Popular Woodworking 2005-02 № 146, страница 89
The Powermatic has a couple of very strong features, which is why we recommend this machine. The spiral-blade design sets up and indexes the blades accurately without frustrating and time-consuming jigs. The under-mounted motor makes accessing the spiral knives convenient. As a likely side effect of the spiral knives, the Powermatic is also quiet, and we found the least loss of rpm during cutting and very low amperage drop. We also liked and appreciated the addition of the digital-height readout and the mobile base. We were anticipating a better quality of cut than achieved. There was obvious sniping, even on the slow, locked-head pass, and the cut quality was generally average. While the convenience of not having to set the knives is important we also should note that the blades can't be sharpened and a set of replacement blades runs about $130. But, everything taken together, the benefits of the spiral blades and the added features make this an expensive, but quality machine - and our Editor's Choice.
800-274-6848 or powermatic.com
This is the least expensive planer in the test (at $599) and overall it performed pretty well. The Woodtek is very similar to a few of the other tested models, and while the open frame base is the most basic in the test, that certainly wasn't a problem. We saw good motor performance with actually the least amperage drop of any of the machines tested and the second best rpm variance. Noise and snipe tests proved average, though the head was slightly more than average out of parallel to the table. Although not shown, outfeed rollers are included. We did notice some oil dripping and flinging from the cutterhead when first running the machine, but after cleaning up the initial spatters we didn't see any further evidence of this situation. It also emitted a curious smell normally not found in a woodshop, but it certainly wasn't affecting the performance. The quality of cut overall was rated mixed by the staff, though sniping was well within the acceptable level. All in all, a good machine for the bargain hunter - and they even included ift handles to move the planer onto the stand once assembled.
800-645-9292 or woodworker.com
The Yorkcraft planer is another mixed bag in the test. The good side includes the under-mount motor design, offering easy blade access, a decent integral mobile base, very good head parallelism and negligible snipe. The Yorkcraft also offers a 30 feet-per-minute feed rate, rather than 20. This means faster rough planing, reducing time spent prepping the wood. The cut quality was rated good by the staff and the price is a reasonable $799. The motor performance was about average with OK amperage climb and rpm drop. The noise variance was tied for second lowest in the test, though the starting level was on the loud side. The height scale on the Yorkcraft is the only one not inset and affixed to the front right post. Though the readability and accuracy of the scale are good, it's hanging out there in the middle of space which makes it rather vulnerable to bending and knocks. The locked-off safety switch makes inadvertent starts impossible and we like the larger side-mounted hand wheel (73/4"). We noticed more vibration from the machine during operation, but that may be due to improperly aligned pulleys. In the end, the features, price and quality of cut make this our Best Value of the test.
800-235-2100 or wilkemach.com
Popular Woodworking February 2005