Are you passionate about your woodworks? Do you have an upcoming project that needs perfectly smooth and straightened wood? If your answer is yes, you will definitely need a jointer in your workshop at some point. If you are reading this, I assume you have not landed your preferred jointer.
Currently, there are many different kinds of jointers that you can choose from in the market. Luckily, we are here to make that work easier. In the first part, we will look at some of the best jointers. Then, we will look into some of the factors that you should consider when selecting a jointer that suits you best. Let’s begin!
The Best Jointer on the Market of 2020
1. Cutech 40160H-CT 6" Jointer
Unlike most models in the market, the Cutech 40160H-CT uses a spiral cutter head instead of a typical helical cutter head. The 10 amp motor produces enough speed for the unique cutterhead to achieve a smoother finish compared to other available models.
As a homeowner who is passionate about woodworks, having a jointer in your garage is no brainer. However, a quality and recommendable bench jointer is that which is not only lightweight, but also one that runs quiet enough not to interfere with the serene home environment.
This is not like other models where you have to clean manually- which can be a daunting task at times. With this machine, it is easy to clean using a vacuum cleaner. Also, the chip waste port adjacent to the cutterhead collects specks of dust and chips to ensure your work area remains neat. With this tool, you will no longer have to deal with a messy garage.
Interestingly, Cutech 40160H-CT is newbie friendly since it’s easy to set up. You do not need any technical knowledge to set up the machine. With your woodwork knowledge, it will take you less than 30 minutes to set up the aluminum fence and voila!
The aluminum fence is also easy to control. The aluminum fence can be adjusted to achieve any tilt between 90 and 135 degrees. Therefore, you can easily ensure that every pass is up to millimeters accurate.
On the downside, the jointer does not work optimally when dealing with hard woods. You will notice that the engine slows down when cutting harder wood.
This strain on the engine may damage the blades of the machine. Therefore, if you are planning to consistently deal with hardwoods, Cutech 40160H-CT might not be your best option.
- Achieves greater and smoother finishes on wood
- It is easy to set up
- The adjustable aluminum fence ensures accurate cutting
- It is light and quiet
- Easy to clean
- It is not suitable for cutting harder woods.
2. Powermatic 1791317K 6 Inch Jointer (Our Top Recommended)
As a heavy-duty woodworker, Cutech 40160H-CT might not be the best option, but the Powermatic 1791317K will fit the gap. This heavy-duty jointer is a helical cutterhead with a special four-sided carbide knife inserts.
The cutterhead will help you achieve a smoother and finer finish as compared to most jointers available in the market. Also, the four-sided knife inserts enable you to achieve a quieter cutting.
As a heavy-duty jointer, the model has a 66 inch length and a bed width of 7 ½ inches, which is a reasonable working space for a woodworker running a medium to production scale operation. It also comes without saying that it is heavier than the Cutech 40160H-CT.
Its ground-cast iron table, which is among the longest available, offer enough support for the larger timber that the machine is expected to work on. You can also easily adjust the infeed and the outfeed table to increase your working area. The model is perfect if you anticipate large work pieces.
Aside from the large working area, the all-cast-iron fence system of the Powermatic model is accurately placed to ensure you achieve straight cuts. Besides, the cast iron used for the fence makes the system more durable.
This fence system can also be adjusted tilting 45 degrees towards and away from the table. It will take you a few minutes to set up each 45-degrees positions.
With this model, you can easily achieve accurate cutting with minimal maintenance required.
Also, although the jointer requires two people to fully assemble and install the machine in your workshop, the installation process is not technical and will not take a lot of time.
It is also worth mentioning that the fence system is not entirely flat compared to other models available in the market. Therefore, if you are not used to the model, it will take you some time for you to fully adapt to this feature.
- Suitable for heavy-duty woodworks
- Provide a large adjustable working area
- The cast iron material makes the model more durable
- Easy to install
- It may take a while to adapt to the fence which is not entirely flat
3. PORTER-CABLE PC160JT 6" Jointer (Best for the Money)
The variable speed setting is one of the unique features of this model. The five different speed settings ranging between 6000 rpm and 11000 rpm enables you to select the most suitable speed depending on the size or the hardness of the material you intend to straighten or smoothen.
Better yet, the model’s cutter head possesses two knife cutters which can achieve cuts per minute of between 12000 and 22,000. This means that with the machine, you can easily achieve a maximum cut of about 1/8 inches.
And when you thought that it couldn’t get any more interesting with PCI60JT, come to find out that there is a provision for jackscrew arrangement that enables you to replace and adjust knives with a lot of ease. The integral cutter head lock enables you to easily replace and adjust the cutterhead’s knives.
If you are considering buying a jointer with a large working area, then this can be a good option. The model comes with an extra-large table which gives you adequate working area. The long working surface can handle material of up to 6 inches wide.
One of the downsides of this model is that it does not stay tuned. Although the centered fence is supposed to enable you to accurately adjust the tilt angle between 45 and 90 degrees, one has to constantly check to ensure that the angle of the fence is accurate.
Also, the level of the cutterhead, the infeed, and the outfeed tables must be frequently checked. Hence, if you are planning to acquire a high-precision machine, this might not be the best option.
