Contemplating Purchasing a Jointer

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Blog entry by johnhaynesiv posted 10-12-2011 03:50 AM 5179 reads 0 times favorited 11 comments Add to Favorites Watch

As a newbie to woodworking I’m contemplating purchasing a jointer. I’m currently looking at a used 4-inch Rockwell Jointer for about $30, but was wondering if I’d quickly outgrow it.

Any thoughts?

11 comments so far

View jumbojack's profile


1676 posts in 2624 days

#1 posted 10-12-2011 03:59 AM

You will be sorry, but not at first. I have an 8 inch and find myself using it less and less. Yeah it does fine for edge jointing but face jointing is another matter. If you are getting the jointer primarily for edge jointing go for it.

-- Made in America, with American made tools....Shopsmith

View Arminius's profile


304 posts in 3803 days

#2 posted 10-12-2011 04:01 AM

You will outgrow it quickly…but you will learn sound technique, become comfortable with the process, and then sell it and get about $30 back out of it. No downside.

View ShaneA's profile


6929 posts in 2598 days

#3 posted 10-12-2011 04:02 AM

I would recommend at least 6”, with as long a bed as you can find/afford. If you have 220 power and the budget will allow (they are a lot more) the 8” would be preferred.

View Newage Neanderthal's profile

Newage Neanderthal

190 posts in 2550 days

#4 posted 10-12-2011 04:02 AM

Two things. One, you would prob get more responses to this question from a forum topic. Two, what do you want to build? You must take into consideration that not only are you losing 2” of width, the table a prob much shorter. And that could be worse than the 4” vs 6” or 8” deal. The short table will make it much more difficult to get truly flat faces on longer boards. If you plan on making humidors and The like go for it. If you want to make some coffee table, etc also. Save for at least a 6”. Or go for a 22” + handplane. Takes everything and i think much more fun to use

-- . @NANeanderthal on twitter

View jeffbranch's profile


110 posts in 2652 days

#5 posted 10-12-2011 04:11 AM

As Arminius said, it is just $30, so I wouldn’t sweat it. I use my 6” jointer mostly for edge jointing. It accomodates most of my needs, but I find the length of the jointer bed to be too short to accurately edge joint long boards. That is where I think you will find an even greater short coming from a 4” jointer. But I think $30 to get you started is great.


View rustfever's profile


752 posts in 3310 days

#6 posted 10-12-2011 04:12 AM

I spent 20 years using a 4” short bed joiner. Worked fine, for some work. I made do for other work. Finally, one day a 6” long bed became available and I quickly grabbed it. No regret for with the 4” or the new 6”. both handled my needs while I was learning. Now, I still have the 6” long ben and a 16” planer, AND a 25” drum sander.

But our needs evollve as we try new things. We cannot predict where we will end up, only where we want to go tomorrow.

I would get that 4” short bed joiner and run. Use it. It will teach you some important woodworking lessons. When you have learned those lesson, you will know where to proceed.


-- Rustfever, Central California

View RibsBrisket4me's profile


1554 posts in 2505 days

#7 posted 10-12-2011 04:16 AM

What Ira said :-)

View bob101's profile


321 posts in 3450 days

#8 posted 10-12-2011 04:46 AM

it will do for a while , but a six inch long beded jointer on 220 will last a long time I have been using one for 10 years.

-- rob, ont,canada

View SSMDad's profile


395 posts in 2597 days

#9 posted 10-12-2011 05:20 AM

Agree with those who say go for it. I had a little 4” Delta POS jointer BUT it did work for getting straight edges which now I’m resigned to having to use my hand jointer which really isn’t fun when you just want to get working. For $30 and as long as it works and blades are good and can be aligned correctly, go for it!

-- Chris ~~Who controls the past controls the future. Who controls the present controls the past."

View Tedstor's profile


1643 posts in 2633 days

#10 posted 10-12-2011 05:23 AM

I got an old school 4” craftsman a while back, and I’ve outgrown it. I can’t wait to get a 6”. But I’m glad I got the craftsman. I paid $40 for it, it works great, and when I finally do get a 6”, I can keep the 4” for small jobs or strip the motor for use on another machine. If nothing else, I can probably sell the craftsman for $40+.

$30 is a pretty small risk. I’d go for it.

View johnhaynesiv's profile


9 posts in 2421 days

#11 posted 10-13-2011 02:29 PM

Thanks for the feedback all! I went with the consensus and purchased it. The planer appears to be quite old but is in mint condition. I’m sure that I’ll get some good use out of it.

Thanks again!

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