Best Wood Planer: DeWalt 734 vs. 735 (Which One Is Better at Smoothing Wood?)
All woodworkers know that wood planers help to achieve the perfect width on any piece of wood and a beautiful smooth finish for any project.
Not only that, but wood planers can save you money since you don’t have to buy pre-surfaced wood.
Whether you’re making a table, bookshelf or a new chair, you’ll find that benchtop surface planers will be one of your new favorite tools.
This guide will help you find the best wood planer for your specific needs and the needs of your workshop. I put the DeWalt 734 and 735 to the test to find out which wood planer is the best of the best.
You’ll read all about the similarities, the differences, alternative options, as well as read a lot of the answers to some of the most commonly asked questions about these tools.
If you’re looking for a small, inexpensive wood planer with a ton of features, look no further than these DeWalt options.
Overall, I have to give credit where credit is due and name the DeWalt 735 our top pick. Though the DW734 is less expensive and more portable, the DW735 has plenty of features that easily beat out its predecessor:
- Powerful 15 amp, 20,000 RPM Motor
- Three-Knife Cutter Head
- 10,000 rpm Cutter-Head Speed
- Two-Speed Gear Box
- 19-3/4 in. Cast Aluminum Base
- Automatic Carriage Lock
- Material Removal Gauge
- Extra Large, Turret Depth Stop
Similarities and Differences
- 15 amp 20,000 rpm motor
- 10,000 rpm cutting head
- State of the art Material Removal Guage
- 3 knife cutter head
- DeWalt 3 year limited warranty and 1 free service
- The 735 is significantly heavier at 92 lbs.
- The 734 is only 80 lbs.
- The 734 has handles for easy portability, the 735 does not
- The 734 has a dust hood for other attachable accessories
- The 735 has a dust blower instead of a hood
- The 735 offers an extra-wide depth adjustment wheel for easy depth changes
Feed Speed: 24 ft. per minute
Width Capacity: 12-1/2" (32 cm)
Cuts Per Inch: 96
Outfeed Table Length: 33-1/2" (85 cm)
Feed Speed: 26 ft. per minute
Width Capacity: 13" (33 cm)
Cuts Per Inch: 96 or 179
Outfeed Table Length: 19-3/4" (50 cm)
Things the DeWalt 734 and 735 Have in Common
When it comes to the things that the DeWalt 734 and 735 have in common, there isn’t much besides the brand they both share. Since there aren’t a lot of similarities, I wanted to break down for you exactly what each product has to offer.
Hopefully, this will give you a better idea of which wood planer will work best for you.
Both machines are capable of 10,000 cutting actions per minute, combined with 3 disposable blades that means up to 30,000 rpm in sheer cutting ability.
Both machines also offer two speeds, a dimensioning speed to remove a lot of material quickly and bring a board down to size, and a finishing speed to smooth and polish a board without taking off too much material.
Disposable Replaceable Knives
All three knives are reversible and disposable in both models. The knives are also a bit longer than other disposable knives, coming in at around 12 ½ inches long.
Speaking of the knives, the blades can be quickly changed, and you don’t have to waste time sharpening blades since they’re disposable.
The Dewalt 734 can work on several different types of wood. This is thanks, in part, to the adjustable thickness and feed tables.
The feed tables easily fold up so that they won’t take up as much space when you’re not using them. They’re also able to support another 33 ½ inches of material when they’re in the folded position.
When it comes to wood, the DW734 can take pieces of lumber that are up to 6 inches deep and 12 ½ inches wide. You can adjust cuts from zero to ⅛ of an inch.
Both planers are suitable for almost all wood types, from the softest pine to the sturdiest hardwood. You can even safely plane and use tricky burl wood and other beautiful but difficult textures of hardwood.
Cord Winding System
The cord winding system on both machines makes it easy to keep messy power cords out of your way, or if you need to pack it up to travel with it. This is a great feature if you leave the planer set up in your garage.
That way you don’t have to worry about yourself, or children tripping on the cord. It’s also an important feature for professional workshops to avoid unnecessary safety hazards, especially if you mount your planer on a mobile table for easy maneuverability.
For another mobility option, you can also get a DeWalt cart to use as a stand for the DW734 wood planer. The cart makes it even easier to move. It also keeps it sturdy when in use, giving you more control overall.
