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Best Benchtop Jointer 2019 – Reviews and Buyer’s Guide

“God does not build in straight lines,” says a character in the Sci-Fi flick Prometheus. While that is not entirely true, when you are working with wood, you’d best believe it!

There is always some twisting, warping, or weird curvatures and odd shapes when dealing with wood. You will find these even on the processed four by fours you buy from the local wood shop or mill.

And unfortunately, you need these pieces to be perfectly flat, square, and symmetrical if you want to get best results from your table saw, miter saw, or other similar tools. This is why the best benchtop jointer is such an essential tool in your workshop, whether you are an amateur or pro.

And since it is such a useful tool, there are numerous models out there on the market, from different manufacturers. Some are cheap and for amateurs, while the others are typically expensive pro-grade titans.

Interest in woodworking is on the rise, and there is a growing army of DIY enthusiasts and hobbyists out there. If you belong to this category, we have a comprehensive buying guide and recommendations of some of the top models.

If, on the other hand, you are a seasoned pro, you can probably skip those sections and head straight to our review section to check out the top ten shortlist.

Best Benchtop Jointer 2019 – Comparison Table

We know how valuable time is for professionals. So we have made things easier for you with an information-packed comparison table below:

ProductItem model numberItem Dimensions
Warranty 
Voltage
 
RIKON Power Tools Editor Choice20-600H
30 x 17.5 x 13 inches
5 years
120
POWERTECBJ600
32.5 x 14.5 x 11 inches
Delta Power Tools37-071
35 x 17 x 13 inches
PORTER-CABLEPC160JT
32.1 x 12.4 x 11.2 inches
Shop FoxW1829
29.5 x 19.8 x 12.5 inches
110
JetJJP-10BTOS
40.4 x 20 x 17 inches
3-year limited
116
Cutech 4016040160H-CT
32 x 12.2 x 11 inches
115
WEN6560
28 x 14 x 20 inches
2 Years
Woodtek115955
120
Check Price
Cutech 4018040180HC-CT
31 x 12.2 x 11 inches
115

RIKON Power Tools 20-600H – Best Lightweight Benchtop Jointer With Helical Blades


This Rikon puts a heavy emphasis on lightweight and compact build, with a 36lbs jointer. It is a standard 6-inch benchtop jointer for the home woodworking shop. It comes with helical cutting blades with a max cutting depth of ⅛th of an inch.

It has a 19-inch long fence, with adjustable points. The machine has an electrical rating of 120volts. The 1200 watt motor is capable of hitting speeds close to 11,000 RPM. Rikon provides a five-year guarantee for their device.

The main advantage of this Rikon jointer has to be those helical blades. They have a smooth cutting action and are easy to access. The durability of the system is also high, thanks to the all-steel construction. The adjustable fence also offers the right amount of support for angled pieces. It also has a longer than average table at 30 inches, which offers extra stability and comfort.
The actual design of the blades is a slight letdown. They only feature two blades per channel. While maintenance is easy, the cutting action could have been better had they chosen more blades. The built-in dust collection feature is underpowered. The controls for the adjustable fence feels awkward to manipulate.
Though this jointer comes with a dust collection system, you are better off using a larger shop vac if that system is available in your work area. The device comes with a simple on/off safety switch at the front.

Verdict: The Rikon 20-600H is an excellent option for home woodworking. It is compact and has adequate performance and safety features. The niggles are minor and do not diminish the value of this machine.

Pros
  • Durable steel construction
  • Compact and lightweight
  • Easy to access blades
  • Long table
  • Excellent 5-year long warranty
Cons
  • Underwhelming blades
  • Fence adjustability needs improvement
  • Dust collection is underpowered

Delta Power Tools 37-071 – Best Cast Iron Benchtop Jointer With Straight Blades

The Delta jointer prides itself on heavy-duty construction, with a durable cast iron build. This is a very heavy jointer, weighing in at 76lbs. As a standard 6-inch benchtop jointer, it has a cutting depth of ⅛th of an inch. The motor inside is rated at 1.5HP, and spins the blade to speeds of 10,000 RPM.

