bench top jointers

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Forum topic by allmyfingers posted 02-27-2011 02:39 PM 6506 views 0 times favorited 13 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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40 posts in 2668 days

02-27-2011 02:39 PM

Topic tags/keywords: jointer

we need a bench top jointer for our small but productive shop any opinions and experiences would be appreciated

-- I cut it 3 times and it was still too short?!?

13 replies so far

View allmyfingers's profile


40 posts in 2668 days

#1 posted 03-03-2011 01:50 AM

benchtop jointer
no opinions???
i’m down to shopfox versus grizzly. any experiences with either brand would be greatly appreciated

-- I cut it 3 times and it was still too short?!?

View crank49's profile


4032 posts in 2993 days

#2 posted 03-03-2011 02:04 AM

I had decided to get the Grizzly benchtop because it weighs about twice as much as the competition, but instead I lucked into a very sweet deal on a brand new 6” Rikon for $150; model year closeout at Woodcraft.

I read many comments about benchtops not having long enough tables to be effective. Can’t agree or disagree as I don’t have one, but it’s probably worth considering. Will you only joint short pieces? If so, a benchtop might be ok.

The one other comment I have heard about these benchtop machines is the difficulty of adjusting the outfeed table. On a floor model machine both tables are usually mounted on tapered tracks or parrelloagram mechanisms and are adjustable by handwheels. On bench models, the infeed is adjustable, but the outfeed is usually only adjustable by using shims.

View Loren's profile


10476 posts in 3670 days

#3 posted 03-03-2011 02:16 AM

I had a Delta Shopmaster benchtop for a few years. I never had any trouble
with it but nor did I use it heavily.

It’s limitations were: the fence was not as solid as heavier jointers. The aluminum
tables could not hold up to heavy use.

It’s advantages were that it was portable and I did sometimes take it on installation
jobs where it was very useful in fitting moldings.

If the motor on one of these jointers goes out I reckon you just throw away the

View iamwelty's profile


259 posts in 3138 days

#4 posted 03-03-2011 02:49 AM

Don’t do it… get a real jointer… benchtop’s are just too limited in what they can do with decent percision,

-- There is a fine line between eroticism and nausea...

View allmyfingers's profile


40 posts in 2668 days

#5 posted 03-03-2011 03:28 AM

oh i wish there was room for a floor model in our shop, but not happening. i am stuck with bench top or nothing.

-- I cut it 3 times and it was still too short?!?

View richgreer's profile


4541 posts in 3096 days

#6 posted 03-03-2011 05:50 AM

I had a Delta bench top jointer once. It was a piece of junk.

If I were limited for space, I would serious consider a jointer hand plane before buying a bench top jointer. It will take a little effort to learn how to use such a hand plane correctly but, in the end, I think you will be quite satisfied.

Look for a good used jointer hand plane on ebay. It will also take some effort to tune a used plane and properly sharpen the iron, but it is well worth the effort.

If you are unfamiliar with hand planes, there is a wealth of knowledge on this site from people who know what they are talking about and most of us are willing to share our insight and be as helpful as we can.

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

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Jim Finn

2657 posts in 2944 days

#7 posted 03-03-2011 05:59 AM

I have a delta bench top jointer and it serves me well.

-- Website is No PHD just a DD214 and a GED

View Beginningwoodworker's profile


13345 posts in 3695 days

#8 posted 03-03-2011 06:00 AM

I would get a real jointer, I just trash a benchtop jointer. They are to small for real woodworking.

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David Craig

2137 posts in 3131 days

#9 posted 03-03-2011 08:19 AM

I have a benchtop jointer, a Jet 8 inch jointer/planer combo. I would not recommend it for purchase. I don’t find the concept of a benchtop unfeasible if you are planing boards no longer than 4 feet long. I would stay away from any models in which the table is made from aluminum. I looked at the Grizzly a few times and considered it. I cannot speak from experience but I would lean towards it because of its weight and the fact that the table is cast iron. Do be aware that setting outfeed and infeed to be co-planar can be difficult with these types of jointers.


-- There is little that is simple when it comes to making a simple box.

View Greedo's profile


473 posts in 2982 days

#10 posted 03-03-2011 09:21 AM

i started out with a verry smal combined machine, one central engine that you had to connect to the tool you wanted to use with a belt. you could consider each part as benchtop models.
i havent used any of the suggested brands, but mine was a french Kity jointer planer, with short aluminium tables. it was a pretty fine tool. only shortcoming was table length that made it hard/impossible to get long pieces straight.
but since you say space is limited in your shop, then i doubt you are working with verry long pieces anyway!

View fladdy's profile


93 posts in 3035 days

#11 posted 03-03-2011 12:02 PM

I have a Power King Atlas bench top jointer from 1950 and it works fine for me. I was lucky enough to get this for only $25. I would love to have a floor model but I don’t have the time or space either. As mentioned before, only the infeed table is adjustable but the table and fence are both solid. I did have to get the knives sharpened but it was no big deal. Great deal for the price. I’m also learning how to use a hand plane and either one seem to work fine for smaller pieces but for anything large I have to use a hand plane.

-- Fladdy

View canadianchips's profile


2602 posts in 3019 days

#12 posted 03-03-2011 02:49 PM

I have an older 4” rockwell, it works quite good for smaller jobs.(I do have a larger floor model , for the bigger work)

-- "My mission in life - make everyone smile !"

View 4thumbs's profile


153 posts in 3168 days

#13 posted 03-03-2011 02:51 PM

I have a 10 year old Grizzly benchtop that still does the job just fine and Grizz keeps replacement knives in stock. Tables are too short to handle stock over 2 feet long but it fits in my shop space and I’ve learned to respect its limitations.

-- 4thumbs in MO

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