The best wood jointer is definitely what you would need to make a piece of wood as straight and smooth as possible. There are a lot of models of wood jointers on the market and without choosing carefully, you might end up getting a low quality wood jointer. And what is the point of owning a wood jointer if you couldn’t straight or smooth a piece of wood with it. Therefore, it is very important that you know about what to look for when buying a wood jointer and choose one carefully.
This article below will provide you information about what to consider in a wood jointer and how to look for one that meets all of your needs and requirements. Read on at the end of the article for the 5 best wood jointer reviews and see what you can have on the market.
What is a wood jointer?
A wood jointer (or hand plane) is used to make two pieces of wood join together seamlessly. Wood jointers are classified by the size of material it can handle, for example, an 8 inch jointer would be capable of handling boards that are up to 8 inches wide.
Top 5 Best Wood Jointers Review
The following list of wood jointers includes 5 different models that are the best in terms of design, price and function. The list was compiled by our team to make your choice easier.
All these products are praised for their durability, ease of use, high performance and competitive prices. Product special features are also given for each product so you can understand better what it is about.
1. Powermatic 1791317K 54HH 6-Inch Jointer with helical cutter head
This wood jointer is a best wood jointer from Powermatic. It features a helical cutterhead with 4 sided knife inserts. The infeed and outfeed table of this wood jointer are 66 inch long. It uses one horsepower, 1 phase and 115/ 230 volt motor.
- The 40 four side knife insert system and the helical cutter head of this wood jointer is capable of making a clean and smooth cut without causing any noise at all. It also allows you to work on the wood regardless of the grain direction.
- The durability of the carbide along with the low impact and shear cutting of the inserts ensure that this wood jointer can work for a very long time.
- This wood jointer is easy to set up and operate. You can work with a wide range of wood using this wood jointer including oak, cherry and walnut, to name just a few.
- The base of this wood jointer is super stable and grounded, helping you to do a better job while ensuring your safety.
- The fence controls are center mounted so that it is super convenient for you to control the machine. It also offers a high performance system with the supporting and tilt mechanism and large cast iron pieces, which make the machine works accurately.
- You might find it hard to access to the on/ off button of this wood jointer.
- It is quite difficult and not as portable.
2. JET 708457DXK JJ-6CSDX 6-Inch
In the search for the best wood jointer on the market, I am sure that you would come across one or two wood jointers from Jet. The company has been around for many years and continues to enhance and improve their products and this product is of no exception.
This Jet wood jointer has ½ inch rabbeting capacity with the 33 1/8 inch long fence with the 45 and 90 degree stops. Other features include 2 high speed steel knives and 4 inch dust port.
- This wood jointer comes with hand wheels, which is quite easy and convenient for you to change the table adjustment to the exact measurement that you want.
- Moreover, it comes with a dust port which works well and effectively to keep your working station as clean as possible.
- The exclusive auto set quick change knife system of this wood jointer helps you to change 3 blades easily whenever you need them.
- The ground cast iron tables are precise and of professional grade. It is also quite long with a smooth and flat precision machined finish that ensures the best accuracy.
- Along with the two way tilting fence with positive spots at 45 and 90 degrees and the industrial push button controls, it is easy for you to operate this product.
- Last but not least, the design of this wood jointer makes it suitable for heavy duty projects and makes the product last for a long time.
- The locking nut can be out of alignment really easy, especially when you tight it.
3. JET JJP-12 12-Inch Wood Jointer Planer
Here comes another wood jointer from Jet. This product provides three high speed steel knife cutter head for rapid cutting and a superior finish. It features a parallelogram design, extra-large aluminum ebytruded fence and a powerful 3 HP induction motor.
The most significant feature of this wood jointer is that it offers both the jointer function and the planner function in a single machine. It saves you both money and space. In addition, you can easily switch between two functions in just about 30 seconds.
- This Jet wood jointer has a powerful 3 HP induction motor to help you deal with the toughest and most heavy duty tasks. It also comes with a magnetic on/off switch with a built in limited to prevent excessive variances in the electrical power from damaging the motor effectively.
- With its unique design, this wood jointer allows you to adjust to a precise depth of cut adjustments. With its oversized hand wheels and knobs, it is also easy for you to handle the machine.
- The 3 knife cutter head of this wood jointer planer is of high quality for both planning and jointing functions.
- This wood jointer is super compact, allowing you to work with it in a small working station.
