Are you looking forward to producing furniture that showcases spectacular finesse and experience in woodwork or carpentry? If so, you need to start using the right tools and equipment for the right tasks.
For you to be able to ameliorate and straighten pieces of wood or create even and polished edges on wood, you are going to need a good benchtop jointer. To choose the right unit from the hundreds of models available today, you have to consider several aspects.
For instance, you have to consider such aspects as the type of jointer, cutting depth, size, power, voltage and type of cutter head on your preferred benchtop jointer.
What Are the Parts of a Benchtop Jointer
Table of Contents
- 1 What Are the Parts of a Benchtop Jointer
- 2 Comparing The Best Benchtop Jointers
- 3 1. Festool 574432 Domino Joiner – Best Overall
- 4 2. Cutech 40160H-CT 6″ Bench Top Jointer – The Best Affordable Jointer
- 5 3. Powermatic 1791317K 54HH 6-Inch Jointer – The Best Helical Cutterhead Jointer
- 6 4. JET 708457DXK JJ-6CSDX 6-Inch – The Longest Working Surface in the Class
- 7 5. Delta Power Tools 37-071 MIDI-Bench Jointer – The Best Benchtop Jointer Below $500
- 8 How to Use a Benchtop Jointer?
- 9 Safety Tips When Using a Benchtop Jointer
- 10 Benefits of Using a Benchtop Jointer
- 11 Things You Must Know before Buying a Benchtop Jointer
- 12 Ready To Buy The Best Benchtop Jointers?
- Cutter head: As its name implies, this component serves for cutting. The cutter head is typically driven by an AC electric motor. However, it can be run by line shaft belts in older versions of jointers.
- Blades: Aside from flattening the surface, the blades can also straighten out the wood as per your preference.
- Infeed table: Basically, this is a flat platform where the lumber is placed before cutting.
- Outfeed table: The purpose of this platform is to catch or support the wood moving along the blade.
- The On/Off switch: It is usually located sideward. Simply use it to turn the machine on or off.
- Fence: It acts as a moveable guard that guides pieces of wood right on the benchtop jointer. The fence is usually set at an angle of 90° to the table. Yet some jointers let you adjust the fence to different angles.
To make your search a little bit easier, we reviewed five of the best benchtop jointers available today.
Comparing The Best Benchtop Jointers
|Festool 574432 Domino Joiner|
|Cutech 40160H-CT 6″ Bench Top Jointer|
|Powermatic 1791317K 54HH 6-Inch Jointer|
|JET 708457DXK JJ-6CSDX 6-Inch|
|Delta Power Tools 37-071 MIDI-Bench Jointer|
1. Festool 574432 Domino Joiner – Best OverallThe new Domino Joiner DF 500 Q set is a revolutionary, durable and highly effective joining system by the Festool Manufacturer.
While it is not the most affordable unit in the market today, it will offer you a good value for your money. For less than $1000, the DF 500Q offers a powerful, 420W motor.
This motor is capable to delivering 24,300 RPM to the Joiner blades for one of the finest cutting performance you can get today.
Having been specifically designed to offer accurate joinery experience, the unit allows you to create miter cuts between 0 and 90 degrees.
In this regard, the tool has positive stops at 67.4, 45 and 22.5 degrees. This makes it ideal for repetitive use. Additionally, it is equipped with indexing pins that may be used to join the panels or align edges.
Rather than having a dust collection system, this jointer features an innovative dust extraction system. Such a system allows you to join your Festool Domino Jointer to the external dust extraction system in your workshop. This allows you to create cleaner joinery work, for that professional look.
2. Cutech 40160H-CT 6″ Bench Top Jointer – The Best Affordable JointerAre you working on a limited budget or just do not have enough space in your workshop for a large benchtop jointer? You need to try out the 40160H-CT Jointer by Cutech, one of the leading manufacturers of benchtop jointers today.
Despite its remarkable affordability, the 40160H-CT offers an array of features for professional and novice woodworkers alike. The rugged look of this tool is not only appealing, it is also functional.
The spiral cutterhead fitted onto this unit, for instance, features a rugged appearance that delivers exceptional performance. The improved performance may be attributed to the 12 2-sided inserts used on its cutterhead.
This feature offers an impressive finish and reduces tear out. As compared to other jointers within this price range, the 40160H-CT is relatively easy to use and offers a nice cutting capacity.
The unit is equipped with a 4 3/8 by 19 5/8 inches adjustable fence. In this regard, you may tilt the fence to between 90 and 135 degrees. Again, you will love the fact that the spring tension on the cutterhead guard is also adjustable.
The maximum depth capacity on this unit is 1/8”, while its width capacity is 6”.
3. Powermatic 1791317K 54HH 6-Inch Jointer – The Best Helical Cutterhead JointerThe Powermatic 1791317K 54HH 6-Inch Jointer may be a large and heavy unit, but is the right choice for woodworkers looking for superior finish on their projects.
The Helical Cutterhead used on this unit features 40 indexable carbide knife inserts that are four sided. In this regard, it gives your projects a superior finish. Additionally, this feature allows for a quieter operation.
