Pros: Great chip ejection system
Cons: feeding problems, wimpy blades
This planer is pretty good for the average hobbyist. I bought mine about a year ago and I use it regularly and it has worked well. It is too expensive for the class of planers it is in. If you want a home shop type planer, find one for $300. Otherwise, step up to a Shop Fox, Jet, etc. for only a few hundred more.
The blades: You'll notice a lot of reviews complaining about the blades. Like I said, I have used the unit for about a year fairly regularly and have yet to flip the blades over to use the other side. It is starting to leave lines in the wood so I guess it is about time I do so. I use it mostly on softwoods such as Redwood and pine so maybe they don't last nearly as long with hardwoods. I would have expected the blades to last longer but since they are two sided and I don't have to buy new ones for another year, I can't complain too much.
The feeding: The feed works acceptably, but not great. For the average user who doesn't send thousands of board feet through the planer, and who can afford to spend a little extra time baby-sitting the machine, it will work fine. Expect to push the wood through most of the time.
The price: It looks to me like the machine normally sells for $500 new. This is too much. I got mine on ebay for $400 and I guess it was probably worth it. Honestly I wish I would have paid a few hundred more and bought a Shop Fox, Jet, or some other brand in that class.
The noise: This thing is VERY loud. This makes no difference to me whatsoever though because I always wear hearing protection in the shop anyway. If you are planning on using it in your garage with neighbors close by, look at a different planer.
Chip ejection: The fan-assisted chip ejection works GREAT! Used in conjuction with a dust collector and it is very clean to use. It comes with an attachment to spread the chips out instead of attaching it to a dust collector. I cannot imagine anyone in their right mind using this attachment. Used indoors it will ruin your entire shop in about 10 seconds. Even outdoors, you'd have to be in a remote area with the wind blowing just right. It makes no sense to me. If you do not own a dust collector you will need to buy one when you buy this planer. It is not optional in my book.
From many of the reviews it sounds like people are expecting an industrial machine for $500. Guess what: if you want industrial quality, you have to pay 10 times that amount. Have fun with that. For those of us who do not own a large woodworking shop or a saw mill, it will probably get the job done.