What size joiner do I need?

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Forum topic by alittleoff posted 01-17-2015 01:43 PM 933 views 0 times favorited 21 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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288 posts in 696 days

01-17-2015 01:43 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question jointer

I’m getting ready to buy a joiner and was trying to figure out what I need. I will be working with 2×6x8 or smaller lumber 99 % of them time. I’m thinking about a 6 inch joiner from grizzly, but just looking for now. I spent so much on myself just before Christmas my wife is just now beginning to talk a little bit, so I’ve got to watch the price and be able to slip it in their shop one day while she’s out. LOL
Any help is appreciated,

21 replies so far

View OSU55's profile


1039 posts in 1409 days

#1 posted 01-17-2015 02:13 PM

A #7 Stanley. I use my planer with a sled to get a flat face if needed. Joint the edges with a #7. A lot cheaper and smaller than a machine jointer.

View bonesbr549's profile


1137 posts in 2487 days

#2 posted 01-17-2015 03:08 PM

There is no such thing as too big of a jointer. Get the biggest and heaviest you can afford! I would not go lower than 8”. I had a 6 and it was a PIA that I have to my brother. Another advantage of a larger jointer, you can run boards across at an agle to the head and get a better cut. I’ve got a grizzly 12” and wish I had a 20”


-- Sooner or later Liberals run out of other people's money.

View TheFridge's profile


5676 posts in 906 days

#3 posted 01-17-2015 03:17 PM

Once you get a 6” you’ll wish you had an 8”.

-- Shooting down the walls of heartache. Bang bang. I am. The warrior.

View bigblockyeti's profile


3570 posts in 1140 days

#4 posted 01-17-2015 03:19 PM

I personally wouldn’t buy a new 6” jointer, the used market is flooded with them usually for 25% or less the cost of a new one. 8” or better would be best, they hold their value much better and allow you to face joint rough lumber better due to a longer bed. As already mentioned, buy the biggest you can afford and you’ll never regret it.

View knotscott's profile


7145 posts in 2795 days

#5 posted 01-17-2015 03:24 PM

Bigger is better. If you’re even remotely considering getting an 8 inch, do it. Many of us get by with a 6”, but I doubt you’d ever regret having a larger one. My Griz 1182 6” has been a good unit since I bought in 2001….wish it were an 8”, but I don’t really have the space, and didn’t have the budget at the time.

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

View Lumberpunk's profile


323 posts in 1756 days

#6 posted 01-17-2015 03:50 PM

go as big as you can 6” is too small

-- If someone tells you you have enough tools and don't need any more, stop talking to them, you don't need that kind of negativity in your life.

View ElChe's profile


630 posts in 756 days

#7 posted 01-17-2015 04:29 PM

I would suggest you get no smaller than a 50” jointer. Anything smaller would be useless. Preferably it should have a barcalounger attached. And wheels. Not mobile base. Actual wheels and chromies. And a steering wheel. And it should be powered by a small block 350. You can then enter it into all the parades. ;)

If you are usually working with 6” wide or less lumber then a 6” jointer is fine. I’ve had a 6” jet jointer for more than a decade and it has served me well. For wider boards I either use a simple sliding jig and run it through my lunch box planer or I hand flatten the face. I do covet an 8” parallelogram jointer but I don’t have the space and I spent my money on Scotch and bourbon. Cheers. Tom

-- Tom - Measure twice cut once. Then measure again. Curse. Fudge.

View a1Jim's profile


115172 posts in 2997 days

#8 posted 01-17-2015 04:33 PM

Larger jointers are not only better for wider boards the have longer beds making it much easier when jointing long boards. If you have the floor space and the budget go with at least 8”
Check out the used market for a good buy.

