Results 1 to 33 of 33

Thread: Power planes

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    seattle
    Posts
    22,217

    Default Power planes

    The previous WBF threads on these are pretty old. I’ve never had a power plane. I have a prewar Craftsman 6” jointer, kind of cute, but frankly it scares the hell outta me and with its motor and stand it takes up too much precious floor space in my tiny shop. My use would be occasionally straightening a crooked board prior to table saw or thickness planer use. Maybe I would find other uses I didn’t know I needed. So, should I ask for a power plane for Christmas? Would it replace my scary little jointer?

    If so, which one? Probably corded, as I doubt I would use it away from the shop, and if cordless it would probably limit me to DeWalt for existing batteries. Plus it will need a vac hose attached anyway. If corded, Makita? Bosch? Other? Doubtful I would need Festool unless someone convinced me it’s really worth the $ for my little amateur shop. What’s your favorite?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Posts
    9,727

    Default Re: Power planes

    You can't beat the little Makita planer. I have that one and the Festool and the Makita gets used most of the time. The Festool is saved for when company comes over. The advantage is that the Makita is shorter and handier. The Festool is longer, which makes it more accurate on long, straight edges, but the Makita easier to use one-handed for stock removal and such.

    Go corded on this one, Ron.

    Jim

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    PNW, an island west of Seattle
    Posts
    3,481

    Default Re: Power planes

    I have a Bosch. I don't recall the exact model and can't look right now. It's a 4" wide, and not too big. It works well and one thing I fully appreciate is that I can dial down the depth of cut to zilch and easily via the combo handling/adjusting knob on the front. One can even adjust the depth of cut "on the fly." These things can remove a lot of wood in a hurry and that scares me more than the likelihood of getting cut by the thing. I consider it to be a hogging tool so I use it to remove the vast majority of wood, then switch to one of my hand planes to finish up. I don't use it often.

    I'm glad I have the tool but it is not a jointer. The tool isn't long enough to effectively joint any board longer than 10 inches. And that, for me, would take practice.

    Your scary jointer might best be replaced by a good track saw. I have the Festool track saw and have to say that it has largely replaced my need for my jointer (I have a 12") in most cases. With very little effort one can easily use a track saw to straighten the edge of just about any board. They are not just for cutting sheets of plywood.

    Jeff

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Aquitaine
    Posts
    2,458

    Default Re: Power planes

    Like jpatrick, I just use mine for rough removal, before a hand plane. After years with a B&D model, very good. I just use cheepo ones from the big box store. But I do have a planer thicknesser that handles the long bits.
    Currently building a 27ft laminated mast. Removing lots of wood quickly with the power planer to get the tapers, but finish with a Record No 5 hand plane.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    On the river, Auckland, New Zealand
    Posts
    7,470

    Default Re: Power planes

    A little while back I had a 900 kg lead keel casting to smooth off, and shape the leading edge. We'd used a wooden mould and it had shrunk and cracked with the heat so there was a bit of fettling to do so I bought a really cheap power plane from our equivalent to Harbour Fright and used that. I also had a nice Bosch 3in power plane, I've still got the cheap one and its still working fine even after much abuse, the Bosch failed, even though it never was used on that lead casting.
    My main go to power plane is an 18v cordless Makita, they dont come much better than that.

    John Welsford
    An expert is but a beginner with experience.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Albuquerque, NM
    Posts
    31,069

    Default Re: Power planes

    My corded Bosch PL1682 got me through building my boat and is still ticking along just fine. Finast Kind.
    Gerard>
    Albuquerque, NM

    Next election, vote against EVERY Republican, for EVERY office, at EVERY level. Be patriotic, save the country.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    seattle
    Posts
    22,217

    Default Re: Power planes

    I notice the Makita and a couple others, don’t have a vac hose attachment, whereas the Bosch does. I know it removes a lot of material but so does my thickness planer and my shop vac and small cyclone keep up with it just fine. I understand outside that would be okay. But in my shop I think I’d like to catch the chips and dust. Unreasonable expectation?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2022
    Location
    Minnesota
    Posts
    87

    Default Re: Power planes

    Also having good results with a lower end Harbor Freight planer. Lighter than the metal bodied ones and can either eject chips to the left or right (select with a lever) and can take a hose with a little finagling. These hoses work nice: https://foamez.com/product/slinky-hose/

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Vancouver Island
    Posts
    2,368

    Default Re: Power planes

    My favorite is the Makita 1900b. It is the ergonomics of one-handed operation that make it rate above the others, imho. While I have 'borrowed" other makes if they are handy and doing so will save me steps, and have the time on tools to make a value judgement, I have seen no reason to change what has worked best for me for the past 40 years. If you are new to this tool I think it would benefit you to handle some of the top brands to get a feel of what is right for you. / Jim

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    PNW, an island west of Seattle
    Posts
    3,481

    Default Re: Power planes

    My Bosch will eject either left or right as I choose. My Festool hose attachment fits flawlessly. I would always choose to have efficient dust extraction.

