Well over half of the emails sent to me are on the subject of tools. I have no objections to responding to them but I thought it would be beneficial to start a video library of sorts to briefly touch on what I think of a particular tool or set of tools. These won’t be in depth tool reviews as I know very few people are interested in that kind of thing and I really don’t want to go over all the details. Instead I’ll just focus on the things I like about the tool, things I don’t like about the tool, and would I buy it again. I have a huge list of “episodes” that can be made and plan on releasing one per week. Hopefully this will be helpful to some people.
I purchased the DW735 planer sometime around 2012-ish from Lowes for $599. You can see all of the specs on it here.
What I like:
- It has two speed settings. I prefer to work with the slower setting as it gives me time to keep up with feeding the machine and removing material as I work alone.
- It’s strong enough to take full 13″ cuts.
- The fan chip ejection is nice if you don’t have a dust collector.
- Changing the blades is pretty easy.
- Snipe is manageable by feeding material in on an angle. Others have told me that getting the metal infeed and outfeed tables reduces snipe as well. I have no desire to invest any more money
What I don’t like:
- I wish the fan chip ejection was off to one side instead of right out the back. My dust collection hose attached to it has gotten in the way several times.
- It’s HEAVY. 92 pounds to be exact. Not quite something convenient to move around as the “benchtop” category might suggest.
- The blades are indexed so they cannot be sharpened. They do have two sides but I would prefer to be able to sharpen blades over and over instead of buying the expensive replacements.
- It’s expensive. And the replacement blades are expensive.
Would I buy the DW735 if I had to do it over?
Simply put, no. I wouldn’t buy the DW735 if I had to do it over again. I’ve realized that a planer is one of those tools where I see myself eventually getting a floor standing “last me forever” model so a benchtop planer is somewhat of a stepping stone. So to do it over again it doesn’t make sense for me to get arguably the best benchtop planer out there if I know I will eventually have to get rid of it to upgrade down the line. Completely aside from that, assuming I would never get a standalone floor model some day, I still don’t think I would buy this planer again. It’s a good performer but it’s just too expensive for what you get in my opinion. The blades cannot be sharpened so it’s somewhat of a money pit and it produces snipe just like the lesser expensive models from other brands. This model has upgrade options like the helix cutter head and infeed and outfeed tables but by the time you add those costs you’re already at the cost of a decent induction motor model. If you have a different model planer at a lower cost and are completely satisfied with it please leave a comment and let us all know what one you have.