DW734 Planer Review
For those who need straightening or resurfacing a lot of material quickly and easily, the wood planer needs no introduction. The DeWalt DW734 is a popular benchtop wood planer found in many workshops around the globe. It has a powerful motor and offers a lot of ease-of-use that makes this model suitable not only for professionals but for beginners alike. If you are fresh on the market for a wood planer then you have surely come across this model. But how well does it perform and is it worth the investment? Let us find out with this detailed an in-depth review of the DeWalt DW734.
Table of Contents
What Do You Expect from a Wood Planer?
Over the years, this power tool has evolved from being a complex tool to operate with limited capabilities to a very powerful and versatile power tool that anyone can use, even beginners. Before we start with the review, let us first understand what features we need to look for and expect from a modern and professional wood planer.
How Much Power do We Need?
Power is at the core of the wood planer. But exactly how much power do we need? In our experience, at least 12-Amp at the motor is sufficient. Boost this value to 15-Amp and it should cruise through any type of material with great ease. However, you do not always need the most powerful motor to get the best finish quality. For this, we recommend that you perform multiple passes instead of a single pass for the best result. Even if your wood planer is equipped with a less powerful motor, with multiple passes you will get a professional finish quality as long as the depth of cut is set to dig not too deep.
#1. Importance of CPI
The cut per inch or CPI is an important factor in a wood planer. This factor dictates how efficient and fast this power tool can resurface material. The CPI depends on three main factors.
- Infeed rate
- Number of knives
- Blade rotation (RPM)
For the best result, all those factors except the number of knives need to be adjustable. If you can control the infeed rate and blade rotation speed, whether manually or automatically, then you will get more versatility to control the final quality of your finished result.
#2. Depth of Cut
The depth of cut is simply how much material you can take out of the surface. The bigger the depth of cut, the more material you will remove. However, you also need a more powerful motor to keep up with action and prevents stalling.
The more cutterhead knives, the cleaner and faster the wood planer can resurface material.
#4. Dust Collection
You do not want to use a wood planer that does not have a good dust collection system. This power tool will spit out a lot of sawdust in a very short amount of time and you need a good collection system for it.
#5. Preventing Snipe
Snipe is a very common problem when using wood planers. Basically, this happens when the stock is not held properly on both ends. To remedy the situation, the wood planer should have long infeed and outfeed tables as well as support for pinning stock down during planing.
DeWalt DW734 Review
#1. Technical Features
The DeWalt DW734 comes equipped with an industry-leading 15 Amps motor. At this power, it should be able to tackle any type of stock, whether it is softwood or hardwood with similar ease. This powerful motor allows the cutter heads to move at an astounding 10,000 RPM that will produce a smooth and polished finish. The motor itself revolves at a more impressive 20,000 RPM which compensate the deep 1/8 inch maximum depth of cut of this unit well.
The width capacity basically dictates the maximum width of stock that the wood planer can work with. The DW734 can work with a maximum stock with of 12-1/2 inches. This is more than sufficient for any type of commercial or casual planing work.
This model can easily tackle stock of up to 6 inches in thickness. This is highly beneficial considering that most commercially available stock are no more than 1-1/2 inches in thickness. The extra thickness capacity that this would planer can deliver makes it very versatile to work with, especially those who need to resurface stock like raw lumber that is usually thicker.
Despite being a fairly small benchtop wood planer, this particular model has an open space design. This means that you always have a clear view on the planning process. At one glance, you can visualize both the infeed and outfeed table as well as quickly tell if the finished result matches your expectations. Additionally, the open space designed makes it very maneuverable to work with larger pieces of stock.
Of course, we have to cover a bit about the dust collection system in the DeWalt DW734. After all, this is a very important feature. This model has an excellent dust collection system that manages sawdust and any wood debris very effectively. It helps keep your workshop clean and is highly beneficial, especially for those who have to resurface a lot of material every day. Additionally, this model comes with a dust hood that allows you to connect the dust port to an external vacuum or dust collection system quickly and easily.
It is very difficult to hurt yourself when operating this unit. The cutter heads are protected by a hood and found inside the power tool. Unless you are intentionally reaching out for the knives, normal usage of this power tool is generally safe. Furthermore, the power switch button is situated right at the front of the unit in case of an emergency. To top that, the switch itself can be keyed for additional security and prevent unauthorized use of the device.
- Knives: This model comes equipped with 3 cutterhead knives for the greatest efficiency. It can provide a very decent 96 CPI which is excellent for such a small wood planer. Considering that this CPI value is generally found in much more expensive and professional stationary wood planers.
- Carriage Lock: The 4 column carriage lock provides a lot of support in a uniform manner to your stock. This prevents snipe and delivers a more professional result. Additionally, the 4 column system drastically help reduce vibrations and distribute the torque generated by the motor evenly on the cutter head knives.
- Disposable Knives: One unique feature of this particular model is the disposable knives. You can quickly and easily change the blades in this unit and the knives themselves are able to last longer due to their more efficient design specially developed by DeWalt.
- Feed Tables: Lastly, both the infeed and outfeed table are long and provide a lot of stability and support to your stock. In turn, this helps prevent snipe.
Out-of-the-box, the DeWalt DW734 is delivered with very basic accessories. This includes the device itself, 3 cutterhead knives and a dust hood.
While the price of this wood planar is not the cheapest, we think that it is very competitively priced and offers a lot of value in the workshop. When compared to other popular wood planers like the Wen 6550, this model run circles around it in terms of superior features, performance, and ease of use. It only loses to its bigger brother the DeWalt DW735 but at a significantly lower price tag for almost the same finish quality and performance.
#3. Expert Reviews
Of course, many experts use this wood planar every day.
Roland Johnson of FineWoodWorking.com made an excellent overview of wood planers in its Tools & Shops magazine a few years ago. You will learn a lot about the basics of using a wood planer and how to use this power tool more efficiently by reading his article.
Additionally, The WoodWorking Junkie reviewed this product on their YouTube channel. He goes through the features of the DeWalt DW734 quickly but then gives us a hands-on demonstration of this device. He cautions about this power tool being quite loud and recommends wearing ear protection when using it. In his review video, we can see how quickly and easily this model can resurface raw wood.
- Powerful 15 Amps motor rotates at 20,000 RPM and delivers a linear speed of 10,000 RPM to the cutter heads. It will not stall and works easily on both softwood and hardwood.
- The 3 knives in this system delivers an impressive 96 CPI. The result is a professional and smooth finish. This model can easily be used to resurface raw lumber
- The knives themselves are replaceable and can quickly and easily be changed
- Fairly compact and small benchtop wood planer that does not consume a lot of space on the work table
- Able to work with material of 12-1/2 inches wide and 6 inches thick for more material versatility
- Long infeed and outfeed table help diminish snipe. 4 column system Provide a lot of support, diminishes vibrations and prevent snipe as well
- The price. It is a little bit expensive
Who Should Buy?
We have no problem recommending the DeWalt DW734 to anyone looking for a high-quality, powerful and dependable wood planer. It is a little bit on the expensive side, but it does deliver on the job and resurfaces material quickly and easily. Despite being a semi-professional to professional model, we also safely recommended it to beginners. It is very easy to use and will serve you well in the long run regardless of your skill level.
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