Ridgid TP1300 13" planer review
by Buddy Catoe


Manufacturer: Emerson Tool Company a subsidiary of Emerson Electric

Features:

The elevation handwheel is on the right side not the top like most of the others. On the handwheel there are indicator marks that show how much the cutterhead moves as you turn it. The lever that controls cutterhead lock is just above the elevation handwheel and is quite easy to use. Under the elevation handwheel is the depth stop control lever. The depth stop has eight settings that go from 1/8" to 1 3/4" and is quite accurate but can be adjusted if necessary.

On the left side there is a small tool compartment that holds the tools needed to change the knives and instructions for knife changing are printed inside the door. Also on the left side is a place to wrap the cord when not in use.

On the front (infeed) side of the planer there is a material removal gauge similar to the one on the DeWalt. To the right side on the front is the elevation scale. The plastic piece that has the indicator mark on it also magnifies the numbers making the scale easy to read.

On the back (outfeed) side is the cover to access the cutterhead. This cover is held in place with two knobs so no tools are needed to remove it. When this cover is removed the cutterhead lock engages. The knives are the double edge disposable type and on ends of each knife there is a recess that positions the knife in the cutterhead so no adjustment is necessary. An extra set of knives comes with the planer and is stored under outfeed table in a plastic case.

On the top of the planer on each side are the handles to carry the machine. They are placed well and are comfortable but the planer is quite heavy (82 lbs.) so it's not very portable. The center portion of the top is flat and is convenient for passing boards back over the planer and can be removed for easier access to the cutterhead when changing knives. On the left side of this flat area is a 6" ruler that can be used for measuring the thickness of your board.

The infeed and outfeed tables are quite large (almost 36" long). They are chrome plated steel and can be raised up against the planer when not in use. The planer bed is covered with a sheet of stainless steel and there are no rollers.

Operation:

The controls are convenient and easy to use and the scales are easy to read. I recently ran 100 bf. of 8' long red oak boards that ranged from 4" to 10" wide through the planer. The 15 amp motor has plenty of power and seems to be a little quieter than most universal motors I have heard. I couldn't tell any difference in the feed rate between the narrow and wide boards. The boards were smooth and very little sanding will be needed. The only snipe I saw was on two boards that I didn't support properly on the infeed side. The tables are long but long boards still need extra support to be snipe free, as would be the case with other planers. When I did my part the planer did what it was supposed to without any problems. I didn't think I would use it but I found that the material removal gauge is a handy feature. The depth stop makes repeatability quite easy. I like that it has several settings not just two or three.

Summary:

Although some of the features may seem to be minor things they all add up to make the planer easy to use. I think Emerson has come up with a well planned design. They have taken some good ideas from other machines, added some of their own and have come up with good easy to use machine.


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© 2003 by Ellis Walentine by special arrangement with Wayne Miller of Badger Pond. All rights reserved.
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