The Best Benchtop Jointer For 2020 (Guide & Reviews)
When you’re a woodworker, having your own jointer, especially a benchtop one is a big advantage. Here’s a brief look at some of the best jointers in the business right now, benchtop and otherwise.
Working with wood is a time-honored tradition. One of the essential things that need to be done is smoothing out the wood. Smooth wood is essential for putting two pieces together. This is why you’ll want the best jointer possible.
A lot of people confuse jointers with planers. They essentially do the same thing. However, they have different purposes. A jointer is aimed at squaring edges or to straighten out a piece of wood. A planer helps in creating a uniform thickness in flat piece of wood. Jointers are focused on smaller areas, while planers target larger pieces.
The overlap between jointers and planers is noticeable though. This is why a lot of the larger jointers are actually called jointer-planers because they can be used for those purposes.
Table of Contents
- 10 Best Benchtop Jointers - Comparison
- Essential Terms
- Factors to Consider - Best Benchtop Jointer
- Reviews of 10 Best Benchtop Jointer
- 1. Powermatic 1610086K Model 60HH Jointer
- 2. Powermatic 1791317K 54HH Jointer
- 3. JET - JJ-6HHDX Long Bed Helical Head Jointer
- 4. JET 708457DXK JJ-6CSDX Jointer
- 5. Cutech 40160H-CT Bench Top Spiral Cutterhead Jointer
- 6. Delta Power Tools 37-071 MIDI-Bench Jointer
- 7. POWERTEC BJ600 Bench Jointer
- 8. WEN 6560 10-Amp Benchtop Jointer
- 9. PORTER-CABLE PC160JT Speed Bench Jointer
- 10. Grizzly G0452 6-Inch Jointer
- Some Usage Tips For Best Benchtop Jointer
- Smoothing Out The Kinks
10 Best Benchtop Jointers - Comparison
Before you start looking for a jointer for your workshop, you’re going to need a few essential terms. First, there are the main parts of the jointer: the rotating cutting head and the two flat table that are the infeed and outfeed. The infeed is where the wood is placed into the machine and the out feed is where the results come out.
For the main cutting head, you will need to decide how your jointer will cut the wood that passes through it. You have two choices. One set of these is the straight knives.
These are placed along the tables width for cutting the surface of the wood. Made of solid steel, these blades are meant to cut directly into the wood. These are usually available in sets of two to four though the usual choice is for three.
The second set is for helical blades. These knives spin while they cut into the wood. These are preferred because they do not need as much sharpening. They can also change the wood surface by their cutting action. Other benefits are that they are quieter and they leave smaller waste particles.
Factors to Consider - Best Benchtop Jointer
When you’re buying yourself a jointer, there are several factors that need to be considered. Here’s a brief list of them to help make your final choice.
Currently there are three popular designs of jointers: closed stand, open stand, and benchtop. The best benchtop jointer is going to have a different result from the best closed stand jointer. Each type is ready meet different needs and challenges.
For example, larger models may not fit well in your workshop, while having a benchtop jointer may not be enough for some jobs. Consider what you will be working on to consider which type you should select.
Another major factor to consider is the bed width. It will affect how much the jointer will cost. However, it will also affect the wood that they can accept. Pick somewhere between six to eight inches since that should meet most of your needs. You may wish to go larger if you think you’re going to work on a lot of heavy duty projects.
How deep your cuts will influence how many passes will be needed for the wood you are treating to be done. A half inch to three-fourth inch cutting depth is preferred.
Your fence is what keep the wood in position. You will want one that is adjustable so that it can be changed around so that you can keep the cuts still accurate.
The general pick is a one horsepower motor. This should be enough for most wood types. However, if you have become experienced with its use, your future jointers may use more powerful motors.
All of this cutting will result in a big mess. You’ll want a jointer that helps collect all of that for easier disposable. This makes it easier for you and result in a cleaner work environment. This saves a lot of time and helps avoid a lot of accidents.
With all of these factors in mind, here are some of the best jointers available on the market today. We’re going to take a look at their potential and see what they bring to the table.
Reviews of 10 Best Benchtop Jointer
1. Powermatic 1610086K Model 60HH Jointer
An excellent Powermatic model, the 1610086K is a pretty great closed stand jointer. The bed width is a large 8 inches. The cutting depth is also pretty decent at half an inch maximum. The motor is also pretty powerful at two horsepower.
Besides the impressive motor, the fence is also a great choice. No more needing screws or clumsy changes. It shifts with a simple handwheel, using a worm gear system.
The main problem with it is that it comes in one large package. You may need some help in assembling this jointer. It assembles pretty easily by just attaching a few bolts, but the weight is your main obstacle.
This jointer is for the best work you are working on, That 2 horsepower ensures that you can grind and polish anything through the cutting head to the highest sheen.
I pretty much think that this is one of the best jointers out there. If you have the space and work on a lot of wood, then you should consider this one.
- The cutting head is both quiet and powerful.
