As a woodworker, a person should have some basic or primary tools. Believe it or not, the jointer is one of those basic tools. Without a jointer, you won’t be able to prepare a perfect tool. There is a way though, buying perfectly finished wood pieces. But if you want to do everything on your own, you must have a jointer to create something amazing.
What is a Jointer?
A jointer is a woodworking machine which helps you to ensure an even surface of the wood parts with which you are working. If the wood parts are not properly flat, you won’t be able to produce perfectly finished furniture. That’s why you need a jointer if you are a woodworker.
Having the best jointer helps you to get some perfectly finished wood pieces which can be adjusted with other pieces easily to make perfect furniture.
Best Jointers Available on the Market
Many companies offer jointers to the market. Among those, here you’ll find the best seven jointers in my opinion and short reviews about those. I have also added a buying guide. You’ll find that after the reviews.
This is a 6-inch jointer. That means it’ll allow you to flatten wood pieces of 6 inches or less wide. You’ll be able to adjust the cast infeed and outfeed tables according to your wish. Besides, the cutterhead guard is also adjustable. So, don’t be tensed about getting a perfect surface to work.
For keeping your wood piece straight, it comes with a 4 ¾ inches high and 19 5/8 inches long fence. You can easily change the angle of the fence from 90 degrees to 135 degrees. The almost 20 inches length of the fence allows you to use this machine for long pieces of woods too.
Being powered by a 120V 10A motor, the machine is efficient in cutting and making the wood surface plain. For this, the spiral type cutterhead works perfectly. It comes with 12 2-sided inserts to cut the extras of the wood piece.
Comparing to most other benchtop jointers, it is extremely portable because the weight is only 40 lbs. So, you can easily transfer it to any corner of the job site.
1. Fence tilting operation helps to work with side-tilted wood pieces too.
2. As it is a benchtop jointer, it comes with a lightweight. Thus it allows you to change the place frequently, though I don’t recommend changing place if it is not necessary.
1. Some users have found that setting this machine up is a bit tough.
The infeed and outfeed of this jointer are made of heavy-duty cast iron. For helping you in case of long pieces of wood, both the infeed and outfeed are kept extra-long. The widths of both the infeed and outfeed are a bit more than 8 inches. So, you can use this machine for working with wood pieces which are not more than 8 inches wide. The cutterhead guard works great to keep your hands safe from the cutterhead.
The large chrome handwheels make it easy to adjust the surface. After getting the perfect adjustment, you can lock it with an easily reachable lock.
It comes with a tall and rigid fence. It helps you to push the wood piece in a straight line. You can tilt it in both sides. By tilting the fence at the exact angle you need, you can perform bevel operations too.
The cutterhead of this jointer comes with three sharp steel knives. It spins at high speed and provides around 16,500 cuts per minute. Thus it provides a smooth and flat surface to the wood piece. It is powered by a 2 HP quiet motor.
1. Adjusting the surface, infeed and outfeed, is really easy because of the presence of large handwheels.
2. Speedy cutterhead with strong and sharp blades takes power from a 2 HP motor and provides the best cut like no other jointers.
1. The fence is long enough. But a longer fence could help you more.
The infeed and outfeed of this machine are made of cast aluminum which provides a firm surface. It is 8 inches wide and 33.5 inches long. But you can use it for longer wood pieces too because it gives you the opportunity to extend it up to 55 inches. Both extension and changing level of the infeed and outfeed are easy to do. So, you don’t need to take much pressure about it.
The cutterhead of Cutech 40180HC-CT comes with 16 2-sided inputs. Being powered by a 120V 10A motor, the cutterhead is able to provide you a smooth wood surface.
The fence of this jointer is strong enough to support the wood pieces. This is 4 3/8 inches high and 19 ¾ inches long. It is adjustable in different angels starting from 90 degrees to 135 degrees. So, you’ll find comfort in bevel operations too.
As a portable jointer, it works great. The weight is about 49-50 lbs. So, you can easily handle it and move it from one place to another easily.
1. For budget buyers, this is a great one because it provides all the necessary features within a budget.
2. The infeed and outfeed are extendable to 55 inches. This is an exciting feature for the woodworkers who need to handle long pieces of woods.