- It is a little bit difficult to get the tables and the knives to be properly aligned.
- The planar is a little bit too fast for the wood to be smoothened without excessive tear out.
4. Powermatic 1610086K Model 60HH 8-Inch 2 HP 1-Phase Jointer
Here comes another product of Powermatic. Bearing some of the same features as the Powermatic 1791317K 54HH 6 inch wood jointer, this 8 inch jointer has a helical cutterhead with four-sided inserts and long table of 73 inches.
Also like the Powermatic 1791317K 54HH 6 inch wood jointer, this wood jointer comes with high quality cutter head to ensure that you have the smooth and quite cutting with this machine.
- You have a wide range of knives and blade to choose from including a three knife cutter head, a helical cutterhead and four sided knife inserts
- It is easy and convenient to work with this wood jointer- it has a super long table which is capable of working with long pieces of wood. It also has high mount switch for operating and hand wheel for smooth fence tilting.
- In addition, it features an efficient adjustment lever for quick infeed table positioning and fine tuning of cut depth.
- Last but not least, it has a built in dust collection bag which is effective and capable of doing its job well to keep your working station clean all of the time.
- The motor is quite heavy, which make it difficult to budge it up to allow slipping on the belt.
5. Cutech 40160H-CT 6″ Bench Top Spiral Cutting head Jointer
This cutter head jointer is the most popular product of Cutech. It is the spiral cutter head with 12 HSS inserts featuring the benchtop model. It fences with 90 to 135 degree tilt.
It has a 6 inch width capacity and 1/8 inch maximum depth capacity and sports 30” of total table length for those longer boards Using the powerful 10 amp and 120V motor, this jointer is suitable for both technicians and DIY hobbyist.
Last but not least, thanks to its compact size and light weight, you can easily carry the wood jointer around and transport it to the job site. It is therefore suitable for anyone who has a small working station and tends to work with short pieces of wood, of no more than 6 inches in length.
- With the dimensions of a 30 inch table and a 20 inch fence, it is about the same size as other benchtop units so if you have worked with benchtop wood jointer before, you will find it easy to work with this one.
- In addition, this wood jointer offers 12 2-sided inserts and its 2 ½ dust port for you to work with wood without tearing it down and have a great chip evacuation.
- It is easy to install and operate this wood jointer. It only takes you around 20 minutes or less to assembly the product from its original package.
- This Cutch wood jointer is of spiral cutting type instead of the true helical type. Hence, it doesn’t have as many inserts.
- Furthermore, this wood jointer is not as stable when you joint longer boards.
What to Consider When Choosing a Wood Jointer?
A wood jointer uses several knives and blade to cut and smooth the surface of a wood piece. Overall, you need put the piece of wood you are working with on a feed table against the fence then move the wood across the cutting blade or knives.
Wood jointers are different in table lengths, width of the jointers and different types of jointer blades and knives. Hence, there are a lot of things that you need to consider when choosing a wood jointer on the market.
On the market, wood jointers come with 3 different types of designs including closed stand, open stand jointer and benchtop wood jointer. While the choices of which design is the best for you is based on personal preference, it is worth noting that the closed stand wood jointer is most effective in term of keeping dust and debris from getting into the motor.
It is also heavier and more stable, hence, is more capable of handling heavy duty tasks. On the other hand, an open stand jointer is more flexible and comfortable. It is also cheaper in comparison with closed stand model.
The smallest type among all is the tabletop jointer design. This type of wood jointer is suitable for a small working station. However, it doesn’t work well if you cut wood longer than 6 inches. Not to mention that it is the least stable.
2. Cutter Heads
There are 2 types of cutter heads that you can find on the market, which are the straight knife cutter heads and the high speed steel knives.
The straight cut would leave your wood perfectly flat, especially when you run it at a low feed speeds. On the other hand, the high speed steel knives leave spiral pattern. The choice of which cutter heads you need to consider is up on you.
3. Bed Width
The next thing that you need to consider is the bed width of the wood jointers. Most of these machines on the market come with 2 options of bed width- the 6 inch bed and the 8 inch bed.
The latter will generally cost more than the former. Most of the household projects will do just fine with the 6 inch bed. However, if you have to deal with long piece of wood, you should go for a wood jointer with an 8 inch long bed jointer.
