While I wish I could slice through the extra holiday carbs and come out with a perfect body on the other end, the technology is far from reality.
I must say it isn’t the same for wood stocks. While your dreams of getting a Greek-god body may require grinding, you can get Greek-god-wood by getting your hands on a thickness planer.
Trust me, after a while, you’ll start enjoying putting wood in and waiting for them to come out the other end with a perfect finish!
Coming back to today’s topic at hand, we’re going to have a triple-threat battle between three DeWalt models- the 734, 735, and 735X.
We’ll kick off with DW734 vs. DW735. As these two models are from the same manufacturer, identical features (in some cases) are to be expected. However, we’ll analyze and see who takes the crown here and for what reason.
Before we draw the curtains on this article, our final showdown will be DW735 vs. DW735X (you are in for a surprise). In this section, we’ll see the benefits and drawbacks of both, and see which one can wear the proverbial lunchbox-planer-crown.
So, the competitors are set for the three-way battle royal. Let’s get ready to rumble!
- Presenting the Three Products
- Similarities Between DW734 and DW735X
Presenting the Three Products
Instead of diving directly into the comparison, I plan to get my hands dirty with the details of each product. I’ll review each of them telling you the things you want to know. It’ll help you understand the big picture when everything comes together.
Looking into DEWALT Benchtop Planer, Single Speed (DW 734)
When it comes to lunchbox thickness planers, there are only a few that stand up to the DW734. The name itself tells a little story about the product. It’s a single-speed planer. You’ll get one CPI-setting (96), and won’t have any flexibility here.
I’d have liked two more, to be honest. But when DeWalt tells you to deal with it, you “Deal with It.” I can visualize some of you sulking in the garage just about now.
However, for a casual DIY worker (even professionals to some extent), 96 CPI is perfect. Take my word for it, you’ll have no hiccups any wood stocks, be it walnut, oak, pine, or anything else; you’ll get the finish you want with this setting.
The intake width of this planer is 12.5 inches. For domestic projects (and I’m speaking from experience), this would suffice.
But if you want to deal with several planks at a time, 12.5 inches will restrict you. Besides, the addition of .5 inches makes it a little weird for some. Nothing major to be concerned about.
Furthermore, you’ll find a rotating knob on the top-right (if you look at it from the front). The knob helps you choose the cut depth. You’ll find numbers circling the knob, telling you the effects of each rotation. Rotating it to a quarter would move the overall parameter by 1/32.
On the front-right of the planer, you’ll find a ruler. As you move the knob on the top, the ruler either goes up or down, telling you how much lumber you’re going to cut.
The range of cut depth you get from this device is commendable, and most people don’t need the full range. Starting from 1/8 inches, it goes up to 6 inches. Seems too small? Trust me, you’ll rarely require 6.
Even though I hold the ruler’s judgment in high regard, you can calibrate it yourself if you wish. The red-colored pointer is fastened with a screw, and you can move it accordingly.
On the right side of the machine, there is a half-circular gauge. The options are limited here. However, this is an addition to the knob and ruler. It’ll help you keep the cuts consistent. It’ll be of great help for repeat cuts.
The DeWalt 734 goes the extra mile when it comes to precision. On the left of the infeed table, you’ll see a material removal gauge. It works as an “Are You Sure” safety mechanism.
When you’re about to put the lumber through, right after you enter the tip, the square-shaped box next to the material removal gauge will show you how much lumber you’re going to cut.
Not only does it help with precision, but the material removal gauge is an essential safety mechanism as well.
If you’re trying to plain out too much lumber off a wood, one of two things can happen.
A) The machine will stop working, and you’ll have to restart the system.
B) The rollers and blades get stuck, damaging the machine. So, the material removal gauge is your knight in the shining armor.
Another thorn in the side of woodworkers is sniping. Let me enlighten you. Usually, sniping happens when the infeed and outfeed table are loosely connected to the machine.
What happens is that the wood’s upper and lower end will have comparatively deeper cuts, making the finish uneven.
As a saving grace, the DW734 has a locking mechanism. It’s a black-colored handle on the top-mid section of the machine. Once you’re good-to-go with all the adjustments, and you’re ready to plane some wood, simply clamp down the handle.
Afterward, the planer will remain steady in its position, reducing the chances of a snipe.
If lumber does get stuck despite all the security measures, you have a reset button on top of the device to the left. Whenever the machine starts acting out, the reset button will set it straight.
I must say, DeWalt’s on/off switch design is also intelligent. It’s a paddle switch; you pull it upwards if you want to turn it on, smash it down, and the opposite happens. The paddle switch system ensures no accidental startups.
