If you're a woodworker, then you're probably familiar with the trouble of knocking some pieces of warped wood into shape.
A jointer is just the right tool for flattening an otherwise useless messy wood into something useful.
Our guide to the best jointer in the market narrows down to the one benchtop category but first, what other choices do you have?
The Best Benchtop Jointer in the Market of 2020
1. Cutech 40160H - CT 6" Benchtop Jointer (Our Top Recommended)
We give Cutech 40160H – CT the first place on our list for reasons ranging from quality performance to affordability and ease of use. A powerful motor, adjustable fence (90 to 135 degrees), 6-inch wide spiral cutter head and double-sided HSS inserts are some of the outstanding features about this benchtop jointer.
There are also 1/8 inches of cutter depth, a 2.5-inch dust extraction port, and a 30-inch table. Cutech 40160H – CT is great for all woodworkers out there as well as professionals running smaller workshops.
The size may be a little intimidating since you might struggle with boards over 4 feet, but it has your back quite well with anything under 4 feet, whether soft or hardwood. Have some dust collection system in place since this model doesn’t hold onto dust. This isn’t about clogging because it certainly does not. But working on a clean environment guards you from potential accidents. 2 to 3 passes at 1/16″ to 1/8″ cuts will probably have your boards fully flat.
Another thing we liked about Cutech is the reduced noise. But you still don’t get to throw away your hearing protection. The 90 to 135 degrees adjustable fence is an excellent feature if you ever needed to flatten your boards at different angles.
- Features Spiral cutter head and adjustable fence and beds
- Works effectively with both soft and hardwood
- Fits perfectly in small spaces
- Smooth flat edges
- Limited to shorter boards
- Not so great push pads
- The fence may not be easy to adjust
With this machine, you will have value for money, and the quality and functionality will have you flattening your boards for days on end.
2. PORTER-CABLE PC160JT Variable Speed Benchtop Jointer (Best for the Money)
Whenever you are constrained on a budget, but still need a competent and quality machine, then the PC160JT model is a great choice. This is one of the few benchtop jointers with outstanding power tools.
One of the amazing PC160JT features is a variable motor speed beginning at 6000 to 11,000RPM. It gets you working with a preferred speed depending on the size and material of your lumber.
The fence is flexible and you’ll find it rather easy to adjust or change the HSS knives. You’ll certainly appreciate the cutterhead lock which is meant to keep you safe when making changes.
Another positive aspect about this model is the 30-inch size table which allows you to handle thick boards and still afford the comfort. However, the aluminum fence will require you to re-square each time you use it.
Another feature we can’t leave out is the 4-inch dust port for sucking dust articles from the machine as well as maintenance of a clean and safe working environment. We also liked the positive stops that greatly simplify the operation by letting you make fence adjustments.
- Variable speed which applies to different wood sizes and material
- Knife blades and worn out part are easily replaced
- Features an extra-large table (30-inch)
- Portable and lightweight
- Perfect choice for flattening, edging, and face jointing
- Low quality aluminum material which impacts the durability of the table top.
- You have to re-square the fence when you make an adjustment
The best budget jointer we found, with a large table that can handle bigger woods. The variable speed is a great plus when working on woods of different sizes and material.
3. RIKON Power Tools 20-600H 6" Benchtop Jointer
With 36 pounds weigh, RIKON 20-600H is among the best compact and durable benchtop jointers you’ll find. Movements got much easier with this model. The 30 x17.5 x13 inches dimensions aren’t much for your space either.
RIKON 20-600H has a cut depth of 1/8 inches, just like many of the best models in the market. It uses 11,000RPM motor speed to spin the helical cutter head, and the HSS inserts.
The fact that the inserts can use either of its two edges to cut is a great aspect for the longer service life of the blades as well as the smoothness and speed of the cut. Maintenance will require you to sharpen any side of the blade that is worn or replace them entirely if they’re both completely worn.
Another thing you’ll certainly like about RIKON 20-600H is the 30-inch table with which you can work on slightly longer wooden boards. The adjustable fence (90 to 135 degrees) enables you to flatten your board at different angles. There is also a superb depth setting that features an easy to read scale which lets you easily determine the thickness of your cut.
The dust collection port allows you to hook a vacuum cleaner on your machine, so you don’t have to mess up your neat environment. RIKON 20-600H also features an on/off switch within an easy reach to help you efficiently power off the jointer during an emergency.
