Re: surface quality and big machines

James Heaston
Planer finish is kinda a moot point in the fact that you are going to be sanding the surface anyway. Of course there are exceptions to the rules. Like if the finish is really bad it'll take more sanding to get it right. Then again if you're getting a bad finish you need to be sharping knives and making adjustments, and if that doesn't work look for a replacement.

Spiralhead cutters, especially those that shear cut, have 3 advantages in wood.
1 - less tear out in cross grain
2 - way less tear out in figured grain wood
3 - better at planning thin wood

They are quieter, but they take more power to run. About an nincompoop can change the blades it's so easy.

I apologize Barry for hijacking your thread, but you seem to be a serious woodworker and I believe serious woodworkers need serious tools especially key tools such as the jointer and planer. I've sold lunchbox style planers, but can't say I've ever seen one used. As for their limitations I see them as problems. However they are a Godsend to those with limited funds, limited space, and need the portability for a job site.

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