Introduction: How to Change the Blades in Your Planer

About: Husband to a great wife, father to my baby girl, and child of the one true king. 9-5er during the day and woodworker the rest of the time. Follow along as I offer tips, tricks, and woodworking plans. I star…

Is your planer shooting out boards that look like a beaver chewed on them? Today I’m going to show you how to change the blades in your planer. This is a pretty easy procedure that will save you tons of time in sanding. Let’s get started!

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Tools & Materials

Step 1: No Power!

I really hope this is common sense, but you absolutely need to unplug or cut off the breaker to your planer before starting to service it.

Also, this entire tutorial is covered in my YouTube video if that's more your speed!

Step 2: Remove Panels & Clean

Locate any panels necessary to gain access to the cutterhead and remove the screws holding it in place. You may have to refer to your owner's manual if your planer is substantially different than mine. (Mine is a 1994 20" Grizzly.)

Have your vacuum handy in the event you need to do a little clean up after removing the panels.

Step 3: Remove Dull Planer Blades

Grab your wrenches and loosen the bolts holding your blades in place. Once all of the bolts are loose, carefully remove the blade and set it aside. Be sure to note the orientation of the blade so that you can reinstall the new blades properly.

Just so you know, many blades can be resharpened for a fraction of the cost of new blades. I'm working on a tutorial that covers this process, so check back soon!

Step 4: Install New Planer Blades

If there is any significant dust in the slot that you removed the old blades from, clean it out before setting the new blades into the cutterhead.

Use the blade setting jig as shown to seat the blade to the proper depth in the cutterhead and then tighten down the bolts. I've found that tightening the bolts in an alternating fashion by working from the outside in helps to keep the blades level. Don't tighten down any one bolt all at once, but rather tighten down all of the bolts a little at a time. This is similar to how a tire should be secured to a car.

Once all of the bolts are tightened down firmly, try to rock the ends of the blade setting jig. If the ends rock then you need to loosen all of the bolts and start over setting the blade. If the jig doesn't rock, that means the blade is set to the proper height and you can move on to the next blade!

Repeat this process until all of the blades in the cutterhead have been replaced.

Step 5: Test Planer

Now you're finally ready to test out the new blades! Be sure to reinstall any panels and dust collection components that were removed at the beginning of this process.

I used a board that had been run through when the blades were dull. You can see there is significant tear out caused by the dull blades (2nd picture).

In the 3rd picture are the results with the fresh blades. What a huge difference! This board will now only need minimal sanding before being ready for finish.

As always, if you have any questions, (or if there's a tool maintenance topic you'd love for me to cover) I want to know so please leave them in the comments! And until next time, have fun making something!