If you have a big home-improvement task coming up, or if you do a lot of home projects, it’s a good idea to not do everything by hand. Better to use all of the modern tools at our disposal. One of the more useful of said tools is a planer, which will help make sure that all of the wood you need to cut comes out completely even and at the exact size you needed.
If you’re looking at planers, it’s more than likely that you’ve come across the Dewalt DW734 planer. Dewalt is one of the most popular and well-known brands out there for home-improvement tools, and the DW734 is one of their most prominent planers. If you’re considering the DW734, but you’re not sure if it’s the right planer for you, don’t worry. We’ve got you covered with our comprehensive Dewalt DW734 review.
What’s So Good about the Dewalt DW734?
Let’s find out what all the hype is about. Dewalt has been in the hardware business since 1924, and they’ve built quite a reputation for themselves. They’ve become known for producing powerful, easy-to-use, and affordable tools. The Dewalt DW734 benchtop thickness planer certainly looks to fit that bill. Let’s learn more about this thickness planer and learn why it’s so popular. In this section of our review, we’ll list the main important features of the Dewalt DW734.
Important Feature #1: Intuitive and Precise Design
Especially if you’re newer to woodworking, you’ll want a thickness planer that’s easy to use and that’s exact. Even if you’re a pro just looking for a new planer, it never hurts to have something that makes your job a little easier. And in that regard, the Dewalt DW734 benchtop thickness planer delivers in spades.
Everything is clearly labeled on this Dewalt planer. The planer is designed so that you get a consistent and precise cur on your wood every single time. The DW734 has a scale on the side that will accurately tell you exactly what thickness you’re aiming for, and there’s a gauge that will make sure that the planer locks after a certain thickness. This means that you’ll know exactly what you’ll get in the end, and the locking gauge will help you keep every piece of wood smooth and consistent.
This thickness planer also comes with extra-long infeed and outfeed tables that will make sure that there’s no sniping on your wood. For the uninitiated, sniping is when there’s a clear difference in the thickness of one part of a piece of wood compared to the rest of the plank. Plus, this planer has a four-column carriage lock that drastically reduces movement and also helps to lower snipe.
The power switch to the machine is also on the front for quick and easy access (don’t worry – there’s a child lock) so you won’t have to fumble around looking for it, and you can reach it quickly in case of an emergency. If you’re looking for a planer that’s easy to use but also doesn’t come with the flaws of most products geared at beginners, the Dewalt DW734 is just what you’re looking for.
Important Feature #2: Disposable and Reversible Knives
We want a planer that will last, and this Dewalt benchtop thickness planer will definitely do just that. Besides coming with all of the standard warranties, and a 90-day money-back guarantee, the Dewalt DW734 player comes equipped with a three-knife cutter head that runs at 10,000 RPM and provides 96 cuts per inch. And just to add even more to the value of this machine, they last long, and they’re easy to replace. The knives of this planer deliver 30,000 cuts per minute, are reversible, and should last you about two years. And when you’re done with them, they’re simple and easy to replace. On top of the great performance this planer provides, you’re walking away with a low-maintenance machine that will last you years.
Important Feature #3: Dust Collection System
If you’re a pro woodworker, you know how messy a job it can be, and if you’re new to woodworking you won’t exactly have trouble imagining it. If you hate cleaning up as much as I do, you’ll love the dust collection system that the Dewalt DW734 offers. This system keeps all of the dust and debris from your work neatly in one spot so you can get rid of it quickly and without causing a bigger mess. It even comes equipped with a useful dust hood that lets you attach a vacuum to it, so all of your cleanups will be taken care of while you’re working. This Dewalt benchtop thickness planer will keep your workshop as clean as it was on day one, and the dust collection system will save you a lot of time on clean up.
The Pros and Cons
This is an honest review, and I don’t make commission. We’re here to make sure you have the full picture, and the Devalt DW734 isn’t perfect. Here’s a quick breakdown of the pros and cons so you know what you’re getting yourself into if you decide to purchase this Dewalt benchtop planer.
- The long infeed and outfeed tables reduce snipe and keep things stable.
- The planer is simple and accessible for beginners.
- Automatic locks make sure you always get a consistent cut.
- There are cheaper options.
- It’s a bit loud.
- It’s bigger than other personal-use planers.
How Do You Use It?
We’ve praised this Dewalt planer multiple times for being simple and accessible, and you’ll see that as soon as you turn it on. There’s really not that much to it. Simply set all of your dials and gauges, turn on the machine, and slide your wood through. You’ll have the exact cut you wanted in no time.
What Do the Reviews Say?