    BTW: I have also shaped a lead keel with my Bosch. It worked very well with no apparent damage to the planer. I did not use my vac to suck up those chips!

    Jeff

  11. #11
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Seattle
    Posts
    8,899

    Default Re: Power planes

    I have a Porter Cable that I bought when shaping some oars. I am not sure why I didn't buy a power plane years ago. It will eject to either side
    What's not on a boat costs nothing, weighs nothing, and can't break

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Aug 2016
    Location
    Queens, NY
    Posts
    374

    Default Re: Power planes

    Lou makes a convincing argument for the cheap Ryobi in this video..
    great tips for tuning it up too


  13. #13
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Dog Ranch, USA
    Posts
    9,697

    Default Re: Power planes

    My Makita power planer has no dust collection or at least I've never tried to hook any sort of collector to the exhaust port. It's a screamer and makes a huge mess. Sure is effective though.
    Quote Originally Posted by James McMullen View Post
    Yeadon is right, of course.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Apr 2000
    Location
    Southampton Ont. Canada
    Posts
    7,463

    Default Re: Power planes

    We have a couple of Makitas. One is light grey,so from the early eighties.
    They don't get much use,but are handy when nothing else will do.
    They make heavy flakes more than fine dust,so pretty easy clean up.
    R
    Sleep with one eye open.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Mukilteo, WA
    Posts
    3,738

    Default Re: Power planes

    The Makita is a workhorse, mine got used hard building the timber frame from rough sawn beams. It's bad enough dragging a cord around, I wouldn't want to also have a hose involved in every stroke.

    Of course I've never owned a dust collector and usually work outside. And I love shuffling through snow drifts of shavings.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Sep 2015
    Location
    Mountains of Ocooch
    Posts
    1,397

    Default Re: Power planes

    Quote Originally Posted by jpatrick View Post
    BTW: I have also shaped a lead keel with my Bosch. It worked very well with no apparent damage to the planer. I did not use my vac to suck up those chips!
    Probably a good thing that!

    I borrowed a power hand plane back some 50 years ago when I was building the second mast for my Pumpkinseed stripper scow. Contemplating the tapering necessary after the blank had been glued up with a conventional hand plane, made such a choice an obvious one.

    Some years later I acquired a nice INCA 10" jointer/planer that I have to this day. It's served me Very Well Indeed in the interim.

    About two years ago I 'upgraded' its two straight-bladed knife head with a Shelix style fitted with numerous, four-sided carbide cutters (for over the original cost of the tool itself mid-'70's but that's inflation at work, not relative value) and have never felt so good about spending such a bunch of $$$ on a single tool.

    Power planes, whether bench- or hand-style, have their place. I get great pleasure out of using my traditional hand planes for lighter work, the finishing touches if you will.

    Even the wood-bodied, curved blade scrub plane.

    Even if I spend more time getting the keen edges I know will work best than I do actually using the planes as they were intended to be used.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    Portland, Oregon
    Posts
    83,718

    Default Re: Power planes

    I've been quite happy with the $99 Bosch I got many years back. I think it's still around $99.
    David G
    Harbor Woodworks
    https://www.facebook.com/HarborWoodworks/

    "It was a Sunday morning and Goddard gave thanks that there were still places where one could worship in temples not made by human hands." -- L. F. Herreshoff (The Compleat Cruiser)

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    seattle
    Posts
    22,217

    Default Re: Power planes

    Quote Originally Posted by sp_clark View Post

    About two years ago I 'upgraded' its two straight-bladed knife head with a Shelix style fitted with numerous, four-sided carbide cutters (for over the original cost of the tool itself mid-'70's but that's inflation at work, not relative value) and have never felt so good about spending such a bunch of $$$ on a single tool.
    I have Shelix cutters in my DeWalt thickness planer. If anyone here is not familiar with helix style cutter heads, do yourself a favor. Yes, they are very expensive, but given the four sides and single cutter replacement if chipped, they probably save money in the long run. But even if they didn't, the quality of the cut is worth it alone.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Apr 2015
    Location
    St. Helens, Oregon
    Posts
    5,181

