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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Easy, cheap, works perfectly!
It's too bad this is currently unavailable...if you're reading this then you're looking for a great price on a cheap planer; otherwise you'd be looking at the Dewalt or Ridgid or something else. This planer is cheap, works great, and has no bells and whistles. But it does exactly what it's supposed to do.

I'm a home hobbyist, and I had never even used a...
Published on September 2, 2009 by A. J. Schechner

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65 of 65 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Decent Planer for the money
I needed a planer and money was a factor. Home Depot had this one for $200, a Rigid for $350, and 2 DeWalts, 1 for $350(?) another for $550. Normally I buy DeWalt tools but money was tight and I don't need a planer for everyday use so I took a shot and bought the cheapest one available. It has worked well. One thing I used it for was to plane down some old stair treads...
Published on November 11, 2007 by Ronald F. Healey


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65 of 65 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Decent Planer for the money, November 11, 2007
By 
Ronald F. Healey (Lynn, MA United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Factory-Reconditioned Ryobi ZRAP1301 15 Amp 13-in Surface Planer with RapidSet Blade System (Misc.)
I needed a planer and money was a factor. Home Depot had this one for $200, a Rigid for $350, and 2 DeWalts, 1 for $350(?) another for $550. Normally I buy DeWalt tools but money was tight and I don't need a planer for everyday use so I took a shot and bought the cheapest one available. It has worked well. One thing I used it for was to plane down some old stair treads. These are hallway stairs in a two family and I didn't want to buy $1000 worth of oak treads, at $25 each for laminated junk, and good ones would be much more, though you would have a hard time finding them because HD/Lowes only carry junk. The treads were 11 1/2" wide by 40" long and the planer went right through them. With wood that wide you are only supposed to take off 1/16th each pass so as not to overwork the machine and thats what I did. On long boards it is best to support them on both sides of the machine (in/out feed)because the weight will push the board up into the blades at the beginning and end. I suppose thats true with all planers.It gave a nice finish on the wood until I damaged the blades because I missed removing a nail or two on the older wood. Replacement blades were surprisingly inexpensive and easy to install. One thing I liked was the depth adjustment wheel. Each full revolution equals a 16th of an inch, so it's easy to keep track of how much you are planing. There is a gauge, but I have bad eyes, so I kept track using the wheel and measuring the wood with a tape measure when I started to get close. If I had to do it again, I'd still buy it. If I used one daily, I guess I'd go with the DeWalt, but $200 versus $550 was a little too much extra.
PS. I am not affiliated with any of the companies in this review. Often I think reviews are written by company people to fool you into thinking their product is the best one ever created, but this is an honest review.
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Do not confuse the 1301 with the1300 - the 1301 is TERRIBLE, April 19, 2010
This review is from: Factory-Reconditioned Ryobi ZRAP1301 15 Amp 13-in Surface Planer with RapidSet Blade System (Misc.)
The reviews of this planer are very inaccurate because most people are reffering to the 1300 not the 1301. Even the picture on amazon is the 1300. This is not the same planer. Ryobi was tricky here and replaced the 1300 with the newer and far inferior 1301. They use the same sku so places like Amazon have reviews up that do not reflect the 1301. The 1300 was a decent cheap planer and the positive reviews are likely about the 1300 not the 1301. The 1301 is a very cheapend version of it. There is no infeed/outfeed tables and the whole unit is quite flimsy. I bench tested the 1301 along with some others in the price range. The 1301 was the cheapest planer available. It also performed the worst. Snipe is a very bad problem with this planer. Its not just do to the leck of infeed/outfeed tables either. Its the rollers and head assembly that were out on mine. I could watch the whole cutter assembly move while cutting one inch pine! Lickily, I had other planers to test with it to be totally fair to the unit. I removed the infeed/outfed tables fromt eh other planers and tried to replicate the snipe I was getting on the Ryobi. I couldnt. No other planer sniped as badly. The worst snipe on the others I could mange by setting them up terribly was .005" about 2" on each end. The Ryobi snipes at least .009" 3" into each end. No matter what I could not tame the snipe. Since this planer is very cheap I really wanted to see if I could make something of it. One could assume infeed/outfeed support would help. I built infeed/out table for it and nothing worked. While I virtually eliminated snipe on all the other planers the Ryobi was impossible. Of course again - the whole frame was moving during operation so thats a good clue the unit isnt going to have potential. I even tried 8" peice of pine and the machine still snipes both ends.

