Want a woodworking tool that checks the uneven edges, flatness, and surfaces? A jointer proves to be useful. What if you need to deal with the wood twists on several spots on a large stock? Again, a machine that is more powerful than an average jointer seems to be a nice thing to own. But how can you make sure that the right one is in your collection? I’ve years of experience working with them, and this article is what the Drillly team has managed to present you to help you decide how much power, what construction, how much to spend, and much more to get the best benchtop jointer.
However, it’s always a good thing to be sure of why you should even get a benchtop machine. So, I’m about to inform you of the many uses a jointer offers, and then, I’ll talk about the other factors plus some of the most popular choices.
Why Should You Trust Us?
Before going any further, we would like to explain why you should believe in our effort. The Drillly team consists of a bunch of wood and metalworkers that have been in the industry for a really long time. We are the experts that can guide you in making the right buying decision so you get the exact output you expect from your projects. Not only that, our tips and tricks will also be helpful for your endeavor.
What's more is we are not affiliated with any of the brands or manufacturers of the products that we review here. We are an independent organization that feels it necessary to give honest reviews because we noticed that the Internet is full of fake reviewers that have the sole intention of monetary gain. We have an in-depth product testing process that we strictly follow whenever we decide to review a particular woodworking or metalworking tool. You will find more info about the process in the "How We Picked These Products" section added below.
So, keep reading our buying guide without any doubt. You will surely be benefited by our effort just like other numerous regular visitors on our website. You can also get in touch with us through our Contact Us page or adding your comments in the Comments section you will find further down the page.
How Did We Pick These Products?
As usual, we followed our strict product testing procedure. Initially, we went online to conduct research on the most popular benchtop jointers the market had to offer at the time of our research. After about 22 hours of research, we were able to find 28 such options that were the top rated products and were commonly used by Americans.
In the next phase, we planned to use every single model for a certain period of time. We gathered as many models as we could and then involved a volunteer team to help us test those that we could not find in our locality or were beyond our reach to purchase or borrow from our circle. It took us around 5 months to complete our testing and while testing, we kept in our mind all the essential features that must be in a good wood jointer.
Both our own experience and the feedback from our volunteers helped us pick the 10 choices that you will see soon. But that was not all. just to make sure that our shortlist was really worth presenting to our audience, we contacted other power tool experts like us and heard their valuable opinions. As we had expected, they also gave positive feedback on these 10 choices.
After going through so many steps, we are sure that is the most comprehensive review on this type of jointers that you will ever find online.
Our Top 10 Best Benchtop Jointer
Here comes our shortlisted choices. Check each one of them out and see which one might be able to meet your needs and suit your budget.
Why Use a Benchtop Jointer?
A wood jointer helps you align one surface against another. It cuts pieces of wood that you feed through the blades. It is likely that you may have to repeat the process again and again until you obtain a smooth and flat-sized piece.
Benchtop jointers are compact and lightweight. So, they are more desirable than floor jointers for many woodworking projects. This portability lends this type versatility which is unavailable in the floor type. It performs typical functions, such as flattening, straightening, and smoothening wood pieces.
This power tool is commonly used by woodworkers to square and true boards. These machines are available in different sizes which determines the size of wood that it can accept.
Who Needs It and How Does It Work?
A bench top jointer works by feeding the piece of wood over the blades of the machine from an infeed table. As the wood passes between the blades, it is shaped to create a smooth and flat edge. It is suitable for beginner woodworkers who desire to enhance their joinery skills and for professionals who want to increase their speed and enhance accuracy.
Planing is one of the typical woodworking operations. This device will help you to create points for other cuts and measurements effectively. If you want to get a smooth and straight wood surface without having to pass through the rigorous task of using the hand planer, you need this tool. Having bevel cuts is an amazing outcome a standard jointer provides. However, you may need extra cautions to perform this with your tool.
Things to Consider When Looking for a Benchtop Jointer
Making a great choice requires a very sound understanding of the essential features. We will be discussing these factors to help you determine which model might be good for you.
Before you decide on the benchtop jointer to buy, you should consider the actual and normal size of the wood pieces you will be cutting. This will help you to determine the right size for you.
The length of the knives determines the size of the jointer. This measurement is used to determine the maximum length of wood that the machine can handle comfortably.
However, a jointer can handle a wood which is double its bed’s length with ease. Therefore, bed lengths and blades are the two determinants of the size of a benchtop jointer and the wood piece it can handle.
The smallest jointer is the 6-inch size which is perfect for home use and other professional applications. Also, they are portable, cheap and very easy to use. However, if you want to work on wood pieces with sizes that are larger than 6-inches, you must trim them first.
The next in line is the 8-inch size benchtop jointer. These ones have a longer bed to handle big sized woods. But they’re a little expensive.
The biggest is 16-inch jointers. These are the free-standing ones and are suitable for large workshops and industrial applications. They are highly versatile and has longer blades for the biggest sizes of wood.
Each model comes with a fence that facilitates efficient, quiet, and smooth operation. The positive stops help adjust the angles of the fence easily. The fence should be durable, rigid, and flat. Whether or not you will enjoy having a smooth plane depends on the flexibility of your benchtop jointer’s fence.