    Default Re: Power planes

    Quote Originally Posted by coelcanth View Post
    Lou makes a convincing argument for the cheap Ryobi in this video..
    great tips for tuning it up too

    HA! You beat me to it. I bought one and set it up, pretty much as Lou says and it works great for stock removal. It's not a finish tool, but does nice roughing and it was cheap​!

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Posts
    884

    Default Re: Power planes

    I've got a corded Makita (can't remember the model #) and it is a very precise tool. But no matter how much I plan, that #$% cord somehow gets in the way. It's also not great on chip collection.

    That said, I can't see a handheld planer as a good substitute for a well tuned jointer. I consider it one of the four woodshop essentials (the other three are planer. table saw and band saw) It's always a pleasure to start a project with wood that's square, flat and parallel.

  21. #21
    Join Date
    Aug 2022
    Location
    Minnesota
    Posts
    87

    Default Re: Power planes

    Quote Originally Posted by Yeadon View Post
    My Makita power planer has no dust collection or at least I've never tried to hook any sort of collector to the exhaust port. It's a screamer and makes a huge mess. Sure is effective though.
    I modified an older Ryobi planer with an irregular-shaped exhaust port with a plate with a round hole to accept a hose to a small shop vac. I run the vac with a Dust Deputy cyclone.
    On the old Skil 100 metal bodies planers, beloved in traditional surfboard shaping bays, people make various vac attachments too, often running power and vacuum lines overhead. There is also a guy making a fiberglass 'turbo chute' for the 100 which mixes the motor exhaust air with the shavings and sends them out faster/further. The surfboard shapers often modify the planer depth controls to work without detents or 'on the fly' but this would be for foam only.

  22. #22
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    South Puget Sound/summer Eastern carib./winter
    Posts
    22,616

    Default Re: Power planes

    i never had one i dint like

    but my next will be cordless

  23. #23
    Join Date
    Apr 2000
    Location
    Barrie, Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    7,048

    Default Re: Power planes

    They're a great tool when you have rough-cut or slabbed boards, and need to remove a lot of material in a hurry to true up an edge or surface.

    But they make a LOT of shavings in a hurry. I use my el-cheapo one outside. It doesn't have a good vacuum hose port.

    I'd get a cordless one next time. It's a tool that gets its work done fast.

  24. #24
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Chesapeake Bay
    Posts
    401

    Default Re: Power planes

    Quote Originally Posted by Hugh MacD View Post
    HA! You beat me to it. I bought one and set it up, pretty much as Lou says and it works great for stock removal. It's not a finish tool, but does nice roughing and it was cheap​!
    I bought a Ryobi and gave it the Lou treatment and it works well, although to be honest I've only had to use it a handful of times.

  25. #25
    Join Date
    Sep 2015
    Location
    Mountains of Ocooch
    Posts
    1,397

    Default Re: Power planes

    Quote Originally Posted by Spot View Post
    I modified an older Ryobi planer with an irregular-shaped exhaust port with a plate with a round hole to accept a hose to a small shop vac. I run the vac with a Dust Deputy cyclone.
    Another solid recommendation!

    I think I learned of the DD vac accessory here a few years back, bought one for my big Rigid. Saved maybe five, six times its cost for vac filters in the mean time!

    Then I 'upgraded' an early '80's bag-filtered dust collector with one of their larger cyclonic separators and HEPA style filter & collection drum, made a quantum leap in efficiency of dust & chip capture from my jointer/planer & table saw. Their products're well appreciated by this customer.

  26. #26
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    landlocked in Mt. Solon, VA
    Posts
    1,640

    Default Re: Power planes

    Home Depot has a cyclonic separator similar to the Dust Deputy. It has a lower profile and fits next to my radial arm saw below table top height, so it does not interfere with workpieces. Functioning is very effective.

    https://www.homedepot.com/p/Dustoppe...D12A/315749552
    "George Washington as a boy
    was ignorant of the commonest
    accomplishments of youth.
    He could not even lie."

