My next power tool Planer? or Joiner? or?....

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Forum topic by jordanp posted 04-12-2013 04:54 AM 1741 views 0 times favorited 50 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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1086 posts in 1937 days

04-12-2013 04:54 AM

Topic tags/keywords: tools power tools purshasing joiner planer

I’m just starting out in woodworking and i’m looking to add to my arsenal.
I’ve narrowed down my next purchase and I think it is a toss up between a Planer or a Joiner
wanted to get some fellow LJ’ers opinions

And it is possible that i would get more benifit from some other power tool?, here is what i have so far in my garage

Craftsman 10” TS series 100
Table top Drill press
Craftsman 16” scroll saw
Belt sander
Craftsman Router
Jig Saw

My budget is tight so I will most likely be purchasing used or lower end..

-- J. Palmer Woodworks - Rockwall TX -I woke up this morning thinking “man, I really hope someone posted some soul scarring sh*t on LJs today.” -- - Billy

50 replies so far

View felkadelic's profile


218 posts in 2537 days

#1 posted 04-12-2013 05:00 AM

What sort of projects do you do?

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1086 posts in 1937 days

#2 posted 04-12-2013 05:08 AM

I’m just starting out so i haven’t done a whole lot, I’m interested in making furniture at some point and I enjoy Making tools and jigs (trial and error mostly), I am learning dove tails and what not so i will be making some boxes in the near future.

I will probably be starting a heavy duty workbench build this summer or fall,

I kinda have tool fever,

-- J. Palmer Woodworks - Rockwall TX -I woke up this morning thinking “man, I really hope someone posted some soul scarring sh*t on LJs today.” -- - Billy

View nwbusa's profile


1021 posts in 2283 days

#3 posted 04-12-2013 05:15 AM

Heh… tool fever. A potent disease to be sure. Top three machines that jump out at me, given your current tool arsenal and types of projects on the horizon, would be a bandsaw, planer, and jointer. Not necessarily in that order. Good luck.

-- John, BC, Canada

View pj1's profile


9 posts in 1931 days

#4 posted 04-12-2013 10:36 AM

I am in a similar position to you. Started saving up for a jointer and planer. In the meantime I built a router planing jig out of scrap and it works great. Yes it is more time consuming but hey, it was the right price. To build it I referenced multiple jig builds here on LJ. I also built a table saw jointing jig and while it works, I have a lot less confidence in it. I may look at a router jointing jig next. Anyways, I would probably go with a jointer first simply because the router planing jig works so well. But I am by no means an expert.

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Kaleb the Swede

1832 posts in 1966 days

#5 posted 04-12-2013 11:41 AM

I don’t know if you have seen the site, but on, the guy who does all the videos talked about this. He did a comparison and wrote down how many times he used his planer and jointer in one month. The jointer won by a long shot. So his recommendation was to get a jointer first. Take this as you will, I don’t know what type of woodworking you are into

-- Just trying to build something beautiful

View MisterBill's profile


411 posts in 2248 days

#6 posted 04-12-2013 11:42 AM

I would opt for the jointer because most wood working projects start with one 90 degree corner. After that you could use your table saw to rip the jointed pieces to an uniform width.

After that you’d need to be concerned about how you’d plane them to a uniform thickness.

View Marcus's profile


1163 posts in 2016 days

#7 posted 04-12-2013 01:11 PM

I’d start out w/ a jointer as well. I was in a similar situation and started w/ the planer. All that did was really show how crucial a jointer was.

View RodNGun's profile


118 posts in 2300 days

#8 posted 04-12-2013 01:23 PM

I agree with jointer. You can always buy uniform thickness lumber but you can’t always buy straight lumber. I use my jointer on every project and my planer on most projects.

View CharlieM1958's profile


16274 posts in 4215 days

#9 posted 04-12-2013 01:33 PM

A jointer is important if you’re planning to work with a lot of twisted and cupped lumber, but I don’t know why some folks think you need one to get a 90 degree edge… your table saw and a good blade will do that just fine if your board is reasonably flat to begin with.

IMO, it’s a lot easier to work around not having a jointer than it is to work around not having a planer. Maybe I just don’t know what I’m missing, but I’ve been into woodworking for about 8 years now, and I can’t remember ever being in the middle of a project thinking, “Man, I wish I had a jointer right now.”