We’ve covered all there is on security and precision. Let’s look into power and convenience.
The motor runs at 10000 RPM with a cutter head that runs at the double the speed. I have no qualms when it comes to this machine’s power. It has more than enough despite being a small DIY-friendly machine.
Another major power-concern is knives. Sharp knives equal better performance. So, the knives come in a set of three, and they’re reversible- reversible being the key term to look at here.
Once you exhaust the knife-heads, you can open the box, and reverse the knives and voila, fresh as a daisy. In short, you get two uses from one set of knives.
However, you can’t sharpen the knives. After using the blades both times, you’d have to fish for new ones.
When it comes to convenience, the infeed and outfeed tables are adjustable.
You can unfasten the screws attached to the sides and adjust the tables accordingly. Besides, the tables are foldable, making it easy for you to move the machine or simply give you more space to maneuver through your workstation.
While the DW734 has a lot of nifty features, it isn’t a panacea to all your woodworking problems. There are two major drawbacks that one must take into account.
Firstly, the dust management of this machine is substandard. The dust collection hose is sail-shaped; it protrudes from the back and bends to the left.
While the ejection power of the system is commendable, the bend causes an issue. The hose starts gathering debris because the particles (due to the ejection power) go straight instead of following the ascribed path (bend to the left).
Once the chute is fully clogged, there’s a bungy-reversal. The wood stock goes in through the planer, kicking the debris out into the infeed table.
You’ll get a debris-confetti in your workstation if you don’t take the dust collection system intermittently to remove the clogs. On the bright side, taking the system apart is easy.
My recommendation would be to use a shop vac with this machine. The suction of the shop vacuum will be of immense help for handling stubborn debris.
Another concern is sound. The machine barks a lot, and after a few rounds, you’ll feel your ears ringing if you don’t wear ear protection. Therefore, we’d recommend you use ear-protection if you’re going to work for a long time.
Besides these two facts, there are no noticeable drawbacks.
Overall, the DW734 is a fierce contender in the battle of wood planers. The benefits outweigh the disadvantages by far and large.
What I love about this planer
- The inclusion of three separate options (knob-ruler/ material removal gauge/ consistent side-adjustment) gives one bulls-eye precision.
- Knives are reversible, so you get two uses from one set.
- It’s so beginner-friendly (and I’m not exaggerating). Operating the machine is as simple as playing with a toy that eats lumber.
- The locking mechanism works against a woodworker’s nightmare- sniping.
- If everything starts going south while working, you have a nifty reset button to save your skin.
What I think could be better
- The dust management system is lackluster. You have to maintain it regularly; it’s easy though.
- The noise gives you a headache if you work for too long without ear protection.
DEWALT Thickness Planer, Two Speed (DW 735)
Our next contender in this battle of planers steps into the ring, I give you the DW735 (crowd cheers). Okay, this lunchbox planer is also good, but that doesn’t mean it can easily take down the previous model. Let’s find out why.
Just like last time, I’d tell you to look at the name. You’ll see the DW735 is a “two-speed” wood planer. So, you’ll have the leeway to choose between two different cuts per inch or CPI- 96 or 179.
I’d say this is a win for people acting Grimm after reading the previous review.
While 96 CPI does give you an excellent finish, if you’re looking for an even finer finish, then 179 CPI is at your service. So, you can choose between a smooth and a smoother finish when you’re handling wooden planks of different thicknesses.
There is a movable switch in the front that controls the CPI setting. You have 179 CPI on the left and 96 on the right. However, you should make a note of this- you can’t change the setting while the machine is turned off.
It’ll not go the entire way, and you can feel the resistance. Once you turn the planer on, you are free to select the setting you prefer.
While many features are similar to the DW734, the built is what makes the newer model different. Both machines carry a 10000 RPM motor coupled with a 20000 RPM cutting head.
However, the DW735 weighs around 90 pounds, 10 pounds greater than its predecessor.
Taking a look into the changes, the first thing to notice is the knob (with which you could adjust the cut depth). In the newer version, you’ll find a rotating wheel instead of a knob. Located on the right side, the dial helps you adjust the cut depth.
You’ll find different numbers imprinted, telling you how each swing impacts the overall adjustment.
There is a ruler in front of the machine that changes position as you rotate the dial. The cut depths are similar, ranging from 1/8 to a maximum of 6 inches.
While the DW735 has a material removal gauge indicator, the design is quite different. The square-shaped indicator is bigger and slightly bent on both ends. The bigger indicator gives you more visibility, making adjustments easier.
