Best Benchtop Jointer Review & Buying Guide [2019]

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A quality benchtop jointer will enable you to create polished or even edges on wood. It also helps straighten pieces of wood. However, there are several aspects you have to consider when choosing the right model from the many units available on the market.

The type of cutter head and jointer, cutting depth, power, and size are some of the factors you will have to consider. We have compiled a list of the best benchtop jointers. Also included is a buying guide to help you make the right choice when shopping.

Our Top Benchtop Jointer Review

Brand
Best Overall
Jet JJP-10BTOS
Best for the Money
Jet JJP-8BT
Best Cheap Pick
Porter-Cable PC160JT
Product
Jet JJP-10BTOS 10-Inch Bench-Top Jointer/Planer
Jet JJP-8BT 8" Jointer/Planer Combo
PORTER-CABLE PC160JT Variable Speed 6" Jointer
Speed
up to 18,000 cpm
9,000 to 18,000 cpm
12,000 to 22,000 cpm
Rating
-
Best Overall
Brand
Jet JJP-10BTOS
Product
Jet JJP-10BTOS 10-Inch Bench-Top Jointer/Planer
Speed
up to 18,000 cpm
Rating
Best for the Money
Brand
Jet JJP-8BT
Product
Jet JJP-8BT 8" Jointer/Planer Combo
Speed
9,000 to 18,000 cpm
Rating
Best Cheap Pick
Brand
Porter-Cable PC160JT
Product
PORTER-CABLE PC160JT Variable Speed 6" Jointer
Speed
12,000 to 22,000 cpm
Rating
-

Best Overall Benchtop Jointer: Jet JJP-10BTOS

Jet JJP-10BTOS 10-Inch Bench-Top Jointer/Planer

The Jet JJP-10BTOS is an excellent jointer planer combo as it offers you the best of both worlds. It is equipped with several specs common with many free-standing jointers. The jointer is lightweight and portable without compromising its performance.

The unit combines a planer and a jointer, saving you money from buying separate equipment. The combination is also ideal for people with limited storage space. The tables for jointing and planing are locked to ensure you get accurate cuttings.

The Jet JJP jointer boasts of a 10-inch cutting width and 18,000 CPM cutting speed to help you handle both small and large pieces of wood with ease. The jointer’s maximum cutting depth is 1/8 inches while that of the planer is 0.8 inches.

Additionally, the model is equipped with a steel stand to enable you to convert it from a benchtop to a standing jointer effortlessly. The jointer features an outfeed table you can adjust to accommodate different sizes of wood.

If you want to get the required stability for smooth and effective cutting, adjust the fence up to 45 degrees. Another incredible feature worth mentioning is the pointer and scale on the planer. This allows you to determine the distance between the table and the cutter head precisely.

The 10BTOS jointer also comes with two accessible knobs to ensure you have a comfortable and safe operation. The control knob is user-friendly and large to enable you to access it easily.

Although the jointer is costly, it is incredible features that make the purchase worth it. Get this model if you do not want to spend extra money buying separate equipment.

Overall, this jointer from Jet has high-quality features and offers excellent performance.  It’s also versatile as it is designed to perform as a planer and a jointer in a single unit while offering high-quality performance.

What We Like

  • Converts from a benchtop to a free-standing jointer
  • 18,000 CPM cutting speed
  •  Easy controls to use
  • Includes a planer and jointer combo
  • Larger cutting width
  •  Adjustable fence
  • Two accessible knobs

What We Don’t Like

  • Fence can only be adjusted to 45 degrees
  • Fence is constructed with aluminum
Sale
Jet JJP-10BTOS 10-Inch Bench-Top Jointer/Planer
  • Maximum cutting width is up to 10 Inch
  • Jointer max cut depth is 1/8 Inch
  • Planer max cut depth up to .08 Inch

Best Benchtop Jointer for the Money: Jet JJP-8BT

Jet JJP-8BT 8' Jointer/Planer Combo

The Jet JJP-8BT is another model from Jet that combines a planer and jointer to maximize the workspace. The jointer is lightweight enough to be moved from one location to another. It only weighs 58 pounds and is small enough to fit in a home shop.

The 13 amperage motor provides adequate power to ensure you finish working on your projects. However, you may experience some difficulties to achieve smooth cuts while working on soft materials.

