• We invite you to join UKWorkshop.
    Members can turn off viewing Ads!

Brief review of Triton TPL 180 big hand-held planer.

UKworkshop.co.uk

Help Support UKworkshop.co.uk:

AJB Temple

Finely figured
Joined
13 Oct 2015
Messages
3,542
Reaction score
759
Location
Tunbridge Wells
Was going to put this in my silver lining thread, but it will get lost there. I rarely do tool reviews unless I have had extensive use, so I am breaking the mould a bit here as it is pertinent to my projects currently.

Cost about £240 on line. 7” or 180 mm width. 240V.

Planer for framer.jpg


I bought this because there comes a point when belt sanding sawn oak beams becomes tedious and slow. I needed to crack on.

I do have a PT, but it is completely impossible for me to put 6” oak beams that are typically 3m long across it, working alone. For framing work or anything in heavy timber, you have to take the tool to the timber,

Mafell make an excellent one (see the silver lining thread) but it is over £3,000. I have a Mafell track saw and it is superb, but I couldn’t afford or remotely justify £3k+ for a tool I would not use much.

I’ve used this Triton planer to do a fairly big pile of 6” beams and about 30 4” by 4” sections or 2” by 4”. And I kid you not, I have produced about a cubic metre of shavings in about 2 days.

Pros: It is a massive time saver. The finish does not leave tramlines as smaller planers do - because for the work I am doing it is wider than the wood!

The machine will cut several mm deep, but in my experience of electric planers that is always a bad idea. So I cut between 0.5mm and at most 1mm per cut. Typically each face of a 6” sawn beam will require two or three cuts to get a clean finish. Zero sanding required usually.

Factors to bear in mind: it is reasonably heavy. Fine for me but I am quite a big fella. There is a spring loaded drop down shoe to prevent the blade catching when you put it down. But take care - it takes a while for the blade to stop.

Getting the blades off is easy. They are straight and sharpen-able. I have given mine a touch up. Set of blades is cheap.

Cons. It has a dust port. Works from one side only. However, you can pretty much forget chip extraction unless you own a dust bag factory. Obviously this is a take the tool to the work machine so you will be using a portable extractor.

For its intended purpose this thing chucks out a huge amount of chips and will quickly overwhelm the portable extractor. Hard to spot this until you realise chips are literally everywhere. The port will block. Then compact. The chips are not dusty really but I wear my electric hood anyway. Rig a sheet or something to catch the chips. My wife uses them on her kitchen garden paths. She is knee deep in the stuff.

Con 2. It has an adjustable side fence that you can set to different angles. Hilarious. You can forget using that too. This tool is excellent but it is more of a blunt instrument than a surgical scalpel.

If you want to take out things like humps, typically found in faces above knots, where branches emerged, I think it is better to get your hand plane out and deal with the localised area rather than using this. It is at it’s best doing full lengths.

Conclusion: for anyone doing stuff with heavy sawn timber (nail free!!!) that needs a good finish in a short time, this machine at under £250 is a total no brainer. Excellent machine at a silly price. Highly recommended if you have a need.

Post Covid I suspect Chinese made. Chinese made stuff will soon be far less readily available and not as cheap. If you think you will need this, then I would buy now. Not that I am giving advice.
 

Attachments

Nelsun

Established Member
Joined
22 Jun 2015
Messages
862
Reaction score
68
Location
Shetland
I grabbed one for working with 200x100 sleepers and it still puts a smile on my face when I use it. The Mafell would make me wee a little but not for £3k.

Hooking it up with a 36mm hose to a cyclone worked well at catching chips but you're emptying the bin quite often (it's a small 20l bin) and making a point of not filling it.

It's definitely a steal for the price.
 

Doug B

Shy Tot
Joined
6 Aug 2008
Messages
4,071
Reaction score
1,755
Location
@dougsworkshop
A mate bought one of these for truing up oak beams & like the OP was very impressed with the machine for the price that was until this happened whilst in use & no it hadn’t been dropped or damaged & was still pretty new.



