A benchtop jointer is a woodworking tool used to create flat surfaces on a piece of wood. It can also remove twists formed due to knots in the wood, cut into wood to straighten it, and improve the quality of a warp wood. But how can you pick the best benchtop jointer?
A benchtop jointer is placed on a stand or workbench so the tool is stable. Since it is portable, it can be moved as you please. Stationary jointers are also available but they are costlier than the benchtop jointer.
Benchtop jointers look and work similar to their big brothers, but are compact and portable. Since they are relatively small, they cannot flatten very long pieces of wood. High-quality benchtop jointers, though, have enough capacity to do a casual flattening job.
Table of Contents
- Top 7 Best Wood Lathe for Beginners Review
- Best Benchtop Jointer - Buying Guide
- Final Words
Top 7 Best Wood Lathe for Beginners Review
The best benchtop jointer depends on what you are looking for in a jointer and the type of woodworking projects you intend to use it for. Benchtop jointers come with varying adjustable features. Some models come with dual or triple knife cutters.
Take a look at this benchtop jointer reviews of some of the top models available in the market.
PORTER-CABLE Benchtop Jointer (PC160JT) – Top-rated
The PORTER-CABLE Benchtop Jointer (PC160JT) comes with a two-blade head and a jack screw knife with leveling adjustments allowing you to quickly and easily adjust the knives before you start cutting.
This benchtop jointer features adjustable motor speeds and a large 3-inch cutter head diameter. The cutterhead motor comes with variable speeds from 6,000 RPM to 11,000 RPM. This means it has a cutting speed of 12,000 to 22,000 cuts per minute.
The variable speeds of this benchtop jointers allow you to lock the piece of wood you are cutting in place while selecting the speed needed for the job.
This benchtop jointer comes with a steel table that is sturdy enough for wood being fed into the benchtop jointer. You will enjoy the extra-large table, which extends up to 6” wide, attached to this benchtop jointer for more additional work space.
Its fence is made of aluminum which is perfect for light loads. Its fence also comes with adjustment knobs. This jointer stops at 45° and 90° which is appreciated by most users working on different projects. Its fence is mounted in the center offering the needed support for accurate edge joining throughout the cut.
This benchtop jointer is set apart from its competitors because it comes with an oversized 4-inch dust port allowing it to take in whole wood chips without clogging. Most jointers only come with 2.5-inch dust ports.
The PORTER-CABLE Benchtop jointer (PC160JT) is the best budget jointer in the market that can handle bigger woods. It is 35 pounds and has a 32.1 x 12.4 x 11.2 inches diameter.
CRAFTSMAN Benchtop Jointer (CMEW020) – Best Wood Jointer
The CRAFTSMAN Benchtop Jointer (CMEW020) is the best wood jointer for the serious woodworker or weekend DIY enthusiast. It can adapt to various wood materials because of its 10 Amp motor and variable speeds that do not offer any tension or stress to the jointer. It is a great tool if you switch to different wood materials and project scales.
Its heavy-duty motor and center-mounted fence provides the machine with the stability, accuracy, and durability it needs. This features make the machine ideal for softwood and hardwood projects. The machine also features a heavy-duty construction that does not consume too much space.
This benchtop jointer comes with a powerful dual-knife cutter head and a 6,000 – 11,000 RPM or 12,000 to 22,000 cuts per minute. The variable speed prolongs the life of the knives because you do not need to always use intense speed if you are, for instance, only cutting soft wood. These features make this jointer cutter a favorite of amateur and professional woodworkers.
This machine also comes with a built-in cutter head lock to make sure you always get the perfect cut. The knives can quickly be replaced without much fuss because of its adjustable and open knife heads.
The knife also comes with a jackscrew leveling arrangement for lesser risk of contact with the cutter head’s dangerous part and a cutter lock to prevent accidents while ensuring accurate cuts.
This Craftsman benchtop has a 4-1/4-inch fence that can provide ample support for any woodworking task.
The CRAFTSMAN Benchtop Jointer (CMEW020) is a well-rounded machine that can tackle face jointing, edging, and flattening jobs. It weighs 39.8 pounds and has dimensions of 32.1 x 12.4 x 11.3 inches.
