Should I get a jointer?

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Forum topic by thecrus8r posted 06-27-2018 02:07 PM 1090 views 0 times favorited 24 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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14 posts in 580 days

06-27-2018 02:07 PM

Topic tags/keywords: jointer jig question

Over the past couple of weeks I have been exploring the possibility of purchasing a jointer, open stand or benchtop. I’m positive that a jointer would been an asset to my shop, but is it really needed? I’ve seen several jigs that can straight edge and taper joint from the table saw, so what would be the main reason to purchase a jointer? I do have access to a planer.

24 replies so far

View Bill_Steele's profile


636 posts in 2343 days

#1 posted 06-27-2018 02:24 PM

I didn’t use a jointer for several years—so I don’t think it’s as important as say a table saw. There are definitely other ways to cut a straight edge on rough lumber.

If you have stock that has warp or twist or cupping on the face—then running it through the planer (w/o some sort of leveling sled) will not give you flat stock. This is where a jointer is very useful. You can certainly do this by hand with a hand plane—but it may take more time and require skill.

I use my jointer for operations typically related to squaring stock—after that I don’t really use it. I don’t use it to cut rabbets or joint angles—but maybe I should explore that.

Having longer in-feed and out-feed tables is helpful. Having an adjustable out-feed table is useful. Those helical cutter heads are very nice—especially if you are jointing figured wood or anything with a lot of reversing grain.

View JCamp's profile


1041 posts in 1162 days

#2 posted 06-27-2018 02:49 PM

I’ve lived without one so far but the next good used one I see I’m gonna grab it. It’s one of those tools that you can live without but it would make some jobs so much easier. I’m getting by with a planer and tablesaw right now tho

-- Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with all thy might

View RDan's profile


133 posts in 2935 days

#3 posted 06-27-2018 03:25 PM

As I reorganize my shop into the smaller area of my basement, I am using my table saw more for this. I have used my planner more for truing one side with a carrier and shims. You can also pick up shims, to use on either your router table or table saw. Dan

View DBDesigns's profile


232 posts in 609 days

#4 posted 06-27-2018 03:35 PM

A jointer is like fine craft beer or a good woman. You can get by without it but once you’ve tasted a good IPA, you don’t really get excited about Budweiser anymore. (The good woman is self explanatory and BTW, PBR is still my go to domestic.)

I have had my Jet JJ6 for about 20 years. I use it a lot for straightening, flattening, longitudinal angles, rabbets, and rough lumber prep. I really think a jointer is an underappreciated tool. If I had my preference and budget was not an issue I would have an 8” model.

I do recommend at least a 6” floor model. My dad has a tabletop model and it is little more than a toy.

When i started buying my machines, my jointer was the third tool I bought behind a table saw and a drill press.

-- I remember when Grateful wasn't Dead

View Charlie H.'s profile

Charlie H.

395 posts in 1262 days

#5 posted 06-27-2018 04:25 PM

I got by without a jointer for a long time but finally added one in December 2017.
It has been a very nice addition to the shop.
The one I have is not ‘high-end’, it’s the Ridgid sold by Home Depot.
I am very pleased with it.

-- Regards, Charlie in Rowlett, TX --------I talk to myself, because sometimes I need expert advice.---------

View a1Jim's profile


117915 posts in 4189 days

#6 posted 06-27-2018 04:43 PM

Welcome to Ljs
As others have stated there are ways to get around having a jointer but jointers make your work easy and faster than the alternative approaches. Unless your woodworking only involves short pieces of wood(24” or less) a benchtop jointer is not a good investment, a big issue with jointers have to do with the length of their beds, it’s very hard to joint a 6’ board on a 30” bed. Many times you can find an older floor model jointer for close to the cost of a new benchtop jointer.


View TungOil's profile


1372 posts in 1106 days

#7 posted 06-27-2018 11:43 PM

I think that the jointer is one of the three essential shop tools and would not be without one. The other two are the table saw and a way to accurately cross cut parts. I agree with Jim that a benchtop model is a waste of time for anything but the smallest projects.

