Planer vs. Joiner

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Forum topic by Sac posted 06-15-2008 02:19 PM 2714 views 0 times favorited 11 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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268 posts in 3602 days

06-15-2008 02:19 PM

Hello folks, I know the differences of what these two tools are described to do. I can’t afford a joiner yet so what couldn’t I use a planer to do the same thing for a short while? Yes I am new getting back into wood working.

Thank you all in advance!

-- Jerry

11 replies so far

View matter's profile


210 posts in 3737 days

#1 posted 06-15-2008 02:26 PM

Gary has some really good info on using sleds for truing planks

-- The only easy wood project is a fire

View teenagewoodworker's profile


2727 posts in 3736 days

#2 posted 06-15-2008 02:46 PM

a planer sled will work just make sure that you have no play in your board, so use shims so it doesn’t rock and you can secure it with like hot melt glue or something so it won’t move around but the glue will still come off.

View GaryK's profile


10262 posts in 3956 days

#3 posted 06-15-2008 04:56 PM

I wouls pick a planer over a jointer any day. Twice the width for the same price.

Here is a way to do large boards with the planer:

For smaller boards just use a sled (thick flat board with a lip on leading edge). Just use shims or wedges under the gaps to keep it from rocking.

-- Gary - Never pass up the opportunity to make a mistake look like you planned it that way - Tyler, TX

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27250 posts in 3790 days

#4 posted 06-16-2008 03:26 AM

In addition to flattening the face of the board you can use a planer to true up the edge as well provided that you secure the board in a sled to keep it from shifting as it goes through the planer. Normally you would do edging on a jointer but it too can be done on the planer.

-- Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful- Joshua Marine

View Sac's profile


268 posts in 3602 days

#5 posted 06-16-2008 03:36 PM

I have a saw mill close by and I intend on buying alot of lumber there. These are some great ideas. I am beginning to become a great fan of slides after reading these comments. I suppose I can also turn a board up on it’s side as well to get it squared up. I am still looking at 2 joiners. I’ll create a new post for opinions on those. Thanks for your insight on this.

-- Jerry

View GaryK's profile


10262 posts in 3956 days

#6 posted 06-16-2008 03:49 PM

Turning a board on it’s edge and running it through the planer won’t square up the edge. Use the table saw to get one edge straight. If the board is longer then you will need to clamp a straight edge to one edge before you run it through the saw.

An 8-10 foot piece of U channel stock (steel or alum.) clamped against your saw fence will increase the length of it.

-- Gary - Never pass up the opportunity to make a mistake look like you planned it that way - Tyler, TX

View Sac's profile


268 posts in 3602 days

#7 posted 06-16-2008 04:18 PM

Thanks Gary. I am not even going to look at a joiner/jointer any more. I was close to purchasing one but with all these great responses I’ll use the money else where for lathe accessories and some wood.

-- Jerry

View Loren's profile


10276 posts in 3616 days

#8 posted 06-17-2008 08:19 AM

For some craftsmen (me) a jointer is a fundamental
tool for creating refined results.

Often I will study the grain of a board, snap a line on
it, bandsaw to the line and joint it… then rip on the
table saw. If you don’t build the way I do you might
wonder why the heck I would mill wood this way -
I do it because it fosters a more harmonious finished
workpiece, to my eye.

If you want to make flat doors a jointer is helpful. It
can be done with a planer but I usually joint one
face and plane the other parallel. Many boards come
off the mill with sections that can be planed almost
flat on both sides easily… and for subtle corrections
of board twist a hand plane and a pair of winding sticks
is helpful – boards actually need to be most free
of twist only where the joints go… but a twist of
more than 1 degree can throw a whole door too
far off when it occurs at the mortises – trying to
correct this too late (with too much clamp pressure)
can cause “gap-osis” of the shoulder joint on one side
or the other… sometimes only discovered once the glue has set.

In coopering work for turning a jointer is most useful
if the wall of the column is thick… because a table
saw’s blade may saw 90 degrees well but when tilted
leave saw marks which can show up as voids in the glue joints.

View kjverlanic's profile


56 posts in 3618 days

#9 posted 06-17-2008 05:02 PM

I had this same discussion with the LOML when we were looking into getting our Jointer & Planer. His good friend who is a 3rd generation Carpenter put it to me along these lines: One without the other doesn’t get you very far (he tailored this to our intended projects). When I started using them I understood what he meant. They do two completely different, but complimentary functions.

But all this depends upon what you are wanting to accomplish with your woodworking. We plan on building our cabinets & furniture with our machines some day, we just have to get a few other projects done first like an addition to our house and the garage insulated & sheetrocked.

May I suggest that you look at getting a used jointer & planer or save up for a while (this is what we did) so you could have both. Also take into account if you are looking at getting 220v equipment and do not have the wiring for 220v in your shop, it is not cheap.

-- “There is scarcely anything in the world that some man cannot make a little worse and sell a little cheaper … and the buyers who consider price only are this man’s lawful prey.” John Ruskin

View Gator's profile


383 posts in 3644 days

#10 posted 06-22-2008 09:41 PM

I have to agree with kjverlanic.. each is a seperate tool, but the jointer gets you a perfect surface to go to the planer with.. a planer will not take cups or twist out of wood.. so it depends on the quality you are looking to get out of your projects…

I would get both used if possible.. then make a decision when funds allow .. on how to upgrade..


-- Master designer of precision sawdust and one of a kind slivers.

View Boardman's profile


157 posts in 3729 days

#11 posted 06-23-2008 03:57 PM

kjverlanic hit it on the head. You can accomplish a jointer’s function with other, time consuming, tools and methods. But once you get one you’ll see that it’s a very basic, and very necessary tool. And a big time saver also.

That said, by far more people start out with just a planer, get by, then get a jointer at some later point. Today, I’d never be without a jointer anymore.

And if you’re buying rough sawn from a mill, the sooner you’ll see the need for a jointer.

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