If you are a woodworking professional, hobbyists, or a DIY enthusiast, you understand the importance of implementing the right tool for better performance. One of these tools is the best benchtop jointer.
The main function that a jointer does is to polish wood surfaces and even them out to perfection. They are available in various sizes, shapes, and designs, making the buying decision overwhelming.
Best Benchtop Jointer 2019
That is why we have put together a list of the best benchtop jointer, highlighting what each product is best for. Then we provide a thorough buyer’s guide so you know what features are must-have and which are merely nice extras. Here is everything you need to know and a review of the top 5 products.
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Cutech 40160H-CT 6″ – Best Benchtop Jointer for Beginners
It is not often that you get the performance you are looking for and affordability when the equipment in question is a benchtop jointer. With the Cutech 40160H-CT 6″ benchtop jointer, you will feel like you hit the jackpot. Apart from being insanely affordable, it comes with all the features other high-end products on the market have to offer. Whether you are a seasoned artisan just starting out, or you are a hobbyist, you will find this machine handy for all your projects.
For one, the manufacturer equipped this tool with a highly functional spiral cutter head that delivers pleasant results. This particular tool is powered by 10Amp and is run on 120V motor. While a few people might think otherwise, this power is sufficient to handle most of the heavy-duty projects around your workshop. It works incredibly well with lots of heavy carpentry tasks.
Coupled with the sufficient power it provides, is the new system of blades that features 12 2-sided inserts that promise smooth finishes. They output way better results than most traditional cutter-heads on the market.
The Cutech 40160H-CT 6″, like most of the high-end benchtop jointers on the market, features an infeed table with cast iron, which is extremely strong for durability. Measuring 30 inches in length, it is adjustable and you can conveniently customize it on the fly. This, together with the easy-to-tweak cutter-head spring tension, provides you with meticulous results while you are at it.
Apart from the sturdiness of the table, the fence itself has unmatched quality. It measures approximately 4 3/8 inches high by 19 5/8 inches. The design is also customizable and it can make tilts from a 90-degree angle to 135 degrees without much of a hassle. This provides you with the versatility you need to make certain cuts at varied angles.
This product can be easily assembled when you compare it to other types of benchtop jointers. If this doesn’t tempt you, then the 2.5-inch dust port and the push blocks that come with the purchase might entice you. The provision of all the necessary accessories negates the need for the purchase of proprietary parts like other models would.
So we have our jointer push blocks, dust port, fence bracket, fence sliding bracket, sliding bracket lever, washer and nut, fence square nuts and screws, 2.5 millimeters and 4 millimeter hex wrench, yellow safety key for the switch and the T Torx wrench for the cutter head and the fence, so at the rear of the jointer we’ll have to remove these four screws with the four millimeter hex wrench. Then we have to install the fence bracket where these four screws were just removed. Next, we install the two screws and the two squared nuts on the fence sliding bracket. Then we slide this into the fence. The square nuts have a flat side to them. So you have to rotate them in order to slide the bracket onto the fence. Install this square nut under the bracket with the convex or the rounded side facing down.
Powermatic 1791317K 54HH 6-Inch – Best High-End Benchtop Jointer
Are you on the lookout for a product that incorporates amazing features? One that comes with a high-quality construction and is unique in its own way? The Powermatic 1791317K 54HH 6-Inch benchtop jointer is the perfect tool for you. The product is a joy to use. It brings together user-friendliness and durability.
This amazing tool, compared to other products on the market, comes with helical cutter head and 4-sided index carbide knife inserts. It has been constructed to give you the utmost accuracy you desire. Also, this particular piece of equipment comes with a superior finish. Aside from that, its 1HP motor supplies enough power to spin the blades at high speeds for smooth work progression. This motor is attached to the base cabinet, and with its versatility, you can convert it to a 230V equipment. It comes pre-wired for 115V.
The placing of the motor is so convenient in that it allows you to conveniently adjust the belt tension and use the lever on the feeding table to make precision cuts. Moreover, the base of Powermatic 1791317K 54HH 6-Inch comes with a dust collection that ensures all the debris from your woodworking is safely evacuated.
The tool measures a total of 66 inches in length with a width of 7.5 inches. The cast iron table is precision ground and is one of the longest among the other models. This way, it can accommodate large pieces of wood for your projects. The fence system, similar to the table, is of cast iron and it features a length of 38 inches and a height of 4 inches. It is also finely polished and ground precisely for straight outputs. Nevertheless, for accuracy, you can tilt it to adapt to various positions.
JET 708457DXK JJ-6CSDX 6-Inch – Best 6 Inch Benchtop Jointer
This tool suffices as the first option for anyone looking for the best benchtop jointer on the market. All the efforts the manufacturer put into ensuring that this unit has the optimal performance have not gone to waste. The JET 708457DXK JJ-6CSDX 6-Inch boasts satisfaction and guarantees high-quality results regardless of the type of boards you are working on. It is the perfect choice if your work calls for full-sized equipment with smooth results. But what exactly makes it great among other benchtop jointers available?
The JET 708457DXK JJ-6CSDX 6-Inch benchtop jointer is run by a dual 1HP motor. The equipment can be powered by 115 volts or 230 volts. Regardless of the option you choose, you will have the motor running at its peak. You don’t have to worry about the efficiency while handling a variety of jobs.
As a perfect addition to your workshop, this piece of equipment features a long cast-iron table that is unmatched in terms of accuracy. Also incorporated is a knife-system that has a quick and swift operation. This is to ensure that time is saved while output and productivity are maximized. It comes with three steel blades that run rapidly for fine cuts and perfectly polished results.
The design itself certainly portrays the manufacturer’s intent on ease of use. Apart from the elegant and durable look, you can easily make adjustments of the infeed table. It comes with convenient wheels that move swiftly when you rotate them. Through this feature, you have more control in your hands. The tapers and every adjustment you need to make precise measurements are all at your disposal.
With every complete motion that the machine makes, the 38-inch fence runs along with it. It has the capability of tilting in both ways while making complete halts at angles of 45 and 90 degrees to accommodate the operations of the bevel. This is beneficial if you want to make quick cuts at varied angles.
The only issue about this incredible equipment is that the tension might be a little bit tricky to adjust. It is also very heavy. However, the two are a trade-off, considering all the other features that make it worth every penny.
Delta Power Tools 37-071 6 Inch – Best Benchtop Jointer for Versatility
Like all the other machines that the manufacturer of this tool offers, the Delta Power Tools 37-071 6 Inch shines in all aspects. This particular benchtop jointer is one of the most desired pieces of equipment for its power and exceptional performance. What’s even intriguing, is that it comes at an affordable price. In a nutshell, it is compact, solid, and very simple to use. It is exactly what everyone wants to add to their other tools in the workshop.
The Delta Power Tools 37-071 6 Inch features a construction that is all business. It has been constructed in such a way that ensures that vibrations are minimized. The build, unlike the other types made of aluminum, features a cast iron fashioning. It runs on a single phase 120V 12Amp motor, which, surprisingly, spins the blades at 10000RPM! As if that isn’t enough, this machine features 2 straight blades on the cutter head able to hit 20000 cuts in every minute.
In comparison to other models available on the market, the Delta Power Tools 37-071 6 Inch benchtop jointer is portable. The table is engineered with utmost precision and can handle all types of wood regardless of their hardness. It measures 28.5 inches long. This means that it can accommodate stocks up to 5 inches long without necessarily offering extra support.
The aid that the fence provides is very impressive. Measuring 22 7/8 inches, the fence can be simply adjusted. It is equipped to make two stops at the 45 and 90-degree angles. At these positions, you get to enjoy the ability to join your pieces together. However, the fence might be out of alignment. Luckily, you can check this with a speed square and calibrate it correctly.
Shop Fox W1829 – Best Benchtop Jointer for the Budget
This is the most affordable benchtop jointer among the others on this list. If you are tight on cash and you still need a benchtop for your carpentry projects, the Shop Fox W1829 jointer should be your first consideration. The manufacturer put together a list of amazing features, ranging from a reliably built table to a dust port. Another reason why this amazing tool deserves a place in your arsenal of tools is the level of control it promises.
The Shop Fox W1829 benchtop jointer is run by a 1.5HP single phase motor, which is powerful enough for all your carpentry needs. The motor powers a cutter head with 2 knives rotating at a speed of 10000RPM. The unit is fully adjustable and it guarantees a flawless performance of 20000 cuts per minute. The speed and the rapid cutting alone are enough to let you know that what you are buying is a machine that promises high quality and seamless work.
