A mid-budget planer, Dewalt DW734 is to go machine for small woodworking shops. If you are planning to upgrade from a hand planer, or need something with wide capacity, then this can prove to be a good option. Here is our review of the DW734.
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Like other bench top planers, this also houses a 15 AMP motor, with a cutter head speed of 10,000 RPM. This will allow you to work with slightly tougher woods if you are upgrading.
With standard Dewalt adjustment settings, you get accurate cuts as per your requirements. The extra-long extension tables give support to longer woods (33-1/2 inches). Overall this gives the impression of a perfect upgrade for your shop.
This planer comes with the standard Dewalt guarantee. No compromises were made in the build and every component is designed to last long.
The flat surface at top of planer can also support wood for faster operation while making subsequent passes.
Rigid Cast Aluminium is used to support the structure and overall we are very happy with build, and it easily beats most Delta Planers of the same price.
The motor used gives 96 Cuts Per inch and is not as efficient as the one used in the successors Dewalt DW735 or Dewalt DW735X, but it still manages to give a clean cut. If you don’t feed hardwoods like IPE you won’t be facing any difficulties. It can breeze through Maple or Oak, and overall give a smooth finish on most wood types.
The knives used are reversible and disposable, but you cannot sharpen them, so if the cuts from both sides become dull, you would have to get new ones. The in-house knives on average last 6-8 months, but it depends more on your use. And yes, replacing knives, or flipping them over, is so simple, your 5 year old daughter can do it. (But don’t cut your hand though, practice caution).
Overall, for a small shop which works on a small no. of projects, you would be satisfied. However, if you need to work on harder woods, we recommend going for the Makita 2012NB.
This comes with all the standard adjustment settings from depth stop, to removal gauge. You can accurately choose the depth, and the extra large scale makes reading more easier, and cuts more accurate. The settings easily beat the lesser priced Delta 22-555, and spending 100 bucks more on the DW734 will give more accurate cuts.
Less of Snipe
Finally the Dewalt DW734, works exceedingly well at reducing snipe, especially considering it comes under 400 bucks. The four-column carriage lock holds the wood nicely, and this reduces snipe.
Further longer extension tables, reduce snipe at the corners. If you are upgrading from a hand planer, you must have concerns about sniping, and with the advanced technology used in this planer, you can put that worry to rest.
It is one of the noisiest planers out there. It keeps getting louder as you continue to work on the machine for longer hours. If you have smaller shop, the noise will annoy you so buy good quality headphones.
Also with the amount of debris or dust produced, it is almost mandatory to get vacuum for your shop. The Instalment will be easy and the dust hood can easily connect with the vacuum.
It’s highly recommended for you, if….
If you have small shop, or if you are upgrading from a hand planer this will be a great option. It has a powerful motor action, reduced snipe and better adjustment settings than most planer at this price.
The Bosch 1594K has earned the reputation to be one of the best door planers in it’s price range.
Bosch is known to design woodworking tools that are cheap on your pocket, but high on power, and the 1594K is no different. Here is everything about this powerful hand planer, and will it be suitable for your needs.
It comes with a capacity of 3-1/4 Inch wide and is extremely lightweight (just 6 pounds). It feels good in the hand and the ergonomics are impressive. The carbide blades look well designed and with the bevel guide you can easily align your cuts. The 6.5 AMP motor, with 16,500 RPM seems to be a bit of overkill.
Adjustment & Safety
First up, the ratcheting knob can be used to adjust depth of the cuts. The inclination of the bevel is changed when you rotate the knob and it is best used while fine-tuning your cuts. The bevel guide comes in handy and you can set it full 90 degrees while working on a door or keep it an angle while planing windows. Adjusting the whole setup is a no-brainer and even beginners can figure it out quickly.
An impressive security feature is the spring near the bottom, which prevents exposing the blades while resting it on a surface. The chip ejection can be done on either side of the planer, and this comes in handy when you are working in a crunched environment. You can also connect a vacuum to collect chips. Finally the lock-off button prevents accidental starts.
The motor seems to go overboard in terms of speed. 16,500 RPM gives the power to scrape more wood but it sometimes results in deeper cuts. We recommend perfecting the technique before you move on to main projects.
The lightweight helps to operate this machine using one hand. Overall a smooth finish is achieved but once in a while the cuts can falter.
Apart from the blades, other components are made of average materials. Cast plastic is used majorly and this severely effects the durability. If you use this on a daily basis it will wear out and you would have to look for upgrades. A good daily use hand planer is the Makita KP0810.
Because of the durability issues we don’t recommend it to use it for daily uses. However if you need use this for occasional door projects or if you are just getting into woodworking, it will serve your purpose.
The Makita 2012NB has been the leader when it comes to bench top wood planers for over a decade. It continues to win top spots in woodworking magazines and is a preferred choice among professionals. So what makes this planer a standout? We find that out in our review.
With a no load rating of 8500 RPM, the 2012NB is powered by a 15 AMP motor. It is no-brainer that with a powerful motor like this, it will perform well with most woods (someone tested it with IPE and it handled that like a charm). Apart from that the adjustment settings appear to be clear and the maximum width capacity is 12 inches. With regular maintenance this will last for your years and will continue to churn out hundreds of feet of smooth wood.
Makita 2012NB uses a 4-post design which balances the entire setup. The weight is distributed evenly and the structure can support heavier woods without a hiccup. The base at the bottom helps to do this, while the extension tables, ensure that the entire weight of the wood doesn’t fall on the core machine itself.
