Last Updated on August 9, 2020
If you are in the market for a benchtop jointer you already know how important it is when woodworking that the wood is as smooth and as straight as possible. Therefore it’s important that you find one that suits your needs.
There are so many out there to choose from though, which one do you go for? Thankfully we are here to help. We have gotten our hands on 20 of the top benchtop jointers on the market. We then tested them and compiled the top picks into this list. We even included a buying guide to help you in your search for the right one.
|Best Overall||Cutech 40160H-CT||
|Delta 37-071 6"||
|Best Value||PORTER-CABLE PC160JT||
|Jet JJP-8BT 8” Benchtop Jointer Planer Combo||
|RIKON 20-600H 6”||
The Cutech 40160H-CT was our top pick and the best benchtop jointer we reviewed. Using spiral rutters rather than the typical helical. When the product arrived, we had it up and running within 30 minutes, we set up the aluminum fence and cleaned the packaging oil off and away we went.
We were surprised at just how smooth a finish it was producing, better than anything else on the market. It’s light and is quieter than most of the other benchtop jointers perfect for the home user. It was very easy to clean especially with paired with a good VAC, you will be working mess-free. The only issue we had was with woods such as hard maple, while we were able to cut it, the engine clearly slowed down, so just be careful with harder woods to not damage the blades.
This benchtop jointer is a serious bit of kit. One of the first things you will notice is the sheer weight of it. This is because of the durable cast-iron used for the various parts. This increases the weight making it more stable as you feed wood through, this reduces vibrations and means better results. This was probably the best benchtop jointer for harder woods because of this. We also like how easy it was to adjust the blade system, this will help get the perfect finish on your wood.
The one serious criticism we had for this product was the manual provided. It was not the best and even with our experience, we had trouble working out how to get this jointer operational, because of this it can’t take the top spot. Still a great benchtop jointer for the money.
This benchtop jointer is like the Cutech in many ways, though we noticed several cost-cutting measures taken by Porter Cable that is reflected in the price. Like the Cutech, the jointer was very easy to put together. A great feature that this jointer had that none of the others had was variable speed functionality. This allows you to get the best setting for a piece of wood. Slower for more pliable and faster for your harder woods – this helps you produce fantastic results.
We did have problems getting the fence to sit 90 degrees from the table. The fence feels flimsy, so you will have to be careful with how much pressure you put on to this. We were really impressed at how this jointer performed at this price level. For us, this was the best value benchtop jointer.
The Jet JJP-8BT is more than just a benchtop jointer, it serves double-duty as a planer as well. With a powerful three-horsepower, 13-amp motor spinning two high-speed steel knives, it carves clean edges effortlessly. 18,000-CPM isn’t the best in class, but it’s not far behind. The 8-inch maximum board width that this benchtop unit can work with is one thing that attracted us to it from the start. For the price and the size, this is a great feature for anyone who works with wider boards.
Upon arrival, we discovered that most of the bolts holding everything together were loose. After going through the machine tightening everything, we noticed that the infeed and outfeed tables don’t quite line up properly. We fiddled with it for a while and we got pretty close, but never quite coplanar. Despite these issues, we were satisfied with the operation of the machine overall. There is one more complaint though. The dust collection port is plastic and sits below the tables, but it’s prone to cracking from the pressure. This is a design flaw, and one of the things holding this benchtop jointer back.
RIKON has built a very stout tool in the 20-600H benchtop jointer. The five-year warranty that’s included with this model shows just how much the manufacturer believes in the longevity of their product. While we do believe this little jointer will last for a long time, it has some drawbacks and oversights that stop it from being one of our favorites. Let’s start with the fence. Once you have it positioned correctly and go to lock it in place, it moves out of square, ruining your measurement. This was more than just a little frustrating as we continued using this jointer.
There is a dust collection port underneath the blades which is nice. That said, it clogs easily if you don’t have a vacuum hooked up and running while the machine is in use. At 10 amps, it’s not the most powerful motor and it can only work with boards up to six inches wide. Despite these limitations, its dependability earns a spot on this list.
At 1.5 HP, the Woodtek 115955 benchtop jointer isn’t the most powerful on the market. In fact, the 15,000-CPM maximum speed of this jointer is the lowest on this list. It doesn’t move as quickly as competing models, but it did leave clean edges. The straight blades aren’t the most efficient either.
What this model lacks in power, it makes up in portability. At only 42 pounds, it’s one of the lightest and most portable models available. It’s also priced rather modestly, so most people can afford to get started. We did like this unit overall, but even though it has some upsides, the lack of power means there are better choices at the price.
Priced very economically for the budget-conscious hobbyist, the Shop Fox W1829 benchtop jointer is a powerful machine that suffers from poor quality control. The 12-amp motor can push 10,000 RPM and 20,000 CPM even though it’s only 1.5-HP. Those are respectable numbers at any price point. Tables and fence are made of cast iron, a feature that we were initially excited about. To our dismay, we discovered that they just don’t line up properly. No matter what we tried we couldn’t get them completely coplanar.
The biggest drawbacks of this tool involve the fence. Although the machine works well, the fence doesn’t stay put, so your faces don’t come out quite straight. Even as tight as the screws holding it in place would go, the fence would still migrate during passes. If it weren’t for this major issue, the Shop Fox would be getting a much higher recommendation.
At a hefty 80 pounds, the Grizzly Industrial G0725 is one benchtop jointer that you’re probably not going to want to move around. Of course, that weight also helps keep it stable and minimize vibrations. With 20,000-CPM speed capabilities, the Grizzly certainly packs adequate power. The cast iron table was one of the features we were excited about until we realized that the table wasn’t quite flat. Ours had a high spot in the middle that threw everything off.
