Laguna, Oliver, Bailegh 12" Jointers all the same?

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Forum topic by Todd510 posted 01-13-2017 05:54 AM 3267 views 0 times favorited 2 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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5 posts in 2717 days

01-13-2017 05:54 AM

I’m in the market for a 12” jointer and have been struggling to make a decision. Reviewing these 3, they seem identical (laguna and oliver looks like an almost exact clone) minus the paint. The Oliver is about $1K more than the other 2, so I’m trying to understand if there’s something I might be missing here – wondering if all these things are made by the same people in China and I’m just choosing a paint color? Even the descriptions are all basically written the same, mentioning how “unique” the jointer is.

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View Loren's profile


11314 posts in 4935 days

#1 posted 01-13-2017 08:51 AM

Probably. You might consider a used Northfield.

They were made for pattern shops. The corners
of the tables are independently adjustable. You’d
need an upgraded spiral head if you wanted that
kind of performance, but in terms of quality
Northfield is hard to beat and the 12” machines
aren’t too enormous.

View AHuxley's profile


874 posts in 4608 days

#2 posted 01-13-2017 09:33 AM

If I was going to buy a American style 12” jointer new it would be the Oliver 4255 it is much more massive than the 4260 and other jointers you showed and despite being a wedge bed the tables are adjustable at all 4 corners. I think it is around 1700-1800 pounds.

That said for less money you can get a pristine 12-16” old Oliver, Porter, Northfield etc. There are several nice ones on woodweb and for example Bill Kerfoot is a dealer and has a nice 16” Oliver and 12” HD Northfield listed. While you will pay more from a dealer the better ones you can be sure you are getting what you expect if you discuss it will them and they can provide shipping, so more money but less hassle.

In general you don’t want one of the patternmakers versions of old US jointers, well unless you are making patterns for metal casting and need to have the ability to add draft. They are much more tricky to setup (especially the Northfield) and are of no added value to a woodworker. If you really need a drafting jointer, and you would know it, the Oliver #12 is probably the best one.

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