Bench Top Planer/Jointer 2 Questions

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Forum topic by Steve Kreins posted 02-26-2014 08:34 PM 883 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Steve Kreins

358 posts in 1054 days

02-26-2014 08:34 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question planer jointer

1. I get the Planer part of this ‘Combo” but can someone explain the “Jointer” part?

2. I think my nitch is moving towards cutting boards, boxes and tables. I want my cutting board pieces very straight and parallel prior to glue up. Would a tool like this be a good idea for prepping my pieces prior to glue up ?

Not necessarily this sears one, but one like it.

-- I thank God for everything, especially all of you!

6 replies so far

View dbhost's profile


5590 posts in 2656 days

#1 posted 02-26-2014 08:47 PM

The tool you are showing a photo of is a jointer, and it is a useful tool in the shop. Not 100% required, but I like mine and plan on keeping it…

If I had to chose between a planer, OR a jointer, I will go with the planer every time.

If you look at the Wood Whisperer videos, particulary the one “The Jointers Jumpin” you can see you can joint with a planer, but you can’t plane with a jointer…

You can check out my review of my Ryobi planer. Not a great machine, not terrible, certainly easy on the budget.

-- My workshop blog can be found at

View gfadvm's profile


14932 posts in 2114 days

#2 posted 02-27-2014 02:09 AM

Yep, that’s a jointer and it doesn’t like end grain any better than the planer!

A drum sander is the best tool for flattening end grain cutting boards (and a lot of other things as well).

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

View Picken5's profile


220 posts in 2115 days

#3 posted 02-28-2014 06:05 AM

Agreed — that’s a jointer. Some, however, will still refer to it (incorrectly) as a planer. And, I’m going to disagree with Dave’s comment “you can joint with a planer” (sorry, Dave). You can use a jointer to flatten one face of a board and the jointer is used in Step 1 of the 4-Step lumber milling process described by the Wood Whisperer in Jointer's Jumpin'. But another very important use for the jointer is to ensure that the edges of 2 boards you want to glue together are truly straight & flat. Without that, it’d be pretty hard to make a table top — or a face-grain cutting board for that matter. I don’t know of any way (well, not a safe way) to joint an edge of a board with a planer.

(Granted, however, many will use a router to joint edges — and some will swear a table saw works fine for that. I agree with the router method, but it’s way easier on a jointer IMHO.)

-- Howard - "Time spent making sawdust is not deducted from one's lifetime." - old Scottish proverb

View jdh122's profile


878 posts in 2241 days

#4 posted 02-28-2014 11:49 AM

What Howard said. Except that I think that in the UK (and possibly the rest of the non-North American English speaking world) they call that a planer and what we call a planer is a thicknesser to them.
I don’t know about that model, but I had a benchtop jointer before and it was a heap of junk. Maybe different brands work better than the one I had, but the tables are so short that it’s hard to get straight glue surfaces from it. If you have the space, you can probably get a new entry-level full-size 6-inch jointer for $150 more than the benchtop one. I’d strongly recommend you think about it.

-- Jeremy, in the Acadian forests

View Steve Kreins's profile

Steve Kreins

358 posts in 1054 days

#5 posted 02-28-2014 01:28 PM

Thanks for all the input! I’ve decided this would not be a good addition to my shop. I have a 12 1/2 planer I just need to be careful as to how I use it. It was really the word jointer that threw me and got me currious.

Thanks as always you guys are great!

-- I thank God for everything, especially all of you!

View lumberjoe's profile


2893 posts in 1672 days

#6 posted 02-28-2014 01:46 PM

So maybe you didn’t actually watch the video, but Dbhost is 100% correct. You absolutely can flatten a board with a planer. You can’t just run it through an expect it to be flat. You need to use a sled.

A planer is infinity more useful than a jointer. There are many easy alternatives to both face and edge jointing – planer sleds, router planes/jigs, hand tools – etc. There really isn’t an easy way to thickness a board without a planer.


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