If Harbor Freight would offer wheels with finer grit, there’d be hope for the sharpener, but the 180-grit wheels that are supplied with the machine and available as replacements are brutal on carbide saw teeth. I have two diamond sharpeners from EZE-Lap Diamond Products with four grades of diamonds on aluminum handles about the size of tongue depressors. The grits are rated from 250 to 1200, and the 250 grit is designated as “coarse.” That puts the 180-grit wheel on Harbor Freight’s circular saw sharpener into the proper perspective—coarser than coarse.
We researched benchtop planers and decided the DeWalt DW734 would meet our requirements. Its 12-½” wide bed could handle the 12”-wide garboard that we needed to replace, and its 6” thickness capacity it would come in handy for shaping some 4” stock for the stem. The 734 weighs a sturdy 80 pounds, a bit heavy for moving around, but solid and stable in use, especially when working with long stock.