You don’t have to take our word for everything. We want you to see what the rest of the crowd thinks about the Dewalt DW734 so that you can feel privy to the full picture. In pursuit of that goal, this section of our Dewalt DW734 review will be dedicated to what other reviewers have said.
We’ll start things off with the Amazon customers. It was a pretty consistent stream of glowing reviews from our average Joe reviewer. Amazon customers loved the quality of the cut from this machine and loved how simple it is. One customer said the machine isn’t so loud, though other reviewers, both on Amazon and elsewhere, disagreed with this. The same reviewer pointed to the large size of the machine as a flaw. One reviewer on Amazon gave this machine a four-star rating and stated that the planer is “good but has limitations.” This leads us to the reviews from more official sources.
Updweller.com’s Dewalt DW734 review was overall incredibly positive. They praised the DW734 for the same things we did – its simple design, its high performance, and its convenient features like the long infeed tables and the dust collection system. They did point out that this benchtop planer is strictly for personal and recreational use. If you’re looking for something heavy-duty, you should go with a different planer. This is not a flaw so much as something important to keep in mind when making your purchase.
When asked if you should by this planer, Updweller responded the “the answer… is a resounding yes, depending on your circumstances.” They also pointed out that this planer falls into a mid-tier price range and stated, “For us, one of the biggest selling points of the DW734 is that it’s a semi-professional planer that still manages to be newcomer-friendly.” There are options out there that are cheaper by a substantial amount, but this is one of the best planers for its price, and as far as mid-tier planers go, it’s on the stronger end.
How Does It Compare?
Now that we know how the crowd feels about this planer, let’s see how it stacks up against some of the competition. We’re going to compare the DW734 to some of the most relevant planers so you can see the other options and make a more informed decision.
Dewalt DW734 vs Wen 6550T
We mentioned that there are cheaper options out there compared to the Dewalt DW734, and the Wen 6550T is one of them. If you want to save as much as possible on your new planer, you should definitely opt for the Wen 6550T, as it’s much cheaper than our Dewalt planer. Of course, you usually you get what you pay for, and it’s not without a reason that this planer is cheaper than the Dewalt option.
This Wen planer offers 17,000 cuts per minute compared to the 30,000 cuts per minute of the DW734, and it’s lacking some of those extra features like the longer infeed/outfeed tables. It does have a dust collector bin, but it doesn’t connect directly to a vacuum. The Wen 6550T is smaller than the Dewalt planer, and it has a collapsible design and conveniently placed handles that make it easier to move than most planers.
Overall, it’s a solid machine, and of course, it’s much cheaper than the DW734. If you’re just starting out and don’t want to commit to an expensive machine, you might be better off with the Wen planer. But if you’re more confident about your woodworking hobby, the DW734 is a stronger machine, and since it’s so simple, it could be great for introducing a friend or loved one to the world of woodworking.
Dewalt DW734 vs Dewalt DW735
Our next comparison is a Dewalt vs Dewalt family feud, and this one goes in the opposite direction of our last comparison. We’ve clarified that the DW734 is strictly for recreational use, and if you want something more heavy-duty, then Dewalt made the DW735 just for you.
This industrial-grade planer has two speeds, so you can either match the 96 cuts per inch speed of the 734 or kick things up a notch and reach a speed of 179 CPI. The 735 benchtop planer also has the same three-knife cutter head and the same amazing dust vacuum feature. The only feature that this planer is really missing compared to its little brother is the longer feeding tables. It’s also not quite as user-friendly, which points to the fact that this planer is for the pros.
That pretty much makes the decision for you. If you want a planer that’s accessible, simple, and good for your hobby pieces at home, then stick with the 734. If you want something heavy-duty that’s going to be part of your livelihood, the 735 is a much more viable option.
So, is the Dewalt DW734 worth buying? In a word: Yes. This planer offers a streamlined experience that will have anyone jumping in and becoming a professional woodworker in no time, and it packs a serious punch. This planer has basically all of the pros of an intermediate planer and of a beginner planer. The column carriage lock drastically reduces snipe, and the feeding tables reduce snipe even further. Everything locks into place so it’ll almost feel automatic, and the knives are durable and easy to replace. Finally, the dust collection vacuum will feel like a gift from heaven when you don’t have to clean up at all after a long session in the shop.
If you want something cheaper, the Wen 6550T is a great option, though it’s a bit weaker and not quite as accessible. If you want something stronger, you should splurge for the heavy-duty DW735. But the DW734 falls into the Goldilocks zone, and even though it’s a bit expensive, it’s great for beginners and some pros alike. If you’re already more experienced, it could be a great planer that’s good for your needs and appropriate to help a friend or loved one get started on.