If you are just starting out or if you are not conversant with such machines, you may find the calibration process, which is required every time the machine goes out of alignment, difficult.
You may be required to seek additional skillsets for you to successfully operate this model.
- Variable speed allows you to work with a wider range of stock
- Integral cutter headlock and jackscrew arrangement for easy adjustment and replacement of cutterhead knives
- Larger working area
- It does not stay tuned
- Difficult to calibrate
4. JET 708457DXK JJ-6CSDX 6 Inch Jointer
Contrary to most jointers with helical cutterhead, JET JJ-6CSDX possesses a steel cutterhead with three knives. The high-quality knives with two cutting edges increase the lifespan of the cutterhead by twofold.
The adjustment of the knives’ heights is simple and only needs to be done once. The elimination of the need for a knife-setting gauge in addition to the durability of the cutterhead makes sure that the model serves you much longer compared to other models available in the market.
Durability of a machine is another key aspect and with this machine, you will have a long table made from cast iron which contributes to the durability as well as the accuracy. The finishing of the table ensures that the project piece slides predictably and thus ensuring accuracy.
If you are looking for a model with ample working space, the space with this model is large enough and, thus provide adequate working space to accommodate busy workshops. Furthermore, the outfeed table is adjustable. This means that you are able to increase your working area depending on the workload.
For optimum performance and to enhance the durability of your jointer, this model comes with fan-cooled motor. Ideally, the motor which has a fan as one of its integral components protects the motor from dust, which is a common characteristic of a jointer surrounding.
Also, this jointer is easy to clean and apart from the convenience to move around the infeed and outfeed wheel, a dust chute, which is an integral component of the jointer, makes the cleaning process easy.
One downside of acquiring this model is the excessive vibration. In order to improve your experience with the jointer, you may be required to find creative ways to steady it.
- The cutterhead has a longer life span
- The cast-iron table facilitates high-quality, smooth cuts
- Large work area which can be adjusted
- The fan-cooled motor ensures optimum performance at all times
- Easy to clean
- Excessive vibration which interferes with user experience
5. POWERTEC BJ600 8 Inch Jointer
The first thing that you will notice with this model is the built-in dust collection system. All you need is a full-size dust bag to directly collect dust and wood chips coming from the machine. The model, which is commonly described as ‘self-cleaning’ is most suitable if your woodwork area is limited in size and within your home.
If you anticipate cutting large and heavier pieces of wood, this can be a good option. The jointer infeed and the outfeed table is made of cast iron, which is heavy. The heavy cast iron working area will provide you with a stable working area to support these heavy materials. Besides, the use of cast iron for the table as well as the fence makes the material more durable.
Whether your woodworking is a profession or hobby, you definitely need a functional and reliable jointer which can suit various needs. There are times that you would want to chamfer your block of wood. This model comes with a fence that can tilt 45 degrees, inward and outward, and thus enable you to chamfer or bevel cut your wood.
The safety power switch lock is a vital feature, especially if you are going to use the machine around your children or in family homes in general. In this model, you can only switch the power on once you have unlocked the jointer. Thus, the model reduces the incidences of accidental injuries.
One downside of POWERTEC BJ600 is its poor assembly instruction. The poorly written manual might be confusing especially is you are using the machine for the first time.
Also, some of the components of this model are not durable and thus, compromising on the long-term performance of the jointer.
- Possesses a built-in dust collection system
- Cast iron table and fence for durability
- Safety power lock
- Adjustable fence for chamfering
- Poor assembly manual
- Some of the components are not durable
6. Powermatic 1610086K 8 Inch Jointer
This is another model from Powermatic. Their 1610086K Model 60 HH jointer possesses a helical cutterhead installed with four-sided inserts. These features give you the ability to achieve smoother and quieter cutting, and thus a superior finish. You will be better off with this model if you want to set up a workshop at home, say your garage space.
Apart from the superior finish, the model comes with extra-long tables which are linked by means of a dovetail. The 73-inch working surface, in addition to the 38-inch fence, offers you sufficient support for long pieces of wood. Thus, the larger table will provide you with extended workplace support.
The dust collection system of Powermatic 1610086K makes the model suitable for small working areas and homes. The mechanism is extremely effective in ensuring that no debris is left once you complete your woodwork. You will be left with less cleaning to do.
For both new and seasoned users, this is a great option since in addition to its ability to support heavy workload, the machine usability is simple given the easy and accurate adjustment. The adjustment levers of the infeed table give you the ability to personally set the depth of cut accurately and conveniently.
Even better, the machine features a handwheel operated gear system that enables you to accurately tilt the fence to your most preferred angle. It therefore goes without saying that, with this machine, you can easily achieve a smooth fence tilt for superior quality.
One evident disadvantage of owning this model is the longer installation time. The initial set up may be long and tedious, especially if you lack the basic machinery skills.
- Quiet cutting
- Offers larger workspace to support heavier workload.
- An effective dust collection system
- Easy and accurate adjustment
- Tedious and long initial set up time
7. RIKON Power Tools 20-600H 6" Jointer
We have so far reviewed some of the best jointers that are worth checking out. And if you are not yet convinced about your choice, or may want another option to compare with, we would recommend the 20-600H 6” Benchtop Jointer from Rikon Power Tools.
