Many of the woodworking tools available to both hobby and professional woodworkers are beautifully engineered and well designed. Ever seen an exploded diagram of a cordless drill or impact driver? The mechanical and electrical engineering is quite impressive.
In terms of more stationary tools, the DeWalt 735 planer is an excellent machine. Snipe is minimal and easily sands out, dual speeds, beautiful finish and easily changed knives make this an awesome planer for a hobby woodworker. Another beautifully engineered piece of equipment are the SawStop tablesaws. Way beyond the safety brake system everything else is well designed and thought out. The blade lifts effortlessly and yet stays rock solid in place. The blade guard and riving knives change quickly and are beautifully designed. The dust collection is awesome. The manual is extensive outline every possible setup and adjustment option.
At the other end of the spectrum are jointers. Todays jointer is no different than one made 50 or 100 years ago. The are truly awful. First, the means to keep the two tables coplanar are terrible. Dovetail adjustments are unbelievably useless where you have to make and insert metal shims. Parallelogram models are only slightly better but the adjustment cams are hard to turn (for many, you use a hammer and screwdriver or other tool), in poor locations and a complete exercise in frustration to get set.
The use of extensive amounts of steel in the bed is unnecessary. The beds mostly need just to stay flat and many other materials can stay flat without weighing hundreds of pounds. The default cutterhead uses difficult to adjust knives. When they need sharpening you are better of to buy a Tersa cutterhead, ESTA knives or a full helical cutterhead. The motor is crudely mounted, alignment is difficult, the belt is poorly designed and often knocks against the belt guard. The fence is overly heavy and can be slightly warped. The alignment mechanisms are rough and the ‘positive’ stops are useless requiring resetting with a mechanics square frequently.
You can of course get a decent jointer if jump up to European jointer / planers but the cost jump is more than double of stand-alone machines and you have to switch setups.
Why oh why can’t some company design and build rethought jointer?