The planer infeed is located below the jointer outfeed and is perfect for light-duty jobs. The JJP-8BT jointer is equipped with two knife cutterhead that rotates at 9,000 RPM and 18,000 CPM cutting speed.

It is important to note that the 19.5 feet per minute feed rate depends on the type of wood being worked on. For instance, when resurfacing weathered material or when working on hardwoods, the machine will strain.

So, you must bolt it down to handle any tough materials. The adjustment knobs are positioned well. However, the adjustment hardware is small which makes it difficult to lock things down. The Jet JJP jointer comes with a dust collection system. However, you will have to connect it to a shop vacuum for effective dust control and debris removal.

The jointer can be a satisfying unit if you take advantage of its compact design and small size. The fence has a 1/32 inches arch in the center and it is not true. When it comes to durability, the jointer table is made of cast iron while the fence is made of aluminum.

Though this jointer has many incredible features, it may not give you the results you desire. For instance, due to its lightweight design, you may find it hard working on bigger pieces of wood.

However, you can adjust the fence and bevel the pieces of wood. That said, this model is ideal for people with small woodshops.

What We Like

  • Only 8-inch benchtop available on the market
  • Jointing and planing capability in a small model
  • Compact benchtop design
  • 13 amperage motor
  • 2 high-speed steel knives
  •  Adjustable fence
  •  Powerful

What We Don’t Like

  • Setup requires a lot of time
  • Small footprint
Jet JJP-8BT 8" Jointer/Planer Combo
  • Combination bench Top Jointer & planer provides a 2 in 1 Machine to maximize work space; oversized,...
  • Integrated cord wrap makes Transporting Easy and ensures workshop safety; Large aluminum extruded...
  • Compact bench Top Design fits conveniently in Small shop environments; sheet metal out feed table...

Best Budget Benchtop Jointer: Porter-Cable PC160JT

PORTER-CABLE PC160JT Variable Speed 6' Jointer

Porter-Cable is known for making power tools that have helped woodworkers on a tight budget be able to use their top-rated jointers. However, you may have to consider the Cutech benchtop jointer if you are a professional carpenter. The Porter-Cable PC160JT features a 6,000 to 11,000 RPM variable speed.  

This allows you to choose the correct speed for the size of the pieces of wood being cut. The HSS knives can be adjusted or changed easily while maneuvering the fence. This is very essential for first-time woodworkers who may want to go easy with the flexible fence.

While making the changes, you will appreciate the cutterhead lock since it is designed to ensure you are safe. One of the most notable features of the Porter-Cable jointer is its 30-inch table that will enable you to work with some thick boards. However, the fence is constructed with aluminum and you will need to re-square it after every use.

This jointer boasts of positive stops that will help you to simplify your work. The stops will allow you to adjust the fence between 45 degrees and 90 degrees. Also, the pieces of wood will be stable during the cut to provide you with an accurate and smooth edge.

The 4-inch dust port is another notable feature worth mentioning. It sucks off dust particles and debris from the jointer while ensuring your working environment is safe and clean. This model also features a large tabletop that accepts big and smaller pieces of wood.

Though this unit is not made of high-quality cast iron material and is not ideal for longboards, it offers great value for money. We were impressed at how it performs considering its price range.

The PC160JT jointer is an affordable choice for people on a low-budget. It is also ideal for meeting the needs of amateur woodworkers. If you are looking for a lightweight jointer you can carry to different project sites, opt for this model as it only weighs 35 pounds. Porter-Cable backs this model with a 3-year warranty.

What We Like

  • Variable speed for cutting several sizes of wood
  •  Readily available spare parts for replacement
  •  Lightweight and portable
  • Adjustable blade speed
  • Easy to assemble
  •  Inexpensive

What We Don’t Like

  •  Some users don’t like the aluminum fence
  • Non-durable table top
  •  Flimsy fence
PORTER-CABLE PC160JT Variable Speed 6" Jointer
  • Variable 6, 000 to 11, 000 RPM speed range allows the user to select the right speed for the size...
  • Two knife cutter head with jack screw knife leveling arrangement for easy replacement and adjustment...
  • Built-in cutter head lock facilitates knife replacement and adjustment

Best Benchtop Jointer for Smooth Cuts: Cutech 40160H-CT

Cutech 40160H-CT 6' Bench Top Spiral Cutterhead...

The Cutech 40160H-CT is ideal for both professional and beginner woodworkers. It is one of the most common portable options in the market as it weighs 40 pounds. You may not enjoy a lot of stability from this jointer as you would from a free-standing machine.

