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How to Fix DEWALT Planer Problems

A collage of planer and its parts.

DEWALT is a trusted name in power tools, but even reliable tolls can cause periodic problems. The DEWALT planer is a prime example; it works well and is a reliable tool, but when you are faced with some anomalies, you need to know what to do to get the machine running again.

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The following are the most common problems experienced with DEWALT planers, but most can be fixed with DIY solutions:

  1. Circuit breaker on the planer trips
  2. DEWALT planer won’t run
  3. The planer won’t feed properly
  4. The DEWALT planer doesn’t eject wood chips
  5. The planer cutting head does not spin

1. DEWALT Planer Trips the Circuit Breaker

A man fixing the blade of a planer.

DEWALT planers have a built-in circuit breaker or reset switch designed to protect the planer from a circuit overload.

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The cause of the trip may be due to the overloading of the planer or a faulty circuit breaker. Over time, the circuit breaker can wear and may trip continuously or may not be able to reset.

A faulty circuit breaker in the DEWALT planer may prevent the machine from starting up, or it may trip when the wood is fed into the machine, increasing the power demand.

Solution 1: Check for Dull Blades

Dull blades on your DEWALT planer can cause the motor to draw a lot of power trying to plane the wood as it is fed through. The blades are double-edged, which means the blades can be removed and reversed in the machine to access the second, sharp edge of the blade.

Replace or reverse the planer blades. The process of reversing the blades and replacing the blades is the same.

  1. Unplug the planer from the power source.
  2. Remove the dust shroud on the planer.
  3. Remove the blade cover using the Torx wrench that comes with the planer.
  4. Use the supplied Torx wrench to loosen the 7 Torx screw holding the blade in place.
  5. Use the magnets on the back of the DEWALT Torx wrench handle to lift the blade cover out of the planer.
  6. Remove the blade from the planer using the magnets on the back of the Torx wrench to prevent cutting yourself.
  7. A new blade can now be fitted, or the old blade can be reversed to use the opposite, sharp edge.
  8. Replace the cover and refit the 7 screws to secure the cover in place.
  9. Rotate the blade drum to reveal the next blade and repeat the process for each blade in the planer.
  10. Replace the dust shroud.

Solution 2: Reduce the Depth of the Cut

Setting the cut depth too low can cause overload the motor, causing it to draw too much current, which will trip the circuit breaker.

The lever on the planer that raises and lowers the cutter head controls the depth of the cut. Adjust the depth cut lever to reduce the depth of the cut to make the cut depth less aggressive.

Solution 3: Reduce the Feed Rate

Setting the material feed speed too fast can cause the motor to overload and trip the circuit breaker. Reduce the feed speed to the slower setting of 14 feet per minute or the number 1 position on the lever. The faster setting on number 2 feeds the board at 26 feet per minute.

Solution 4: Replace the Circuit Breaker on the Planer

The circuit breaker on DEWALT planers wears out over time and must be replaced from time to time. The circuit breaker can be replaced as a DIY project once you have purchased the replacement circuit breaker.

  1. Unplug the DEWALT planer from the power source.
  2. Use the Torx wrench to remove the screws for the top cover of the planer.
  3. Lift the top cover off the planer. This exposes the 3 screws that hold the front cover in place.
  4. Remove the screws holding the material removal gauge in place on the front of the planer, and remove the gauge.
  5. Remove the screw behind the material removal gauge.
  6. Use a hex wrench to remove the 2 screws holding the front cover of the planer in place.
  7. Remove the feed rate lever using a hex wrench.
  8. Using a pair of pliers, remove the retaining nut holding the circuit breaker in place.
  9. Remove the front cover of the planer to expose the wiring to enable the removal of the old circuit breaker.
  10. Remove the wires from the old breaker taking note of which wire goes on the line side (from the power source) and the load side (from the power switch on the planer).
  11. Plug the wires in the correct orientation on the replacement circuit breaker.
  12. Place the new circuit breaker back in the housing and secure it with the locking nut.
  13. Reverse the disassembly process to finalize the repair.

