on February 13, 2003
I have owned this planer for several months now and have planed both hardwoods such as cherry, ash and maple and softwoods like pine. Simply put, this machine is great. It is easy to set up and very easy to use. The quality of the finished product is outstanding. Here are some ruminations regarding the Delta 22-580K:
1. Why two speeds? The difference in time is minimal and the difference in quality of finish is even smaller. I run my boards through using the "finishing" speed of 90cpi.
2. This planer does everything one could ask it to do and probably more. However, the planed boards are not glass smooth as some reviewers have indicated. The results are remarkable, however, scraping hardwoods after planing is highly recommended prior to applying a finish. In my opinion the difference in results is dramatic.
3. The cutterhead lock works perfectly. No detectable snipe.
4. The depth stop allows perfect repeatable results.
5. Use some form of dust collection - you'll need it.
6. Out of curiousity I switched the reversible knives around. I found it as easy as suggested in the accompanying video.
on December 20, 2003
Picked up this planer today and have sent all the rough hardwood I have in my shop through it. (it's been a long day!) Most of the wood i ripped with a chain saw and was pretty rough to begin with. Now, all is smooth as glass. I am a professional carpenter by trade and have used many different models of planers. I can't say this one is the best one i have ever used (that would be the larger floor models), but for the price and its size, it GREATLY exceeded my expectations. I ran many boards through it at nearly 13" inches wide and varied lengths. I could barely see snipe at the ends of some boards but is so minimal, it could not be felt. The machine had plenty of power. I only had to "assist" it in feeding some boards, just the 4"+ thick ones that were 35-45 pounds. Pretty impressive for a bench top. For you guys that are obsessed with a couple of thousands of an inch, yes, the machine will, as any mass produced item, need a little tweaking out of the box to be perfect. I found the "blade zero" feature to be very handy. The factory dust chute did clog on occasion, but reducing the depth of cut nearly eliminated that problem. The machine, although noisy, is somewhat quieter than most planers I've used. The depth stop is also proved to be a nice feature for milling multiple pieces to the same thickness. My ideal of a quality tool is older American made stationary planer, but I'd find it hard to make any complaints about this little far east machine thus far.
UPDATE! UPDATE! UPDATE!
After using this machine for several months now, and producing 50 or so yards of sawdust (no kidding, my 70' x 40' garden has at least a 6 inch layer of sawdust on it!) I have made some observations. I have noticed that snipe is not uncommon when i first start dimensioning larger rough lumber, especially slightly cupped boards. The outfeed table is just not stout enough, and flexes, causing snipe. Placing a block of wood under the end of the outfeed table to support it will help minimize this. After a few passes and the board is flat, i have no problems with snipe. I have had no problems with the dust chute getting clogged except when planing "softer" woods. These woods sometimes produce more of a long "shaving" instead of smaller dust and occasionally clog the machine. No problems with any harder woods. The blades lasted longer than expected and are easy to change. The rollers do need cleaned on a regular basis, i just do it every time i start planing a large bunch of wood. I also treat the infeed/outfeed tables with a product called TOP COTE. (This stuff comes in a brown spray can is a miracle for keeping your saw tables and planer/joiner beds smooth and slick, Try it, you'll LOVE it.) With the exception of the above mentioned, the planer still operates as new and still produces a great finish.
UPDATE UPDATE UPDATE 12-10-2006
The planer is almost three years old now. I'm probably on my tenth set of blades (actually 20th set since they are double sided!) I've literally shoved thousands of board feet through this machine and it is still performing very well. The only minor problem I have is it seems like I have to clean the feed rollers more often now than I did when it was newer. They may be getting worn and need replaced, although they haven't been enough of a nuisance for me to look into that further as of yet. Nonetheless, I have absolutely no regrets purchasing this machine. It just keeps on going!
UPDATE UPDATE UPDATE 12-25-07!!!
