Which jointer should I get?

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Forum topic by joeloc posted 03-01-2012 01:40 PM 2324 views 0 times favorited 14 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View joeloc's profile


4 posts in 2286 days

03-01-2012 01:40 PM

I’ve never owned a jointer before. I’ve been researching them and it seems like the more research I do, the more confused I get. One thing’s for certain, mobility is an important factor because I have to share my shop with the family car. What I’m most confused about is whether to go with a 6” or 8” jointer. Never having owned one, I’m not sure what I will need. Woodworking is a great weekend hobby for me. Like most, I’m hoping to better my skills and take on more difficult projects. Is there really that much of a difference between the 6” and 8” jointers to warrant the additional cost, the additional space, and probably the need for a dedicated 220V circuit?

14 replies so far

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

4986 posts in 2491 days

#1 posted 03-01-2012 01:56 PM

There is, at least in my opinion. The 8” not only will flatten wider boards, but if you edge joint a lot, you have an extra 2” of blade to move and forth across (this should allow more time between sharpenings). But just as important as width is length of the beds, you will be able to effectively joint boards about twice the length of the bed… shoot for a minimum length of 66”, linger (to a point) is better. Another thing to consider is whether you want paralellogram bed. These (again, my opinion) add some complexity and cost that doesn’t quite earn it’s keep. They do keep the gap around the knives consistent, but that seems to be relatively inconsequential….at least to me. They move much more smoothly, but I find I change to cutting depth so seldom it doesn’t matter. Consider also whether you want the carbide insert cutters….nowadays you can get them on the new ones for less than the cost of installing one later.

-- Our village hasn't lost it's idiot, he was elected to congress.

View richgreer's profile


4541 posts in 3072 days

#2 posted 03-01-2012 01:57 PM

I have a 6” jointer and like most people with a 6” jointer, I wish I had an 8” (or bigger) jointer. However, 220V is a problem for me.

I will endorse the Grizzly brand for jointers. Despite it only being a 6”, I am very happy with my Grizzly G0604X. Note that most Grizzly jointers come with a built in mobile base which, IMO, works much better than an add-on mobile base.

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

View TheDane's profile


5423 posts in 3661 days

#3 posted 03-01-2012 01:57 PM

joeloc—I went through the same process a couple of years ago … I wound up with a Grizzly G0452 6” with built-in mobile base. I needed a machine that would run on 110vac, and could be moved around the shop (and out on the driveway) easily. I take light cuts, and keep a slow, steady feed rate. It has served me well.

If budget and space in the shop were not factors, I would have gone with an 8”, but so far, the 6” capacity has not been a problem. I think it depends on the type of work you expect to do and the materials you use.

If I had it to do over again, I think I might go with a spiral cutter head instead of the 3-knife head in the G0452. It adds a couple of hundred to the price, but I think the smoother cut would be a benefit.


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

View AaronK's profile


1506 posts in 3462 days

#4 posted 03-01-2012 02:08 PM

sorry to hijack the thread a little, but:

Gerry: I dont have a spiral head anywhere, but if I could pick one place, I think it would be the planer. I can’t imagine ever jointing a board and not having that jointed face/edge ever either not covered up by a joint or follow up with face planing. what are your thoughts on this?

View Lilskip's profile


20 posts in 2276 days

#5 posted 03-01-2012 02:12 PM

I have a 6in Delta JT360 and it has served me well for many years. they have a moble base that is availible for it. It has a 36in deck and it will run off 110v or 240v which give you options for later shop power upgrades. But for the Price its a good canidate to consider for a small workshop that needs mobile abilities.


View chrisstef's profile


17385 posts in 3004 days

#6 posted 03-01-2012 02:18 PM

i picked up an older (1974?) 6” Rockwell / delta jointer about a month ago and had a good time refurbing the machine. If moneys tight its not a bad way to go.

-- Its not a crack, its a casting imperfection.

View Pete_Jud's profile


424 posts in 3751 days

#7 posted 03-01-2012 02:42 PM

I just upgraded from a older 6 inch 110v machine to a Grizzly 8 inch 220. It is nice to have the extra 2 inches.

-- Life is to short to own an ugly boat.

View HorizontalMike's profile


7757 posts in 2912 days

#8 posted 03-01-2012 03:13 PM

CL has 6in jointer for sale all the time and on occasion an 8in will come up. That is how I picked up my 8in G0593. That being sad, WHAT SIZE of projects are you actually going to tackle with your “shared” garage/shop? Are you mostly going to use 8/4 rough sawn or more dimensional lumber? Once you answer those questions to yourself, I think you will be able to determine 6in or 8in. If space is a premium (not only for use, but for lumber storage as well), then the 6in will probably be your best bet.

-- HorizontalMike -- "Woodpeckers understand..."

View SnowyRiver's profile


51457 posts in 3478 days

#9 posted 03-01-2012 03:19 PM

Like most tools, bigger is better…LOL….but like others have said, it just depends on what you are planning to do with it. I have had a 6 inch Powermatic long bed jointer for years and it has been just fine. I have a planer so for the most part I dont need the extra width. I think the length of the bed is very important and there has been many times I have been glad I had the long bed. Also, the weight helps to. A floor type jointer is much easier to use. You can always put it on a moble base.

-- Wayne - Plymouth MN

View thebigvise's profile


191 posts in 2898 days

#10 posted 03-01-2012 03:37 PM

My life changed when I got my Powermatic 6” jointer with helical cutterhead. Sure, bigger is usually better and I occasionally have to get creative above 6” (e.g. use a jig to face joint on my planer), but this doesn’t often come up. I have been very pleased with my choice to go top quality, albeit with some compromise in capacity.

-- Paul, Clinton, NC

View TheDane's profile


5423 posts in 3661 days

#11 posted 03-01-2012 04:30 PM

AaronK—Neither my jointer nor my planer (DW733) have spiral heads … I would like to have both of them equipped with them, but I would also like to win the lottery.

I have, however, used jointers and planers with spiral/helical heads in the shop at the local TC, and like the smooth surface they produce … really cuts down on the surface prep (sanding) when it is time to finish the piece.


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

View AaronK's profile


1506 posts in 3462 days

#12 posted 03-01-2012 04:33 PM

hahah me too ;-)

Now when you say spiral do you mean true single-blade spiral or something like the Shelix?

View ATLJack's profile


30 posts in 2282 days

#13 posted 03-01-2012 09:01 PM

I went through the same thought process and in the end bought a 6” Grizzly 1182 on craigslist. While a 8” would be great I chose the 6” due to cost, 220v logistics, and the simple fact that you can build a jointing sled for a planer for wide boards.

View TheDane's profile


5423 posts in 3661 days

#14 posted 03-02-2012 12:01 AM

AaronK— I’m talking about Shelix-type.


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

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