So if all you want to do is plane cheap lumber and dont mind cutting 3" off each end you might get away with this. However do not expect accuracy because my test cuts shows about .003" variance thruout the non snipe portion of cut. Another test of putting a slight warped spruce 2X4 thru showed the cutter head assembly moved under the stress of the warp. All other planers push the board flat and cut it.

Its a toy.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Easy, cheap, works perfectly!, September 2, 2009
By 
This review is from: Factory-Reconditioned Ryobi ZRAP1301 15 Amp 13-in Surface Planer with RapidSet Blade System (Misc.)
It's too bad this is currently unavailable...if you're reading this then you're looking for a great price on a cheap planer; otherwise you'd be looking at the Dewalt or Ridgid or something else. This planer is cheap, works great, and has no bells and whistles. But it does exactly what it's supposed to do.

I'm a home hobbyist, and I had never even used a planer before buying this one. I wanted something cheap, so I took a chance. Got this one for around $150 reconditioned. It appeared to be brand new and came completely assembled (except for the adjustment arm which screws in place). There are no infeed or outfeed tables, so I used an adjustable roller as infeed and my own two hands as an outfeed. I passed some rough-cut poplar and cherry through, and I was amazed at what came out - smooth, smooth, smooth. I barely needed to sand it.

The adjustment arm is easy - 1/16" for each 360 rotation. I usually did 1/32" with each pass, though the machine had no problem shaving 1/16" off when I got impatient. Snipe is definitely an issue, as it is with every planer to some extent. I had much more snipe on the outfeed side than infeed (about 2-3"), so I ended up trimming that end off.

I will definitely build some infeed/outfeed support tables to try to minimize snipe - I hate throwing away perfectly good (and perfectly planed) wood. This planer is highly recommended despite the low price.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great price for a decent planer, how to fix snipe, October 12, 2011
This review is from: Factory-Reconditioned Ryobi ZRAP1301 15 Amp 13-in Surface Planer with RapidSet Blade System (Misc.)
I've used this for four years now and it still works perfectly.

Another reviewer complained that this is a "cheapened version" of the model 1300. I can only agree in the sense that it does not have those (practically) useless infeed & outfeed tables. Other than that, I can find no difference.

The reason I know about both models 1300 & 1301) is because my friend bought the newer 1301 after he saw the results I got with my 1300. He and I have both had great results, especially considering the low cost of this machine. I use a few tricks to keep it running well and cutting-cleanly. Here they are...

About snipe:
To virtually eliminate snipe, I use a simple planer table, which is nothing more than a one-foot wide, four-foot long MDF board, with a smooth plastic laminate top. These MDF boards are available all major home centers for less than $4.00.
Underneath the board I added three reinforcement boards about 2" thick, one set of three on each end.

By using this long flat smooth board instead of those fussy folding infeed / outfeed tables, I get virtually no snipe. What little snipe I do get is less than .004" and it is always within the last inch or so of the ends. Since ALL woodworkers cut boards oversized and long before final dimensioning, that tiny amount of snipe is a non-issue.

Wax the surface of this table every other week or so. The boards slide like they're on glass!

For small pieces, I tape or tack-nail two strips of wood to the side of the board to be planed. The strips should be two or three inches longer than the board you are surfacing. The tack-boards engage the feed-rollers so that there is absolutely ZERO snipe on the actual workpiece.

More inside info:
You might not have noticed that the more expensive benchtop planers have less expensive replacement blades, while the less expensive planers usually have more expensive replacement-blades. This is a dirty trick manufacturers use to gouge profit after the main sale. Customers get sucked in by the low price, but then have to pay extortion to replace blades. Of course, you can get around this nasty marketing gimmick by sharpening your own blades. But many woodworkers prefer to just replace blades. For them, this planer is ideal because the planer is cheap, and so are the replacement blades. The blades are double sided, so you get two sets with each set you buy.

Dust collection:
As it comes from the box, the dust collection is pretty good but you can improve it by sealing the edges with common electrical tape. The plastic guard is tinted orange but you can still see through it enough to watch the dust-collection action. If you try my tape-trick, you will immediately notice the dust collection improves. That's good for the machine and the surface finish because it removes chips that can interfere with feed-rollers, cutter-heads and blades.

Obviously, all dust collection works only when you attach a shop vac. there is no such thing as automatic chip-ejection that really works on any planer at any price. So, attach a vac for best results.

Cut quality:
Even if you do not have a fancy planer-blade sharpening jig, even if you have little experience sharpening anything, you can improve cut-quality in two minutes by honing the blades. It's easy!

