Jointer or Planer

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Forum topic by Peter posted 05-28-2012 12:43 AM 2942 views 0 times favorited 21 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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15 posts in 2445 days

05-28-2012 12:43 AM

Topic tags/keywords: jointer router question

Which one would you buy first with a limit of $500 a jointer or a planer?

The jointer is the one I think I should buy first however I think for the funds of $500 it would only get me a 6” jointer which would limit the size of materials I could use, is my logic right on this?


21 replies so far

View RussellAP's profile


3104 posts in 2527 days

#1 posted 05-28-2012 01:07 AM

It really depends on what you plan to make as to which you need first. If you get rough cut lumber from a local sawyer you might want the planer unless your into hand planes. If you make bread boards and stuff like that, a jointer would be better, although a good stanley No 7 would save you some bucks.

-- A positive attitude will take you much further than positive thinking ever will.

View chopper6322's profile


59 posts in 2654 days

#2 posted 05-28-2012 01:10 AM

I may be a bit frugal ( or cheap) but I would think with 500 bucks and some patience you could get both from Craigslist. But while I’m fairly new to milling lumber, all that I’ve heard is that a jointer is the first choice if you can only have 1, it can plane a board, just not to exact thicknesses such as a planer can do… A planer cannot joint

-- "As iron sharpen iron, so one man sharpens another" Proverbs 27:17

View tyskkvinna's profile


1310 posts in 3227 days

#3 posted 05-28-2012 01:11 AM

If you have a table saw already, I’d go for the planer. Between the saw and my planer I can make anything flat and square. I recently got a jointer and it’s certainly handy, but not used as often as the other two items.

-- Lis - Michigan - -

View dbhost's profile


5767 posts in 3473 days

#4 posted 05-28-2012 01:11 AM

You can joint using a planer, and a shop made sled, and then edge joint on the table saw with a jig, or on the router table with fence shims… You can not thickness plane no matter what you try on a jointer…

For $500.00 you can get both if you carefully shop used.

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View Loren's profile


10477 posts in 3889 days

#5 posted 05-28-2012 01:23 AM

Buy both and buy used. Most any 6” jointer is a huge
improvement over not having a jointer at all. Some cabinet
shops don’t use a jointer at all but they have the space
and experience to straightline rip edges.

A planer saves more sweat than a jointer. You can
flatten board faces in several ways and you can rip
straight edges in many ways as well, but nothing but
a planer does what a planer does

View Peter's profile


15 posts in 2445 days

#6 posted 05-28-2012 01:25 AM

Thanks guys,

I’ve been trying to use craigslist but up here in Canada I find that the woodworking tools don’t get sold like in other places.

From what I’ve seen of the ones that do come up they are old machines and don’t look in that good of shape.

I do have a tablesaw though, I guess I should have said that

View Peter's profile


15 posts in 2445 days

#7 posted 05-28-2012 01:29 AM

The projects that Im likely to be working on in the future:

Bed Frame
TV Stand
Built in Bookcase
Kitchen Cabinets and Pantry

not in any specific order but likely to do the kitchen last as my skills need to grow first.

View dustins's profile


1 post in 2431 days

#8 posted 05-28-2012 01:49 AM

I just started wood working, so take what I say with a grain of salt, but I’d say go for the planer. I decided that and got a planer yesterday actually. The wood whisperer recommends that before the jointer, and you can always make a planer sled for close approximation at jointing.

My thinking is a planer and hand plane will cut out more tedious work than a jointer and a hand plane will. Plus my understanding is that $500 will buy you a better planer than jointer. I haven’t read too many positive reviews on benchtop jointers, but bechntop planers don’t seem to be as reviled.

View Peter's profile


15 posts in 2445 days

#9 posted 05-28-2012 03:50 AM

Thanks for the links Dustins i’ll check them out.

Thanks for the feedback guys, I guess my logic was wrong in terms of the jointer first, and the tablesaw could do what the jointer does, and I also have a router table as well, as per Dustins link it says there are tricks you can do with the TS and Router.

One other thing I don’t know whether or not you guys knew, even with the canadian dollar close to parity with the US dollar Home depot still charges $100 more on the canadian site for the Rigid 13” planer over the US site… and the US site offers free shipping where the canadian site only allows you to buy it in store.

Not saying i’m gonna buy from home depot but I use their site to get a rough idea of how much the tools cost.


View AHuxley's profile


874 posts in 3562 days

#10 posted 05-28-2012 06:32 AM

As others have said if you plan to mill stock from the rough then its planer first. The edge jointing is easy either with the TS or router table, the face jointing requires a little more work with something like a planer sled BUT it can be done. Once you have jointed a face and an edge there just isn’t another machine (save a drum or widebelt sander) that can do the job of thickness planing (keeping both passes parallel) besides a planer.

View rockindavan's profile


299 posts in 2877 days

#11 posted 05-28-2012 06:43 AM

You are going to get a better deal with a benchtop planer than a bench top jointer for the money you are talking. Having flat boards is essential, but but the jointer can really only do just that. I have used a benchtop planer a lot to clean up edges left by a benchtop tablesaw before, works great. I would get both, but start with the planer first.

View Don W's profile

Don W

19050 posts in 2808 days

#12 posted 05-28-2012 12:26 PM

As everyone said, it really depends, but I’d look at buying a planer, and a hand plane jointer, something like a Stanley #7.

-- - Collecting is an investment in the past, and the future.

View dhazelton's profile


2805 posts in 2537 days

#13 posted 05-28-2012 12:33 PM

There are 6 inch jointers out there for a hundred bucks all day long, Deltas, Walker Turners, etc. That leaves $400 towards a DeWalt lunchbox. Or a bigger used unit.

View ChrisFranklin's profile


23 posts in 2430 days

#14 posted 05-28-2012 02:39 PM

I would suggest the planer and a hand-held power plane, to flatten faces. Flattening wide boards on a wide jointer is scary, dangerous, and only for the pro who is in practice and must save a few minutes’ labor. I’m used to using the tablesaw to straighten edges so I do that out of habit although I have a nice jointer. Bottom line, to me: a (nice heavy old) 6” jointer is plenty, but you actually don’t really need one, ever. Get the planer.

-- Mud thrown is ground lost.

View rockindavan's profile


299 posts in 2877 days

#15 posted 05-28-2012 04:33 PM

I wouldn’t recommend a hand held power plane, they are too short, usually take off too much material and are not accurate. To say you never need a jointer is only true if you don’t buy rough cut lumber or don’t mind using bowed or twisted lumber. A 6” will do most jobs, 8” almost everything, but I use the 16” jointer several times a year to nearly its full capacity.

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