I own the Dewalt 735 13" planer. I've had this planer for almost two years and I've been very happy with it. However, I had the same complaint just about everyone who uses this planer heavily has. The knives just stink! They dull and knick quickly, and at $50 a set, the costs start adding up. I was able to find them a bit cheaper on Amazon. Powertec sells sets of two (6 knives all together) for about $70. Here's the link POWERTEC 128000DD 13-Inch Planer Knives for DeWalt DW735, HSS, 2-PACK
While this price beats the big box stores, it was still a bit pricy since I was going through a set almost once a week. If you've poked around the website, you'll see I plane lots of hard hardwoods. I had my eye on the Byrd tool Shelix Cutterhead for some time. While I knew it would save me money in the long run, it took a while to come around to putting a $450 part into a $550 tool.
I installed it just a few days ago, and so far I am happy. The installation was easy. It only takes about an hour IF YOU HAVE SNAP RING PLIERS! If you don't, $3 and a trip to Harbor Freight will save you tons of aggravation. There are two separate youtube videos that do a fantastic job of showing the step by step for the install. Here are the links video 1, video 2.
The only thing I recommend doing differently is in step 21, the old shaft needs to be pounded out. Watch the video, you'll know what I'm talking about. In both videos they pound out the shaft and then remove a small helical gear. It's that helical gear, that is attached to the end of the shaft, that they are pounding on. If that were to get damaged, it would be a real pain in the a**. So unscrew the gear first, then pound out the shaft. Easy as pie.
As for the operation, it's certainly a better machine with the shelix cutterhead. The noise level is much lower, and the motor is definitely not working as hard. There is however a small amount of snipe now. About 2.5" on either end. It's not a ton, but it will create problems when trying to face glue.
I contacted Byrd Tool today and am awaiting a response. We'll see if they have any recommendations for adjustments that will remove the snipe.
Overall I'm happy. I'll be receiving a shipment of about 200 board feet of 4/4 walnut, hard maple, sapele, and purpleheart early next week. I'll use the planer with the new shelix cutterhead to mill all of it to 3/4".
I'll let you know how it goes, and what Byrd Tool has to say about the snipe.
Thanks for reading,
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