Thickness planer vs. Jointer

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Forum topic by woodengolfer posted 02-25-2014 07:42 PM 1104 views 0 times favorited 11 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View woodengolfer's profile


9 posts in 1497 days

02-25-2014 07:42 PM

I have the basic tools…. table saw, compound mitre saw, as well as hand power tools, drills,sanders,biscuit jointer etc. In considering my next tool purchase, I am looking at either a thickness planer or a jointer, but am uncertain as to which tool would serve me best.

Most of my projects to this point have been ones that I can use dimensional S4S lumber. However I now want to move into projects where lumber would need to be sized down from dimensional lumber.

I would appreciate any feedback on which tool you would recommend purchasing first

11 replies so far

View bondogaposis's profile


3969 posts in 1771 days

#1 posted 02-25-2014 07:52 PM

I recommend a thickness planer. There are more work arounds for a joiner than planer.

-- Bondo Gaposis

View DIYaholic's profile


19137 posts in 2094 days

#2 posted 02-25-2014 07:54 PM

There are many an opinion on this issue….

I would get a thickness planer first. There are several work arounds for not having a jointer.
There are jigs & fixtures that will allow you to accomplish much of what the jointer is used for.
There are tons of people that do not have a jointer and do not regret it.

-- Randy-- I may not be good...but I am slow! If good things come to those who wait.... Why is procrastination a bad thing?

View CharlesA's profile


2973 posts in 1217 days

#3 posted 02-25-2014 08:00 PM

+1. You can use rough sawn lumber with a planer and workarounds (jigs, planes, or a combination). It’s what I do. I’d be interested to hear of someone who only used a jointer and not a thickness planer.

-- "Man is the only animal which devours his own, for I can apply no milder term to the general prey of the rich on the poor." ~Thomas Jefferson

View jmartel's profile


6466 posts in 1570 days

#4 posted 02-25-2014 08:00 PM


-- The quality of one's woodworking is directly related to the amount of flannel worn.

View pintodeluxe's profile


4825 posts in 2233 days

#5 posted 02-25-2014 08:03 PM

To work with rough cut lumber you need a jointer to flatten one face, then square an adjacent edge. That is followed up with planing to thickness.

However since you want to start with S4S lumber, all you need is a thickness planer and a tablesaw.

Ultimately a jointer is a handy tool to have. Even my S4S lumber gets a fresh edge at the jointer before I cut my stock to size. It is a pleasure to make projects with straight, square lumber every time.

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

View lepelerin's profile


471 posts in 1744 days

#6 posted 02-25-2014 08:10 PM

there are many similar post on this forum. You can use your planer as a jointer with the help of jigs.
I would go with a planer first.

View Gene Howe's profile

Gene Howe

8095 posts in 2848 days

#7 posted 02-25-2014 09:05 PM

A well tuned table saw with the proper blade and a straight piece of plywood will allow you to trim rough or crooked lumber well enough to rip it further. The same goes for a circular saw, which is my first choice. And, any piece whose width doesn’t exceed the height capacity of the planer can be jointed. So, go for the planer first.

-- Gene 'The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him.' G. K. Chesterton

View SCOTSMAN's profile


5839 posts in 3005 days

#8 posted 02-25-2014 09:44 PM

I use my thicknesser nearly always despite owning a combo planer thicknesser machine.And like I believe a very famous rocker chair maker hardly or in his case never use the jointer what we call a planer. So I say a thicknesser will be much more useful to you.Alistair

-- excuse my typing as I have a form of parkinsons disease

View firefighterontheside's profile


13068 posts in 1276 days

#9 posted 02-26-2014 02:49 AM

No doubt, it’s a planer. If you’re gonna get just one, but the two go well together also.

-- Bill M. "People change, walnut doesn't" by Gene.

View EPJartisan's profile


1116 posts in 2545 days

#10 posted 02-26-2014 03:24 AM

If not redundant….I vote for a planer as well. I estimate that I use my planer 10 times more often than the jointer

-- " 'Truth' is like a beautiful flower, unique to each plant and to the season it blossoms ... 'Fact' is the root and leaf, allowing the plant grow and bloom again."

View knotscott's profile


7145 posts in 2795 days

#11 posted 02-26-2014 10:05 AM

Both is best….the two are extraordinary in tandem, but for starters I’d go with the planer and a planer sled, then would edge joint with a TS or router until I could afford the jointer.

-- Happiness is like wetting your pants...everyone can see it, but only you can feel the warmth....

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