DeWalt DW735 vs Ridgid R4331 Planer [2023]

You’ve been looking to add a thickness planer to your workshop to help flatten and dimension lumber. After researching options, you’ve narrowed it down to two popular models – the DeWalt DW735 and the Ridgid R4331. Both offer 13″ planing width and seem to have good reviews, but which one is the better option for your needs and budget?

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll compare the DeWalt and Ridgid thickness planers head-to-head, looking at categories like:

  • Specifications
  • Build quality
  • Cutting performance
  • Dust collection
  • Ease of use
  • Portability
  • Accessories
  • Warranty
  • Price

We’ll highlight the key differences between the two models to help you determine which planer is the best choice for your woodworking projects. Let’s dive in!

Specifications Overview

First, let’s look at a high-level overview of the basic specs for each planer:

SpecificationDeWalt DW735Ridgid R4331
Motor Power15 Amp15 Amp
Cutterhead Knives32
Cuts Per Inch (CPI)9682
Cutterhead Speed10,000 RPMNo data, single speed
Feed Speeds14 FPM (fast) <br> 8 FPM (slow)17 FPM (single speed)
Max Cutting Depth1/8″1/8″
Max Width of Cut13″13″
Depth Stops1/8″ increments1/16″ increments
Weight92 lbs70 lbs
Dimensions33″ x 22″ x 18″20″ x 17″ x 14″
Dust Collection2.5″ port <br> Dual intake shrouds2.5″ port <br> Single intake hood
TablesPlastic, fold-up/downPlastic, removable
FrameSteelSheet metal
Cutterhead HousingCast aluminumPlastic
Warranty3 years (limited)Lifetime service
BaseCast ironCast iron

The DeWalt has a clear advantage when it comes to the cutterhead – with 3 knives instead of 2, it can make finer cuts at 96 cuts per inch compared to just 82 for the Ridgid. The DeWalt also offers two-speed gearing, allowing you to choose between a fast feed rate or slower speed for finer finishes.

On the other hand, the Ridgid is significantly more compact and over 20 lbs lighter than the DeWalt. This makes it easier to move around a small shop or transport between job sites.

Check the full reviews of both planers here:

DeWalt DW735 Planer Review

Ridgid R4331 Review

Now let’s take a more in-depth look at each category to see how they compare.

Build Quality

The build quality and durability of a thickness planer is important – you want it to stand up to years of regular use.

The DeWalt DW735 features a sturdy cast iron base and thick steel frame. The cutterhead housing is cast aluminum, which is rigid and durable. The 4-post design and dual locking levers feel rock solid when planing boards. Overall fit and finish is very good.

The Ridgid R4331 also has a cast iron base, but the frame is mostly sheet metal. The thickness of the metal is decent, but not as beefy as the DeWalt. The cutterhead housing is plastic rather than metal. There is some flex in the frame when planing, especially wider boards. The folding tables feel a bit flimsy.

When it comes to build quality, the DeWalt’s heavier duty construction gives it the edge. The materials used should hold up better to regular shop use over many years. The Ridgid’s lighter weight comes at the cost of some rigidity.

Cutting Performance

The most important function for any planer is how smoothly and accurately it planes boards. Here’s how the DeWalt and Ridgid thickness planers compare when it comes to cut quality and cutting features:

  • The DeWalt’s 3-knife cutterhead makes 96 cuts per inch, resulting in a very smooth finish. The Ridgid’s 2-knife cutterhead makes only 82 cuts per inch.
  • The DeWalt has better cutter lockdown, keeping the blades firmly in position. The Ridgid tends to develop some “chatter” over time.
  • Both planers can produce tearout when running figured wood or gnarly grain. The DeWalt’s two-speed option helps tame tearout by allowing slower feed rates.
  • The DeWalt consistently produces full-width cuts without any snipe. The Ridgid is prone to snipe, especially on longer boards, requiring careful setup.
  • The DeWalt leaves a slightly smoother, almost burnished surface finish. The Ridgid’s finish is decent, but not glassy smooth.
  • The DeWalt shines when planing thinner boards, leaving an excellent surface down to 1/16″ thickness. The Ridgid struggles below 1/8″ thickness.
  • The DeWalt offers better thickness precision and repeatability once calibrated.

Overall, the DeWalt DW735’s 3-knife cutterhead and two-speed control allow it to produce superior cutting results compared to the Ridgid R4331. It leaves a smoother finish over a wider range of board thicknesses.

Dust Collection

Planers generate a ton of chips and dust, so effective dust collection is important for any model. Here’s how the DeWalt and Ridgid planers compare:

  • The DeWalt has atwo-piece shroud that captures dust coming off the cutterhead from above and below. The Ridgid relies on a single hood above the cutterhead.
  • Both planers have a 4″ dust port to connect to a shop vacuum or dust collector. The DeWalt’s port swivels 360°, allowing more flexible hose positioning.
  • The DeWalt does a great job pulling most chips into the dust port thanks to its dual shrouds. The Ridgid leaves more stray chips in the interior.
  • The DeWalt’s enclosed cutterhead design prevents dust buildup inside. The Ridgid’s more open design allows sawdust to accumulate internally.
  • Both models have disposable dust bags that attach to the port to collect debris. The DeWalt’s bag holds more and ejects easier.