Wahuda Tools Jointer (50160CC-WHD) – Best Jointer for the Money
The Wahuda Tools Jointer (50160CC-WHD) is the best jointer for the money. It is equipped with a powerful 10 amp motor and 120V. It features a spiral-type cutter head. With these features, novice and professional woodworkers can make smoother and accurate cuts even on figured or tough pieces of wood.
This benchtop jointer is equipped with a spiral cutter head with longer-lasting blades that are easy to adjust. The spiral cutter head comes with 4-sided carbide inserts making it sharper while cutting with precision in low noise. The blade comes in a standard size for simple and cost-effective replacement.
This machine comes with a cast iron infeed and outfeed tables. You can adjust these tables to remove 0 to 18-inch of wood with each pass. Its depth-of-cut scale is also reliable to ensure maximum accuracy of each cut.
Its compact table makes it perfect for small workshops. It also allows the machine to be moved from one place to another with relative ease.
This Wahuda Tools jointer has a fixed 12,000 RPM enduring steady and capable performance at all times. Its versatile fence which can be tilted from 90 degrees to 135 degrees complemented by expandable and adjustable cast iron tables ensures stability even when cutting larger and longer pieces of wood.
This Wahuda machine is easy to set up. It weighs56.2 pounds and has a 34 x 14 x 13 inches dimension. It is ideal for edging, flattening, tapering, or jointing regardless of surface
WEN 6559 6-Inch Benchtop Jointer – Best Budget
The WEN 6559 6-Inch Benchtop Jointer is the best budget jointer in the list. It is equipped with a 10-amp motor that delivers up to 20,000 accurate cuts per minute in 0 to 1/8 to 1 inch in size. This is an extremely powerful motor that delivers precise and acute cuts.
Users love the spacious table of this benchtop jointer. It also comes with a push stick, dust chute, and dust filter bag.
You can slant the fence up to 45 degrees when you need to make angled cuts along the faces of the boards. For protection against accidental injuries, the blade guard comes with springs exposing only a limited portion of the cutterhead when jointing.
The durability and reliability of this machine is ensured by its two-year warranty while being relatively cheaper than most benchtop jointers in the market.
The WEN 6559 6-Inch Benchtop Jointer set comes with a built-in dust port, push stick, push block, and a filter bag for easy cleanup. It weighs 36.4 pounds and has a dimension of 32 x 14.5 x 11 inches
WEN JT630H 6-Inch Spiral Benchtop Jointer – Best for Begineers
The WEN JT630H 6-Inch Spiral Benchtop Jointer is the best jointer for beginners. It comes with a 10-amp motor that has the capability to rotate the cutterhead up to 12,000 per minute for maximum precision. Its cutterhead has 12 staggered HSS blades that deliver a smooth finish to soft and even hardwoods. It comes with a cast iron base.
It has a spacious 30 x 6-inch table. If you want to create angle cuts along the faces of the board, you can bevel the fence of this jointer up to 45 degrees. It also comes with a spring-loaded blade guard so you are protected against accidental injuries. This is so because only a limited portion of the spiral cutterhead is exposed while you are jointing.
The dust collector of this machine works well in removing dust and chips from the bottom of the machine. The amount of chips thrown from the top is minimal but it is still recommended that you wear eye and ear protection.
The WEN JT630H 6-Inch Spiral Benchtop Jointer comes with a depth scale and a filter bag. It also includes two push blocks, and a built-in dust port. Its blades are easy to replace because they are compatible with the WEN BP510H Replacement Spiral Blades. This benchtop jointer is 36.4 pounds and measures 32 x 14.5 x 11 inches.
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Best Benchtop Jointer - Buying Guide
Choosing the right benchtop joiner for your needs, even from the five models listed in the above best benchtop jointer reviews can be a daunting task if you do not know what features to look for.
This buying guide will cover features that set the best benchtop jointer apart from the competition.
Benchtop jointers allow you to straighten the edges of warped or curved pieces of wood to make them perfectly level. It may take a few runs across the blade to make the edges straight, but the food is secured with a fence to ensure precise cuts.
It will work to your best advantage if you pick the benchtop jointer that is right for your workplace. Take a look at these important factors to consider before deciding which is right for your needs.
Benchtop jointers typically come with jointers that are not as powerful as other types of jointers. That is actually not a bad thing because a 1HP motor is sufficient enough to get the smoothness you need without too much hassle. If you frequently cut bigger and thicker pieces of wood, you can choose models with 2 HP motors.
