I have always used the cast iron planers, but a few
years ago I had the opportunity to quickly wear out a
Ryobi Portable "Bench top" planer.
The prices are as follows:
Buy a bench top planer every two years for 10 years
because the old one keeps wearing out. $350 x 5 = $1750
Lost time from multiple extra thin passes: 1 hr/ week
x 520 weeks @ $35/hr = $18,200
Lost material from sniping, and chipping $5 week x
A good used Parks 15, Powermatic 15" or Delta
13" (all used, 220V, and cast iron) $750
Sell at the end of 10 years
Actual cost less grease, oil, sharpening,
electricity, and the lost time value of money total = $0.00
Hmmm...$21.700 vs $0.00 Now which is the better deal?
A smooth clean cut with a hold-down roller and breaker
bar, or a table top toy? Better yet, with the Parks, Delta,
or Powermatic you continue to support U.S. made products
and create a market flow for U.S. goods. Yes, I do know
that some of the new Delta products are being farmed out
to foreign jobbers, but if you buy an old quality tool it will
be U.S. made and at least by a U.S. owned company.
The toy planers are just false economy.