Just use two boards to clamp the thin blade in a vise. Use the bottom of a ceramic coffee-cup to burnish the beveled edge of each blade three times. You do not need to press hard and fine technique is not necessary. Just swipe the cup across the length of the blade until you hear how the sound changes. It will sound more even from end-to-end all along the length of the blade. Then use the finest grit of diamond stone you have or just fine sandpaper 4000 or higher) attached to a flat board. You use this on the flat side of the blade to remove any burr and to create a tiny micro bevel. Just move it smoothly two or three times. On the last pass, very-slightly change the angle from perpendicular... maybe two or three degrees MAX. This super-fine micro-bevel changes the attack angle and relief angle of the blade imperceptibly, but it dramatically improves cut-quality and blade-longevity!

The whole operation takes about two minutes and is so foolproof my daughter can do it. If you are a total klutz, you might want to wear gloves when you hone these long skinny blades!

Depth-of-cut:
As other reviewers have noted, the depth of cut works quite well as-is. Of course regular maintenance and lubrication helps. I just use some compressed air to blow off any accumulated dust before each use. About once a month, I spritz a little light oil on the screw threads and run the head up and down to spread the oil around.

Adjusting for parallel:
From the box, My planer came adjusted nearly perfect. The cutter-head was out-of-parallel with the feed table by a few thousandths. Although it is possible to adjust this parallelism on the machine itself, i found it much easier and faster to merely shim my homemade infeed table. Since my cutter-head was out about 3 or 4 thousandths, i just put a dollar bill underneath the table on the "fat" side. Now this cheap machine is so close to perfectly parallel, i can barely measure it with dial indicators and digital micrometers. I suspect it is within a half thousandth or .0005" of perfect. I say "suspect" because I do not need or have super precise metrology tools in my woodworking shop. Also, it depends on what type of wood and how heavy the piece is. I can't get any more precise than that and never need to.

One caveat:
If you torture this lightweight planer by hogging hardwood, there is a chance you can snap the drive belt. Mine snapped after the second year while I wailed through some OAK.

The belts are not expensive, but the shipping cost makes them twice as expensive. Therefore, I recommend buying a spare drive-belt or two whenever you buy this planer. That will save you hassle if & when it snaps, plus it will save you shipping costs. My local Home Depot did not have them, so I had to order them from CPO Ryobi. You can get the manuals, parts-list and numbers from the Ryobi website.

Now I always take light cuts and whenever I have the machine open for routine maintenance, I spray Amor-All rubber-conditioner on the belts. That's the same stuff you use on tires and vinyl to keep it looking new. Get the ultra shine foam. It's available at any car-parts store. It's useful on ALL drive belts in your shop! One can lasts a LONG time. i can't prove this empirically, but it sure feels like all machines have more horsepower when drive belts are cleaned and conditioned with that stuff. Try it, see if I'm crazy.

Between patient shallow cuts and the Armor All, i haven't snapped another belt, although i have a spare just in case.

With the homemade in-feed table, I get virtually no snipe, and if I absolutely can't afford snipe, I use the tack-board trick. The replacement blades are inexpensive, and with a little tune up, you can make them cut even better than new. Unless i get a nick, I usually hone the blades every time I lubricate the machine. Even though I use the machine for all sorts of woods and use it a couple of hours every week, The blades last about a year before they need replacement after numerous hones.

Bottom line, This is NOT a heavy-duty industrial planer, so don't use it like one. Take light passes, use my other tricks and keep the blades honed. Keep it clean and lubricated. It works just fine for any hobbyist or part-time pro.

I would disregard any ultra-negative review since that reviewer might be a corporate shill or just be incompetent.

Hope that helps you in your quest for better woodworking!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Does the job, September 18, 2011
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Factory-Reconditioned Ryobi ZRAP1301 15 Amp 13-in Surface Planer with RapidSet Blade System (Misc.)
I have used mine several time. The only problem has been having is snipe because my model doesn't have an in-feed or out-feed table. To avoid that, I either be more careful to support the board or I cut off the snipe.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Love it!, May 4, 2011
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Factory-Reconditioned Ryobi ZRAP1301 15 Amp 13-in Surface Planer with RapidSet Blade System (Misc.)
I really enjoy using my new(reconditioned) Ryobi planer. I got it at a bargin price, less than half of anything I could find elsewhere. The performance has been great so far. I like to build boxes so having pieces of equal thickness is important for me. I also build acoustic guitars. Rather than buying expensive side and back sets on EBAY I can mill my own with this and my bandsaw and a thickness sander. Thanks for the great bargin. I will look to Amazon.com for tooling more often!
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