Are you considering buying the Shopfox W1863 15″ Planer with Helical Cutterhead? There are a few features that you may want to consider such as the maximum and minimum size of wood you can push through the planer. 

It has a 4 flute helical cutter head and a host of other features that make this machine powerful and quite the catch. It has a 2-speed gearbox and 52 indexable four-sided carbide inserts. It also has a pedestal mounted switch and a cast iron infeed and outfeed table for a better and more efficient workspace.

ShopFox W1863 15

Aesthetics

This 582-pound machine has all the necessary features for planing and more. The control panel with the magnetic switch is mounted on the pedestal to the left of the machine. This is a different position compared to the W1862 which has the on-off switch, positioned on the right-hand side.

The table height wheel and the gearbox, are on the right-hand side positioned above the handle. Just beneath these, you will find the feed rate control knob. The extension tables are made of cast iron and have a very clean look. The planer table gives you a smooth and level surface for you to work on.

Performance Review

The Shopfox W1863—15″ Planer with Helical Cutterhead, has a powerful 3 HP, 240 volts, 15 amp single phase motor. This enables you to work with ease. The maximum cutting width is 15 inches, whilst the maximum cutting height is 6inches. Knowing this will help you know the limitations that you have.

The smallest stock needs to be 1/8inches, whilst the maximum depth of cut is 1/8inches. The shortest stock length will need to be 6 inches. It has a 4-inch dust port that collects dust and shavings during operation.

Safety

Safety is an important factor to consider when buying a machine like this. Shopfox advises that you read the manual properly before you use it.  Always make sure that you follow the safety precautions on the warning labels, posted all over the machine. 

Take note of the material limitations that you can use on the machine. Also, make sure to follow the advice of keeping any loose clothing items especially around the infeed table.

The infeed rollers are designed to pull the wood into the spinning cutter head, and this means that any loose clothing or anything that could get entangled in the machine could pose a potential risk. Be mindful of this. 

The machine also has locks to keep the tables in place as you work and this makes the planer safer to work on. 

Who is this product ideal for?

This machine requires skill and should not be used by any untrained operators. It is not a machine to be used by a beginner. 

Pros

  • It is a durable planer
  • It has locks to keep the tables in place
  • You can adjust the table height
  • It has a powerful motor

Cons

  • It is pricey

Our Verdict

Shopfox makes durable machines, and this planer is no different. The helical cutter head is a relatively newer design that makes for a more efficient machine. The features of this planer also add to its efficiency and we think it is a good buy. Happy shopping!

David D. Hughes