It comes with a large cast iron table, measuring 28.5 inches in length and 6.25 inches wide. It isn’t the colossus type for some projects, but it is enough to handle most woodworking needs. The fence has also been perfected in its own way. It can be finely modified.
It gives you positive stops at the 45 and 90-degree angles to accommodate better results. Apart from allowing you to make bevel cuts, the Shop Fox W1829 jointer also gives you a chance to make surface planning. Moreover, you can carry out all the edge jointing requirements for your projects.
More features of this beautiful machine include an incorporated impeller. This enhances the dust collection process of the machine. Its design allows it to evacuate all the bits and chips from the blades through the dust port. The dust port is 2.5 inches in size. All these and other features make the product one to have.
Best Benchtop Jointer – Buyers Guide
It is essential in ensuring that your work stands out from the rest. With this particular tool, you can prepare the wood with the utmost expertise. All pieces of wood that require flat and smooth pieces to be “jointed together” will be easier to deal with.
For any product that you invest in, you clearly understand that its productivity is as good as the little decisions that you make. If you make a decision without considering certain factors, you might end up with a tool that won’t last you long. However, if you take your time and factor in everything there is to know about the purchase, you are guaranteed of a product that will last you ages. That said, here is everything you need to know about benchtop jointers.
What is a Benchtop Jointer?
Others might not be familiar with this term, but if you don’t live in the USA, you might know it as a planer. This is a bit contradictory, for in the US, a planer is a totally different tool used to manage the thickness of a board. Nonetheless, it is all semantics.
That said, a benchtop jointer is a woodworking tool used for two main functions. It flattens the sides of boards or woods to give them a smooth polish. Also, it allows you to square the pieces for easy joining and for a particular project. These tools only work with woods that are up to 6 inches wide.
Types of Benchtop Jointers
As earlier mentioned, there are several types of benchtop jointers. Although they all perform the same function, some of them are better suited for specific applications.
• Benchtop – It works best by leveling or straightening out the edges of boards and faces of others which are narrow. They can only accommodate wood that are no more than six inches wide.
• Long Bed – This tool, in particular, is longer than the benchtop model. It can accommodate projects with boards of between 6 and 12 inches. A good example of this tool is the JET 708457DXK JJ-6CSDX 6-Inch jointer.
• Closed Stand – As the name hints these types are closed, and they are the best in terms of durability. The motor is enclosed at the base to keep it free from debris. They have a capacity of between 6 inches to 16 inches. Compared to the other types of jointers, this tool is the safest to work with. They also reduce noise and the vibration that follows when one is working.
Things to Consider in Buying a Benchtop Jointer
The first thing to keep in mind is that you are looking for a product that is reliable and highly efficient. It should be exceptionally of high quality and with unmatched accuracy. That said, consider the following while you are on the hunt for the best of them all.
What type of project are you looking to work on? What is the lumber size? Not all jointers can accommodate all your needs. But if you are dealing with anything that falls below 6 inches, any of the available benchtop jointers can suffice. However, if it is bigger than that, know that what you are looking for is either the long bed or the closed stand types.
While you are at it, consider the depth capacity of the machine you want to buy. The depth is usually adjusted through the feeding table. Look for a jointer that offers more variation. This way, you will have more detail on your projects.
Notably, the cutting depth of the jointer has a direct impact on the speed of the blades. It determines the number of cycles you will make before your piece of wood is perfect. The recommended depths that will guarantee even surfaces are the 1/2-inch and the 3/4-inch depths. With each passing, it reshapes the warped surface with utmost precision
3. The 6-Inch
Why the 6-inch jointer? It is the smallest size that is quite popular and essential for any seasoned carpenter. The 6-inch jointer is simple to use and it suffices for most home applications. In short, get the benchtop type if you are undecided on the size. This choice will also come with a wide range of features. Others come with spiral blades while others straight blades. Each has its own advantages and disadvantages.
Different models also have different lengths of tables. With movable bases for versatility, you have lots of options to look at regarding this type of jointer. Eventually, your individual needs will influence the buying decision.
