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The Right Jointer?!? In serious need of opinions.

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Forum topic by fellednhewn posted 12-31-2014 03:53 AM 1125 views 0 times favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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fellednhewn

17 posts in 725 days


12-31-2014 03:53 AM

Topic tags/keywords: jointer powermatic review opinion jet

I’m hoping to get some guidance from those with more jointer experience than me.

I had a small woodworking shop I gave up when my wife and I received opportunities across the country we couldn’t pass up. I sold all my power equipment (fairly high end gear) and packed my hand tools away.

As it stands now it’s been ten years and thing have gone well enough for my wife and me that I find myself living back in the eastern U.S. in a house with a three+ car garage perfectly suited to start a little shop. I’m also lucky enough to have a good amount of free time. Meaning I’m able to pursue woodworking without much constraint.

That being said, for mostly philosophical reasons, I’m trying to setup a minimalistic shop. Not one based around a high powered table saw and jigs, routers, and power tools, like I had before. But one based around a well made shop bench, hand tools, and a few (hopefully used) power tools.

My thought was a bandsaw, jointer, and lathe. The kind of work I want to do and the skill-set I’m trying to encourage shouldn’t require much else as far as big equipment goes. I was lucky enough to buy a used Rockwell 14” bandsaw with a riser in good shape for $150 on Craigslist. I put a little TLC into it, replaced the guides, tuned it up and now with the new blades I’m happy with it.

I’ve been looking for a used jointer and lathe for a couple months now but it seems Upstate New York is a poor place to find used power tools. At least in my experience.

I was able to find a new Nova lathe on sale. Now I’m looking for a jointer and it looks like I will buy new.

My question is what is the best value for the dollar in the new jointer market? I know everyone always says buy the widest/heaviest machine your budget will allow, but there’s more variability than that.

I checked out the new Jet 10” jointer/planner for $499 and the reviews say it’s pretty much junk.

Now I’m thinking Jet or Powermatic 6” jointer.

Then the question is whether to get the model with “quickset” knives or the Helical head?

At Rockler/Woodcraft the prices breakdown like this:

Jet 6” with “quick-set” knives/ 1hp / = $919.99
Jet 6” with Helical head/ 1hp / 56” bed = $1,279
Powermatic 6” with “quick-set” knives/ 1hp / 66” bed / = 1,019.99
Powermatic 6” with Helical head / 1hp / 66” bed / = 1,429.99

I don’t know what happened to Delta. I used to own the 6” open stand jointer by them. It was inexpensive but decent once you got it set up. I also see there is a company called Steel City which makes less expensive jointers, but I know nothing about them.

Any and all help is appreciated.

-- A woodsman was once asked, “What would you do if you had just five minutes to chop down a tree?” He answered, “I would spend the first two and a half minutes sharpening my axe.”


8 replies so far

View runswithscissors's profile

runswithscissors

2187 posts in 1488 days


#1 posted 12-31-2014 04:05 AM

The helical head is definitely worthwhile. I have the JJP 12 HH, which is a much different machine than the 10”. The HH is far quieter, and blade changing is much easier. Since Jet and Powermatic use the same helical head, I would weigh other factors in choosing between them. Unless you are in a production setting, the carbide cutters that come with the jointer may last you a lifetime (usually they include some extras, too).

Have you thought about going to an 8” jointer?

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

View kdc68's profile

kdc68

2526 posts in 1740 days


#2 posted 12-31-2014 04:19 AM

Have you looked into Grizzly?

http://www.grizzly.com/search?s=category:Jointers&rankBy=price:ascending

-- Measure "at least" twice and cut once

View fellednhewn's profile

fellednhewn

17 posts in 725 days


#3 posted 12-31-2014 04:46 AM

Both good questions.

I’ve thought about an 8” and I believe the extra 2” would be useful. I am trying to keep cost down and my power tool “footprint” minimal. I’ve read a little more about the helical head and it sounds worthwhile.

Ten or eleven years ago when I was serious about woodworking the reputation of Grizzly equipment wasn’t great, at least in the circles I moved. The “wisdom” was it was better to buy something used and fix it up or buy higher-end than to buy Grizzly. I’ve been reading more recently and it seems their quality and reputation has improved considerably since I’ve been out of the loop. And, as it so happens, there’s a Grizzly outlet within easy driving distance so I wouldn’t have to pay shipping.