For the sake of stability, this jointer features an all-steel cabinet that sets its table surface 32 inches above the ground. Again, its powerful 230-volt, one-phase motor is fitted in this low-lying cabinet. The motor is installed on a specialized mount that allows for easier belt-tension adjustments. All these are meant to enhance the efficiency and precision of the jointer.
4. JET 708457DXK JJ-6CSDX 6-Inch – The Longest Working Surface in the ClassIf cost is not a constraint, this is another unit you need to consider buying. For this price, the 708457DXK JJ-6CSDX Jet Jointer offers the largest working surface in its category.
Additionally, it is packed with a range of convenience and performance features for professional woodworkers looking for the best finish. To begin with, the unit is equipped with three quick-change, high-speed knives for superior finish and rapid cutting. In this regard, you won’t need a knife setting gauge to produce a superior finish with this unit.
Since the unit is designed to handle the toughest of jointing projects, it features a powerful motor—a one-phase, fan-cooled 115/230-volt motor. The length of this jointer is 56 inches and it offers a cutting depth of up to ½ inches.
With such a capable system in place, it is possible for this jointer to achieve 6,000 cuts per minute (CPM).
5. Delta Power Tools 37-071 MIDI-Bench Jointer – The Best Benchtop Jointer Below $500If you are looking for the best blend of affordability and performance in your benchtop jointer, this is another unit you should consider buying.
If you are a novice wood worker or carpenter, you must buy a unit that is easy to use, rather simple in design and is highly accurate. The Delta Power Tools 37-071 MIDI-Bench Jointer is one of the few tools that will offer you just that.
Despite its affordability, the unit features a durable and high-quality construction. This, in turn, enhances its stability and precision. Additionally, the tool is easy to assemble and comes with assembly instructions.
How to Use a Benchtop Jointer?
Below are a few tips on how to use a benchtop jointer. Check them out.
- Master the machine: Once you get the hang of how the jointer works, you will be ready to use it. Thankfully, most benchtop jointers come with very convenient features, which facilitates the jointing task. Make sure that you understand how to set the depth of cuts, change blades when needed, tension the belt, and adjust the fence.
- Square up the jointer fence: Set the jointer fence to a perfectly square position using a machinist square or digital angle gauge.
- Ensure parallel tables: It is important that your jointer is nicely tuned to get the most out of it. That said, make sure the tables are coplanar as much as possible.
- Be aware of the stock limitations: The capacity boundaries of the jointer are strictly limited by the length and width of the beds. It is a good idea to set the lower limit size according to the pieces you will be running through your jointer. The stock length should be limited to no double the length of your infeed table.
- The depth of the cut: Be sure to set it so that it ensures perceptible progress without straining the motor.
Safety Tips When Using a Benchtop Jointer
While using a benchtop jointer isn’t dangerous, you should always strive to reduce the risk of workshop accidents. Here are several maintenance and safety tips:
- Wear safety gear: Wear ear and eye protection (goggles) all the time.
- Don’t wear long sleeves and loose clothing: The last thing you want is to be caught by the machine. Also, avoid wearing jewelry.
- Keep the guard adjusted properly in place.
- Keep your hands away from the rear of the board while it moves over the cutter.
- Keep your joiner secure by bolting it to a wall.
- Avoid standing immediately behind the jointer.
Benefits of Using a Benchtop Jointer
The benchtop jointers have plenty of benefits thanks to their great portability and small size.
- Practical replacement: A benchtop jointer is a great alternative to a full-sized one if you have limited space and small pieces to work with. Weighing about 100 lbs, these devices are easy to move around.
- Serious motor power: This allows you to have ideally clean edges. As a result, your mobility will not be restricted and you will not spend too much.
- Noise output efficiency: With a minimum noise output, you will be able to work without disturbing people around you. This is particularly useful if you want to work at home.
- Easy maintenance: Benchtop jointers are not complicated to use and maintain. It doesn’t take a lot of time to replace the inserts, meaning you will have more time for your work.
Things You Must Know before Buying a Benchtop Jointer
Are you a professional carpenter or just a regular Do It Yourself (DIY) woodworker? If you are a beginner in the industry, simple hand tools may surface. This is because you will be dealing with minor projects.
As you advance your woodworking skill level or would like to make furniture that really stands out, you are going to need capable tools. In this regard, you should consider investing in one of the bets benchtop jointers today.
So, how do you know which product is the best in the market?
Just as is the case with any other woodworker hobbyist, you probably are having a hard time choosing the right benchtop jointer, right? While there are numerous products in the market, choosing the best jointer does not have to be so hard.
Throughout this guide, you will learn the various things you need to consider while shopping for this tool.
What Is the Purpose of a Jointer?
The purpose of a jointer is to flatten wood. If you have a piece of uneven timber, then a jointer will make it flat.
Usually, a jointer will work hand in hand with a thickness planer. That means you will use the jointer first before moving on to the planer whenever you are dealing with bowed and twisted boards.
Jointers and planers are so intertwined that sometimes they are combined into a single unit. However, if you happen to be on a budget and are trying to choose between the two, it is advisable to purchase the jointer.
That is because a jointer will not only improve the appearance of your lumber, but it will also increase the durability.
