September 18, 2022
The use of jointers, of course, is more convenient than the use of a hand planer since it runs using electricity. It can square the edges of warped and oversized rough lumber. Though it is more expensive than the traditional hand planer, the initial cost of buying a jointer pales in comparison to the money you would save on buying lumber over time.
Table of Contents
- Most Recommended 6″ & 8″ Benchtop Jointers
- Buyer’s Guide: Factors to Consider When Choosing a Benchtop Jointer
Most Recommended 6″ & 8″ Benchtop Jointers
Once you know the factors to consider when buying a jointer, you are now better positioned to choose the right jointer for your needs. Besides, if you know the following most recommended jointers by the experts, you can surely facilitate the choosing process for you:
1) Wahuda Tools 50180CC-WHD
The Wahuda Tools 50180CC-WHD is an 8-inch jointer that is lightweight at 64 lbs. You can transport this from one location to another with ease. It features cast-iron tables that offer stability and sturdiness during its use. It is also almost resistant to scratching.
Moreover, it comes with a powerful 10 Amp 120V motor. It also features table leveling, and leveling is quickly achieved through its four levelers installed on every table. You can also easily adjust its pull-out extensions for coplanar when necessary.
Its table’s length is around 34″ from end to end. However, you can extend it to 51″ once you pull out the table extensions. It also has a machining depth of about 20″ along with a total height of 13″. Besides, it features a newly added spiral-style cutter head, manufactured using the same heavy-duty aluminum extrusion above its steel inner shaft.
This new cutter head provides excellent cutting-edge sharpness. It also has 16-carbide four-sided insert tips. Plus, it is quieter compared to the straight knife cutter head. Moreover, it provides a smooth finish.
2) WEN JT833H
Another excellent choice when it comes to jointer is the WEN JT833H. It features a spiral cutter head that uses 16 staggered HSS blades that can provide hard or softwood with a perfect finish. It also features a powerful 10-amp motor capable of rotating the cutter head up to a maximum of 12,000 times/minute.
You can also quickly adjust its infeed table to remove materials ranging from 0 to 1/8 inch of material with every pass. It also comes with an excellent depth-of-cut scale for optimal accuracy.
The WEN JT833H features a broad table measuring around 33 by 8 inches. This table comes with support arms that could extend the table size up to 51 inches. You can bevel its fence to 45 degrees for creating angled cuts on the board’s surface.
It also comes with a spring-loaded blade guard to protect you against any potential injury. Only a limited section or portion of the cutter heads is exposed when you operate this jointer.
3) PORTER-CABLE Benchtop Jointer 6-Inch (PC160JT)
The PORTER-CABLE PC160JT features a two-knife cutter head and comes with (jackscrew knife) leveling arrangement to let you easily replace and adjust the knives. Many hobbyists favor this jointer because of its many endearing features.
Its superior and quality build is perfect for most craftsmen. It may look similar to other jointers, but its main difference lies in its speed control feature with a variable RPM speed range from 6,000 to 11,000 RPM. This speed control system results in smoother and flatter surfaces that require less sanding.
It is also very lightweight at 40 pounds and maybe the lightest jointer model in the market today. With its lightweight feature, you can quickly move it from one location to another without enervating yourself. Moreover, it is easy to store away, being lightweight.
4) WEN 6560 10-Amp 6-Inch Benchtop Jointer
The WEN 6560 10-Amp 6-Inch, of course, is the little brother of the WEN JT833H, and it features a 10-amp motor, which provides a maximum of 20,000 cuts/minute. It comes with a cast-iron base that prevents vibration and movement during operation.
The WEN 6560 10-Amp 6-Inch comes with adjustable 22-3/4 x 4-1/2-inch fence bevels of up to 45 degrees in both directions. It also comes with a two-year warranty, filter bag, dust port, and push block and push stick.
Buyer’s Guide: Factors to Consider When Choosing a Benchtop Jointer
When selecting something like a jointer, you need to be mindful of the essential factors to consider when buying one. Knowing the following critical factors will help you zero in on the right jointer for your needs:
As a woodworker, you will not only work with straight and smoothly flattened stock lumber. In some instances, you will also deal with rough lumber that needs to be smoothened and flattened. In such a case, you can utilize a jointer, which is a powered version of the traditional hand planer. You can run the stock lumber’s rough surface against the jointer to prepare it for planing and use in your projects.