Planer is now over 4 years old. My shop has become "semi-pro" in the last year so this little planer has seen a LOT of production use lately and is still holding up just fine. I have some money put aside for a new, 15" stationary planer w/Byrd shelix (etc.) which would make my shop more productive, but this little one just won't quit and I don't want to replace it until absolutely necessary. I did add a Wixey digital readout to make thicknessing stock more accurate and I love it. Still have minor issues with feeding, but not enough of an issue to justify any further action other than cleaning the rollers and waxing the tables occasionally. It still pretty much performs as new, and has certainly been worth the purchase price.
on January 3, 2005
I'm a hobby-level woodworker with some 30 years experience. Long ago I learned it takes less time to make the right choice in machinery than to deal with a disappointment. After reading a number of reviews on several brands I chose the Delta. It was a good choice. I've had a week so far to adjust and test the machine, and here are some initial impressions:
1. It is much quieter than my old Delta 12-inch. Much.
2. After adjusting the tables, there is zero snipe in finish cuts with the cutter head lock on just snug. The tables are flat to within a few thousands-inch, almost as good as machined iron.
3. Planing 1" rough oak jointed first on one edge and face to 3/4" yields an acceptable surface for fine sanding and dimensional accuracy across and along the board to within 0.005-inch. If for some reason the cutterhead is not parallel with the table (making the board thinner on one side than the other), you can adjust the cutterhead for parallel even though this is not mentioned in the manual. I called Delta before I bought it and got a quick answer on how to do this from their customer service folks.
4. The cutterhead zero indicator and adjustable depth stop will save considerable time and reduce waste. Don't expect to plane deeper than a standard 12-inch, but you will spend less time planing.
Minor gripes: The planer comes with a special tool for rotating the cutterhead for knife changes. You have to raise the cutterhead to 4", remove the dust hood and two top panels, slide a little latch down on the side, insert the special tool and rotate the head to a locked position. None of this is necessary for me. I just make certain the planer is unplugged, remove the dust hood, and rotate the cutterhead by hand until it clicks into locked position for blade removal. This is how it was done for years. If you do it the other way, make sure you remove the special tool before turning the machine on. The experience would be much like leaving the chuck key in your drill press. It can happen.
The cutting height indicator is a plastic measuring tape that reels in and out of a spool like a carpentor's tape. This is the only part of the machine that makes me wonder about longevity. I would prefer a pointer mounted on the cutter head with a scale on the side. If you use compressed air to clean the machine, avoid the tape.
This machine is a significant advance over earlier 12-inch benchtop planers and the overall fit and finish is excellent. It's a good choice for people like me who don't have room for a 15-inch iron beast.
on February 21, 2007
Owning a lot of Delta machinery, (Unisaw, DJ 20, 15 inch band saw, Shaper, Lathe and more...) I felt confident that the purchase of this planer would be a wise choice. I owned an older Makita thickness planer but it was produced before they designed cutter head locks to reduce sniping and I was tired of wasting material. I received the unit and all seemed well. Then one day a package came from Delta, included was a "pad" to clean the feed rollers as it seemed that some units were having feed problems. I chuckled thinking, not my unit... How wrong I was. The very next time I went to use the planer it would not feed stock, no matter how light of a cut I took. I dutifully cleaned the feed rollers as prescribed (taking about a half hour) and the unit seemed to work fine. Until the next time I went to use it... again it would not feed. I cleaned the unit as directed and it still did not feed well. So I cleaned it again... same story. I called Delta... their customer service person was the single rudest customer service representative I have ever encountered. She insisted that the problem was with me or the "atmosphere" in my shop, most likely too much dust, and there was nothing wrong with the planer. ( I have a dust collection system and air filtration, keep a clean shop, and never once had a problem with the Makita.) She reluctantly gave me the number for the Delta service center in my area. Current situation... the unit has been back to the service center twice... they have turned the bearings on the feed roller to increase roller pressure (because they could not get it to feed properly) and it still fails to feed properly. Bottom line... this planer is a horrible disappointment. Even greater is the disappointment in Delta's customer service. I do not want, nor did I ask for, a refund. I simply want the tool to work as intended. Don't take a chance on this one... Delta knew it had a problem. After all, they sent me "a fix" before I knew that I would need one. Then they denied there is a problem with the unit when I called.
on February 17, 2005
I debated for months on what planer to get. I like the Dewalt 13" planer and had come very close on a number of occasions to purchasing it. It was always just a little to salty for me to take the jump. I felt the same way about the Delta 13", however the Delta reviewed better than the Dewalt did. Ultimately, I went with the Delta.
What a solid unit. I pretty much use it as a single speed planer only, when the finishing speed leaves such a smooth surface and the speed is decent what is the point in changing it. I have run Soft Maple and Red Oak through it as well as Birch. Babies bottom smooth, no matter the type of wood.
