jointer or planer

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Blog entry by kosta posted 04-16-2009 04:07 AM 1508 reads 0 times favorited 22 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I am looking into milling tools like a jointer and a planer which is a better tool to start off with.

22 comments so far

View PurpLev's profile


8535 posts in 3645 days

#1 posted 04-16-2009 04:19 AM

I got a jointer first… so I can tell you from experience:

get the planer first…lol.

it’s easier to get one side ‘somewhat flat’ so that you can run it in the planer and then reverse and run the other face, then to joint one face, and then have to handplane the other face parallel and to thickness.

not trying to take away from handplaning – I like it. but from your question, jointer, and planer are both for milling more lumber and faster than manually planing them. and a planer will give you a more versatile machine to start with.

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View pickles's profile


68 posts in 3410 days

#2 posted 04-16-2009 04:30 AM

yep i had my planer for about 5 years before being able to afford an 8” jointer

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27250 posts in 3818 days

#3 posted 04-16-2009 04:39 AM

I would start with the planer. As I said in an earlier post you can joint lumber with a table saw, router or a planer. But a planer is really the only tool that you can effectively dimension rough lumber with.

-- Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful- Joshua Marine

View JPBatts's profile


41 posts in 3374 days

#4 posted 04-16-2009 04:43 AM

I recently read an article in a ww magazine that showed how to use a router as a jointer. It is a straight bit used with an offset about the thickness of laminate to get the uniform edge. Other than a drum sander and hand work, I don’t know how to otherwise get the uniform thickness in stock needed for most projects.

-- If she asks please tell my wife that I can sell my tools for what I paid, okay?

View DocK16's profile


1184 posts in 4083 days

#5 posted 04-16-2009 05:42 AM

This is like asking should I buy the hammer or the nails. They are two different things but you really need both.

-- Common sense is so rare anymore when you do see it, it looks like pure genius.

View jlsmith5963's profile


297 posts in 3345 days

#6 posted 04-16-2009 06:09 AM

the ‘classic’ answer is you need both, however like most situations in woodworking there are work-arounds…

here is an example of a planer sled that mvwoodworks mentions

and of course you will still have to decide how to produce a straight and square edge

-- criticism: the art of analyzing and evaluating the quality of an artistic work...

View hokieman's profile


184 posts in 3750 days

#7 posted 04-16-2009 06:35 AM

Jointer first. You have to have that first before the planer. The jointer gets the boards flat on one side then the planer gets them to the right thickness and the sides are then parallel. Without one flat side, the planer is useless iin my opinion. But, you can’t get two parallel sides with a jointer so you actually have to have both. The advantage of the jointer first is you can face joint the sides of boards to glue up panels.

View Pete_Jud's profile


424 posts in 3749 days

#8 posted 04-16-2009 07:06 AM

I think it depends on what wood you have. I get most of my kd wood from a mill that has no twist and mostly 4/4 thick rough sawn so the the planer is needed to take it to 3/4 for most of my projects. The planer was the second big tool I got for the shop. I found my joiner on CriagsList for 50 bucks, and it get used alot but the planer get used a lot more.

-- Life is to short to own an ugly boat.

View jack1's profile


2107 posts in 4024 days

#9 posted 04-16-2009 07:47 AM

You need a credit card to carry both of them at a low interest rate… lol

Yeah, you can do stuff other ways but what a hassle. Bite the bullet, DeWalt 735 no question and maybe you can luck out on a used 8” but I still have my Ridgid 6” and it’s pretty bullet proof for not a lot of $$$. Less than $1000. Do it.

-- jack -- ...measure once, curse twice!

View ND2ELK's profile


13495 posts in 3770 days

#10 posted 04-16-2009 09:39 AM

Go to (Buy jointer or planer first) This is a great tool review sight.

God Bless

-- Mc Bridge Cabinets, Iowa

View Craftsman on the lake's profile

Craftsman on the lake

2790 posts in 3434 days

#11 posted 04-16-2009 01:52 PM

Like some others I’d say that both are nice to have even though there are work arounds. But,

I’m not that experienced… I had, and fixed up an old Cast iron Craftsman jointer. With sharp blades and good adjustment I can’t figure out why I’d get a newer one except to get a larger bed. This one is 6”. It’s really a pretty simple device and produces smooth right angled edges.
Then I managed to get a new Dewalt 12 1/2” planer a few months ago. This device reminds me of the tasmanian devil on those warner brother cartoons. I really winds up when it gets going. It has some almost micrometer types of adjustments and is made to take down wood smoothly hopefully getting it done without snipe. (no snipe btw.. it works really nicely). I would be wary of purchasing an older one of these especially since they’ve made improvements over the years to eliminate snipe.

So, If I had to make choices and money was an issue which it usually is, I’d save for a good planer and if I had to, I’d look around for a good used, even very old but working jointer. And I think that if working ok with a cast iron bed, it’s still going to continue working like when it was first purchased. Maybe newer ones have some improvements. But, if it gives a smooth, square edge, what more does it need to do?

-- The smell of wood, coffee in the cup, the wife let's me do my thing, the lake is peaceful.

View AaronK's profile


1506 posts in 3461 days

#12 posted 04-16-2009 01:53 PM

not sure if my opinion counts since i have neither (yet!). but i will definitely say planer first. of course you need to be planING and jointING at the same time, doesnt mean you need a dedicated tool for the jobs:

-you can do jointing with a router
-you can make a sled to take any warp/cup/etc out with the planer
-even with a wany edge on the lumber you can make a sled to remove it on the table saw

so if im going to be shelling out hundreds of $ in the near future you bet it will be on the planer.

basically what they said!

View Julian's profile


880 posts in 3522 days

#13 posted 04-16-2009 03:33 PM

I bought a jointer 10 years before I got a planer. I think this is the way to go, but your experience may vary. If you want to buy roughsawn stock, then get the planer first. If you buy s4s stock from the borgs, then get a jointer.

-- Julian, Park Forest, IL

View kosta's profile


946 posts in 3351 days

#14 posted 04-16-2009 05:17 PM

The only problem is if I have to take lots of passes on the planer to get the edge flat so that their is no chance of kickback on the table saw.

View PurpLev's profile


8535 posts in 3645 days

#15 posted 04-16-2009 05:24 PM

sounds like you’re a bit confused on what the planer does Kosta… it does NOT joint an EDGE…. it will only flatten FACES. to joint an edge to make it safe to use the table saw – you’ll either need to use a hand plane, a router, or a table saw sled.

do some research on milling lumber, and what each machine CAN and CANNOT do…

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

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