Cutech 40180HT 8-Inch Benchtop Jointer with Spiral Cutterhead Review
Cutech makes thoughtfully designed power tools at fiercely competitive prices. This 8-inch jointer is a rare benchtop sized this way and offers something slightly more robust than the regular 6-inchers glutting the market.
We’ll first draw your attention to the fact that, despite the keen price tag, this jointer in no way feels cheap. Build is solid and design functional. Not only this, as we’ll outline, performance is surprisingly capable for an inexpensive benchtop model.
Cutech specialize in spiral cutterhead planers and jointers. They also sell a diverse range of spares and this model is also available in an alternate version, the 40180HCB-CT coming with carbide tips in place of high-speed steel. The tables on the newer model are Teflon-coated.
If you’re prepared to sidestep the usual suspects and give a newer brand a shot, you’ll get fantastic customer service to back up a hard-hitting benchtop jointer. And best of all, it’s not particularly expensive either.
We’ll give you a snapshot of the core features now before doubling down on how this 8-inch benchtop jointer performs.
- 8 inch width of cut
- 1/8-inch maximum depth of cut
- 10-amp, 120V motor
- Speed of 12,000RPM
- Spiral cutterhead
- 16 HSS 2-sided inserts
- Table: 33 1/2 inches (extendable to 51 inches)
- Fence: 19 3/4-inches (adjustable)
- 4 inch dust port with adapter for 2 ½ inches included
Have owned this for a couple of weeks, used it several times, and am very happy with the purchase. No problems shipping, modest assembly was very easy. It’s a very solid, well-made tool, and the spiral cutter head definitely delivers superior results to the straight blade cutter head. I now own two Cutech tools (I purchased the planer as well), and have found them both to be an exceptional value/quality for the price.
By Amazon Customer
Weighing a little more than the 6-inch Cutech baby, this model is still not excessively bulky. It tips the scales at 49 pounds and measures up at 33 ½ x 12 ¾ x 19 ¼ inches so you won’t need a monster workshop to accommodate it.
Getting set up is a breeze. Instructions are crisp and clear although the photos are rather too dark to make out the detail. Fence assembly instructions are included so you’ll be good to go straight out the box even if you’re not the most experienced woodworker.
Although you might dip out slightly on the stability front compared to a full-sized jointer, benchtops offer the obvious advantage of portability. With this beefier version, you’ll also be able to face-joint wider boards. For capacity and affordability combined, this 8-inch model hits a perfect sweet spot.
Although the spiral cutterhead is not a true helical cutter, the sequential, overlapping spiral cut smoothly, last the distance and are not at all expensive to replace in pocket-friendly packs of 10. The blades chew off a fraction at a time and you’ll be able to neatly rotate any worn inserts rather than immediately needing to replace it. You’ll also be able to replace individual blades rendering this cutterhead both efficient and cost-effective.
The smaller jointer has a motor capable of 11,000RPM but the 40180HT is capable of 12,000RPM so you’ll get all the power you need in a smaller unit without dipping out on precision.
The table is larger than you’ll find on most benchtop jointers at 33 ½-inches. You’ll also get infeed and outfeed extensions in black anodized cast-aluminum. Extend them both fully and you’ll be gifted with a working surface of fully 51 inches. This will give you plenty of scope if you occasionally work with longer boards. Even when completely extended, the table still feels nicely rigid. There are knobs on both sides at the bottom to manipulate the extensions.
As you’d expect from a benchtop jointer, maximum depth of cut is 1/8 inch. There’s a simple knob for fine-tuning depth of cut. Turning it left raises the table, turning it to the right lowers it.
The main issue with the Cutech comes with the fence. Aluminum, it feels too flimsy. This is something the manufacturer has still not addressed even on the uprated model which is a disappointment. It’s a one-piece fence measuring 19 ¾ by 4 3/8 inches and you’ll be able to tilt it out from 90 degrees on to 135 degrees. Adjustment is certainly straightforward and it locks nicely into place but be aware of the questionable build quality.
You obviously can’t expect the same firepower as you’d get from an induction motor on a stationary jointer, but you won’t be sold down the river either. We would say if you try working with workpieces over 3 inches, you might find the motor struggles slightly.
Cutting is remarkably smooth even on rougher reclaimed lumber. With the majority of wood, aim to remove 1/32 inch on each pass. Step up to extremely dense hardwoods and you’d be advised to dial that back to 1/64 inch. Along with this smooth finish, the Cutech runs extremely quietly too, a nice bonus.
The standard-issue dust collection port is 4 inches and you’ll get a 2-½ inch adapter in the box widening your options. Running with your favorite dust collector, you should find all but the very finest particles are efficiently sucked up.
Cutech provide a 2-year limited warranty as on all their products. Customer care is quick to respond and helpful in the event of any problems developing.
Here’s a capsule summary of the leading benefits of drawback of this Cutech 8-inch benchtop jointer before we serve up our verdict…
- Unbeatable price/performance ratio from a growing brand
- Weighs in at 60 pounds but still reasonably compact so works well in smaller shops
- Spiral cutterhead packs 16 HSS double-sided inserts which deliver smooth cuts consistently and powerfully
- Motor maxes out at a robust 12,000 RPM so you can get pace along with accuracy
- 1/8-inch maximum depth of cut as you’d expect from a benchtop jointer
- 33 ½-inch table can be extended out to 51 inches when you’re working with bulkier material
- Fence can be fine-tuned depending on the application although the way you adjust this polarizes opinion
- 4-inch dust port comes with a 2 ½-inch adapter for added flexibility and a spotless workshop
- Table can be adjusted out to 135 degrees from 90 degrees so you’ll be able to make miter cuts
- Tools included to adjust cutter heads and a pair of push blocks also bundled
- Dependable 2-year Cutech warranty removes the headache from purchase. Customer care is responsive and helpful
- Fence could still do with a little improvement
- Adjusting and leveling the tables can be awkward
- The model with carbide tips and Teflon-coated table is only available directly from manufacturer and there are still no improvements to the design of the fence
Although a 6-incher is the knee-jerk, default option when you’re looking for a benchtop jointer, Cutech show an 8-inch model can bring precious extra capacity without eating up too much more workshop real estate.
A versatile and powerful benchtop jointer, the Cutech 40180HT is a smart choice for beginners and more experienced woodworkers alike. If you’re prepared to take a punt on a brand that’s not quite a household name, this model comes with our seal of approval despite a few minor shortcomings.