FAQ: best benchtop jointer

jointer planes one face and edge straight and square with one another so it’s perfect for flattening out warped and twisted boards. The thicknesser helps you get the second face and edge parallel to this. It also gets your boards to a uniform thickness. Do not confuse these two machines.

Thicknessers are not designed with this in mind. The feed rollers on a thicknesser follow the curvature of a board rather than changing it in any way. While you can remove some of the cup from boards when they’re thicker using a thicknesser, you’ll need a jointer if you want them completely flat.

This is due to the way the material is fed into the machine. Instead of being fed along feed rolls, the wood going into jointer runs down a flat surface. As long as you don’t apply too much pressure, this will flatten it out a treat.

This is the degree to which the lumberyard prepare the boards you intend to buy. This surface preparation ranges from nothing done with rough lumber through to completely prepared boards. The more you get done for you, the more you’ll pay and the less control you’ll have.

This is when 1/16-inch of material is removed for you and the wood is pre-planed so you’ll easily detect the grain and color. This is a nice happy medium when it comes to buying boards that leave control in your hands without making your job a nightmare.

Check that the knives are set so that the clearance and depth of cut are as required. Make sure they are sharp, fastened and properly balanced. Make sure the fence is anchored.

You need to consider both the length of the cutter and the length of the table. 6-inch machines are suitable for lighter home woodworking while a 12-inch jointer is cut out for more rugged commercial use.

Put simply, the longer the table, the easier it will be for you to produce accurate results.

Since the way in which people use their machines differs greatly, you are much better off developing a maintenance schedule based on hours of use rather than focusing on specific time periods.

This is a method of sharpening the blades of your jointer without removing them. While this can come in handy for production shops where time is of the essence, they are not realty necessary for the average home woodworker.

best benchtop jointer: Looking for more information?

Interested to learn more in-depth details about selecting the right tool for your needs? Read our Informational Buyer Guide and Frequently Asked Questions sections on this topic for more details.