What tool should I get first?

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Forum topic by Steven H posted 07-10-2010 04:59 AM 1582 views 0 times favorited 25 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Steven H

1117 posts in 3301 days

07-10-2010 04:59 AM

Jointer or Planer?

I know eventually I need both but only can afford one of the tools at this time.
Would like to start build furnitures.

My local craiglist rarely have ads on jointers or planers.

25 replies so far

View CaptainSkully's profile


1607 posts in 3799 days

#1 posted 07-10-2010 05:02 AM

IMHO get the jointer first (because that’s what I did). You can buy planed lumber, but the edges might not be straight. If you have a jointer, at least you can glue up tops and then sand/hand plane them flat. You can also use a jointer to do tapered legs.

-- You can't control the wind, but you can trim your sails

View ND2ELK's profile


13495 posts in 4015 days

#2 posted 07-10-2010 05:08 AM

Go to – Tips & Tricks – Quick Tip Links – Jointer – Buy a Jointer or Planer First? This is a good site and this will give you the answer to your question. Good Luck.

God Bless

-- Mc Bridge Cabinets, Iowa

View Broglea's profile


686 posts in 3331 days

#3 posted 07-10-2010 05:27 AM

What type of lumber will you be working with? Dimensional or rough? I bought a planer first because there are many ways to joint wood without a jointer.

View DrewM's profile


176 posts in 3240 days

#4 posted 07-10-2010 06:22 AM

That’s a tough one because I consider the planer and jointer to work together as a team. If I had to choose only one it would be the planer but I sure would miss the jointer. It also depends on what work you plan to do, If your making tables then go with a jointer first so you can make perfect edges for glue up.

-- Drew, Delaware

View MedicKen's profile


1615 posts in 3703 days

#5 posted 07-10-2010 07:15 AM

I would get the planer first. You can joint boards with a router table or even a hand plane.

-- My job is to give my kids things to discuss with their

View grizzman's profile


7836 posts in 3544 days

#6 posted 07-10-2010 07:24 AM

planer first… has been said there are many ways to join your wood…how long until you know when your going to get the joiner if you get the planer first…........

-- GRIZZMAN ...[''''']

View a1Jim's profile


117420 posts in 3818 days

#7 posted 07-10-2010 07:27 AM

I agree with Grizz I say Planer first

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View rance's profile


4267 posts in 3401 days

#8 posted 07-10-2010 09:03 AM


You can do jointing using a planer. But you can’t effectively plane using a jointer. Oh, and be assured that if you are cutting straight lumber on a table saw, it CAN be glued. A jointer is not required.

-- Backer boards, stop blocks, build oversized, and never buy a hand plane--

View stefang's profile


16219 posts in 3575 days

#9 posted 07-10-2010 12:06 PM

I would get the planer first. You can joint the first side using an easy to build planer sled. Fine Woodworking and others have plans for such a sled online and on LJ at this link:

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View knotscott's profile


8183 posts in 3616 days

#10 posted 07-10-2010 01:13 PM

It’s best to have both, but planer first seems logical to me. With the help of a sled, the planer can be coaxed into doing some of the jointer’s tasks (flattening an initial face), then you can edge joint with a TS or router. As rance points out, you can’t plane effectively with a jointer.

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

View Craftsman on the lake's profile

Craftsman on the lake

2848 posts in 3678 days

#11 posted 07-10-2010 01:46 PM

If you can only get one a jointer is my choice, then you will need to purchase planed lumber. Which is just fine. But, I’ve yet to see some store bought planed lumber that hasn’t taken a set. Working with lumber that is not perfectly straight is asking for trouble. The jointer will get the lumber square so you can cut it properly. You can then joint that cut edge if you want to. Since it’s planed lumber, now you have straight/planed lumber. When you get your planer you’ll be able to do two things. One of course is to purchase rough lumber at less cost and joint/plane it yourself. And two, you’ll be able to take lumber down to various thicknesses.

Bottom line for me is: If you can purchase the lumber planed already then why joint it by hand? If you do that then you really can even get away without the planer. And if you’re making 12 cabinet doors, I hope you enjoy the hand jointing method of all those boards.

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

View pmayer's profile


1032 posts in 3306 days

#12 posted 07-10-2010 01:50 PM

jointer first unless you use have a big pile rough stock and won’t be buying more lumber any time soon. You can always buy your lumber planed eliminating a good portion of your planer requirements (certainly not all), but you use a jointer regularly throughout a project, and you can’t really “outsource” your jointing very easily.

-- PaulMayer,

View Cato's profile


701 posts in 3553 days

#13 posted 07-10-2010 02:18 PM

Every opinion here has its merit as you can see, so it could almost be a coin toss.

I was in the same dilemma when I decided I wanted to tackle some finer ww projects and use some hardwoods from the lumberyard.

I bought the planer first, and as soon as I planed a few boards and admired its work, I realized I had to have a jointer to address cups, curves, etc.

So to me even though the budget and the wife will view these as two purchases, for all practicality they are one!! Just like getting a table saw with no blade, gotta have both.

View miles125's profile


2180 posts in 4246 days

#14 posted 07-10-2010 02:40 PM

Find you a used planer/jointer combo.

-- "The way to make a small fortune in woodworking- start with a large one"

View 8iowa's profile


1591 posts in 4002 days

#15 posted 07-10-2010 02:47 PM

My slant on your question is a llitlle different. Your first “tool” should be a workbench, with shoulder and end vices and bench dogs.

With a good workbench and a modest supply of hand tools you can begin to build your woodworking skills on a solid foundation.

-- "Heaven is North of the Bridge"

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