Axminster or record power P/T

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undergroundhunter

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So I'm looking to purchase a new P/T in the new year, I've managed with my ancient Kitty 636 and a Dewalt DW733 for long enough. I need to make some new windows for the workshop and the sill will need to be 2.4m ish and the kitty's tables are just not long enough, and it's super loud along with the Dewalt, I don't have a huge workshop (24'x12') so a 12" combination machine is my preference. I want parallel lift tables as this seems to be more accurate and speeds up the switch from one mode to the other. I've narrowed it down to two machines, the Axminster AP310SPT and the Record Power PT310, the record seems to be the exact same as the now discontinued Startrite SD31.
I've read a lot of people have issues with the carbide inserts on the spiral machines and at £800 more than the record power, is it really worth the extra? I don't really use highly figured woods (at the moment) but I do live in a residential area so sound is an issue but not a massive one. There seems to be very few reviews online for either machine and trying them in person is not an option at the moment (the axminster is out of stock and there isn't a record power dealer round me for miles and miles).

Has anyone used either machine or convince me that the extra £800 is really worth it? :D

Thanks
Matt
 
Having purchased the Record PT107, given the choice again I would have gone for the PT310 which is based on the Startrite . The one thing at the top of my list would be disposable blades, not spiral or helical but Tersa or the like. Tersa is a very simple fast change, @MikeK can confirm that and we have recently seen one of the issues with changing dozens of little cutters on a spiral head so not for me.
 
Having purchased the Record PT107, given the choice again I would have gone for the PT310 which is based on the Startrite . The one thing at the top of my list would be disposable blades, not spiral or helical but Tersa or the like. Tersa is a very simple fast change, @MikeK can confirm that and we have recently seen one of the issues with changing dozens of little cutters on a spiral head so not for me.
I'm aware of the issues with the securing bolts, Tersa would be preferable but as far as I know r/p don't offer it as an option.

Matt
 
My thoughts
I have an Axminster p/t with three blades and although i might change them once a year I dread the thought of it.
Should take about a hour usually ends up half a day, so given the option spiral head for me, less noise, better finish etc.
But I would attempt to reduce possible issues with changing the helical blades by putting anti seize lubricant from new and regularly removing/refitting with new anti seize lubricant, that’s assuming the issue is just time and not heat related.
Either way extra cost for me.
 
I like my spiral cutters. but don't confuse a slightly dodgy planer build with an issue with spiral cutters. I suggest buying a quality European machine if at all possible. the axminster and probably the record will almost certainly be slightly dodgy. (mine an ax spt310 is OK but far from great having some parallelism issues. a the fence is a bit unreliable. not really junk but a fair bit below a decent quality.
 
My thoughts
I have an Axminster p/t with three blades and although i might change them once a year I dread the thought of it.
Should take about a hour usually ends up half a day, so given the option spiral head for me, less noise, better finish etc.
But I would attempt to reduce possible issues with changing the helical blades by putting anti seize lubricant from new and regularly removing/refitting with new anti seize lubricant, that’s assuming the issue is just time and not heat related.
Either way extra cost for me.
I would do exactly that when it's brand new, also torque the bolts correctly should avoid/limit the issue.
 
I like my spiral cutters. but don't confuse a slightly dodgy planer build with an issue with spiral cutters. I suggest buying a quality European machine if at all possible. the axminster and probably the record will almost certainly be slightly dodgy. (mine an ax spt310 is OK but far from great having some parallelism issues. a the fence is a bit unreliable. not really junk but a fair bit below a decent quality.
The issue with that is purely cost, I'd love a hammer a-31 but the cost prohibits it for me, I don't make my living from woodworking so at just over 3k the Axminster is right at the top end of my budget.
 
having seen the 260 hammer at Harrogate that is small( bed length) I meant a used scm or something with tersa knives. the axis isn't a bad machine just the planing is difficult to set up properly and the fence rarely goes back to exactly 90. the thicknesser is good bar the feed being slightly unreliable and the depth of cut is small. the finish is a bit better than straight knives mostly because there's no tearout the ripples are similar.



I've used the machine for over 8 years professionally. and reckon its pretty great value but does have issues.
 
when checking out cost a spiral is roughly the same cost as Tersa.....
not taken the plunge yet..