For controlling the clouds of chips these planers produce, the DeWalt has better dust collection capabilities. The dual shrouds prevent dust escaping internally or externally. It will save you some shop cleanup time.

Ease of Use

Any power tool should be simple and intuitive to use. Here are some of the factors that affect ease of use for these thickness planers:

  • The DeWalt’s cutterhead lock lever engages easily to prevent the head from turning while setting cutting depth. The Ridgid has no cutter lock, making depth adjustments tougher.
  • The DeWalt’s thickness scale is more legible during use. The Ridgid’s gauge is undersized and partially obscured.
  • The DeWalt’s infeed and outfeed tables fold up and down smoothly. The Ridgid’s tables feel rough and stick sometimes.
  • On the DeWalt, the cut depth stop wheel makes repeatable depth setting simple. The Ridgid’s plunger-style stop is more fiddly to set accurately.
  • The DeWalt’s two-speed gearbox shifts between fast and slow feeds with a simple twist. The Ridgid has just a single speed.
  • The DeWalt’s controls are ergonomically placed and easy to access while planing. The Ridgid’s carriage lock and cutter lock require awkward reaching.

Thanks to smart design choices like the cutter lock, two-speed gearbox, and convenient controls, the DeWalt DW735 has much better usability compared to the Ridgid. You’ll spend less time fiddling and adjusting while planing.


For moving around your shop or transporting to job sites, the weight and size of a planer is an important consideration:

  • At 92 pounds, the DeWalt DW735 weighs over 20 pounds more than the 70 pound Ridgid R4331.
  • The DeWalt measures 33″ long x 22″ wide x 18″ tall. The Ridgid has a smaller footprint at just 20″ x 17″ x 14″.
  • The Ridgid’s folding handle and compact size make it easier to store in a cabinet or move around the shop.
  • Both models have lifting handles built into the frame, but the DeWalt’s weight makes it tougher to maneuver solo.

So for portability purposes, the Ridgid R4331’s lighter weight and smaller size give it a big advantage over the bulkier DeWalt. If your needs prioritize moving the planer around your shop frequently, the Ridgid is likely the better pick.


Thickness planers often benefit from add-on accessories and upgrades:

  • DeWalt offers optional standalone infeed and outfeed tables that provide support for long boards. Ridgid currently has no table accessories.
  • Both models work with aftermarket replacement cutterheads like spiral, helical, and carbide options. More choices are available for the DeWalt currently.
  • Third party planer knife options are plentiful for the DeWalt, letting you choose cheaper disposables or premium carbides. Ridgid-specific knives are less common.
  • The DeWalt accepts a cutterhead wrench accessory for convenient head removal. The Ridgid requires loosening screws by hand.

Thanks to its popularity, the DeWalt DW735 has better accessory and upgrade options. More choices for tables, cutterheads, and knives give you flexibility.


The warranty coverage provides assurance if anything goes wrong with the planer:

  • The Ridgid R4331 comes with a lifetime service warranty covering the full machine. This is the best warranty in the tool industry.
  • The DeWalt DW735 has a 3 year limited warranty that covers manufacturing defects only. Wear items are covered for 1 year.

Obviously the Ridgid’s lifetime warranty provides unbeatable peace of mind. In the event of any problems down the road, you’re covered for free repairs or replacement.


When evaluating shop tools, price always plays a role in the decision process. Here’s how the DeWalt and Ridgid thickness planers compare cost-wise:

  • The DeWalt DW735 sells for around $600-650 (for the planer only, no tables).
  • The Ridgid R4331 normally retails for $379-499.
  • DeWalt’s optional tables add about $100 to the total price.
  • Replacement knives cost $50-60 for the Ridgid, and $90-100+ for the DeWalt.

Given the significant price difference between the models of at least $200, the Ridgid offers good value for budget-minded woodworkers. The DeWalt does carry a premium price tag for its quality and performance.


So which thickness planer is better for your workshop – the DeWalt DW735 or Ridgid R4331? Let’s recap the key differences:

  • The DeWalt offers superior cutting performance thanks to its 3-knife cutterhead, fine finish, and two-speed capability.
  • The DeWalt has heavier duty construction with cast iron and steel components that should provide decades of use.
  • The Ridgid is much more portable and compact for small shops and easy transport.
  • The Ridgid carries an unbeatable lifetime warranty for peace of mind.
  • The Ridgid provides good value for money given its lower price point.

For woodworkers focused on quality cuts and smooth planed boards, the DeWalt DW735 is likely the best choice despite the higher price. Its 3-knife cutterhead, two-speed settings, and dual dust collection really do produce superior results. The durable build should also provide years of reliable service.

For those needing a highly portable planer on a budget, the Ridgid R4331 makes a great choice. You make some sacrifices in cut quality, dust collection, and long-term robustness, but the lightweight design and outstanding warranty help offset those drawbacks.

Both DeWalt and Ridgid make great thickness planers suitable for passionate hobbyists or professional shops. Assess your needs and budget, weight the pros and cons, and you’re sure to end up with a quality machine that will flatten and smooth your boards beautifully.