Crowdsource Question: Do I Need A Thickness Planer? Followup.

First of all thanks for the info. You guys rock!

Now, one more question. This Dewalt is about $400:

Costs roughly 15 six packs more than this $250 unknown brand:

I also bumped across something called a PerforMax. It might be a chain’s branded tool? A friend said he saw one like this somewhere in Wyoming? It seems mightily similar to the WEN model (I’ve never seen either in person) and has about the same price.

Who knows? Is it about the same guts as any other low-end planer or is it made of tinfoil and hope?

So do I want a Dewalt-ish $400 tool? Or the cheapo version plus this:

Also I’m trying to contact a guy who has a Makita like the one below but used (this might fall through, I have a feeling it’s already gone). It’s about the same cost (used) as the Dewalt (new):

All comments welcome. Keep in mind that I’m not a master craftsman but I don’t want junk that’ll collapse the day I open the box. In the old days I believed in good brands versus shit brands a lot more; but time has changed? Sears Craftsman power tools took the wind out of my sails on loyalty and since then I’ve noted that just about any riding lawnmower on earth is reasonably similar to any other brand of roughly the same cost. Also the same with some other things.

Decisions decisions.

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Adaptive Curmudgeon is handsome, brave, and wise.
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13 Responses to Crowdsource Question: Do I Need A Thickness Planer? Followup.

  1. Dorfer21 says:

    I believe Perfomax is the house brand of Menards.ddor

  2. Paul says:

    The cheap planers are all pretty much the same, though support may vary among the brands. The biggest drawback is the relatively large amount of snipe, as they lack the overall rigidity and column locks of the more costly machines.

    Some useful info from a site called woodgears:
    Explanation of snipe and a clever method to mitigate it even on cheap planers:

    Teardown on a cheap planer (delta). I have the same model, which does what I need it to do.

  3. Mark Matis says:

    Don’t forget to get a spare set of blades for whichever one you choose, so you’ll be able to keep on planing after you hit the first piece of metal hiding in your wood. Unless, of course, you don’t mind ridges.

  4. look em all up on amazon and read all the reviews. That should give you a sense of the generic one at least.

  5. Nato says:

    Performax is the Menards store brand. Similar to a Home Depot, but corporate HQ is in a very small town in NW Wisconsin.

  6. SiGraybeard says:

    Not enough real information to give a useful reply.

    Typically, all the power planers and just about everything else are built in a couple of places in China. The same machine is painted red for Horrible Freight, green for Grizzly, or beige for Jet – and they all have their own QC groups there. This is net.legend, so maybe it’s a bit different today; but the legend was they had different levels of specs for what they’d accept. That’s quality by sorting, and a really inefficient, stupid and ultimately expensive way of doing it. Over the years, the tools have gotten better, so now maybe the mid grade and even lowest grades are doing what used to only be sorted for by the most expensive brands.

    So it could be the difference between someone else’s version of that planer and the cheaper one is that the high priced guys paid someone to inspect it to better standards but the cheap ones meet them, too. Or it could be the high priced guys paid someone to inspect it to better standards and cheaper one really does suck.

    FWIW, I have my eyes on a DeWalt 735.

  7. cspschofield says:

    OK, real dumb questions from somebody who doesn’t use power tools because he is a slew foot, and likes having his body parts attached;

    How long to you envision this project taking, and if it works do you plan on more that would use the same tool? The more projects you force, the better the tool you buy should be.

    Is there a high school nearby with a wood shop, and if so is it possible you cold arrange with the shop teacher to have his students plane your material as a project for grade?

    If your need is short term and unlikely to recur, can you rent what you need?

  8. jc says:

    My FIL was a member of a woodwork club. They had all sorts of large equipment including what we call thicknessers (which is what you are looking at) up to 48″.

    He found it very useful to have access to all this expensive gear which you might rarely want but when you do there is no substitute.

    Maybe there is something like that not to far away.

    • AdaptiveCurmudgeon says:

      I’ve heard of such facilities. The nearest one to me is about a five hour drive. Otherwise I’d already be signed up.

  9. abnormalist says:

    I stand by the recommendation of the rigid. Register it after purchase and you get a lifetime service agreement. Three blade cutter design, and well reviewed around the interwebs
    With linky for the lazy

  10. Zendo Deb says:

    Look up SNIPE. All planers have it. Cheap planners – even the cheaper on from DeWalt – has a lot of it.

  11. jon spencer says:

    Any of the rental places near you carry a planer? If you only need it for one job, rent should be a option. If you have more than one job planned then renting a good one will give you a good idea on what you are willing to give up or not give up for your dollars when you decide to buy or continue to rent when needed.

    • AdaptiveCurmudgeon says:

      I think renting is a brilliant idea. However, I didn’t do it. I’m a bit of a loner and decided to buy so I never need to count on anybody for my board flattening needs. Expensive but worth it for my personality.

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