2. DEWALT Planer Won’t Run

An old man smoothing the a lumber using a planer.

If you try and engage the power switch on your DEWALT planer and the machine won’t run, several possible issues could be causing the problem.

The following solutions can be checked to investigate why the DEWALT planer won’t run.

Solution 1: Check the Planer Is Connected to a Power Source

One of the most frequent causes for the DEWALT planer not to run is neglecting to plug the machine into an electrical outlet, and the power switch on the outlet is turned on.

Check the planer is plugged into a power outlet and the power is turned on.

Solution 2: Ensure the Dust Shroud Is Securely in Place

When the dust shroud is properly in place, it engages a safety switch that allows the planer to run. If the dust shroud is not in place securely, the switch will not engage, and the planer will not run.

The safety switch on the dust shroud could be a potential source for the planer not running if you have recently performed maintenance on the machine, which required the shroud removal.

Ensure the dust shroud is properly seated and the securing screws on either side and in the middle at the bottom of the shroud are securely snugged up. The properly seated shroud will re-engage the safety switch and allow the thickness planer to run.

Solution 3: Check the Planer Circuit Breaker

The planer may have experienced an overload if the cut is too deep or the material is fed too quickly into the machine.

Press the circuit breaker on the planer to reset the switch and restore power to the machine.

3. DEWALT Planer Won’t Feed Properly

A man with gloves smoothing a lumber.

The DEWALT planer has feed rollers that pull the wood through the planer and keep the board pushed flat against the planer bed.

Several problems can occur, which will cause the feed rollers to stutter when pulling the wood through the planer, or they will slip and not pull the wood through at all.

Solution 1: The Air Temperature Is Too Cold for the Feed Rollers

If your workshop is cold and you are planing wood in winter, you may find the feed rollers spinning on the wood, leaving black marks, and not feeding the wood through the machine properly.

The rubber feed rollers harden in temperatures below 50°F or 10°C, reducing their friction coefficient or gripping capacity on the surface of the wood.

Place a space heater in front of the DEWALT planer and let it heat the air temperature around the machine for 10 to 15 minutes to soften the feed rollers.

This method should resolve the feeding issue and allow the wood to feed smoothly and evenly through the machine.

Solution 2: Clean the Planer Feed Rollers

A large planer and wooden chips.

Dust and debris can accumulate on the surface of the feed rollers, reducing their ability to pull the material through the planer.

One of the best methods to clean the planer rollers is to use a sanding eraser which will clean dust and debris from the surface of the rubber feed rollers.

  1. Unplug the DEWALT planer from the wall outlet
  2. Run the sanding erase along the exposed side of the feed roller.
  3. Plug the planer in, turn the machine on for a second, and switch it off again. This action rotates the roller to expose a new part of the surface.
  4. Unplug the planer from the power outlet.
  5. Clean the newly exposed surface of the roller with the sanding eraser.
  6. Repeat the process until the roller is clean.

Solution 3: Clean and Wax the DEWALT Planer Bed

A dirty planer bed can restrict the movement of the wood through the machine. Resin from wood such as pine can also cause the material to stick to the planer bed as it moves through the machine.

Clean the surface of the planer bed with mineral spirits to remove any wood resin. Spread paste wax on the planer bed with a soft cloth. Allow it to dry for a few minutes, and buff the wax off with a clean cloth.

This process cleans the planer bed and allows the wood to move smoothly across the surface, preventing jams and hesitation in feeding the material through the planer.

4. DEWALT Planer Doesn’t Eject Woodchips From the Ejection Port

A large planer on a wooden plank.

Your DEWALT planer may stop ejecting wood chips and dust from the rear ejection port where your shop vac connects.

This issue can cause a build-up of debris inside the machine, which can dull the blades and affect the planing accuracy.

