Jointers 101: Every Craftsmen Guide


Jointers are very popular among wood artisans and workers. It helps to smoothen the surfaces and make the corners perfectly square so that it fits well with the other parts. Usually, it is an alternative for the hand planer. But, unlike the hand planer machines, in a benchtop jointer, the wood runs against the jointer. A benchtop jointer has two surfaces—one with cast iron cutting heads that follows a guiding surface. When the wood runs through the cutting head, it removes the extra wood to make it smooth. The guiding fence makes it straightforward to fit for the crafting works. But, when we talk about the usability and efficiency of the bench jointers and the hand planers have a different area of expertise. So, you have to know the criteria, pros, and cons to choose the best benchtop jointers for your next projects. Please scroll below to get a better insight of the jointers.

Types Of Jointers

There are two types of jointers, usually. One is the cabinet styled jointer, and the other is the benchtop jointer. The cabinet jointers are for industrial settings like the building fittings and others. It is more expensive but works efficiently and durable altogether. The benchtop jointers are for the lighter use. The home decor and crafters use this jointer. But, both the benchtop jointer and the cabinet-style jointers have a fence and guard to allow the safety and precise cutting.

Power of the jointers is another notable feature. The more powerful the jointers are the better finish they leave. Most of the jointer has a six inches blade that runs on a one horsepower motor. It is enough for most of the soft, hardwood, and exotic tropical woods like cedar, redwood, and ipe. But the industrial-grade heavy cutting requires an eight inches blade. It needs two horsepower to run. High-end professional cutting jointers have 16 inches that require three horsepower units to work. But, usually, they are not very famous nor affordable. Only the commercial wood-crafting industries use them. Small benchtop jointers may have two to three blades altogether. Where the sixteen inches blades are are more than three in number. Wider blades can cut a more significant portion of the wood. The small benchtops will cut about one-eighth depth of a one-inch wood board. Where the three horsepower motor is can cut up to half inches depth. There are usually two types of blades in the jointers. One is the straight iron blade that comes with most jointers. You can use it for the smoothening. They come in two to three rows of teeth and easy to use. But, you need to sharpen them or replace them once or twice in a year based on the usage as they wear out very rapidly. The spirals remain in a parallel formation around the cutting cylinder. It creates a smoother finish to the top. There is another subtype of the spiral heads the Helical heads that are better and more efficient. They rotate each blade with fourteen others in a parallel motion with the cylinder.

The material of the jointers is crucial. From the use of the jointers, it is clear that these benchtops will smoothen the surface. So, we need something that won’t bend or sag down to leave a mark. Till now cast iron is the most popular material for the jointers.

Safety Measures

Benchtop jointers are very safe instruments to use. They have wooden covers to cover the heads and a guard to protect your hand. Make sure the electrical wiring is intact, and you are using the compatible power supply to the machine.

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