planer

Rjgooden

Big Ron
User
After owning three dw735 planers I have decided to upgrade my planer, there is nothing wrong with a lunch box planer and the 735 in my opinion is one of the best. I need more power since all I work with is rough sawn lumber, and 90 per cent of it is hardwood. I would like some opinions from the forum on what you think the next step in planer I should make. Width of cut is not as important as performance, I very rarely go wider than ten inches, and when I do the lunchbox just can't keep up, trips the breaker on the machine. I know most of you are going to say that I am trying to take to much off, but I am going a quarter turn at a time. I don't have an unlimited budget or a huge shop, but I don't mind spending a little if the value is there. Thanks in advance.
 

Brantnative

Jeff
Corporate Member
Flat knives or Shelix type cutting? Flat knives dull quickly on very hard woods. Shelix is a little easier especially since each insert is carbide. If you're willing to spend as much as a new planer then a Shelix could be an option. My 735 was retrofitted to the Shelix (did it myself) and like Mike I usually go 1/2 turn (about 1/32") at a time and with no problems.
 

Oka

Casey
Corporate Member
Also, I would run a dedicated circuit for the planer. If you are close to dryer you can install a small subpanel with 2- 20 amp circuits (breakers in it and feed via a 10 ga dryer whip, same type as the one the dryer is using. Then when you need to use the planer, you now have 2-20 amp circuits that are supplying voltage with a minimum voltage drop. This is Btw, how I run my welder off the dryer circuit. Of course the dryer is now unplugged- :rolleyes: :eek::D
Also make sure you use THHN rated wire and all connections through to the plug are 90° C heat rated. This assures the cleanest possible feed.
Finally, use commercial outlets and the subpanel and breakers should be commercial rated breakers.......... NO HOMELINE
 

Henry W

HenryW
Senior User
Well it depends on time frames - and your patience.

Used floor-model planers come up on Craigslist or FB marketplace - all the time (except when you are looking!). You typically do need to act/respond quickly, but deals can be had. It helps to have 220V power for these larger tools. Look back over the NCWW listings by Martin Roper (user name?) as he frequently cross-posts items from CL. Others show items from Facebook. It helps to be a bit brand agnostic in this space - I suspect pretty much any floor model tool with meet your needs.
I have posted a few Belsaw planer ads over time, including the Craftsman branded tool. THis woul dfit your width and other requirements - but be aware that these open pplaners were designed before dust collection systems - this tool creates shavings that can be hard to contain. Larger models like these are going to be 'lifetime tools' typically - and in my view worth upfitting with a insert cutter head if you use the planer a lot.
 

chris_goris

Chris
Senior User
A 15" Grizzly type (there are many brands of this same basic machine to choose from) if you have 220v power available. If you dont have 220v power, you may not find anything else. As for straight Vs segmented type heads, it comes down to the wood types you use. Figured woods plane very nicely with segmented heads, less tearout. But straight planer knives in larger machines last for a very long time as long as youre careful not to feed dirty and metal embedded lumber through your planer. I have the OEM knives unsharpened in my 20" planer and they work just fine after thousands of BF of hardwood.
 

Rjgooden

Big Ron
User
thank you for the opinions. I do have 220v. I was wondering about the shelix head, but I am worried that I will spend over 400.00 on the upgrade and still not have enough power.If I go with a 3 hp or larger planer would I still need the helical head?
 

Henry W

HenryW
Senior User
I'd start with used planer - and it's existing head/knives. Use and see how well it works for you. Upgrade the head if you feel the need.
If buying a new machine, then buying it with a insert cutter head makes sense to me if you think you are going to go that way anyways.

I am similar to Chris in that I have conventional head on a planer - un-sharpened knives since I acquired it. I don't use it much, but feel like it will bite off a lot of wood in hurry without slowing down - i.e power is not an issue, nor is surface finish.
 

Pop Golden

Pop
Corporate Member
I started with a Craftsman lunch box. Then I upgraded to a Powermatic 15 in. with straight blades. A few years later I sold that one and got a Powermatic 15 in. with Shelix cutters. Love this machine. One note about straight blades vs Shelix cutters. Helical cutters make smaller chips and that lets them work & play with dust collectors better.