The spiral cutter heads are most certainly more expensive than the Tersa cutter heads in my area. The spiral cutter block version for my SCM FS 30G was an extra €700 and special order, so I bought the stocked Tersa version.

My thoughts
I have an Axminster p/t with three blades and although i might change them once a year I dread the thought of it.
Should take about a hour usually ends up half a day, so given the option spiral head for me, less noise, better finish etc.
But I would attempt to reduce possible issues with changing the helical blades by putting anti seize lubricant from new and regularly removing/refitting with new anti seize lubricant, that’s assuming the issue is just time and not heat related.
Either way extra cost for me.

The time and cost of replacing or rotating the carbide cutters on the spiral cutter blocks is the reason why all of the professional shops I visited have the Tersa cutters. As the shops replace the older straight-knife machines, they are buying Tersa versions. Replacing Tersa knives is fast and foolproof, despite there being no shortage of ingenious fools.

I think the best option for upgrading a straight-knife version is the Esta system that @Spectric uses. The initial cost of the Esta system is much less than trying to upgrade the cutter block to spiral or helical cutters and the replacement disposable reversible knives are less expensive than the Tersa knives.
 
nothing wrong with the spiral cutters. there good. tersa are maybe a little better for finishing normal timbers. but no planer is a finished item. its biggest advantage is its dust extraction improvement. it is capable of working perfectly but can be frustrating to set up. spiral trump straight on dodgygrain though.
 
Rather than spiral, the helical cutter blocks seem to get better reviews even though more expensive than spiral but still suffer the same drawbacks of the large number of screws to change all the cutters, for me that is a complete no go. I don't want to have that amount of hassle for no huge benefits, noise always amuses me, you hear people say use spiral as they are quieter, maybe they are quieter but a P/T is never going to be quiet and a pair of decent ear defenders are not expensive.
 
I think thicknessers tend to work OK. planers are much more fuss. and fixed table planers must be the most reliable( no thicknessing) and a separate thicknesser.
 
So it seems there is a lot of opposition to the spiral heads, the time taken to rotate the cutters is not an issue for me as I'm not making getting paid for my time.

I have tried to find a machine with the Tersa system but the cheapest is the SCM FS30G and at £3374.40 is just not an option, that and I really hate the way the tables lift. I really am pushing it cost wise with the Axminster.

If I remove the fact that the Axminster is spiral then the differences in the machines are;

Feature. Axi. Record.
Table length. 1380mm. 1407mm
Feed rate 5m/min. 7m/min
Max thicknesser height 230mm. 225mm
Max depth of cut planer 4mm. 3mm
Max depth of cut thicknesser 2mm. 3mm
Extras included. No. Wheel kit and roller table
Warranty 3yrs. 5yrs
Price £3099 + delivery £2299 inc delivery
Stock levels backordered. In stock

They both need a 16a supply. The fence on the axi looks more substantial than the record but that's only based on the pictures.
🤯
 
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So it seems there is a lot of opposition to the spiral heads,
I think for me it is because the only difference between spiral and std blades is that they cut successively, rather than the whole length of blade making the cut you have lots of smaller nibbles and is probably the reason for the reduced noise and the machine needs less power. To make a difference I would want to have the helical head where each cutter itself has a shearing cut due to the angle it makes to the drum which gives a better result if you need that. For me the simple Tersa concept just stands out, the Esta bruck system I use is the next best alternative in my opinion but admittedly I was forced down that route because I failed to do sufficient homework before buying the PT107.
 
You say you've narrowed it down to 2 machines so this probably isn't very helpful but if I was replacing my PT I would be looking at this. I get the impression the whole 3 phase inverter thing isn't that complicated or expensive.

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/32546889...daUDVg=|tkp:Bk9SR9653rCqYQ&LH_ItemCondition=4
Never owned or used a spiral planer so can't comment on them apart from saying people who have them seem to generally like them.
 
I had a sedgwick pt before the axminster and would never swap back. noisy and crude it was. but it had a solid fence(very small though) I much prefer the full length taller style. it would take a decent bit of material off as well. but it's dust extraction was poor and the din was deafening. much prefer the axis over that ( sorry!)
 
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