But instead of spiral or helical blades, the Delta 37-071 comes armed with the older straight-edged blades. The replacement mechanism for the blades is pretty streamlined. The Delta is another jointer packed with an adjustable fence, with stops at 45 and 90 degrees.

Despite the rugged build quality and heft, this is a very compact machine. And that cast iron construction also improves the overall stability, absorbing vibes better than thinner aluminum and steel models. The company provides 5-year warranty, which is longer than average.
The main disadvantage of this jointer is that it lacks the more advanced spiral blades. The fence controls also could do with some redesigning. And the machine is rather heavy at 76lbs.
You don’t get many accessories in this affordable package. But Delta has thrown in some free push blocks along with the package. Though this device comes with a dust blower, you should connect the shop vac for better performance.

Verdict: If you want a sturdy jointer, the Delta 37-071 should rank high on your list. But buy only if you are okay with the straight blades.

Pros
  • Cast iron solidity and durability
  • Powerful motor
  • Compact machine
  • 5-year warranty
  • Absorbs vibes better than lighter machines
Cons
  • Very heavy
  • Weak dust port
  • Uses straight blades

Porter Cable PC160JT – Best Benchtop Jointer With Variable Speed

The PC160JT is a standard 6-inch benchtop jointer with a 10 amp, 1.5HP variable speed motor. The blade speeds on this jointer range from 6000 at the low end to 11,000 RPM at the top end. The two blades on the cutting head have a max depth of ⅛ inches.

The fence is adjustable and made of aluminum to keep costs down. The mounts are at 45 and 90 degrees, which is par for this category. The machine is pretty compact and lightweight, at barely 35lbs. Porter-Cable provides a standard 3-year warranty for this jointer.

That variable speed motor is very efficient at dealing with different types of hard and soft woods. The nearly 2HP motor is more powerful than other jointers in this category. The table is quite long at 30 inches, and blade replacement is a breeze thanks to the cutter head lock. The dust port on the PC160Jt is among the largest at 4 inches.
Again, this is another jointer that forsakes advanced helical blades for the cheaper straight blades. They offer inferior performance when compared to the modern spiral/helical options. The aluminum fence feels very cheap, and the overall durability of the machine is also rather suspect.
the adjustable fence will have to be re-squared every time you use the machine.

Verdict: If using a wide variety of wood types of different hardness, the Porter Cable PC160JT is well worth a look. But it does have some significant disadvantages. Buy if variable speeds is an essential feature for you.

Pros
  • Has the rare variable speed function
  • Compact, lightweight jointer
  • Powerful 2Hp motor
  • Long 30-inch table
  • Large dust port
Cons
  • Cheap Aluminum fence
  • Not very durable table top
  • Uses outdated straight blades

POWERTEC BJ600 – Best Heavy Durty Benchtop Jointer With Large Dust Bag

The BJ600 is another feature packed jointer in the 6″ benchtop category. The machine is made out of durable cast iron and weighs 79lbs. The 12 amps motor is rated at 120volts, and has a cutting depth of 1/8th of an inch. Those blades are of the straight design and made from high-speed steel.

The fence is made from cast iron and has adjustable mounts for bevel cuts. The mount points are at the usual 45 and 90-degree angles. The BJ600 comes with a large capacity dust port and safety features like a power switch lock.

Cast iron durability and build quality is the main highlight of this jointer. The tables and the fence are both made from heavy-duty materials. The large dust port is compatible with a high capacity dust storage bag.
But on the downside, this is one of the heaviest machines on the shortlist. The adjustable fence controls are, as usual, rather clunky. The machine uses straight steel blades, which is rather disappointing.
The package contains no user manual or instructions. So putting together the machine will take some google skills or guesswork.

Verdict: The Powertec BJ600 is a jointer with some praiseworthy features. But the negatives do outweigh the positive aspects. So we do not find this machine worthy of a recommend.

