When I decided to add a benchtop wood planer to my workshop, the DeWalt DW735 was on nearly everyone’s list as one of the best. It’s pricey, but consumer reviews were solid, and it seemed like it would have the power to do all of the work that I needed. What finally sold me on the DeWalt 735 was when I noticed that most of the woodworkers I follow on YouTube use it. If they trust it for their projects, it is a good enough endorsement for me. But here’s the question: Would it live up to my expectations when I actually put it to work?
In the month that I’ve had the DeWalt 735, this benchtop planer has saved me time, sweat, and backache, and my finished products have turned out better. While I haven’t used any of the 735s competitors, I don’t think I need to. If you’ve got the budget, I would highly recommend picking one of these up. It figures to be one of the most used tools in my wood shop for a long time.
About the DeWalt DW735 benchtop wood planer
Motor: 15 amp, 20,000 RPM Motor (10,000 RPM cutter head speed)
Cutters: Three-knife cutter head with reversible blades
Speed: Two Speed Gearbox at 96 or 179 cuts per inch (CPI)
Max Depth of Cut: 1/8"
Depth Capacity: 6"
Width Capacity: 13"
Tool Weight: 92 lbs
Accessories: The DW735 model includes no accessories. The DW735x model includes infeed and outfeed table extensions, as well as a pack of spare blades.
User manual: DeWalt DW735 benchtop wood planer manual
Warranty: DeWalt's 3-year limited warranty, 1-year free service, 90-day money-back guarantee
What a wood planer does
Very basically, a planer is a cutting tool that makes the top face of a board parallel to the bottom board. You set the cut depth and feed the board into one end. A powered roller grabs the wood and pushes it under the cutter head, which trims anywhere from 1/32” to ⅛” off the top before pushing it out the other side. Then it’s rinse and repeat until you’re happy with the result.
It’s important to note that a planer is not a tool to flatten a piece of wood. If the bottom of a board is warped, then the planer will follow that warp, and the top of the board will remain warped. To flatten a board, you typically use a jointer on one face, and then put the board through the planer jointed-side down to flatten the top. If you don’t have a jointer, you can flatten one side with a sander or hand planes, or you can build a flattening sled for your planer.
What we like
It has power to cut through any kind of wood
I bought the DeWalt wood planer because all of the reviews said that it could handle most hardwoods, and they weren’t wrong.
I’ve put everything from soft pine to oak to walnut to mahogany through the planer, and it hasn’t even slowed down. Nor have I seen any meaningful chip-out or tearing of the wood as a consequence of that power—pieces still come out smooth and uniform.
It features precise and stable support posts for accuracy
A common complaint about some other planers on the market is shoddy or plastic components, which means the cutting depth isn’t accurate or consistent.
Well, DeWalt wanted no part of that, and built the entire mechanism on a quartet of metal posts to raise and lower the machine. Everything stays locked in place so the cuts are the depth that they’re supposed to be.
I have no concern about those posts wearing out anytime soon like plastic pieces would.
Its powerful suction keeps your shop clean
The planer has a blower motor that blows nearly all of the wood chips out through the evacuation port, which has a 4-inch ejection port and a 2.5-inch that I was able to connect my shop vac hose to.
The blower is so powerful that I can’t actually use my small dust separator (a five gallon bucket that sits between a power tool and my shop vac).
I have to blow directly into my shop vac, because the airflow from the planer blower pushes the top off of my dust separator. It’s a small price to pay for barely needing to clean up afterwards. And it’s not a problem for anyone who has a more robust dust collection system than I do.
What we don’t like
Benchtop doesn’t mean mobile
Coming in at a whopping 92 pounds, this benchtop planer is the kind of tool that you put on a bench or stand and leave there.
If you’re looking for a planer that you can store on a shelf and lug out when you need it, this is not the tool for you—unless you also compete in strongman competitions.
My recommendation is to buy or build a dedicated stand on workbench casters so you can move it around if you need to get it out of the way or change your angle of attack. I got the DeWalt planer stand as part of my package, and that is the only way that I’m actually able to use it in my tiny shop.
The blades aren’t up to snuff
The most consistent complaint about the DeWalt 735 wood planer is that the blades don’t match the quality of the rest of the machine: They dull and chip easily. I chipped the blades on the very first day using it, leaving behind a raised line that needed to be sanded or scraped away.
With this said, you aren’t without solutions. First, the blades come sharpened on both sides, and the 735x package includes an extra set. Second, if your chips are minor, the three blades can shift individually left and right in order to misalign those imperfections. Doing so eliminated the raised line on mine, until the next time the blades chip. Third, you can learn to sharpen planer blades to maximize their useful lives.
Most woodworkers that I viewed online recommend upgrading the blades. There are many different replacement blade brands available, though I haven’t tried any so I can’t recommend one from personal experience.
The DeWalt 735 can also accept a helical cutter head instead of the standard 3-blade setup. While one of those cutter heads is half or more the cost of the entire planer, they are supposed to last for years, paying back their high cost over time.
It snipes away the ends of boards
Snipe is a common problem in planers that occurs when wood passes through the planer and is only in contact with one of the two rollers on the way in or out. The nose or tail of the board lifts slightly, and the planer makes a deeper cut over the first or last few inches.
Theoretically, the way to fix this is to perfectly level the infeed and outfeed tables. As near as I can tell, I have, but some snipe remains. It’s not so bad that I can’t hide it with sanding, but it is enough to be a problem in more precision work.
There are workarounds for planers with persistent snipe. The first is to cut the project boards a few inches long so that the snipe occurs on the excess sections of wood.
The second solution, and the one I use, is to trim some scrap pieces down to the height of whatever I’m planing and feed them through just ahead of and behind my project board. This keeps consistent pressure on the rollers, and the snipe occurs on those sacrificial pieces of wood.
What owners are saying
Owners of the DW735 wood planer has a 4-star consumer review rating on the DeWalt website. Users cited high marks for its ease of use, effectiveness, value, quality, and durability. A few users cited issues with the feed and the unit's motor.
DeWalt offers a 3-year limited warranty that does not apply to accessories or damage caused where repairs have been made or attempted by others. The brand will repair any defects due to faulty materials or workmanship at no charge. DeWalt also offers one year of free service and maintenance and will replace worn parts caused by normal use. Consumers also have 90 days from date of purchase to return the product courtesy of DeWalt's money-back guarantee.
Should you buy the DeWalt DW735?
If it’s in your budget, absolutely.
There’s no question that the 13-inch DeWalt 735 benchtop planer is expensive. Unless you can find a used one in good shape, you’re going to spend over $500, and that’s before you get into accessories territory like feed tables, a mobile stand, or upgraded blades.
That said, I have had mine for about a month and haven’t regretted it for a moment. It’s performed every task that I’ve put to it, it hasn’t ruined any wood, and there are workarounds to fix what issues I do have. I highly recommend it.
If you aren’t in a rush, used machines are available all over the internet, or if you want a new one, shop around. Deals pop up if you have the patience to wait for one.
There may be planers as good in this size category, but you’d be hard-pressed to convince me that there are any that are better. And if my informal sampling of woodworking YouTubers is at all accurate, there are quite a few pros out there who would agree.
Meet the tester
Jean Levasseur became a professional writer over a decade-long career in marketing, public relations, and technical writing. After leaving that career to stay home to care for his twin boys, Jean has continued to write in a variety of freelance roles, as well as teaching academic writing at a local university. When he's not reviewing tools or chasing toddlers around the house, he's also an avid fiction writer and a growing woodworker.
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