Benchtop Jointers for DIY Woodworking
How should you choose a benchtop jointer?
Need to straighten wood at home? Worry no more. Now you can have a sharpened benchtop jointer that can flatten the face of a curved or twisted piece of lumber. You can buy the best bench top jointers from various e-commerce sites. The jointer is a type of woodworking machine used to remove warps, twists, and bows from hardwoods or lumber until it is completely flat. It is also good for flattening cupped boards and preparing board edges to be glued together.
However, since there is a wealth of information available, here is a short guide to help you decide.
- What is the advantage of a benchtop jointer?
A benchtop jointer is designed for straightening out smaller pieces of wood. So a benchtop jointer tends to be smaller and more portable.
- What's the longest length of board that I can cut on a benchtop jointer?
This varies, but for the Porter Cable PC160JT Bench Jointer, the maximum length board is about 60 cm.
- What should I do if I want to straighten a longer board?
For longer boards, you'll have to buy an extension table that you can attach to the jointer.
Types of Benchtop Jointers
A jointer can be categorized into 4 types or variants according to its purpose. These are the following:
1. Closed Stand Jointers: Generally, this is your best option for durability. Closed-stand jointers are built with enclosed, reinforced bases that offer protection against dust and debris after cutting wood. Additionally, they offer reduced noise and vibration.
2. Open Stand Jointers: Compared to a closed stand jointer, they are considerably lighter and more portable, making them the ideal tool for moving your jointer to and from your workshop frequently.Their exposed motors, however, make them much louder, and their lack of a solid metal body results in more vibrations.
3. Benchtop Jointers: This is one of the most popular types jointers, as they combine both portability and power in one machine. These benchtop jointers are compact, yet powerful, providing faster work speeds and stronger cutting capabilities.
4. Tabletop Jointers: This type is the best choice when one needs to flatten wood of a greater weight than a benchtop jointer can handle. With their longer and wider tables, tabletop jointers can flatten thicker and wider wood, which makes them a perfect solution for heavy wood cutting work.
What reviewers say
Here are some points that customers found to be important when selecting a jointer:
- Size of Jointer: Take into account the size of the materials you will be working with. This will help you determine what length and width jointer to use. Generally, a jointer can deal with wood that is twice as long as its bed. It is also recommended to choose a size that is convenient enough for the machine to be portable.
- Cutting Depth: The cutting depth will determine the number of passes you must make to obtain a perfectly straight board. Generally, a depth cutting of ½-inch to ¾-inch is sufficient, particularly with benchtop jointers.
- Bed Length and Width: A jointer's bed size can influence its price as well as performance. In most cases, beds of 6 to 8 inches wide are sufficient. However, you need to ensure that you have enough space to maneuver the wood as you plane it.
- Power: The jointer motors range from 1HP to 2HP. For benchtop jointers, 1 HP motors are ideal. For home use, you will need standard 110-volt or 220-volt single-phase outlets. Single-phase motors are safe for benchtop jointers to use.
- Head: Consider choosing spiral cutting heads that make use of 4-sided cutters in a spiral shape. By shaving wood in a slicing motion, these jointers maximize efficiency while causing less noise and leave fewer tool marks.
What should you consider when buying a bench top jointer?
Although the market displays various types of bench top jointers, the ideal choice involves considering all the below factors:
Dust collection: When choosing a bench top jointer, look for models that have dust collecting capacity within it. You will come across many types of benchtop jointers which do not have a built-in dust collector. Choose wisely by insisting on a model with this feature.
Portable: The portability of a bench top jointer is also a great convenience. The more portable the jointer, the easier for you to carry it from one place to another.
Accuracy: Cutting is an important part of the whole process of woodin the marketworking. Combination bench top jointers that have a high cutting efficiency and an accurate fence (the part against which you place the board) will be worth more. And a bench top jointer with an adjustable fence angle will be easier to handle.
Power Usage: A spiral cutting edge is a thing to look out for in a bench top jointer. It consumes less power and is easy to use when it comes to changing the blades. Benchtop jointers are mainly used at home. Thus, a machine requiring a power supply of 120 or 220 volts should be considered.
Shape: The size of the cutter head knives, the type of the cutter head itself, and cutting depth are also to be considered while making a purchase--depending on your exact requirements.
Look at the features, go through top-rated bench top jointer reviews, and choose the best one that suits your needs and budget requirements.