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View brtech's profile


1029 posts in 2919 days

#10 posted 04-12-2013 02:11 PM

Hehe. I’d say that having a jointer without a planer isn’t particularly useful. The basic discussion is what lumber you are starting with. If you have a jointer and a planer, you can start with rough lumber and mill it to what you need. While some lumberyards sell S2S (surfaced two sides, meaning it’s planed), mostly you go from rough lumber to S4S (surfaced 4 sides meaning it’s planed and jointed). If you have S4S, you don’t need either the jointer or the planer.

That argues for a bandsaw as your first purchase.

I will say this – yes, you will buy S4S unless you have both tools, but the yard may not have the thickness you want. You can always cut from one of the perpendicular sides of your S4S to get any width or length you want from what they have, but you can’t usually thin a piece down. That argues for planer before jointer.

You can get good quality used jointers and planers for $200-$220. I have a 13” Rigid planer on a stand and a very nice Jet 6” jointer with base and mobile base. The planer was $200 and the jointer was $220. YMMV.

View Illinoiswoodworker's profile


36 posts in 1886 days

#11 posted 04-12-2013 02:28 PM

Jordan, I’m in your shoes too. I have been acquiring my tools for about 10 years now. You have been given some good information. Your next tool depends on what you are making and what quality of lumber you get.
Buying your next major power machine is a tough decision. If money was not on object, then it would be an easy decision. But when it takes months, if not a year or so to acquire enough to buy the next machine, it becomes more problematic. To make quality furniture you need wood that is straight, flat and square. We have machines that can help us with that quest.

All that I can contribute is my experiences. I have a decent table saw. I have a portable 12.5” planer. I have two routers. One is D-handled that I use for my portable work. The other is a dedicated table router. I have a band saw and a radial arm saw that I use only for 90 degree cross cutting.

I am making furniture and cabinets.

My current needs / wants are: Jointer, Drill press, Sanding center, Dust collection system.

I am leaning toward a jointer, but it is hard to say what is the order to buy your tools.

I believe they are all needed and I am buying them when I find a good deal. I am not sure that there is a specific order. If you are buying used, buy the one that is in good shape for the best price irregardless on which machine it is.

-- I love the smell of red oak in the morning..........

View Woodknack's profile


11619 posts in 2377 days

#12 posted 04-12-2013 02:52 PM

It’s the curse of power tools, the more you have the more you need. Jointer or planer, flip a coin. Once you have one you’ll need the other.

The advantage of a jointer is not so much giving you a straight edge, which you can also do on a TS, but a flat face. Jointers create reference surfaces.

-- Rick M,

View rickf16's profile


390 posts in 3578 days

#13 posted 04-12-2013 03:20 PM

Rick M. made a good point. “Jointers create reference surfaces.” If you are not buying rough stock to make your projects then a jointer is a good choice. If you use rough stock…then you should consider both. I am working on a coffee table now and had some stock that was 1” thick, but with a slight bow. I face jointed the cup side flat then ran the flat side down through my planer. Now I have flat boards ready for final milling. My jointer is a 6” bench top from Delta. It has served me well. Blades are cheap, about 20 for a set. Just make sure you set it up correctly. Good luck. Just my 2.

-- Rick

View toolie's profile


2121 posts in 2625 days

#14 posted 04-12-2013 03:35 PM

it’s possible to joint an edge with other tools, like routers and TSs, so i’d opt for a planer as the next tool of the two inquired about. however, i’d personally look for a band saw. opens up circular and curved pieces and the entire resawing option. or acquire tools like i did. make a list of what’s ultimately needed and watch CL. when an item on the list can be acquired reasonably enough, buy that item and keep scouring CL for the next opportunity.

-- there's a solution to every just have to be willing to find it.

View DaddyZ's profile


2475 posts in 3037 days

#15 posted 04-12-2013 03:53 PM

I would opt for the Planer, Then you could use all the Recycled wood you could gert your hands on, I would be lost without mine…

The Jointer I use sparingly..

-- Pat - Worker of Wood, Collector of Tools, Father of one

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