Help selecting a jointer

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Forum topic by bbasiaga posted 02-21-2015 02:53 PM 926 views 0 times favorited 4 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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1234 posts in 2019 days

02-21-2015 02:53 PM

Topic tags/keywords: jointer

I’m looking to upgrade from my Shopfox benchtop 6” jointer. Really, it has been a good tool. I got it set up with the help of a lot of internet wisdom and made several very good projects with it. No complaints, but now I’m planning some projects using longer pieces and the short beds will become a limitation.

I’ve been looking at the Grizzly 6” jointers. They have a basic model, then one with parallelogram beds, and others with a helical cutter head. I’m trying to determine whether the paralellogram beds are worth it, and if the helical cutter head holds enough advantage to justify the cost.

So can you tell me what exactly it is about the parallelogram beds that makes them better or more desirable? I imagine you still have to spend time lining them up, just like on a regular jointer bed….then what?

I know the helical cutter heads are said to leave a smoother finish, and cut quieter. Is there anything else that they do ‘better’ than a standard?

I’m not made of money, and I think the $1100 or so for the paralellogram bed helical cutter head would be a stretch, but possible. The $500 for the basic 6” model feels a lot more comfortable, but if I will be less frustrated with a paralellogram/standard cutter or standard bed/helical cutter ($800) I could probably swing that.


-- Part of engineering is to know when to put your calculator down and pick up your tools.

4 replies so far

View TheWoodenOyster's profile


1317 posts in 1959 days

#1 posted 02-21-2015 03:01 PM

Parallelograms are much easier and a little faster to set up. It can be argued that dovetail way jointers can’t really even be set up. Or it takes a machinist to do it.

-- The Wood Is Your Oyster

View ChefHDAN's profile


1067 posts in 2873 days

#2 posted 02-21-2015 03:32 PM

Most of the $$$ I think matters on the use. I dream of a helical, but the cost alone is more than I paid for my jointer. Once I got mine set to about 1/32” I’ve never really had to make any changes beyond the fence.

If I ever get the chance to have more free time for the shop I might look to upgrade, but for $600 difference I’d be considering what else I’d like to have… got a planer?

-- I've decided 1 mistake is really 2 opportunities to learn.. learn how to fix it... and learn how to not repeat it

View MrUnix's profile


6766 posts in 2223 days

#3 posted 02-21-2015 03:36 PM

Yeah, parallelogram machines may be easier to set co-planer.. but how often do you really need to do that? If it didn’t come co-planer when you buy it, it’s usually a one time deal and then you are good for years and years of use. Of all the wedge bed jointers I’ve owned, only one needed to have a table shimmed.. and that was most likely due to its age (built in 1954) and poor condition when I bought it; basically a rusted hunk of metal that needed a complete teardown and restore. I only paid something like $85 for that jointer, used it for years and then sold it for $400. Just saying.


PS: and I totally agree with Dan.. I set the depth of cut shallow and leave it there. I’ll take multiple passes if I need more. I don’t think I’ve touched the depth adjustment on my current jointer since I first put it in operation several years ago.

-- Brad in FL - In Dog I trust... everything else is questionable

View levan's profile


472 posts in 3003 days

#4 posted 02-21-2015 09:13 PM

You may want to start watching some of the government auctions. Quite often they come up with some oldies but goodies, out of schools. Sometimes very reasonable.

-- "If you think you can do a thing or think you can't do a thing, you're right". Henry Ford

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