deciding on jointer

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Forum topic by swampjack80 posted 03-10-2010 11:24 PM 1166 views 0 times favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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53 posts in 3247 days

03-10-2010 11:24 PM

I’m in the market for a jointer but price is an issue. I can’t buy a 4 5 or 600 dollar machine so I’ve narrowed it down. Its pretty well gonna be either a benchtop..I’ve looked at the new porter cable as well as the craftsman and grizzly models all around 250 range. The other option is the central machinery 6”..200 on sale.. which I’ve read mixed reviews on. Personally I’m leary of harbor freight power tools but I’m not sure if the bench model will be enough. Would it be pssible to use an outfeed roller support or something to make up for the short bed of a bench model or would it not work? Some help please. Thanks

-- "I believe that our Heavenly Father invented man because he was disappointed in the monkey." - Mark Twain

8 replies so far

View Blair Helgason's profile

Blair Helgason

169 posts in 3613 days

#1 posted 03-10-2010 11:55 PM

I don’t have any personal experience with benchtop models or the 6” Central Machinery. I was lucky enough to snag a used 6” Delta (floor model) and I love it. It might be worth looking for a good used machine. Jointers are specific enough that some people buy them, don’t really need them and then sell them. I don’t think you’d have too much luck with a benchctop model, just my opinion though. Good Luck with the search.

-- Blair

View TheDane's profile


5546 posts in 3862 days

#2 posted 03-11-2010 12:03 AM

I had a benchtop (Delta) and hated it. There’s a Harbor Freight store in the town my daughter lives in and I looked at their 6” open-stand jointer … no go on that one. Eventually I bought a new Grizzly G0452 and am quite happy with it.

Unless you are in a rush, my advice would be to hit Craigslist hard and look for a used machine.

-- Gerry -- "I don't plan to ever really grow up ... I'm just going to learn how to act in public!"

View DrDirt's profile


4510 posts in 3941 days

#3 posted 03-11-2010 12:48 AM

I have to second TheDane – - I think other than perhaps smoothing a 3/4 inch edge on a 2 foot board the benchtop tools are really pretty bad. As soon as you decide you want flat stock and try to face a cupped board you will be ready to throw the machine out the window. there just isn’t enough table nor enough power to really do the work.
Grizzy makes good jointers, as do the other major makers (Delta, General, Jet, Powermatic).
In addition to the Craigs List/Ebays and online ads – try
They handle liquidating equipment and have a lot of woodworking stuff nation wide, but the bidding is all online – so see if there are items close enough to go get if you win.

Outfeed rollers are pretty sketchy with the jointer. The Jointer really relies on the outfeed table being even with the cutter head, and getting the roller to be ‘exactly’ where you want it is tough. often if it is just a little higher, you will find that it will taper your board at the tail end and your joints won’t close up well.

Good luck

-- “The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.” Mark Twain

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4510 posts in 3941 days

#4 posted 03-11-2010 12:50 AM

Also check into the high schools selling off (and hopefully replacing) equipment. Though high school students are tough on equipment, the jointer is pretty tough to permanently damage, wheras a bandsaw that has been racked by overtensioning is a nightmare.

-- “The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.” Mark Twain

View Glen Peterson's profile

Glen Peterson

556 posts in 3255 days

#5 posted 03-11-2010 01:48 AM

Hi Tide Fan.
I write this all the time, but I strongly recommend you take a serious look at the used market. I just sold a 6” jointer on CL for $150. It was 10 yrs old, but it great shape and well cared for. I see lots of 6” jointer available. I think you are much better off with a floor model over a bench top model.
Good luck.

-- Glen

View Ger21's profile


1075 posts in 3330 days

#6 posted 03-11-2010 02:31 AM

Benchtop jointers are absolutely useless.

-- Gerry,

View richgreer's profile


4541 posts in 3273 days

#7 posted 03-11-2010 02:54 AM

I also once owned a bench top jointer (a Delta). It was a piece of crap. As others have said, a bench top is only good for putting an clean edge on a short board (and there are other ways to do that).

Like others, I would tell you to either look to the used market and/or wait until you can get a “real” jointer. Money spent on a bench top will, in the end, be wasted money.

I have a Grizzly G0604 and I consider it a great jointer and it is quite reasonably priced at (I think) $525 plus shipping which is less than $100.

-- Rich, Cedar Rapids, IA - I'm a woodworker. I don't create beauty, I reveal it.

View live4ever's profile


983 posts in 3209 days

#8 posted 03-11-2010 04:14 AM

Are the Home Depots in your area still clearancing out the Ridgid jointers? At this point they’re probably all gone but you never know. $199 for that jointer was a steal and a half. I too was considering a benchtop jointer in the $200-250 range when I lucked upon the Ridgid. Very well-built, solid, and 48” long table. A lot of people happily paid full price for that thing ($430).

You can definitely use outfeed support. It won’t be the most elegant or easy solution, but it will work. But when I was jointer shopping I was advised by many to go for the longest tables possible.

If you are going to go with a benchtop, I’d suggest Craigslist. You can easily find older Delta benchtops for $125-$175. That way once you outgrow it (which may happen soon), you can turn it around without a loss.

-- Optimists are usually disappointed. Pessimists are either right or pleasantly surprised. I tend to be a disappointed pessimist.

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