Best Jointer Reviews of 2021
ET JJ-6CSDX 708457DXK 6″ Long Bed Jointer
Best cabinet jointer
One horsepower and a consistent 6,000 RPM make this cabinet jointer perfect for the home workshop.
1 JET JJ-6CSDX Review
If you’re an avid woodworker and want to equip your workshop with only the best equipment, the JET JJ-6CSDX is an excellent choice for a jointer.
Its 6-inch long bed, consistent rotations per minute – 6,000 RPM, to be precise – and a whopping 1 horsepower can fuel all your creative projects. Rest assured that this jointer will straighten all surfaces in a breeze and will help you achieve the squarest edges.
Designed to last, it features a cast iron table that is precision-machined for accurate wood sliding. Assembling the unit is fairly easy, and the instructions manual is helpful and comprehensible. No doubt, the best choice for the avid hobbyist or a professional novice.
PORTER-CABLE PC160JT Variable Speed Benchtop Jointer
Best benchtop jointer
Variable speed control allow you to work with materials of different hardness.
2 PORTER-CABLE PC160JT Review
Do you need a compact jointer for your home or pro workshop? Check out the PORTER-CABLE PC160JT. This unit fits on a benchtop and is versatile enough to suit all projects.
Like our best in class, it has a 6-inch long bed, but it comes with a variable rather than a single speed. Sure, the 6,000 RPM is the sweet spot for most woodworking jobs, but this unit’s speed between 6,000 and 11,000 RPM can help you finish the job faster when working with softer wood.
Designed for a fixed installation, it comes with pre-drilled screw holes for easier fastening to your work surface. Powerful and reliable, it is the best benchtop jointer around.
Wahuda Tools 50180CC-WHD 8-inch Benchtop Wood Jointer
A portable alternative
A higher speed makes it perfect for softwood varieties.
3 Wahuda Tools 50180CC-WHD Review
The Wahuda Tools 50180CC-WHD comes as an alternative to our best value if you care more about higher speed than speed adjustability. This machine spins at 12,000 RPM and is perfect for using with softwood workpieces.
We like that it’s compact and portable, in that you could take it with you to your customers’ homes. However, don’t you believe that it’s lightweight – the unit weighs 58.9lbs.
Like our best value, this jointer comes with pre-drilled holes for easy fastening to a benchtop. Size-wise, you can opt for an 8-inch long bed, although you can also get it in 6-inch and 10-inch variants.
WEN JT630H 10-Amp 6-Inch Spiral Benchtop Jointer
Cheap and compact
A reliable depth of cut scale and adjustable infeed table ensure maximum accuracy.
4 WEN JT630H Review
Woodworkers on a budget might also like the WEN JT630H jointer. Like the Wahuda Tools 50180CC-WHD, this tabletop unit features a fixed speed of 12,000 RPM. It might not be your best bet for hardwood, but for everything else, it’s just perfect.
The cutting bed has a 6-inch length, and the spiral cuttheader utilizes HSS blades. The adjustable infeed table also allows you to remove a minimal quantity of material with each pass. Inexpensive and compact, this is no doubt the best jointer for hobbyists on a budget.
What is a jointer?
Most inexperienced woodworkers know they need a jointer in their workshop, but many don’t really know what’s the purpose of this machine.
The truth is that the jointer is one of the first power tools to have in your arsenal, alongside a table saw. It is used to create a flat surface on your wooden board’s faces and edges. Whether you have a bowed, warped, or twisted board, you need a jointer to make its faces flat and edges straight.
What does a jointer do?
As we already mentioned, the jointer flattens the faces and edges of a wooden board. The machine has two tables, an infeed and an outfeed. The infeed table is adjustable so you can decide how much stock you want to remove.
A cutter head mounted flush with the outfeed table is responsible for cutting excess stock and flattening the face or side of the board, while the outfeed table provides support to your flatten workpiece.
Jointer vs. planer
Because a planer is also used to remove stock, many beginners may find it hard to understand what’s the actual difference between the two tools.
Simply put, a planer is used to cut a wooden board at equal thickness after it has been jointed. A planer is simpler to use than a jointer, and some manufacturers even produce hand planers, which are a great alternative to the powered ones if you have little space in your workshop.
Which one do I need?
Whether you need a jointer or a planer depends on what type of lumber you decide to work with. If it’s rough sawn wood, you need a jointer. If you decide to buy S2S or S4S lumber from your supplier, a planer could be a better choice.
Considering though that it’s hard to find perfectly flattened or straightened wood, it’s always a great idea to buy a jointer first and planer after, especially if you want to achieve professional results.
Types of jointers
The first thing to decide before buying a jointer is the type you need. You can pick from two different styles, and some manufacturers even make jointer and planer combo machines.
- Cabinet jointer: It is the most powerful – but also the most expensive – type. Just like cabinet table saws, they are powered by strong motors capable to output up to 2 horsepower. These units can have various types of cutter heads that will ultimately determine their performance, but most cabinet jointers can meet the needs of professional woodworkers.