Pros
  • Heavy-duty cast iron construction
  • Smooth cutting blades
  • Has a high capacity dust storage bag
  • Safety features like power switch lock
Cons
  • Poor design overall
  • Clunky fence controls
  • Straight steel blades
  • No manual or installation instructions

Shop Fox W182 – Best Budget-Friendly Benchtop Jointer

The Shop Fox is a budget-friendly planer, with some powerful specs under the hood. The 12 amp motor churns out 1.5HP, at 110volts. That can turn those straight twin blades at speeds more than 10,000 RPM. The W1829 has a max cutting depth of 1/8th of an inch.

The solid cast iron build is another highlight of this machine. Naturally, that translates into a weight of close to 80lbs. The fence on this 6-inch jointer is adjustable, and the dust collection duties are handled by a mini impeller.

The excellent cast iron construction and fully adjustable fence controls are the best features in this Shop Fox jointer. The blades are also surprisingly easy to replace. And the machine features a special knob that allows you to tweak the cutting depth directly.
The manual is not very useful. But you can easily find online sources of required information. The package includes a pair of free push blocks.
The cutting blades do occasionally lead to some chipping of the workpiece, which is quite disappointing. The infeed and outfeed tables also suffer from poor alignment right out of the factory, which indicates less than average Quality Control.

Verdict: The Shop Fox W1829 is rescued mainly by its affordable pricing. From a value perspective, the W1829 delivers due to the cast iron build quality and acceptable performance. But it has some niggles, so we cannot rate it very high on our recommended list.

Pros
  • Provides decent value at affordable price
  • Durable cast iron build
  • Powerful 1.5HP motor
  • A knob to tweak cutting depth.
Cons
  • The piece gets chipped on occasion
  • Lacks proper documentation
  • Misaligned tables

Jet JJP- 10BTOS – Best Combo Jointer-Planer

This Jet is a jointer-planer, so it naturally comes with a wider 10-inch cutting width. The jointer has a ⅛th of an inch cutting depth, while the planer sports a 0.08-inch cutting depth. The machine comes with a steel stand for conversion from a bench to a floor model.

The motor is a very basic 1HP motor, rated at 120 volts and around 13 amps. The straight blades work at a speed of around 9000 RPM. This combo machine weighs around 80lbs and comes with a 3-year limited warranty.

the main highlight of this machine is, of course, that dual functionality. That also means that you get a wider 10-inch jointer, instead of the usual 6 inch home models. Working with a combo machine requirements good controls, and the JJP-10BTOS does not disappoint, with large ergonomic knobs.
The motor is underpowered, and the tables require frequent adjustments. The adjustable fence also comes warped at times. The changeover from planer to jointer and back is a bit fidgety as well.

Verdict: The Jet 10-inch combo jointer-planer is aimed mainly at the budget conscious DIY amateur crowd. And for that purpose, it does a decent job at the asking price. But if you want serious and dependable performance from a jointer-planer, you will have to shell out some serious cash for their larger 12-inch variant.

Pros
  • Affordable combo jointer-planer
  • Very ergonomic knobs
  • Comes with a steel stand
  • Wide cutting at 10 inches
  • Outstanding customer care service
Cons
  • Weak and underpowered motor
  • Constantly wobbly table
  • Bent or warped fence
  • Poor quality control

Cutech 40160H-CT – Best Modern Spiral Bladed 6″ Jointer

After a long procession of straight bladed cutters, we finally have another modern spiral cutterhead jointer with the 40160H-CT from Cutech. It has the standard 6-inch width, with 1/8th of an inch cutting depth.

Made from aluminum, the body weighs in at around 40lbs, which is not too heavy in this class. The 10 amp, 120volt motor is capable of spinning those blades at high speed of 11,000 RPM. Cutech provides a 2-year warranty for this jointer.

The blades are easy to maintain and replace. They also offer very efficient cutting. The table is also longer at around 30 inches, so you do get some extra room for support. The fence has adjustable features that can be tweaked with ease.
The motor does tend to struggle when handling thicker pieces of wood, especially above the 3-inch mark. The table adjustment features could do with some improvements as well. The aluminum fence is also sub-par as far as support is concerned.
The 2.5-inch dust ports are inadequate. So you should ideally use your shop vac with this jointer. You do get free push blocks and tools with the package.

