Sometime around last year, I was struggling to figure out whether I would buy a separate jointer and planer or settle for a jointer planer combo. Yet, after extensive research, I had decided that a jointer planer combo would suffice for my needs and requirements.
The most crucial advantage of buying a jointer/planer combo is that it saves space. If your workshop is spacious, you can always go for a separate jointer and planer. Yet, if your workshop is cramped enough, a jointer/planer combo will be a good alternative.
Another problem with a separate jointer and planer setup is that most of us have in our workshops a 6″ or an 8″ jointer and a 12″ or 13″ benchtop planer. The thing is you cannot work on a 10″ or 12″ wide board using a 6″ or an 8″ jointer without first ripping the board in half. Afterward, you would joint and plane each part and glue them back again. An excellent alternative to that is to buy a jointer/planer combo machine.
Furthermore, since you will only need one cutter head for both the planer and jointer, you will save money if you go for a jointer/planer combo. Besides, you will also save on maintenance because instead of maintaining two cutter heads on each machine, you will only have one cutter head to maintain in a combo machine.
What are Jointers and Planers?
Jointers and planers are invaluable tools in carpentry. Jointers ensure that the edges of the board are jointed well. Planers, on the other hand, make sure that the boards have the exact thickness for jointing.
These two machines are essential, especially if you are working on unfinished rough wood. You must correct the rough surface of the board before you can use it in your project. You will then need a planer if you intend to connect two parallel wood pieces like those of a chair or window.
Both pieces of equipment may look similar. Yet, each of them performs a distinct task for enhancing any wood-based project. So, any certified woodworker will definitely have these two tools in their workshops.
Should You Go for the 12″ Jointer/Planer Combo?
The 12″ jointer/planer combos come in three types, relative to their handling capacity of boards. These types are the 12-, 10-, and 8-inch types. Every kind of jointer/planer combo is appropriate for specific types of projects. The 12-inch model, for example, is perfect for upscale or industrial projects. Yet, if your projects belong to the medium-scale projects, you can always opt for the smaller10- to 8-inch models. Of course, the smaller models are more movable and portable and are less expensive.
The Best Jointer/Planer Combos in The Market Today
Like me several months ago, you may be trying to figure out the best jointer/planer combo to buy. In such a case, you can check out this list of the most recommended jointer/planer combos in the market today:
1) JET 708476 Model 12″ Planer/Jointer
The JET 708476 Model is one of your best choices if you want to make a quick shift from jointer to planer mode and vice versa within a minute. Equipped with a helical cutter head, this planer/ jointer combo features indexable carbide inserts for an excellent quarter cut and finish. These carbides are also replaceable. It is heavy duty and comes in a closed stand with mounting tabs for excellent stability.
The 708476 features a parallelogram design meant for enhanced finish and precision cuts. It also comes with a large extruded aluminum fence along with centered controls and quick adjustments. Moreover, it comes with a built-in dust chute along with four inches dust port.
It features a 3HP induction motor that can handle the most challenging planing and jointing jobs. Besides, it features a magnetic switch for a more reliable, safe operation. It may take you sometime to get everything dialed in. But once you have balanced everything, it will give you no headache anymore.
The JET 708476, however, seems to be a bit overpriced, given its 3HP motor. This motor, of course, can provide proper operation but not an exemplary one. Yet, this machine is well made and can provide you with a glass-smooth finish that you would appreciate.
2) Grizzly G0634Z Planer/Jointer
If you intend to purchase a Jointer/Planer Combo with the most power, you can check out the Grizzly G0634Z. A heavy-duty machine that comes with a 12-inch cutter head, the G0634Z features a table size that is 14″ x 59 1/2.” Its fence is 5-7/8″ x 39-3/8″. It features a spiral carbide insert cutter head with a diameter of 3 1/8″ and a cutter head speed of 5034 RPM.
The good thing about the G0634Z is that it stands for its name. It has a mighty 5HP motor that can perform the tasks at hand with ease. Its massive 4″ dust port is also commendable, letting you hook up powerful equipment to it, reducing after-work cleanup. With its quick-release control on the fence, you can quickly shift from one mode to another within a minute.
Another thing is that the Grizzly G0634Z features a carbide cutter head that performs better than the previous models mentioned. Hence, you do not need to replace its carbides, for they are durable and reliable enough. However, the G0634Z is more expensive as compared to the previous two models. This one is undoubtedly one of the top models in the market today.
3) JET JJP-12 12-Inch Jointer Planer
If you are shopping around for a jointer/planer combo, the JET JJP-12 12-Inch Jointer Planer is a perfect choice for you. Just like the JET 708476, it comes with a parallelogram design. This design keeps its table near the cutter head, which allows you to come up with excellent finishes. Its cutter head also features three high-speed steel knife that allows for a superior finish and rapid cutting.
With its extra-large aluminum fence, the Jet JJP-12 12″ lets you easily joint and plane any piece that is 12-inches wide without any problem. Moreover, you can easily switch from jointer mode to planer mode within a minute using this machine.
The JET JJP-12 comes with a remarkable 3HP induction motor that lets you handle the hardest jointing and planing jobs at hand. With this reliable motor, you can breeze through any project without sweating a lot.
One downside to this equipment is its crummy blade. You may get disappointed with its blade, but if you can replace it with better aftermarket one, you can further improve its performance. Nevertheless, if you are looking for a space-saving combo machine, you will find the JET JJP-12 a great choice.
4) RIKON Power Tools 25-210H 12-Inch Planer/Jointer
If you are looking for a compact 3-HP jointer/planer combo, you should consider the RIKON Power Tools 25-210H 12-Inch Planer/Jointer. Its 3HP motor comes in a relatively small frame, and thus, it takes less space. This smaller motor frame makes this machine a perfect choice if you are looking for a space-saving jointer/planer combo.
The RIKON 25-210H comes with a 4-row helical cutter head, which is 12″ wide. This cutter head produces a smooth finish that you would appreciate. It also comes with great carbide inserts that you can replace easily. Another thing is that its feed rate is at 23 feet/minute.
The only downside in buying this equipment is that its manufacturer sometimes seems to have poor quality control. This lack of quality makes it difficult for its users to get a straight cut, frustrating many of them. And you will need frequent onsite maintenance and mechanism adjustments by the RIKON support afterward.
Its control is touchy that makes it even more complicated to adjust and get precise adjustments. Hence, you may get frustrated with the use of this equipment. Thus, this model seems to be more suitable for the professional users that are able to handle the adjustment mechanism of this machine. Yet, as I mentioned above, it has great potential if only its manufacturing has better quality control.
Other Top-rated 12″ Jointer/Planer Combo Machines
Jointers and Planers are invaluable tools for woodworkers. If you can buy each of these two pieces of equipment individually, you can almost do anything in your workshop. These two machines, however, if purchased separately, may take more space in your home shop. With limited space in your shop, you should instead go for a jointer/planer combo. Given the abovementioned list of the best jointer/planer combos in the market today, you can save effort and time in figuring out the best jointer/planer for your projects.