Pop
 

tvrgeek

Scott
User
I was thinking of one of the 3 HP 15 inchers. Carbine heads of course. Buying a Shelix is over a grand, so the OEM seems a smarter buy, if it is a good one. Of course, from $2100 to $3300, every step has something you may want.
Big differences in the number of carbides and the two sizes. From 48 to 108 on the Laguna.
If I had the money, I might be inclined for the Laguna, but the Jet 15-BHH and Griz G1020 and G0453 often come up as favorites. Baleigh, Powermatic and G01020 are the same castings, but guts differ. Of them the Laguna has unique cutters not widely available aftermarket. Oliver claims to have a Byrd head, not their own, but who knows how many others do.

I have never found actual objective testing of any of them. Only comparing specs or just gushing on how great they are. I may have settled on a 735. Not sure. I doubt I could wear it out. Under a grand is a big difference than $2500 or so.

Not too sure on used as possible issues with old dried out feed rollers and such.

Jet, Grizzly, Laguna, Oliver, Baleigh, Shop Fox, South Bend were all I found for sale.
 

Henry W

HenryW
Senior User
.... I may have settled on a 735. Not sure. I doubt I could wear it out. Under a grand is a big difference than $2500 or so.
Not too sure on used as possible issues with old dried out feed rollers and such.
Jet, Grizzly, Laguna, Oliver, Baleigh, Shop Fox, South Bend were all I found for sale.
So are feed rollers so expensive or difficult to replace that you'd rather pay $2500 for a new one rather than $1000 or less for a used one? People go about replacing the cutting head of planers, presumably once and done, so are feed rollers that much more difficult to replace? I do not know, no experience changing ether; I do expect that I would try replacement for a $1500 savings.
 

zdorsch

Zach
Senior User
I have both a lunch box planer (delta) and a Belsaw planer. I have run rough lumber 8/4 x 8’ up to 10” through both and I prefer the Belsaw.

The Belsaw can take a deeper cut and with sharp blades produces a nice cut. Blades are a bit thicker on the Belsaw and are more challenging to change.

From what I’ve read the Belsaw is considered a bit crude to some of the other stationary 12” planer offerings. Besides a lunch box planer the only other planer that I have personally used and can compare it to is a 20” jet planer (although I readily admit the jet is in another league and cost a lot more than the Belsaw).
 

tvrgeek

Scott
User
So are feed rollers so expensive or difficult to replace that you'd rather pay $2500 for a new one rather than $1000 or less for a used one? People go about replacing the cutting head of planers, presumably once and done, so are feed rollers that much more difficult to replace? I do not know, no experience changing ether; I do expect that I would try replacement for a $1500 savings.
Not difficulty, availability. Delta for one no longer supports and of their old tools ( and by forum comments, neither their new ones) Something to be aware of and look into before buying a used one. Like my Delta drill press that had a bad motor sheave. Unique spacing, no longer available.

$2500 new, with carbide head.
$1000 used if you can find one. $1000 for a new head. $500 savings. A couple hours work, no problem. Rollers, bearings? Savings get real slim fast. So to me, it is $900 for a Dewalt/Shelix or $2500 for a new G1020 unless the additional cutters makes a difference and the Baleigh IP-156-HH is worth $600 more for a better cut.
 

Henry W

HenryW
Senior User
Not difficulty, availability. Delta for one no longer supports and of their old tools ( and by forum comments, neither their new ones) Something to be aware of and look into before buying a used one. Like my Delta drill press that had a bad motor sheave. Unique spacing, no longer available.

$2500 new, with carbide head.
$1000 used if you can find one. $1000 for a new head. $500 savings. A couple hours work, no problem. Rollers, bearings? Savings get real slim fast.
Thanks that's helpful to know.
 

Mike Davis

Mike
Corporate Member
thank you for the opinions. I do have 220v. I was wondering about the shelix head, but I am worried that I will spend over 400.00 on the upgrade and still not have enough power.If I go with a 3 hp or larger planer would I still need the helical head?
The smaller knives (replaceable carbide chip) will take much less power even at a deeper cut due to the greatly reduced knife to wood surface contact as only one or two inserts are cutting at any one time.
 

Charlie

Charlie
Corporate Member
I have byrd shelix cutterheads in my 15" planer and 12" jointer. I would never go back to straight knives.
My planer is 11 years old and the jointer is 8. I have not rotated cutters in either machine.


Introduction to Helical Cutter Heads


Four main advantages
Helical cutter heads are also called journal heads or indexable insert cutter heads. What this means on a technical level is that the cutter head employs a more or less foolproof system for cutter placement. When you change cutters, you are virtually guaranteed correct placement of the cutter in the head. Most cutters used for metal working lathes and milling machines employ this type of system, but to woodworkers it’s largely unknown. This is one of four benefits to woodworkers.