Verdict: The Cutech 40160H-CT is a decently specced device for the beginner and amateur woodworker. It does have some minor weaknesses, but nothing serious enough for us to give it a thumbs-down. This is worth a buy if you are on a budget.

Pros
  • Spiral blades for superior user experience
  • High-speed motor
  • Compact size and lightweight
  • Free tools and push blocks
Cons
  • Fence is not sturdy enough
  • Tables have frequent niggles

WEN 6560 – Budget Friendly Cast Iron Jointer

The WEN is a standard 6-inch wide benchtop jointer, with a durable cast iron base. The motor is a 120 volt 10 amp version, capable of speeds more than 10,000 RPM. The fence on this jointer can be adjusted to 45 and 90-degree angles for bevel cuts.

The blades are standard straight variants, with a twin blade cutting system. For safety, there is a springloaded blade guard on the machine. WEN delivers a 2-year warranty for this jointer.

Heavy duty construction is what this WEN jointer has to offer, much like other cast iron models in the market. The motor is quite fast, and the blades come with welcome safety features as well.
Despite that heavy duty body, some parts are made from cheap powder pressed materials, and are not very durable. The table plates also come with frequent damages right out of the box, which is no good at all. The fence controls make it hard to maintain a stable position.
The package includes a filter bag, push stick, and push block for free, which is nice to see.

Verdict: It is quite clear that the WEN 6560 is a beginner-oriented machine. But it is also clear that there are much better cast iron 6-inch benchtop jointers out there. So we cannot recommend this jointer to anybody, despite some decent features.

Pros
  • Cast iron body
  • Fast motor
  • Blade guard for extra safety
  • Comes with free filter bag, a push block
Cons
  • Cheap and fragile brackets
  • Table is often damaged
  • Clunky fence controls

Woodtek 115955 – Budget Friendly Aluminum 6″ Jointer

The Woodtek is a rather unremarkable 6-inch jointer, with a compact and lightweight build. It weighs just over 42 lbs. The motor is decently powered with 1.5 horses under the hood. But the blade speed is low, with just 7,500 RPM delivered at maximum.

The jointer uses the old school straight blades; It has two of these at the cutter head. There is dual safety guard at the blades. The machine has a handy know to control the cutterhead height as well.

The 115955 jointer has very mobile compact dimensions that are perfect for a small workshop. It also has very simple and intuitive controls, with knobs and toggle switches. The fence can be adjusted for bevel cuts.
Everything is made from lightweight aluminum, including the fence. The machine uses straight blades instead of swivel or spiral versions, which reduces efficiency and ease of use. The speeds are also very underwhelming.
The package includes all the tools and instructions you require to set up the jointer.

Verdict: The main issue with the Woodtek is that it is a relatively unknown model with no redeeming features on paper. There are very few user reviews or feedback available online. The specs also indicate a rather underwhelming product. Buy at your own risk.

Pros
  • Compact and light jointer
  • Safety features on blades
  • Knobs for depth adjustment
  • Powerful motor
Cons
  • No swivel/spiral blades
  • Low speeds at under 8000RPM
  • Light aluminum body is not very stable

Cutech 40180 – Best 8″ Jointer With Spiral Carbide Blades

The second Cutech jointer on our list has some high-quality spiral carbide tips on the cutter head. This is a wider 8-inch benchtop jointer, adjustable beds, and no less than 16 carbide inserts.

