If you’re a woodworking enthusiast like me, you know that a benchtop jointer is an essential tool for your workshop. With so many options out there, it can be tough to find the best one for your needs. But don’t worry, I’ve got you covered! In this article, I’ll share my experiences and recommendations for the best benchtop jointers. So, let’s dive right in and find the perfect benchtop jointer for you!
What is a Benchtop Jointer?
A benchtop jointer is a woodworking tool that’s used to create flat, smooth surfaces on pieces of wood. It’s perfect for fixing warped or twisted boards and preparing them for further woodworking tasks. With a benchtop jointer, you can create perfectly flat and square edges, making it easier to join boards together for projects like furniture or cabinetry.
What to Look for in a Benchtop Jointer
Before we start talking about specific models, let’s go over the key features to consider when choosing a benchtop jointer:
- Motor Power: The motor is the heart of the jointer. A more powerful motor can handle thicker and harder wood more easily. Look for a motor with at least 1-2 horsepower (HP).
- Cutterhead: The cutterhead is the part of the jointer that actually removes material from the wood. There are two main types: straight knife and helical. Helical cutterheads are generally quieter and produce a smoother finish, but they can be more expensive.
- Table Length: The length of the infeed and outfeed tables determines how long of a board you can joint. Longer tables allow for greater accuracy and support, especially when working with longer boards.
- Fence: The fence is an adjustable guide that helps you create square edges on your boards. A sturdy, accurate fence is essential for getting great results.
- Dust Collection: Woodworking can be a messy business! Look for a benchtop jointer with an effective dust collection system to help keep your workspace clean.
Top Benchtop Jointer Recommendations
Now that we know what to look for, let’s check out my top recommendations for the best benchtop jointers:
1. WEN 6560T 6-Inch Benchtop Jointer
The WEN 6560T is a fantastic choice for beginners and DIY enthusiasts. With its 1.5 HP motor, it has enough power to handle most home woodworking projects. The straight knife cutterhead provides a smooth finish, and the 28.5-inch table length is perfect for smaller projects. Plus, the adjustable fence and built-in dust collection system make it easy to use.
2. PORTER-CABLE PC160JT Variable Speed 6-Inch Jointer
The PORTER-CABLE PC160JT is another great option for those on a budget. Its variable speed feature allows you to adjust the cutterhead speed from 6,000 to 11,000 RPM, giving you more control over your work. The 30-inch table length and straight knife cutterhead provide a smooth finish, and the fence is easy to adjust for accurate cuts.
3. Cutech 40160H-CT 6-Inch Benchtop Jointer with Helical Cutterhead
If you’re looking for a jointer with a helical cutterhead, the Cutech 40160H-CT is an excellent choice. Its 2 HP motor and helical cutterhead make it perfect for handling harder woods, and the 30-inch table length provides good support for your boards. The adjustable fence and built-in dust collection system help ensure a clean, accurate cut every time.
4. RIKON Power Tools 20-600H 6-Inch Benchtop Jointer with Helical Cutterhead
The RIKON Power Tools 20-600H is another fantastic option for those who prefer a helical cutterhead. Its 1 HP motor is powerful enough for most home projects, and the 30-inch table length offers plenty of support for your workpieces. The fence is easy to adjust, and the built-in dust collection system keeps your workspace clean.
5. JET JJP-8BT 8-Inch Benchtop Jointer/Planer Combo
If you’re tight on space and need a jointer and planer in one tool, the JET JJP-8BT is a great solution. This 8-inch jointer/planer combo has a 2 HP motor, providing plenty of power for your woodworking needs. The 32-inch table length is ideal for longer boards, and the helical cutterhead ensures a smooth finish. The adjustable fence and built-in dust collection system make it a joy to use.
Making the Most of Your Benchtop Jointer
Once you’ve chosen the perfect benchtop jointer, make sure you’re using it safely and effectively. Here are some tips to help you get started:
- Use proper safety gear: Always wear eye protection, ear protection, and a dust mask when using your benchtop jointer.
- Keep your jointer clean and well-maintained: Regularly clean your jointer, lubricate moving parts, and check for any loose or damaged components. This will help ensure that your jointer stays in top working condition.
- Use the right technique: Make sure you’re using the correct technique for jointing your boards. Apply even pressure and feed the board slowly and smoothly through the jointer. This will help you achieve a flat, smooth surface.
- Practice makes perfect: The more you use your benchtop jointer, the better you’ll become at getting great results. Don’t be discouraged if your first few attempts aren’t perfect – keep practicing and refining your technique!
So, there you have it – my top recommendations for the best benchtop jointers! By considering factors like motor power, cutterhead type, table length, and fence, you’ll be well-equipped to choose the perfect jointer for your woodworking needs. Remember to follow safety guidelines and practice proper technique, and you’ll be on your way to creating beautiful woodworking projects in no time.