However, you can still store it in your woodshop after use or carry it to any of your job sites. The model is equipped with a double-sided HSS inserts and a spiral cutterhead that allows you to enjoy an efficient, quick, and accurate planning process.  

In case the inserts become blunt or worn out, you can easily replace them. Another remarkable feature of this unit is that it is equipped with a powerful motor. It runs at 11,000 RPM maximum speed to give you smooth and precise cuttings.

Additionally, the 30-inch table is wide enough to enable you to effortlessly plane small pieces of wood. The size of the table can also be adjusted to an angle that will enable you to work on your projects comfortably.

One of the most interesting features of this jointer is its durable construction. You can also tilt the fence easily to suit your needs as it can be adjusted to angles between 90 to135-degrees. This comes in handy when you want to flatten boards at various angles.

The 2.5-inch dust collection system helps to get rid of chips while extending the life of the knives. The model also has a 6-inch spiral cutterhead to ensure less friction and smooth cuts. While the 40160H-CT jointer may not handle well boards over four feet, it works efficiently on pieces of wood below 4 feet.

The good thing about this machine is that it works flawlessly, provides quiet operation, and rarely bogs down. If you are tackling a light project or have a small workshop, this unit is what you need. It is also powerful and portable to meet the needs of professional or beginner woodworkers.

What We Like

  • Produces great finishes on the wood
  • Ease of use and easy setup
  • Spiral cutterhead
  •  Fast and powerful motor
  •  Extra-wide jointer
  • Dust collection system that makes it easy to clean

What We Don’t Like

  • Unsuitable for hardwoods
  • Table angle can only be adjusted above 90 degrees
Cutech 40160H-CT 6" Bench Top Spiral Cutterhead...
  • Powerful 10 Amp 120V motor
  • Spiral Cutterhead with 12 HSS Inserts
  • Fence with 90 to 135 Degree Tilt

Best Benchtop Jointer for Accurate Operation: Delta Power Tools 37-071

6' Bench Top Jointer 37-071

If you are interested in having a jointer that can give you flattened and smoothed wood edges, the Delta Power-37-071 unit delivers. The unit is equipped with a sturdy and stable build. The table and fence are also designed well to ensure your operation is comfortable and safe.

It may take a lot of time before aligning the fence. Once you get over that, it remains fixed. Its ease of use is also commendable. Changing the blades of this model is also a breeze.

Unlike most of the benchtop jointers out there which are built from aluminum, the Delta Power model is made of cast iron to enhance its sturdiness and durability. The sturdy construction helps the jointer to withstand the vibrations that may mess up with your material while cutting.

One of the things we liked about this unit is its 1.5 horsepower motor that spins the cutterhead at 10,000 RPM speed. You may not find the 76 pounds weight very impressive. However; it helps the jointer to remain stable during planning.

The design is also crafted to handle pieces of wood measuring 6 inches with ease. Also, the model has 1/8-inch cutting depth at 20,000 CPM maximum cut-rate. The package includes straight blades to enable you to have precise and even cuttings.

The fence can be tilted at angles between 45 to 90 degrees and be adjusted easily to support your pieces of wood. The 37-071 model is also equipped with a dust collection system to help keep your working environment free of dust and safe.

However, you will have to look for a workshop vacuum to suck the dust and debris. Overall, this jointer is built to tackle small pieces of wood. It also has features to help you have an accurate and smooth operation.

Unlike other models with spiral cutterheads that reduces performance, the straight knives of this unit provide high performance. Delta Power backs this jointer with a 5-year warranty.

What We Like

  •  Cast iron to enhance its durability and sturdiness
  • Built-in dust collector to ensure a safe working environment
  • Powerful 1.5 horsepower motor
  • Fence and table can be adjusted easily
  • Ideal for hardwood
  • 5-year warranty

What We Don’t Like

  • Manual operation
  • Comes with two blades for cutting
6" Bench Top Jointer 37-071
  • 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

Benchtop Jointer Features and Considerations

There are several factors you need to pay attention to when shopping for a jointer. Here are the most essential features that will help you pick the best benchtop jointer from the many options available:

Type of Jointer

There are three types of jointers out there which include:

  • Benchtop jointer
  • Closed stand jointer
  • Long bed jointer

The three jointers work the same. They only vary when it comes to stability and size.

