Rated 4.2 out of 5Â by 5
Rated 5 out of 5Â by Islander Very impressed!
I am a hand-tool kind of guy. By that I mean powerless, good ol' hand tools. I have had my grandfather's hand planes for years and sharpen them by hand with waterstones. I always scoffed at power planers.
Well, then came the need to take years of paint off two 46' wood sailboat masts. I was going to use a belt sander, but those make a mess and are very invasive. (chew up the wood a lot). I decided to try a power planer set at low depth.
There were really three options available- Bosch, Ryobi, and Makita. Ryobi was out at the beginning because of their usual lack of quality. The Bosch I had read great things about and it was cheaper than the Makita. The reason I went with the Makita was twofold:
(1) The foot on the Makita is very thick machined aluminum, whereas the Bosch is stamped steel and did not look too precision. The Makita looked like a precision tool!
(2) The adjustment knob. This was the main reason. They both had a knob that clicked at each stop. The Bosch, however, was so poorly marked that I couldn't tell if I was on 1/64 or 1/32nd. There was no real pointer. You just kind of aimed the clicker up the center. The Makita had very clearly marked white recessed lines at 1/256th intervals. That is precision! You could very easily see and feel (solid click for each stop) where you were setting it. It also has a zero setting to park the blade, which I believe the Bosch also had.
The real difference between hand planers is not how MUCH they can take off at a time, but rather how LITTLE. If you need precision then get the Makita. You can shave tiny paper-thin strips off in each pass or go up to 5/32 if you need to hog something out quickly.
For the sailboat mast I was able to plane the paint off in about 15 minutes. It was insane. BZZZZZZZZIP four times down each side and it was clean except the rounded edges which I will hit with a sander. I am so glad I did not get the belt sander for this job!!!
I am going to start using this for other projects although I am still sort of a purist when it comes to planing. If I were hanging a door, however, I must say I would probably use this now instead of a hand plane. For furniture and for my wood surfboard building I will stick with manual hand planes. Anyway, this was WELL worth the money I spent just in the time it saved me on this project, and I was amazed that after planing all four sides of a 46' sailboat mast it was still cutting a clean smooth path. Sweet!
April 10, 2012
Rated 4 out of 5Â by FussierThanMost Needed a Little Dialing In
I bought this planer to replace another which had a severe defect, and was somewhat disappointed to find this one had issues as well. It would cut a swath on the left side only on a flat board when set to zero. After several attempts at adjusting the knives, I determined that the edge of one carbide knife would repeatedly stick out about .010" too far when the hold down bolts were tightened. I believe this is caused by a poorly manufactured clamp, as it was the same with different blades. I resolved it by installing single edge one-piece carbide blades (more money). It now cuts like a dream.
August 29, 2014
Rated 5 out of 5Â by Handyman Easy to use.
After looking at several hand planers the Makita looked to be better made than others. I have used this planer for working down rough sawn white oak that is to big and heavy to go through my 12" floor planer. So far I love this hand planer and hope it gives me many years of service.
December 31, 2013
Rated 4 out of 5Â by RoyfromNewYork this planer has the power to do the job.
I am very happy with this planer, it has enough power to plane oak planks that I milled last year; it gets the job done. My only complaint so far is that it does not zero out, the blade does not retract all the way, so I am always cutting. This 7.5 amp model was not available in the store. When delivered the box looked like it was through a war and the planer and parts were rattling around inside the box, and there was no manual (its available on the internet). It came with a guide, but I still haven't figured out what it is supposed to do. I have to wonder if the planer was knocked out of alignment when shipped, the box had definitely been opened. there's no directions on how to calibrate the depth gauge. Just a poor presentation, shame on someone.
January 17, 2013
Rated 3 out of 5Â by Mark Cuts good, the fence tha come with the planer is a joke, the front know is also the depth adduxtment, not good
I wish I would have spent more to get a real planer. The fence is not solid and is a joke. One has to be careful when holding the front knob bucause it is also the depth adjustment. A grip should be just that.
July 19, 2013