Upon receiving this jointer, we noticed that the blade locking screws were over-tightened. Attempting to loosen them caused quite a few to strip. We weren’t off to a great start. After messing with that for a bit, we got everything ready to work. When it started up, we were quite satisfied with how this machine cut. What really held it back though was the migrating fence that refused to stay put. The rise in the table also prevented our material from pushing through smoothly. Disappointing indeed. For the price, we’d recommend something that will give you fewer headaches and more work time.
This WEN benchtop jointer was priced quite a bit higher than its competitors, so we hoped to see some stellar performance. While the 20,000-CPM performance of the motor and blades was up to par, the overall build quality was not. It felt nice at first. Eighty pounds is pretty stout for a benchtop unit, but it also lends a feeling of robustness.
First, we noticed the fence was twisted. This prevented it from being truly square in any position. When trying to get the infeed and outfeed tables coplanar, we discovered that the outfeed table isn’t adjustable. Not surprisingly, this makes it much more difficult to get the tables to meet up properly. At this high price, we wouldn’t expect to see any of these sorts of issues. While it does cut clean, flat board faces, we’d recommend saving your money and picking a jointer with higher-quality components.
A jointer has one job and that is to make wood flat, free of twists, and warping. This will make your work with the wood far easier. These machines are for making one surface of a piece of wood straight and true to another surface. They basically work by feeding a piece of wood from an infeed table that is slightly lower than the blades and than the outfeed table. As the wood is fed through it is cut, you may have to put the wood through several times depending on how hard it is but you will eventually have a flat and smooth piece of wood.
Basically, it is going through a set of blades where a small amount is cut off, and it ends up perfectly flat.
They come in many different sizes, and the size dictates the size of wood you can accurately size and bevel. A benchtop jointer is just that. Designed to sit on top of a benchtop. These are the smallest jointers you can buy and are ideal for the hobbyist or when you have limited space in your workshop. Benchtop jointers are not capable of cutting anything more than 6 inches wide if you are doing this sort of work you must look for open stand jointer. All the jointers we reviewed today are 6-inch so keep this in mind.
We also have a top 5 best jointer list found here. This list is worth a read if you’re looking for the best overall jointer, and not necessarily a benchtop jointer.
Several factors must be looked at when deciding what is the best benchtop jointer for you, so let’s have a look at them.
When looking at a jointer there are several different measurements and sizes you must take note of. Cutting depth, the length, and width of the bed and knife size.
The knife size of a jointer is given according to the length of the knives. The measurement corresponds to the widest board the jointer can comfortably handle. Blade size and the length of the bed are both instrumental when it comes to the size of the wood a given jointer can work with. Most of the jointers we reviewed had 6-inch blades.
The cutting depth will determine the number of times you have to pass the wood through to obtain a straight board. A half-inch to three-quarters of an inch cutting depth is standard on a benchtop jointer and more than enough for small to medium size pieces of wood.
The table or bed is what the wood sits on as you pass it through the blades. If you are working with small pieces of wood, you will find all the benchtop jointers review above will be fine. However, if you are going to use larger pieces of wood you may need to add tables on either end. The wood must be kept spirit level flat as it is fed through or it will not end up straight. If you have space, we recommend going for the largest table possible on any jointer you may buy.
The fence is an important part of the benchtop jointer, it is the piece that sits 90 degrees from the table. It must be sturdy and made from a durable material as you will be continually putting pressure on it as you feed wood through. On some tables you can also adjust the fence to a different angle, this is great as it means you can plane the wood as well.
Benchtop joiners generally have 1HP of power which is adequate for the size of wood that these jointers can handle. So don’t worry about this too much.
You will need 110 or 220 volts single-phase outlets when using a benchtop jointer.
Benchtop jointers can make a lot of mess and that’s why having one that is made easy to keep clean is vital. Most have a connection to add a vacuum to it, and these ones are the best. This will suck up any shavings or dust. Some come with their own system like that which was seen on the Powertec BJ600.
When you first get your jointer, you will need to assemble it. As you will have seen in the reviews some of the instruction manuals are poorly written. Poorly written can mean poorly made, so be careful.
Once you have assembled your benchtop jointer the first thing you will want to do is check the angles, 45 and 90 degrees are the key. If the fence is not sitting correctly to the table, it won’t matter how good the jointer is you will not get the desired results. Some jointers will have an oily surface on when you first receive it, this is normal all you need to do is wash it off with some mineral spirits.
Make sure you know what size of wood your benchtop jointer can handle and remember that there is the different hardness of wood. A harder wood can damage smaller blades
So there we have it, the top 5 Benchtop jointers on the market and a buying guide to help make that purchase easier. There are so many out on the market right now. Remember to think about what space you have available and how you are going to be using the jointer to find what works best for you. We would have to say the best benchtop jointer we reviewed was the Cutech 40160H-CT. This was such a professionally put together piece of equipment, which had everything we needed in a jointer. This would serve the professional or an experienced hobbyist. If you are shopping on a budget then the best value for money jointer would have to be the Porter-Cable PC160JT, very similar to the Cutech minus the Cutech’s durability. A fantastic piece of equipment for the price. Whatever one you go for, happy woodworking!
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Hi there! My name is Adam and I write for HealthyHandyman. I have a great passion for writing about everything related to tools, home improvement, and DIY. In my spare time, I'm either fishing, playing the guitar, or spending quality time with my beloved wife. You'll also often find me in my workshop working on some new project!