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Benchtop thicknessers

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Student

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For the last 10 years or so, I’ve been getting by with an Axminster benchtop planer/thicknesser, basically their badged version of the Woodster/Clarke/Titan etc. types. I’ve hardly used the planer mode and find the short table on the thicknesser a bit limiting so was looking for a thicknesser only that is a bit better but without splashing too much cash. I don’t have room, and can’t justify the cost of, a floor standing model so am looking for another 240V benchtop machine. Searching the web throws up various options in ascending order of approximate price e.g.

Triton TPT125 1,100W £250

Metabo DH330 1,800W £350

Makita 2012NB 1,650 W £500

De Walt DW733 1,800W £500

The cutting width and depth are virtually the same for all four machines.

The Triton seems to get generally favourable reviews although I realise that the Triton’s motor is less powerful than the others. Having said that, I see on You Tube that Tim from the Restoration Couple has used his for various projects involving sizeable chunks of timber.

Can anyone persuade me that it’s worth splashing out twice the price for the Makita or De Walt?

And no, I’m not interested in trying to find a Wadkins etc. My workshop is in the basement, quite small and it’s difficult to carry anything weighing over 50 kg. down the stairs!
 

marcros

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I have the Axminster- ct330 from memory. I haven't used the others, but mine is a true workhorse. I have no hesitation in recommending it if it is still available. no idea on the price, but it won't be at the cheap end.
 

sunnybob

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providing what you is in working order, i dont think you gain much by spending 500 quid. Even then they will come with the same small in and out tables.
I have the JET thicknesser. its much better (for me) than planing by hand, but it isnt perfect by any means.If you do decide you have to purchase, find one with a locking head (not the jet) as this will greatly reduce snipe
 

MikeJhn

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In essence you answered your own question, go for the one with the longest table, then think about how quiet it will be and how many knives for the finish you want.
 

Beanwood

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I have the Triton TPT125 - bought 'pre-owned' a few weeks ago.

I've not had much chance to use it yet, but it seems very good. Bear in mind I have nothing to compare against, and I am a VERY amateur woodworker.

I can see you're in Bristol - if you're interested - I'm in Westerleigh near Yate if you want to see it in action (You'll need to bring wood - it devours it at a rate of knots :D )
 

Student

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By way of an update, I took SammyQ’s advice, bit the bullet and bought the DW733. There were several reasons for this. I looked at the Axminster offerings but their Craft version, the AT330T, didn’t seem to be getting good reviews and was beyond my budget anyway and the one that I might have bought, the AC318BT, was out of stock. I thought about the Metabo but the advantage of the DW733 was that I could get it delivered by Screwfix and, if there is a problem, their local branch is only a couple of miles away so I can take it back easily. I did consider the Triton but the DW 733 seemed to be more bombproof.

The DW is certainly a beast and very noisy as Sammy mentioned. However, it’s not much noisier than the previous Woodster/Clarke/Titan type P/T that I had so it’s not a problem as long as I wear ear defenders. The quality of cut is amazing and the tables have, so far, prevented any snipe. My only gripe with the machine is the depth gauge. The cursor is a very faint red line and, taken with the clear plastic cover and the scale behind, makes it difficult to read. What’s more, because of the way it’s made, there’s a problem with parallax i.e. where do you stand to get the correct reading?

However, all in all, I’m very pleased with it and have already run 30 metres of sawn oak through it with great results.

P.S. Thanks for your kind offer Beanwood but not now needed.
 

Bodgers

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I have the Metabo and find it to be very good.

On here everyone is just going to recommend what they bought unless they’ve had a bad experience.

You are better off looking at reviews where they group test ones back to back like the post earlier in the thread.
 

SammyQ

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Hi Student, glad it worked for you! I almost never used that awful guage up the side of the input side! I measured the wood, cocked my head sideways to approximately set the cutting head height via the scale, then started passing offcuts and winding down the head until I got 'bite'. Thereafter, I measured the wood directly and didn't use the scale. You get a feel very quickly what a quarter turn on the top handle means in reducing thickness...ALWAYS PUSH DOWN THE LOCKING BAR AFTER ADJUSTMENTS.! :D

HTH. Sam
 

Cordy

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Makita 2012NB 1,650 W £500
Is what I have, it is excellent; reliable and the blades are good quality
Still have the original blades fitted

...snipe, you may need to watch a few internet videos :)
 

Bodgers

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SammyQ

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That Rutlands one looks interesting. It would certainly help once you got to within 1-2mm of final dimension. Until you work out how many mm's vertically a turn of the handle equates to, it's easy to over-cut... #-o
There is not such a problem.when roughing down, so the 'ballpark' linear scale suffices there.

Sam
 

SammyQ

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The DW733 is a really well made machine. Bloomin heavy though.
I'd fight its corner by saying 'that is no bad thing, considering the masses of some of the baulks I've put through it'.
My Douglas Fir benchtop went through as separate 8" x 4" x 7' laminated pieces, each being lightly planed on the two 8" faces as finishing after glue-up. Despite having infeed and outfeed tables rigged from sawhorses etc, I was still VERY glad of the gravitas of the DW733 keeping it steady and immobile in the face of the considerable moment of force exerted by each baulk.
In similar vein, gang-feeding (3 at a time, side-by-side) of smaller stock is equally possible, floorboards in my case. This ensures more uniformity of section thickness, by negating leverage from one board on one side of the bed. It also helps spread wear.

I loved my Big Yalla Monsta, and still hanker after it, despite the increased versatility and refinement of my present HC260 from Electra Beckham, the well known wood fashionista...

Sam
 

PaulR

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Apologies if this is a daft question, but how do you use a thicknesser without a planer? Does the timber already need to be dimensioned ?


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