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Iggy

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Reply with quote  #1 
At the moment, I have 2 planers, a standard 10" x 6" planer/thicknesser with 2 HSS blades and a 12" Maketa jobsite thicknesser with 2X TCT disposable blades. Both of them are very noisy and can leave a rippled surface to the finish. I am thinking of dumping them both for one with a helical cutter head. As I use mostly hardwoods, the Hss blades remain sharp for about 15 mins at best and are disposable so end up in the bin. I would love to hear from anyone who has a helical planer to convince me I am spending my hard earned wisely.
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papabrett2011

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Reply with quote  #2 
If you can get over the initial cost you will not regret the purchase of this head.  Keep in mind the straight blades cut across the full width of your material at one time (a sort of gouging effect) whereas the helical shears the material (a slicing effect) and only a small area at one time.  If your blades are only lasting a few minutes you are going to love these.  Keep in mind that one they are carbide and two they can be rotated up to 4 times for a fresh cut.  You will also notice that since they use that shearing motion they should hold their edge much longer.  If there is any drawback it might be that you can't take off as much material at a time.  However they are much quieter. 

Now for a quick cost review.  I will use my dewalt as an example.  A set of 3 blades will run me around $60 and I get 2 uses out of each blade, so $10 an edge.  My helical head uses 40 blades which run $35 for 10 (this make one row) but since I can use each blade 4 times this makes that cost $8.75 per blade.  However since these are carbide and not high speed steel you should get a much longer wear.

There are a lot of sites out there that compare the advantages of these blades and it will not hurt to do your research.  However be careful not all cutters are the same.  Example Rikon makes a very reasonable helix planer that I considered until I found out it used HSS blades with only 2 sides.  It is a big investment, but I don't regret it in the least, and if you are going through blades that fast I don't think you will either.

Now to figure out what to do with my old head and extra blades:-)
Iggy

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Reply with quote  #3 
Thank you Papabrett. 
                              I have done a bit of sniffing around and have been told how good they are and Quiet too but you are the first to confirm through practical use so thanks for that. There is a local well known tool shop in Cardiff who sells them but are out of stock until mid Nov. So look for me in the Divorce column, they are £1,600. Replacement cutters are £70 for a full set and the cheeky sod said at my age, he doubts weather I will need a second set (Joke). yes you are right, the maths stacks up. 1 of the 4 sides will last as last 10-15 times as long as HSS and there are as you say 4 sides instead of 2. No brainier, SOLD. May the woody gods be with you and thanks again Iggy.

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