Benchtop Jointer

This jointer is used on a benchtop and has holes drilled into the base to enable you to attach it to a workbench for maximum stability. Benchtop jointers are perfect for small woodshops or people who don’t have to work with large pieces of wood.

Closed Stand Jointer

This jointer is the largest of the three and the perfect jointer for professional workshops. The closed stand jointer has an enclosed base and the capacity to accommodate the biggest pieces of wood.

The enclosed base prevents debris and dust from getting into the internal components of the jointer and the motor. The size of this jointer allows for increased stability and safety, reduced noise and vibration control.

Long Bed Jointer

This jointer is smaller than the closed stand jointer and bigger than the benchtop jointer. The long bed jointer doesn’t take up workbench space as it stands on the ground. The jointer can also accommodate bigger pieces of timber.

The jointer is an excellent choice for woodworkers who want a bigger jointer and can’t afford to invest in a closed stand jointer.

A jointer sits ready for use in a garage

Size of Jointer

It is crucial to consider the normal and actual size of the pieces of wood you intend to cut before choosing your benchtop jointer. This will help you to decide on the correct size for you. It is important to note that the size of your jointer is determined by the length of the knives.

The measurement is usually used to determine the length of the wood that the jointer can tackle comfortably. However, a jointer can tackle with ease pieces of wood that are twice the length of the bed.

Therefore, bear in mind that blades and bed lengths determine the size of a jointer and the workpieces it can handle. Here are the different sizes of jointers:

  •  6-inch size
  •  8-inch size
  • 16-inch size

6-Inch Size

The 6-inch size is the smallest jointer and is great for professional applications and home use.

They are also easy to use, affordable and portable. However, if you intend to work on pieces of wood that are bigger than 6-inches, trim them first.

8-Inch Size

These types of jointers are equipped with longer beds to handle large workpieces. However, they are a bit expensive.

16-Inch Size

This is the largest benchtop jointer. The jointers are ideal for industrial applications and large woodshops. They have longer blades to tackle bigger sizes of wood and are highly versatile.

Cutterhead

The cutterhead ensures you have a functioning jointer. It consists of more than two blades that are located above the infeed table. The blades are usually arranged radially in the cutterhead to ensure they come in contact with the workpieces and slice off the areas that are protruding when the cutterhead spins.

Top view of woodworking area

Type of Cutterhead

The most common types of cutterheads for benchtop jointers include:

  • Spiral cutterhead
  • Helical cutterhead

Spiral Cutterhead

These types of cutterheads are spiral in shape and use 4-sided cutters. The cutters are effective and highly innovative when it comes to cutting wood pieces with precision.

It is also easy to change the spiral heads and require less power to run. Due to this reason, they are quiet during operation. They also save a lot of time and leave a few marks on the boards.

 Helical Cutterhead

These cutters operate like a sheer cut as the cutters are usually positioned to the feed rate at an angle. The sheering action produces a superior finish as it does on a hand plane with a sheer cut.

Cutterhead Speed

The cutterhead speed is determined by cuttings per minute (CPM). So, you will have to feed the jointer severally to obtain a smoothed edge. You will complete your task faster if the cutting speed is great. In most cases, the cutterhead speed is usually higher than the speed of the motor.

Cutting Depth

The depth of cut is another crucial factor you should not ignore. Although most jointers will allow you to adjust your blade as deep as you may want, some will not. The inability to adjust can affect the number of projects you can handle. Pay attention to this aspect.

Cutter depth can determine the number of times you can cut and speed at which you can cut. Remember if your depth of cut is large, the blade will cut through fewer passes and save you a lot of time.

However, it is advisable to go for a jointer that provides a wide range of cutting depths. Different cutting depths can be useful for various purposes.

Power

This varies from one machine to another and is something most woodworkers overlook. Before making the purchase ensure you are getting the speed you require.

Many jointers run on one or two horsepower while some benchtop jointers run on one horsepower. This doesn’t mean they can’t get the job completed faster, it means there are times you may be unable to cut some wood.

A one horsepower motor is enough to flatten most wood. When it comes to power outlets, benchtop jointers will use standard power outlets. They do not require more power than that because they are crafted for home woodshops.

Large stand up jointers may need to run on two horsepower motors or more. However, you will have to pay a higher price.

A jointer sits in a garage, ready to be used

Out Feed and Infeed Tables

The outfeed and infeed tables are some of the most essential things to check. You first need to check the length of the tables. Longer tables will provide better support for larger pieces of wood.