1. It is a bit loud. So, you may need to use hearing protection.
The cast iron table of this machine is divided into two parts- infeed and outfeed. Each of the parts is 6 inches wide. The total length of the table top is around 66 inches. So, you’ll get a large surface to work with long wood pieces without any 3rd hand. Both the infeed and outfeed are easily adjustable so that you can easily make the desired adjustment.
Powermatic 1791317K comes with a helical cutterhead which contains 4-sided knife inserts. The inserts are specially designed and arranged in spiral-shaped rows. Those are positioned in such a way so that those can ensure the best performance.
Now come to the point of the fence. It is a 4 inch high and 38-inch long cast iron piece. It stands perfectly to ensure a straight placement of the wood piece. You can tilt it both sides, up to 45 degrees away and towards the table. So, you’ll be able to work with some uneven-sided wood pieces too.
There is a 115 volt, 1 HP motor is inserted into the base cabinet. But if you want, you can transform it for using with 230 volts too. The machine is almost 32 inches high. So, you’ll feel it easy to work with it.
1. The four-sided inserts are enough to ensure a great smoothing operation without any problem.
2. For a 6 inch jointer, the 66-inch long table surface is a really great feature.
1. Adjusting the fence might be a problem sometimes. So, you need to handle it carefully.
It comes with an extra-long 66.5-inch table with a width of around 9 inches. The table is divided into two parts- infeed and outfeed. These are made of cast iron for ensuring proper support and dependability. These can be adjusted easily if you want any height correction for accurate performance. The properly finished surface ensures perfect smoothing.
The cutterhead of this machine comes with a three-knife design to ensure proper smoothing. The knives are manufactured in such a way so that those can ensure smooth cutting. With the help of 230V 2 HP motor, the cutterhead spins in a speed which ensures 16000 cuts per minute.
The fence of the machine is a good feature. It is a center-mounted cast iron fence with 4-inch height and 38.5-inch length. You can easily tilt the fence in both sides, up to 45 degrees each side. Overall, the fence is good to help you in smoothing operation.
The height of the table is 31.25 inches. This is a comfortable height to perform joining tasks. So, height won’t be a problem at all.
1. The table length is a great feature to help you with smoothing operation of long wood pieces.
2. The three knives used in the cutterhead are designed and manufactured for high performance. So, you’ll get excellent performance.
1. The wheels which adjust the infeed and outfeed tables are somewhat stiff. But it won’t be a great problem.
At first, let’s talk about the table surface. Both the infeed and outfeed parts are really smooth and perfectly finished. The thing that’ll make you amazed is the length of the total table. It comes with an 82-inch long table surface with 8-inch width. So, do you need more length, I don’t think so. The infeed side is adjustable with the help of a long-handled table adjustment arm instead of a wheel. The outfeed table adjustment is also easy.
The cutterhead comes with a three-knife design. The amazing thing is it spins at 7000 RPM speed. Thus it ensures 21000 cuts per minute. Isn’t it great? A 2 HP, 230V 1-phase motor ensures enough power to provide this speed.
The fence comes with a no-mar pad. It saves the infeed and outfeed table from scratch at the time of tilting the fence. You can tilt the fence up to 45 degrees, both forward and backward. And the best thing about the fence is the control. Tilting the fence is done by a handwheel to ensure comfort.
Another great thing is the power switch. In other jointers, the power switch is positioned below the infeed table. But for safety, it comes with the power switch placed above the infeed table.
1. The length of the table is HUGE. You can acquire the most out of it when you’ll use it for smoothing really long wood pieces.
2. The no-mar pad of the fence keeps the table surface smooth like new to ensure perfect smoothing.
1. The price is a bit high. But be confirmed that you’ll get what you pay.
The total length of infeed and outfeed table is 66.5 inches. This is a good length to work with long wood pieces. The width of the top surface is 9 inches to ensure proper smoothing of up to 8-inch wide wood pieces. The whole table is made of cast iron and comes with a great finish to ensure proper support and plane surface. There is heavy duty handwheel and locking knob to make adjustments easy and simple.
Where most of the Jet jointers use knife type cutter head, it comes with a helical head. There are 36 knife inserts on the helical cutterhead to ensure précised and quiet smoothing operation. A 2HP, 230V 1-phase motor ensures power to spin the cutterhead at 5500 RPM speed.
The fence comes with a height of 4 inches and length of 38.5 inches. It comes with the option of tilting on both forward and backward. You can angle it up to 45 degrees on both sides. Thus it allows you to handle bevel operations.