I have mine hooked up to a 1200 CFM dust collector, so I don't experience any issues with sawdust building up in the sides of the planer. I can see longer outfeed tables being something to get in the future, but right now, I am not running 8' or better boards through.
I have not used the Dewalt 13" planer, but if you are trying to decide, you cannot go wrong with the Delta.
on October 14, 2002
I just got the planer in September. The cutterhead was adjusted extremely well out of the box - I couldn't detect more than .001 difference from one side to the other. After trying a few test pieces, I put 1/2 of a glued-up benchtop through it - 5 feet long and 2 inch thick maple. The finish was very good, with minimal tear-out that I didn't even see at first. I used 90 cpi speed, the blade zero feature, and the stop. All functioned as advertised. The stop was accurate to less than .005.
It's not perfect. I had to wait for a couple of missing pieces, but Delta was very responsive and got them to me quickly. The extension tables were not perfectly flat and even with the center table, and I did have to adjust them. After they were adjusted, they couldn't take the weight of the benchtop pieces, and flexed - the result was some very noticeable snipe in the last two inches. I don't run pieces that big very often, and the results on the smaller test pieces were much better.
Overall, a big improvement over the Delta 12 1/2 " planer that this one is replacing.
on October 31, 2005
This is, by far, my favorite tool in the entire shop. I've been running it for over a year now and it's an absolute joy to use because it produces accurate results every time on every single thing I throw at it.
What I like:
* I have put just about everything through this planer with nothing but excellent results. Mahogany, oak, bird's eye maple, lacewood, pine, hardwood, softwood, I've even run HDPE through it with much success. Absolutely smooth surfaces on both speeds. I've run flat boards, laminated panels (meaning, hardened glue lines), and even posts on edge though this and it never skips a beat.
* ZERO Snipe. I mean NONE. As long as the infeed and outfeed tables are properly aligned, I've never gotten snipe even with a depth of cut just shy of 1/8". I'm not sure if this is because of the cutterhead lock or not, but I've actually forgotten to lock down the cutterhead and still no snipe.
* Accuracy. The scale and the indexing ring are shockingly accurate. When you dial in a 1/128" it takes off exactly 1/128". My fractional calipers don't lie...
* Capacity. It's tough to get something exactly 13" centered to leverage the full width, but it's easy to get stock that's 12 1/2"- 12 3/4" through. That's easily an inch more capacity than comparable models. It can also handle stock thickness up to 6 1/2" - a full half inch more than most models.
* Self-adjusting, two-sided blades. Double the life before sharpening and special jigs/tools to align the blades are unnecessary. Blade changes are a breeze.
* The Blade-Zero indicator, while not very accurate, is a nice way to get close on stock you don't know the thickness of. However, I find it easier to use the scale and dial in my starting depth.
* I just have to say that while I rarely use it, the "Stock Transfer Bar" is a nice touch.
* Even though the dust hood is extra, it's worth it and works fantastically well when hooked up to a central dust collection system. (I have a Grizzly 2HP collector with a cheap plastic cyclone pre-separator on top of a metal trash can and it's perfect.)
* Minimal Assembly. Attach two handles and you're pretty much ready to go, however, they cover the blades and the cutterhead in shipping wax, which requires cleaning before operation.
What I (sort-of) don't like:
It's hard to find things not to love, but here are some picky things:
* This machine is really LOUD. Hearing protection is an absolute must.
* The two speeds, to me, seem a little hokey. As long as the blades are sharp I've seen no difference at either speed so I generally keep mine on 60 just to get the stock through it faster.
* Some of the newer models are coming out with 3-blade cutterheads. This one only has 2 blades, but that's not really even a complaint.
* I hate shipping wax. `Nuff said.
In conclusion, this planer simply sets the standard for benchtop models and I love everything about it. No tool in my shop brings me quite the same satisfaction in use as this one does. Beautiful, accurate, consistent results every single time. A must-have.
on December 6, 2006
I did a fair amount of research before purchasing this planer for my remodeling company last year. It's been used for MANY projects now without any complaints from me, my employees...or it! It's very easy to setup and use, it's very accurate and powerful and it produces excellent results in all species of wood. (Provided the blades are sharp, the material going through it isn't dirty or warped badly and the tables are waxed) This planer has also allowed me to salvage alot of wood from demos that would normally just be thrown in the dumpster. Bottom line, this is a professional quality tool that has been a real time/material saver and asset to me, and my company. I would buy it again without reservation!