    -- Mark Twain

  27. #27
    Join Date
    Sep 2015
    Location
    Mountains of Ocooch
    Posts
    1,397

    Default Re: Power planes

    Quote Originally Posted by UCanoe_2 View Post
    Home Depot has a cyclonic separator similar to the Dust Deputy. It has a lower profile and fits next to my radial arm saw below table top height, so it does not interfere with workpieces. Functioning is very effective.
    I have one of those also, fitted to one of their branded orange 5-gallon plastic pails. It lives in my garage/shop, connected to a low-profile Rigid (their brand) vacuum cleaner.

    I agree it's effective, yet my experience with both devices tells me the DD is superior when it comes to efficiency. The Rigid vac my HD separator's connected to uses paper bag filters as well as a HEPA pleated type. The bag filters are substantially cheaper than the pleated kind but I still find I have to change the bag filters fairly often as they tend to clog with fines as one would expect.

    With the DD unit in-line with my larger Rigid shop vac, fines don't make it to the vac bin, the HEPA pleated filter it uses stays virtually pristine over quite a long time.

    Make no mistake the HD device is better than simply a vac alone! You'll save a bunch on filters after you put one in-line with a vac.

    Still, IMHO the DD is worth the price if you can fit it into your machine arrangement.

    Having to sit upon the 5-gallon pail for debris collection makes for a tall combo. The HD adds about 5" to the bucket underneath, without considering how the intake elbow affects things.

    I built a carriage to hold the DD and my vac that's on casters so I can roll it around to where it's needed. Before that the DD would invariably fall over from the strain of having the intake tube pulling on the intake for the separator so high off the floor when I chose to move the combo.

  28. #28
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Great Barrington, MA
    Posts
    1,180

    Default Re: Power planes

    re Wisbang's collection--that looks like a first generation Ryobi there, what a tool. I have two. The blades are carbide tipped and hard to sharpen so I sent them out, and now they're pretty much unavailable unless you want to order from Japan. But because they're short and wide they're great for some things other longer ones aren't and they are bullet proof. I have that Makita, too, which is great like any other Makita tool.

  29. #29
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    South Puget Sound/summer Eastern carib./winter
    Posts
    22,616

    Default Re: Power planes

    ^ the 1980's makita in the center has a motor twice the amperage of a regular modern planer, but still with regular 3 inch blades
    I shoveled the tar goo used to glue old linoleum to a floor in Ben Sebens home a few years ago to prep for refinishing. It ran through stuff that would STOP the others
    planers are a bit like disc sanders for me, if i'm on a job, i'll have 3 or 4 "in service" at once...sharp/dull, rough/fine/ beater/still nice, nails/ not nails.
    I wait until at least 3 need sharpening to sit down and slow down at the bench to sharpen em. it has been a long time since I even use the guages to install the blades or grind them. all by eye and feel.

    i made a pile of ayc chips yesterday with the green one...a freakin PILE !
    of course, y'all know I'm not building leaky boat joineryimeanfurniture
    oh i have a few more on the boat.
    Bruce

  30. #30
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Location
    victoria, australia. (1 address now)
    Posts
    70,666

    Default Re: Power planes

    I have a rule with power planers, stop when you think you need just a couple of passes more………..
    Mine is several years old, and in a tool chest in the shed…..

  31. #31
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    Portland, Oregon
    Posts
    83,718

    Default Re: Power planes

    Just received a promotional video for this Triton model. Looks interesting. No idea whether it's worth owning. No personal experience with the Triton brand, and I hear mixed reports...

    David G
    Harbor Woodworks
    https://www.facebook.com/HarborWoodworks/

    "It was a Sunday morning and Goddard gave thanks that there were still places where one could worship in temples not made by human hands." -- L. F. Herreshoff (The Compleat Cruiser)

  32. #32
    Join Date
    Apr 2019
    Location
    Massachusetts
    Posts
    2,302

    Default Re: Power planes

    Quote Originally Posted by David G View Post
    Just received a promotional video for this Triton model. Looks interesting. No idea whether it's worth owning. No personal experience with the Triton brand, and I hear mixed reports...

    I've never had much luck with Triton products. The seem well designed but are cheaply made. Just my opinion, but I wouldn't touch one again unless there were underwhelmingly positive reviews on some type of woodworkers forum.

  33. #33
    Join Date
    Jan 2016
    Location
    Auckland New Zealand
    Posts
    249

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •