Shelix planer head with only 40 knives?

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eagspoo
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Shelix planer head with only 40 knives?

Post by eagspoo »

I recently splurged and bought the Shelix head advertised here https://shelixheads.com/SHELIX_for_shop ... nch_Planer. Everyone who bought one on these forums was saying they were amazing so even though it was pricey, $640, I went for it. I also looked at the Sheartek heads which are about $150 cheaper.

On the page for the Shelix head, they describe in (in bold) like this: "This SHELIX head features 5 wings of knives with a total of 60 knives."

After two weeks, I got the cutter head and... it has 4 rows of 10 knives. 40 knives total, not 60. So I email Shelix assuming there had simply been a mixup and I got this response:
Hello Steve,

The Dean Hagler version of this cutterhead uses 4 rows of knives.

Shelix designs the cutterheads based on the Cutting Diameter, RPM and feed speeds of the particular machine.

Rest assured that More is not necessarily better, as in a saw blade design where more teeth can make a finer cut on thin material, but if ripping thicker wood will just burn and bind. Byrd designs these heads along similar lines as a combination saw blade so that they will give the best performance possible in a wide range of wood species and specific machine parameters.

This cutterhead will perform properly in your machine.

Hans
Now, I'm not an expert in cutter heads so I'm curious what everyone thinks about this. Was I wrong in thinking that the 60 knives would result in smoother finish and faster feed rates? Or, in short, was I wrong to think that the Shelix head would be "better"? Even if that is off base and everyone agrees their reply is fair, doesn't it seem off that they boldly describe its features and then send me something else?

I was excited to get it and there are projects specifically waiting for the new head so there is nothing I'd love more than to just install it and move on. But, if this is a lesser head than what they promised, for the $150 and on principle I'm feeling like I should return it if they don't at least provide a discount.

Here is what Chat GPT had to say about this: https://chatgpt.com/share/4df6b29b-fcc5 ... ecc3bf4b7c
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chiroindixon
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Re: Shelix planer head with only 40 knives?

Post by chiroindixon »

Well, I can appreciate that feeling and I'm glad that I worked with "Mike" at Sheartek. When I contacted him, (and Shelix,) I found that Shopsmith DID change specs on their planer(s) over the years. I had an issue to solve with the "Woodruff key" shaped like a "half coin''. My Pro Planer showed a different one EVEN IN THE OWNERS MANUAL. A RECTANGLE"!!

Sheartek made their product and had on hand for the Mark V but it wasn't for the Pro Planer. (?) (You had to to measure the cutting circle, which was a real hassle for these old eyes.)

So... I went with "Mike" asked and waited for his response. About a month.. then he sent me the version with a "rectangle" as with a reply to see if it worked. If not, send it back. The machining of the "half coin" was apparently "not in their wheelhouse".

The Sheartex slipped right in after a somewhat bloody exchange. Wear gloves IF you are smart. The "rectangle" seems to do the job. The first project was remilling some salvaged hard maple from a replaced basketball court. Worked beautifully. Just don't try to "hog it out".

IMHO. Just slip the damn thing in. Enjoy the cutter and the results. I don't think that the number of cutters makes any noticeable difference.

Your shopping experience wasn't great BUT might be a lesson to us all.

Doc
DLB
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Re: Shelix planer head with only 40 knives?

Post by DLB »

eagspoo wrote: Sat Jun 15, 2024 10:50 pm ...Was I wrong in thinking that the 60 knives would result in smoother finish and faster feed rates?...
I have neither a Shopsmith Planer nor a helical head for my DeWalt. And I have no idea what "Dean Hagler version" is meant to convey. But I think the question here is not whether you were wrong but whether you were misled. In other words, if Byrd's description matched their product, is there some discriminator that would have led you to pay the Byrd premium over the competition? I think the answer to that is 'no,' you paid a premium for 60 knives and that's not what you got. If you've already contact them for resolution and instead got rationalization then IIWM I'd file a dispute with my CC company and go ahead and use the head. If you haven't contacted them for resolution, I would do so and request either a full refund or a $150 (or whatever you think) credit. They don't have a leg to stand on, the product is not as described. That's against the law. If they will only offer full refund, with them paying shipping both ways, or you keep the product for the price you paid, you then have another decision to make.

I had a similar but completely unrelated experience. I bought an aftermarket shifter for the sort of car that has a clutch pedal. The one I chose was different from all others available in that a major component was steel and the retailer/manufacturer ads had all kinds of reasons (discriminators) for that being superior if somewhat pricier. I was convinced. When I received it and it was aluminum, they then offered reasons why aluminum was better than steel. So I tried it, and all of the reasons that their advertising suggested aluminum was not as good were present. The seller declined any resolution, so I disputed the charge. I ended up with the money, the shifter, and have never again done business with the seller or the manufacturer.