- Your choice of a three knife cutterhead or a four knife helical cutterhead.
- This is a heavy-duty unit. You may want some help unpacking this and fitting it into your workshop.
2. Powermatic 1791317K 54HH Jointer
This jointer from Powermatic is an impressive beast. This is a great piece of equipment which features a helical cutterhead that has four-sided carbide knife inserts.
The bed width of six inches ensures that you have enough space to work on this heavy-duty jointer. This is combined with a lot of fine control coming from the adjustment lever for the infeed table.
This is thanks to the quick adjustment lever allowing for precision cuts. The other part that allows for control is the fence controls which are center-mounted for added convenience.
The fence also has a solid supporting and tilt mechanism for better accuracy. It can actually tile 45 degrees towards and away from the table.
The base anchors the entire thing and also helps with dust collection. There’s a dust collection chute below the cutterhead that is connected to a four-inch port that helps with easy clean-up.
- Cast-iron tables make this a very durable product and will last you a long time.
- Easy assembly for this product, however this will need the help of one other person.
- The fence is not as flat as it could be. You may need to adapt to this a bit.
3. JET - JJ-6HHDX Long Bed Helical Head Jointer
This product from JET manages to deliver a good set of features. It is a closed stand model that is focused on heavy wood working projects and it shows.
The six-inch bed width is matched the 1/8 inch cutting depth. That may seem shallow but it does allow for better control.
The helical cutting head features a carbide inserts that are quiet and provide a clean finish on the wood that is being processed. The one horsepower motor provides a decent cutting speed for the cutting head to handle a lot of different types of wood.
There is a lot precision here as the fence tilts in two ways at 45 degree stops, combined with handwheels for the infeed table controls. You can use these to ensure that each pass is accurate. The dust is a bit of a problem though, with some of it slipping out of the waste collection chute.
Overall, I think that this model is a great one for woodworking and beginners.
- A very good price point for what you get in the package.
- Easy assembly can have you working on your woodworking project within the day.
- Waste collection is a bit of a problem, but this should be easy to resolve.
4. JET 708457DXK JJ-6CSDX Jointer
Another entry into the big jointer family, this offering from JET is a closed stand jointer that has one of the longest work surface available.
The six inch bed width may seem limiting, but it works well on a variety of projects. Combined with a 1 HP motor and half-inch cutting depth, you are getting a very powerful machine.
This is what I would get for building furniture and other major home projects. With a cast-iron body, you are getting a solid workplace. It helps that the center fence is easily adjustable.
Combined with the front-mounted hand wheels that can move around your infeed and outfeed tables, this gives you a higher level of control over your work.
It even makes cleaning up easy. It has a built-in dust chute. It has a four-inch port that is connected with the collection system that makes it easy to collect all the dust and chips produced by your work. You’ll very happy with this purchase and your investment in it.
- Largest work surface available in the market.
- Simple operation lets you manipulate the jointer in various ways with no problem.
- The jointer vibrates a bit too much. You will want to find a way to steady it for a better experience.
5. Cutech 40160H-CT Bench Top Spiral Cutterhead Jointer
This is a nice benchtop jointer from Cutech that manages to hit the sweet spot when it comes to affordability. You are going to get a lot of bang for your buck with this model.
For one, the six inch bed width works well with the 1/8 inch cutting depth. That is ideal for the hobby-level woodworking this product is aiming for.
The 10 amp motor provides enough speed for the helical cutterhead to provide a great finishing of any piece passed through it. This is combined with the easier control of the fence. The adjustable fence can be tilted from 90 to 135 degrees easily. You will be able to ensure that each pass is as accurate as possible.
Finally, this jointer has a nice chip/dust waste port near its cutterhead. Measuring two and a half inches, it’s large enough to ensure that your work area remains pretty clean.
Overall, you get a decent product with a good set of features for your purchase.
- Affordable price point for those starting out in their wood working.
- Easily transportable thanks to its low weight.
- Some parts are a bit flimsy and may need some tightening.
6. Delta Power Tools 37-071 MIDI-Bench Jointer
Delta’s benchtop jointer is rather interesting. The six inch width and 1/8 inch cutting depth have become a standard for benchtop jointer models.
Where it really starts to shine is in the motor and cutter head. The two-knife cutter head can deliver around 20,000 cuts per minute thanks to the 12A motor.
This is a good clip for a benchtop jointer and allows it to work with a lot of different hard and soft woods. Besides that, the fence can be tilted around by 45 and 90 degrees. This allows you to be accurate in your jointing. It is a bit stiff though.
The dust collection ports complete the features and they are connected to a basic shop vac that sucks in all those shaving and chips.
Overall, I’d say this is a decent starter jointer for those who want to try things out.
- The blades are easy to change if they need maintenance.
- It can work on a wide variety of woods.
- The fence adjustment is a bit stiff but you’ll be able to compensate.
7. POWERTEC BJ600 Bench Jointer
The BJ600 from Powertec is a decent enough benchtop jointer. I would definitely call it a budget model for hobbyists or beginners.
