Is this the good Harbor Freight jointer?

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Forum topic by ProfPenguin posted 05-10-2013 01:55 PM 4986 views 0 times favorited 4 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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31 posts in 1932 days

05-10-2013 01:55 PM

Hi guys,

I am looking for a decent budget jointer so I can work with some twisted boards, reclaimed lumber, non S4S lumber, etc. I don’t need anything fancy so a basic 6” jointer should work pretty well for me. I know that the discontinued Harbor Freight model gets good reviews for being a decent, no frills, machine which would be prefect.

Someone locally posted up a jointer on craigslist that looks to be an older HF jointer and I was wondering if it is the same one that people have used and liked. The brand logo says “Chicago Power Tools” arranged in a triangle, the model number is “LBJ-6”. It has a Kuang Li motor but the pictures are too blurry to make out the HP or other info.

He is asking for $100 which, if it is the model people like, is pretty reasonable I think. If anyone has used a similar model or knows anything about it, I would love some insight. Thanks jocks!

P.S. Here is the CL post if you’d like to look at the pictures.

4 replies so far

View bannerpond1's profile


397 posts in 1950 days

#1 posted 05-10-2013 02:05 PM

Sounds like a bargain, IF the blades are good and IF the table adjusts to level. If you can’t find replacement blades, you might be in trouble. My experience with cheap jointers is that the infeed/outfeed tables won’t level, and you will be very frustrated in your attempts to joint a straight edge or take the twist out of a board.

Personally, I wouldn’t touch that jointer. You get what you pay for in most instances. For me, a jointer is too necessary a tool to mess with an inferior one. I found after a small Delta band saw and small Delta jointer that my money was better spent on something on which I could count. I gave away both those machines when I moved and bought better equipment.

Hope you can figure out what’s best for you.


-- --Dale Page

View Tedstor's profile


1643 posts in 2684 days

#2 posted 05-10-2013 02:13 PM

Meh. I personally never like the design of the fence. Its primarily supported on one end only, making it too easy to deflect. And although the pic is fuzzy, the condition of that machine looked below average. The price is good, but I’d pass.
I’d save another $100ish and buy a Jet, Delta, or Grizzly when one pops-up on CL. I commonly see better machines than that one for $250 or less. Also, an older 6” Craftsman can usually be had for $100, and IMO its a better machine.

View Shawn Masterson's profile

Shawn Masterson

1325 posts in 2000 days

#3 posted 05-10-2013 02:47 PM

I would give it a look. If it checks out and has the stand I might be inclined to go $75. I wouldn’t be concerned about the fence, If you look at the older Delta/Rockwell they mount the same way. It never hurts to look at it, and if it isn’t what you want then be polite and pass.

View DS's profile


2928 posts in 2472 days

#4 posted 05-10-2013 04:46 PM

I have a HF jointer and I haven’t had many issues with it. The fence is a bit akward to setup and adjust, if you’re doing that all the time. But, I just keep it a 90 and even though I check it before each project, it has never moved on me a bit. I had to readjust the rear table after a move a couple years ago, but that only took about 20 minutes to dial in.

The stand is a bit cheapy and if you’re going to move this around I’d recommend a roll-around base add-on. the legs are mounted in a sheet metal stand and will bend very easily. (Conversly, they bend back easily too)
I also wish it had a dust collection port on the output chute, but it is easy enough to suck up the chips at the end of the day. (or a few times a day, depending on volume)

Mine is maybe 6 years old. I am unfamiliar with a newer model, or, that there are two versions. (A quick check of the HF website fails to show that they still sell a jointer)

You can see mine in my workshop pics if you want to compare. I don’t know the exact model number off hand and couldn’t check it until I get home later. I bought mine on a sale and think I paid about $179 for it.

I know they don’t make the heavy duty planer like I have anymore. That thing is a beast compared to the one they sell now. Even then, I’ve replaced the drive chain and bearings with good American Made replacements and the thing is a workhorse for me. (YMMV)

-- "Hard work is not defined by the difficulty of the task as much as a person's desire to perform it.", DS251

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