A true Power lifter
We like to call the 2012NB a true power lifter. It is designed and built to handle the toughest of woods. Pine, Oak, maple and even plywood, it gives the same smooth finish. This is done through three ways. First, as discussed earlier, the weight of the machine is evenly distributed, so no single part of the machine has to bare the major brunt, and this ensures smooth passage of the wood through the planer.
Second, the 15 AMP motor is powerful and powers the cutter head with the right speed to scrape maximum wood.
And finally, the blades are well designed. With the machine you get one single blade, but it will eventually wear it and you will need replacements. We recommend getting the Makita blades only, for best results.
It has a feed rate of 28 feet per minute, so you can have multiple passes, till the desired thickness is reached. Overall a complete smooth finish is attained. Just like a power lifter handles the weights flawlessly at every stage, the Makita 2012NB gives a clean cut right from the start till the end.
It has been more than 15 years since this machine was launched, and the adjustment settings are not as intuitive as some modern planers like the Dewalt DW735X but they are just as accurate. You can choose the depth of the cut, with the maximum being 1/8th of an inch. It has a depth capacity of 6 inches and if you have to make multiple passes of the wood you can use the depth stop. You can also use this to get multiple pieces of wood at the same thickness.
The Interna-Lok System works well the extension tables to reduce snipe, but it is not perfect.
A reason why Makita 2012NB wins praises from professionals and ranks better than planers like Dewalt DW734, is because of its durability. This one is ‘marathon runner’ when it comes to wood planers.
If you clean the rollers and the feed tables every 6 months, you can expect this machine to last, and last long. John A. Martinsky, a buyer from Amazon, has been using this for 15 years now, and he puts it simply stating “It just keeps working”.
Overall, you get low-noise operation even after 10 years. Oh Yes, we completely forgot about noise. The Makita 2012NB, has the lowest noise level at 83dB, so that is another commendable feature.
The machine falls behind in one area though, and it is the dreaded snipe. It isn’t that bad, but slightly deeper cuts near the edges, prevent a 100% smooth finish. You can try the common snipe protection technique of raising the wood while feeding it in and do the same while it’s coming out. But this takes a hit on the speed of your work and makes planing a two-man job.
However, if you are fine with this little flaw, you would absolutely love this.
This planers comes at a price close to 550 bucks. It ain’t cheap, but you get way more than what you pay for. Considering its durability, it will prove to be a very smart investment. We recommend this for woodworkers with dedicated shops and who work on projects on a daily basis. The quality is top-notch and just like hundreds of owners of Makita 2012NB you won’t have any complaints.
A bestseller on Amazon, the Dewalt DW735X is a clear fan favourite. Dewalt has been making quality power tools for quite some time, and this joins the same bandwagon.
It is one of the more expensive planers out there, and is the price justified, let’s find that out in our review.
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With a 15 AMP, 20000 RPM motor it has all the power in the bank to perform as a complete beast.
Two speed settings should give better control and you can both get a smooth finish and at the same time scrape out a lot of wood quickly.
The dust collection is well executed and with added extension tables, the problem of sniping will be minimal.
DW735X uses a 19-3/4” cast aluminium which is claimed to be 2 times more rigid than any other planer in the market. The design is well executed and the four screws on the edges give solid support.
The finish on the exterior is smooth and the plates are completely flat with the right thickness to support the heaviest of woods. The knives used are premium quality and last longer.
Overall, it is a well-built machine both from the inside and the outside.
Great Cut Quality
Dewalt has used a more efficient motor that gives a cutter head a speed of 10000 RPM. This gives faster results and beats Makita 2012NB (with 8500 RPM) in terms of performance.
But more RPM doesn’t always mean better quality, and this model comes with more control to the user. You get 2 speed settings, one with 96 CPI and second with 179 CPI.
The second obviously scrapes more wood and you can quickly get the desired thickness with lesser passes. Speed 1 gives a much better finish, and can be used for the final pass.
The knives are double-edged and changing them is a breeze. If the cuts start getting dull you can rub em with a sandpaper, however you should get replacements once the quality deteriorates further and sharpening doesn’t work.
The extension tables (which separates the DW735X from DW735) reduces the snipe you get the cleaner cuts even at the corners.
You can get precise cuts with proper adjustment settings. Get your desired depth with a big wheel on the left. (1 rotation = 1/16th of an inch). The depth stop ensures that cuts don’t get deeper than what you desired.
Also, the gauge bar is full width (13”) so if you are using narrower woods you can pass them at any position. The automatic carriage lock further works to reduce snip.
With a fan-assisted system the chips are exhausted out of the machine. This stops the cutter head from jamming and no dust is present on the fed wood.
But this will still create a huge mess in your shop, and it’s highly recommended to get a vacuum system to collect the dust.
With such powerful motor and cutting action, it goes without saying that the machine makes a lot of noise. You will need good quality ear-protection.
Apart from that this planer is expensive. At the time of review it is available at a pretty inexpensive price tag. This restricts if for a professional woodworker who works on projects on a daily basis.
But even then, is it worth the investment? Well, in your opinion Yes.
The smooth finish is comparable to the $2000 industrial-grade planers and with better control over the cuts, you can get more work done quickly.
With better finish the value of your end-product will be higher, and with 3 year warranty, you are protected from any faults that may occur.
Also it comes with extra pair of knives included which normally cost around 50-75 bucks when bought separately.
But if you are hobbyists, we won’t recommend this and you should probably go for the Delta 22-540 or the Makita KP0810.