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Thread: Recommendations: 12-15" planers or jointer/planers

  1. #1

    Recommendations: 12-15" planers or jointer/planers

    Greetings all,

    I've been lurking here for awhile. I decided it is time to join the community. I must say there is a wealth of knowledge being shared. My thanks to all that contribute to this site.

    I'm in the process of moving to a new home and a bigger shop area. I'm looking at replacing my current 12" portable planer with a stationary machine. I have access to a lot of rough sawn wood. I find the portable planers have a tough time with rough boards, especially long or wide boards. I've looked at the 15" planers from Delta, Jet, Powermatic, and a few generic imports. Any other suggestions of other planers I should be looking at (or avoiding)?

    At some point, I'll be looking to upgrade from my current 6" jointer as well. Any thoughts on combination jointer/planers? Something like the 12" Laguna XSD 310 would be stretching the budget, but is not out of the question. My biggest concern is the time to switch between jointer and planer modes.

    I can't say that money is not an issue, but I'd rather get the right machine and only have to buy it once.

  2. #2
    dale, take the time to read this thread.. welcome to smc! tod

  3. #3

    I have the Powermatic 15" planer with spiral cutter head and am very pleased with it. Very good machine in my book, but you can't go wrong with MM either.
    Thanks & Happy Wood Chips,
    Dennis -
    Get the Benefits of Being an SMC Contributor..!
    ....DEBT is nothing more than yesterday's spending taken from tomorrow's income.

  4. #4
    Welcome Dale! Another thread worth checking out... the conversation shifts toward combo machines later in the thread.
    Last edited by Dan Larson; 06-15-2006 at 11:54 PM.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Katy, Texas

    I too, have been eyeing 15" stationary planers. Dennis has already mentioned one model (PM 15S) that appears to be near or at the top of the class as far as I am concerned. Another one you might want to consider is the Grizzly G1021X. Although I have not personally laid hands on this one, it appears to have a lot going for it, such as indexed spiral cutterhead.

    I think in another class are the combo units, such as the MiniMax line of machines. If you have the budget, these are fine machines.

    As they say, just my $0.02 worth.

    Last edited by Jerry White; 06-16-2006 at 12:56 AM.

  6. #6

    15" planer

    Several of the fifteen inch planers used to be made in same factory in Tiawan. Many are now made on the mainland. A few years back, FWW did a story on machines from Tiawan showing different brands of paint on same assembly line. Main thing is quality standards of reseller (Grizzly, Jet, Powermatic, etc). Some are willing to accept less than perfect machines, while others have their reputations on the line. Generally the better known brands are slightly better than others. Here in NC, we have a supplier, who is direct importer and sells under their brand. They have been at it for several years, so they have a good track record. Delta planers used to be made in South America, and were totally different from other brands. Recently one of the WW magazines did a review of 15" planers, and York Craft came out as best value

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Skillman, NJ
    Check out my past post on J/P's here:

    J/P's are a very good way to get two very high quality & capacity machines in one footprint. In addition, some offer a horizontal mortiser attachment that give you the ability to create loose mortise & tennon joints. Add to that a Tersa cutter head and in my opinion you are in machine heaven Feel free to ask me my opinion of which brand, as I think I can come up with one Good luck with your decision.

  8. #8
    I have the MiniMax combination with 16 inch jointer and planer. Switching between them is faster than shifting my separate machines around to make infeed/outfeed room.

    I've said a lot in the other threads, so won't repeat. They are absolutely great machines, especially the Tersa cutters...3 minutes to change cutters lets me keep one set of knives for good work (HSS), and another set (chrome) for cleaning up rough cut lumber.

    If you have specific questions, drop me a note

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Griswold Connecticut
    Dale. Welcome to Sawmill Creek, and pleased to meet ya'.

    I have the Jet 15" planer, and it's a pretty nice machine for the $$$. It would be hard to wrong with the Jet.

    The one weak point of the Jet are the infeed/outfeed rollers. They are really kinda cheesey.

    Dennis Peacock( here on the board) just got the Powermatic 15", and the infeed/outfeed tables looked a lot beefier. They might even be an integral part of the bed, and not a seperate attachment. Very nice planer, and definitely worth considering.

    Once again. Welcome to Sawmill Creek.

  10. #10
    The MiniMax machines seem to come highly recommended. MiniMax would be a stretch for my budget, but I'd like to at least look at them before I make a decision. Anyone know where I could get a look at one in southern Wisconsin or northern Illinois?

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Winterville, NC (eastern NC)
    Dale, as others have stated, there is not a lot of difference between the various 15" planers on the market-just a different paint job.
    Your mention of the Robland/Laguna 12" machine hit home. I got the combo machine that is similar to the Robland from Andreou Machinery. While it is not in the same class as Felder/Minimax, for the money that I had available, it has been a good machine. And having jointing capacity the same as the planing capacity has been a big plus.
    You might want to check with one of these dealers for the possibility of finding a pre-owned machine. They often have them when a customer is moving up to a larger machine.
    Good luck and watch those fingers.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Katy, Texas
    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Wilkins
    ...... there is not a lot of difference between the various 15" planers on the market-just a different paint job.
    As far as I can tell, there are no 15" stationary planers presently being manufactured in North America. In addition, all of the 15" machines on the market are manufactured in Asia. However, there are some significant differences between some of the models. Many are manufactured in China, possibly by one manufacturer, Jinting, and branded to suit the importer. See this link . These appear to be essentially alike, and as you say, a different paint job.

    However, a few models are made in Taiwan in ISO 9001 factories where manufacturing standards are above those that we presently see in the imports from China. These Taiwanese units tend to also be better designed mechanically. Unless I am mistaken, the two machines I referred to in my post above belong to this group, and are in a class apart from the generic 15" planers. Of course the selling price of these units reflect their enhancements.

    Therefore, I say that there are differences between the brands/models on the market, if you care to look closely.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Central Illinois
    Lots of decent planers out there. Here's my experience:

    Originally bought a DeWalt DW734: great little planer for surfacing small stock, cleaning up resaw jobs, excellent excellent finish, best finish of all, overheats if you're doing much tough planing or wide boards, can really only do 1/32 at a time.

    Bought a Shop Fox 15" for rough lumber: Lots and lots of power (3hp), can't even bog it down, pretty good finish but needs more sanding, very safe antikickback and very positive feed, can take 1/8" off at a time no problem if you can suck the chips away.

    Finally had a moulding job and bought a Woodmaster 18" planer/moulder/sander/ripsaw: machine is actually made in the USA, very well constructed machine though a little antiquated in design, dust collection requires a huge blower due to inefficient shrouding, great finish due to variable speed feed, rubber feed rolls are a pain for taking off just a little, will send small pieces flying across the shop so only 4' and longer.

    Overall, the Shop Fox is the best planer for taking rough boards down to smooth for the best price. The DeWalts are just too small, and the Woodmaster is great for production work but not all that good for smaller project work. I think I paid $675 with a stand and infeed/outfeed rollers...not a bad price.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    SE PA - Central Bucks County
    Quote Originally Posted by Dale Sandford
    The MiniMax machines seem to come highly recommended. MiniMax would be a stretch for my budget, but I'd like to at least look at them before I make a decision. Anyone know where I could get a look at one in southern Wisconsin or northern Illinois?
    Call Mini Max to get customer references in your area.
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