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a fantastic planer for a DIY enthusiast
The dust collection exhaust is fantastic, especially if you have a dust collection system or dedicated shop vac to plug into. If this is your first planer, you simply won't expect the volume of shavings you will produce. The quality of finish is exceptional. With fresh blades there is no visible snipe at all. While under magnification you could likely see small blemishes, to the naked eye, the finish is perfect. This tool paid for itself within about 2 small projects from the time I purchased it. There is a local saw mill that sells #1 common and better quality hardwoods which ends up costing me about 25% - 35% what I was paying at a hardware store/lumber yard. I now build almost exclusively with ALL hardwood, since Oak from the mill is about the same price as pine from the lumber yard. I have put hundreds of feet of oak, hickory, walnut, and maple through. I find "rustic" hickory to be my favorite (great finish, and compliments many other woods well) to work with, which means lots of knots, and relatively hard (dense) wood. The planer handles this work load fine.
CONS: There are only two complaints I have about the machine. First, it is the loudest planer I have ever used. I work it in my basement, so the whole house knows it when I am working. That said gun muffs are a must if you plan to work with the harder woods. The only other complaint I would have is the life of the blades. As stated above, I run my machine extremely hard. Many people won't even put a knotted board into a planer, it is rare that I feed a board that isn't. I know I am hard on my blades, so I accept that I need to replace them every 3-5 projects to keep a pristine finish. Even with dull blades, a very light sanding with remove the blemishes. I would say the worst I have seen is maybe a