4. Cutting Depth
The cutting depth of a wood jointer indicates how deep each time the wood jointer can cut to the piece of wood you are working with. With a ½ inch or ¾ cutting depth, it would take less time to straight a piece of wood than when you use a wood jointer with a 5/8 cutting depth.
5. Dust Collection Port
This feature of wood jointer is very helpful in case you want to keep your working station clean and tidy. It also helps to prevent any accidents which might arise when the working station is full of dust and debris.
6. Motor Horsepower
This will determine how powerful a wood jointer is and its capability when dealing with different types of wood. The standard horsepower is 1. With this level of horsepower, your wood jointer would be able to smoothen both of the hardwood and softwood.
There are many things that you need to consider when choosing a wood jointer including the warranty and the manufacturers. Choosing a reputational and high quality wood jointer manufacturer will ensure you could buy a good quality product worthy of the manufacturer’s name.
Some of the best manufacturers for your consideration include Jet, Powermatic and CUTECH, to name just a few. In addition, you should only buy a wood jointer when it comes with at least 1 year warranty. Other wood jointers might also come with 5 year warranty, which needs to be considered as well.
Last but not least, read the best wood jointer reviews that you are going to buy on the market. Amazon is a great site for you to look for other’s opinion and experience of using a particular wood jointer on the market.
Jointer machines require minimum maintenance since they use knives and the jointer blades should be reground when they get dull or damaged. However, other parts such as pulleys also need to be lubricated so that the machine functions well.
Speeds: Jointer machines can go up to 3600 RPM when in operation and the speed is determined by the number of knives in it. If there are more knives then the speed will be low while if there are less knives, then the speed will be high. You can also go for variable speeds if they are available since this increases flexibility when in use.
There are three main types of jointers that you can consider buying. They include:
(a) Spiral Cutterhead Jointer: This is a modern machine that uses a set of knives working in a spiral motion to produce smooth surfaces on your boards. The advantage of this type is the minimal noise it produces when in operation.
(b) Overarm Jointer: This is a traditional jointer that works by moving the board over stationary knives, these are also referred as planer-jointers since they can do both operations. The type of cutter head used in this machine is great for end grain and it will not leave any marks on your boards.
(c) Panel Jointer: This machine is better for professionals since it has a large fence and base that enable you to join wide boards. Some models can do end grain but they will leave marks on the board.
9. The Size of Jointer
Before buying a jointer, you need to consider the size of your shop and also the available space in it. If your shop is too small then floor standing jointers might not be suitable. You will then have to opt for benchtop or cabinet models that are portable and can easily be moved when needed.
When choosing between benchtop jointer, stand mount and floor standing jointers, you need to consider the availability of both parts and service centers or dealers if something goes wrong with your machine.
This is one of the most important factor to consider when buying a jointer since it shows the confidence of manufacturers in their products. A standard warranty is one or two years but you can also get extended warranties if you want to protect your investment for a long time.
12. Power Source
You need to consider the power source of your jointers before purchasing one since there are three types which include:
(a) Electric Jointer- this is an affordable machine that uses electricity as its power source and it is ideal for beginners.
(b) Pneumatic Jointer- this is powered by compressed air which makes the machine powerful but noisy, however it is cheaper than electric machines.
(c) Hydraulic Jointer- this uses hydraulic oil as a power source making it quiet and relatively expensive. You can also get them with either horizontal or vertical spindles.
How to Use a Wood Jointer?
It is very easy to use a wood jointers machine. If you follow some simple steps while using this tool, then there will be no problem in getting the desired results without any hassle. Here we have described how to use a wood jointers:
- First of all you need to decide that what type of jointers you will be using. There are different types of jointers, such as hand-fed and table-mounted jointers. Once you have decided which jointer you will be using, then follow the instructions given with it. You can also find detailed information about machinery manuals on the web.
- Prepare a workbench and place the jointer on top of it. It is important to make sure that the jointer is perfectly leveled. Always level a machine from left to right rather than from front to back or vice versa, as you may end up with an uneven result.
- Now lift the cutterhead lock handle and remove all the jointer knives and chisels from the head. Make sure that you don’t touch the cutterhead while removing jointer knives and chisels as it is very dangerous.
- Now place a piece of wood on top of the cutterhead with its face towards guide fence. Have a look at the manual to learn which side should be placed against the fence first. Feed the wood slowly into the machine until it touches the fence.
