Which planer should I get?

Discussion in 'Surfing' started by Rinconryder, Mar 8, 2019.

  1. Rinconryder

    Rinconryder Member

    Nov 30, 2015
    i need to buy a planer for general purposes but have romantic visions of shaping a board one day. Is there a certain standard planer out there that is better for board shaping? I am a dewalt tool guy but can go any direction really.
    Artz likes this.
  2. rootdown

    rootdown Member

    Mar 21, 2017
    Rhode Island
    I used a stock bosch planer for my first 20-something boards but eventually found it really limiting. Fine for skinning the blank and getting out the thickness, but thats it. My mod Hitachi planer is way better for shaping since you can change the depth of cut on the fly with a quarter turn. I wouldnt use this on anything else besides surfboards though. There is a steep learning curve using a planer well to shape and i still suck at it and mostly use hand tools to fine tune.
    DanSan likes this.
  3. SdSurferguy

    SdSurferguy Well-Known Member

    Oct 18, 2006
  4. SharkB8

    SharkB8 Active Member

    Sep 21, 2011
    USA Virginia
    I keep hearing hitachi. I have a big old Rockwell a skil and a Bosch. Bosch is cheaper and 40lbs lighter. Not ideal for a real shaper but works for skinning. Don’t take my word. Beginning of a backyard hack here. I tried my skil just because yes they look so cool and I have a weird thing for metal tools. I know why surfers in the 60s had big arms. Paddling tanks and holding anvils over foam. I’m sure the weight can be used for some advantage but I do not have the skills.
    DanSan and JBorbone like this.
  5. JBorbone

    JBorbone Well-Known Member

    Oct 18, 2017
    Belmar, NJ
    Honestly, anything works. Bob Mctavish shapes with an unmodified Makita and no one can claim he doesn't know what he's doing. Corey Munn frequently shapes with an unmodified too.

    Buy whatever is within a comfortable budget for you. If you're primarily going to be using it for housework and shaping about 1 board per year, I'm sure the dewalt will be fine. I have a Ryobi that I shaped my first 20ish boards with and it worked fine, and I still use it for all my housework.

    Modified (shaping) planers actually suck for doing common housework because the on-the-fly depth adjustment makes it hard to keep track of what depth you're cutting at unless you're very very familiar with the tool already. I don't think they're still making the modified Bosch, but it has "clicks" for each depth which makes it slightly easier to keep track of than with a modified Hitachi, Makita, or Skil.. I have one (a Bosch), it's OK but it's primarily built for taller shapers (i'm NOT tall, so it causes some shoulder fatigue for me). Unless you want to get very into shaping I don't think a modified planer is totally necessary.
    DanSan likes this.
  6. swarmcells

    swarmcells Member

    Mar 8, 2016
    JBorbone pretty much nailed it. Xanadu was on the Boardroom podcast with Scott Bass recently and spoke about the modified/stock planer thing and how he had to adjust to using stock when he went to Aus because that's how they did it down there. (He also calls bullshit on the Skil 100 in favor of the lighter and more dependable Hitachi.) I have a modified Bosch and a Hitachi P20ST modified and I like them both but they have different feels. If you do choose to take the dive into a modified planer, you are going to get used to whatever tool you go with. They all have pros/cons. I think the biggest place where the mod helps is cutting rail bands, anything else you can pretty easily do with a stock and hand tools.

    DanSan likes this.
  7. Artz

    Artz Active Member

    Nov 22, 2018
    Shapers Supply has a couple of modified Planers that are very well priced. I think for your first few Boards the modified Wen for Only$215.00 is a good deal. They also have a Modified Makita.
    I have a few planers a Skill 100,Porter Cabel 356, that one is a Beast . If you were shaping a Paddle Board the 356 would get the job done. I have an original Clark foam modified Hitatchi. Sold one of my Skil planers science I’m just a back yard hackShaper without Proper shaping shed. The skill is my first choice for shaping the Clark Foam is my #2 pick. Honestly the beast is scary.
    I like the look of the Wen planer. The price is very good. Pete C, who designed the modified wen is top notch. The go to Guy in Southern California for keeping your trusty Skill working like a new Machine.
    Buy a used planer for the home projects and Wen for mowing foam.
    DanSan likes this.
  8. austin s

    austin s Member

    Jan 16, 2006
    USA Virginia
    I would say it’s a two planer situation. I’d buy the Dewalt and use it for the projects and your first boards. Then buy a better modified planer if you stick with board building. Hope that helps!

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