The width this machine can take is .5 inches higher than the previous model, rounding it up to 13. I don’t think the .5 inches increase bears any noticeable benefit. However, if you look on the bright side, you can cram in .5 inches more than before.
There’s another circular dial for repeat cuts. This time around, the dial is on the left side, and it has more visibility compared to the DW734 as its considerably bigger.
You’ll see a set of different numbers, and rotate the dial to adjust the machine for a consistent cut depth.
You get an Allen key with the planer. It makes taking the device apart much easier. People can unscrew the bolts with the Allen key, and use the magnets in front to take out the knives without touching. No touching knives equal to no chances of injury.
When it comes to dust and debris management, I believe DeWalt accounted for the rants of the customers this time. The mechanism is well-thought-out and powerful. The air-assisted system throws debris out with extreme force (emphasis on force).
I’d advise you not to make the mistake of keeping the dust-disposal part open. If you don’t use a hose to collect the debris, brace for a storm as the exhaustion punches particles out vehemently.
It has a paddle switch to prevent accidental startups. The difference from DW734 is that the switch is on the right side.
Knives are reversible, allowing two-time use before going out of commission. Changing the knives is a walk in the park, the Allen key takes care of everything.
All the other aspects are identical to DW734, so I’ll omit the additional features here. If you want more details, just look up the previous product.
Now, after we’ve discussed the advantages, time to delve into the drawbacks.
A major no-no for DW735 would be the exclusion of the infeed and outfeed table. You’ll have to purchase these materials separately or go for DW735X (details will be further down below).
Another issue is sniping while operating in 179 CPI. Although the cuts are finer with this setting, you’d have to take sniping into account before you put in larger wood stocks.
Noise complaints are also aplenty, similar to the previous model. Wear protective gear if you don’t want a ringing ear syndrome.
What I love about this product
- Two CPI settings give you more options, and you can choose the smoothness of your cuts.
- You get finer, glassy-smooth cuts.
- Rotating wheel instead of a knob makes adjusting the cut depths easier.
- 13 inches infeed allows more lumber intake compared to DW734.
- The design is better and more user-friendly.
- The debris ejection system is a wonder. It’s powerful enough to work on its own, no need for shop vacs.
What I think could be better
- While the 179 CPI gives incredible smoothness to your lumber, sniping remains an issue.
- Having to purchase an infeed and outfeed table separately is an inconvenience.
DEWALT Thickness Planer, Two Speed (DW 735X)
As much as I’d love to yap about the 735X, there’s nothing (and I emphasize) to say about it.
Why? Not because it’s a terrible unit- no.
But the DW735 and 735X are clones. Well, for 98% of the time. There’s no difference except the infeed and outfeed tables. The former comes bare without them, and they’re included in the latter. Apart from this, everything that’s in the DW735, you’ll find it in the “X” version as well.
Note: From now onwards, I’ll be focusing on DW734 and DW735X. The DW735 without the infeed and outfeed tables don’t put up too much of a fight against its predecessor. There’s no real point in doing a DW735 vs DW735x comparison henceforth.
So, to keep the playing grounds equal, we’ll look into both machines that the tables included.
Similarities Between DW734 and DW735X
Once you understand the similar aspects, you’ll comprehend (even appreciate to some extent) the differences between these two lunchbox planers. Analyzing the similarities help to determine the differences and makes the comparison easier as well.
- They both have a similar motor and cutter head speed- 10000 and 20000 RPM, respectively. Despite being a lunchbox planer, the power is amazing, and even professionals can work with it.
- Another similarity is the reversible knives and three-knife cutter head. I love the reversible knives concept that DeWalt has put in, as it allows you to use one set of knives two times without sharpening.
- The cut depths range from 1/8 inches to 6 inches. The newer model doesn’t give you an increased range. However, I feel the range provided in both machines will suffice for plenty of woodworking.
- The infeed and outfeed trays are foldable and adjustable. Once you fold the tables, the machines become easier to carry. Besides, you can use the provided Allen key to adjust the tables according to your need.
- When you’re taking lumber off, you can’t go wrong with precision due to the ruler and material removal gauge. They are built-in, although located in different locations.
- The motor runs at 15-Amp. So, you’ll be able to plug it into any standard 120-VAC power outlet in your house.
- I’d also like to mention the paddle switch; both models have the same switch. While it seems easy to ignore, the paddle-design is helpful for avoiding accidents.
