13" thickness planer experiences/recommendations

I am in the market for a thickness planer for my workshop. I am wanting to hear about experiences and/or recommendations (good or bad) before I buy one. Thanks!

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Same. My pops bought me a central machinery from HF years ago and it’s done mostly what I need to, but the steel knives wear out too fast, a blade broke off the impeller (still evacuates if i hook up the dc, though) and it simply doesn’t have the power to cut hickory effectively (i think i made 20 passes or so to cut 1/8 in).

Also, Hey Tom, whats up? Lol.

Harbor Freight now has a Bauer model that I am considering.

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So I am starting to reconsider harbor Freight. I was considering their routers and someone here said they had runout issues on a few of them.
If that is the case, imagine a planer with runout issues.

So, I got this one back at Christmas time (present for me, from me!!): https://www.amazon.com/WEN-PL1326-13-Inch-Benchtop-Thickness/dp/B08NWF6P3Q/ref=sr_1_2?crid=361R2HNM0D0VQ&keywords=wen+13+inch+planer&qid=1662568647&sprefix=wen+13%2Caps%2C101&sr=8-2

It works pretty good (no real major issues). I get a little bit of snipe and have been fighting that, but most of what I’m planing has enough for cut off and/or I can sand it out. I like the spiral cutter (individual blades that have 2 sides to help ease of changing). Other than that, I have no complaints and it does what I need to (have a bunch of Maple slabs that have been drying in my garage that cleans up nice with the planer!). This is listed for more than what I paid, but is an option.

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I’ve found good deals on durable, brand name planers used on sites like craigslist. The two I bought needed new blades but they were a great both great deals.

This is the other planer that I am looking at. The snipe is not due to dull cutters is it? I noticed that the replacement cutters come in 10-pack while the machine uses 26 cutters in a spiral pattern.

I was looking at the Dewalt 735 but I saw several bad reviews on it.

My cheapie Harbor freight planer gave up the ghost, and I’ve been researching what to replace it with. Compared to other tools, I found a surprising number of head-to-head reviews of tabletop planers, some in great detail. In all the reviews, the Dewalt DW735X was declared “the best.” The ‘X’ means it comes with the infeed and outfeed tables, which apparently makes a huge quality difference, as well as an extra set of knives. The three cons of this machine:

  • Has greater snipe than most of the others
  • Pulls more current, so a 20A breaker (US) is suggested
  • Is a $$$ option.

I’ve been doing mostly laser work, and the price of the Dewalt is high for my hobbyist needs, so I’ve delayed making a decision/purchase.

No, it is still pretty much brand new, so the cutters better not be dull already. The replacements may come in a 10 pack, and though it has 26 cutters all together, you should only have to replace those that get nicked or get dull. Each cutter also 2 sharp sides, so at first all you would have to do is rotate to the good side if one (or more) go bad.

I think the snipe is something that most fight with in a planer, and it is due to the infeed/outfeed tables and getting them on the right level to keep the board from pushing up as it enters and exits the planer. I would have to look it up again, but I found a youtubes video of a guy who used a piece of melamine and built a “table” for his planer, and totally got rid of the infeed/outfeed tables. He lost a little bit of cutting distance (3/4" I think), but he claims he has no snipe what so ever. I have been meaning to try it, but life…

I purchased the first Dewalt 735 to arrive at my local Lowes back when they were first introduced. Although I’m a hobbyist woodworker I do plane many board feet of wood. After many years, I burned up the motor and bought another DW735. Because my garage workshop is detached from the house. I only hace 120v service so more powerful 220v options are off the table so I sprung for a Shellex head for the Dewalt and it’s AMAZING, Worth every penny. Now I have a planer with built in dust extraction (I don’t run the fan on the dust collector) 2 speeds, and with the Shellex head, signiifcantly reduced noise and power draw along with less tear-out on wild grain and figured wood. I used to have a 10 inch Ryobi (30 years ago) but it was barely more than a toy.

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I have one of the porter cable lunchbox models. It’s worked well for me. I’ve replaced the blades a few times. Snipe can be reduced on any planer if you put a piece of 3/4" mdf across the infeed/outfeed tables.

Mine gets used on just about every project.

A friend of mine bought one of the DeWalt planers. He liked it. He somehow got a hold of a set of the helix cutter heads for it and said its pretty amazing with those cutters. For the cost he has in his, I would have started looking at larger Grizzly planers, but he doesn’t have a lot of room for larger machines.

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Shelix is the most popular brand for the helical head and right now they’re getting about $400 for them. Add that to the price of the dewalt (6-700) and that’s some serious coin.

I will have to try that. I have the HF Bauer model and the snipe is the only thing I wish were better

You loose some depth capacity in the planer, but you guarantee the infeed and outfeed are parallel to each other.

I’ll have to do before/after comparison because my understanding is some of the snipe comes from the cutter head rising slightly as the rollers grab the work. Worth a try though.

In my limited experience, using a “follower” board of the same thickness can help reduce the impact of snipe, as the snipe ends up on the follower board instead of on your work piece.

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So I looked it up again and here is the link to the video I found for the “table” the guy built for his planer. Pretty much the same as what @niget2002 said about putting a 3/4’ mdf across the infeed outfeed tables.

I’ll be doing this at some point once I get my “new” to me shop up and running as we move into our new house this weekend. I’ll make a new post to show progress and if there are any improvements to the snipe (it may take a bit as we are closing tomorrow - 14 Oct 2022 - and I have to get everything moved first).

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And don’t forget to proceed and follow the workpiece with some sacrificial boards of the same thickness. Butt them up against the workpiece. That way, the rollers are ‘engaged’ for the entire length of the workpiece and the snipe will occur on the sacrificial ends

I just got my wahuda up and running. Bought a used unit from the factory, and i won’t recommend that route. The first one looked like someone threw it off a roof. Ironically, the box was marked ‘scrap’.

To their credit, they shipped another one out the next Monday. That one showed up missing some parts (which they have also shipped out). I would have just grabbed them from the broken planer, but they scheduled a UPS pickup (and hadn’t communicated that to me) and the driver took the old one away the day before the replacement came.

Everybody Fs up, so I’m not condemning the company for any of this. They were ready to get me the stuff I need and fix the issues. The used tool department needs some help, though. The hassle wasn’t worth the hundred bucks I saved on the purchase price.

The planer, though. That’s nice. It’s not too different from any of the other spiral head cutters, but the cutters are 4 sided carbide (vs HSS) so twice the life, they are the same as my jointer uses (bonus), the tables have pull out extensions, and the motor gives two feed rates. Boards come out flat, parallel, and SMOOTH. If i only needed it occasionally or just for softer wood, I’d probably get the Wen, but I’ve been planing a lot lately (to the benefit of my compost piles) so it made sense to me just for the extra cutting edges on the knives.
I also saw a planer for 1000 at the woodworkers source last week that looked a lot like my Wahuda except with a digital height readout and a helical head. Seems like a great price considering what it takes to buy a dewalt+shelix. I’ll try to remember to get the brand name next time I stop in, because it’s not on their website.