- Pull out the locking knob completely, hold down the U handle and rotate it to feed in more timber through the jointer until it gets trimmed properly. When you are done with one side, repeat this process for other side as well. The feed rate of machine should be controlled by adjusting the hand wheel located on side of head. Finally you can test if board is completely jointed or not by checking it from both sides.
- Now remove the wood and replace the cutterhead knives and chisels back into place making sure that they are also aligned properly and tighten down the cutterhead lock handle.
- Place the wood on top of jointer with its face towards guide fence and downward facing cutterhead, this time it should be in opposite side i.e., edge which was not against fence first. Again feed wood through the machine slowly to get an even cut. If you are using a hand feed jointer then do not push the wood too hard as it may result in damage to the cutterhead bearings. Buy quality jointer which comes with adjustable feed rate for ease of operation.
- Finally run a piece of scrap wood through the machine and check if both sides are completely jointed or not. If you find any difference then you can fix that by running each side individually again.
Now bring down the cutter head lock handle and remove all the jointer knives and chisels from head, turn off the machine and unplug it from power source to avoid injuries.
frequently asked question (FAQ’s)
What is a folding jointer?
A Folding Jointer is a stationary planer that can be folded to save space. They are known for being used in cabinet making, flooring, and other various woodworking project.
Are benchtop jointers good?
A benchtop jointer is usually less expensive than other models, but they are built to be used on projects that do not require large amounts of stock preparation. Benchtop jointer typically can only accept lumber up to 6 inches wide and 1-1/2″ thick. So if you plan on doing larger projects or commercial work, it is probably best to go with a full-sized floor standing jointer.
Benchtop jointer are usually lighter weight than full-sized models, which makes them easier to move around and store when not in use. They do have smaller tables than their larger counterparts, but this is not an issue if you only work with small pieces of material.
What does a jointer do in woodworking?
A jointer is used to straighten the face of a board and make it smooth for further processing in either a table saw or another tool. They are also used when edge jointing boards, which involves cutting two identically sized edges with parallel faces in order to create flat surface, square pieces that can be glued together. It is important to understand that the jointer does not actually cut material; it only trims. The pieces need to be jointed properly, then cut or planed to their finished dimensions after they are on the other woodworking jointer.
What size wood jointer do I need?
The general rule is that the jointer needs to be at least as long as the wood you are working with. So if you are trying to joint a 6′ board, your machine should have an infeed table at least that long. However, it is best to go longer than the raw material in case something happens during joinery and you have to trim the board down. You can always joint the entire length of the board, then crosscut it to size, but you can’t add material back once it’s been cut off.*
What is a jointer planer combo?
Some companies have started producing jointers that are also wood planer. This allows woodworkers to get both machines in one package, which saves space and money. These machines are often more expensive than two separate models, but they are also of higher quality due to the fact that they are purpose built for woodworking.
How much weight should I expect the jointer to lift?
The maximum weight it will lift is often listed on the machine in pounds or kilograms. This will depend largely on how much money you want to spend on the jointer. The more expensive ones are able to handle larger pieces of wood.
What are the main benefits of owning a jointer?
Owning a jointer can help woodworker more efficient because they are able to get the job done faster, with less effort.
After reviewing about 5 of the best wood jointer on the market, the best choices for DIY hobbyists are the JET 708457DXK JJ-6CSDX 6-Inch and the Powermatic 1791317K 54HH 6-Inch Jointer with helical cutterhead.
They both come in the compact sizes with the suitable capability that can help you to smooth and straight most of the pieces of woods.
There are a wide range of blade and knives to choose from as well. In addition, they are convenient to set up and operate with.
When these wood jointers are compared together, the best choice for you is the Powermatic 1791317K 54HH 6-Inch Jointer with helical cutterhead.
It has all of the features that you would need in a wood jointer- the ability to work with a wide range of woods of different types and hardness.
Not to mention that it offers one of the highest level stability, ensuring your safety while you work on your project. In addition, it has easy operation which is suitable for both professional technicians and DIY hobbyists.
While this wood jointer is quite expensive, its heavy duty construction and durability will ensure that your initial investment will last for a long time.
With a lot of options to choose from- from the 6 inch bed or 8 inch bed, to the spiral cutter heads or straight cutter head, the number of choices for you is simply endless.
I know that the process of choosing the right wood jointers for you is surely overwhelming. But trust me, it is also rewarding at the end. With a suitable and high quality wood jointer, you would be able to straighten woods and decorate on them easily.