4. The Fence
In terms of making clean cuts, what you should look for is the fence and its size. Some of your projects will require support at tilted angles. This way, you want a fence that can make stops at specific angles to make precision cuts. There are some types of fences that make stops at 45, 90, and 135 degrees. Ensure that the fence is durable and rigid to provide the needed support. You don’t want to end up with a flimsy product that will ruin all your lumber pieces.
The main aim of buying a benchtop jointer is to make straight and flat surfaces. This is why the need for a flat table is mandatory. Ensure that the table you chose is parallel with the cutting head. It will allow you to make meticulous cuts. On top of that, consider the length of the table.
If you are dealing with long pieces and you want them to be perfectly straightened, a longer table is more appropriate. But if you will be dealing with small lumber pieces, the need for such a table isn’t necessary.
Whichever choice you make; it doesn’t necessarily mean that it is the wrong one. Ultimately, it is your needs that come first.
The motor size defines the power needs. You want a powerful machine that will enable your carpentry work to run smoothly. Most of the benchtop jointers you will encounter have between 1HP and 2HP motors. Don’t be fooled by the 1HP motors, thinking it won’t achieve much. It still is powerful for the task.
While considering the power, look out for the voltage. To make it even more convenient for you, you should consider the voltage that can be accommodated by the outlets in your home.
That is 110 volts or the 220-volt outlets. Single phase motors are safer for you. If you are looking for a commercial benchtop jointer, a 440 volt will be more appropriate.
7. The Head
There are several types of heads for benchtop jointers. There are spiral cutter heads, which, as the name hints, are spiral in shape. They utilize 4-sided cutters. These types of cutters are highly innovative and effective in shaving off the pieces of your projects with precision.
The spiral heads are also easy to change and they require less power to operate. For this reason, they are also very quiet during the operation. They leave fewer marks on your boards, hence, they save lots of time.
8. Dust Collection Port
Dirt and other debris flying all over your workshop can be such a great nuisance. For every benchtop jointer that you set your eyes on, ensure that it comes with a dust collection port. The port should allow you to integrate with a vacuum. Believe it or not, it is also a safety precaution and a step to seamless and continuous work.
Other things you might want to consider are portability, the durability, the price, as well as the space you have in your workshop. The product’s warranty is also very important, especially for a high-end product.
Jointer vs Planer: What Does Each One Do?
One question that I get all the time is, “What is the difference between a jointer and a planer, and can I get by with just one or the other if I’m going to do fine woodworking?”. I want to talk a little bit about the differences between a jointer and a planer. As a way to illustrate this, let’s start with the end product in mind. What we want as a starting point for building our woodworking projects is a board that has a flat face, and then an opposing face that’s also flat and parallel with the top face, edges that are parallel to one another and square to the top and bottom faces. That’s called surfaced four sides, four sides square, S4S it’s known as in the woodworking community.
I want to talk through the process of how we arrive at that so you can understand the role of each of these tools in getting us to that point. First, I want to dive in and just talk about each tool independently so you can kind of get a feel for what each one’s intended use is, and then I’ll walk through that process of milling perfectly square lumber, and the trade-offs, and how each machine contributes to that process.
Let’s start with the jointer because that is in fact where you start. Essentially, the jointer has a long, flatbed that’s going to be one of the surfaces that we’re going to use as a reference, and it also has a fence that is perpendicular to the bed. Now, the operator has an important role in the jointer, more so than in the planer, so with the jointer, the operator is first going to align the board in one position, so this board rocks a little bit, and this is a perfect example of why you need a jointer.
This board is rocking, so I, as the operator, I’m going to hold it into one position and not rock it, not roll through the cut, because now I’m going to continue to have a twisted face on the bottom side if I do that, so I’m going to lock it into one position, pass it through and make the cut, and that’s going to shear one face perfectly flat. Might take a couple passes depending on the severity of the twist, but eventually, if I use the right technique, I’ll have a face that’s perfectly flat.
The next step that the jointer is able to offer is, I take that flat face, and I’m going to put it up against the fence, and I’m going to feed it through the cut, and now, after a pass or a couple passes, I’ve created a board with one perfectly flat face and one edge that is straight and square to the face jointed face. That’s where the jointer is relieved of duty after two faces are complete. “Why not?” You’re wondering. Flip the board over. The jointer has already proven that it can flatten the face. You have another face to flatten. Why not flip it over and run it through the jointer one more time? The answer to that is, yes, it could do it. It could create a flat face, a second flat face on the board. The problem with it is, is that it has no reference to the other face that you flattened. What you end up with is a board with two flat faces that are not parallel to one another.
