Essential Mods to Hitachi

Hi Everyone,

First off, awesome site with incredible info. You guys are great!

I have been searching the Archives for an answer to this question, but have turned up nada. 2 questions really.

Is the stock Hitachi you are all talking about the Model: P20SBK available from Lowes? Or is there an older one that has the depth of cutting feature I have been reading about?

Since the Clark ones are now a little pricey I want to make the mods myself. I am a beginning shaper who just needs to make essential mods for my first boards, nothing fancy. With that in mind what can I do myself to it for now? Thanks in advance!


If you are going to make a few boards, any bladed power planner is fine. Actually, the stock Hitachi is a pile. I was looking at one in Lowes the other day and it broke apart in my hands. The Clark modifications make the other wise humble Hitachi worth its salt for production work. The handle is relocated to the back in the style of the Skil 100 and the depth adjustment unhindged for easy turning. While other planers will work, you will want one that opens and closes the planer blade in a 1/3 rd of a turn or so. Some even turn more than 360 degrees, hence you are changing depth like unscrewing a bottle of Boone’s Farm strawberry hill.

The other one I have been looking at is the Bosch (as I am a fan of Bosch tools), any opinions on that one?

Actually, that is what I use. I have one of the old Swiss made planers that are out of production (if they find out its good to make surfboards they immediately stop making them). It cuts to about 1/8" and the depth adjustment is 1/3rd turn wide open to closed. The new ones you see at HomeDepot are ok at best. The lowest end one is just one cheezy step above the Hitachi. The one that sells for about $140 looks pretty good. “A Cheep tool is an expensive tool.” You may want the more expensive option – as a weekend warrior, your planer may find more Saturday night dates with a door jam or the kids swing set – that takes some mussel from your planer. I’ve put mine to task on some 4 quarter Okume for a boat project and it had what it takes to get the job done. If you just moe foam, there is always mom’s cheese grinder. Good luck!

The Bosch is the best entry level planer,ever.At 100 bucks roughly, it needs little mods and cuts smoothly.++++Bosch donates 5-10% of all purchases to the families of military soldiers in Iraq.