It comes in either six inches or eight inches for bed width. It would recommend getting the six inches since that better fits this jointers purpose.
Besides that, it has a shallow 1/8 inch cutting depth. It is a bit shallow but it should be enough for most hobby projects. The engine peaks out at one horsepower and that is enough for the job to get done. Combined with the tilting fence, this provides you with a wide variety of cuts.
The product’s body is actually pretty interesting. Made from solid cast iron, the jointer weighs pretty heavy. However, it does provide it with a solid anchor while you are working.
Additionally, while working, you don’t have to worry about cleaning up. The automatic waste collection system sends it all to a full-size trash bag for easy disposal.
Overall, I’d recommend beginners buy this if they want to try out jointing and move on to something more substantial later.
- The automatic waste collection system is a good time saver.
- Cast iron body ensures that the entire jointer stays stable.
- There are quite a few assembly problems stemming from a badly-written manual.
8. WEN 6560 10-Amp Benchtop Jointer
The 6560 is a great benchtop jointer that should be ideal for any hobbyist woodworker. It has a pretty solid bed widths of six inches and has a decent cutting depth of around 1/8 of an inch.
The motor itself provides 20,000 cuts per minute for the cutting head. That should be enough for most woods.
You have an incredible amount of control for your infeed and fence. Your infeed can influence how deep your the helical cutterhead will slice into the wood. The fence can move up to 45 degrees, though you may have to struggle a bit in manipulating it.
It has a couple of interesting features that should please most users. First, there’s the spring-loaded blade guard. This protects you from injuries in case your cutterhead pops off during operation.
The other nice feature is the onboard dust bag that collects all the dust and chips via its chute. Just take it out to dispose it.
- This is an excellent hobby jointer that should meet most of your needs.
- A surprisingly large table for a benchtop jointer at 28 inches.
- Adjusting the fence is not as easy like in other products.
9. PORTER-CABLE PC160JT Speed Bench Jointer
The PC160JT is a nice bench jointer that does some decent work. It has a six-inch bed width and has a decent cutting depth.
The fence is adjustable and mounted in the center. However, the fence needs to be manually adjusted instead of the more-popular lock system.
The real draw of this jointer is the motor can provide a wide range of speeds. It starts from 6,000 to 11,000 rpm. This allows you to adapt the speeds depending on the material you want to work with. It helps that the two-knife cutting head works pretty well.
Overall, I am pleased with the quality of the product. It is made entirely made of metal and looks to be pretty durable. This may not be a good one for heavy-duty projects though.
This is a great one for those working with hobby projects. Bench jointers are generally ideal for that purpose and you can get this for a good price.
- Speed control feature allows you to control the speed of your cutting, which can allow you to manipulate the smoothness of the cut.
- Great value for its price point.
- The fence adjustment instructions are a bit vague but this should be easy to overcome.
10. Grizzly G0452 6-Inch Jointer
The G452 from Grizzly is a pretty impressive addition to their jointer family. It is a good closed stand jointer that has a decent six inch bed width.
It’s got a maximum cutting depth is rather shallow though at 1/8”. The adjustable fence is pretty nice and adjusts by 45 degrees in each step. The 1HP motor is pretty good for all occasions.
Setting it up is going to take around an hour and should be pretty simple. All the instructions are there. You will need to adjust it a bit and you may need a bit of help.
Once it is okay, in operation it is pretty good. Dust collection is excellent and the lever can allow you some good control with the wood feeding.
One of the big advantages of this model is the mobility. This model has wheels at the bottom that you can lock and move around. This lets you push this jointer to where you need to go.
- Ideal for a home workshop with its ease of use.
- The switch placement is very convenient and allows for easy wood feeding.
- It takes a bit of set-up before you can actually start on jointing.
Some Usage Tips For Best Benchtop Jointer
Now that you’ve got your jointer, you’re going to need to learn to use it. Here are a few useful tips that you will want to use to improve your woodworking experience with it.
Always joint with the wood grain in the correct direction. The direction of the grain should be towards the outfeed and away from the rotation of the knives. If there are multiple grains in your wood, settle for a majority of the grains in that direction.
Always double check the table before starting. It should be perfectly aligned and at the right height. Too low a position will result in a cut that is focused on the back end of the board. If it is too high though, you will get a concave surface.
Jointing should always be done with the face first. You then joint from an edge that is square with it. The result is a very flat surface that can be a reference for later milling.
Always check the depth of the cut. There should be a noticeable change on each pass. This ensures that your jointing is progressing at a steady pace.
These are just some of the tips that can help improve your jointing experience. Learn more as you develop your skills with it.
Smoothing Out The Kinks
With the best jointer possible as part of your toolkit, your woodworking capability will be expanded. However, if you’re going to truly harness it to the best of your abilities, you are going to need a lot of practice.
Familiarize yourself with the machine and read its manual. Furthermore, read up on what you can do with a proper jointer so that you can explore all the possibilities.