- Benchtop jointer: Much smaller than the cabinet, and also cheaper, the benchtop jointer is more suitable for the amateurs. It mounts on your benchtop, and some models are also compatible with a miter saw stand. Although they are not as powerful nor as accurate as cabinet jointers, they fit perfectly in a smaller workshop; some higher-end models are even performing enough to satisfy professionals.
- Jointer planer combo: This combination power tool blends the benefits of a jointer with those of a planer. It could be a more budget-friendly solution if you need both types of equipment but can’t afford two machines; however, the performance for either function is only average.
The power of your jointer determines what type of wood you can cut, but also the maximum cut depth your machine can handle without losing performance.
Commercial grade jointers can usually output 2 horsepower or over, and can handle soft and hardwood alike. Most cabinet home shop jointers come with 1 horsepower motors; these models can handle softwood beautifully, but they may struggle with hardwood.
Benchtop jointers are usually the least powerful. Their motors are typically rated below 1 horsepower. They are ideal for amateurs, but will unlikely live to the expectations of a professional.
Jointer cutter heads and blades
What type of cutter head your jointer uses will determine the accuracy and precision of the results.
Most jointers come with either two or three-blade straight cutter heads or helical cutter heads, but the performance is ultimately determined by the type of blade.
- Disposable straight blades: Are the simplest and cheapest model. They’re usually made of high-speed steel and produce great results on softwood. However, they tend to lose sharpness quite quickly, and finding the right alignment when changing them can be time-consuming.
- Reusable straight blades: Similar to the disposable kind, they are also usually made from high-speed steel, but you can sharpen them when needed. Depending on the type of jointer and sharpener, you may or may not have to disassemble them for sharpening; if you do, they might be just as hard to realign as the disposable ones.
- Square-cut carbide insert blades: Used with helical cutter heads, they have a cutting edge square to the stock. These blades are ideal for cutting all types of wood, stay sharp for longer, and when they get dull, you can simply rotate the cutter to get access to a new sharp edge.
- Angle-cut carbide insert blades: Are similar to the square-cut type and are also used on the helical heads. The main difference between the two is the contact angle between the blade and the stock, with these producing a more precise result.
Other features to consider
Besides the above, there are also a few other things you should consider before buying.
- Adjustable cutting depth: Almost all jointers will allow you to adjust the cutting depth, but there are exceptions. This is an essential feature to look after. Otherwise, you won’t be able to decide how much stock to remove in one cut.
- Dust collection: Like all woodworking power tools, jointers can be quite messy. A machine with an integrated dust management system will keep your workshop cleaner as you’re working.
- Adjustable fences: Another essential feature to look after is adjustable fences; they let you keep the stock aligned while being pushed, so you can flatten the wood at the desired angle.
How to use a jointer
Using a jointer is not complicated. All you have to do is push the wood board through the spinning blades to remove rough stock and flatten the surface. However, there are a few things you should know before starting if you want to achieve good results.
- The key to perfect flattening is to adjust the outfeed table flush with the blades. In this way, the board will glide smoothly onto the table once it’s flattened.
- Never cut more than 1/16 inches of stock, even if your infeed table can be adjusted for deeper cuts.
- Run the wood over the jointer with the grain of the wood running uphill for less wear and tear of the blades.
- Apply pressure on the infeed table until your stock has passed halfway through the cutter head, then transition the pressure on the outfeed table.
- Use push pads or sticks to keep your hands away from the cutter head, especially when flattening the faces of your board.
How to sharpen jointer blades
If your jointer comes with removable blades, you can sharpen them either with a manual or rotating sharpening stone. Here is how to do it:
- Inspect the blades and assess their dullness. Because they are quite difficult to align once you’ve taken them off the cutter head , it is recommended only to sharpen them when you no longer achieve the desired results.
- Disassemble the blades. Most jointers have simple systems that allow you to take the blades off for maintenance; consult your user manual to see how to do it.
- Wipe each blade with a dry cloth to remove any debris, then place the sharpening stone on a flat surface and dampen it with water or oil, as instructed by the manufacturer.
- Place the flat edge of the blade on the stone, apply pressure on it with your hands, and rub the blade against the stone in a back and forth motion for about ten times. Turn the blade on its bevel edge, positioning it in such way that the entire edge comes in contact with the stone and use a back and forth motion to hone it.
- Test the sharpened blade on a piece of paper to see if it’s sharp enough, and repeat the process if needed. If you’re happy with the sharpness, mount the blade back into the cutter head as shown in your jointer’s manual. That’s it! You can now use your jointer again to flatten the wood stock.
Best Jointer for the Money
PORTER-CABLE PC160JT Variable Speed Benchtop JointerBest benchtop jointer
Variable speed control allow you to work with materials of different hardness.