Jointer comes in various capacity or power. The more powerful a jointer is, the more it can smoothen the surface of the wood. Moreover, high-powered models do better when smoothening the surfaces of hardwoods and can handle broader cuts.
Many 6-inch jointers come with a one-horsepower motor. These jointers are capable of handling most kinds of softwoods, hardwoods, and much exotic wood.
On the other hand, 8-inch bladed jointer need a 2-horsepower motor. You can also find commercial-grade high-end jointers that feature up to 16-inch wide blades. These jointers also come with motors of up to 3-horsepower.
When selecting a power tool like the jointer, it is necessary to consider its build and quality. Since its applications include squaring and smoothening wood, a jointer should be of strong and sturdy materials that will not sag or bend over time. Its cast-iron feeder tables should be sturdy, while its guide fence should be solidly reliable and immovable. The stronger its design and material, the longer it will be functional and useful.
Blades and Cutting Depth
The blades’ quality and their cutting depth would indeed matter most when shopping around for a jointer. The cutting blade’s width, for example, ranges from 6 to 16 inches. The wider the blade, the wider the surface it can smoothen, and the wider the wood stock it can flatten. On the other hand, the cutting depth will set the number of times you will run the lumber through the jointer.
The cutting heads of the jointer come with many blades. For example, if you buy a smaller benchtop jointer, most probably, it will have 2 to 3 cutting blades, while if you buy a broader cabinet-style jointer, it will have at least four blades. The higher the number of blades, the smoother cuts the jointer can make.
You can expect the benchtop jointers to cut up to 1/8″ depth, while a commercial jointer can cut up to 1/2″ deep. The deeper the jointer can cut, the fewer passes you would do to smoothen an uneven or warped board.
You might not include portability as a factor when choosing a jointer. Yet, if you will often transport the jointer to your job site, you might as well look for something that is portable. If you want portability, you should opt for a benchtop jointer because it is the lightest option.
Yet, some of these benchtop jointers may weigh up to 60 pounds or more despite being the lightest. Nevertheless, despite their being heavy, their smaller dimensions make them more portable than other jointers. The cabinet-style jointer, however, may weigh somewhere between 250 pounds to 500 pounds.
You will notice that some brands and models of jointers come with straight blades while others come with spiral or helical cutting heads. Straight blades may come in rows, and they run straight through the cutting head. You will often find this type of blade in benchtop jointers. These blades can produce smooth cuts. Nevertheless, they wear out fast. Hence, you will need to replace them or have them sharpened over time.
On the other hand, some cutter heads come with either spiral or helical blades. These blades can create smoother finishes. Moreover, if you look into the cutter heads, you will discover that these blades form a spiral formation on the cutting cylinder.
Each blade, however, stays parallel to the cutting cylinder’s axis in the spiral cutting head. But the helical blade has each blade rotating 14 degrees off the axis of the cylinder and produces a very smooth finish.
Dust Collection Features
When using a jointer, you might end up surrounded by billowing sawdust. You may also end up inhaling some of them accidentally. Thus, you must select a jointer equipped with a dust collection system.
You should opt for power jointers that come with dust removing ports. Many benchtop jointers come with a 2-inch dust collection system. Larger cabinet-style jointers, however, come with around 4-inch diameter dust collection ports.
Although power jointers are some of the safer tools you will ever use in your workshop, you would still need to choose a power jointer that comes with many safety features. Of course, the cutting heads’ blades are covered with a retractable guard when cutting wood stock. Thus, they do not pose much risk of injury.
Some also come with push handles that let you guide the lumber along the blade without holding the wood. Most jointers, however, come with large off switches for easy reach and identification. Thus, you can turn off the jointer quickly in case you want to turn it off.
The invention of jointer is indeed a blessing to carpenters and woodworkers because it facilitates the flattening and squaring of oversized and warped wood surfaces. With its availability, carpenters and woodworkers will no longer need to belabor themselves in flattening and smoothening the warped wood surfaces.
The jointer, of course, has the primary job of flattening boards and making them straight. With its use, you can provide your wood with flawless edges. It also straightens the lumber board and flattens edges.
However, finding the best jointer for your needs becomes a bit confusing, given the myriads of brands and models in the market today. However, upon knowing the critical factors to consider when choosing a jointer and the most recommended jointers at hand, you can quickly zero in on the best jointer for your needs.
Jason is a 40-year-old woodworker, carpenter and author who have been involved in the woodworking and woodcraft industry with 17 years of experience. He is expertise in technical aspects, woodcraft and furniture building projects.