Best Jointer Reviews 2017
If you work with wood on a regular basis, there’s every chance you will have thought of investing in a jointer.
When lumber is distorted, twisted or bent out of shape, the best jointer will flatten it out nicely for you.
After flattening the lumber, the edges can be made straight or square to fit your particular project.
Not only will the look of your timber be enhanced, it will also end up far more durable after being treated with a jointer.
With so many different models on the market and such a wide range of variables, buying the most suitable jointer can seem like navigating a minefield.
We are here to help.
We’ll give you some basic background on these versatile and handy tools before moving on to the 5 best jointer reviews.
Our Top Picks for Best Jointer
First thing’s first… What, exactly, is a jointer?
What Is A Jointer?
When you want to cut pieces of timber to a given thickness, a table saw and surface planer are normally the tools you will reach for.
Before using these, though, you will want one edge flat. That’s where a jointer comes into its own.
First, you use the jointer to normalize any warping or twisting of the boards.
Jointers come with an infeed table and an outfeed table. Both are aligned in the same plane.
Mounted between these tables is a cutter head with knives.
The cutting circle is always flush to the outfeed table.
A fence acts as your guide. This is generally adjustable up to 45 degrees.
This excellent short video outlines how to use a jointer for best results.
Why Use A Jointer?
For many woodworking projects, you’ll be called upon to render a completely square edge on a board.
You can achieve this in a number of ways. There is nothing like a jointer, though, to get the job done to perfection. A motorized jointer will deliver performance with precision. You will also be able to repeat the task fuss-free.
The key reason for using a jointer is to make the edges and faces of your timber into totally flat surfaces.
You generally buy timber in the form of rectangular boards. These can be neatly shaved into a range of lengths, widths and thicknesses.
A jointer will also smooth any uneven surfaces from all sides for an impeccable finish.
Its core purpose is to make certain that you can join up two pieces of wood seamlessly.
While some people consider jointers as a luxury rather than a necessity, if you are serious about your woodworking projects, there is simply no substitute.
Buying any product is never straightforward. With a relatively complex tool like a jointer, it pays to know in advance some of the things you need to look out for…
What To Look For When Buying a Jointer…
Type of Jointer
- Tabletop: This jointer is designed to sit on a table or desk. There is no adjustable outfeed table
- Benchtop: Slightly smaller than a tabletop, benchtop jointers are suitable for little projects. Since they lack in stability, benchtops are not recommended for cutting pieces more than 6 inches wide. This type of jointer has a closed stand base
- Closed Stand: The base of this jointer is completely enclosed. This prevents dust or debris from affecting the motor and cutter head. The bases of these models are generally sturdy. The is extremely safe and stable while minimizing noise and vibration into the bargain. They are available in 6, 8, 12 and 16 inch variants
- Open Stand: This type of jointer is cheap and portable. On the downside, an open stand is noisier and rather less stable with the motor exposed
In general, the length of the knives dictates the size of the jointer.
This indicates the widest timber your jointer will handle. As a rule of thumb, jointers can deal with wood up to twice the length of the bed.
There are 3 main sizes if you’re looking for the best jointer:
- 6-Inch: The smallest size is used by DIY enthusiasts and professionals alike. These jointers cater to most basic woodworking needs
- 8-Inch: With wider knives along with a longer bed, you can work with bulkier pieces. The mid-size jointer packs a fair amount of extra weight which is needed for stability. You’ll also need to spend considerably more for a quality tool
- 16-Inch: This type of jointer is suitable for professional workshops. You can hack up weighty pieces of timber with this grade of jointer
The cutting depth determines how many passes are required to straighten the piece fully.
1/2 to 3/4 inch is generally sufficient to make light work of your task.
Length and Flatness of Table
Perfectly flat tables on your jointer are crucial for quality results.
If you want a straighter joint, opt for a longer table.
Sometimes, space restrictions might prevent this so choose according to your needs but don’t overlook the importance of this factor.
Power of Jointer
Standard motors are 1 or 2 HP.
Jointers differ in terms of voltage.
In the home, 120 or 220V are both fine.
Industrial jointers call for 440V. This dual-phase element is not required for work done in the home.
How Mobile Is The Jointer?
When it comes to the heavier-duty jointers, being able to easily shift a bulky unit is a key factor.
Look for a jointer with a mobile base.
How Do You Adjust The Knives?
You’ve got 2 main choices when it comes to tweaking the height and alignment of your knives.
- Jack Screws
Most woodworkers find spring adjustment more user-friendly.
When you work with a jointer, you’ll generate your fair share of dust and assorted debris.
Many models have inbuilt dust collectors and dust ports to claw shavings and dust from your path.
Spiral heads splaying cutters with 4 sides into a spiral pattern are the most efficient.
These jointers slice away at your timber more quietly and with less power than straight knives.
We appreciate that’s a fairly sizeable list of considerations.
Take your time.
Think about exactly how you will work with the jointer.
Read plenty of user reviews. These tend to provide a wide range of information about the tool.
We’ll now look at the 5 best jointer reviews.
5 Best Jointer Detail Reviews
We’ll start off with an entry-level jointer from PORTER CABLE.
