TABLE TOP PLANER
Forgive me if I seem excited, it’s just that I am.
I have finally added to my shop the tool I’ve been coveting for years – a table top planer like this one. I Like I said, I’ve wanted one over the years and over the years I have often been tempted to buy a cheap 12″ planer but managed to hold off. Not that I’m professing to think that there’s is necessarily anything wrong with more inexpensive choices. Depending on a person’s nature and needs, a cheap planer might be exactly the right choice.
Over time, however, I have learned my nature and needs, and I am often unhappy when I have given in to my more sensible side and saved a few dollars on tool. Any type of tool.
When I was finally in a position to buy the quality thickness planer that I wanted I went on a hunt for just exactly the right one. There are good models available from many of the reputable suppliers out there as well as from some of the best of the second tier manufacturers.
I spent several months actually deciding just what features I wanted or needed choosing a manufacturer. I admit to a bit of bias when it comes to machinery, perhaps because being around the trades has given me an impression of what the most popular tools are for the tradesmen around me. That currently is DeWalt, Makita, Bosch, and to a lesser extent Delta, since it really focuses on larger tools and leaves the smaller hand type tools to the others.
I actually put Delta in league with Powermatic when it comes to shop tools. Powermatic, though, stays with high quality power tools and even if they did make a portable planer it would undoubtedly be out of my reach.
There are several reasons I ended up going with the DeWalt 2 speed planer rather than an offering by Delta or one of the others. For one thing the reviews are very positive. For another I find the four post design to look very robust, and like it would make the depth adjustment very accurate. I also like the way the depth measuring worked, that the lock was solid and that the adjustment wheel is large (I find the smaller wheels on some tools are too hard to operate to make repeatable fine adjustments easy), and the shutoff switch is a paddle, which is a safety feature that every bench tool should have on it.
Last but not least is the two speed option. Supposedly this allows for finer cuts at times by taking smaller bites, but in my limited testing I honestly can’t tell any real difference between the finish the two speeds achieve. Maybe in harder or furrier wood the extra setting might have benefit, but to be honest, if I was to advise a friend I would tell them to move this down on the list of features.
I am more than pleased to finally have the abilities that owning a planer give to me, and hope that soon I will be able to add a jointer to my collection as well.
There’s always tool to look forward to. It’s an addiction that keeps on giving.