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Planer/Jointer vs Thicknesser, which one should I buy first?

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GarF

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I'd be interested to know from someone who's been paying attention for a while whether that Metabo thicknesses is a legit good price (rather than a DFS type 'good' price? Looks like the comparable Makita is in short supply. Would be a useful time saver..... tempting
 

spb

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I too have to load anything into a hatchback if I needed to move it, my floor space is at a premium right now as I only have a small shed to work out of at the moment.
Then the 260 machines are probably the ones to look at - while you can get a benchtop thicknesser that'll work just fine, good benchtop planers don't seem to exist, which makes the 260s the smallest commonly available combo machine worth having.

Currently looking at a used Metabo hc260 for around the £350-£400 mark, does that sound a reasonable price?
If it's in halfway decent condition, yes. I'd expect to pay £7-800 new; if there had been one second hand for that price when I was looking I'd definitely have taken it.

Think about whether you want a chip extractor too - while you can run them without, it'll save a lot of cleaning up afterwards.
 

Chris_Pallet

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I bought a screwfix p/t. Sent it back couple months later.
My advice, don't buy cheap!!

I haven't bought another one as yet, I'd love to try out a few or get some honest reviews it's too good to say no.
For now I'm sticking with a belt sander lol
 

samuel235

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Then the 260 machines are probably the ones to look at - while you can get a benchtop thicknesser that'll work just fine, good benchtop planers don't seem to exist, which makes the 260s the smallest commonly available combo machine worth having.


If it's in halfway decent condition, yes. I'd expect to pay £7-800 new; if there had been one second hand for that price when I was looking I'd definitely have taken it.
What is your situation on used tools, how much would you pay for a used 260 machine that is in a halfway decent condition as you describe it? What is that brand new tool warrenty worth to you? I understand this is simply an opinion and everyone's opinion will differ. Just curious to understand what I should be expecting to pay. Looking through some past auctions, I can see some have gone into the £600-700 range and I'm a little reluctant to pay anywhere near to that.
 

samuel235

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I’ve produced quite a few chopping / serving boards in both face grain and end grain. I’d go for a wider (310 or 410) thicknesser if you have room and the cash. You can use a hand plane or sledge on the thicknesser to get it flat first. A 260mm wide chopping board is a bit limited. I have also put end grain boards through the thicknesser, both during construction and when complete. Taking v light passes works OK.
I would love to go higher than 260, but I only just have the money for the 260, after convincing myself its worth the money. Looks like I will be surface finishing them on a router and sander for the boards larger than 260.
 
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samuel235

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I’ve produced quite a few chopping / serving boards in both face grain and end grain. I’d go for a wider (310 or 410) thicknesser if you have room and the cash. You can use a hand plane or sledge on the thicknesser to get it flat first. A 260mm wide chopping board is a bit limited. I have also put end grain boards through the thicknesser, both during construction and when complete. Taking v light passes works OK.
Just a shower thought from this morning, I'm wonding what the quality of the benchtop planers are and then getting a DW733 due to its increased capacity to thickness for the edge grain boards.
 

billw

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The thing is with Surface Planers and Thicknessers, one doesn't do the others job, they work together in twined harmony so they are both absolutely necessary. A good compromise is a Planer Thicknesser which is the best of both worlds compressed into one machine.
That's true buuuuut...... you *can* use a thicknesser as a planer if you use a sled with shims, albeit it's a PITA if you're doing that with any frequency. For minimal footprint though, yeah a PT would be the best option.
 

billw

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Just a shower thought from this morning, I'm wonding what the quality of the benchtop planers are and then getting a DW733 due to its increased capacity to thickness for the edge grain boards.
I've got a cheap benchtop planer (the Rutlands one) and I find it does the job to well within any tolerance I'd need. Sure, it's not perfect but I'm not running tabletops etc through it - its max dimensions are 1000x155. I have the Metabo DH330 as it was cheaper than the DW733 but still gets good reviews. If I need to plane wider/longer stock I can always use a sled on the thicknesser.
 

samuel235

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I've got a cheap benchtop planer (the Rutlands one) and I find it does the job to well within any tolerance I'd need. Sure, it's not perfect but I'm not running tabletops etc through it - its max dimensions are 1000x155. I have the Metabo DH330 as it was cheaper than the DW733 but still gets good reviews. If I need to plane wider/longer stock I can always use a sled on the thicknesser.
Looking at options myself still, the only reason I said the dewalt one is I know you can upgrade to the shelix cutting head on the dewalt, not looked for the metabo shelix option yet. Going this route (the metabo thicknesser and a benchtop planer) will be around the 450-500 mark, where im struggling to find a second hand PT option that is good enough quality for me to be okay spending 500 on at the moment, they are all either going for higher than that or some what damaged/broken.
 

samuel235

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Looks like I'm settled on purchasing the following to allow me to make some end grain cutting boards, I do already have a mitre saw and a table saw to use; a Metabo HC260 being used mainly for a jointer/surfacer, building my own thickness drum sander OR a router sled with a surfacing bit to flatten end grain cutting boards once glued and in final format. I would prefer to have a separate surface planer and a Metabo DH330/DeWalt DW735 as it will allow for larger edge grain board to be put through it compared to the HC260 but I am yet to find a cheapish surfacer that im willing to spend my money on.

Feel free to advise if you think im overlooking anything, please.

Thanks again for your advise previously given.
 

Trevanion

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the only reason I said the dewalt one is I know you can upgrade to the shelix cutting head on the dewalt


Whoa, pony! You're thinking about spending over £500 on a lunchbox thicknesser (And let's face it, all lunchbox thicknessers are pretty rubbish...) and then another £500 (by the time you account for shipping and import fees) on a cutter head?

You may as well be looking to spend your money properly on something decent than trying to put jet fuel into a Fiat Panda. Also, the DW735 isn't available in the UK, only the 733.
 

samuel235

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I love this! Thank you for reminding me of this scene!

Back to the topic at hand though, I was simply thinking for the future, the thought of putting a shelix cutter head on that dewalt any time soon would be border-line idiotic. I was thinking in the future, if I wanted a better quality output from the machine in terms of its cutter (disregarding snipe), that could be an option. But I wouldn't buy the DeWalt now and then put the shelix on there any time in the near futur.
 

Trevanion

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Define “rubbish” when it comes to lunchbox thicknessers please! 👀
Very loud brushed motors, usually quite poorly made to a price, sniping due to cutterhead movement is a prevalent problem with them, maximum depth of cut is quite pants...

I did say "pretty rubbish", they're not all bad but the only real benefit is that they're compact.
 

samuel235

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And to add (from a begineers view), it comes across as you get much more for you money too, much more capcity for the price. But, what is the point of planing more wood to a shittier standard one would question, I guess it would have its advantages in certain situations.
 

SamTheJarvis

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Back to the topic at hand though, I was simply thinking for the future, the thought of putting a shelix cutter head on that dewalt any time soon would be border-line idiotic.
Hello namesake :D

I had a DW733 with a shelix cutterhead. It was fine really, planed lots of dry elm and sold it on. Likely saved about £10 worth of sanding pads and about a days sanding on one job easily (though took about a day to install ha). Only issue is depth of cut is lessened on wide boards, especially on gnarly dry elm. Would say the shelix effectively reduces it's width to 10", in which case a new axi 10" PT would be much better value (didn't exist when I upgraded the DW733)
And if you stall them you can wear the tiny drive belt. Didn't have any snipe issues with the dw733 with the cutterhead lock on and roller stand to stop the piece cantilevering on exit.

Plan to pick up another shelix for a hammer 12" as it's got a much bigger motor.
 
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