- Lightweight yet durable
- It’s the best jointer option if you’re considering mobility and space
- Strong all-steel construction
- The table can handle thicker wooden boards
- Blades are easily accessed
- The depth setting is marked for extra convenience
- Only uses two blades
- Dust appears to accumulate a lot quicker on the machine
This is a dependable model with a motor speed that can cut through relatively thicker boards. The two-edged blades cut down the cost of replacement if you use one at a time.
4. Cutech 40160HC-CT 6" Benchtop Jointer
The spiral cutterhead is redesigned for the much needed smooth and flat wood surfaces. This extra smoothness is courtesy of the carbide tips blades. These blades, together with the motor speed of 11,000RPM allow you to cut through hardwoods that would otherwise be impossible with other jointer models.
Another feature we should bring to your attention is the 1/8″ cut depth which makes your operation easy and precise. There is also a steel table which speaks to nothing but extreme durability. However, the fence is made of aluminum.
The 40 pounds and dimension of 31 x 12.2 x 11 give the machine ease of mobility and storage. You can vary the adjustable fence from 90 to 135 degrees. This model is also equipped with push blocks and tools that you’ll use for rotation of cutter blades and replacing cutter tips.
You might find it hard to level the table but is swift once you get it right. It also comes with a set- up manual.
- Has carbide tips inserts for fast and precise cutting
- Lightweight and compact
- Features 2.5 inch port for dust collection
- Adjusting the fence may be difficult
An excellent choice that gives you a smooth and perfect finish on your workpiece. The adjustable cutter head guard spring is the greatest asset in this machine. This is designed to give you a fast and accurate cutting.
5. POWERTEC BJ600 Bench Jointer
The high-quality features and excellent performance make this jointer model a price killer. Its cast-iron construction is not only responsible for sturdiness and longevity but vibration control on the machine as well. The fence is also made from cast iron unlike the aluminum construction in most models. It’s also adjustable up to 135 degrees maximum.
For extra convenience, BJ600 comes with a dust collection bag to help keep the machine clean and your work area free from dust. This machine is a good fit as far as safety and smoothness of your wood is concerned. The safety power switch is easier to access in the event of an emergency.
Worth mentioning is the fact that this machine also comes with a motor speed of 10,000RPM which delivers maximum effectiveness. The cutter head has a 1/8″ penetration capacity which is standard for many benchtop jointer models.
Finally is the portability aspect of BJ600 thanks to its lightweight specs. 79 pounds weight and dimensions of 32.5 x 14.5 x 11 inches make it ideal to carry around and for use in workshops with limited space.
There have, however, been complaints from some buyers about the stability of the table which could be attributed to the machine’s lightweight.
- The cast-iron construction enhances stability and longevity
- Comes with an advanced mechanism of dust collection.
- Easily adjustable fence
- Equipped with a power safety switch lock to kill the machine’s power in emergency cases
- Easy to use
- The cutterhead has only two blades
- The table is not so stable
Based on its sturdiness and durability, together with great performance, including the superb dust collection mechanism and the safety power switch lock, BJ600 can be a great asset in your workshop.
6. Delta Power Tools 37-071 6 Inch MIDI - Bench Jointer
This is a model that has paid much attention to stability and sturdiness. The fence and table feature thoughtful designs to make your stay in the workshop both comfortable and safe. It may take some more time to align the fence but this is not an issue you have to fix frequently. Simplicity is one thing you’ll appreciate working with Delta Power Tools.
The cast iron construction enhances durability and the ease of changing blades is just commendable. With this sturdy construction comes a vibration control which would otherwise mar your workpiece during the operation.
You’ll certainly enjoy the 1.5HP power motor which gets the cutterhead spinning at 10,000RPM. The 76 pounds weight is an advantage if you think of the stability of the machine during planing. Delta Power Tools is made to easily handle a 6-inch wood while maintaining a penetration capacity of 1/8” at 20,000CPM maximum cut rate. It’s equipped with straight blades that give you an even and precise cutting.
The easily adjustable fence will support your workpiece with an angle of tilt varying from 45 to 90 degrees. There is also a built-in dust collection system for safety keeping and sanitation.
- Sturdy and durable cast-iron construction
- The 1.5HP motor leads to excellent performance
- Features a built-in dust collector
- Easily adjustable table and fence
- Usable with hardwood
- Only two blades for cutting
Affordable and dedicated to handling small pieces of lumber. The cast-iron body enhances stability and sturdiness. Delta Tool is packed with features that give you a smooth and accurate operation.
