Benchtop Jointer

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Forum topic by m88k posted 07-03-2010 11:24 PM 1407 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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83 posts in 3155 days

07-03-2010 11:24 PM

Hey guys, I’m debating whether to get the Jet 8” jointer/planer combo. I know the thing has it’s limits, but my space does too. I’ve tried to get a larger jointer used of craigslist, but no joy so far. Buying a full-sized new unit is out of the question, as I’d likely have to sell it when I move next, which may be less than six months.

What would you say the practical limits of a benchtop model are? There’s very little I’d want to joint over three or four feet currently, and I think I can use plywood for any longer spans. I’m doing small furniture construction for personal use, and my workshop storage space is 24 square feet of mobile workbench and the space beneath it. I figure I can build a spot into the bench where the jointer can be fixed to add stability.

-- ~Mark

6 replies so far

View Dennisgrosen's profile


10880 posts in 3318 days

#1 posted 07-03-2010 11:45 PM

why don´t you consider a smooth, jack and a jointer plane
with that limitation of space and the time schedul before you have to move again


View richgreer's profile


4541 posts in 3277 days

#2 posted 07-04-2010 12:24 AM

I don’t want to discourage you, but I want to give you the benefit of my experience and honest advice.

I had a bench top jointer many years ago and I did not like it. The basic jointing function seems incompatible with the small table on a bench top jointer. IMO you need a minimum of 2’ on each side of the cutter, preferably more. You need this even if you are only working with a 2’ -3’ board.

One of my sayings is “Cheap tools are expensive.” My bench top jointer is an example. Whatever I paid for it (I forget) was wasted money because I later bought a quality jointer. You don’t need a top of the line tool, just a solid dependable tool.

I understand your space limitations – hopefully that is temporary.

Dennis suggestions on planes is a good one. Just make sure you know how to properly sharpen them. They are great to use if, and only if, they are sharp.

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

View TheDane's profile (online now)


5552 posts in 3866 days

#3 posted 07-04-2010 03:18 AM

I want to echo what Dennis and Rich have said.

I had a benchtop jointer … the short bed on it made it impractical for anything over 3’ in length. Looking back on it, I would have been better served by some quality handplanes.

I sold my benchtop jointer, saved up some coin, and bought a decent quality Grizzly. At the same time, I started scavenging garage and estate sales and eBay, and have put together a decent collection of handplanes as well.

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

View PurpLev's profile


8547 posts in 3851 days

#4 posted 07-04-2010 03:47 AM

hi Mark, generally speaking a benchtop jointer as mentioned is very limiting to say the least.

hand planes will go a long way, and even if you get a power jointer and planer can at times be useful – so keep that in mind.

aside from that – the 8” jet combo was getting descent reviews. it has it’s limitations, and may need some creative thinking to get things done at times, but all in all it’ll present you with an OK jointer AND planer in the same space. If you think that you’ll ever want to go with a stand alone jointer and planer of higher quality – I’d pass on this purchase now, and stick with hand planes and a router, but if you think that this jointer/planer will serve you through your woodworking endeavors – than I say go for it.

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

View 8iowa's profile


1587 posts in 3964 days

#5 posted 07-04-2010 04:39 AM

You certainly can joint and glue edges using a hand plane. It will probably involve a learning curve, which includes learning sharpening techniques. This is a great set of skills to develop.

I have a jointer, but on long boards I still use a #5 or #7 plane to create a small amount of “spring” in the middle of the glue joint. Almost every project I make now gets some hand plane use.

It also goes without saying that a sturdy workbench where you can clamp your boards is a necessity.

-- "Heaven is North of the Bridge"

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile


18394 posts in 3879 days

#6 posted 07-04-2010 07:30 AM

It really doesn’t take long to joint with a hand plane.

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

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