The motor has a 120 volt, 12 amp rating, and the highest RPM rating on our shortlist at around 12K. Thanks to the aluminum material used, this machine only weighs around 49kg. Along with the extra width, the 40180 also boasts of very long table at 33.5 inches. The fence has adjustable settings.

the one feature that grabs your attention here is the spiral blades with the durable carbide tips. They offer superior cutting performance to every other blade on our review list. Combine that with a class leading 12000 RPM motor, and you have a high-performance jointer. The already long table can be further extended to over 51 inches, which is useful for an 8-inch wide jointer.
Maybe due to the extra long shape, both the tables and the extensions show poor alignment. This is especially an issue with the in-feed table. Also, the use of aluminum means that the durability of this machine is bound to be lesser than a cast iron model.
You get free blocks and tools as part of the package. This includes the special tools needed for opening and replacing the blades.

Verdict: The Cutech 40180 is designed for home users who need more capacity than your average 6-inch jointer. With powerful motor, carbide blades, and extra long extensions, this jointer comes highly recommended by us.

Pros
  • Extra wide and extra long jointer
  • Fast, powerful motor
  • Spiral blades with carbide tips
  • Adjustable fence
  • Light aluminum construction
Cons
  • In-feed tables no aligned
  • Extensions do not function properly

Buyer’s Guide

What is a jointer and how does it work?

There may be different models (including the benchtop variant), but the basic template of a jointer has a set of cylindrical blades set deep on a flat surface. This flat surface of the machine has two parts, with the blade right in the middle.

The in-feed table is where you place the workpiece. This surface is set slightly lower than the blades and the out-feed table. When you move the wood towards the outfeed table, the blades shave off small chunks from the wood surface.

Depending on how much pressure you apply on the wood as it passes over the blades, you can get varying amounts of thickness from the workpiece. You can also change depth of the cut by adjusting the height of the two tables.

When should I use a jointer?

There is a significant difference in price between finished and unfinished pieces of lumber. If you use a lot of pieces regularly in your workshop, it might make sense to have your finishing equipment. Then you can buy raw wood pieces on the cheap and do the surfacing in the shop.

If you are dealing with an uneven, raw, or unfinished piece of wood, a jointer should ideally be your go-to device. This particular machine is designed specifically to flatten the surface of wood pieces. After cutting wood pieces into small sizes, you should run them through the jointer before feeding them to your planer or table saw.

What is the difference between a jointer and a planer?

Both are different types of wood surfacing machines. The basic difference between the two in which aspects of a wood piece they focus on. The jointer acts on the surface and edges of the piece, making them flat and straight. A planer is mainly for making changes to the thickness of the piece.

The planer usually works on a piece after it has been through the jointer. The functions of both these machines are not interchangeable. The planer needs a flat surface for reference, which is not often available on a curved piece. So you have to run it through a jointer to get that one surface prepped and ready.

You can even do woodworking without these machines, using hand planes. But that is a time consuming and labor-intensive process. A jointer and planer does a far better job, and far quicker too. If you work on a lot of unfinished wood pieces, you should have both in your workshop.

What are the different types of jointers?

There are four different types of jointers:

Closed Stand

In these pro-grade variants, the motor is encased in an enclosed base. This base protects the motor as well as cutter hand by preventing the dust from clogging the insides. The base also makes these jointers among the safest options out there. They are efficient, durable, stable, and quieter than other types. These jointers can accommodate wood pieces between 6-16 inches thickness, depending on the size of the machine.

Open Stand

These are portable variants that reduce the weight and size of the machine by removing the enclosed base from the design. But that also means that these machines get none of the benefits of an enclosed motor. They are noisy and less stable or durable. But on the plus side, they are cheaper.

Benchtop

Picture a smaller, more compact version of a closed stand jointer, and we get the benchtop jointer. These are designed to work on wood pieces six inches and under in size. They are best for woodworking projects involving smaller pieces. They are absolutely unsuitable for pieces larger than 6 inches. If you are a hobbyist or enthusiast, these are the best jointers for you.

Jointer-Planers

As we have already mentioned, a jointer and planer often go hand in hand when you want to prepare your workpieces. So in theory, a machine that combines both functions makes good sense. You can save space and have a single device to handle both functions. These devices were more popular in Europe than in the US in the past. But that is changing in recent years.

Should I buy a jointer-planer or should I buy them both separately?

