Are You Familiar With Sheartac Spiral Cutterheads? Update!

Barry W

Co-Director of Outreach
Barry
Corporate Member
I'm considering replacing the knives on my 15" Northstate planer with a spiral cutterhead and in my research ran across a Canadian company named Sheartac. I found them on YouTube and found their video of installing a cutterhead on a four-post planer with the motor mounted on top to be very instructive.

Anyway, have any of you purchased a cutterhead from Sheartec or considered their product? They don't appear to be any different than Byrd or LuxCut. Thanks.

Sheartac Tools
 

Barry W

Co-Director of Outreach
Barry
Corporate Member
Well . . . I pulled the trigger and ordered a new cutterhead from Sheartac. Their planer head has 80 knives vs 75 on Byrd and 68 on Lux Cut III. Sheartec also replied to my email inquiry within one hour; I've yet to receive a reply from Lux Cut.

Oh, it is priced lower than the competition and the Canadian exchange rate also helped. I've got my fingers crossed.:)
 

Echd

C
User
Did anyone get the larger size or smaller size head? I see the larger one is out of stock, but it allows you to take up to 1/8" per pass. While I'm not likely to do that on a 110v planer, at least not on purpose, it seems like spending the extra 25 loonies in canadian monopoly money over the 500 dollar one that they say takes only 1/16th might be better... thoughts?

I decided to go ahead and buy a 735 to upgrade my ridgid 4331, anticipating a spiral head in the future. While my ridgid has been fine, I don't see running 220v service in my future and I don't want to spend $500 on a cutter head for that machine, and the 735 is definitely the "prosumer" gold standard...

ETA: I am happy to report Barry's positive customer service experience is not an anomaly. I sent an inquiry to sheartak that was answered within about 30 minutes. They have a 10% off promo running so I went ahead and did get the slightly smaller diameter head- total price shipped was $396 and it was in stock. Byrd-shelix and luxcutter are both announcing new years price increases, so I can live without being able to take 1/8" cuts I would never take in the first place...

They will have full size 735x cutterheads back within 2 months for those interested.
 
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jlimey

Jeff
Senior User
I'm contemplating ordering their head for my 12" jointer. Their head is about $500 less than the Bryd after 10% off and exchange rate. Latter does have 20% more cutters (96 Vs. 80), but since the jointer's product is not a finished surface (was thinking face, but an edge would be a finished surface for edge gluing), I am not sure that it matters.

Wish that their product had a few more reviews online, but the price is tempting.
 
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AllanD

Allan
Senior User
Hmm, this is tempting. I have resisted changing over to spiral heads but I have been using more figured wood lately so it might be worthwhile. I see that the head for my 20" Powermatic planer would be $999 Canadian. When you order and check out does it automatically convert or does your credit card do it later? Also, I see that they offer bearings and seals. Do you need to get those to fit the new head or can you use your existing bearings if they are in good shape?
 

Barry W

Co-Director of Outreach
Barry
Corporate Member
Hmm, this is tempting. I have resisted changing over to spiral heads but I have been using more figured wood lately so it might be worthwhile. I see that the head for my 20" Powermatic planer would be $999 Canadian. When you order and check out does it automatically convert or does your credit card do it later? Also, I see that they offer bearings and seals. Do you need to get those to fit the ne w head or can you use your existing bearings if they are in good shape?

Allan, when I began looking at the Shear-T website I failed to notice that in the upper left corner of their home page is a small drop-down that allows one to select CAD$ or US$. Your credit card company will do the conversion at the prevailing conversion rate. Also, no taxes or tariffs were added.

The cutterheads I've seen include a new bearing pre-installed on the pulley side and the gear box bearing can be replaced when the cutter is installed. In the installation demonstration videos I've seen the installer recommends replacing both bearings. For four-post planers the video on the Shear-T site is one of the most instructive I've seen.

 

cyclopentadiene

Update your profile with your name
User
Allan,
I have found that the rates that credit cards get for conversion to other currencies is generally far better than you get at airports, hotels and even web sites. This has been typical in Canadian dollars, Euros and Yuan. Typically when traveling international, I have <$50 in the currency only for tips and use a charge card for everything. Typically airport kiosks and ATM machines have very poor exchange rates and you lose. Hotels are generally fair. The only exception is China as the majority of transactions have to be cash as you get remote.
currently the dollar is strong so you should be much better than $999 usd. Check your charge card to make sure they have favorable transaction fees. Chase is on of the better ones. Also Canada has some regions that are Visa only or Master Card only. I was once caught in Montreal on the MC side of town with a visa card and no cash. Real challenge.
 

Echd

C
User
My $500 CAD order was $386 USD shipped after their 10% promo for reference now that I have checked my card.

Not bad. It has already been mailed out as well.
 

Echd

C
User
Received it today. Looks nice and came with a box of knives as well which I didn't pay for, so that's a very nice bonus. I don't know any hobbyists who have ever worn a single 4 sided carbide cutter out on wood, but it's always nice to have spares.
 

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Barry W

Co-Director of Outreach
Barry
Corporate Member
Looks nice, I recall in the description that they send extra knives with their spirals. Which machine is your new cutter for? Mine is still on a ship off the coast of California. I hope it will dock soon. :cool:
 

Echd

C
User
Installed mine this weekend. It does a good job, as do all of these similar cutterheads.

The most "difficult" wood I had laying around was some of that sapele with the reversing grain pattern. Quite a pretty wood and generally easy to work with but tearout is absurd in this stuff, even with light hand plane shavings, so hopefully these pictures show the results well.

The first two are the board after two passes on the DW735 right out of the box with the straight knives. Large amounts of tearout and the colored sections are very fuzzy and torn. The only way I know to properly address those sections is judicious scraper application.

The second two are the opposing side cut with the helical sheartak blades. Highly chatoyant and shimmers heavily, the pictures do not do it justice... you can sand this at 220 or maybe even higher and rock on. The darker sections are smooth. If it wasn't for my experiences mutilating this particular wood with hand planes I'd say maybe just dress it up with a smoother and call it good.

I will say the installation of the cutter itself is no big deal but disassembly of the dw735 is a pain. That drive belt is something else fresh out of the box. It goes back together a lot more easily than it comes apart.
 

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