Need help deciding which jointer/planer is best to purchase

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Forum topic by geannie57 posted 02-18-2014 05:03 PM 1312 views 0 times favorited 4 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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2 posts in 1560 days

02-18-2014 05:03 PM

Topic tags/keywords: oak cherry maple walnut jointer planer joining arts and crafts

Hi. My name is Geannie and I am new to this site. My husband (Randy) is in the small woodworking business and we have a question for anyone out there that would care to respond to our plight. We are in the market for a jointer/planer that is sturdy enough to do the job. My husband’s business is making butcher block cutting boards. They are made out of hard woods only and have to be straight as possible. The trouble we are having is the bearrings keep going bad. So we are considering purchasing an industrial grade jointer/planer soon. What I would like is some input on different brands and experiences that you have had in the past and present. If you could help us with this we would greatly appreciate it. Thank you.

4 replies so far

View Loren's profile (online now)


10401 posts in 3648 days

#1 posted 02-18-2014 06:00 PM

Which machines has he owned that were not satisfactory
for the type and volume of work he’s doing?

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1176 posts in 2761 days

#2 posted 02-18-2014 06:35 PM

It is unusual for ball bearings to go bad. And if they do, they can be replaced with industrial-grade bearings from places like Ball Bearings Direct ( Be sure to get the SEALED bearings to keep the dirt and dust out. I would recommend calling them direct and discussing the problem with someone there with technical knowledge.

That being said, I would recommend the Powermatic brand of power tools. The truth is, these days most of the power tools are being manufactured in China, even some of the Powermatic brand. Also, You may want to consider purchasing a USED industrial grade jointer/planer to save some money. Unless the tool has been abused or is very worn, these machines are so well made and so robust there is little to go wrong.

Here are some places to look. Once again, I would call and speak to one of their knowledgeable people who can help you choose.
Highland Hardware (

Loren, who commented above, is very knowledgeable. Listen to his thoughts too.


-- Always remember: It is a mathematical certainty that half the people in this country are below average in intelligence!

View runswithscissors's profile


2752 posts in 2026 days

#3 posted 02-21-2014 08:35 AM

Whatever you decide on, I highly recommend a helical head or spiral head machine for cutting butcher blocks. You’ll get less tear out with variable grain direction, and the carbide cutters last a long time.

Mine is a Jet JJP 12 HH combination machine. Switchover between functions is very quick, and the helical head not only cuts beautifully, it is much quieter than straight knives.

-- I admit to being an adrenaline junky; fortunately, I'm very easily frightened

View retfr8flyr's profile


384 posts in 1669 days

#4 posted 02-21-2014 03:45 PM

I don’t know what your budget is but if I were looking for something for a business this machine would be high on my list.

The other choices would be a MiniMax FS41 series or the Hammer A3-41. I also agree that the spiral or helical, whichever they want to call them, cutterhead is the only way to go. The other good option is a Tersa cutterhead.

-- Earl

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