blades go back in just long enough to clean off the finish.
I can't remember where I saw this... (Woodworking magazine, I'm sure.) They
said that running a benchtop planer with dull knives will significantly
shorten its life. The higher force needed to push dull blades through wood
stresses the drive train and increases the amp draw of the motor. Maybe
they're all wet, but it made sense to me and convinced me to flip the knives
on my 12.5" Delta. (I'm a cheap bastard and had already put /way/ too much
wood through those blades.)
Depends on how many nails you find.
To extend the life of the blades, try to use as much of the blade as you
can. If you are planing 4" board, don't just keep feeding the center. Once
you flip the blades, buy a backup set to keep on hand. When my blades went,
they went FAST and almost cost me a lot of wood.
Ron, I agree with Ed... you've got to feed your lumber in all along the
planer's width so one part of the blade doesn;t wear fater than another.
But... you probably knew that already.
I work almost exclusively with qs white oak. I dont think I've ever paid
attention to how many bf I'm getting out of my planer blades, but I'll guess
between 75 and 100 board feet, depending on my depth of cut. Taking light
passes is certainly easier on the blades, but it takes more passes to get
where you want to be. I'm a big believer in light cuts though, and I don;t
mind feeding the machine more often.
That 75-100 board feet guestimate is with roughsawn lumber and planing it
only enough to bring it to a smooth finished surface. I say guestimate
because it could be half that much or twice as much.
Wow. That seems really short. inless you are referrring to the actual VOLUME
of material removed. I'm referring to 100 bf being processing 100bf of
rough-cut stock , 4/4 or 5/4 into nominal S4S.
My cumulative guess over a halfdozen blade changes on a delta snipe-master
and a DW733 is a few hundred bd ft.
That's doing some dimensoning on the stock too, not just getting to a
I too learned the hard way that you can NOT remove finish with a planer. It
kills the blades almost immediately.
Meaningless answers to an unanswerable question. They last until they're
too dull to plane the kind of wood you have to plane at the moment. Might
do the next variety well, but that's a horse of a different color.
You bring up a good point though. If you have blades that are getting dull,
but can still cut, replace them now. Save the old set for the first pass or
two of some wood that may be questionable so as not to ruin the good set of
I think the OP was looking for a rough guestimate with which to set his
expectations. I believe that IS and answerable question.
If you would post your experience, it would be another data point and more
useful than what you chose to post.
I have a 12.5" Delta that is still on the original set. I figure I have
surfaced aprox. 200 bf of rough white oak, and maybe another 100 bf of
various soft woods.
The rough oak required about 1/4" of wood removal for the 200 feet in
small increments so I guess you could say I have planed away 50 feet of
The blades are still sharp but showing signs of needing replacement
(more tear out)
Stephen M wrote:
Care to quantify that?
Under what conditions did you get xxx knife life?
The OP only asked to narrow it down to an order of magnitude: hundreds or
(e.g. to paraphrase another poster: 10's if you remove try to remove finish)
I'm sure you can be helpful if you really try.
In magnitudes of ten.
One pass if board contains nails.
Ten passes if the board is painted.
One hundred passes if the board has a lot of dust/dirt.
One thousand passes if it's nice clean, straight soft stock.
Ten thousand passes if your ears can stand it, the motor doesn't burn out
and you're not particular about what the surface looks like.
One spare pair of blades, once installed will make the next pass as perfect
as you can get..
Have somebody read/explain this to you. If you understand this, we'll talk
about how you can get three times the passes with boards 1/3 as wide as the
blades, and other complicated stuff.
================================I am really surprised at the low figures everyone is posting... I
really am... I purchased 1000 bt of rough cut Walnut a few years ago
plus at least 300 bf of poplar and an equal amount of cherry... and I
am almost completely out of that stock... The Blades were not new in
my Dewalt 730-something and I am still getting very acceptable
My guess would be at least a 1000 more like 2000 Bf.... maybe I am
blessed with a set of super blades
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