A wood planer not only helps you get a nice, smooth finish on a surface of wood, but it also saves you the money that you would otherwise have to shell out for top quality pre surfaced lumber. For woodwork enthusiasts, bench top surface planners turn to be the best choice. They are small enough to fit into a garage, and for their low cost they present fantastic thickness customization features.
In that respect, DeWalt offers three choices of lightweight yet highly efficient planers namely the DW734, DW735 and DW735X, and this article examines the salient features of all three models separately before pitting them against each other to see how they compare.
DEWALT Planers – A Head To Head Comparison
The two-speed, 15-amps DW734 package is a pretty decent bench top planer to start with. With a three knife cutter head, and a 10,000RPM cutter head speed, the DW734 delivers an impressive 96-cpi (cuts per inch), and can therefore handle deeper cuts in hardwoods, which is something that any woodworker would appreciate.
The cast aluminum base provided with DW735 makes it an extremely well built machine. Now, when you compare this with the standard folding tables and 10”base offered by similar machines from other manufacturers, the DW735’s 19-3/4” base is almost two times more rigid. In addition, the automatic carriage lock provided in the DW735 removes the need for manual engagement by the user when using the tool.
The DEWALT DW735X is one of DeWalt’s newest planers of this model. Apart from offering all the attributes of the DW735, the special X package comes with in-feed and out-feed tables and even features an extra set of reversible, disposable 13” knives for the cutter head.
DW734 vs. DW735
One of the first differences that you will notice is the blade size i.e. 13-inch knives used by the DW735 uses as opposed to 12 ½-inch knives for the DW734. From a general perspective, half an inch may not seem like a big enough difference, but when this aspect is translated into cut depth and surface flattening quality, the extra length does becomes crucial.
The second major difference is seen in the carriage lock mechanism, which is an essential component for reducing the effect of snipe. The DW734 features a manual, four column carriage lock. This means that you will have to turn the lever through several revolutions to lock the board in place. On the other hand, the DW735 comes with ‘automatic carriage lock’, thus removing the need for user engagement.
Then, there is the weight aspect. While the DW735 weighs 92 lbs, its little brother, the DW734 is 12 lbs lighter. This difference in weight plays a huge role when you have to move the planner from the storage area to the work area and back.
DW735 vs. DW735X
As mentioned earlier, both these models are the same in terms of basic characteristics. However, the only difference is that the X package comes with extra blades and in-feed/out-feed tables. The extra blades no-doubt make for a good complementary feature given that you have to buy disposable knives for a DW735 once the current set is dulled out.
Nevertheless, the in-feed and out-feed tables produce the real difference between the two and this is seen in the snipe quality. Snipes measuring 0.002” can be easily removed with hand sanding whereas power sanding will be required to remove excess snipe. In that respect, the snipe is greatly reduced when the feed tables are attached to the DW735. It is for this reason that the X package is preferred over the normal DW735 by people who are starting out with their woodworking endeavor.