Best Mortising Machines 2019 – Reviews & Buying Guide

a powerful mortiserWe live in a world that is saturated with choices. You have so many choices when it comes to just about everything. Toothpaste. Nail polish. Drills. Chainsaws. Washing machines. And, of course, mortising machines.

Due to the sheer variety of choices, we want to help you make the right choice. In this article, you are going to learn the very best mortising machine that you can purchase in 2019, along with the rest of our mortising machine reviews to figure out which one you should purchase.

Before we get into it, let’s just say that we understand that this is a tricky decision and that there are so many choices and so many factors that go into this kind of thing. We understand that. And we’re committed to helping you get only the best mortising machine! Now, let’s get into it!

Our Favorite Products of 2019

ModelPriceWeightEditor Rating
Powermatic 1791310
Powermatic 1791310(Top Pick)

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100 lbs4.9/5
RIKON Power Tools 34-260
RIKON Power Tools 34-260

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92 lbs4.6/5
Jet 708580 JBM-5
Jet 708580 JBM-5(Best for the Money)

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53 lbs4.5/5
Shop Fox W1671
Shop Fox W1671

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94 lbs4.1/5
DELTA 14-651
DELTA 14-651

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77 lbs3.9/5

5 Best Mortising Machines – Reviews:

1. Powermatic 1791310 Benchtop Mortiser – Top Pick

Powermatic 1791310

In our number-one spot, there is the Powermatic 1791310. This is a truly fantastic mortising machine, and it is the best one that you can purchase in 2019!

The Powermatic 1791310 operates on ¾ horsepower and runs up to 1,725 RPM. It is made of only the strongest and most durable materials, and it handles like a dream! Those are just some of the reasons why this is the best mortising machine that you can purchase in 2019.

Unlike some of the other machines that we’ve used, this one works exceptionally well. We’ve had no problems with it, and I doubt we will, because there is no sign of wear or tear or anything of that sort, and it handles beautifully, and efficiently. Whatever you throw at it, the Powermatic 1791310 will not only meet those expectations but exceed them, as well!

Above all else, the Powermatic 1791310 is an incredibly functional piece of equipment. It works with just about any project that you have, and it works incredibly well and incredibly efficiently, with no problems that we could tell. This functionality, combined with a design that makes it easy to use and handle, leads to a product that is truly exceptional. We cannot recommend the Powermatic 1791310 enough, and it is at the top of our list because of that.

If there is a single flaw, it is that the handle can be slightly clunky to use. But, overall, this is an absolutely amazing mortising machine!

  • Extremely durable
  • Handles extraordinarily well
  • Functions beautifully
  • Easy to use
  • Handle is slightly clunky at times

2. RIKON Power Tools 34-260 Mortising Machine – The Runner-Up

RIKON Power Tools 34-260

Our runner-up for the best mortising machine that you can purchase in 2019 is the RIKON 34-260, another incredible mortising machine that comes from Rikon Power Tools, a slightly lesser-known manufacturer that makes some absolutely exceptional tools. This is no exception to that particular trend.

Just as with the Powermatic 1791310, the RIKON 34-260 handles beautifully and exceeds at performing its basic functions. This is very important for any tool, and the RIKON 34-260 is far from an exception to that rule. Not only that, it is made from incredibly durable materials and components that ensure it lasts for a long time. The design is good, but it isn’t great. And that’s why it isn’t our topic. While it exceeds when it comes to functionality and the durability of the tool and the materials it’s made out of, the design is a bit confusing and a little clunky, and the handle doesn’t feel quite right, but it’s mostly just the overall design that is rather convoluted and clunky. For that reason, we did not put the RIKON 34-260 in our top spot. That said, it is an excellent mortising machine, and the clunkiness is a very small part of the overall experience.

  • Great functionality
  • Made of durable materials
  • Will last a long time
  • Handles very well – for the most part
  • Handle doesn’t feel quite right
  • Design is clunky, overall

3. Jet 708580 JBM-5 Mortising Machine – Best for the Money

Jet 708580 JBM-5

For the money, you cannot go wrong with the Jet 708580 JBM-5, a great mortising machine that comes from Jet, another lesser-known, but equally great, tool manufacturer. They may not have been in the business as long as some of their competitors, but they certainly know how to make a good product that really does pack in a lot within a relatively small package and, of course, an immensely affordable price tag.

This is a good machine. It’s affordable. It’s inexpensive. And it works very well. If you’re on a tight budget, and you want something that really does work very well, then you should strongly consider the Jet 708580 JBM-5. However, there is a reason that it is not in our top two, and this is because, while it is a good product and it functions very well, there is a general level of clunkiness found within the design that really makes it a bit tricky to actually use in a constructive way. Don’t get us wrong, it works, and it works fairly well, but this clunkiness makes the overall experience a little trickier and a bit more difficult. That said, this is still an excellent tool, but be wary of the added difficulties that you may experience due to this issue.

