Another "which jointer should I buy?" thread

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Forum topic by William Shelley posted 01-13-2017 06:49 PM 3752 views 0 times favorited 18 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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William Shelley

610 posts in 2752 days

01-13-2017 06:49 PM

Topic tags/keywords: jointer workshop

Hi all,

This year, I’m going to have some “extra” cash to throw around because my car will be fully paid off in a few months, I’ve knocked down a big chunk of my other debt, and I’m hoping to sell off a lot of computer junk and whatnot.

Now the fun part. What to do with extra cash? Buy tools, of course! I mean, duh, right?

I’m also going to be building a new workshop. My current shop is a 16×16 basement area with 7ft ceilings. The new workshop will be 14×28 with a 12-8ft ceiling. 14ft is a little less width than I’d like but I think it should be adequate. I’m planning to upgrade from my little Craftsman 6” jointer to a 12” Grizzly G0609X jointer with spiral cutterhead. My DeWalt DW735 lunchbox planer is also not quite cutting the mustard as far as I’m concerned. I’m already on the 2nd side of the 2nd set of blades for this and I’ve not run all that much through it. So I want to get a planer with a spiral cutterhead on it. It’s also loud as $#%@.

I did have a specific jointer picked out (the Grizzly G0609X, $3000 shipped), but now I’m wondering if the 12” jointer/planer hybrids would be more suited for my situation. I think most people would agree that separate machines for each function are preferred. I’m not sure that I specifically need the space that a hybrid machine gives me, but it does kill two birds with one stone…

Pros of hybrid:
I get the 12” jointing capacity, and spiral cutterhead feature for planing and jointing. And the Grizzly G0634Z is about $200 cheaper than the G0609X. The Jet JJP-12 is cheaper still ($2300 w/ free shipping on amazon).

Cons of hybrid:
I lose 23” of table length (83” vs 60”), and I can’t use the hybrid machines for rabbeting. I also “lose” 3 inches of width compared to buying a separate 15” planer. Additionally, I’m tall enough at 6’2” that the much lower bed of the planer on a hybrid could be uncomfortable to use for larger batches of stuff.

Pros of dedicated:
I feel more comfortable with the long-term accuracy and stability of the larger dedicated machines. There’s no reason that I have to replace my dewalt lunchbox with a 15”. I could hold out for a wider planer instead.

Cons of dedicated:
However, at 1050lbs, the Grizzly 12” jointer is going to be a bit harder to handle and maneuver than the 600-700lb hybrid machines. And with separate machines I need more dust collection pipe, and additional power receptacles. Separate machines are also going to cost more overall than a single hybrid.

For the record, I’m a hobbyist, not a professional. But I don’t have a lot of other expensive interests (like cars, for example), so I feel like I can justify dropping this kind of money on new woodworking equipment. Especially since good tools are less irritating to use than crappy tools and a hobby is supposed to be enjoyable, right? I do intend on trying to produce some stuff for sale eventually though.

-- Woodworking from an engineer's perspective

18 replies so far

View Carloz's profile


1147 posts in 1874 days

#1 posted 01-13-2017 08:04 PM

Looking at your plans with a new 14/28/12’ shop etc I made an educated guess that the car you paid off was a Ferrari.

View William Shelley's profile

William Shelley

610 posts in 2752 days

#2 posted 01-13-2017 08:08 PM

Looking at your plans with a new 14/28/12 shop etc I made an educated guess that the car you paid off was a Ferrari.

- Carloz

Nah, 2012 Scion iQ. I bought it new right after I got my house. The shop area is actually going to be built on an existing concrete slab with an existing framed roof. Essentially I’m taking a covered patio on the back of my house, and framing walls around it.

-- Woodworking from an engineer's perspective

View bbasiaga's profile


1259 posts in 3278 days

#3 posted 01-13-2017 08:16 PM

If you are not to happy with the life of the blades on your planer, imagine a machine that used up the blades twice as fast! Remember they cut both the jointer and planer side.

