Thicknessers and/or planers

So is the jury in or out for these devices?

I’ve been looking at several of these over the last few weeks and can’t decide if I really need one (or both) and if I decide on the thicknesser, which one? They range in price, obviously, but the better ones always cost more.

My options are either the DeWalt 733 (£540ish), the Makita 2012 (£500ish), or the Metabo (£340ish)

Anyone with experience of these, please?


If you need to process a lot of rough cut lumber then a planer makes a lot of sense.

Usually when I work with rough cut lumber I just face it off on the machine and flip — for appropriate woods I’ll surface them by hand w/ a hand plane.



In a woodshop a jointer and planer are used to create boards with flat, parallel and perpendicular surfaces. A planer can reduce the thickness of a workpiece but the surfaces will not necessarily be flat which is a requisite when working with a CNC.



I thought a planer first…when I started. Then as I grew I learned jointer first…A planer won’t get help with twist and bows. I built a couple of jigs to make do until I got a jointer. All of them where just to time consuming for me to enjoy the craft…


I have both a 12" Grizzly jointer and the Dewalt Lunchbox 735x (with the Shelix Helical Head Conversion).

Planers make things co-planer.
Jointers make things flat.

Crappy jointers aren’t worth the money, they are only beneficial if the in and out feed tables are long enough to actually work; and steel costs money. Inexpensive planers can produce good results. As @WillAdams said … you don’t need these unless you see yourself making 2-3 garbage bins of wood chips per week.

If you really want to buy one, start with a planer then put a planned face down on the S3 then run a facing pass… that will likely get you close enough to flat if we aren’t talking fine furniture here.


Unlike Makita 2012, DeWalt 735X has built in chip blower that works quite well and a standard dust collector port. There’s also a (really nice carbide insert) Shelix helical cutter head available for it. Neither snipe, but the Makita is more portable.


I agree with what everyone has said above. I find that the jointer has been much needed for what I do, and is especially great for me with the cnc router since I typically use double stick carpet tape to hold my pieces down. If you don’t have flat side taped down, you had better have an enclosure or wear a cup as the part will break loose. A planed piece will seem flat since both sides are parallel, but rarely is a piece flat if it hasn’t been run through a jointer (or made flat by another means).

I have helical heads with carbide inserts on my jointer and planer and love them…also understand that both are expensive and might not be in the budget for some (powermatic 15” planer, and powermatic 8” jointer), but I rarely need to rotate them and I run a ton of rough lumber through. The jointer is a must for me when making doors, frames, etc. When I used to only use a planer, I would never have a flat board and nothing would sit flush on a wall or frame. As guys mentioned above, there are work arounds though.

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I wouldn’t be without my planer/thicknesser now that I have one. I use lots of reclaimed wood and it is a breeze to get it down to the required dimensions. I have a Jet with a spiral block helical cutter, the finish is absolutely cracking. Axminster tools currently have quite a few thicknessers on their e-bay site, some trade rated, others craft. Worth a look anyway.

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Oh man, did I learn that the hard way. I don’t have a shop with 1) a concrete floor or 2) room to actually use a jointer or planer inside, and I can’t have anything that needs a concrete floor sit on because it weighs so much. Everything I use has to be carried from a storage area to outside.

I bought the Jet 10" portable jointer, and what a mess it was. I’ll just have to wait for a shop with a concrete floor before I get a “big boy” 10" or 12" jointer with a shelix head.

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I have the Makita and it’s great.

It’ll make you whole bag of nice size chips perfect for rodent bedding…

I’ve put several thousand meters of oak through it and it still gives a buttery smooth surface every time.


I have the Makita 12" planer, and I love it, but you’re telling me that Makita also makes a portable jointer as well?

EDIT: Looks like you are referring to the Makita planer. :frowning: I wish they made a portable jointer as well.

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Would have to say, not completely accurate on that …
Snipe’s the last 4 inches or so 3 out of 5 passes.
DeWalt 735

Whew, that generated a few replies!

I’m beginning the think the planer/thicknesser is a bit of a misnomer for what I had in mind, leaving me with the thought a jointer might be more appropriate.

I’ve had a look at this one from Triton, and a couple of reviews seem to rate it quite well - and it’s not very expensive. With a bit of time and a couple more paydays, I could supplement that with this! Both machines for less than a DeWalt DW733 (the 735 is not available in the UK)

Or, back to the drawing board and look at a combination planer/thicknesser. D’oh!

The combination machines are normally not worth it…buyer beware.
If you get the triton planer. Small passes once you get close to your finished dimensions…
Cutech was my first jointer not sure if it’s available across the pond. But works great for smaller parts.


Properly aligned infeed and outfeed supports (like Makita’s) help with that. Does your Makita snipe?

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Alot of the snipe all depends on weight/lenght of board and how flat it is.
The more you use it the better you get a feel for it…
When doing ruff lumber I always figure atleast 2inches waste on both ends of the board. I could talk for hours on it


You might find this video helpful :slightly_smiling_face:


What planer are you using?

:rofl:I’m using a wen…but I have a drum sander

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I only use my planner it if I need to take off less then a 1/4 but I leave on plenty to sand down to so I don’t use it much…I will sand off upto an 1/8…

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