The second advantage of indexable inserts is the fact that they are made of carbide. While carbide knives have long been available for straight knife heads, they are not the best choice of knife for straight knife heads. If you happen to hit a staple, nail, or screw there is a strong chance that you will crack the knife, ruining it. Because a crack through the knife can’t be sharpened out, you are forced to buy a new set of knives, which could be several hundred dollars. Indexable inserts are not unbreakable. They will still chip and crack if you hit metal. However, they are inexpensive, with most inserts ranging from $3–6, making a “chipped tooth” much less painful to the wallet. You can also replace just one insert at any given time, so if you happen to chip one in the middle of a job, you can change that one insert and keep going.

The third advantage of helical cutter heads is a noise reduction. Conventional straight knife cutters take one big bite of wood, three or four times per rotation, when the knife contacts the wood. Helical heads have the inserts staggered around the circumference of the head. Because of this, only one or two inserts, which are usually 1/2" to 3/4" in width, are in contact with the material at any time. The result is dramatic. Machine noise can be reduced by as much as 50 percent through the installation of a helical cutter head.

The fourth, and probably most important advantage for woodworkers is the greatly reduced tear-out that these cutter heads produce. While most planers have no problem with straight grained wood, they generally do not produce good results with knots, burls, and figured woods. Helical heads typically produce much smoother finishes on these difficult woods.

And one disadvantage
There is one surprising difference with helical cutter heads over straight-knife machines: Helical cutter heads take more effort to feed. If you were to install a helical cutter in your jointer, you will notice that it takes more effort to push the board through the machine. The reason is simple. Previously, the wood only met with resistance from the spinning knives three or four times per rotation (depending on how many knives your machine has). With a helical cutter head, there is always at least one knife in contact with the wood, thus constant resistance to your push. As a result of this, planers and jointers typically use more horsepower when a helical cutter head is installed.
 

Charlie

Charlie
Corporate Member
Mike, I always thought the other way too.
The reason it takes more HP with the segment cutters is there is always the same amount of cutters in the wood at all times during the cut, therefore the cutter head operates at a steady RPM.
With straight knives, which have a chopping action, the motor/cutter head RPM increases in between each "chop", acting somewhat like a flywheel.
 

Hmerkle

Hank
Corporate Member
The smaller knives (replaceable carbide chip) will take much less power even at a deeper cut due to the greatly reduced knife to wood surface contact as only one or two inserts are cutting at any one time.
I always thought this was logical - but when I saw the below video (The Snekker Show) I thought well, there is a potential problem...

BUT, with so many people having upgraded their DW735 and not having heard numerous complaints of tripping circuit breakers or other problems... maybe there is something wrong with his test???

I don't understand (logically or empirically)
1. If there is less cutter engaged in the wood with a shelix upgrade, the amperage should be lower.
2. If the three-blade set-up is logically a higher amp draw, do we see a "stutter" in amperage as each blade engages the wood?

If the Snekker show is right, why hasn't there been a response form DeWalt or another YouTuber to counter his assertions....

I would love to upgrade my DW735, but it is simply not justifiable (in my mind) simply because there are ways for me to deal with chip-out / tear-out (low-angle plane, scraper, or simply KEEPING my tools SHARP - I guess that would be #1)

In addition, thinking about end-grain cutting boards or birdseye maple or curly maple, sapele with contrary grain, I would assume, it would be preferable to use a drum sander... (thinking - better finish and less chance for a shorts-changing moment if a piece of wood blew-up in the planer)
 

Hmerkle

Hank
Corporate Member
And one disadvantage
There is one surprising difference with helical cutter heads over straight-knife machines: Helical cutter heads take more effort to feed. If you were to install a helical cutter in your jointer, you will notice that it takes more effort to push the board through the machine. The reason is simple. Previously, the wood only met with resistance from the spinning knives three or four times per rotation (depending on how many knives your machine has). With a helical cutter head, there is always at least one knife in contact with the wood, thus constant resistance to your push. As a result of this, planers and jointers typically use more horsepower when a helical cutter head is installed.
OK!
Now that makes sense to me... "constant contact" with the wood, implies that there would be more force, hince a higher amperage required to keep the motor at the same RPM, Torque etc.
 

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