It comes with a comfortable height of 31-32 inches. Thus you’ll get an easy operating scope.
1. The joiner is super quiet. So, there is no tension of hampering the sleep of others.
2. The helical inserts ensure smooth cutting with superb professionalism.
1. Installing the drive belts is a bit tough.
Things to Consider before Buying a Jointer
A jointer helps you to make the surface of wood pieces properly flat and smooth to fit with other pieces. Just like other tools, buying a jointer also needs some things to keep in consideration. Here I’m going to describe which things you should consider to get you the best jointer and why.
1. Table surface: The table top of the jointer is the first thing you have to check before buying a jointer. You need to know the surface length and width. It’ll help you to understand the size of wood pieces that the jointer will allow you to smooth.
You’ll find two types of jointers depending on the width- 6 inches and 8 inches. The length of the surface can be different. Long surfaces will allow you to work with large wood pieces. Working with long wood pieces in a short platform will be tough.
After checking the length and width, go for the smoothness of the surface. A smooth surface will allow the wood piece to pass the cutterhead easily. If the surface is uneven, the wood piece can’t pass evenly through the cutterhead.
Don’t forget to see the adjustment of the surface. The table of a jointer is divided into two parts. One is infeed, and another is outfeed. Both of these parts can be adjusted slightly for ensuring proper cutting and smoothing. Make sure that the adjustment method is familiar to you. Otherwise, précised adjustments at the beginning might be a mess. But I think this is not a vital point because you’ll be familiar with after using a few times.
2. The cutterhead: The cutterhead does the main task of a jointer, so you need to take care of it at the time of choosing one. The wood passes over it. It ensures the smoothing with the help of knife blades or knife inserts.
Cutterheads that come with knife blades generally have 2 or 3 knife blades. On the other hand, helical cutterheads come with 12 or more square-shaped knife inserts placed in a spiral pattern. With those knives or knife inserts, the cutterhead spins at high speed to provide maximum effectiveness. Both of these two setups are great, so, you can choose one as you wish.
Jointers with helical cutterheads are a bit expensive, but I think it ensures the value too. So, you can focus on those. But the other type is also great. So, if you have a low budget, cutterheads with knife blades will save you. But you have to sharpen the blades after a few days.
3. The fence: The fence is another important thing to consider before choosing a jointer. It is there for supporting you to push the wood piece straightly. So, it should be strong and firm in its position. Besides, it needs to be long and high enough to provide maximum support.
There is another thing to check in the fence- the tilting options. Tilting options allow you to perform bevel operations. The fence that can be tilted in both sides is the best in this case. The fence that can be tilted in only one side limits the operational capability. So, check before you choose.
4. Motor power: Motor power ensures the strength of the jointer. Normally 1 HP motor is enough for performing typical as well as tough operations. But, you’ll see many of these come with 2 HP motors too. Those provide some more extra power to perform smoothing operations with a better finish.
So, if you want to choose the 2 HP motors, you can choose. But if your budget is a bit low, go for 1 HP motors. No matter what the wood is, those are great at performing the task too.
5. Dust collection ability: Jointing operations spread a lot of dust as the cutterhead cuts the wood to make the surface plain. So, if there is no dust collection feature, working with the jointer will be a great mess. So, when you search for a jointer to buy, make sure that it has a dust collection feature.
If you use a mask, a jointer without dust collection will be okay. But the dust will make your workplace unclean. Besides, those will also reduce the visibility. So, I think dust collection feature is a must for a jointer. Dust removal should be easy for your comfort.
6. Customer reviews: I always recommend taking some tips from the woodworkers you know and ask for their recommendation too. If you don’t know any woodworker or if they also don’t have any idea about the tool, you can take help of customer reviews.
In customer reviews, customers express the honest experience of using the tool along with the pros and cons. If you focus on the customer reviews, you’ll know about the tools deeply. So, check a few customer reviews of the tools too.
These are some common things on that you need to keep your eyes while buying a jointer. If you can check these things properly and choose the best jointer for you, you won’t be dissatisfied. Now get one of the bests for your woodworking tasks.
As a woodworker, you’ll be able to understand the importance of a jointer if you want to produce some great furniture. So, don’t be late to pick up the best jointer for you and start hitting the woods.