Chicago Electric Planer

Has anyone every used this type of planer. I don’t have enough money to buy an expensive one and this one is only $40 but i was wondering if it was just a piece of crap.

This one Is actually a direct knock-off of the venerable hitachi which so many shapers know and love (in the Clark modified form, of course). You might give it a try. Cheaper, too.

I have seen these planers on sale at HF for as low as $29. Same thing with their sander/polisher.

I’ve got the $40 one. Had to wetsand the plate and fill in the groove with epoxy suncure. Worked better after I did that. I use it for outlnes. I like the fact that the exhaust chute is adjustable right or left. That’s why I use it for outlines. The $29 doesn’t have that feature.

The planer I like best is the $60 Black and Decker. It’s small and I can break the bands down really good with it. I’ve had several over the years. The last one I got has an improved adjustment knob.

I only shape balsa so I need to go as far as I can with the planer. That’s why I like a small planer. I’m not using a sureform at all so I’m going from electric planer to small hand planer for cleanup and then to sand paper.

Bill------------Balsa or foam; No one wants it in the face. I had thought about buying the Bosch just for that reason, but they are 4 times the money. I usually just take it in the face. Searched the Hitachi “knock-off” on HB’s site, but it didn’t come up. Lowel

Wow, I was just looking at the "hitachi"s on harbor freight yesterday, now it looks like they’re discontinued… Might have to check my local store on the way home. I’ve seen them on ebay in the past (different color), but I don’t know if they’d be the same high quality as harbor freight. :slight_smile:

Yeah. I hear 'ya.

Tried the Bosch several years ago. It was about $99 at the time.I didn’t like it. I went back to the Black and Decker pretty quickly, it doesn’t have the changeable chute though. That’s why I keep one of each around. Haven’t really gotten used to the HB yet so I wind up going back to the B&D to cut and break bands.


I did a little digging around online trying to find a retailer which still carried the chinese-made hitachi knockoff. My search led me to, where I had previously made some inquiries about other stuff. I found a ton of factories which are still making the china-tachi, but I also found something potentially even more interesting.

One of the planers which was prominently featured in the lineups of many of these suppliers was this one:

Which appears to be a direct knockoff of the Makita 1100:

It certainly appears to have some potential, I think I remember hearing about people shaping with the makita. It looks like a nice platform if a good depth adjustment could be arranged. Problem is, even with all these factories advertising this planer as available, I can’t find a single retailer online. If anyone knows of one, definitely let me know, I’d be happy to be the guinea pig. As far as buying the makita, for the cost I may as well get a skil 100 at that point.

I did put in some inquiries about price, minimum order quantity and samples, so I’ll see what comes up.

harborfreightplaner.jpg picture by tjrm63Going on 3 years with this one, took the spring out from under the knob and added this handle, they are on sale for $29.00

Hope this helps, Tom

Starting to get used to it.

I found someone selling one of these on the side of the road the other day,it was heavy.