Powermatic PJ882 Jointer

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Review by jeffk726 posted 12-16-2013 01:31 PM 7593 views 0 times favorited 5 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Powermatic PJ882 Jointer No-picture-s No-picture-s Click the pictures to enlarge them

Seeing’s how the previous forum got a little off topic, I started a new one to update on the PJ882 purchase.
The original post:

“After finally giving up on Delta to turn things around, I decided to purchase the PJ882 model during the Thanksgiving sale promotion.

After scouring the internet for recent reviews, I decided to move forward with this purchase as there really were no new positive or negative reviews. I deemed the lack of negative reviews as a good thing.
After receiving my jointer 1 week after purchase, I was excited to get it up and running. First came the uncrating. The packaging was adequate as their were no visible damage. After getting uncrated, I moved it to Powermatic base. While the base is expensive, it is the perfect fit and enables the user to move it around the shop if required.
Now onto the setup. While understanding product manual – “factory Set” – could still mean adjustment required. With a straight edge – I was shocked at how out of coplaner it was. I wont bore you with the setup dimensioning – I will just describe the roadblocks that I ran into while trying to set it up. Understanding that each table is adjusted with four cams which are held in place by set screws. First off, to access two of the adjustable cams, the infeed and outfeed lever hubs must be removed. Each has two set screw holes. Loosen then up and the hubs should slide off. After much frustration, I realized that one of the set screws on the infeed table hub had a double set screw in there. Why, I have no idea, I just know it took me a long time to figure it out. After removing the hubs, it was the end of day one. Onto the next day, I started loosening all of the set screws that hold the cam adjusters in place. Six of the eight are easy to access. The other two required an allen wrench to be sacrificed to get it under the table top. these would be the two in front – closest to the center. Sure seemed liked there should have been an easier way to access these. No luck there. Another thing that I noticed while trying to access the one on the infeed side, the bolts that secure the rabbeting ledge cannot be accessed by a socket. When attempting an offset box wrench, the edge of the wrench was still hitting the cast top. This being a new machine, Im not to much into chipping the paint as expect this to be the last jointer I purchase.
After freeing all the set screws, setting the tables was the next mission. While not easy, and with a lot of patience, it is possible to get this set. With still some minor resetting of the tables to be done and with the blades almost perfectly set – I decided to fire it up and give it run before I called it for the second day. I cannot tell you how surprised I was that when plugged it in – the machine turned on. Definitely an issue. I tried resetting the switches but both the on and estop button are momentary and not maintained. My full time job is in the electrical engineering field and I have a pretty good understanding that this is not wired correctly. I would fully anticipate that these units should have power applied before leaving the factory – Im assuming this was not the case with the unit i received.

One more comment about design that could be improved – the start / stop push button station is not rigidly mounted to the frame as it deflects the sheet metal when depressed.
After contacting Powermatic Technical Services, they told me that a local repairman would be sent out to review/repair/reset the tables. While this somewhat makes me happy as I truly believe that this unit is my last jointer, I am disappointed that it requires a service technician to come out and get it to the “factory set” condition.
I will follow this review up after the jointer is serviced. I just wanted to put this out there as there are no recent reviews, pro or con.”

After the local repairman’s visit, I was still dis-satisfied with the setup as he did not set the knives parallel to the out feed table. I did that this weekend. Seems to be working fine.

Onto my opinion of the Powermatic customer service. As said earlier in a previous post, when you buy something that cost twice as much as a competitor which has reasonably good reviews – you expect something that should be comparably twice as good. Not the case with this purchase. Contact with Powermatic customer service leaves a lot to be desired. After complaining to Powermatic that the jointer was still unusable after the service visit, they basically said to bad and finish the setup yourself. While knife setup and replacement is something that has to be done periodically after purchase, I did not expect them to be so far out when received. The knives were put in during manufacture and never checked. That is what you would expect from a cheaper model – not the gold standard. If your buying this jointer because of the warranty and customer service – DON’T DO IT. I just hope that I do not have any future problems with this because I have zero faith in the local service representative and even less in the manufacturer. This will be my one and only Powermatic purchase.

View jeffk726's profile


11 posts in 2741 days

5 comments so far

View doordude's profile


1085 posts in 4096 days

#1 posted 12-16-2013 10:01 PM

that sucks, Jeff; I was hoping from your first posting, you would get this resolved, by having the Rep, come out to adjust everything. So I take it this hasn’t happened yet, or maybe never will. Are they leaving you on your own? I was going to buy a Powermatic drill press this spring. but i’ll wait to see how your treated in resolving your issues.

View Ottacat's profile


556 posts in 2964 days

#2 posted 12-17-2013 01:08 PM

When I bought my jointer I did a lot of research and my conclusion was that they are all the same basic crappy design that is over 50 years old. I am very distrustful of claims of better quality control of units of different vendors coming out of the same factory. Looking at countless 8” jointers they are all basically the same. I went the other route and figured why pay more so I bought the least expensive 8” jointer I could find. I too had to make the tables coplanar which as you describe is a huge pain in the ass made worse by horrible design. At least my knives were set properly and I’ve gotten good use of mine since.

The world is crying out for a newly engineered and well built jointer. They are not rocket science. The only real alternative is one of the better jointer / planer combos out there.

View cbehnke's profile


89 posts in 3729 days

#3 posted 12-17-2013 02:14 PM

a jointer equipped with a tersa head could be exactly what your looking for. here is the procedure:
1. place knives in cutter head
2. turn on jointer to seat the blades


video here:

when i first started woodworking i was frustrated by certain procedures (like setting jointer knives). I knew there had to be a better way. Most european manufacturers passed the typical american designs a long time ago in terms of quality, precision, ease of use. Sadly, most american woodworkers don’t know about these machines…lack of advertising, marketing, etc.

sounds like you needed a good Mini Max or Hammer or Felder jointer.

View RodNGun's profile


118 posts in 3416 days

#4 posted 12-18-2013 12:06 PM

I’ve had good luck with my six-inch Powermatic jointer. 2-3 hours of set up and I’ve had two years of snipe-free jointing. Never had to interface with PM customer service however.

View Alcide's profile


2 posts in 892 days

#5 posted 01-03-2019 06:31 AM

Hey folks. I recently bought a cabinet type (hybrid) saw that is my first “factory new” piece of power equipment. I have been through the setup process on this machine twice and it looks like I will be breaking it down for a second time. Mostly because i can’t help myself and I want to know my tools in and out. I am very aware that this is in reply to an old post. However, it pertains to the information I have been after and would like give a post 2013 update….and maybe my tool review. I am a young woodmaker working to cross over to a woodworker..I hope that comes across without any arrogance. I’ve been using this site for while and feel as though i have some solid information to share. Please let me know if that would be ok or if any of you folks even see this.

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