Tip #1: ALL planer blades chip; It's an unfortunate fact of life. To help avoid any "major" ones though...and possible damage to the planer. I purchased a small metal detector. It's really cheap insurance, works well, and can/does save lots of aggravation and down time. A decent one can be found for about the cost of a set or two of replacement blades and will pay for itself with the first nail/screw/staple or other metal it finds. (Mines paid for itself at least 30 times over now)
Tip #2: I've found that applying a very light coating of paste wax (Johnson's) on the planers table surfaces is an easy and cheap way to prevent/eliminate friction related feeding problems and it really makes life easier on the planer's feed system. Just apply the wax to the table surfaces, let it dry for a few minutes, then "buff" it off with a soft cloth. Also, make sure to clean the in-feed/out-feed rollers regularly with compressed air and a green scotch-brite pad as they can develop a slick coating of dust.
TIP #3: I recently discovered that Sears Craftsman 13" Replacement planer blades (Item# 29459) are identical in every way, shape and form to the replacement Delta ones that this planer uses (sans the Delta logo), and they are approx. half the cost. Load up on them whenever the next 10 or 15% off tool sale comes around and you'll be set! (Keep in mind they are double edged)
on April 8, 2005
I bought this planer nearly two years ago and have been very happy with it. In fact, I prefer using this planer rather than my 12" Rockwell stationary machine, which is 30 yrs old.
I have run tons of board feet of oak, hickory, cherry, and pine through this machine without any problem whatsoever. However, I'd like to address some comments that have been made regarding this machine and it's performance.
First of all, let me state that in my opinion, a surface planer is simply that...a surface planer. If you plan on regularly turning a 2x into a 1x, you are improperly using your portable planer. Leave that for the large stationary machines, and/or remove the bulk of the stock with a table saw. Then send it through your planer for final thickness.
The dust chute is a bit of a hassle to add or remove from the machine. I think Delta should have figured out a more convenient attachment method for this "necessary" accessory. I agree that it can plug relatively easily, especially when plaining softwoods like pine. I've found, that taking smaller bites in softwoods works best and reduces plugging. The chute hooked up to a collector/shop vac, is a must! However, chips and dust are to be expected when using any shop equipment.
Regarding snipe. C'mon, those who really know their tools shouldn't complain about Snipe. Snipe mainly occurs as a result of misaligned infeed/outfeed tables and rollers. A properly aligned tool (regardless of brand) will minimize snipe. Yes, snipe does occur at random as well. My machine was aligned perfecly when removed from the box. I get snipe on occasion, but also know how to avoid it when working on projects that demand no snipe.
Finish is excellent on all the wood I've sent through the machine. As with ALL brands, you will still have some machining marks on your project. Overall, I am very pleased with the finish left by both speeds. All fine woodworking projects require the use of sandpaper prior to finishing.
Overall, this is an excellent product with some minor problems. All brands have their flaws. Weigh the flaws, but know that this machine wears the Delta name just fine!
on March 12, 2004
I've owned one of these for about two years. I've been through a couple hundred board feet of rough lumber and have planed everything from pine to hard maple. This planer has never let me down, and I would buy it again in an instant, especially at this low price (I paid more when it first came to Amazon).
Some of the criticisms of this machine are accurate:
Dust collector is a pain
Depth stop not that reliable - Eventually you know when to stop.
Is there a difference in the two cutting speeds? I just use 60.
It is loud - ALL planers are loud. The DeWalt is louder. Use ear protection, please.
Lets give credit for what it does well:
It provides a glass-smooth finish
It has adequate power
Easy to use
High-end for a hobbyist's planer, but not a professional, either.
Most of all, this planer opens up the non-professional woodworker to buying rough lumber at an incredible savings. When it was released, it was the best benchtop model available. Today, it's only real competition in this category is the DeWalt. I would probably buy the Dewalt today, if I didn't already have the Delta, but there is a significant price difference. Within the next couple years, I'm planning to "graduate" to a staionary planer. I think I'll still keep the Delta, since it is quick and so reliable. Thanks everybody for reading.