Shop and tool expert John White demonstrates how to change and rotate the indexes on an index-bladed planer. Because the indexes can be expensive and changing them takes time, John also explains how you can extend the life of your blades by putting only clean wood through the machine and avoiding boards finished with paint, stains, or varnish. Avoid passing knots through the planer as much as possible, and be sure to use the whole width of the blade for even wear.
To learn how John changes the blade on a more standard single-piece blade model, such as Ridgid's planer, watch How to Change Standard Thickness-Planer Blades. Also, if you're interested in getting a look at our reviewer's "best overall" watch John prepare to change the blade on the DeWalt planer.
John uses a Steel City planer in his demonstration. To see how it ranked in our recent tool test and to compare reviews of the Craftsman, Grizzly, Makita, Ryobi, DeWalt, and Ridgid models, read Portable Thickness Planners from Fine Homebuilding issue #202 (April/May 2009) pp. 74-78.