I’m thinking about the 6” Grizzly G0452. There are certainly some compromises with the Griz vs the Powermatic or Jet with the helical heads, but the money saved would buy a lot of hand tools and stock.

Any thoughts about the cost/benefit of the Grizzly 6” G0452 vs either the Jet or Powermatic 6” with helical heads?

-- A woodsman was once asked, “What would you do if you had just five minutes to chop down a tree?” He answered, “I would spend the first two and a half minutes sharpening my axe.”

View kdc68's profile

kdc68

2526 posts in 1740 days


#4 posted 12-31-2014 05:10 AM

I believe you answered your own question.
v
v

I’m thinking about the 6” Grizzly G0452. There are certainly some compromises with the Griz vs the Powermatic or Jet with the helical heads, but the money saved would buy a lot of hand tools and stock.

Although I own Grizzly tools and am quite happy, I’m not advocating them. My post is just an option for you to consider. Their product has improved over the years (aside from the occasional dud you read about) and the customer service is great.

Good luck with your decision

-- Measure "at least" twice and cut once

View Andre's profile

Andre

1022 posts in 1269 days


#5 posted 12-31-2014 06:41 AM

I have a Laguna 6” HH jointer and it is great, but I did spend about $1300.00 Can. at the time. Have since picked up a 70,s era Hitachi F1000a 6” jointer, 12” planner combo for $300 and another $300 to get blades reground plus spare sets of blades. The Hitachi would be the only machine in my shop if I had found it first. My advice is try and find some gently used machines that will be more useful in the long run.

-- Lifting one end of the plank.

View fellednhewn's profile

fellednhewn

17 posts in 725 days


#6 posted 06-15-2015 07:43 PM

I ended up getting a 6” x 46” Grizzly. I wanted to buy used but there just isn’t much of a market for decent used woodworking machines in Upstate New York.

After using it twice the power toggle stopped working. I resorted to using an auxiliary toggle meant for a yet-to-be-built router table.

I haven’t had the time to deal with Grizzly yet. I’ll call them soon.

-- A woodsman was once asked, “What would you do if you had just five minutes to chop down a tree?” He answered, “I would spend the first two and a half minutes sharpening my axe.”

View BroncoBrian's profile

BroncoBrian

435 posts in 1421 days


#7 posted 06-15-2015 08:11 PM

I have seen 6” jointers from Delat/Jet/PM around pretty frequently. There are enough hobbyist out there that bought on and now want a bigger machine.

8” jointers would be tougher to find. Definitely believe the Jet helical is worth the money and a big upgrade over the Grizzly. The Laguna is the same as the Jet and their shear head looks just like the Byrd. All better that the spiral from Grizzly.

I was in the same boat recently. Found a great Jet and a PM (6”) for $600-$750. If you found that, you could upgrade the head with a Byrd easily on your own.

I went with a new 8”. Both 6” sellers were moving up to an 8” or bigger, thought I should save myself the trouble.

-- Bigfoot tries to take pictures of me

View robscastle's profile

robscastle

3392 posts in 1667 days


#8 posted 06-16-2015 11:43 AM

I too have looked at Updating the Jointer with a HH.

One of the conditions I found was that although the HH was fitted the cutter insert sections were only HSS and not tungsten.
Tungsten was available as replacement cutter.

I understand the advantages of a HH setup and the additional costs involved in achieving this, so why not fit it out first up?

For an initial purchase for an experienced woodworker I think its like choosing between bias belt or radial belt tyres,

There is also correspondence about saying HH aftermarket refit puts too much strain on the existing system and should not be done.

I think we all know the theory behind these comments and do not dispute the physics of HH putting a constant load on the machine as opposed to an alternating 3 blade engagement load.
However the amount of times I have removed maximum thickness cuts on both a thicknesser or Jointer would have to be zero.
Again removing material at this setting also puts unecessary strain on the equipment, and produces less than acceptable results so its a bit of a non event in reality.

Just my opinion !!

-- Regards Robert

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