The length of benchtop jointers is usually 28 inches and they don’t go longer than that. If you are looking for extra long tables to prepare boards for tables and doors, you may have to opt for a stand-mount model.

The width of the feed tables is another factor worth considering. Benchtop jointers usually measure between six and eight inches wide. You can do more with the jointer if the table is wider.

While shopping, consider what you intend to do with the jointer then choose a model depending on your unique needs. It is also important to check the materials that were used to build the tables.

Heavy-duty materials such as stainless steel or cast iron are great since accidental bumps and a lot of pressure can damage the jointer. If the table is warped, the table may not be able to flatten the surface of your wood pieces.

Dust Collection Port

We recommend getting a benchtop jointer that is equipped with a dust port or dust collector where you can connect it to your shop vacuum. You should connect a dust collection system into the jointer directly or clean your working environment regularly between boards because jointers produce a lot of wood debris and sawdust.

If you don’t want to purchase one, you can also make your own DIY dust collector.

Many dust collection systems differ by designs and sizes that determine how frequently you can empty the dust bags. Consider a benchtop jointer that comes with a big dust collection bag to minimize the rate at which you will be emptying the bag.

Fence

Each jointer is equipped with a fence that facilitates smooth, quiet, and efficient operation. The positive stops enable you to adjust effortlessly the angles of the fence. When choosing your model, ensure the fence is flat, rigid, and durable.

Whether you will enjoy a smooth plane or not depends on how flexible the fence of your benchtop jointer is. The size of your fence will also determine whether you will have clean cuts.

For instance, some of your tasks may need support at tilted angles. For this reason, you will want to look for a fence that is capable of making stops at certain angles to make accurate cuts. Some fences can make stops at 45 degrees and others at 90 or 135 degrees.  

Additionally, ensure the fence is rigid and durable to offer the required support. This way, you will avoid ending up with flimsy products that may ruin all your wood pieces.

Cutting Blade

The type of cutting head will determine the way the blade should be. For example, a jointer that has a spiral cutting head operates without noise and comes with a maximum of four blades. However, they are costly. The most popular types of jointers are those equipped with a double blade.

The blades vary when it comes to quality and you may need to replace them within a short period if you buy low-quality blades. This will make the operational cost of the jointer to add up.

Planer vs. Jointer

A planer and a jointer are similar when it comes to functions and purposes. However, the results they deliver differ. A planer will enable you to have equal thickness while you cut straight woods.

A man using a planer on a wood plank

With jointers, you will straighten the edges of curved or twisted wood pieces. After a few runs, you will get straight cut edges through the blades. The bigger jointers are designed to carry out the duties of a planer and jointer.

There are also some affordable jointers built to perform efficiently the duties of a planer and jointer.

Table

The main reason for investing in a benchtop jointer is to be able to create flat and straight surfaces. That is why it is mandatory to have a flat table. Ensure the cutting head of the table you pick is parallel to enable you to make precise cuts. Also, consider the table length.

If you are handling long pieces of wood and want to straighten them, look for a longer table. However, if you will be working on small wood pieces, getting such a table won’t be necessary. Whichever decision you make, ensure your needs come first.

Budget

Generally, jointers are inexpensive compared to the free-standing jointers. That said, you should spend more money and invest in a jointer that is equipped with high-quality features to give you the results you desire.

Although the cost can go higher than the expected quality, go for a model whose quality matches the price. For example, it doesn’t make sense to buy an expensive benchtop jointer that only has two features. An ideal choice would be a unit with numerous features.

Build Quality

The quality of the material used to construct a jointer will impact its durability and ease of use. The jointers are equipped with sturdy tables made from cast iron to reduce its impact on your hands and the level of vibration.

This feature can increase the weight of the jointer and make it uncomfortable to carry due to being bulky. However, it’s very essential to the user.

Ease of Cleaning

A benchtop jointer that’s easy to maintain and clean should be your choice. Jointers produce a lot of dust and debris you may want to get rid of. So, opt for a jointer that makes your cleaning routine a breeze especially when removing the dust.

Wrap Up

Choosing the best benchtop jointer can be a challenge when you don’t know the features to look for. The basic factors you should consider include ease of maintenance, your woodshop size, and budget before choosing a particular jointer. We are confident you found this review helpful and you will be able to make the right decision.