A jointer-planer comes with some significant advantages:

  • Usually a wider capacity machine than a regular jointer
  • Does the job of two machines
  • Frees up valuable shop space as you have one machine instead of two
  • Only one motor and cutter-head to maintain

But on the flipside, they also have some prominent weaknesses:

  • Double duty means quicker wear on parts
  • The changeover is often complicated or finicky.

In a jointer-planer, there is one single motor and cutting head for both actions. The changeover is the process by which you transform the jointer into a planer and vice versa. This usually involves moving the cutting head around and making other alterations to the fence and infeed and outfeed tables.

If you are starved for space in your shop, a well-designed jointer-planer might be a good idea. But if space is not an issue, you will probably find life easier when using two different machines which are good at their jobs.

What are the important factors to consider when buying a benchtop jointer?

  • Width: for benchtop jointers, the width is fixed at six inches. As long as you don’t plan to work on any piece wider than that, a benchtop should be ideal for you.
  • Material: If you want something portable and light, aluminum is a good choice. But for durability and stability, nothing beats cast iron.
  • Cutter head: There are two options, straight and spiral/helical heads. Straight blades deliver a flatter and smoother finish. But spiral heads are newer technology and are more durable, easier to maintain and replace. If you use the jointer a lot, they may be the better choice.
  • Cutting depth: This could be as low as 1/8th of an inch, to ½, ¾, or one inch. The wider the range, the more versatile the jointer. With shallow cutting depth, you will need more passes to get the desired result.
  • Adjustable Fence: the fence of a jointer ultimately decides how accurate the machine is. Fences with adjustable positive stops allow you to work on angled cuts on wood.
  • Motor: The more horses, the better, as always. But the bare minimum here is usually one HP to handle both soft and harder wood types.
  • Dust Collection: as usual, any machines acting on wood with motors and saw blades will result in massive amounts of fine sawdust. So you need a high-quality dust collection system on these jointers.

Benchtop Jointer Tips For Usage, Maintenance, and Accessories

Benchtop jointers don’t have any visible intimidating saws or blades. They look very innocuous. Do not let their appearance fool you. These are potentially dangerous pieces of machinery. Exercise extreme care and caution when working with these devices.

Always check the cutting depth setting on the jointer before turning it on. Ensure that it is at the right depth setting you need for the current task. And also allow the blades to reach full speed before feeding the pieces.

Wear ear and eye protection at all times when working with power tools like planers and jointers in your shop. Check out these goggles for instance.

Try to avoid wearing long jewelry or loose-fitting clothing when working in the shop.

Be wary of your hand position when holding the workpiece. Do not allow the hand to be directly above the cutting head when it is active. You should have at least a few push blocks to feed workpieces to the jointer safely. These are some options:

    • Safety Push Block
    • Pushblock for Jointers

Frequently check the cutting blades for any nocks or dents (only on straight blades). Also check their sharpness frequently. Keep some spare blades handy at all times in your garage or shop. And always buy compatible blades, like these Powertec blades for your Porter Cable Jointer.

Conclusion

Benchtop jointers are a diverse breed. The 6-inch variants oriented mainly towards the budget-conscious hobbyist and home woodworker. If you want something light and mobile, aluminum is the metal of choice.

But for durability, you will need to opt for the heavier cast iron models. Spiral blades are less frequent in this niche, as straight blades help keep costs down while delivering acceptable performance for beginners.

If you don’t already have a planer, you should consider buying one along with your jointer. Or else another option would be to buy a combo jointer-planer. Which one do you think you will buy, and why? Feel free to share your decision with us in the comments section. We would love to hear from you.

The best benchtop jointer can help improve your woodworking skills and output quality in the long run. So choose carefully. Thanks for visiting, and happy woodworking!

Best Benchtop Jointer 2019 – Reviews and Buyer’s Guide
5 (100%) 1 vote[s]
Daniel Silva

I will tell you in detail about the tools that should be in the garage of a real man. I’ll help you decide on the choice by comparing the characteristics of the top products. Specially launched Countrycustomtile.com to share experiences and guide you to products that you like.

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