Buying the best jointer can mean the difference between having a well-organized and capable woodworking workshop and one that’s not prepared for every job. After all, a jointer is often the foundation upon which many woodworkers build their workshops and are a helpful tool for dealing with less than perfect boards. Finding the best jointer isn’t always an easy proposition, however. There are a number of different models currently available and not every one of them is worth owning. Fortunately, I’ve assembled a list of the ten best models that I think would make any professional or home workshop better equipped for handling just about any job.
10. Powermatic Deluxe 54A With Quick-Set Knives
With a stable 21-inch by 13-inch all-steel cabinet as its base and a table that’s 7.25-inches wide by 66-inches long, this tool has enough support to handle even large pieces of work. It’s equipped with a 115-volt motor that’s mounted inside the cabinet and can be converted to use 230-volt power. This product has a fence with positive stops at 45-degrees and 90-degrees and comes with quick-set knives. This model also has a dust collection chute that keeps the user’s workshop air cleaner and this unit does require user assembly.
9. Delta Power Tools 37-071
Made using cast-iron, so it has less vibration and is more stable than some other units, this tool is a high-quality product that’s designed for professional workshops. It has a cast iron fence support system, a fence adjustment system with positive stops at 90-degrees and 45-degrees, and offers up to a 1/8-inch depth of cut. It has a 1-7/8th-inch aluminum cutter head that has a speed of 10,000 RPM and delivers up to 20,000 cuts per minute. This midi-bench system is designed to give the user the power and the options they need for their woodworking needs.
8. Powertec BJ600 Bench Unit
This bench unit is designed to give the user the ability to create a smooth and flat edge up to 1/8th-inch. This product has a cast iron in and out feed table and has a fence that can tilt 45-degrees inward and outward for bevel cuts. This model’s table is 28.5-inches by 6.25-inches, it’s fence is 4-3/8th-inches by 22-7/8th-inches and the whole unit weighs around 79-pounds. This model also has a safety power switch lock and a 120-Volt 1.75-HP motor and a cutting width of 6-1/8th-inch. All of these features give the user the convenience, power, and versatility to handle wood boards quickly.
7. Steelex ST1010
Designed for woodworkers who need a smaller unit that doesn’t sacrifice accuracy, this unit is built to not take up a whole lot of space and to be fully adjustable. It has a built-in mobile base, a 1-HP 120-Volt motor, and a 2.5-inch cutting head diameter. This tool has a 5-inch by 35-inch cast iron fence with positive stops at 45-degrees, 90-degrees, and 135-degrees. It has overall dimensions of 46-inches long by 27-inches wide by 37.5-inches high, has three 6-inch by 5/8-inch by 1/8-inch knives and has a max rabbeting capacity of 1/2-inch. Overall, it’s a unit that’s not big but is capable of getting the job done.
6. Wen 10-Amp 6-Inch 6560 Model
Designed to efficiently help the user flatten out their boards and to handle face-jointing and edging tasks, this unit has many of the features that make those jobs possible. It has a 10-amp motor that provides the power for up to 20,000 cuts per minute on this 6/.25-inch by a 28.5-inch table that has a two blade 6-1/8th-inch cutter head. This product also has an adjustable 22.75-inch by 4.5-inch fence that can bevel up to 45-degrees in either direction. This tools also features a sturdy cast-iron base, a dust port, push stick, push block and a filter bag.
5. Powermatic 1610086K Model 60HH
This tool is not only designed to be accurate but is also designed to be easy-to-use and it has a number of features which prove that fact. Table height can be position using the in-feed table lever and fine adjustments can then be made for depth of cut. This model has fence tilting that is handled by a worm gear system and can be operated via a hand wheel. It has a 73-inch extended support and a non-mar insert that protects the table from scratches during fence adjustments. It has a helical cutter-head that has a quieter and smoother cutting action and leaves a great finish as well.
4. Powermatic 1791317K 54HH
This product not only gives a high-quality finish but is quiet as well. It has a 21-inch wide by 13-inch deep all-steel cabinet that keeps the table surface at a distance of 32-inches above the floor. Another key feature which can be found in this unit is a 115-Volt 1-HP motor that gives the table the power it needs to finish the job. This tool also has a helical cutter-head that allows for effective and quiet performance. Other features found on this unit include a high-performance fence system that can tilt 45-degree in either direction and a cast-iron table.
