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Ryobi AP1301 Portable Planer Needs Hook Tool for Knife Changes and Outboard Supports
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Ryobi Portable Planer Capacity: 13" x 6” max, 1/8" min
Motor Amps: 15
Knives: 2, Bed 14"
Feed Rate: 26fpm / 66cpi
Automatic Cutterhead Lock: Yes
2010 Price: $229, Weight: 53.5 lbs
Depth Gauge: No, Depth Presets: No

The 13" Ryobi AP1301 is the least expensive model in the group that has a sort of “what you see is what you get” design: There are no large side panels or top plate that cover up its standard four-post construction. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, as long as you don’t toss the machine around, lest you damage one of the exposed posts. The Ryobi also lacks extension tables. These omissions do contribute to the AP1301’s dainty waistline: At 53-1⁄2 lbs, it’s by far the lightest planer in this group.

Ryobi depth setting An adjustable wheel below the crank allows you to make fine adjustments to the Ryobi planer's cutting depth.

Despite the Ryobi’s Spartan character, it has two very nice features: Below the planer’s plastic depth-setting crank, there’s a large wheel with very fine index markings that show increments as fine as 1/512 of an inch! By zeroing the wheel relative to a small pointer on the crank, you can gauge very small depth-of-cut adjustments fairly accurately, without having to bend down and view the planer’s regular scale and cursor (the DeWalt has a similar feature, but it’s not as well implemented). The AP1301 also includes a nice fan-assisted dust hood that’s very similar to the RIDGID that converts from a vacuum hood with a 2-1⁄2" dust port to a simple chip deflector with a twist of the wrist.

Ryboi outfeed supports One negative to the Ryboi planer is the lack of an extension table, requiring separate outboard supports for planing longer boards.

Powered up, the Ryobi planed boards with about the same amount of gusto as the other 15-amp-motored planers — slightly surprising, given this model’s low price tag. I was also pleased to find that its depth adjustment crank was very smooth turning when both lifting and lowering the cutterhead assembly. Working around its lack of extension tables forced me to use a pair of auxiliary supports when planing long boards, but I generally use supports when running long stock through any thicknessing planer.

Knife changing tool The way the planer's cutterheads are laid out makes changing the knives a bit too difficult and requires the use of a special hook tool.

The Ryobi’s cutterhead holds a pair of double-edged knives, and it does have an automatic lock that prevents cutterhead movement during knife changes. But, unlike the slot-and-pin knives on the other models, the AP1301’s wide knives fit into deep slots in the cylindrical cutterhead and are secured with gibs and jackscrews, an arrangement common on even large industrial planers. The downside of this setup is that you must turn the jackscrews with an open-end wrench and pry the knives out of their slots with a special tool that’s included. This arrangement makes knife changes a bit fussy. However, the Ryobi did produce the smoothest planed surfaces among the three lowest-priced models, leaving only a very light washboarding and just a touch of snipe on the trailing edge of boards.

posted on October 1, 2010 by Sandor Nagyszalanczy
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3 thoughts on “Ryobi AP1301 Portable Planer Needs Hook Tool for Knife Changes and Outboard Supports”

  • Kelly Brown

    any idea where to find the hook tool to change the blades? I just bought this planer at an auction and need to put new blades in it.

  • Tammy Kauffman
    Tammy Kauffman July 1, 2015 at 12:44 pm

    I'm looking for one also. If I happen to find one, I'll let you know. So far, I've had no luck!

  • RC de Mordaigle
    RC de Mordaigle August 14, 2015 at 2:51 pm

    You don't need the special hook. The blades have a tab at each end that extends past the ends of the blade slots. Just bend 1/4" of the end of a stiff wire 90 degrees and hook that behind the blade tabs and gently pull. If the blades don't come out easily, loosen the jackscrews in the slot some more. Might take a bit of wiggling, but they're not hard to take out.

    These blades are double edged, so they may have never been changed. If so, just turn them around and use the other edge.

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