  • Very affordable
  • Functions well
  • Made of good materials and components
  • Overall design is clunky
  • Handle is a bit loose

4. Shop Fox W1671 Mortiser

Shop Fox W1671

The Shop Fox W1671 is not a product that we highly recommend at all. It’s not a bad mortising machine, by any means, but it’s not a very good one, and there aren’t many reasons for you to purchase it over another, far better, mortising machine. While Shop Fox is a well-known brand, and they are known for products that are relatively decent, this doesn’t mean that this particular product is very good.

The best thing about it is that it comes from a well-known brand, so the design is good. Very good. It looks good, on an aesthetic level, but more importantly, the components are where they need to be and they are placed and tightened with immense precision and accuracy. For the most part, it’s pretty easy to use, too. You don’t need to fiddle around with it to get it working.

Two things set it apart, unfortunately. First off, the components aren’t very good. They aren’t particularly durable, and it’s debatable whether or not this mortising machine will last for very long. Second of all, the functionality isn’t that great either. It does perform its function and it does it well enough, but it doesn’t do so in the greatest way and it’s not that great of a tool overall, simply because you can get so many better ones for the same price, and those ones are actually quite a bit better at their job than this one is.

  • Well designed
  • Aesthetically pleasing
  • Easy to use
  • Doesn’t function that well
  • Functionality is limited
  • Costs the same to get a better one

5. DELTA 14-651 Mortising-Machine

DELTA 14-651

In our experience, DELTA is very hit or miss. Sadly, the DELTA 14-651 is a “miss,” rather than a “hit.” You can say this due to a number of very specific problems that plague the DELTA 14-651. But, the first one is that it simply a poorly designed product. On an aesthetic level, it may look nice. But, as we all know, that simply isn’t enough. The components are cheap and flimsy, ensuring that it won’t last very long and that this purchase is not a good one. Then, there’s the fact that it’s put together very poorly and the handle feels like the flimsiest thing ever. Once you get over that, it just isn’t very good at actually working well or being functional in any sense of the word. You simply can’t do much of anything with the DELTA 14-651. Which is a shame, because if you could, then it would be a far better tool than it actually is.

There is one good thing about this product, and that’s that it looks good. In fact, it looks really! The aesthetics are nice. But, this is the last thing that you consider when it comes to purchasing a tool, and, unfortunately, the DELTA 14-651 does not work as a tool at all, much less one that is worth buying.

  • Pleasing to look at
  • Doesn’t work very well
  • Poorly designed
  • Bad components
  • Not durable
  • Doesn’t do what it’s supposed to do

Buying Guide

When we look at and review a mortising machine, there are two things that we look at. Two major factors that influence our appreciation of the mortising machine, and whether or not we recommend other people do the same. These two factors affect the entirety of your experience with any mortising machine, and this is why we look at them so deeply.

Overall Functionality

In the end, a mortising machine must be functional in order for it to be a worthwhile investment that we can recommend and say to you “This is a good mortising machine.” If it doesn’t work the way that it is supposed to work, or if it doesn’t work well at all, then it’s not a good mortising machine. This is the ultimate point of consideration. Whether or not it performs the function that it is supposed to form. If it cannot fulfill the purpose that it was intended to fulfill, then we can’t recommend it.

However, there are many mortising machines that do fulfill their intended purpose, and they do so fairly well, with limited problems or anything of that sort. But, we don’t recommend them very often because, while they do perform their intended function, that’s really all they do. We give a lot of weight to mortising machines that exceed what is expected of them. Mortising machines that provide a fantastic overall experience that is truly exceptional and superb! When that happens, we give it a huge recommendation because it happens to perform its intended function in the most efficient and most impactful way. This makes your job so much easier, and it reduces the need to struggle or fiddle with the machine.

Design Of The Tool

Design affects every facet of a mortising machine. If some element of the design is not in alignment with the other aspects, then it suffers. But, design encompasses a few things. One of the things that it encompasses is the overall aesthetic of the mortising machine. This is important, but not that much. If it looks nice, then that’s a nice addition to the overall experience, but not a necessity. Design also covers the materials and components used to make up the product. And, of course, it covers the ways in which the components are connected and the ease in which you can use it. This is very important, and without a good, strong, design, your mortising machine may not last that long, nor will it be a particularly good experience due to clunkiness and other problems that exist as a result of bad design. But, with good design, those problems don’t exist and the overall experience is one of simplicity and ease. From that, your job is a lot easier and you’ll find that working on whatever projects you wish to work on is a breeze, plain and simple!


Our top pick for the best mortising machine that you can purchase in 2019 is the Powermatic 1791310. It is by far a truly exceptional mortising machine. And, our pick for “Best For The Money” is the Jet 708580 JBM-5, another exceptional mortising machine, but not quite as good as the Powermatic 1791310!

We hope that you’ve enjoyed our reviews of the best mortising machines and we hope that we’ve enabled you to make the right decision for yourself! That really is our top priority. We want to help you make the right decision, because there are just so many choices out there, that making the right choice is not always the easiest.

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