The PC160JT is an inexpensive, lightweight piece of kit.
Aside from variable speed, it does not come with much beyond the bare essentials. For beginners and small projects, this jointer is ideal, though.
The single-phase 10-amp motor is adequate but not impressive.
Some users report issues with stability and overall durability.
You can move from 6-11000 RPM with this jointer.
The cutter block has 2 knives. You can go to a maximum of 1/8 inch with the PORTER CABLE.
If you have modest expectations from your jointer and will be undertaking light duties, the PC160JT is well worth considering.
It’s a cheap jointer that delivers great results if you are not too ambitious with the scope of your woodworking projects.
- Very cheap
- Lightweight with aluminum fence for streamline unit
- Good for DIY and beginners
- Variable speed for added flexibility
- Highly portable while getting the job done
- No added features just the basic jointer
- Steel table prone to oxidizing
Next up is a mid-range jointer from Powermatic that will run you a fair bit more in return for a powerful and feature-rich tool.
You’ll get great support when working your wood thanks to the elongated tables. You’ll be good for pieces of wood up to 70 inches in length.
You can use a lever to position the infeed table. It’s also possible to tinker with the cut depth.
The mount switch is nice and high to make things very easy in operation.
The helical cutterhead will efficiently smooth anything you throw its way.
2 HP is more than sufficient to power your way through most woodworking jobs in the house or on site.
One of the sacrifices you make for such a powerful jointer is a certain lack of mobility. The Powermatic tips the scales at over 500 pounds. You certainly won’t be lifting or carrying it alone so bear that in mind.
Overall, if you have more advanced woodworking needs and are looking for a top-notch jointer that will deliver consistently smooth and flexible results, check out this Powermatic.
- Long tables so you can work fully supported
- High mount switch for maximum convenience
- Easy to fine tune
- Great for long pieces of timber
- Expensive although great overall value for money
Next we look at a 6-inch benchtop jointer from Shop Fox.
This brand combines cost-effective tools and a great reputation.
With a 1.5 HP single-phase motor, you can comfortably use this jointer at home or for more rugged commercial projects.
You will encounter no problem moving or adjusting the knives on this benchtop.
The cutterhead has 2 knives and runs up to 10000 rpm.
Unlike the PORTER CABLE, it’s not adjustable.
You’ll be able to tweak the cutting depth and make full adjustment to the fence.
The impeller means you won’t be menaced by wood chips when you’re working.
For a budget bench top to use for modest home projects, this Shop Fox merits a mention.
- Affordable without compromising on quality
- Cast iron so extremely hard wearing and built to last
- Adequate juice at 1.5 HP
- Knives easy to remove or adjust
- Runs up to 10000 rpm for quick but accurate results
- Mini impeller to deal with wood chips and improve your working space
- Some reported defective units shipped out so do your research
JET offers a reasonably priced long bed jointer for those with more ambitious scope.
You can avail yourself of one of the lengthiest work surfaces in a jointer of this class.
3 knives operate at a rapid pace to deliver a first-rate and incredibly smooth finish without calling for a knife-setting gauge.
There’s a quick-change system in place that makes swapping out the blades much more quickly than on most models.
You’ll get a protective case thrown in for good measure.
A rabbeting ledge allows you a high degree of flexibility.
The controls are easy to use and well placed so you can enjoy your woodworking confident in your jointer. Quick adjustments can be made with the center fence controls.
The dust chute hooks up to your collection system allowing you to work unmenaced by dust and debris.
For a rigid and dependable jointer with great functionality, JET’s 6-Inch jointer is worth taking into account.
- Not as costly as some of the competition
- Long surface for larger projects
- Automatic quick-change system to seamlessly switch knives
- Quick, accurate and smooth finish for an all-round package
- 1 HP motor surprisingly powerful
- Rabbeting ledge makes this jointer very versatile
- Heavy enough at 250 pounds that
wheel setis needed but not included so you’ll need to think about buying one
We’ll finish up with a stand-mounted 6-Inch benchtop jointer from Grizzly.
This reputable manufacturer is well known for offering efficient tools that won’t break the bank.
The 100V, single-phase 1.5 HP motor makes this jointer perfect for home use. The top speed is 10000 rpm which is pretty standard for this size tool.
You’ll get 45-degree bevel adjustment.
Set-up can prove testing. Slack manufacturing at times rather than any design flaw leads to the odd unit shipping in sub-par form.
Adjusting the height of the tables is problematic and requires Allen wrenches not supplied.
The dust port and internal exhaust systems will leave you working in comfort.
For a hardwearing and affordable benchtop jointer, look no further than this Grizzly.
- Brand heritage so buy with confidence
- Affordable so will suit most budgets
- Heavy duty: built to last
- Can adjust bevel easily to 45 degrees
- Powerful 1.5 HP motor gives great performance
- Great design for dust collection system
- Changing blades can be awkward
- Setting up can be tricky. Some components may need adjustment
Everyone’s needs differ when it comes to woodworking.
Be honest about what you will do with your jointer.
Take some time and get to grips with the main functionality of different styles and sizes of jointer.
You can rely on any of the best 5 jointer reviews above.
Don’t hesitate to reach out if you have any feedback or questions.