7. WEN 6560 10-Amp 6-Inch Benchtop Jointer
We first consider the cast iron construction of the fence, the infeed, and the outfeed table. This construction gives WEN 6560 the stability and durability it requires to deal with heavy boards. You can adjust the fence to angles from 45 to 90, 90, and 135 degrees respectively. You can also adjust your cutterhead thanks to the adjustment knobs provided. You will easily align your workpiece to achieve accurate and smooth cutting. Cutterheads have popular double blade design that simplifies its replacement.
This tool comes with a maximum motor speed of 10,000RPM. It cuts through both soft and hardwood with great precision and speed.
Another unique attribute regarding the machine’s design is a maximum cut depth of 1/10 which is a little shorter than the popular 1/8 inches in competitor models. The good thing about this shorter cutting depth has to do with the more turns it takes before achieving a straight and perfect edge on thicker pieces of wood.
There is also a dust collection function which features a 2.5 port that you directly connect to a filter bag and which reduces the frequency of emptying the dust bag.
- Cast-iron construction enhances stability and durability
- A reliable dust collection mechanism
- Fence and cutterheads are easily adjusted
- Shorter cutting depth
- Plastic adjustment knobs are less durable
The WEN 6560 delivers smooth, flat and perfect square joints. The cast-iron construction upholds the stability and durability of the jointer.
Walking into a dealership can at times get confusing especially when you have no idea of the specific item you are looking for. In such cases, you find yourself stumbling on piles of products with multitudes of sales agents rushing you into closing deals to impress their bosses and get their cuts. For woodworkers looking for the best benchtop jointer, we would like nothing more than save you the trouble.
If you are not yet certain of which among the seven benchtop jointers discussed above works for you, then here is a guide of the factors you should pay attention to ahead of settling for a given jointer.
First, safety and reliability are crucial factors since these machines can be dangerous in the event of an accident. This should get you thinking about industry standards and attention to detail.
There is also the functionality of your benchtop jointer which spans factors such as mobility, capacity, size, power, cut depth and more. We've provided details of these factors because you really need to get them right.
If you have to choose along this line then it's worth noting that bigger is better. While benchtop jointers make a great fit for tight spaces and small projects, mobility is an issue since they remain fixed on your workbench most of the time (unless, of course you're prepared to detach and re-attach).
This is the central consideration regarding the functionality of the jointer. If you don't have an appropriate cutter head, then you may be having a wrong jointer entirely. Those two or more blades protruding out above the infeed table are what consist the cutter head. Radially arranged in the cutter head, these blades come in contact with the wood when the head spins and shaves off any protruding areas.
More expensive jointer models have blades shaped in a spiral around the cutter head while other alternatives have the blades in a straight line. This spiral shape reduces tooling marks and saves power.
Cutter Head Width
This is another jointer factor you can't ignore. Most benchtop jointers have 6-inch cutter head width. This tells you that the widest lumber this tool can cut is 6 inches. Other more expensive and larger models such as the closed stand offer up to 18 inches cutter head width. That said, 6 inches benchtops are still great for some professional woodwork and majority of hobbyists.
Jointers are electrically powered machines and power requirements can vary across different machines depending on the motor. Most jointers use between one to two horsepowers (HP) and you'll find benchtops on the lower end of the range.
A 1 HP motor will get most of the jobs done except for very rare cases with some wood. A standard power outlet is all you need for your benchtop jointer. Only industrial models and some large stand up jointers may require a 440V dual-phase outlet.
This is a metal wall you'll find along one side of the jointer. The fence stabilizes the wood as you run it through. You will also use it to check just how flat your wood has eventually become. As you’ve probably have seen with certain objects, you may have to cut your lumber at different angles. The fence will help you make adjustments. Most jointers come with adjustable fences, so all you need is to ensure the sturdiness.
By cleanup, we have dust collection in mind. Cleanup has now become less of a pain thanks to most benchtop jointers having in-built dust collection system. A pipe fitting from one of the sides allows you to attach some kind of a vacuum system or simply a bag to collect the sawdust. Some jointers come with dust bags for more convenience.
Final Word-Our Top Pick
Cutech 40160H - CT 6" Benchtop Spiral Cutterhead Jointer is our top pick. We loved how this machine professionally assembled with a pool of specs that by far outmatch the price. The spiral cutter head with double-sided HSS inserts greatly enhance a quick and perfect planing process.
With 40 pounds weight, Cutech 40160H-CT is among the best benchtop jointers with a mobility advantage. The monitor speed of 11,000RPM achieves a fast, precise and smooth cutting. We also find the adjustable table a great source of comfort when handling your projects.