-- Custom furniture

View RogerM's profile


747 posts in 1819 days

#9 posted 01-17-2015 04:33 PM

8 inch is an excellent all around jointer

-- Roger M, Aiken, SC

View bowedcurly's profile


515 posts in 1149 days

#10 posted 01-17-2015 05:03 PM

8in with spiral cutterhead and be done with it

-- Staining killed the wood<<<<<>>>>>Dyeing gave it life

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Richard H

483 posts in 1100 days

#11 posted 01-17-2015 05:20 PM

I own a 6” and the limitations are huge. It’s surprising just how often you bring home lumber 6 1/8” or wider. I had access in a shop to both a 8” and 12” for a time and 90% I used the 8” I think mostly because it was closer to the workbenches but the 8” also doesn’t feel like your working at a monster machine either. I found with the 12” it felt like overkill with narrow boards and I was always leaning over it when edge jointing. You can somewhat fix this by adjusting the fence way forward but they are large heavy machines.

When I get a little more space I’m going to sell my 6” and trade up to either 8” or 12”. I am leaning towards a 8” for cost, size and weight reasons plus like I said 90%+ of the time it’s large enough for the kinds of work I do. Even a 12” jointer would only work 98%-99% of the time as I do end up with boards over 12” from time to time.

It’s also not hard to flatten a board face enough with hand planes to sit flat on a planner bed. You don’t have to be perfect just get it to the point where the the twist is gone and it’s mostly flat than the planner can flatten the other side and than you flip it over and true up the face you jointed by hand. Because I have a 6” power jointer I end up doing that a lot. It’s not the most enjoyable of hand tool tasks to me and for commercial work it would make being profitable difficult but it is a option for those occasional boards.

Whichever way you go spend the extra on the spiral cutterheads. The difference in quality of cut, ease of maintenance and how quiet they run is incredible.

View Jeff Heath's profile

Jeff Heath

59 posts in 2489 days

#12 posted 01-17-2015 06:09 PM

Larger jointers are not only better for wider boards the have longer beds making it much easier when jointing long boards. If you have the floor space and the budget go with at least 8”
Check out the used market for a good buy.

- a1Jim

No better advise can be given. Vintage cast iron jointers are easy to work on, easy to adjust and set up, and won’t have twisted castings like a lot of the newer stuff available today. I’m pissed at myself for selling my 24” Yates American, but I’m restoring a 16” Yates American right now. It’ll be done next week.

-- Jeff Heath Heath Toolworks planes

View Gene Howe's profile

Gene Howe

8095 posts in 2848 days

#13 posted 01-17-2015 06:09 PM

My 6” jointer, actually 6 1/8, can joint 12” in two passes.
And, If I need wider capability, there’s always the sled and shims for the planer.
The jointer is faster but I really would rather use the sled and planer.

-- 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 LyallAndSons's profile


66 posts in 2016 days

#14 posted 01-17-2015 06:19 PM

I started with a 6 inch benchtop, moved to a floor model of the same size (I know, lateral move, but it was used and a good deal) then to a model 60 Powermatic 8 inch. A good machine for a home/hobby shop and what I’d recommend if you don’t work with wide stock. I know have a 12 inch that’s 100 years old and weighs @1600. I love it but, if I find a good deal on one, I’ll buy a 24 and never look back. I buy stock from local mills and it often exceeds my capacity for face jointing. Bottom line is, if you buy a 6, you’ll be looking to upgrade someday. An 8 inch will service a weekend woodworker well for the rest of your days.

-- Lyall & Sons Woodsmiths...Custom handcrafted woodwork since 1989

View MrUnix's profile (online now)


4028 posts in 1618 days

#15 posted 01-17-2015 06:27 PM

Nobody can tell you what you need.. you need to figure that out on your own. Asking will just get you a zillion different responses based on their usage and type of work. That said, since you don’t have one and you say 98% of the time you use 6 inch or less stock, my suggestion would be to find a nice used 6” jointer and see if that fits your needs. They can be found fairly inexpensively so it won’t take much of a ding out of your wallet should you determine you need something bigger, and you can always resell it later to recover most (if not all) of the cost when (if) you upgrade to a larger machine.


PS: Longer tables are always preferable to shorter ones.. no matter what size jointer you use.

-- Brad in FL - To be old and wise, you must first be young and stupid

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