The one feature that stands out from this model is its ease of transportation and storage. The jointer is relatively lighter compared to other models available in the market. With a total weight of 36 pounds, the machine is portable enough to accommodate simple storage and transportation.
The machine also possesses a built-in safety on/off switch. The built-in spring-loaded safety mechanism minimized accidents or malfunction cases. Hence, if you are planning to use the jointer around children or in a home set-up, this model can be one of your better options.
The machine is strategically fitted with a large fence, which enables it to easily work on large pieces of wood. More so, the fence can be adjusted by tilting it between 90 and 135 degrees.
This means that you can always adjust your fence tilt, depending on the type of material that you are working on, to fully achieve a high-quality finish. The ease and speed of changing the blade ensure that you do not fumble during the process.
Although the jointer is durable, it is not as stable. Given the vibration during operation, you may be required to make the set up more stable using other means.
Another downside worth mentioning is that the model could do better in terms of smoothening. Currently, there are some materials that machine cannot smoothen effectively.
- Relatively lighter and thus easy transportation and storage
- Built-in safety key
- Large and adjustable fence enabling the model to work on larger pieces.
- The model is not stable during operation
- The model can improve in its smoothening abilities.
So, what do you consider when choosing a jointer that best suits you? Below are some of the features that you should watch out for.
There are three types of jointers on the market:
- Closed stand and
- Open stand jointers
Each jointer has specific qualities that may be appealing to you as a buyer.
Benchtop jointers are the most common in the market. With some of the benchtop jointers installed with a self-cleaning mechanism, this type is both appealing to individuals with both isolated workshops as well as home garage owned by hobbyist woodworkers.
Thus, if you are a serious woodworker operating medium to production level operation, your relatively larger workspace can accommodate benchtop jointers. Benchtop jointers are suitable for heavy-duty.
Closed stand jointers are preferred by most individuals especially since these specific type of jointers are designed to isolate dust and debris from the motor. Therefore, if you wish to maintain your jointer for a longer time, the closed stand is the advisable option. Besides, its ability to keep out dust from the motor ensures that the machine operates at an exceptional level of performance compared to the other designs.
Open stand jointers on the other hand are more portable and lighter compared to closed stand jointers. This makes them a perfect choice if you need to move with your jointer between the workshop and the job site. However, they have an exposed motor which makes them louder. Since they are open, they do not have a solid metal body thus, too they have too much vibrations.
2. Bed Width and Cutting Depth
Apart from being an important factor in determining the overall price of the machine, bed width also influences the ability of the device. The cost of a jointer is expected to increase with the increase in the bed width. Also, bed width determines the size of the wood that can be processed by the machines.
The cutting depth determines the effort you will put into ensuring that a piece of wood gets completely straight. As the cutting depth increases, the number of passes before you successfully straighten your piece will reduce.
Ideally, the most preferred cutting depth ranges between ½ and ¾ inches. Most of the time, depending on the cutting depth, you will be forced to pass your sample more than once in order to eliminate the warping.
Your jointer’s fence plays a vital role in ensuring that the wood remains in position. Thus, when selecting your most preferred jointer, you should consider the fence’s ability to be adjusted.
The adjustable fence helps to ensure that your wood is cut accurately. Depending on your needs, you can choose jointers based on the ability of their fence to be tilted across multiple yet adjustable stops. The most common range of tilt is between 90 and 135 degrees.
Also, you should consider the effort it will take you to ensure that your fence is always accurately in position. Some models may require you to continually check the accuracy of your fence since they constantly go out of tune.
Ideally, a one horsepower motor is the standard model for most jointers. With this horsepower, you are able to joint most wood type. However, based on your experience and the specificity of your stock, you can go for jointers with more powerful motors.
Hardwoods may require more powerful motors compared to softwoods. However, it is essential to note that the higher the motor’s horsepower, the higher the power consumption.
5. Dust Collection Mechanism
Dust collection system of a jointer is an essential consideration by most buyers. In most cases, it depends on the location of your woodwork workshop. If you have a small work area, you may want a jointer that has a functional dust collections system. A collection system helps reduce the effort that you put in cleaning your work environment. It also keeps your surrounding cleaner. There are few cases of accidents in a neater environment.
But, if you do not mind cleaning up debris and dust from your work environment, you can always consider models without the self-cleaning features.
It is worth noting that these dust collection systems have been known to increase the lifespan of your jointer.
Ready to Choose?
We hope that our review of the 7 leading jointers in the market was helpful and the guide was informative in providing insights of what you should look out for in your next jointer purchase.
Our favorite is the Powermatic 1791317K jointer. Apart from its ability to handle heavy-duty chores, the machine provides a larger working area, which is convenient for diverse users. Besides, the cast-iron material ensures that the model serves for a longer duration compared to most of the jointers available in the market. Powermatic 1791317K 54HH also is easy to install, and thus user-friendly.
With the many models of jointers available in the market, we anticipate that you choose the one that will satisfy your woodwork desires. Happy carpentry!