Two speeds, another half inch in width and the chip ejector. Not worth the diference in price to me... i bought the 734. I haven't heard many problems with either machine, though. Overall, people who own either the 733, 734 or the 735 all seem to like them very much.
I never intended my planed surfaces to be finish surfaces. I don't believe any planer can give me a perfect finish surface without scallops. The nature of the tool ensures that these scallops are unavoidable. So i saved my money and always run through a phase of using cabinet scrapers to knock down the ripple.
I would disagree with the statement that it's "the nature of the tool" that causes snipe. I own a Makita (2012NB) and don't get snipe or "ripples". We also run a Grizzly (G1037Z) at the shop, no snipe, no "ripples"....
As to the differences between the two DeWalts, I'd think the 734 would be the better value with the infeed/outfeed extensions; they should be adjustable to reduce or eliminate snipe....
DeWalt had a very rough start with their portable thicknessers, not sure if they rectified those problems. I'd recommend the Makita, same price as the DW735 and far better IMNSHO. FWIW.
I would LOVE to have a 735. Besides being a great machine I want the side mounted depth wheel so I can mount it under the extension table of my table saw to save room without putting it so low I have to sit on the floor to use it. I have my table saw raised up higher than most so I don't have to bend over to use it.
I bought a factory reconditioned 735 at Tool King in Denver and have been very happy with it. I get hardly any snipe with the extension tables and don't have to turn on my dust collector on because the chip ejection motor is strong enough clear the chips. I don't know the price difference but would strongly recommend the 735.
I have the 735 with tables and love it - though that doesn't help you much. The differences that I can see are evident form an extra (slower) speed on the 735 leaving a surface that I have used as a finished surface, no scraping required - though that was with new blades. I can't realy on it for that now as I have some nicks on both sides of the non-shapenable baldes. You aslo get an extra 1/2" I have NEVER found this to be a hugh bennie, most of the stock I buy is in the 7 to 10" width range. The fan is a nice feature, though if you have a proper DC system, this may not be much of an issue. I have mine hooked up to a 2 HP JET canister with 7 fittings along a 6" line beofre it finally hits the DC. This is not ideal and the fan helps get the chips moving for the DC to take over. These are the features I have used on my machine. I have not used hte 734 and so can't speak to that.
On the bad side, I have noticed the slipping others have found with this planer. The rollers need to be cleaned with (I believe) mineral spirits after quite a bit of use (mine was probable ~400 to 600 bf ft, otherwise they can slip and the board fails to push through the planer, it simply stays in one spot creating a ripple or black mark as the rollers are rubbing on the wood.
I didn't mean to confuse anyone, but I wasn't talking about snipe. I was only discussing the scallops and I feel your statements are incorrect about them. Any and all tools that operate using a cutter on a rotating head leaves scallops. Feeding slowly makes them smaller and closer together, but they're still there. That's what I meant by the nature of the tool.
Theoretically, you cuoldn't feed slowly enough to totally eliminate the ripples, but that's a rediculous extreme, of course. If you take your finest surface from any planer with knives that land straight on the surface (non-sheering) and lay down a stain on that fresh surface, I'll bet that a light skimming on a flat abrasive would reveal these ripples.
Now those ripples may not bother many people, and that's fine. If the surface you get comes out smooth enough for your liking, great! I don't disagree with you there. Most of the time that surface is perfectly acceptable. But it's a long-known fact that those ripples can and do exist and they can be undesirable.
My whole reason for bringing up the subject was to discount the need for a "slow" speed on the 735. Since most of the time i'm going to finish the surface left by the planer anyway the difference in ripple size was minor compared to the added cost.