Jointer vs. Planer

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Forum topic by Manitario posted 09-16-2010 06:11 AM 3153 views 0 times favorited 18 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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2386 posts in 1976 days

09-16-2010 06:11 AM

Topic tags/keywords: question

Hi, I am just starting up my woodworking hobby and I am thinking about buying a jointer or a planer (budget and shop space won’t let me have both). I have a few projects on my list to build over the winter; bookcases, a desk, a dresser. I see a lot written online about the advantages of both, but I’m interested in hearing whatever advice I could get on which one I should buy first.

-- Sometimes the creative process requires foul language. -- Charles Neil

18 replies so far

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1441 posts in 1952 days

#1 posted 09-16-2010 06:23 AM

I’d say buy a planer.

You can use a planer sled to flatten boards if you don’t have a joiner.

You can use a hand plane or a router to joint the edges of boards to prepare for glue up.

Be careful!


-- Herb, Florida - Here's why I close most messages with "Be Careful!"

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Peter Oxley

1426 posts in 2967 days

#2 posted 09-16-2010 06:25 AM

I use my jointer more than my planer. That said, if I could only have one or the other, I would get the planer. You can jig other tools to do the work of a jointer. It’s harder to get other tools to do the work of a planer.

Where are you getting your material? Is it already surfaced?

-- -- --

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841 posts in 2634 days

#3 posted 09-16-2010 06:26 AM

Get a combo machine. Jet, grizzly and I’m sure a few others make some at reasonable prices…

-- Childress Woodworks

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#4 posted 09-16-2010 11:08 AM

These may help were they’re selling highest quality tools for any serious ameteur or prefessional carver.

carving chisels


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4541 posts in 2167 days

#5 posted 09-16-2010 03:13 PM


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

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311 posts in 2762 days

#6 posted 09-16-2010 03:26 PM

i get better results jointing boards with my table saw and a straight edge than with my jointer, plus it’s faster. my jointer just sits and collects dust, whereas i’d be shut down without my planer.

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8522 posts in 2741 days

#7 posted 09-16-2010 03:31 PM

while a jointer is a more versatile machine, it’s main functionalities can be done with other tools while the planer which only does 1 thing is hard to replicate with other alternatives. if you can only get one – get the planer (first)

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

View Gregn's profile


1642 posts in 2076 days

#8 posted 09-16-2010 04:24 PM

My opinion would be to get the planer. It is a more versital machine for a shop with no room for both. A combo machine might be nice but my fear is if something breaks down your out of use on 2 machines as opposed to just one machine.

-- I don't make mistakes, I have great learning lessons, Greg

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176 posts in 2314 days

#9 posted 09-16-2010 04:37 PM

I’m also new to woodworking and I asked the same question last year. Get the planer first. As everyone has said, you can use a sled to flatten faces and a table saw and jointing jig to edge joint.

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42 posts in 1929 days

#10 posted 09-16-2010 08:13 PM

Actually both a jointer and a planer are needed. The jointer produces a flat edge or face while a planer takes that flat face and produces a parallel flat face. I think you’ve been given good advice as to buying the planer first in that there are other ways to produce a reference or flat surface. I have been using hand planes to achieve the reference surfaces (edge and face) for a number of years. I don’t own a jointer but I do own a planer. While it’s possible to thickness and make a parallel surface using a hand plane, it represents alot of physical work that is more quickly achieved with a powered planer.


-- East Side of Big D

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649 posts in 2405 days

#11 posted 09-16-2010 09:56 PM

I was the same way and got the planer first. Once I saw the kind of work it did, I had to have a jointer as well!!

It somehow got put in the budget within a month or two of getting the planer and I cleaned up and created space for it and I am really happy with both. Not that I am that good of a fine woodworker mind you, just happy with my tools!!

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1520 posts in 2854 days

#12 posted 09-16-2010 10:14 PM

Think of this as a situation/opportunity to become proficient with a hand plane. Using a #5 bench plane and winding sticks you can remove twist and quickly prepare a board for a pass thru the planer. You don’t have to smooth the whole surface. I have no use for a sled to do this.

The #5 can also do a pretty good job of truing the edges for gluing after passing thru the table saw. I have often used this method to glue boards as long as 104 inches.

-- "Heaven is North of the Bridge"

View Brian024's profile


358 posts in 2493 days

#13 posted 09-16-2010 11:44 PM

My vote is for the planer also, but I would agree with Iowa about the handplane. You don’t have to hit the whole board, just the spots that are to high. I’ve done this on really thick stock, if it was on a sled, it won’t go through the planer due to the thickness of the stock and sled combined being to much. I didn’t get a jointer until recently, mainly due to speed up the milling process which for me takes a while, and to get the edge jointed perfectly.

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Steven H

1117 posts in 2153 days

#14 posted 09-17-2010 03:07 AM

It does matter which one to get because eventually you will need the other one.

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David Kirtley

1286 posts in 2091 days

#15 posted 09-17-2010 03:23 AM

Well, I haven’t even unboxed it yet, but Jet 8” jointer/planer combo was on sale on amazon for $250. Made the decision much easier.

-- Woodworking shouldn't cost a fortune:

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