-- The optimist says "the glass is half full". The pessimist says "the glass is half empty". The engineer says "the glass is twice as big as it needs to be"

View tmasondarnell's profile


119 posts in 2401 days

#8 posted 06-28-2018 12:04 AM

I am living without a jointer and it is difficult.

I have a sled to flatten with the planner and a jig for the table saw, but it is a major PIA. Every time, I need to get them out and it seems that I am always futzing with them.

I can’t wait until I can get a jointer.

View Don W's profile

Don W

19443 posts in 3179 days

#9 posted 06-28-2018 12:14 AM

I would say it depends on your taste. I have a delta 6” that almost never gets turned on. I use hand planes for everything unless I’ve got a whole stack of rough sawn, and that doesn’t happen very often anymore.

-- - Collecting is an investment in the past, and the future.

View BroncoBrian's profile


875 posts in 2570 days

#10 posted 06-28-2018 01:08 AM

From the comments above I would suggest listing the range of projects you want to build and what wood supply you are using. If you are getting reclaimed or rough cut wood, yes, you need a jointer.

I use mine for every project. The table saw and jointer are the most valuable large tools I have. I would not get a bench top jointer though. CL is full of low-end equipment for a reason.

I bought an 8-inch Jet and I love it.

-- A severed foot is the ultimate stocking stuffer.

View thecrus8r's profile


14 posts in 580 days

#11 posted 06-28-2018 01:17 PM

I would say that I was on the fence before, but I’m certain that I’ll be purchasing a jointer in the future. Additionally, thank you to everyone for clarifying the disadvantages of a benchtop jointer. I believe I’ll zero in on a closed or open stand jointer.

I’ve found one for sale, seems to be in good condition, for $400. The unit for sale is a Delta X5 6” jointer. Would you consider this to be a good price? I have only seen pictures, but it looks to be in good condition. Would you offer less? If so, how much less? I’m sure there is room for some back and fourth.

View jonah's profile


2092 posts in 3910 days

#12 posted 06-28-2018 02:32 PM

$400 is very steep for any 6” jointer. The X5 is a good one, but not worth more than $250 or maybe $300 if it’s in pristine shape.

You can often find 8” jointers for ~$400-$500.

View BalsaWood's profile


172 posts in 1770 days

#13 posted 06-28-2018 10:06 PM

Yes, I’d recommend it. Both the planer and jointer are really great for milling lumber. Add a jack plane if you ever need to mill really wide boards and you should be able to work with any rough lumber.

View knotscott's profile


8364 posts in 3987 days

#14 posted 06-28-2018 10:11 PM

A jointer is the best tool for creating a flat reference face. Without that reference face, any attempts to edge joint are going to be subject to the randomness of the face, and will decrease the chances of the edge being a uniform 90° along the entire length. Starting with flat, straight stock really helps the joinery go as planned. There are work arounds, but no tool is more efficient or effective for flattening a face and squaring an edge. Get the jointer!

-- Happiness is like wetting your pants...everyone can see it, but only you can feel the warmth....

View Charlie H.'s profile

Charlie H.

395 posts in 1262 days

#15 posted 06-28-2018 11:50 PM

$400 is very steep for any 6” jointer. The X5 is a good one, but not worth more than $250 or maybe $300 if it s in pristine shape.
You can often find 8” jointers for ~$400-$500.
- jonah

I see people posting this all the time and I am jealous of y’all that can get decent quality used tools on the cheap.
In the Dallas Texas area there’s not usually much to choose from and the only $250 floor standing machines that show up are pure hunks of junk.
So depending on location location location $400 for a well cared for 6” X5 jointer is not a bad deal at all.

-- Regards, Charlie in Rowlett, TX --------I talk to myself, because sometimes I need expert advice.---------

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