Note - The 'Byrd Premium' is much less extreme on the DeWalt, and I'd likely pay it if I went this route. Much of the competition, at around $80 less, is from less reputable firms. A 40 knife Byrd head for my DeWalt is in the $450 range. I haven't priced the Sheartek.

- David
eagspoo
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Re: Shelix planer head with only 40 knives?

Post by eagspoo »

Hi Hans,

Respectfully, I'd like to ask for a $187 refund. On your website, every 12" head that has 4 wings and 40 knives is $457 (I found one exception but that comes with bearings). For $644 I was advertised 60 knives and honestly I feel like it does make a difference. Whether that is correct or not I guess might be subjective, but regardless I didn't get what I paid for and even if it works just as well, the head I got is simpler and has fewer parts. If for Shopsmith there are different types of heads with different features and complexity, I think it would be a good idea for you to have different listings on your site and different prices, where the price of the simpler head is aligned with similar heads on your website.

Anyway, I would love to have the head with 60 knives but if that isn't available, I would be ok with the one you've sent me, but I do feel like the price should be $457.

Thanks again and please let me know what you think.
I guess we'll see what he says...
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JPG
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Re: Shelix planer head with only 40 knives?

Post by JPG »

:rolleyes: Chatgpt: Really?

Educated idiot. :)

Spouts obvious facts. No insight(cutter diameter is quite relevant, but ignored).

Still Hans's response will be interesting.
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╟JPG ╢
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Goldie(Bought New SN 377425)/4" jointer/6" beltsander/12" planer/stripsander/bandsaw/powerstation /Scroll saw/Jig saw /Craftsman 10" ras/Craftsman 6" thicknessplaner/ Dayton10"tablesaw(restoredfromneighborstrashpile)/ Mark VII restoration in 'progress'/ 10
E[/size](SN E3779) restoration in progress, a 510 on the back burner and a growing pile of items to be eventually returned to useful life. - aka Red Grange
edma194
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Re: Shelix planer head with only 40 knives?

Post by edma194 »

I understand being dissatisfied with a product that doesn't have its advertised features. But if it's not being returned to the seller I'd be most interested in how well it does the job. If it does a great job leaving a smooth clean finish that'd be good enough for me.

Unfortunately if it fails to meet my expectations I won't have a 60 cutter head to compare it against. I'd be left with the feeling I'd been ripped off just because I had no way to tell for sure that I may have paid for something better than I received.

I consider the response from Shelix inadequate. They should have offered to return your money and pay shipping to return the part and promised to change their marketing materials to reflect the actual product. Even though such promises are usually insincere at the moment I have to assume they intend to continue to mislead people.
Ed from Rhode Island

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JPG
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Re: Shelix planer head with only 40 knives?

Post by JPG »

I think this is another instance where the uniqueness of the SS causes confusion.

I agree the advertisement is not accurate, but at least they considered making a SS version(assuming their reply was accurate and my understanding it is also accurate).

I doubt the SS market is sufficient to justify different printed verbage, but for online advertising it should be a minimal cost. A simple disclaimer re cutters/rows may vary for some makes would IMO suffice thus eliminating the need for an extensive list online.
╔═══╗
╟JPG ╢
╚═══╝

Goldie(Bought New SN 377425)/4" jointer/6" beltsander/12" planer/stripsander/bandsaw/powerstation /Scroll saw/Jig saw /Craftsman 10" ras/Craftsman 6" thicknessplaner/ Dayton10"tablesaw(restoredfromneighborstrashpile)/ Mark VII restoration in 'progress'/ 10
E[/size](SN E3779) restoration in progress, a 510 on the back burner and a growing pile of items to be eventually returned to useful life. - aka Red Grange
eagspoo
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Re: Shelix planer head with only 40 knives?

Post by eagspoo »

Here is the conclusion:
Hello Steve,

Byrd Tool is unwilling to offer any compromise.

Given the circumstances, we would be prepared to offer you $80.00 off the purchase price as that is about all we make on this sale….
I said thanks I appreciated that and accepted the smaller refund. I actually felt a little bad because it seems like Byrd is a separate company and somehow Shelix was getting caught in the middle here. Not sure if Byrd or Shelix are in charge of the website but I guess I'd lay the fault on whoever does as they are the ones telling people they are getting a head with 60 knives!

Anyway, life goes on and I'm excited to install the new head which I'm sure will still work much much better than my old one.

I also want to note that while I still feel like they shouldn't be telling people they are getting 60 knives, generally Hans/Shelix were super nice and professional throughout.
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