You will also find models with motors having a power range from 1HP to 2HP. It will interest you that motors of 1HP are powerful enough to let you plane boards easily. Also, single phase benchtop jointers which are to be used in your home should have a standard voltage of either 110V or 220V.
4. Build Quality
The material used in the construction of a jointer will influence its ease of use and durability. These tools come with tables made from cast iron that are sturdy enough to reduce the level of vibration and its impact on the user’s hands. This feature may increase its weight and thus, make it a little uneasy to carry, but it is very beneficial to the user.
5. Cutterhead Speed
The speed of the cutterhead is expressed in cuttings per minute. As I said earlier, you need to feed the wood through the machine severally to obtain the perfectly smoothened edge. The greater the cutting speed; the faster you can complete your task. In most cases, you will notice that the cutterhead speed is twice the speed of the motor.
6. Cutting Blade
The cutting head type determines how the blade should be. Now, a machine with a spiral cutting head features a maximum of four blades and operates without noise. However, they are very expensive.
The most common jointers are the ones with a double blade. Moreover, these blades vary in quality and if you buy a poor-quality blade, you may have to replace them soon which will add to the operational cost of the machine.
7. Maximum Cut Depth & Rate
This rating determines how many times you will pass the piece of wood to obtain smooth edges. The calculation involves the rate of cut being determined by multiplying the number of blades with the cutterhead speed. The higher the maximum cut rate, the more effective the machine is. Also, the depth at which the machine penetrates the wood is influenced by its maximum cut depth. You should know that if the cut depth is large, it takes just a few processes to achieve the perfect surface.
8. Ease of Cleaning
You surely want a benchtop jointer that is easy to clean and maintain. These machines may churn out a lot of debris that you want to clear off. So, choose a jointer model that doesn’t present you challenges while removing the dust and cleaning the machine.
9. Dust Collection
The high-end models come with a dust collection system that sucks off the dust while keeping the work environment clean and free of allergens. Most dust collection systems vary by sizes and designs that determine how fast the wastes are vacuumed out or how frequently the dust bags can be emptied. You may want to consider a benchtop jointer with a large a full-size dust collection bag which helps to reduce the rate at which you’ll be emptying the sag.
10. Jointer vs. Planer
Just like we had said earlier, a jointer and a planer are similar in terms of purposes and functions but deliver different results. A planer serves better as you cut straight woods to equal thickness. Benchtop jointers allow you to straighten the edges of a twisted or curved piece of wood. You will achieve a straight cut edge after a few runs through the blades.
The fully-sized jointers are constructed to perform the tasks of a jointer and planer. However, there are some budget-friendly benchtop jointers that are equipped to perform the task of a jointer and planer efficiently.
Generally, benchtop jointers are more affordable than the regular free-standing jointers. However, you should not stop from spending some nmore bucks to buy a product that comes with the quality features. Although the price may go higher than expected while the quality may not in all cases, you need to aim for a product with the best price-to-quality ratio.
Care & Maintenance
Caring for and maintaining your benchtop jointer will help to prolong its life while keeping you and your work environment safe. Moreover, you will save some money if you adhere to the maintenance tips that the manufacturer provides since your time of visiting the shop for replacement parts or new machines will be reduced. Adhering strictly to the following tips will help you to enjoy your machine for long.
- Be sure that your cutting knives are in good condition
- Don’t try to join boards that are smaller than 12 inches
- Keep your machine clean and free of dust
- Empty the collection bag immediately it is full
- Ensure that the infeed and outfeed tables are aligned properly
Usage & Safety Tips
These essential woodworking tools are designed to produce a smooth, flattened and accurate edge on wood surfaces while allowing you to operate easily and comfortably. Despite that, each machine is designed with your safety in mind, you have a responsibility to keep yourself and the machine safe by following these simple rules.
- Secure your jointer by bolting it to a wall. This will help to keep it stable and not only reduce the impact of vibration but keeps it from falling.
- Adhere strictly to the instructions that are provided on the machine’s manual
- If you’re not qualified to handle the task, don’t attempt it
- Protect your eyes by wearing safety goggles
- Keep your workspace clean and free from hazards
- Store the machines safely and keep them from the reach of children
- Let all your attention be on the job
- Never misplace the importance of the guard
- As the board passes through the machine, keep your hands away from the back
- Using push blocks will ensure that your hand and the cutter at least 6 inches apart
- Ensure that you set the cutterhead based on the thickness of your wood
- Stay at one of the sides of the jointer and not behind
- Allow the cutterhead to reach its maximum speed before you insert the wood
Here we have provided you with a shortlist of the top benchtop jointer choices of today to help make your shopping easier.
There are many of these products on sale from popular brands like Harbor Freight, Craftsman, Ryobi, and many more. But you should consider the basic factors like your budget, workshop size and ease of maintenance among other things before deciding on a particular model.
The Cutech 40160H-CT which is our top pick is portable, compact, and features an easily replaceable HSS inserts. Interestingly, this model has a very good price to quality ratio.
Another product that featured in our top table jointer reviews is the Jet JJP-10BTOS which is extremely versatile. It can serve as a planer and jointer with high-quality performance. Moreover, it can handle both small and large size woods with ease. Though it is a bit pricey, its amazing features make it worth every penny.
We are confident that you will find this review very useful and be able to make a really good choice.