Size and Weight
You will want a benchtop jointer that fits your home workshop. Some prefer a bigger benchtop jointer to permanently sit in a work area. Some prefer a smaller benchtop jointer for easy mobility when transferring the tool from one place to another.
Choose a benchtop jointer with an overall frame made of high-quality gears materials to ensure it is easy to maintain. Benchtop jointers do not come cheap, so you will want to choose one that will last for many years of use, no matter the intensity of the work you do with it. Surely, you want to get your money’s worth.
Lumber Size Capacity
The lumber size your benchtop jointer can accommodate depends on the length of the jointer’s knives. It is common for benchtop jointers to be able to work with a six-inch wide lumber size capacity.
Control and Fence Size
The fence is a vital part of a jointer because it is responsible for precision control. It is important that you look for a jointer with a sturdy and flat fence that is easy to adjust and operate. As much as possible, choose a jointer with adjustable positive stops so you can easily adjust the position of the fence.
It is the cutting depth of a jointer that determines its efficiency and speed. The cutting depth dictates the number of passes you need to straighten the piece of wood. Choose a jointer with a cutting depth of about 1/8 inch so it will only take you a few passes to have straight and uniform pieces of wood.
Cutting Head and Blades
The cutting head is the most important part of a jointer, thus, you should take the time to scrutinize it. A spiral cutting head comes with four blades and has a quiet operation. It is often more expensive.
Most jointers have dual blades. Make sure the blades are of top-quality because low-quality blades will not last long. Replacing blades can add to the initial cost of your jointer.
Cutterhead speed is rated based on rotations per minute (RPM). The RPM dictates how fast or slow you can feed pieces of wood through the jointer and the level of smoothness you can achieve.
It usually requires multiple runs through the jointer to completely straighten edges of a piece of wood. If you are working on several pieces of wood, the feeding speed of your jointer can help you save a lot of joining time.
Maximum Cut Depth and Cuts per Minute
The maximum cut depth and cuts per minute (CPM) determines the number of runs it will take to straighten the edges of the wooden board with your jointer.
To get the cuts per minute of a jointer, multiply the cutterhead speed by the number of blades. With more cuts per minute comes increased straightening effect with each pass of the board into the jointer.
Maximum cut depth is the measure of how deeply the cutterhead penetrates down into the board. A jointer with a larger cut depth needs fewer passes to make a straight edge.
Spiral Cutting Head
Most jointers come with a spiral-shaped four-sided cutter. This type of cutter shaves off wood by slicing it. This makes the motor more efficient and uses less power. Lesser tooling marks are also left on the wood pieces. It is, therefore, best to pick a jointer with this type of cutting head.
Bigger is not always better especially if you have a small space, often work on small projects, and wish to transfer the jointer from one place to another.
While ease in mobility is one of the main features of benchtop jointers, it is still an issue because they are most of the time fixed on a workbench. It can only be not an issue if you have the patience to detach and re-attach the jointer from its workbench.
Pick the best benchtop jointer that is not too heavy to move around.
A benchttop joiner that is easy to clean and maintain is a great buy. Pick a benchtop jointer that comes with a dust collection attachment to reduce the dust buildup from wood shavings in your workshop. The dust collection attachment controls the mess and makes it easier to clean.
A dust collection system consists of a pipe fitted on one of the sides of the jointer. It allows you to attach a bag or a vacuum system to collect sawdust. Some jointers come with their own dust bags.
The port and bag size that can be attached to the jointer dictates how large waste wood it can accommodate before it overflows and needs to be emptied. It also dictates how much wood waste the dust collection mechanism can accept without clogging it.
If you are deciding on getting the best benchtop jointer, you should remember that benchtop joiners are not big floor jointers. Benchtop joiners are portable machines suitable for your small workshops or if you are looking for a jointer you can easily take with you anywhere.
While you should not expect too much from this small portable machines, they are still workhorses that deliver accurate and precise cuts while working on soft and hard words. Some benchtop jointers also come with features that are similar to big floor jointers.
The benchtop jointer reviews above shows that the PORTER-CABLE Benchtop Jointer (PC160JT) is the best benchtop jointer. It comes with a two-knife cutter head, and a 6,000- 11,000 RPM. It also comes with an extra-large table and a 6-inch wide center-mounted fence.