F5FA4756-65A0-42D3-AD01-25ACB0878A1C.jpeg



I know I wouldn’t have wanted to have my hands anywhere near the planer when that happen but I guess there’s a reason it’s £2750+ cheaper than the Mafell, I know I’d value my hands more.
 

Attachments

AJB Temple

Finely figured
Joined
13 Oct 2015
Messages
3,542
Reaction score
759
Location
Tunbridge Wells
That is pretty dramatic. It is claimed to be a magnesium casting and it is possible to fracture (used to happen sometimes with magnesium car wheels).

This must have been either a manufacturing fault or trauma. I wonder if a knot was caught and jammed the blade against the casing?

I will update the review after a few months of use. I am doing another building so I have a lot of oak to prepare this year. If I get time.
 

AJB Temple

Finely figured
Joined
13 Oct 2015
Messages
3,542
Reaction score
759
Location
Tunbridge Wells
Just checked the guarantee on mine. It is 3 years and quite comprehensive. Trust your mate claimed and got a new one.
 

Phil Pascoe

Established Member
UKW Supporter
Joined
29 Jan 2012
Messages
20,959
Reaction score
1,390
Location
Shaft City, Mid Cornish Desert
AJB Temple":2g3lp30l said:
...It is claimed to be a magnesium casting and it is possible to fracture (used to happen sometimes with magnesium car wheels)...
I had a BMW R100RT in 1983 and had a brown trouser moment when I slammed the brakes on and performed a rather inelegant somersault after the front wheel folded and shattered into a couple of dozen pieces.
 

AJB Temple

Finely figured
Joined
13 Oct 2015
Messages
3,542
Reaction score
759
Location
Tunbridge Wells
Yes Phil! Some of my biking mates who are into older bikes also have stories to tell of similar happenings. I think it is quite easy to have defective castings in magnesium. For very high end wheels they are X rayed I think. Some sort of special check. Adrian
 

Inspector

Nyuck, Nyuck, Nyuck!
Joined
18 Jun 2006
Messages
2,251
Reaction score
471
Location
Saskatoon, SK., Canada
Are the Makita planers available to you? They are 6 3/4" wide and have been around a long time and proven. They would run about 440 pounds unless your government adds more to the price. A bit more than the Triton and a lot less than the Mafell.

Pete
 

AJB Temple

Finely figured
Joined
13 Oct 2015
Messages
3,542
Reaction score
759
Location
Tunbridge Wells
Thanks Pete. In my case the Triton, which I already have, is fine. I am not going to change it unless it fails and the manufacturer does not honour the guarantee (which I doubt).

The Makita 1806b which has 170mm wide blade is about 3 times the price and is not readily available in the UK, so seems to need sourcing from eBay.

Thanks, AJ
 

Nelsun

Established Member
Joined
22 Jun 2015
Messages
862
Reaction score
68
Location
Shetland
Hope your mate was ok Doug B as that looks quite a [understatement warning] major failure!
 

SkinnyB

Established Member
Joined
23 Jan 2014
Messages
148
Reaction score
18
Location
West Sussex

SkinnyB

Established Member
Joined
23 Jan 2014
Messages
148
Reaction score
18
Location
West Sussex
The machine will cut several mm deep, but in my experience of electric planers that is always a bad idea. So I cut between 0.5mm and at most 1mm per cut. Typically each face of a 6” sawn beam will require two or three cuts to get a clean finish. Zero sanding required usually.

Totally agree with this, with full width cuts the machine can bog down easily. Multiple light cuts for sure!

Cons. It has a dust port. Works from one side only. However, you can pretty much forget chip extraction unless you own a dust bag factory. Obviously this is a take the tool to the work machine so you will be using a portable extractor.

For my use I had the same issue so I designed and printed a part that enable chip extraction hose on the other side.




