What is a Jointer?
Woodworking, no matter amateur or professional, is difficult to imagine without special power tools. Doing the job manually takes a lot more effort and time than using a machine-assisted process. Different stages of wood processing require the appropriate tools. Jointers are used for flattening workpieces, and our review is just about these useful tools.
What Features to Compare
Before buying a jointer, you need to know its performance, functional capabilities, and other features. It will help you make the right choice and satisfy your demands.
First of all, you need to know what types of jointers exist.
- Closed stand jointers. These jointers are currently the most widespread. A closed stand jointer has a covered base hiding its motor and protecting it from dust and debris. This design solution allows reducing noise and vibrations while using the tool. We should admit that an additional cover makes a jointer heavier, yet increases steadiness and safety.
- Open stand jointers. These jointers are cheaper than the above-mentioned ones and, thus, are easier in transportation. As you might have guessed, these tools have open bases, hence their motors are noisier.
- Benchtop jointers. These are portable joiners designed primarily for medium and minor woodworking tasks. A benchtop jointer can’t handle big planks since the maximum width of a workpiece is 6”.
The performance of a jointer is very important. This feature determines the cutting speed and quality. Jointers are different in size of their tables. The wider the table is, the larger pieces a jointer can process. The higher the cutting depth, the fewer runs you need to make to remove the needed wood. A high motor power allows processing hardwood while the cutterhead rotation speed impacts the smoothness of the processed surface. Also, the number of knives matters. More knives allow processing wood faster and more accurately. Pay attention to the jointer fence, in particular, to its tilt capability. A tiltable fence allows you to make angled cuts on your workpieces.
Finally, consider all conveniences a jointer offers. These may be any additional functions like LED lights, enhanced controls, or any special technology. Thanks to these features, using a jointer becomes a lot more comfortable.
Quiet and Powerful
Powermatic 1791317K is one of the most typical tools of this kind. We'd like to highlight a few things that make this jointer really convenient. Firstly, this is an excellent helical cutterhead with 40 carbide knife inserts. This component ensures an amazing processing quality. We should say that spiral cutterheads are rare and are usually used in top-grade models. Whichever jags are on your board, Powermatic will make it perfectly plain. There's one cool thing about the cutterhead inserts. When either side of the insert is worn out, you can simply turn it over. Since the inserts are four-sided, we can conclude that the cutterhead of this jointer will last up to 4 times longer than those on other models. We also liked the quiet operation of the tool and almost complete absence of vibrations. Let's also mention that the jointer can handle long workpieces thanks to its long tables that make the task convenient and easy. Additionally, you can adjust the cutting depth with the help of a convenient handle that works accurately. This handle sets the table to the required height, so you don't have to re-adjust the depth of cut again. Finally, this closed stand jointer has a convenient port that allows connecting the machine to any dust collection system. Generally, the jointer doesn't leave much dust and chips, which is a pleasant feature too.
How Powermatic Was Founded
We can enjoy Powermatic tools thanks to the enthusiasm and huge work of Leonard F. Smith. Back in 1921, he was selling timber in the McMinnville of Tennessee. He realized that he could sell more quality products processed by himself. Yet, he refused to buy a planing machine but decided to make his own planer in the workshop of his farmstead. After the tool was ready, Smith successfully used it in his business operations. One day Smith was offered to sell his machine, and he did so. Having received the reward, Smith built 4 planers and offered them to his friends in the lumber industry. Having succeeded to sell planers quickly thanks to their high quality, Mr. Smith decided to quit the timber industry and focused on tool making. As the production volumes increased, larger facilities were required. This way, Leonard F. Smith founded his own company in 1928 and called it Powermatic.
More Products to Consider
We recommend buying an adjustable mobile base to transport your jointer in an easy and safe way. You may also need to obtain a dust collection hose to clean the tool up after use and keep your workplace clean.
The Tool Created by Professionals
JET is one of the most prominent companies manufacturing woodworking tools, so the company's engineers designed the 708457DXK jointer with the maximum proficiency. This closed stand jointer processes workpieces flawlessly and leaves surfaces perfectly smooth. It is possible thanks to 3 cutting knives that can be easily replaced when necessary. The jointer looks rather imposing at first sight. The tool has a one-piece stand with openings allowing you to bolt the jointer to the ground. The motor is hidden inside a stand and is fan-cooled to prevent overheating. A special door on the rear side of the stand gives you easy access to the motor for a checkup or maintenance. Also, we'd like to say a few words about the infeed and outfeed tables of this jointer. The tables are quite long and made of cast iron, delivering a gentle base surface for moving your workpieces. Both tables can be easily adjusted with the help of handwheels. Also, pay attention to the automatic limiter of the infeed table. It prevents excess cutting (deeper than 1/8"). You can adjust the limiter manually to different cutting depths, though. Finally, we should highlight the fence that can tilt 45 degrees front- or backward. It allows you to plane edges at specific angles for miter or bevel connections.
The Evolvement of JET
The JET company was founded in 1958 as a producer of woodworking and metalworking tools. At that time, few companies manufactured decent tools, and the industry just began to develop in the USA. The circumstances were beneficial to new ambitious companies. So, JET quickly became one of the leaders in the industry. The revenue was growing fast along with the company and its market share. In 1980, JET entered the European market but a merger with Walter Maier in 1988 was a real breakthrough for the company. Soon, the JET logo became recognizable and successful sales of their tools in Europe began. Today, the company is at the forefront of the industry. All JET products boast the ultimate quality, as it is strictly controlled during the whole manufacturing process.
