Planer Jointer opinions

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Forum topic by ribaldplaner posted 10-01-2021 09:15 PM 684 views 0 times favorited 11 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View ribaldplaner's profile


8 posts in 1547 days

10-01-2021 09:15 PM

Hello –
I’m a hobbyist wood worker looking at adding a 12” or 16” jointer planer machine to my shop. So far, I’ve acquired my tablesaw, sander, bandsaw and many other tools off auction sites, and fixed them up. I don’t have a planer, and I just sold my ancient 6” jointer, realizing I wanted something better.

Due to the size limitations of my shop – I am keen on a jointer/planer combo machine with a helical head. The time to swap from one mode to the other isn’t important to me, as I am not doing this for business.

I’m looking at a few machines:
My first choice leaned towards the Grizzly machine:
It checks most of my boxes, including price. But I am concerned about the quality of the unit, the low number of inserts and feed rates.

For a bit more cash, I am looking at the Felder/Hammer A3-31 unit:
It seems to be quite popular. It also checks most boxes, though I don’t know how I feel about the euro guard

Then, I found out about SCM – I know nothing about this company, but I’ve seen some of their tools on the auction sites (SCMI?) and they seem to be good. The FS30C looks like a decent piece of kit –
I just don’t know about quality etc. It seems to be priced about the same as the hammer. I worry about having to remove the fence and blade guard during changeovers however..

Woodmizer also has a J/P unit:
But it looks to be bladed only, no hh inserts. Though as a plus, this one doesn’t require you to switch from one mode to the next. You can joint then plane from what I understand.

So – opinions are wanted? Anyone love their SCM FS30C? Is the Hammer overpriced? Is Grizzly quality pretty bad?

I’m kind of a novice at wood working, so I don’t need “the best”, but if I am going to spend money I want something that will last a while, and I won’t outgrow it. For the amount of money spent, I want the experience to be good – not a nightmare. It seems like being able to accurately dimension lumber could pay dividends as I learn to build furniture, create art etc.

I def want HH inserts – for the quality of the processed wood AND noise reduction.
I want something 12” or greater – possibly that doesn’t require an additional 12” of clearance behind the unit for fence support.
A quality unit that can stand up to a wide variety of woods, and has nice cast iron parts and some longevity

Thank you.

11 replies so far

View MPython's profile


402 posts in 1152 days

#1 posted 10-01-2021 11:21 PM

I understand your dilemma. There are a number of choices out there. I was addicted to my Inca 570 J/P for years, but it’s a lightweight mechine. As my woodworking progressed, I found I neeed a more robust machine. I had an oportunity to but a lightly used Hammer A3-31 for a good price and I jumped on it. I’ve had he machine for 7 years and I love it. It is very accurate and powerful. I dress a lot of rough sawn hardwood and this machine is totally up to the task. I haven’t wanted or needed a larger macnine. Mine has straight knives. I would prefer a helical head machine and have considered selling mine and buying the upgraed model with the helical head. But I have decided that my straight knife model has met all my needs, so I have opted to stay with it. I have no experience with the other names you mentioned, so I can’t comment in them. Suffice it to say that my Hammer a3-31 is a great machine and I’m happy with it.

View controlfreak's profile


3222 posts in 941 days

#2 posted 10-02-2021 10:31 AM

I have a toy 6” jointer and a lunch box DW735 so I can’t give you any personal experience but my vote goes to the Hammer. It just looks very solid. Next item is how long must you wait for delivery? Sooner or later that question may effect you final decision. Good luck!

View MPython's profile


402 posts in 1152 days

#3 posted 10-02-2021 12:11 PM

I have a toy 6” jointer and a lunch box DW735 so I can t give you any personal experience but my vote goes to the Hammer. It just looks very solid. Next item is how long must you wait for delivery? Sooner or later that question may effect you final decision. Good luck!

- controlfreak

Good point. Earlier this year, I thought about selling my straight knife A3-31 and buying Hammer’s spiral head model. I checked with the US sales office and they told me that the then corrent delivery estimate was 9 months to a year. I don’t know if that’s changed, but you might want to check with them before you make your decision.

View ribaldplaner's profile


8 posts in 1547 days

#4 posted 10-02-2021 01:04 PM

Thanks all – I do enjoy reading your experiences.
Yeah – time to ship is on my mind. I know with the supply chains being ‘broken’ everything is pushed way back.

Does the hammer have adjustable feed rates? From what I am reading, slower is better? But sometimes, being able to feed a board through quickly can be useful as well? Or perhaps a fast/slow feed rate (for the Planer)?

Another question – does the feed roller material matter – steel rollers vs rubber? Or do any tread marks from the metal teeth get planed away?

I’d really like to hear from someone who has the Grizzly 12” planer/jointer machine? I’ve never used Grizzly gear before – they seem to be good intro level machines – which for me, might fit the bill.


View Davevand's profile


313 posts in 2176 days

#5 posted 10-02-2021 03:12 PM

If this is a machine you are looking at needing now you might also look at lead time and availability. Last I heard the Hammer was a 6+ month back order.

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

7361 posts in 3833 days

#6 posted 10-02-2021 03:36 PM

I’d be inclined to look closely at the Mini Max, but there have been a few stories about problems with the shipping and the follow up CS from SCM so I’d try to find someone who actually has ordered from them (SCM) recently and get their take on things.

-- Our village hasn't lost it's idiot, he was elected to congress.

View Andre's profile


5010 posts in 3146 days

#7 posted 10-02-2021 07:17 PM

I have a 12” Scorpion, same as Jet, you can check my review here
Still extremely happy with it, more than enough machine for a hobby shop, IMHO:)

-- Lifting one end of the plank.

View jonah's profile


2276 posts in 4638 days

#8 posted 10-03-2021 03:50 PM

There were some posts a few months back about how horrible SCM’s customer service is. I’d spend a bit of time searching for that thread. I’m nowhere near their target market, but based on the experience relayed in that thread, I’d avoid them like the plague.

View Loren's profile


11374 posts in 4988 days

#9 posted 10-03-2021 04:22 PM

My JP has a box bulging out the back, so try to get a look at the back before ordering a given model. The way the guards on these machines work there’s a gadget that attaches to the back of the end mounted fence. You can take it off but if you leave it on it can stick out over the back of the machine.

I have a Euro guard on mine and I like it. I don’t use the back gadget which leaves the back part of the cutterhead exposed.

View Jerroni's profile


30 posts in 1334 days

#10 posted 10-03-2021 05:17 PM

Ditto on the JJP-12. I don’t have the helical head. Not fully happy with the fence, but it works. Needs a dust collector with high CFM, cyclone.

Another jet-like option is Baileigh industrial – here’s the website. They have used/scratch-dent equipment available with some savings (but I’m not sure the j/p available has the helical head).

View BoilerUp21's profile


180 posts in 2107 days

#11 posted 10-04-2021 01:56 AM

I have the JJP-12…Bought it new with straight knives for $2200 less than 3 years ago and now they have almost doubled in price….

for $4000, i would not buy this machine due to the fact that using it as a planer, it does not have tables and you have to use roller stands on either end. Every time you adjust the table height to plane the workpiece down a bit more, the rollers need (or should) be adjusted. It is fine as a jointer @ 12” you can’t beat it, but table length makes jointing and planing anything longer than 6’ tricky…

If i could go back in time, i would buy a grizzly 12” jointer (just like everything it has doubled in price).

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