3. JET 708457DXK JJ-6CSDX
Offering one of the longer working surfaces currently available among comparable models, this tool has a total length of 56-inches. Other features included in this product include a 1-HP motor that allows it to do 6,000 CPM and three high-speed steel knives with a cutting depth of 1/2-inch. This unit also has a 4-inch dust port that helps the user keep everything clean and provides chip and dust disposal and industrial-strength push-button controls. It also has a 33-1/8-inch long fence with 45-degree and 90-degree stops and a 1/2-inch rabbeting capacity.
2. Cutech 40160H-CT
This bench-top unit has the power and the features that most woodworkers are looking for in one of these tools. It has a powerful 120-Volt 10-Amp motor, a 4-3/8th-inch high by 19-5/8th-inch adjustable fence, a spiral type cutter-head with 12 HSS inserts and level adjustable beds. This tool weighs about 40-pounds, has a total table length of 30-inches and a 6-inch width capacity. It also has a 2.5-inch dust port that allows chips to be quickly evacuated from the table. It’s a unit that’s easy-to-use, is powerful and is easy to maintain.
1. Jet JJ-8HH
This unit has a number of features which make it useful and popular among woodworkers. It has a 2-HP motor that’s not only powerful but is also quiet and runs smoothly and a 2-way tilting fence that has positive stops at 45-degrees and 90-degrees and allows for smooth bevel operations. This unit also has a high-quality cast-iron in-feed and out-feed, a build in dust chute with a 4-inch port and a heavy-duty hand wheel which has a locking knob and allows for table adjustments. It’s a unit that’s easy-to-use, durable, powerful and is easy-to-maintain day after day.
Whether you have expensive hobbies or are a carpenter with a lot of experience, a jointer is one of the most important pieces of equipment in any workshop. Being able to manipulate the wood to create a flat surface they can help to make a difficult task simple.
This is easier when you use one of the best jointers and since the standards and price vary, you are going to want to get this purchase right. The following guide is designed to help you know what a jointer worth buying looks like.
What To Look For In A Jointer
Measured in CPM (Cuts Per Minute) a jointer should have a powerful motor that cuts accurately. This is easier to do with adjustable speeds and expect the range to be anywhere from 12,000 to 20,000.
This is often the deciding factor as to how much a jointer will be and are mostly available in 6″ and 8″ widths. The more room you have the more options you get when it comes to what you can do with the jointer.
High-end jointers often come with 4 knives although this isn’t always the case. Expect 2 as standard but what you want is for them to be easy to adjust.
Since woodwork is a messy business, expect chips and dust to be flying around. This is why you need to buy a jointer that comes with a dust collector. This makes it easy for you to dispose of the debris rather than wear it!
Although you are going to have to bolt down your benchtop jointer the device still needs to be stable when in use. The less it vibrates the easier it is to cut with accuracy and some brands are better at this than others.
Easy To Install
There shouldn’t be a lot for you to do when you first open the jointer up but expect clear instructions and a product that doesn’t take long to get to grips with. Things like table locking levers should be easy to use from the start as well as the installation of the drive belts.
Even though it’s unlikely that you will be buying a jointer to use it at 1 am, your neighbors will thank you for buying one with a quiet motor. It will also make the woodworking you undertake more enjoyable as things can get pretty noisy with some models.
The size of the table is going to make your life a lot easier as the more it can accommodate, the larger the wood you can work on. However, you need to consider how much space you have and if you need the jointer to be portable so you can take it to different jobs. There is little point in buying a closed stand jointer if you haven’t got the space to use it properly.
A jointer isn’t a small piece of equipment and the price tag will reflect this. Because of this, you want your jointer to come with at least a one year warranty and the more the better.
Different Types of Jointers
These are good for hobbyists and those who take on smaller projects as they are compact, more portable and designed to cut wood up to six inches wide. This might be restrictive for some but it gives those on a smaller budget a chance to use a jointer at home.
Often known as being a little noisy, they are still portable and give you a bit more to play with than Benchtop jointers. What you get in extra space you have to compromise in stability though.
These are built for the more serious woodworker as they are heavier to operate and with an enclosed base are known for being stable. This is partly down to their weight and built quality but expect to part with more money to get your hand on the best.
Jointer Fence Advice
For a smooth cut, this is something you need to pay attention to. It is easy to angle the fence if there are positive stops in place. Most products start with angles of 45 degrees and the limit can vary from brand to brand. Expect positive stops at both 45 and 90 degrees.
A good fence will significantly add to how well the jointer can perform so if you read negative reviews about this part of the jointer you are favoring, it is best to avoid it.