My wife said that depending on how the finances look after tax season
she's willing to let me buy a planer. I'm somewhat experienced in
woodworking but have never worked with a personal planer. I'd like to
get your ideas on what brand to look for for the best bargain. I'm
looking to spend as little as possible but still end up with a decent
planer. Basically the higher end models like ShopFox and Jet are not
an option. Could you give me some brands to look for and approximate
prices I might expect to pay? If I show my wife I've researched this
with fellow woodworking experts she'll be much more likely to agree to
let me purchase one. Thanks for the help!!
Saw the DW at a local woodworking show today.
It really looked nice. Blade changing was really
easy. Three double sided blades. Smooth cutting.
Minimal snipe. Chip ejection. Very nice.
There's a multitude of posts in the archives about this subject and every
time it's asked, you'll get the same answers and if you read all the reviews
in the magazines - you'll get the opinion of the week.
So to help you summarize several years of postings, numerous magazine
articles and some hands-on experience.... it doesn't matter which one you
buy in the lower cost range of portable planers/jointers. Now that surely
will get me some flames but consider that if you go with the lower cost
units, you may be able to afford both a planer and a jointer that will do
A decent 6" jointer or 12" planer are both in the neighborhood of $500 each
but shop around at Grizzly, Harbor Freight, E*Bay etc. and don't overlook
the local "For Sale" ads. With a bit of tweaking and tuning even the lower
cost ones will perform quite well and get you woodworking. How long will
they last? I'm sure there are plenty of users here that will tell you their
brands are still running great after a number of years of service. Some
have features that only come on the higher priced models and those features
may be nice to have but do you really need them?
I typically subscribe to the "Buy once, Cry once" theory but not having kids
and all that goes with it, I can afford to splurge a bit on my hobby -
others have different priorities. So while you hear many of us touting "Buy
brand (insert here) cause it has (insert features here), is just us bragging
about our toy's....
Here's some samples:
Grizzly G0505 12-1/2" Planer for $195
Grizzly G1182Z 6"x47" Jointer for $325 (special)
Harbor Freight 10" Planer for $199.99
Harbor Freight 6" Jointer for $269.99
You can also save more by selecting different models - I just chose the
above as examples. I don't own either brand but I think most will tell you
to go with............brand ???
What.....you've never been on a snipe hunt? No...not that kind, those are
only really found in Texas. The other kind can be found everywhere. Snipe's
are kinda hard to find sometimes but if you look real careful like and have
the right light reflection you can see the little deviants. They usually
hide out at the ends of the boards - about 2-1/2" in from the end after
they've been thru the planer. Now you have to wonder how anything can make
it through those planer blades just a whirring away - but they do and they
rear up just when you don't want'em to.
Best way I've found to avoid them is to lift the tail end of the board
slightly as you put it into the planer and lift the leading edge slightly as
the board exits. This helps trap the little buggers in the middle where the
blades must obviously do a real number on them. I know they're fast little
devils too cause sometimes no matter what I do, they manage to make it thru
and end up on the ends of my boards.
All manner of devices have been tried to eliminate these snipes, everything
from pressure roller springs to roller locking mechanisms but to no avail -
some of them are downright devious and manage to get through all the traps
we set for them. Sooner or later, somebody will build a better snipe trap -
and we shall come!
Check out your local HD. The one near me has the Delta 22-560 on
clearance for $191. Money is tight and I still debating with myself to
pick one up. It's a discontinued model but the reviews one have been
good. My present planer(s) are a #5 and #7 hand planes.
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