More Products to Consider
What is more, we recommend buying the mobile base for convenient transportation of your jointer, and the dust collection hose for keeping a workplace clean.
Grizzly Won't Ever Let You Down
Grizzly produces a number of amazing power tools. Today, Grizzly is a popular brand that has proven its excellence. The Grizzly G0725 jointer is certainly a tool the company can boast of. We should say that this jointer has a motor power of 1-1/2 HP, which is pretty good for such tools. The cutterhead rotates at 10,000 RPM and makes a smooth surface in no time. Also, we liked that the machine can withstand tough workloads despite its low price. The tables and fence are made of cast iron that guarantees a long lifespan of the tool. Let's note that the jointer has a dust port for collecting all cuttings. In addition, this Grizzly jointer comes with an accessory bag for dust collection and it's quite large. Probably, you'll hardly manage to fill this bag up throughout a day, so cleanups aren't too frequent. If you need to empty the bag, just pull a convenient zipper. Truth to tell, you may face a bit of a nuisance while adjusting the screws of the jointer elements such as fence or tables. However, you'll need just 4 and 6 mm hex wrenches to do the job well.
Like any power tool, a jointer is potentially dangerous. So, we advise you to follow some safety procedures to avoid injuries and prevent any damage to the jointer.
- Keep your hands away from the cutterhead area while the jointer is working;
- Feed the workpiece only after the jointer reaches a nominal speed;
- Don't stop the cutterhead by pushing the belt or pulley and don't try to slow it down with a workpiece;
- Don't attach any pads to the knives and don't use blunt or different-sized knives;
- Don't cool the jointer's bearings with water;
- Don't touch the belt when the jointer in on;
- Don't leave the jointer after a shutdown until the cutterhead fully stops;
- Don't put clothes on or off nearby the working jointer;
- Make sure a workpiece is free from dirt, mortar, nails, etc.
More Products to Consider
We advise you to outfit your jointer with branded spare knives for processing your wooden workpieces.
Simple and Durable
Delta Power Equipment Corporation is considered to be one of the most respected and trustworthy manufacturers of woodworking tools. The company has manufactured and sold a tremendous amount of tools for over 90 years. First of all, Delta focuses on innovative solutions to make woodworking simple and accurate. The Delta 37-071 proves that the manufacturer deserves your trust. When we took the first look at this jointer, we immediately noticed its durability. Indeed, the molded body of this tool suppresses vibrations. Moreover, the jointer is really easy-to-use. The handwheel allows you to easily adjust the height of the infeed table. The fence can be tilted 90 and 45 degrees, thus you'll be able to edge workpieces at these angles. The jointer has a built-in dust port that collects fine wood particles and keeps the working area clean.
Do You Know?
The first jointer was invented about 150-200 years ago. However, that's not completely true. The invention of jointers was preceded by ages of manufacturing and technical experience, mastering, and experiments. The first prototype of a jointer was called a bow drill; it featured a sharpened hardwood bar that was put in a sand-filled dent. The bar was wrapped with a bowstring, and when the bow moved, the bar swirled similarly to a drill bit. Rotating, the bar ground a piece and drilled it using the frictional force of sand. Also, tools for grinding ceramics and wood existed in ancient Greece and Rome. As Pliny suggested, Theodorus of Samos had successfully used a mechanical foot-operated tool to grind metal pieces in 400 BC. Some objects from that time prove this opinion.
More Products to Consider
Get this set of knives for your jointer and keep it at hand to maintain a cutterhead in a due condition.
Portable and All-round Assistant
This Porter-Cable portable benchtop jointer has some uncommon but very useful features. First of all, the knob on the front panel allows adjusting the jointer's speed. It means you get more control over the cutterhead and can select the speed according to a specific workpiece and its size. Also, the jointer features a special knob for raising or lowering the infeed table to change the cutting depth. The easy replacement of cutting knives is another advantage of this tool. Remove the cutterhead guard, disengage the lock and get convenient access to knives. We should also say that the Porter-Cable jointer is pretty light, so you will easily carry it and put anywhere you wish. What is important too, the tool has a removable toggle in the ON/OFF switch that prevents the jointer from an accidental start. As you can see, Porter-Cable cares about your safety!
A Few Historical Facts
The forerunners of contemporary woodworking tools appeared long ago. Ancient Egypt was the first civilization where bow lathes for turning masonry and wood were used. These tools featured prototypes of beds, head- and tailstocks, tool rests, and other components inherent for lathes. Still, bow lathes needed the use of both hands and lots of effort for twisting workpieces and feeding tools. Slightly modified, bow lathes were applied for centuries worldwide. At the beginning of the 15th century, woodworkers started to make lathes backed by wooden benches. The bench featured two stocks connected with a bar that served as a tool rest. So, an operator didn't need to hold cutting tools. The parts of the lathe were made of wood and a flexible pole (with a driving cord) was attached to an upright post and hung over a lathe. The cord was wound around the spindle and tied to a treadle. When an operator pushed the treadle, it pulled the cord, and a workpiece started to whirl, then the flexible pole pulled the cord back. By the way, the lathe of Emperor Maximilian I still exists. This lathe is made of wood, while its central parts are made of metal. Also, this lathe had an adjustable framed lunette to guide workpieces. The lunette itself was molded of brass. Finally, the lathe's driving cord, the treadle, and the suspended flexible pole were just the same as we have just mentioned.
More Products to Consider
We recommend you to buy additional cutting knives for making the surface of a workpiece ideally plane.
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