For its intended purpose this thing chucks out a huge amount of chips and will quickly overwhelm the portable extractor. Hard to spot this until you realise chips are literally everywhere. The port will block. Then compact. The chips are not dusty really but I wear my electric hood anyway. Rig a sheet or something to catch the chips. My wife uses them on her kitchen garden paths. She is knee deep in the stuff.

I was using a cyclone and a larger than 'standard' Henry hose. 45mm maybe to the planer. With a Henry as the extract. I didn't get any blockages even with the extract side being adjusted with the 3d printed part. Maybe I was taking lighter cuts so chip were smaller. Or the vacuum has a higher pressure so pulls the chips out quicker than 'dust extractor'. I could have done with a bigger bucket! Emptying it very often!

 

AJB Temple

Finely figured
Joined
13 Oct 2015
Messages
3,542
Reaction score
759
Location
Tunbridge Wells
Impressed with your set up there Skinny B and the 3D printing. You could market that addition: I would buy one. (I don't have a 3D printer).

I suspect our use is a little different as you are using it in a more precision way for sure. In my case I am mainly dealing with oak beams that come rough sawn directly from the feller / woodyard. I am not necessarily looking for a perfect finish a lot of the time (clearly I am for the kitchen) as mostly the oak will be used for framing.

I am planing freehand. My experience with a Nilfisk vacuum connected, was that planing all four sides or a single 3 metre 6" beam - possibly three 0.5mm cuts per face - would fill the vacuum. If I did not realise quickly enough that I had filled the bin, then I quickly get shavings everywhere, then compacting. It was just too much of a faff to bother with, so I ditched the vacuum.

Picking up on Doug's friend's failure, I have looked on-line and can't find any other examples of this planer failing. There are quite a few reviews and they seem universally positive as it is so cheap for what it does.
 

Dokkodo

Established Member
Joined
8 Jan 2017
Messages
235
Reaction score
11
Location
Bristol
Well following this thread i panic bought myself one of these today!

Very much looking forward to never using a router sled again, so much noise and dust and vibratory nerve damage.

Ive been milling timber with a chainsaw mill i was given a couple of years ago, more for the pleasure of the process and saving timber, but in combination with this ill be able to flatten things myself too, so im excited.

I too would purchase one of your extraction adapters SkinnyB, though i think id need it for a different hose size, . Ive never felt the need for a 3D printer but actually, dust extraction is a sphere of life that would justify one on many occassions, must be reet handy.
 

El Barto

👍
Joined
20 Nov 2016
Messages
1,106
Reaction score
45
Location
North Hampshire
Thanks for the review. I too saw this via Tally Ho and was surprised at a. the price and b. how little known it is.
 

Doug B

Shy Tot
Joined
6 Aug 2008
Messages
4,071
Reaction score
1,755
Location
@dougsworkshop
AJB Temple":2benkc4g said:
Just checked the guarantee on mine. It is 3 years and quite comprehensive. Trust your mate claimed and got a new one.
I know triton were keen on having it back but I don’t know the outcome, I know he bought the Mafell planer almost immediately after, next time I see him I’ll ask
 

AJB Temple

Finely figured
Joined
13 Oct 2015
Messages
3,542
Reaction score
759
Location
Tunbridge Wells
Interesting Doug. If he was willing to fork out for the Mafell at £3k plus, it may suggest he was expecting industrial toughness at DIY price originally. For one Mafell we are talking 12 or more Tritons. I would rather have the Mafell, but for my limited use it is just far too expensive.

I have ben using mine today for about 4 hours. It hasn't missed a beat. I would add to my review tough that the cable is too short.
 

adidat

I will not buy anymore tools...
Joined
6 Nov 2009
Messages
2,544
Reaction score
28
Location
sunny somerset!
On a timber framing group I'm on I know of at least three examples that have snapped in half after hitting a knot. Yes they are good value but and I'm sure that 99% will never break. But I think the makita is a safer option.... and of course the mafell..... one day....

Adidat
 
Top