Now that I lured you in with that “misleading” title here’s what today’s episode is really all about, a side-by-side comparison of my old Rigid 13” thickness planer and the new-to-me Steel City Tool Works 13” thickness planer with helical-style cutter head.
Actually that description is also a little misleading considering the only thing being compared are the cutter heads. The Rigid planer has a traditional 2 straight-blade cutter head while the SCTW has a helical-style cutter head, which features numerous smaller cutters laid out in a helical pattern.
Really my goal today was to demonstrate (to myself and you of course) that there is a noticeable difference between these two styles of cutter heads. So to achieve this goal I grabbed some scrap highly figured curly-maple, ripped it in half and fed one through each machine. The result? I guess you’ll have to watch to find out.
***FOR THE SAKE OF COMPLETE TRANSPARENCY: I originally received the Steel City Tool Works 13” planer for a review segment in 2013. Then after working with the staff of SCTW for an event at their Head Quarters, I received the tool as partial payment for my time and assistance. But I can assure you, my opinions on the tool are completely my own and cannot be altered by the manufacturer***
Looking to purchase either of these machines? You can find them at the following retailers (please remember, purchases made through these links help support the show while getting you the tools and supplies you need for the projects in your own shop):
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