Best Benchtop Jointers 2018 – Top Picks & Reviews

a benchtop jointer in actionIf 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.

Our Top 5 Picks of 2018

ModelPriceWeightEditor Rating
Cutech 40160H-CT
Cutech 40160H-CT_small
(Top Pick)

Check Price
40 lbs4.9/5
Delta Power Tools 37-071 6 Inch
Delta Power Tools 37-071 6 Inch

Check Price
76 lbs4.7/5
PORTER-CABLE PC160JT
PORTER-CABLE PC160JT_small
(Best for the Money)

Check Price
41 lbs4.6/5
POWERTEC BJ600
POWERTEC BJ600_small

Check Price
79 lbs4.3/5
Jet JJP-8BT 8-Inch
Jet JJP-8BT 8-Inch_small

Check Price
67 lbs4.1/5

5 Best Benchtop Jointers – Reviews:

1. Cutech 40160H-CT Benchtop Jointer – Top Pick

Cutech 40160H-CT

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. Its 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 so as to not damage the blades.

Pros
  • Easy to set up
  • Great finishes on wood
  • Very easy to clean
Cons
  • Struggled with harder wood

2. Delta Power Tools 37-071 6 Inch Bench Jointer – The Runner-up

Delta Power Tools 37-071 6 Inch

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.

Pros
  • Great for Hardwood
  • Easy Adjustable
  • Sturdy
Cons
  • Manual is non-intelligible.

3. PORTER-CABLE PC160JT Benchtop Jointer – Best for the Money

PORTER-CABLE PC160JT

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.

Pros
  • Great Value
  • Easy to put together
  • Adjustable blade speed
Cons
  • Flimsy fence

4. POWERTEC BJ600 Bench-Top Jointer

POWERTEC BJ600

The BJ600 from Powertec is not a bad benchtop jointer for the money. Similar to the Delta Power it’s made from solid cast iron making it pretty heavy, which helps when working with larger pieces of wood. The Powertec comes with its own built-in dust collection system, storing it in a large trash bag for easy disposal. This means you won’t have to go buy a vac cleaner to go along with it. This jointer also has a master safety lock, so it can’t be powered on without unlocking this – an important feature if this was used in or around a family home. The instructions for setup were very confusing for this jointer something we have seen in similar products. We suspect this is because it is manufactured in China, something which also shows up on some of the parts of the jointer, giving it a cheap and not very durable feel. For the money, there are better jointers on the market.

Pros
  • Cast Iron for long life
  • There a safety power lock
  • Self-cleaning
Cons
  • Not durable
  • Poor assembly instructions
  • Better jointers at the same price

5. Jet JJP-8BT 8-Inch Bench-Jointer

Jet JJP-8BT 8-Inch

This is the worst benchtop jointer we reviewed. While it has a couple of neat features it didn’t produce the desired results. There is no way to true the jointer meaning if the angles are not correct it will show on the wood. It only has two knives to cut the wood rather than the three seen in all the jointer. This meant we didn’t feel comfortable using bigger pieces of wood in this as the blades did not seem up to it. It was also light and while this might suit some it makes it harder to work with larger pieces of wood. What we would say as one positive is that the fence has an adjustable movement so that you can bevel the wood, and when we tested it the angles were correct as advertised, again when we used a larger piece of wood it produced poor results.

Pros
  • Good for beveling small pieces of wood
Cons
  • Lightweight
  • Struggled with heavy wood
  • Small footprint

Buying Guide

What is a benchtop jointer?

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.

What to look for in a benchtop jointer?

There are several factors that must be looked at when deciding what is the best benchtop jointer for you, so let’s have a look at them.

Size

When looking at a jointer there are a number of 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.

Fence

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.

Power

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.

Cleanliness

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.

benchtop jointer in action

Tips when you get your benchtop jointer

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

Safety Tips

  • Wear safety gear – goggles to protect your eyes.
  • Avoid loose clothing.
  • Make sure you clearly read the manual provided
  • Don’t do a job you are not qualified to do.
  • Make sure your benchtop joiner is secure. A good idea is to have it bolted to a wall. These machines are heavy, and you don’t want it falling.
  • Make sure all equipment is safely packed away and out the reach of children.

Conclusion

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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