Tablesaw or jointer

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Forum topic by SamK posted 08-18-2015 08:52 AM 1142 views 0 times favorited 15 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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3 posts in 1039 days

08-18-2015 08:52 AM

Topic tags/keywords: tablesaw jointer cutting boards bandsaw planer young woodworker question tip joining modern

I am a young woodworker and have made some cutting boards lately with a bandsaw and a planer. I am looking to invest in a tool but I can only purchase one first then make boards to sell and purchase the other one. I can’t decide between a Tablesaw or a jointer, mabye some experienced woodworkers and help me decide on which one to get

The table saw is the (SawStop Contractor Saw w/ 36” T-Glide Fence System) $1799
And the jointer is the (JET 6” Long Bed w/ Helical Head)$1278

Thank you

15 replies so far

View johnstoneb's profile


2940 posts in 2199 days

#1 posted 08-18-2015 01:07 PM

Tablesaw. You can make jigs etc to joint on the table saw.

-- Bruce, Boise, ID

View rwe2156's profile


2965 posts in 1507 days

#2 posted 08-18-2015 01:58 PM

Sam, its a no brainer: TS ;-).

Unless your set on a SS, you don’t need to spend near that much money on your first saw.

Let me suggest a used saw. You can find cabinet saws on Craiglist in the $5-700 range and good quality contractor saws like Delta for half that. Definitely stay away from the old Craftsman saws from the 70’s and 80’s they were horrible machines.

If you decide to go that route, when you check them out par particular attention to the fence. The “old iron” like Rockwell is pretty bomb proof but you can check the bearings by listening to is run and seeing if there any wiggle in the arbor. Even if you had to invest in a fence system, you would still be ahead…....

As for the jointer, same thing. Look for a used one.
You don’t need to start out with a helical head.
You can find blade type jointers for <$300.
You can always upgrade to a helical later on.

Good luck!!

-- Everything is a prototype thats why its one of a kind!!

View 01ntrain's profile


255 posts in 1096 days

#3 posted 08-18-2015 02:00 PM

Tablesaw. It’s the heart of the shop.

But, why a Sawstop? You can get a cheaper saw and still have money left over for a good jointer.

Def check out Craigslist. Guys around here have bought that jointer for way less than retail. You’re gonna have to make a lot of cutting boards to be able to buy a $1200 jointer.

View CharlesA's profile


3329 posts in 1824 days

#4 posted 08-18-2015 02:11 PM

First of all, I’d have a sawstop if I had the funds. However, I have $350 total invested in my Craftsman 113 contractor saw, Shop Fox Classic fence, and Davis Wells 6” jointer all from Craigslist. You can always sell them for about what you’ll pay when you want to upgrade.

-- "Man is the only animal which devours his own, for I can apply no milder term to the general prey of the rich on the poor." ~Thomas Jefferson

View SirIrb's profile


1239 posts in 1257 days

#5 posted 08-18-2015 02:18 PM

CL and buy both. If you have enough for a SS then you can get used and buy both. Time is your enemy on CL but it will allow you to get good deals. I got a delta DJ-15 6” jointer for 325 on there. and am referbing a Unisaw I got for 500 (not on CL). in the end I will have less than 1k tied up in both machines. I sold the orig bullet motor for 100 and am selling the roller table I got with it for ~75. Thats about what I will be putting back into it by way of abrasives, paint, hardware and other stuff.

But all things considered, a TS is the main tool to have. You would be amazed on what it can do. When I did this full time the PM 66 I ran was the beast. The table surrounding it was easily 12×16 (thats feet, bro, not inches). We even used the 66 to cut custom shaper knives (insert tooling). You have to put a metal cutting blade on it and freehand the knife but man it works.

Good luck. Seriously look into buying an old uni or pm and referbing it. This is the most rewarding rebuild I have ever had.

-- Don't blame me, I voted for no one.

View Andre's profile


1888 posts in 1832 days

#6 posted 08-18-2015 02:23 PM

Another vote for used, I got a Delta Hybrid Cabinet for $300 that was not even fully assembled yet, then picked up a new Laguna Helical head Jointer for $1500. The money you safe will buy some very good blades that will reduce or eliminate planning. On aside note I did buy a used Hitachi Jointer Planner(F3000A) for $300 that would safe a lot of space and with the new blades would be all the machine you need!

-- Lifting one end of the plank.

View SamK's profile


3 posts in 1039 days

#7 posted 08-18-2015 05:47 PM

Thank for all the tips I think I’ll get a less expensive jointer with out the helical head the acact same jointer comes with straight blades for about $350 cheaper. I wanted to get a sawstop because I have goten a pretty deep cut with my dads crappy craftsman I’m only 16 I would hate to lose fingers over a couple hundred bucks

Thank you all :)

View Logan Windram's profile

Logan Windram

346 posts in 2488 days

#8 posted 08-18-2015 06:10 PM

I’d go jointer first, and you don’t need to spend nearly that much or need a helical head at this point. Being able to get a flat first surface is key. Honestly, for 1500 bucks you could get a good TS and jointer, I’d look around.

View CharlesA's profile


3329 posts in 1824 days

#9 posted 08-18-2015 06:11 PM

I can’t fault you for buying the SS—I will someday as well. You can eventually buy a shelix head for that jointer when you have some spare change.

-- "Man is the only animal which devours his own, for I can apply no milder term to the general prey of the rich on the poor." ~Thomas Jefferson

View johnstoneb's profile


2940 posts in 2199 days

#10 posted 08-18-2015 06:11 PM

I just bought a SS contractor and it is well worth the money especially with the T-Glide fence and you have the technology. I feel better everytime I turn it on. It is probably the best built saw on the market right now.

-- Bruce, Boise, ID

View JoshNZ's profile


105 posts in 1095 days

#11 posted 08-18-2015 07:17 PM

I would actually vote for the jointer here. The quality of my work came up to a whole new level when I got my jointer. IMO a table saw, no matter the jig or fence etc, will never do as good a job as a properly setup jointer, particularly for jointing cutting board strips.

Basically the bandsaw + jointer can do better than what your table saw would do. The table saw can’t do what your jointer would do (or nearly as well, at least). Rip your stock with the bandsaw, joint your strip edges, flatten one side of your strips with the jointer, then run the lot through the planer after glue-up which will remove any thickness issues from bandsaw drift etc.

Good luck and have fun!

View AlaskaGuy's profile


4208 posts in 2335 days

#12 posted 08-18-2015 07:42 PM

Table saw, don’t let people talk you out of SS if that what you want. Then, start saving for a jointer.

-- Alaskan's for Global warming!

View ShaneA's profile


6956 posts in 2624 days

#13 posted 08-18-2015 08:12 PM

I think the table saw is the more versatile tool. Jointer is more of a one trick pony. Getting the saw stop, then saving for a used jointer would be my choice…more than likely.

View joey502's profile


537 posts in 1544 days

#14 posted 08-18-2015 08:43 PM

I would suggest the table saw first and the a jointer. SS is the choice I would make in your shoes, fingers are super expensive. I do not see any reason for your long future in woodworking to not be the safest it can be. Woodworking tools are inherently dangerous even when used correctly. Why take an unnecessary risk?

View knotscott's profile


8057 posts in 3402 days

#15 posted 08-18-2015 10:26 PM

I’d definitely go for a good TS first. It’s the number 1 tool in most wood shops for good reason. A jointer is a great addition too, but plays a distant 2nd fiddle to the TS IMHO.

-- Happiness is like wetting your pants...everyone can see it, but only you can feel the warmth....

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