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Thread: Planer Question. Need one.

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Red Feather Lakes, CO

    Planer Question. Need one.

    I need a planer. I think I want to get this:

    Question 1:
    Is 12 inches wide enough? I am going to be making cabinets, doors, dining room table, end tables..... Well, just about anything.

    Question 2:
    Has anyone had any experience with this model planer and if so how reliable and easy to work with is it? How well does it do what it is supposed to do?

    It wasn't a party unless it involved fire, an ATV, a chain saw and whiskey.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    ABQ NM
    My Answer #1:

    A lot of folks do some great work with nothing bigger than a 12" planer. If you are planing single plank boards, you're not likely to run into many that are more than 12" wide. If you're planing glue-ups (like cabinet faces or cutting boards), the 12" might become a limiting just have to ensure your glue-up are lined up flatter in the clamps. (Or at least I do, if I'm making something wider than 12".) I think among hobbyist woodworkers (and a number of pros), they get more use out of a 12" planer and a drum sander than they would from a 15" or 20" planer for about the same cost.

    My Answer #2:

    I have no experience with the Makita planer, but everything I recall reading about it was very positive. The Amazon reviews tell that tale pretty well.
    When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson
    When the weird get going, they start their own forum. - Vaughn McMillan

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Amherst, New Hampshire
    I've never needed more that the 12 1/2" my Dewalt 734 has. You can probably get the DeWalt for over $100.00 less.
    If you are spending over $525 for a planer for a little more you could get the Dewalt 735.
    Never heard anything bad about the Makita though.
    Faith, Hope & Charity

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Cape Cod, Ma.
    Questions you need to ask yourself:
    How much volume are you going to be running through the machine
    and how wide do you need it.

    you somewhat answered the second question by the fact you will be running panels through it. Those will exceed the width of your machine more times than not.

    As far as volume is concerned, that is going to play a bigger factor as those table top planers, although they do a nice job, are notoriously slow.
    I used a 13" delta tabletop for years. It does a great job and I will now move that out into the field, if and when I go back to trimming and site building small items. From a production standpoint it was a real turtle both from speed and power.

    If you plane most/all of your stock and you do a fair amount of volume, and can squeak it into the budget step up to a full size machine, Grizzly makes a 15 inch planer that will give you an almost perfect surface, 2 speeds 16fpm and 30 fpm. has a 3hp motor that will power through most woods. (I have just finished planing over 500 bf of maple and cherry from rough and it barely broke a sweat)

    If you can justify the investment you won't regret it. My delta, as handy as it was, actually cost me money in time the last few jobs before I got the larger machine.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    No, not all of SoCal is Los Angeles!
    #1. The 12.5" DeWalt DW734 served me well for a lot of years; so well that I have kept it after getting a 15" spiral head floor model. The DW734 has 3 double sided knives vs. the Makit's 2 and is only $369 on Amazon right now.

    #2. No experience with this planer but Makita generally makes good stuff. There are many DW734 owners out there that are happy and will probably chime in. Is there something that draws you to the Makita besides the higher price, less cuts per foot, lighter weight, non-included dust hood and the auto carriage lock (which does sound pretty cool BTW)?

    I got the larger planer mostly because I wanted a spiral head for the figured woods I work with. Putting a spiral head on a smaller machine was close enough to the larger machine's cost to push me over when it was time to make a change. The 12-1/2" capacity was rarely a problem for me and not the real driving force behind the upgrade.

    Smaller machines are louder and need to be used within their operating design but, I was always happy with mine except for use on figured material. If you have not had a planer, one in this size should be quite satisfactory for quite awhile. The Makita seems a bit pricey but, I have not researched it. There may be a very good reason.

    P.s. This does read a bit biased and I should qualify that the only small planers I have worked with were the DeWalt DW733, 734 and 735 models so I speak from a narrow experience base.
    Last edited by glenn bradley; 05-19-2011 at 01:07 PM.
    Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.
    - Arthur C. Clarke

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Mountain Home, Arkansas
    Can't comment on the Makita even though price seems a bit high for a 12 incher. I'm very happy with my Grizzly 12 1/2 G0505. I has double-sided blades that are 1/8" thick as opposed to single sided 1/16" blades. This was a lifesaver for me one time when some nitty-gritty dirty wood went through and messed up the blades. I just turned them over and kept working. For what I do it has plenty of power and is a real working hoss.
    However, I surely wish I had a repeatable setting for thickness. That would be a great feature. If I ever upgrade that will be a priority #1 feature I'll demand.
    "Folks is funny critters."

    Think for yourselves and let others enjoy the privilege to do so, too. ~Voltaire

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