How Does a Jointer Work?
To understand how jointers work; it is essential first to understand the design. Jointers have two tables—an infeed and an outfeed table—that are aligned on the same plane.
Sandwiched between the two tables is cutter head with knives. The tops of the knives make up the cutting circle which is then aligned so that it is adjacent to the outfeed table.
When using a jointer, you must first lower the infeed table until you achieve a depth that corresponds to the amount of material you need to shave off. Next, pass the board over the machine.
As you do so, the outfeed table will support the part of the lumber that you have already shaved off. Note that you should always ensure the guard is in place for safety.
A jointer also has an adjustable fence that has two essential functions. One, it guides you when you are flattening a face. Second, the fence acts as a support when jointing edges. With this knowledge, it is now possible to fully evaluate a jointer before making a purchase.
Have you taken time to browse the leading online retailers and see the vast array of benchtop jointers available today? If not, you will soon realize that there are several types of jointers available.
While all of them are meant to carry out similar tasks, the various types have slight design differences. Such differences make each of the jointer types more suited for a particular application than another type would be.
That said, you need to buy a jointer that is better suited for the intended application. As such, although most woodworkers prefer a benchtop jointer, you still need to familiarize yourself with the various types of jointers and what they are meant to do.
While shopping for the best unit, here are the five main types you should consider:
Closed Stand Jointers
As the name suggests, these jointers feature a closed base. The closed stand is meant to keep the motors safe and prevent debris and dust from getting into the cutter head of the equipment. Closed stand jointers are known to be some of the sturdiest jointers today.
The closed design not only makes these units more robust; it reduces vibration and noise. This, in turn, makes these jointers more stable, precise and safe.
The various closed stand jointer models feature a width capacity of between 6 inches and 16 inches.
Benchtop jointers are considered the most popular and are also the focus of this article. The best way to describe them is as a downsized version of the close stand jointer discussed above.
They work with smaller pieces of wood compared to close stand, and can only handle midrange to small projects. Actually, they cannot cut anything more than six inches wide. As a result, if you work on large projects or deal with large boards, the benchtop jointer is not stable enough for you.
Open Stand Jointers
Open stand jointers derive their name from the fact that they have an exposed motor. They are usually incredibly portable. As a result, if you are always shuffling between your job site and home workshop, then the open stand is ideal.
Also, these jointers are reasonably priced. The only downside is that they are less stable and they produce a fair amount of noise.
Tabletop jointers lack an adjustable outfeed table. In terms of design, they are a beefier version of the benchtop jointer.
Tabletop jointers are not portable, and due to the increased power and performance, they tend to be rather costly.
Long Bed Jointers
As compared to conventional benchtop jointers, long bed jointers have a relatively longer bed. These come in an array of lumbar width capacities, ranging between 6 and 12 inches.
Size of the Jointer
This is actually one of the most important things that you need to consider while shopping for a good jointer. In this regard, you need to consider the average size of the materials you will be using the jointer on.
This will help you ascertain the right width and length for your jointer. Basically, the size in these products is an expression of the length of knives they have.
This measurement is equal to the widest piece of board the jointer can handle. As a rule of the thumb, most of the leading jointer models today can work on wood that is twice the size of their beds.
As such, you need to consider the size as well as length of the bed on any jointer to know the size of material it can accommodate. That said, these are some of the common jointer size options you may need to consider:
- 16 Inch – If you own a large workshop, you may need to buy a real powerhouse. The 16-inch jointers are large industrial units, equipped with some of the largest jointer knives today. As such, these units will offer you a broader scope of work.
- 8-Inch – these have smaller knives than the 18-inch jointer and shorter beds. They are cheaper than the 16-inch jointers and can work on sizeable pieces of lumber.
- 6-Inch – these are the smallest benchtop jointers available today. They are ideal for a home woodworker. As such, they are small I size, comparatively affordable and easy to use.
Currently, there is a vast array of fence designs for benchtop jointers. While looking for the right jointer, you should emphasize on a smooth operation of the fence. Most of the leading brands allow for the fences in their units to be angled between 45 and 135 degrees.
Your preferred jointer choice should have positive stops for angling the fence. Most of the leading models offer positive stops at angles of 45 and 90 degrees.
Additionally, it is advisable to buy a unit that is equipped with a rigid, flat and relatively durable fence. Buying a jointer with a poor fence will affect its usability; hence give you a poor woodworking experience.
This is why you need to be careful while looking for the best benchtop jointer.
While using your jointer to straighten boards, you will realize that certain jointer models require fewer passes than others. This is mainly determined by the cutting depth of the jointer.
While choosing the right jointer cutting depth, you should consider the type of woodworking projects you will be carrying out as well as the efficiency and speed you need.
In this regard, a cutting depth of ½-inch to ¾-inch should suffice.
Ready To Buy The Best Benchtop Jointers?
Just as is the case with any other woodworking tool, choosing the best benchtop jointer is not easy.
In addition to choosing a jointer of the right power, you also need to consider the other aspects discussed in this guide.
Rather than trying out the many models in the market today, buy any of the jointers reviewed in this guide; they are simply the best.