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The Ridgid planer gets alot of positive comments from both owners and magazines. Theoretically, the 3 head planer will have high cuts per inch, but there's no free lunch. Three blades will cost about 50% more to replace than two blades. Some will argue that three blades won't dull as fast, which is true, but most of the time I replace blades b/c they've been nicked not b/c they're dull...
The Delta, DW, and Ridgid all seem to have alot of supporters. You should be able to buy anyone of them with confidence, so buy the best price or circumstances.
I have had my Ridgid planer a few months and so far no complaints. I did however wax the in/out feed table and the table under the knives. I've heard wood will begin to stick, so a word of caution and do it up front and avoid the hassle. A good dust collection is a plus, I use the 16 gal. Ridgid shop vac and it keeps up just fine.
Measure twice...Cut once..I always forget that one!
I use my TP1300 often. It is a 2000 model that has been put through is paces - big time.
The machine started off as my only planer and has since been replaced with a larger machine for production work; however, I still use the Ridgid for my personal/hobby work.
Pro's: easy to use, good results for the feed rate, easy to clean/service.
Con's: No local supplier of parts, blades, moderate upkeep & I have looked for a service book for years with no results (I like to have service books on all of my tools).
On the subject of "cost of blades"
I have never compared the cost of Ridgid Blades to Dewalt Blades. I also know that on any given day including the first day of use, blades can chip for many reason. I always have an extra set on hand just in case.
There is very little frustration in the world that comes close to the feeling one gets when one plans a project, gathers the materials, calibrates the tools, begins milling raw product, the blade chips (on a Sunday) leaving a large ridge across a board - and you don't have an extra blade on hand for the machine - with no local supplier.
I purchase the least expensive blades I can (usually Freud manufacture) for the planer, use them, and throw them away. I usually buy them in groups of six from an online supplier that drop ships them to my door. I easily go through four sets a year. The cost is just a part of ownership. It is kind of like gas at the pump - if you need it, you will buy it because you have no choice.
If you intend on utilizing it for contracting work you should include a set a blades when you estimate your budget and always use a fresh set for the job.
I believe the tool designer for the TP1300 also designed the new Dewalt. I have fooled with the Dewalt a little, run a board through the machine at a contracting show, but don't have a "work related experience" opinion of one.
If I were purchasing another bench top, I would purchase the new 3 blade Dewalt. But then again, I am a tool junkie.
You really have to do some homework! Features to look for:
1 Locking cutter head----reduces chance of snipe.
2 Double-sided, disposable blades----not only are they convienent, but having blades you don't have to align is well worth the money to me.
3 Either two-speed (like Delta) or 3 knives (like DeWalt)----it really does make a noticable difference in the finish of the wood.
There's nothing wrong with the Ridgid. But you have to look at the money difference between it and the newer, now more common technology. I think I'd also check out this issue on knife availibility. You know the stores likely don't want to carry them, and if you can't order them on line from Ridgid----well, I'd say forget it---but find out for yourself.
Whenever I purchase a machine, i.e; planer, jointer, etc., I take the knives from the machines and go to my local machine shop and have 2 things done.
1. I have the knives reconfigured to allow for carbide to be brazed on to them. There is a substantial initial cost, yes, but in the long run it is well worth it.
2. Once the initial set is done, I have them make me extra sets of knives (usually 3 or 4) That I can have on hand JIC.
It is actually very easy to sharpen the knives on your planer & jointer, just takes a little practice! Once you know how, you won't need to worry about having to shop around to find replacement knives sets.
The easiest plan though, is to take the knives you have and have your local machine shop duplicate them. They can even make them out of better quality tool steel then the originals and once they have a pattern of your knives, you simply call up and order a new set when you need them.
I recently purchased a rigid planer, the quality of the work is great. The only drawback i can find is that the dust hood wont allow the outfeed table to go all the way up for storage. it has no effect on the work it puts out, but its a little annoying having to take the hood on and off every time you want to set the planer out of the way, but i guess if we could all have dream shops we wouldnt have to wory about space saving.
When I use mine TP1300 in the shop I use the dust collector and hood. Weather permitting, I use it outside in the driveway without the hood and just let the chips fall where they may. LOL Dave, the Ridgid has the locking head and double sided replaceable blades. It's not 2 sp. or 3 blade, but as with any wood project, final sanding is needed anyway. I think the Ridgid is the best on the market for a homeowner/hobbiest planer.
Well, papadan---if you haven't tried the Delta 580, I doubt you could say what is best. I use the two speeds on mine with every project and would be lost without them. And, for the money, why buy old technology.
Originally posted by Rafael: dave, what's the advantage of 2 speeds for you?
I'm not sure what the advantages are for Daveferg, but for most people it's the ability to slow down the feedrate for highly figured woods or for a final pass. The slower feedrate leaves less tearout and a smoother finish.
OK----here's my experience----the slower feed speed allows more knife contact per inch of stock. Now, in theory, this could dull the knives faster. So, when I'm merely running stock to get a uniform thickness or generally thinning stock, I use the fast/normal speed----gives a decent finish. But, when I'm doing a final pass on stock before assembly, I use the slow speed-----I'd match the ultra smooth finish against anyone using a hand scraper. I never have to do anything on sanding other than a brief run of 150 grit paper (or 220, depending).
The 580 also has other features like a thickness gauge, and locking for repeatable thickness cuts. On the down side, it's dust chute does get in the way, but you learn to work around it.
Hey, I'm not even knocking the Ridgid. All I'm saying is that for the money there are other, more modern/improved choices.