6" benchtop jointer vs. cabinet jointer

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Forum topic by bigarm posted 03-02-2016 06:15 PM 1955 views 0 times favorited 7 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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62 posts in 1099 days

03-02-2016 06:15 PM

I currently have a 6” Delta table top jointer and am wondering if it is worth it to upgrade to a cabinet style. I really don’t have room for a 8” model, plus I would need to add in a 220 outlet. I need to make a decision fairly quickly as I have been given permission to buy tools for a short time AND then no more. If it is not really a big upgrade then it is probably not worth it. Also, if so would a Grizzly or Jet or Shop Fox be better buys. Can’t really afford anything else.

7 replies so far

View conifur's profile


955 posts in 1149 days

#1 posted 03-02-2016 06:22 PM

If you have the Delta I am envisioning, yes go for a cabinet style 6 in. It will be an upgrade.

-- Knowledge and experience equals Wisdom, Michael Frankowski

View knotscott's profile


8013 posts in 3373 days

#2 posted 03-02-2016 06:27 PM

There’s little question that a cast iron floor unit has a bunch of advantages over a portable benchtop jointer… more mass, more torque, more capacity, better accuracy, much quieter, and has better long term reliability, etc. Much like going from a portable table saw to a stationary saw. Whether or not its worth the extra cost is more debatable….I’d be inclined to think so, especially if you’ll be do a lot more woodworking with dimensional lumber over the years. If you could find a good used one, it’d be a no brainer IMO. Otherwise, the Grizzly and the Ridgid are the best bang for the buck in new 6” floor jointers IMO….~ $600 for either. Closer to $700 for the Shop Fox and $900 for the Jet, and I don’t think you’ll be gaining any capability from those.

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

View MrUnix's profile


6710 posts in 2197 days

#3 posted 03-02-2016 06:37 PM

Depends on what jointer you have. Many jointers were sold sans a cabinet or stand (or even a motor), and it was up to the purchaser to determine how to mount it and where (even on a bench if you wanted to). In many cases, you could buy the exact same jointer with a cast iron base, so the jointer itself was identical. If what you have is indeed only sold as a bench-top model (less weight, lots of plastic and sheet metal, shorter tables, etc…), then it would not be anywhere near as robust or functional as a heavier cast iron model, with or without a cabinet/stand.


-- Brad in FL - In Dog I trust... everything else is questionable

View runswithscissors's profile


2751 posts in 2023 days

#4 posted 03-03-2016 03:02 AM

Also, an induction motor is much better than the universal motors they put on bench top models.

-- I admit to being an adrenaline junky; fortunately, I'm very easily frightened

View TheFridge's profile


9460 posts in 1484 days

#5 posted 03-03-2016 03:08 AM

For me it’s similar to going from a benchtop saw to a cabinet saw.

-- Shooting down the walls of heartache. Bang bang. I am. The warrior.

View bbasiaga's profile


1232 posts in 1993 days

#6 posted 03-03-2016 03:19 AM

I had the Shopfox bench top 6” jointer for a long time. Really, it did almost everything I needed it to do in my days getting in to woodworking. It wasn’t until last year when I got in to some bigger projects that I ran in to the limitations. 36” boards jointed just fine, but when I had to do a 48” table top the short beds were just too short. So I upgraded last month to a floor standing 6” (no room for an 8”, though I really wanted one it would have made the shop a mess). The quieter, more powerful motor is nice. The longer beds are nice. The fence on the Shopfox was very difficult to adjust, so I set it o 90 and never moved it. On the new one, I have already set the fence to +30degrees and made some hexagons. Very nice expansion of the capability of the machine.

A jointer is something you use on every project, so the upgrade will not be wasted – if you are feeling the limitations of your current machine. If not, then might you be better off spending the $400-500 on something else? Missing a bandsaw? Better table saw? If you are good elsewhere, you will most likely appreciate the bigger machine.


-- Part of engineering is to know when to put your calculator down and pick up your tools.

View Cato's profile


701 posts in 3310 days

#7 posted 03-03-2016 12:01 PM

+1 on the Ridgid jointer. Does the job just fine and much less than the Jet.

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