We've been working on a number of custom woodworking projects lately, including desks, credenzas, dining tables, and even a couple of custom mahogany doors. Each of these pieces requires the use of a variety of hardwoods. In the past we milled and planed lumber at the lumber yard, mostly because the small bench planers in our shop were not well suited for handling large volumes of hardwood. However, as we took on more custom work, it became clear that having a decent planer would help save time and money, so it was time to upgrade. We decided to fill the gap between our smaller underpowered planers and our larger industrial planers with the DeWalt DW735 13 Inch 2 Speed Planer.
When we first received our DeWalt DW735 planer, we noticed that the box was not only large, but also heavy. But that's to be expected. Most bench planers have some weight, but the DW735 weighs 92 pounds. This realization prompted us to quickly build a rolling base for the planer.
The overwhelming feeling upon opening the box is that, based on build quality alone, the DeWalt DW735 is already a huge step up from our previous planers. The machine sits on a cast aluminum base, and although the casing is molded plastic, it's solid. Overall, the DeWalt DW735 seems to have crossed over from the small scale into the professional world
Two Speed Dewalt Planer
One of the unique features of the DeWalt DW735 planer is its two feed speeds – one for quick thickness planing and one for fine finishing. Speed 1 slows the automatic feed so that the blade cuts through the workpiece 179 times per inch, leaving a nice smooth finish. Speed 2 increases the automatic feed rate, reducing the number of cuts per inch to only 96, but allows faster lumber size determination.
When first setting up the planer, we questioned the need to use the finishing speed often. However, we found ourselves using it a lot more than we initially expected. If nothing else, we use it on the final pass of each board we run through the planer because the smooth surface reduces sanding time.
When you change speed, it doesn't make sense that you have to open the device in order to effectively change gears.
DeWalt DW735 Dust Collector
One thing DeWalt did to the DW735 was add a built-in blower to remove wood chips from the blade. It has amazing air flow and will spray wood chips all over the place if used without some type of dust collector. It does a good job of preventing dust and shavings from accumulating on the blade, thus prolonging the life of the blade. We were able to attach our shop dust collection unit to the planer (4" connection recommended) and it worked great.
View planing depth
Sometimes we need to plane several boards to the same thickness. In most cases the rough cut lumber we receive from the lumber yards varies in size. This is where the depth setting dial really comes in handy. The depth setting dial has several incremental depth stops with standard measurements from 1/8" to 1-1/4". This feature was very useful when we needed to plan several planks of reclaimed oak into a 1-1/4 thick table top.
replace the blade
The DeWalt DW735 comes with a handy Allen key for loosening the screws on the bit plastic cover and the blade itself. The reason we highlighted blade replacement on this model as a favorite feature is how easy it is, especially considering that there is plenty of room inside the cutter head once the cover is removed. Also, we think it's cool that the handle of the Allen key has a couple of magnets that allow for easy blade removal.
Performance test DeWalt DW735
DeWalt DW735 The 13" thick planer is fairly easy to use and should be self-explanatory to anyone who has used a planer. It is power and precision that really test this machine. Power is one of our main concerns with the new planer, considering the number of times we've had the breaker tripped due to motor overload or thermal shutdown on older models.
We used several different species of hardwood including ash, reclaimed oak and mahogany. The planer worked really well, and at 15 amps, it had enough power to pull through and plan every piece of hardwood without hesitation. We planed nearly 70 feet of 2" mahogany to 1-1/2" without overloading the system at all.
Accuracy is probably the most important aspect of thickness planing. After all, what's the point of using a planer if the planks don't end up being flat?
The DW735 works right out of the box. Small depth changes are easy to make thanks to the extra-large handwheel. Each full turn of the wheel changes the depth of cut by 1/16", allowing the user to easily change the depth to 1/64" with a quarter turn.
With the bit sitting on four threaded posts – which reduces bit movement – this model has little to no sniping. The three-blade head spins at 10,000 RPM for smooth cutting, even at faster dimensioning speeds. At lower finishing speeds, the material is nearly smooth enough to skip sanding.
Pricing and Conclusions
The DeWalt DW735 13-Inch Thickness Planer is a true workhorse. As with any planer, one expects a powerful, precise machine. The machine delivered on both accounts. At 92 pounds, we're not sure we can tow it to a project site, but it's a welcome addition in stores.
After running 3 lumber projects through this planer, we are impressed. The DeWalt DW735 is the perfect upgrade from low powered bench planers and very effectively closes the gap to professional workshop machinery. We're not quite ready to start a mill shop, but this planer meets all our requirements and does a great job.
As with many upgrades, this one doesn't come cheap. You'll spend $629 to achieve this. Once you do this, beware – you won't be going back to the smaller model.
DeWalt DW735 13-Inch Planer Key Features
- Powerful 15 amp, 20,000 RPM motor easily handles larger cuts on wider materials
- Three-knife head with 10,000 rpm head speed for 30% longer tool life and faster, easier tool changes
- Two-speed gearbox allows user to vary feed rate to optimize per inch of cut at 96 or 179 CPI
- Fan-assisted chip removal sucks chips off the cutter head and out of the machine
- 19-3/4" cast aluminum base is 2x more rigid than standard 10" bases and folding tables
- Automatic carriage lock reduces sniper-inducing motion without manual engagement by the user
- Material removal gauge and oversized thickness scale provide accurate cuts on every pass
- Oversized turret depth stop allows user to easily return to most commonly used thicknesses
DeWalt DW735 Planer Specifications
- Model: DeWalt DW735
- Amps: 15.0 Amps
- No-load speed: 20,000 RPM (motor) / 10,000 (cutter) RPM
- Cutting times per minute: 30,000
- Drive motor system: belt drive
- Maximum cutting depth: 1/8″
- Depth Capacity: 6″
- Width Capacity: 13″
- Number of Blades: 3
- Blade Type: Planer
- Weight: 92 lbs
- Planer Type: Fixed Table
- Blade Type: Straight Blade
- CSA Certified: Yes
- Cord Length: 13.0′
- Included: Dust Hose Adapter
- Warranty: 3-year limited
- Price: $629