Which planer-thicknesser?

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WoodYewToo

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I'm in the market for something small and fairly inexpensive. It's got to be semi-portable (not for on-site work... but for wheeling around in a very small workshop, where every machine has to be moved into the one decent working area and then moved away for the next machine operation - oh and it maybe also wheeled outdoors for some work). My only experience in using a planer thicknesser was about 30 years ago when I used a Kity K5 combination machine (so I'm no expert on these things).

As an ex engineer, I love the look, functionality and heritage of the old cast iron machines - but they won't work for me in my current mini workshop situation (and, sadly, I haven't got the skills and patience that would be required to maintain and fettle such machines).

Current candidates are the Metabo HC260C and the DeWalt D27300. Although, with recent expenditure on tools, the DeWalt is probably beyond my budget. It looks like a bit of an upgrade on the Metabo (and not having to move tables etc when thicknessing would be a bonus). However, it's a massive £1000 more than the Metabo - and I'm not sure I can see a £1000 benefit over the Metabo.

So... what's the Metabo like to live with in everyday DIY woodworking life? Any major issues?

Are there any benefits going for a separate planer machine and separate thicknesser. There appear to be some decent options for small thicknessers - including the DeWalt 733 or the Metabo DH330. (Not sure why the DeWalt 735 isn't available in the UK - that looks like a substantial upgrade on the 733). To my untrained mind, that type of thicknesser (where the cutting head is raised and lowered - instead of the head remaining in one place and the thicknesser table moving, as with most planer-thicknessers) seems to have a superior design - as the table may be more stable/rigid. Is this correct or am I missing something.

If there are decent thicknesser options - what about standalone planers? I've not noticed any decent surface planers on the market.


In an ideal world something like the Axminster AW2260S planer thicknesser (with it's spiral cutter and reasonable price for such a capable machine) would definitely appeal. But, for my current situation, it's too big and too heavy. And I'd probably like to keep costs down a bit more.

Thanks for your help.
 
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If you don't have much room a planer thicknesser is a better choice than separate machines. Changing over takes a while but if you organize the work you don't need to go back and forth. Removing the table to thickness might seem a chore but it does give better access which is a good thing. If you go second hand the metabo, Electra beckum and scheppach 260 machines are all well regarded.
 
If you don't have much room a planer thicknesser is a better choice than separate machines. Changing over takes a while but if you organize the work you don't need to go back and forth. Removing the table to thickness might seem a chore but it does give better access which is a good thing. If you go second hand the metabo, Electra beckum and scheppach 260 machines are all well regarded.
Also afaik record and sip badged much the same machines...
 
I'm pretty sure I started off with this planer thicknesses, if not it was one very similar. It was a capable machine and did everything I asked of it.

One of the problems, well not really a problem but got tiresome quickly is if you have to change between planing to thicknessing many times in a day. If I remember rightly, you had to take the fence off, out feed table, lower the thicknesser bed and flip over the dust extraction port to covert it. And of course do the reverse to change it back!

I also seem to remember that you had to be very careful not to get dust/chipping's on the face were the out feed mates to the machine or it throws out the accuracy of the fence being at 90'. Once I worked it out I used to keep a old paint brush next to the machine and would give a quick brush off of any dust and was good to go.

If you are organised and can do each operation in one hit, so only have to change the machine once, it is probably more than suitable. But I though I would share my experiences with it. I've long since upgraded and the very first thing on the 'must have' list was swing away beds and a fast change from Planer to thicknesser, but that may say more about how I work than anything else!
 
If you don't have much room a planer thicknesser is a better choice than separate machines. Changing over takes a while but if you organize the work you don't need to go back and forth. Removing the table to thickness might seem a chore but it does give better access which is a good thing. If you go second hand the metabo, Electra beckum and scheppach 260 machines are all well regarded.
Good points. Thanks.
 
I would endorse the Metabo and all its cousins, including Record Power, having just downsized from a full blown Felder. The only wrinkle I have encountered so far concerns the planer DX hood detection switch. It is intended that you must have the hood in place to use the planer. However it can be difficult to locate it in exactly the right position to engage with the switch mechanism. This arrangement is a bit of poor design because it is not fail-safe, so if the switch operating lever is removed, the switch assumes the hood is in place. This I have done.
Otherwise, a nice machine
Brian
 
I'm pretty sure I started off with this planer thicknesses, if not it was one very similar. It was a capable machine and did everything I asked of it.

One of the problems, well not really a problem but got tiresome quickly is if you have to change between planing to thicknessing many times in a day. If I remember rightly, you had to take the fence off, out feed table, lower the thicknesser bed and flip over the dust extraction port to covert it. And of course do the reverse to change it back!

I also seem to remember that you had to be very careful not to get dust/chipping's on the face were the out feed mates to the machine or it throws out the accuracy of the fence being at 90'. Once I worked it out I used to keep a old paint brush next to the machine and would give a quick brush off of any dust and was good to go.

If you are organised and can do each operation in one hit, so only have to change the machine once, it is probably more than suitable. But I though I would share my experiences with it. I've long since upgraded and the very first thing on the 'must have' list was swing away beds and a fast change from Planer to thicknesser, but that may say more about how I work than anything else!

Thanks for the tip regarding the paint brush. That could save me a lot of frustration, investigation and inaccurate surfaces.

Which machine did you upgrade to?
 
I would endorse the Metabo and all its cousins, including Record Power, having just downsized from a full blown Felder. The only wrinkle I have encountered so far concerns the planer DX hood detection switch. It is intended that you must have the hood in place to use the planer. However it can be difficult to locate it in exactly the right position to engage with the switch mechanism. This arrangement is a bit of poor design because it is not fail-safe, so if the switch operating lever is removed, the switch assumes the hood is in place. This I have done.
Otherwise, a nice machine
Brian

Thanks for the info.

Wow... if you've gone from a Felder to the Metabo - and you're happy with what the Metabo can do - that's impressive.
 
Thanks for the tip regarding the paint brush. That could save me a lot of frustration, investigation and inaccurate surfaces.

Which machine did you upgrade to?
I upgraded to a Hammer A3. As well as the swing away tables, you can add in and out feed table extensions to it. Which at the time suited me well as I was milling a lot of long lengths.
 
I upgraded to a Hammer A3. As well as the swing away tables, you can add in and out feed table extensions to it. Which at the time suited me well as I was milling a lot of long lengths.

Nice upgrade!

One day maybe... if I win the lottery. Haha.
 
I bought the Metabo as my first planer thicknesser. I'm really impressed so far. I having been using it a lot on reclaimed pallet wood, building cabinets etc. I would agree with the previous poster that changing from one function to another is a pain. Also the micro safety switches almost made me want to tear my hair out with how fiddly they can be to get just right. I'm going to mount it back to back with my Metabo table saw on a castored unit to move around my workshop as needed. One thing I'm definitely going to upgrade is the cutter block. They only firm I have found that manufacture a spiral cutter block for the HC260C is Sheartak in Canada. Maybe someone on here knows of a European firm offering one?
 
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