Top critical review
112 people found this helpful
Expect some maintenance/repair
on May 20, 2003
I've been an owner of a DW733 for several years. The machine planes well but it does require lots of maintenance. I had to replace the nylon belts at least twice. Its not a hard job to replace them and they are not that expensive. I now stock an extra belt to minimize my down time. You can minimize this problem from happening by not taking too big of a bite in a single operation. On most woods I don't take off more than 1/32" on a single pass. If you try to take too much off in a single pass, the board may jam, which cause the motor to spin which fries the belt fairly quickly. I've also had a sprocket break which DeWalt service gave me a free replacement part for. The latest problem I'm experiencing is with its chains. The chains are what drive the feed rollers. They have stretched to the point where they slip a tooth during planing operations. I'll typically plane 10-12 feet long boards, mostly planning 3/4" board down 1o 1/2", and some 6/4 boards down to 1 1/8". Maintenance problems started happening after only planning about 200-400 linear feet. That's right, after planning 20-40 10 foot boards some maintenance/repair was needed. If you're occassionally doing thickness planning, then this machine may be what you're looking for. If you're doing thickness planing on a more frequent basis, then this is not the machine for you. My guess is that all the portable thickness planers on the market are for light duty and for occassional use, but the manufacturers don't tell you that! I don't think I've been particularly hard on my machine. I take care to support the boards on both the infeed and outfeed side of the machine. From my experience, thickness planing is a pretty demanding operation. It's actual a marvel on how well the portable thickness planers do when you consider the demands placed on them. That's why I think they have higher maintenance compared to other tools you own.
I'll conclude by saying that the machine does do a great job on thickness planing. You will get some snipe 2" from the end of the board. The only problem with the machine is that it does requires more maintenance/repair then you might be expecting. The repairs can be done by you and the replacement parts aren't particularly expensive, just annoying.