Clark Hitachi vs. Regular Hitachi

The Clark Foam modified Hitachi Planer is like $350 brand new. For sale at a local hardware store they have the same planer model (not the clark foam model of course) and I can get it for a little over $100. So whats the big diff? Is it really worth the money for the modified?

This is just my opinion so…

If you are not doing production shaping of 100’s boards/mo or

so, you don’t need to spend so much. You can buy the exhaust

for the Hitachi from FoamEZ and install it yourself. If you need to

make cuts from max depth to least depth on a single pass or on multiple

passes, the unlimited adjustment is nice on the modifed but I don’t find

I need it. A little twisting of the wrist slows ya down a little, thats all.

The Hitachi bearings are guarenteed so once they burn out,

send the planer in and you get another set free. The third set you should

pay for yourself and get a sealed set. If you go with a new unmodified Hitachi,

you save almost the amount of a good spiral carbide bit.

I have tried to attach a couple of pics to help you see where

I’m coming from.

Pic 1: three unmodified planers, the cheap Black & Decker for skinning old

clark blanks that are extra crusty & fixing an occasional door that won’t close

(gotta keep the wife happy),a new unmodifed Hitachi with a spiral bit, a new

Skill 100 7.5A long bed getting a modifed vac shute for long passes on a longboard.

Pic 2: in the background my working set-up for semi-production; the Skil 100,

Hitachi with spiral bit, Hitachi with exhaust shute and stock bearings.

I hope this helps,


I have both. I have to say the Clark foam version is awsome just because it makes for quick deapth adjusments. If you could get one and put a shapers barrel in it. That way you dont have to worry about changing the blade. Those blades last forever. However those two are a deadly duo speaking in terms of your wallet. Buying those two will set you back a few quid. I use the regular p20sb with carbide blades for skinning and the other for shaping.

Thanks for the info guys, because I really had no idea. Right now I use a hand-me-down Ryobi dual blade. It works okay I guess, but really all I used the electric planer for is to skin the board, and take some off the rails a bit is all. Rest I do by hand. So as of right now, I have a little money to throw at upgrading some stuff and I’m looking at my best options. Thanks again!


Remember one thing homeboy…“A poor man can afford cheap tools”…Remember that

remember cheap tools almost always require a second purchase of a good tool to replace the dam cheap one that broke.