I've had one since November laster year. I dont use it everyday but it has had quite a lot of use and havent noticed anything to be concerned about. All you really need to do is level out the infeed and outfeed beds (easy to do with a spanner) and buy a good pair of ear defenders.
Brilliant machine based on the old Elektra Beckum thicknesser and though made in Taiwan now rather than West Germany, I can see no difference in build quality or performance over the EB one I owned several years ago.
Like all machines in this class it is noisy and it ejects shavings at a fast rate of knots but it leaves an excellent finish. I looked at the DW and Makita equivalents but the Metabo was the one I chose based on my past experience with the EB, its wider planing capacity and the fact that it was appreciably cheaper than the two main competitors. I am very impressed with mine, the depth guage is very accurate and the planer head is 100% parallel to the table. The in and out feed tables are adjustable but mine were spot on out of the box.
Regarding shavings, a good chip extractor is essential unless you are working outside and can sweep/blow or leave in situ. I use a twenty year old EB one which is very similar to the latest offerings from parent firm Metabo.
I had a DW733 for ages. Great, robust bit of kit. Blade changing took 10 mins, rotating blade stock a good idea, via local sharpeners, about twice a year for busy amateur use. Replacements from Applebys not too expensive. Extraction was easy, angled spout, no dust or chippings escaped it, only 1000W extractor.
let me add my question here...it seems the Christmas is early for me this year. after I asked (and ordered) the table saw here, my wife said she'll buy me *any* tool (within reason, of course) I want for my phd. So the "next" tool I was going to buy was planer / thicknesser and I cannot decide what to buy..
So, to be concise: I'd like both thicknesser and jointer, thicknesser would be first if I chose separate machines. I'm thinking about one of three options:
a) DH330 plus a tabletop jointer later (is there something good in this price range??)
b) HC 260 c combo (I know it's narrower)
c) beefier three-blade Chinese import machine that can also take spiral knives and can be upgraded with mortising unit like Holzmann HOB260NL: (please replace two (DOT)'s with dots as I don't have permission to post links) www(DOT)holzmann-maschinen(DOT)at/EN/combined-planer-and-thicknesser-684 (as you can see, the price is similar to HC 260 c).
What do you guys think? (C) seems the best bang for buck...but there's no free meal hence I'm asking you guys for opinion