I’d go dedicated. I splurged on a tablesaw, so I’m not going to rib you for spending 3k on a 12” jointer. I suspect if you think you need one that size you run a lot more wood than I do. That may explain your planer blade life. I have the same one, and am still on the first side of the original knives after probably around 1000bf total. Have you considered upgrading it to a spiral head? Much cheaper than a new 15” planer. I’ve never been convinced a wider planer helps that much as I’ve never seen a single board wider than 13” (save for slabs), your jointer would only be 12” wide anyway, and most glue ups for tables or what not are wider than 15” anyway.

Just some thoughts…


-- Part of engineering is to know when to put your calculator down and pick up your tools.

View AHuxley's profile


874 posts in 4604 days

#4 posted 01-13-2017 08:32 PM

With less than 400 ft^2 to play with the combo machine makes a lot of sense especially if you planned to add something like a 15” planer to the 12” jointer.

View TheGreatJon's profile


348 posts in 2516 days

#5 posted 01-13-2017 08:55 PM

I’m almost always a proponent of old heavy cast iron machines. Their paint might not be shiny, but they were industrial machines built to last and many of them can be found in plug-and-play condition for short money. You get a heck of a lot more machine for your buck.
That being said, money doesn’t seem to be an issue for you, and the power beds and other features on some of the nicer planers and jointers out there would be nice to have. I have a few thoughts in no specific order:’

- If you are looking at combo machines, look at european brands. Over there combo machines are pretty common and they make combos that have the same quality as standalone machines.

- If your shooting for the moon and hoping to buy the last machine you’ll ever need, I would consider looking at 16” combo machines rather than 12”. That’s a huge jointer, but a fairly normal sized planer. You won’t often need that width, but I can tell you, it is fantastic for cleaning up wider glue ups and the occasional wide board/slab.

- The length of the jointer is a big deal. When most people step up from a 6” to an 8” jointer they don’t do it because of the extra 2” of width. They do it to get the extra length and weight. The length stabilizes the board and makes it much easier to use. The weight stabilizes the machine and gives a cleaner cut. If you’re considering a combo with shorter beds, be sure that you test it out first to see how you like it.

-- This is not the signature line you are looking for.

View Loren's profile


11307 posts in 4931 days

#6 posted 01-13-2017 08:59 PM

I like the hybrids and you can always get a
cheap planer for casual use. The hybrid I
had (Robland) was great at heavy planing
but I kept a DeWalt planer for finish planing –
it was closer to sander-ready that way.

You’ll love the mortiser on the side of a
hybrid too. An extension outfeed table
is easy to make and that extra support
is really all you need for jointing long stock,
like 8’ door stiles. I did 8 big mahogany
doors on my Robland and with the outfeed
table the stiles were easy to make straight.

Be careful about buying European equipment
with electronic controls. Those big Felder
J/P combos with the electronic planer beds
had a problem with the circuits and the repair
costs were insane…. and no way to hand crank
the table.

View William Shelley's profile

William Shelley

610 posts in 2752 days

#7 posted 01-13-2017 09:28 PM

Thanks guys. I can afford to finance a $3k jointer and pay for it over the next 12 months, but I can’t quite justify the cost of a 16” Felder or Mini Max. From the reviews, they are fantastic machines. But they cost an astronomical amount (upwards of 8-10k) and I would rather pay the same and get a REALLY NICE dedicated machine for each function.

Sure, I could sell my car and buy a Felder AD-951 with digital planer bed adjustment… but I’m not a production shop so that would be silly. Likewise I could buy some “old iron” like a real nice Oliver vintage jointer and maybe even get a 16-20” jointing capacity but now I have to factor in the amount of time taken to restore and/or maintain it, and machines that large often have 3ph motors, which while not something I’m afraid of, still requires extra time and money to deal with.

I’m feeling like I should get my new workshop set up with my existing tools, then fabricate a couple cardboard stand-ins for the larger dedicated tools and place them around my shop to see how they fit. Does that sound like a reasonable activity? :)

-- Woodworking from an engineer's perspective

View DMC1903's profile


285 posts in 3610 days

#8 posted 01-13-2017 09:54 PM

Consider purchasing a Festool TS 75 track saw for clean straight cuts and a nice low angle Jointer plane for flattening boards. Both items will do the work of a jointer and use up less shop space.
This is the route that I have taken and never looked back.