Solution 1: Ensure the Dust Shroud Is Fitted Properly

An improperly fitted dust shroud can impair the ejection of debris from the planer. Check the dust shroud is seated properly and that the securing screws are snugged down correctly.

Solution 2: Replace the Extractor Fan

The extractor fan turns with the planer motor and blows the dust and wood chips out of the ejection port at the back of the planer. The blades on the fan can be damaged by a particularly large piece of wood or a knot in the wood that becomes displaced and moves through the chip extractor.

You will notice a reduction in the efficiency of the planer in expelling wood chips from the ejection port. You can order a replacement fan for your planer and replace the fan yourself.

Follow these steps to replace the extractor fan in your DEWALT planer.

  1. Remove the top cover. Use the wrench that came with the planer to remove the screws on the top cover and remove the cover from the machine.
  2. Remove the dust shroud. The dust shroud is held in place by 3 red knobs, which can be removed by hand to extract the shroud.
  3. Open the blower housing. Use the wrench supplied with the planer to unscrew the retaining screws on the blower housing. Use your fingers to unclip the 3 spring clips holding the housing cover in place. Remove the fan housing.
  4. Remove the fan. Use a long screwdriver between the fan blades to lock it in place and a socket wrench to loosen the nut holding the fan on the motor shaft. The fan will slide easily off the motor shaft.
  5. Install the new fan. Slide the new fan onto the shaft, aligning the fan on the keyed shaft. Replace the washer and nut and tighten the nut with the socket wrench. Do not overtighten the nut.
  6. Replace the fan housing. Reposition the fan housing and snap the clips back into place. Fit the screws and tighten them with the wrench.
  7. Re-install the dust shroud. Re-positon the dust shroud in the planer with the fan housing with the “open” marking, push the shroud into the fan housing and rotate it downward into position. Replace the retaining knobs to hold the dust shroud in place.
  8. Re-install the planer top cover. Place the top cover back in position on the planer and secure it in place with the screws.

5. DEWALT Planer Cutting Head Doesn’t Spin

Wood chips and a planer blade.

The cutting head on a DEWALT planer is driven by a belt connected via pulleys to the motor spindle. If your planer switches on and you can hear the motor running, but the planer blades or cutting head does not spin, the planer will not work.

Solution

The drive belt connecting the cutting head to the planer motor is made from a neoprene rubber material which can become damaged, wear over time and snap. If the belt is worn, it can slip on the pulleys, preventing the cutting head from rotating.

If the blade breaks completely, the cutting head will not rotate, even if the motor is running. You can obtain a replacement belt from DEWALT and replace the belt yourself by following these steps.

  1. Remove the height adjuster hand wheel from the planer, secured with a single screw to the shaft.
  2. Remove the side cover to expose the drive belt and pulley system.
  3. Take off the small cover over the upper pulley.
  4. Removing the single screw holding it in place removes the chain tensioner.
  5. Use a hex wrench to remove one of the sprockets and the chain that drives the feed rollers.
  6. Use a socket wrench to remove the nut holding the cutting head pulley to the shaft.
  7. A gear puller is the best tool to remove the pulley from the shaft if the old belt is still in place.
  8. Remove the belt from the upper pulley and extract it from the planer.
  9. Install the new belt on the upper pulley first.
  10. Place the cutter head pulley in the belt, and align the key on the shaft with the key slot in the pulley.
  11. Use a center punch in the divot on the shaft to lever the pulley into place on the shaft.
  12. Tap the pulley into place on the shaft using a rubber mallet.
  13. Replace the securing nut on the cutting head pulley.
  14. Re-install the chain, sprocket, and chain tensioner.
  15. Replace the covers and the height adjuster hand wheel.

Resources

POWERTEC 71002-P2 Abrasive Cleaning Stick for Sanding Belts & Discs | Natural Rubber Eraser - Woodworking Shop Tools for Sanding Perfection, 2PK

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