- Both DW734 and DW735X can give you an excellent finish at 96 when it comes to CPI setting. While DW735X gives you an additional setting, the 96 CPI count is enough for a number of projects.
- Noise is a common complaint about both models. It doesn’t matter which one you’re working with; you need to have ear-protection handy.
The Final Showdown: DW734 Vs. DW735X
Finally! We’ve arrived at a point where we know all there is to know about these three tools. As the curtain looms in the distance, let’s compare the two products and see which one of these beats the other. The competitors are set, the ring is lit, let’s see who stands on top after everything’s said and done.
Cut Depth Flexibility
I’ll start out with the biggest difference between the two models. The older version gives you one CPI-setting (96 CPI), while the DW735X gives you two options to choose from (96 CPI and 179 CPI).
A noteworthy mention, better cuts per inch results in a finer finish.
Now, having a higher CPI (179) doesn’t guarantee better performance. Not every user needs this setting, and I’ve seen a lot of people (hobbyists mostly) get little to no use out of it. Sometimes with 179 CPI as the setting, I’d get snipes, not too noticeable though.
However, if you’re looking to dive into some serious woodworking, then DW735 takes the crown here because a higher CPI will give your lumber a finer finish.
Knob vs. Wheel
DW734 has a rotating knob on the top-right with which you can adjust the cut depth. In contrast, DW735X comes with a wheel located on the bottom right. Both the knob and wheel are rotatable, and once you start moving it, you’ll see the metrics in the ruler in front changing.
The difference isn’t huge here. However, I enjoyed working with the wheel. It’s similar to a car wheel, and the rotation is smooth. I have nothing against the knob of DW734; it’s just a little inconvenient compared to the newer wheel-version.
The material gauge indicator on both models is square-shaped. The DW735X’s version is bigger; thus, it gives you better visibility. Although the indicator you’ll find on DW734 is smaller, you can still easily observe it.However, the latter version brings a bit more convenience to the table.
Furthermore, for repeat cuts, you have another wheel on DW735X, while the older model features a tiny half-circular gauge. It does make a difference this time. It’s way easier to select the cut depth for consistent cuts from the wheel, instead of a half-circular (size of a coin) gauge.
This is where the DW734 falls off. The dust collection system is poor and will clog over time. Even using a shop vac can’t save you. You have to take it apart to remove the debris clogs, or the machine will start throwing them out into the infeed table (not pleasant at all).
In contrast, the DW735X has a fan-assisted system. The power of this mechanism is amazing. If you do attach a shop vac, you don’t have to turn it on because a shop vac’s suction seems dull compared to the DW735X’s ability to throw the debris out.
Not much of a difference here, but it’s worth a mention. The DW735X is 10 pounds heavier than its predecessor. Evidently, it’s harder to carry.
The DW734 is also not your typical one-man-carry; it weighs around 80 pounds. Which of these models you go for in terms of weight is your personal choice entirely.There won’t be any love lost here.
This one aspect puts me in a conundrum while choosing between the two models. When it comes to price, the DW734 shoots the ball right out of the park.
While the newer model does have a lot of features, it will cost you around 600$. That’s 200$ higher than the DW734.
Now, you have to think this through carefully. Despite all the innovation in design, what the DW735X truly gives you is a new and better CPI setting. One must wonder whether this one setting is worth 200 bucks, right?
Who Wins the DW734 vs DW735 vs DW735x Deadlock?
While I do apologize for kicking DW735 out of the fight, in my defense, I was cornered. The DW734 vs. DW735 would be an unfair battle. The DW735 doesn’t come with infeed and outfeed trays. Therefore, it falls behind its machine-brothers.
After a fierce DW734 vs. DW35X battle, it’s time to announce the winner.I think DW734 takes the championship lunchbox planer belt.
Before you start revolting, hear me out. Despite having a weak debris collection system, the DW734 comes out on top due to its balance between price and quality.
The DW735X does have a better debris collection mechanism, but it’s not fantastic (for those of you who are wondering). Even in the newer version, you’d have to make quite a few arrangements to get the most out of it.
I think the DW735X is a niche thickness planer. It’s worth can increase by tenfold to the person who does require a super-fine finish which only a 179 CPI setting can deliver.
But my job is to think about the machine in general. The DW734, with the price that it comes in, is amazing. It has everything you look for in a lunchbox planer.Still, I think pro woodworkers would disagree with me, as I said the DW735X is a niche machine, and professionals would likely opt for it.
Before the sun sets on this article, given the choice, I’d go for DW734 because it’s a mean machine worth every green you can put out there.