View William Shelley's profile

William Shelley

610 posts in 2752 days

#9 posted 01-13-2017 09:56 PM

I will never buy Festool anything. The outrageous markup on their tools is offensive.

-- Woodworking from an engineer's perspective

View eflanders's profile


339 posts in 3133 days

#10 posted 01-13-2017 11:21 PM

Some items/questions for you to consider:
1. How much rough cut lumber are you planning to use?
2. Are you going to be working mostly hardwood or softwood?
3. What is the common project that you plan to build?
4. Do you really need a 12” wide jointer? ( finding lumber that width is not very common in many areas but is more common in shipyards)
5. Do you plan to use a lot of reclaimed lumber?
6. Will you be working mostly alone?

Your answers above will help you determine what machines are best for you. For example, if you are working with mosty exotic hardwoods, you will want a machine that uses the carbide cutters and a helix head. If the common wood width is between 4-6”, then a 12” wide machine is really not needed. Reclaimed lumber use is hard on any cutter head and blade changes are frequent accordingly. Replacing 3 or 4 blades is easier and less expensive than 10 carbide inserts.

Now, it sounds like I’m against a nice new big machine, believe me, I love them. But physical size and weight are also important considerations as well as future potential needs. Good luck and have fun planning and shopping!

View Aj2's profile


4130 posts in 3081 days

#11 posted 01-13-2017 11:38 PM

I will never buy Festool anything. The outrageous markup on their tools is offensive.

- William Shelley

You might be taking back those words someday.Festool makes some nice tools.
I have a couple and they are very well made.

-- Aj

View BulldogLouisiana's profile


326 posts in 2423 days

#12 posted 01-14-2017 12:25 AM

I’d strongly consider a combo with a helical head cutter. Saves room, and most have pretty easy changeover. My buddy has a jet combo and really likes it.

-- There are 10 types of people in the world. Those who understand binary and those who don't.

View RobS888's profile


2829 posts in 3128 days

#13 posted 01-14-2017 02:08 PM

I have the jet 12 jointer/planer with helical head and really like it as well. You raise the planer table up about 6 inches to plane a 1 inch board, so it is maybe 4 inches below the jointer surface. The tables are out of the way, so it isn’t a problem at all. Thought I would have to crouch to use it, but no bending required.

While the carbide might wear quicker than on a dedicated device, you can turn all the cutters in half the time and have both functions ready to go with new cutters. Also, the table can be up when you turn the cutters, so that is easier. I went from a Ridgid planer and Grizzly 6 inch jointer. It is much quieter and makes smaller chips.

I have a 9’ x 19’ garage, so this machine on wheels is great.

-- I always knew gun nuts where afraid of something, just never thought popcorn was on the list.

View Carloz's profile


1147 posts in 1874 days

#14 posted 01-14-2017 06:01 PM

I will never buy Festool anything. The outrageous markup on their tools is offensive.

- William Shelley

Fair enough, but yo do not have to buy Festool. Both Makita and Dewalt make track saws that in some regards are better than Festool. But regardless which one you use any track saw is very good at making straight edge.

View William Shelley's profile

William Shelley

610 posts in 2752 days

#15 posted 01-14-2017 07:08 PM

I think I might have actually convinced myself to go with a hybrid machine here. I just watched a video review of the Baileigh JP-1686 and it looks fantastic. The only caveat is it’s a 3-phase 5.5hp motor, so I’d need to get an 11hp or better rated variable frequncy drive (VFD) to do the single->three phase conversion.

It seems like it doesn’t have any shortcomings compared to the 12” models, for example it has an 86” table vs. the 55-60” table on the 12” hybrids. The list price is higher than I wanted to spend all at once but still less expensive than buying two good quality separate machines. The digital thickness readout and powered planer table height adjustment is a neat trick too. I saw those features on MiniMax and Felder machines costing twice as much.

-- Woodworking from an engineer's perspective

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