What Hollow Chisel Mortiser Do you like and Why?

  • Advertise with us

« back to Power Tools, Hardware and Accessories forum

Forum topic by pintodeluxe posted 01-18-2012 09:25 PM 4140 views 1 time favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View pintodeluxe's profile


5898 posts in 3144 days

01-18-2012 09:25 PM

Topic tags/keywords: mortise mortiser mortising hollow chisel powermatic general delta jet shopfox steel city wood river woodcraft

I have a Delta hollow chisel mortiser and it sure makes mortising easier, however the tool has been unreliable. I installed some new parts and got it working again, however there is a lot of slop in the handle. The head unit on the dovetail keys is nice and sturdy, however the handle swings 30 degrees before the chisel moves. The internal gear has a tiny allen screw that is supposed to limit the slop, but it doesn’t work well.

So my question is WHAT MORTISER DO YOU LIKE AND WHY? I have a nice spot on my bench for the mortiser, so a benchtop unit is appealing, however I am interested in freestanding mortisers as well.

From my own reviews, the General international and the Powermatic look promising. I especially like the idea of the rolling stock supports.

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

6 replies so far

View jmos's profile


913 posts in 2701 days

#1 posted 01-18-2012 10:05 PM

Willie, sorry to hear about your difficulties with the Delta. I have the same unit, and it’s worked well so far, no mechanical issues. I’ve only had it a year, but I do use it a lot. Actually, I use it enough I’m starting to think about replacing it, also with a floor standing model. My big gripe is in work holding and setting the fence. The benchtop models all seem to have pretty poor system to hold the work steady and for setting the fence with any precision. Lots of trial and error setting up the cut, and a pain to do longer mortises. Oh, for a good X-Y table.

I would also be interested in hearing input on floor models. What are the good and bad point with the Powermatic, Laguna, General…

My other idea is adding a homemade x-y table.

-- John

View SnowyRiver's profile


51457 posts in 3812 days

#2 posted 01-18-2012 11:03 PM

I have the Powermatic 719T which is the floor model that has the tilting table. Its a very nice machine. Quite expensive for the number of times that I use it, but when I need it, its perfect. I like the table on it, it’s accurate, and its easy to change chisels etc. I have it on a mobile base so I can pull it out to use it.

I am just starting a hope chest that is all mortise & tenons so its going to get a workout shortly.

-- Wayne - Plymouth MN

View Rick  Dennington's profile

Rick Dennington

6478 posts in 3526 days

#3 posted 01-19-2012 06:22 AM

I have the Delta (mod.# ?), but it’s the old Type II, bench top, and I’ve had it about 13-14 years…..not one single problem with it….Everything works just fine on it, and it’s not that hard to set up. About 2 years ago, I bought the table and fence that i have on it now from Rockler….Don’t know if they still make or carry it anymore, but it made a big difference in how the performs…..with the rollers pushed up next to the stock, but loose enough to slide the part, and the hold-down arm in place, it does the job….it was a big improvement….. here’s a pix of it ready to go…....!!!!!!!!!!

-- " At my age, happy hour is a 2 hour nap".....!!

View Loren's profile


10477 posts in 3979 days

#4 posted 01-19-2012 06:32 AM

I have a Powermatic 719A floor model mortiser. It’s really just a beefed-up
benchtop mortiser on a welded steel cabinet. The clamp on the table
is considerably more robust than what you’ll find on most benchtop
models and I suppose the rest of the build is tougher and heavier too.

I bought it second-hand seeing a deal too good to pass up. I always
invest in heavier rather than lighter machinery and I very seldom buy new,
so my advice is if you want a big mortiser keep your eyes open and one
will crop up on the second-hand market sooner or later.

There are aspects to the Powermatic that would disappoint me if I
bought it new, but being the second owner I can’t complain.

View Lee Barker's profile

Lee Barker

2170 posts in 3182 days

#5 posted 01-19-2012 06:46 AM

I shopped these about ten years ago and ended up with the Jet (benchtop) because at the time all the others ran at 3450 and the Jet turns 1725. The result is less heat in the chisel-bit realm. Ergo sharper. Nice tool, robust, dependable.



-- " his brain, which is as dry as the remainder biscuit after a voyage, he hath strange places cramm'd with observation, the which he vents in mangled forms." --Shakespeare, "As You Like It"

View Loren's profile


10477 posts in 3979 days

#6 posted 01-19-2012 08:44 AM

Here’s one that looks like an ok deal:

It’s got some bells and whistles in the clamping department
but the casting arrangement looks pretty similar to my
WHM Powermatic.

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics