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Thread: buying a jointer

  1. #1
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    Jan 2015
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    buying a jointer

    i am leaning to buy a jointer but there is so many reviews on them its hard to decide,,i was leaning to the benchtop type,,but for not much more you can get the ridgid one,,, even the grizzly that's not too bad in price,,im just a retired woodworker so an advice you can give me would be greatly appreciated,,and which do you thing would be the easiest to change knives,,the one with straight blades or the helical inserts,,,,thank you

  2. #2
    Quote Originally Posted by jeff oldham View Post
    i am leaning to buy a jointer but there is so many reviews on them its hard to decide,,i was leaning to the benchtop type,,but for not much more you can get the ridgid one,,, even the grizzly that's not too bad in price,,im just a retired woodworker so an advice you can give me would be greatly appreciated,,and which do you thing would be the easiest to change knives,,the one with straight blades or the helical inserts,,,,thank you
    Unless you really need the space, a floor-standing jointer will be much better built than a benchtop one, in general. Jointers are somewhat finicky machines that rely on tight tolerances and an ability to hold their settings, so a more robust jointer that doesn't get moved much will be better.

    My preference has always been helical heads. The carbide knives will last you at least a year on one side (you mentioned you're a retired woodworker), and changing them, although it might take a little longer, it's almost foolproof and super easy to do. I'd definitely vote for the helical head.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
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    Central WI
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    5,529
    Watch for a used floor standing jointer. I would not spend the extra 400-500 for an insert head on a jointer unless money is no issue. Otherwise buy a decent size machine, learn to set knives ( easy on a jointer ) and use the money for other stuff. You will find plenty of need for tools more important to your budget. Dave

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2018
    Location
    Cambridge Vermont
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    This past summer I finally bought a jointer. It really should be based on what length wood you work with. As for width that's simple. If you work with 6" or less width boards then a 6" will work. If you build small stuff then a bench top jointer would probably work just fine. But for longer boards you'll struggle. If you have room and the funds I would get an 8" long bed floor model. My plan was to get straight blades simply because my planer is almost always used so it'll clean up any damage from the blades. But I ended up finding a used one with inserts. To me the inserts last longer but as far as replacing the blades vs inserts go I think the blades require a bit more thought process but no more time than the inserts.

    If a 6" jointer will work for you then search for a used one. Both craig's list and fackbook market place always seam to have them. Once you get into the 8" range the number of used ones seams to drop down.

  5. #5
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    Dec 2005
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    West Lafayette, IN
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    6”,,,,floor,,jointer

  6. #6
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    May 2018
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    Lancaster, Ohio
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    Quote Originally Posted by jeff oldham View Post
    i am leaning to buy a jointer but there is so many reviews on them its hard to decide,,i was leaning to the benchtop type,,but for not much more you can get the ridgid one,,, even the grizzly that's not too bad in price,,im just a retired woodworker so an advice you can give me would be greatly appreciated,,and which do you thing would be the easiest to change knives,,the one with straight blades or the helical inserts,,,,thank you
    I believe the helical inserts would be easier to change. I have always had straight knives and find them easy to change.
    As to what jointer to buy, you need to list out what is important to you and what isn't. What length and width of wood do you work with, how much room are you willing to set aside for the jointer. How much money are you able and willing to spend. This will determine which one is best for you.
    Good luck
    Ron

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
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    SoCal
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    Think about your requirements. A benchtop jointer is good for small work if well setup. You can do more on one but, it depends on your patience (low power) and add-on fixtures for support.

    A jointer is generally the second step in stock preparation once we pull some material out of the racks; the first being to cut blanks to a manageable size with the bandsaw. What size parts will you deal with . . . mostly? If you will only face joint a 7" wide board a few times a year go with a 6" and a planer sled can get you through the exceptions. If you will regularly joint sub-8" blanks then an 8" machine makes sense.

    I never found benchtop machines to really save me any room except for small and light machines like a lightweight bench grinder, a CMS or a small sander. Heavier machines like planers, jointers, serious grinders and sanders proved heavy enough that although they could be moved I really avoided it. Sometimes I would not even use the machine I had spent good money on because it was easier to just do something by hand than to get the machine out for use and return it to its place. This got worse as I got . . . er . . . older.

    A benchtop bandsaw or drill press for instance takes up just as much room as their (often better) floor standing cousins. Jointers take up a bit of space especially if you require long infeed and outfeed space. If you require room to feed larger stock it goes hand in hand with benefiting from a larger machine.

    Knives versus CARBIDE inserts is no contest. The insert head pays for itself pretty quickly and the benefits run on long after the initial cost is forgotten. I don't really get the whole HSS inserts idea other than for marketing. Most important is what is going to work for you.
    Last edited by glenn bradley; 09-23-2020 at 8:19 PM.
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  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2016
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    Modesto, CA, USA
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    Can you get straight knives sharpened locally? My shop went out of business several years ago so mail order or buy new inserts if I had an insert head are my choices. I found I was making drawer fronts between 6-8 inches wide. So I upgraded to an 8" machine. A floor standing model has no real improvements in the last 60 years except a center mounted fence and now insert heads can be had. I bought a used delta 8" model and switched in a single phase motor.
    Bil lD

  9. #9
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    Jan 2015
    Location
    greensboro nc
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    I was actually looking at the ridged floor model,,,,it had alot of good reviews,,,,but actually I didn't want the straight knives,,,so I have been looking at the grizzly g0893,,,,i know the ridged has got a longer table,,,but I just want the insert style head and a full size jointer with that type of head is pretty expensive,,unless one of you know of one of about 700.00

  10. #10
    Absolutely a long bed 8" jointer is expensive. But if you want to be able to flatten wider boards, longer boards, and heavy boards are becoming a handful, ...

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
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    So Cal
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    2,750
    The most common path to owning a jointer is to buy a small bench top. One that’s very loud and has short tables.
    After you have tried every trick on YouTube to get straight flat boards and lost many hours of sleep. A light bulb will appear over your head and you’ll sell the cursed machine or set out near the curb.
    This might seem cruel unfortunately it’s the only to appreciate a long bed jointer with at least 8 inch wide head.
    Good Luck
    Aj

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Kansas City
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    1,594
    I have a 6" bench top, and I've managed just fine. I think it depends on what you're going to make. If you need to joint long boards, then no question a long floor model will work best. The deciding factor for me was being able to get it down to my basement shop easily, and to be able to move it around without help. If I need to do a long edge on a board too long to manage on it, I'll use a jointer hand plane to deal with it.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Mar 2020
    Location
    Lancaster, CA
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    48
    Quote Originally Posted by jeff oldham View Post
    i am leaning to buy a jointer but there is so many reviews on them its hard to decide,,i was leaning to the benchtop type,,but for not much more you can get the ridgid one,,, even the grizzly that's not too bad in price,,im just a retired woodworker so an advice you can give me would be greatly appreciated,,and which do you thing would be the easiest to change knives,,the one with straight blades or the helical inserts,,,,thank you
    If you're considering a benchtop type, I would recommend a 6" floor standing instead. And I would vote for a helical/segmented head if you buy new...WAY easier to change knives. Just unscrew the offending insert (or multiple if needed), turn to a new side, retighten, done. Learning to sharpen and set traditional knives is a skill in-and-of itself and a more involved process. The insert heads require almost no skill to tend to, one less thing to worry about.

    A few years ago I bought a new Powermatic 6" import with a HH and I had low expectations for it, but boards coming off of it are still perfectly flat years later. I have yet to rotate the inserts, but I only use it once or twice a week. The outfeed table has held its place and I still use it for small stuff and 2x4 projects.

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by jeff oldham View Post
    i am leaning to buy a jointer but there is so many reviews on them its hard to decide,,i was leaning to the benchtop type,,but for not much more you can get the ridgid one,,, even the grizzly that's not too bad in price,,im just a retired woodworker so an advice you can give me would be greatly appreciated,,and which do you thing would be the easiest to change knives,,the one with straight blades or the helical inserts,,,,thank you
    I had a 6" Crafstman jointer that came with steel legs but could be used as a benchtop. It worked fine for a while but soon needed adjustment. I did that routine for a while and then came sharpening the knives. I could not break them loose, and I tried everything short of risking stripping the screws. I finally gave the thing away.

    Years later I went to a hand planer for jointing. I used a combination of a #62 and a #7 low angle to joint edges. The results were great and the satisfaction of doing it by hand added to the enjoyment.

    A little more than a year ago I bit the bullet and bought a jointer-planer. Since moving to Florida, good wood is scarce and the only decent source I can find sells it like it rough cut. It has a spiral cutterhead and cuts glass smooth. I love it. I still use hand planes for small work but the larger stuff goes to the J/P.
    “Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness..." - Mark Twain

    Diapers and Politicians need to be changed often... Usually for the same reason.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Apr 2018
    Location
    Cambridge Vermont
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    984
    A jointer is one of those things that you can easily creep up in price on. My personal opinion is if I was going to spend over $800 for the ridgid I would probably go up $300 and get a long bed straight knife 8" jointer from Grizzly (they have 10% off sales semi-regularly). I would do it not just for the added capacity of the wider head and longer bed but because it will have more power and it's resale value (let's face it none of us are getting any younger and sooner or later our 'toys' are going to move on to a new home) will be much better. If you're not happy with the knives you can upgrade it to inserts down the road. With an 8" long bed I would be much less likely to wish I had bought a larger jointer.

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