This is a great wood planer, but let’s talk a bit about the model DeWalt made after it.
Overall, these two machines are fairly similar. With that being said, let’s talk about what sets them apart. I’ve done in-depth research on each of these features, so you’ll have an easier time choosing which wood planer is the right machine for you.
When you’re comparing power tools, the overall performance of the tool is the most important consideration. The whole point of buying a power tool is to help you get the job done and give you more flexibility in the workshop.
Both of these DeWalt planers have 120 vac, 15 amp motors that are incredibly powerful. Both motors are also belt driven and provide consistent long-term performance you can count on.
Each planer can take lumber that’s up to six inches thick. The main difference is that the DW735 can take on wider stock. The DeWalt 734 has a feed rate of 24 feet per minute, whereas the 735 can take up to 26 feet per minute.
If you have a lot of stock you’re tackling, or you have lumber that is a bit larger, you may want to keep your eyes on the DW735.
The DeWalt 735 is significantly heavier than the 734. While both machines take advantage of their weight to reduce vibration and snipe, leading to better overall consistency, the extra weight of the 735 ultimately doesn’t make much direct performance difference.
Where extra weight does matter is in ease of transport to worksites and even across the workshop. At 92 lbs the 735 is pretty bulky to try and lug around.
For that reason, the 734 comes out in top over our winner in this category. If you need to transport your planer regularly, it may be worth losing some of the other features of the 735 for an easier time re-locating the machine.
When buying a planer, you’ll notice that often a cheaper item will come with a lot fewer features than expensive competitors.
These two DeWalt products to have a hefty price difference between them, though that doesn’t mean the cheaper option is a worse product.
In this case, you get what you pay for. The 735’s dust blower, easy depth adjustment wheel, and auto carriage lock are worth paying a little more. While a workshop on a budget will be well served by the 734, our top pick in this category is the 735.
Another difference that it’s important to look at is durability. You need to know that you’re getting what you paid for, and power tools should last for years of regular use.
The DW734 is much smaller than the DW735. The 735 is heavier and has an aluminum base that the 734 model doesn’t.
Since planing is a job that requires a lot of speed, you also want to make sure the machine you get doesn’t have a lot of vibration.
In addition to impacting the quality of the finished wood, excessive vibration also contributes to the wear and tear on every component of your machine.
Since the 735 has less vibration, courtesy of its weight and cast aluminum base, it’ll outlast the 734 (although both have long functional lives), making the 735 the winner for this category.
Planing is about more than just creating a smooth finish, you also have to be able to get exactly the width of wood you need to create a high-quality finished product. Since you have so many different widths of wood you need from day to day, depth adjustment is a critical feature.
The oversized depth adjustment wheel makes those detail depth adjustments a breeze. It easily beats out the adjustment bar on the 734 as well as the majority of the competition for ease of use, making the 735 the clear winner of this category.
The 735 also has one major feature advantage over the 734, a dust blower that will reduce the sawdust and chips that pile up as you plane a board.
This dust blower can be hooked up to a collection bin or a hose to help prevent the blower from scattering debris everywhere, which is the main flaw in the dust blower design, but that’s still a significant improvement over the 734’s simple dust hood.
In addition to having an easier depth adjustment, the 735 gives you just a little more flexibility in terms of the width of the wood you’re working with.
While it’s only half an inch, the 734 is compatible with wood up to 12.5 inches in width vs the 735’s 13 inches, that half an inch difference is huge when it comes to getting the right dimensions for a project.
It’ll save you time, money, and effort in the long run, making the 735 the clear choice for this category as well.
Sometimes you may read reviews about amazing power tools, but ultimately decide that neither will work for you.
That’s perfectly okay and is precisely why I wanted to add a section that had a few of the alternatives if the DeWalt options didn’t quite tick all your boxes.
1. DeWalt 735x – The Obvious Alternative Review
I think the obvious alternative to the DW734 and DW735 is the popular DW735x.
It has a top speed that is double of the two previous options, topping out at 20,000 revolutions per minute.
The knives are also ⅓ of the length longer than that of the DW735.
It still has a lot of the amazing features that the 735 planer has. It can cut either 96 or 179 times per square inch of wood. There is also a fan-assisted chip ejection vacuum that makes for easy cleanup. You can buy it alone, with a stand or with replacement knives.
It may be important to note that it is a bit heavier than the previous options, weighing in at 105 pounds.
2. WEN 6550T – The Inexpensive Alternative Review
Though no power tool is truly inexpensive, the WEN 6550T 15 Amp 12.5 in. Corded Benchtop Thickness Planer is an amazing product for the price.
As you can tell by the name, just like the DW734, it has a powerful 15 amp motor and a 12 ½ inch blade.
There is a built-in fan-assisted dust port that keeps your work area free from dust and debris while you’re working.
This feature also makes clean up a breeze. Believe it or not, this cheaper option has a higher speed, maxing out at 17,000 revolutions per minute.
It can plane boards that are six inches thick and 12 ½ inches wide. This machine has a 26 feet per minute feed rate, which is faster than the DeWalt 734 option you read about earlier.
It’s also easier to carry as it weighs just 70 pounds. This makes a solid alternative to both DeWalt options if you’re going to be traveling with a planer often.
Overall, it has a lot of the same, if not better features that the DeWalt 734 model. It will cost you between $100 to $200 less than a DeWalt product if you purchase on Amazon, but may not have the same warranty and service options.
WEN 12.5-Inch Thickness Planer with Granite Table:
I wanted to cover a handful of the most commonly asked questions about both wood planer machines. Since you’re reading about two different products, I wanted to give you questions about both, just in case you’re partial to one planer over the other.
Dewalt 734 Frequently Asked Questions
Will both sides be parallel on this machine?
Most likely, yes. If the head is parallel to the bottom, you’ll have nothing to worry about. It may take a few more passes with the machine to ensure that both sides are parallel. You can make sure they’re parallel by planing smaller cuts.
If you use cuts that are too large, they’ll more likely be uneven, or take more passes through to become parallel. Either way, this machine has enough power to easily plane both sides the same.
Dewalt DW734 Unboxing and Initial Thoughts:
Does it make a difference which side I feed lumber into?
Yes, actually. It’s important to be sure to feed on the correct side. When you do this, make sure the blade isn’t extremely low and your machine will work well for years! It’s also good to know that the bigger the cut, the more snipe you will get.
Is it easy to travel with?
Overall, I’d say yes. You’ll likely need a helping hand when it comes to carrying it due to the 80-pound weight, but it has convenient handles and it doesn’t take up too much space in a vehicle.
DeWalt 735 Frequently Asked Questions
What is the DeWalt 735 used for?
The DeWalt 735 is a popular planer. A planer is used to cut lumber into a specific thickness. At the same time, the machine will create a parallel surface, which you read about above.
Some projects may require a planer and a jointer, so be sure to have both, or know which one you’ll need!
You can use this machine to build furniture, smooth out wood for hardwood floors and more! There are plenty of projects that you can use a planner for, and the DW735 is a great pick!
How to Use a Surface Planer. Woodworking:
Can I use the DeWalt 735 if I have a workbench?
Absolutely! You do want to be sure that there is plenty of room available on both sides to run lumber through the planer. You also want to make sure that it can hold the additional 92 pounds the DW735 weighs.
In the end, it’s up to you which machine you choose. There are things that play a part in the decision-making process such as the price or features. Both of these wood planers create a smooth finish and save you money in the long run.
Dewalt is a trusted name in the industry and provides their customers with a ton of great warranty and service options if you buy their product. They make durable, high-quality machines that are designed to get the job done.
If you’re looking for a less expensive option, the DW734 more be the machine you choose. It’s great for the home hobbyist or someone who’s just starting to use wood planers. It does the job it’s made to do, without you having to spend a ton of money.
On the other end of things, you have the option to buy the DW735. This is another great machine that is perfect for sanding hardwood floors. It gives you a smooth finish, more control and is a bit more durable than the DW735.
If you’re looking for a wood planer for more professional jobs, you may want to go with this more expensive option.
Both of these DeWalt machines are great picks and either would be an amazing addition to your power tool collection. Hopefully, now you have a better idea of which one you’d like to buy.
If not, take another look at the alternatives section that shows a variety of other wood planers on the market.