In other words, if you measure the board for thickness from side to side and from end to end, it would be different in each measurement direction. That is not the way you want to start out your woodworking project. What are the chances, you’re wondering, of getting it right, getting them so that they are parallel doing it that way? The answer is virtually zero. You’ll never get it correct doing it that way. That’s why you’re going to want to run it through the planer, so we’ll talk about the planer next.
That was the jointer. Now, let’s talk about the planer. The planer operates quite a bit differently than the jointer. First of all, it has the flat reference surface on the bottom and the cutter head up on top of the board that you’re passing through. Now, you’re taking the board that you just face jointed and edge jointed on the jointer. You take the face that you’ve jointed and put that down on the planer bed, so now you’ve got a flat surface up against the flat surface of the planer bed. You start to feed that through. Now, the feed rollers grab it. Now, they’re pulling it through and pressing it downward onto that flat reference surface. That’s really the key here. As it’s doing that, it’s now engaging the cutter head. The cutter head is shearing that wood flat using the bed as the reference surface. All it’s doing is essentially copying the contour of the face that’s pressed against the bed. That contour, hopefully, if you did your face jointing correctly, is flat, so now you’ve got a board that you’re following a flat surface on the bottom.
It’s creating a flat surface on the top that’s parallel with the bottom. That’s the key, and that’s what the jointer can’t do, so now what it’s going to spit out the back of the planer is a board that has a top surface that’s flat, a bottom surface that’s also flat and parallel, uniform thickness across the width and length of the board. Now, you’ve got three perfect edges, and now all you have to do is take the fourth edge and rip it on the table saw. You’re going to use your jointed edge as a reference, put it up against the fence, and run the board through and rip your edge parallel, and now you’ve got top and bottom that are flat and parallel, side and side that are parallel, and square to your faces. You’ve got an S4S board, and that’s the goal that we started out with.
Now, with all of that kind of theory in mind, let’s do a quick walkthrough and actually mill this board to a perfect S4S. All right. As you recall, the action all starts over at the jointer. Here, we’re going to face joint the first face. May take a couple passes depending on how twisted the board is. Then you’re going to take that flat face, put it up against the joint or fence, and run it through on edge. This will create an edge that’s perfectly square to the face that you just face jointed. From there, we move over to the thickness planer. We set that flat face jointed face down on the planer bed and run the board through. The thickness planer uses that flat face as a reference. It creates a flat surface on the opposing face that is parallel with the first face, and that parallelism is the key. Now, you’ve got three perfect sides.
The next step to get the fourth perfect side is to take the edge that you’ve jointed, put it against the fence on a table saw, and run it through. All right. There you have it. I hope you found this helpful. Hope it answered some questions for you and hopefully gives you some of the justification that you need to add both a jointer and a planer to your arsenal tools to help you build some fine furniture.
Tips for Safe Usage
The use of any machine with blades requires safety precaution. This will always allow you to minimize potential injuries apart from ensuring that the machine also remains optimally functional. Lots of accidents usually happen when people are using planing machines. Here are some tips and guidelines:
- Wear protective gear every step of the way
- Loose clothing and jewelry can easily be pulled by the blades, leading to injury. DO NOT wear them
- Always ensure the guard is properly positioned
- Ensure that your hands aren’t anywhere near the board as it goes over the cutters
- Use push blocks for their intended purpose to keep your hands away and safe from the blades
- DO NOT stand behind the jointer
- Ensure that the cutter head is at full acceleration before beginning the procedure
- DO NOT cut pieces that are smaller than 12 inches
Finding the best benchtop jointer on the market shouldn’t be considered such a daunting decision. Hopefully, this review and buyer’s guide has made things easy for you. Choosing one of the reviewed products will accomplish most of your needs. The JET 708457DXK JJ-6CSDX 6-Inch is perhaps the first product you should try if you want a tool that can perform well for most functions.
Most importantly, familiarize yourself with these machines by going through this post. Hopefully, it covers everything you need to know to buy the best benchtop jointer. Don’t forget to share!