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I recently purchased the TP13002... from what I can see, there is no difference and I'm figuring it's just an engineering designation for some internal upgrade or change. While the nameplate says "TP13002, the manual has the "LS" designation and the Parts Repair Sheet simply states "TP1300".
However, when compared to the new R4330 you'll find a slightly increased RPM and a 3-blade cutter head. The top has been modified slightly (tubular bars instead of the "cover". Also the locking mechanism for the cutter head has been dropped. Apparently the mechanism is redesigned so the lock is no longer required.
The dust ejection port is also redesigned. As I recall (it was weeks ago), you can now hook your hose into either the right or left and the duct can be "opened" to allow the debri to be blown out the back without having to remove the chute.
American Woodworker (Oct 200 issue) has a comparison article on planers. The R4300 was the editors choice for the "Under $400" bracket. Main differences between it and the TP1300LS was that the 4300 weighed 12 lbs less, had 3 cutters instead of 2, 20 more cuts per inch, had 1/4" less max height and had 4 lifting screws instead of 2, so it did not need the head lock. Realize that it appeared this article was based on the features of about 15 different planers, and there was no reference to actual use or testing.
Until the B'day or Christmas angels smile on me, I will have to keep on using my old Stanley's, so i can give no personal recommendations.
I asked a similar question a couple of months ago and, as I recall, no one seemed to have much of an opinion. (Always a chance that I could of missed someone's advice though!) I should also add that I couldn't find any published reviews at that time.
My primary reason for asking was that my local store only had one TP1300 left. So, if there was an opinion that it might be the better tool, than I needed to act quickly. Not hearing, I just took the plunge and bought the TP1300. The new model showed up the next day, and though I could have swapped, I decided to keep the 1300. For my intended use, I just didn't see a distinct advantage to the new model. My reasoning was as follows:
1. The TP1300 has a good track record, with very good published reviews and a history of positive comments from the forum.
2. The 1300 has a 2-blade cutter that reportedly provided a pretty good finish. While the new 3-blade system should theoretically offer better, the reports aren't in yet. Would the difference be significant? Who knows.
I do know that when and if you damage a blade, it's most likely going to be all the blades... two will be cheaper than three to replace. It may not matter in the scheme of things, but operating expense can be a factor.
3. The 1300 has a lock mechanism on the cutter head, while the new design reportedly doesn't need one... but that's yet to be proven.
4. The 1300 includes the stand, the new model does not. That's probably a $40 to $50 advantage to the 1300.
5. An extra set of blades is provided with the 1300, no mention of extra blade set with the newer unit. Based on the current price of $30 for a 2-blade set, I'm guessing a 3-blade set would be at least $40.
6. Until Sept 30th, there's a $50 gift card for buying the TP1300. That doesn't apply to the new unit.
The only two concerns I've read about the TP1300 was the feed rollers not working properly because they got dirty, and that wood chips occasionally clog. The newly designed chip chute on the new model may help with chip removal, but I can imagine that dirty rollers may be a problem with any planer.
Well, all that may be simplistic thinking on my part; but with roughly a $140 advantage, and a known reputation, the TP1300 seemed to be a wiser decision at this time. For it's $300 cost (after the $50 gift card, which I have yet to receive), I'm sure I can't complain too loudly.
I purchased the TP1300LS before the $50.00 gift card offer, but even so, I am happy with the results of it's planing efforts. The leg stand (LS designation as indicated in one of the above posts) is a definite plus and a must for me as when I have completed planing the wood stock, I fold up the infeed tray and store the planer at a vacant spot on the wall. I don't have the permanent bench top space for something of this size and the weight negates it being classified as portable. Too, a planer would need to be mounted at about a "mid" shop position to allow for infeed and the subsequent outfeed of the length of wood stock for longer pieces. I did read the article, mentioned in an above post, comparing the several planers and features, but the TP1300LS is plenty for me. Haven't used a dual speed, three blade planer, but I can say that I paid a lot less for something that I just don't use that much in a day's period of time.
I think I agree with your rationale, especially the economics. Where did you see or get the $50 gift card?? I was in the store today looking at the planer and just looked on online but can't find reference to it.
I just bought the TP1300LS - decission helped by CWS - thanks : ) I had a 10% off Lowes coupon that HD accepted so my cost was $333 inc tax and then the $50 HD gift card promotion means $283. Now I can really go make some sawdust - after I set it up tomorrow. Actually its mostly for cutting boards right now, just to plane them flat, so not too much saw dust!
Congrats on the planer, Dennis! I know you'll get lots of use out of it. They're immensely useful tools.
I need to warn you to get and use decent hearing protection when using the planer, especially. I find that with most tools, the noise doesn't bother me. The planer, however, is just that pitch and volume that a good set of ear protectors is needed. I use my shooting headset, and actually leave them at the tool. That way, they're ready and waiting and I don't have to search for them.
It's also a good idea to either run the planer outside, or make sure you have some way to collect the chips. It really sends 'em flying! I use it hooked up to the dust collector, which not only helps pull the chips out, but it keeps them clear so I don't have to worry about getting chips stuck into the machine.
I put it all back together better than before. There\'s lots of leftover parts.