Author Topic: CUTECH 13 inch Carbide Spiral Planer Review  (Read 3616 times)

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Offline UncleJoe

  • Posts: 133
CUTECH 13 inch Carbide Spiral Planer Review
« on: September 14, 2017, 09:13 AM »
Well, thanks to all the accuracy using Festool tools have introduced to my woodworking hobby I was able to begin making really great cabinets and redo my wife’s kitchen. My projects have continuously improved and now my skill set is such that I am making things that I am very proud of and my friends and family are amazed at the quality.

It was time for me to progress from cabinet work to fine furniture and that meant working with hardwoods more than plywood and buying my wood from a hardwood dealer and not Lowes or Home Depot.  So it was time to finally add a Planer.

I only have 110 voltage in my shop and the cost to add 220 is not bad but I will be moving in a few years to my retirement home and a new shop so I really don’t want to spend too much on my existing house and shop since it is already valued at the top price in my neighborhood so any money I put into it I will probably not get back, also there is a space issue. So while I would like to have purchased a nice heavy 220 volt 15 inch spiral head planer with 3 hp it just does not make sense for me at this point.

So my plan was to find a planer that I can use for 2-3 years then when I have my big shop I will upgrade. Things I wanted were:
•   Decent dust control, ( I only have a shop vac and Dust Right separator, which is fantastic, in my current shop)
•   Carbide blades
•   Spiral cutter head
•   13 inch capacity
•   Heavy duty Screw Posts
•   4 Heavy Duty Guide Posts.

After looking around it seemed everyone pointed to the Dewalt. With a spiral head addition the total comes in somewhere around $1000 maybe more, depending on what deals you can find.  Just before I pulled the trigger I stumbled upon a CUTECH planer.

There is not a lot out there on the internet about this company. They are rather new but according to some things I read on the web the principles of the company have been in the planer game for a long time. Some have said that Cutech planers are made by the same factory that makes the Ridgid planer and others. I have no knowledge of whether that is true but the machines look identical.
Cutech offers 7 spiral cutterhead models. I decided to take a chance and I went with their top model the 40200HC-CT which has carbide cutters. A 13” spiral cutterhead planer with carbide cutters for $649.99

I could not be happier with this purchase. I ran 50 board feet of 4/4 black walnut through to size it to ¾”. Not one board had snipe. Not one. The finish was spectacular.

There are 26,  2 sided carbide tips on the cutterhead. Cutech sells replacements bits as a set of 10 for $44.99. If you hit a nail and nick a bit you do not have to change all the bits just those with the nick.

I was pleasantly surprised with the amount of heavy cast parts in this machine. Everything seems very robust. Height adjustment and Anti Snipe lock work smoothly.

Customer service experience; in a perfect world we would never need customer service. However, I live in the real world and stuff happens. When I opened the box everything looked good. I cleaned the protective coating and assembled the machine. I noticed a gap in the top and simply pressed it back into place. I did not think anything of it. I then milled one piece of wood and went to put the machine away for the night and when I lifted it the gap returned so I figured something was wrong and decided to take a better look. At this point I saw that 2 of the guide posts had lifted about ¼ inch from the base. I lifted them some more and saw the threads on the guide post. I flipped the machine over and it appears that those two guide posts were missing their retaining nuts.

Hey, these things happen, so now it was a chance to find out just how good the customer service at this company is. I took some photos and emailed a description of what was going on to the company. I asked them to send me the two missing nuts so I could fix the planer. I sent the email on a Tuesday at 3:26 pm. By 3:38 pm I received an email from tech services that a replacement machine was being shipped and about 10 minutes later I got an email with a tracking number. The new machine arrived in 2 days if I remember correctly and was perfect.

I know that it should be right the first time but stuff happens. What is really important to me is that if something bad does happen, what does the vendor do about it. I don’t think it gets any better than this.

I also noted on their website that you can order all the replacement parts. It is nice to know they are available and what it cost.

The dust control on this planer was very good. It has a blower to help the chips exit the machine and I hooked up to the 2.5” port with a full 2.5” hose to my dust separator and was pleased with the result. The dust port has both a 2.5” opening and a 4”.

Some will want to argue that this is not a true helical head. Ok go for it. The bits are mounted in the cutter and spiral around the diameter of the cutter. No it is not a Byrd head but the entire machine cost about the same as a Byrd Shelix cutter.

So the bottom line is I took a chance on a relatively little known planer and I am very happy with my purchase. I will soon order their 8” bench top jointer which costs $449 for the carbide version.

Website for CUTECH; www.cutechtool.com

This worked well for me, it fits exactly what I need at this time. If your looking for a planer and your needs are similar to mine this gives you at least another shopping option.

Thanks for reading
Uncle Joe
I am not young enough to know everything!

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Offline Neal W

  • Posts: 112
Re: CUTECH 13 inch Carbide Spiral Planer Review
« Reply #1 on: September 14, 2017, 11:58 AM »
Thank you for sharing your experience.  I have been eyeballing both this and the Rikon for purchase next summer.  It is good to know someone has had a positive experience with it. 
Turning perfectly good lumber into scrap and sawdust for more than 20 years!