If you’re a carpenter by trade, or you’ve got a healthy interest in woodwork, being able to cut and smooth down your wood pieces to a perfect finish is a crucial part of the job. And that’s where a good jointer comes in; if you’re pushed for space in your workshop, or you want to get your hands on something that’s lightweight and easy to move, a benchtop jointer is the solution you’ve been looking for.
But with the low amount of options currently on the market, we know it can be hard to know which model to invest in, and whether or not you’re going to get proper value for money. Will the pros outweigh the cons once you’ve spent your cash?
Safety tips and buying guides aside, you want to get into the details about what makes a good jointer, and what names you should be on the lookout for while you shop. So, to better help you come to the right workshop decision, we’ve collected our 5 top picks for the best benchtop jointer below.
Delta have a good reputation in the power tools industry, and they continue to shine here with the Power Tool 37-071. This benchtop jointer is one of the cheaper options on the market, and would make for a good starter jointer if you’re just setting up. It would be best used on smaller projects, up to a medium size, and good for most types of wood in varying degrees of thickness.
This power tool is also known for being easy to clean and keep neat, and would work well from home, especially if you’re trying to get used to running a workshop of your own.
The unit also has a good weight to it, allowing for better stability and control over any piece of wood you’re trying to cut with it. It also has the benefit of both a cast iron fence and a cast iron table, allowing the jointer to be a lot more accurate in the way it cuts. When it comes to buying the right benchtop jointer, that’s one of the best guarantees of value for money. If need be, you can also fit a vac to the 37-071 rather easily, which will allow you to keep dust to a minimum and keep your shop floor clean.
This benchtop jointer is easy to adjust if the positioning falls out of place. It also has an easy setup to boast, and shouldn’t take you too long to put together into a working state – if you’re worried about fitting the jointer wrong, or not finding the right angle or space for it to sit, the 37-071 might just be the best option for you.
- Durable cast iron construction increases weight providing stability and reducing vibration
- Precision-machining of the table and fence ensures long term accuracy
- Heavy duty, cast iron fence support system for accurate jointing
- Simple fence adjust system with adjustable positive stops at 90˚ and 45˚ in and out
- Up to 1/8" depth of cut and 20, 000 cuts per minute
Ranking very highly for its price, the Porter Cable PC160JT is an all round great benchtop jointer for a craftsman of any and all levels. Setting up doesn’t take too long, and this unit has a lot more portability to it than other models on the market, thanks to the more lightweight materials used in its construction. If you need to keep it moving, and want to be able to adjust freely without issue, this is a good option for you.
The table on this jointer is larger than most you would find on a benchtop, which makes it a good contender for bigger and thicker projects you might need to get on with in your workshop. There’s a good set screw system to this piece on top of this, allowing for stability in your adjustments, and keeping any mishaps or drops in the fence mechanism to a minimum. The blades can also be easily removed and sharpened, and then refitted, to ensure you’re always getting a clean cut. The Porter Cable knives aren’t too hard to replace either, if you’re ever in need of doing so.
A clear 90 degree cut can be easily achieved by this machine, and adjusting to fit something bigger or smaller is an easy feat. You can also adjust and lock the speed of this unit, as and when needs be – between 6000 and 11000 RPM is a tidy sum for such a small unit, and would work rather well for your material needs.
- Variable 6, 000 to 11, 000 RPM speed range allows the user to select the right speed for the size and hardness of material being cut
- Two knife cutter head with jack screw knife leveling arrangement for easy replacement and adjustment of knives
- Built-in cutter head lock facilitates knife replacement and adjustment
- Extra large table provides ample work support and Surfacing stock up to a full 6" wide
- Center mounted fence gives needed support throughout the cut for accurate edge jointing
The Craftsman CME2020 is great for working with any and all kinds of wood, allowing for both soft and hard, as well as thin and thick varieties of material. Once again you also get an adjustable speed metre, to better allow for this versatility. And it’s another piece that’s good value for money, even costing a bit less than the other machines on this list.
This benchtop jointer is also rather small, allowing to be used in homes and own workshops that really are pushed for space. Even if you only have a section of room that’s a foot or so wide each way, you’ll be able to work with this piece quite well. The machine allows for a 6 inch wide cut, which is great for anyone with a casual interest in woodworking or carpentering, alongside allowing you the freedom to take your crafts one from level of material to the next.
Craftsman also take care to make and manufacture replacement blades as and when they are needed, and can be bought directly from the brand themselves. It won’t be hard to keep this benchtop jointer running for longevity, and promises good value for money in the long run. Not to mention how well presented the piece is itself, with a good weight and a good paint finish that any workshop would be happy to show off.
And above all else, the Craftsman brand is known for quality in every machine they put on the market, so you can be sure this unit comes with a seal of approval from the woodworking sector at large.
- 10 amp benchtop Jointer features a variable speed range of 6, 000 to 11, 000 RPM and cutter head speed of 12, 000 to 22, 000 cuts per minute, allowing selection correct speed for material's size and hardness. Two-knife cutter head, with jackscrew knife leveling arrangement and built-in cutter head lock, allows for easy knife replacement and adjustment. Jointer is ideal for edging, flattening, or face jointing.
- Variable speed: range of 6, 000 to 11, 000 RPM allows the user to select the right speed for the size and hardness of material
- Easy replacement and knife adjustments: two-knife cutter head with jackscrew knife leveling arrangement allows for easy replacement and adjustment of knives
- Accurate cutting: center-mounted fence gives needed support throughout the cut for accurate edge jointing
- Hard and soft surfaces: heavy duty 10 amp motor provides power for hard and soft woods
Grizzly Industrial are known for their strong and stable construction, and that’s very evident in their G0725 jointer. It’s made of real steel and sits well, no matter what type of wood or speed you’re running at. The fence support sits rather well and can be adjusted to square very easily if slippage occurs, which is great for someone trying out various different wood types to see how they fit.
Both long and short pieces of wood can be run easily through this jointer and smoothed off, and you’ll be able to fit a bit more material under the blades than any of the other machines already on this list. However, the jointer still manages to be small enough to fit into a small workshop space and still be perfectly usable.
A cast iron table and fence come attached to this machine, meaning quality is guaranteed in your value for money needs. You’ll be able to adjust the height to access the infeed table, if that ever needs adjustment, and the accompanying screws work well to hold the piece together no matter the angle you need it to work at. The cuts are known to be spot on, and clean enough to leave little to no marks or residue on the wood you’re working with.
There’s a powerful motor inside, as well as a fan to blow dust the right way. Speaking of, this benchtop jointer also comes with a built in dust collector, allowing you to fit a complete jointer system easily into your workshop by just mounting this jointer wherever you need it to go.
- Motor: 1-1/2 HP, 110V, single-phase
- cast iron table
- Table size: 28-1/2" x 6-1/4"
- Fence size: 22-7/8" x 4-1/4"
- Cutterhead knives: 2
Shop Fox describe themselves as built to last, and according to the specifications of this model, that’s a real promise. It’s a solid jointer that anyone would be able to use, and be proud to use, with flat outfeed and infeed tables that promise quality, which may seem surprising considering the lower price. You can sit the fence squarely at 90 degrees and expect it to stay there with absolutely no trouble at all.
Once again, cast iron tables and cast iron fences are present, meaning it’s a strong, heavyweight unit that’ll sit no matter where you need it or what you’re putting through it. It might be a little heavy to try and move about freely, but it more than makes up for its portability in the quality of the wood you get out of it.
Most of all, the motor moves smoothly and sharply, no matter the type of wood being pushed or processed through it, and pieces up to 6 inches are no trouble to smooth and shape to your needs. Want to put a piece of rough cut wood through the blades? You’ll be able to come out the other side with a piece of wood that’s silk like in texture.
Little adjustment is needed straight out of the box, and when the time comes for blade adjustment, they’re easy to refit, and any replacement blades or screws are very easy to come by. The blades come pre packaged quite sharp, so no worries there either.
- Motor: 1-1/2 horsepower, 110V, 12 amp, single-phase
- Cutter head speed: 10,000 RPM, 20,000 cuts per minute
- Two-knife HSS cutter head provides clean cuts, fully adjustable aluminum fence with stops
- 2-1/2-inch dust port keeps work area clear of dust
- Includes free pair of safety push blocks, built-in mini impeller-driven dust collection fan and collection bag.Cutterhead diameter: 1-7/8 inch
How To Use A Benchtop Jointer
This Youtube video demonstrates how to properly use a jointer:
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