If you’re a carpenter by trade, or you’ve got a healthy interest in woodwork, being able to cut and smooth down your wood pieces to a flat surface and a straight edge is a crucial part of your woodworking projects.
And that’s where a good jointer comes in; if you’re pushed for space in your workshop, or you want to get your hands on something that’s lightweight and easy to move, a benchtop jointer is the solution you’ve been looking for.
Choosing A Benchtop Jointer
With the number of options currently on the market, we know it can be hard to know which benchtop jointer models to invest in, and whether or not you’re going to get proper value for money.
Will the pros outweigh the cons once you’ve spent your cash?
Safety tips and buying guides aside, you want to get into the details about what makes the best benchtop jointer, and what names you should be on the lookout for while you shop.
So, to better help you come to the right workshop decision, we’ve collected our 5 top picks for the best benchtop jointer below.
Our Top Recommended Benchtop Jointers
The WEN 13” 3-Blade Benchtop Thickness Planer repurposes rough and worn wood to give it an exceptionally smooth finish. The powerful 15-AMP motor provides over 25,500 cuts per minute at a 26 ft. per minute feed rate. It can plane boards up to 13” wide and 6” thick with ease.
The onboard planning gauge helps inform users about the amount of material being removed during each pass. Combine that with the heavy-duty cast iron construction for a sturdy planer that does not walk or wobble during operation.
It uses a tri-roller feeding system to help minimize snipe. The three dual-edged blades on the middle roller can be reversed to help elongate their life cycle and ensure sharp cuts. The three-blade design makes easy work out of even the hardest of woods.
While the fan-assisted dust port removes sawdust from your workpiece. The handy depth adjustment knob varies each pass to take off anywhere from 0 to 3/32 of an inch.
The fan-assisted dust port removes chips and sawdust from the workpiece and blasts them out of the way. Attach a dust extraction device or a wet/dry vac to the handy 2”, 2-1/2”, or 4” fan-assisted dust port adapter to minimize cleanup by keeping all of the sawdust and wood shavings in one place instead of all over the workshop floor.
Easily adjust the height of your planer with the comfortable rubber-grip adjustment handle.
Each quarter rotation adjusts the height of the cutter head 1/64 of an inch for maximum precision during operation.
It also includes height-adjustable infeed and outfeed tables to add support to longer workpieces traveling through the planer. Both tables can be adjusted to get the perfect angle for smoothly feeding boards and fighting snipe.
Limit snipe while providing extra support to your workpiece during planning. Easily mount the planer to a work surface or stand using the predrilled base holes.
Because it’s a WEN product, this planer comes backed by a nationwide network of skilled service technicians, a helpful customer support line, and a two-year warranty. Remember when your planer could handle even the hardest of woods.
- Onboard material removal gauge informs users about the cutting depth of each pass
- Plane boards up to 6 in. T and 13 in. W
- 15 Amp motor generates 25,500 cuts per minute at a 26 ft. per minute feed rate
- 3-blade design makes easy work out of even the hardest of woods
- Fan-assisted dust port removes sawdust from workpiece
Ranking very highly for its price, the Porter Cable PC160JT is the cheapest benchtop jointer on our list and an all-around great benchtop jointer for a craftsman of any and all levels.
Porter For Portability
Setting up doesn’t take too long, and this unit has a lot more portability to it than other models on the market, thanks to the more lightweight materials used in its construction.
If you need to keep it moving, and want to be able to adjust freely without issue, this Porter Cable benchtop jointer could be the best benchtop jointer for you.
The table on the Porter Cable PC160JT jointer is larger than most you would find on a benchtop jointer, which makes this one of the best benchtop jointer models for thick boards and bigger pieces of wood that you might need to work on in your workshop.
There’s a good set screw system to this piece on top of this, allowing for stability in your adjustments, and keeping any mishaps or drops in the fence mechanism to a minimum.
The blades can also be easily removed and sharpened, and then refitted, to ensure you’re always getting a clean cut. The Porter Cable benchtop jointer knives aren’t too hard to replace either, if you’re ever in need of doing so.
A clear 90-degree cut can be easily achieved by this particular jointer, and adjusting to fit something bigger or smaller is an easy feat.
The variable speed allows you to adjust and lock the speed of this unit, as and when needs be – between 6000 and 11000 RPM is a tidy sum for such a small unit, and would work rather well for your material needs.
- Variable 6,000 to 11,000 RPM speed range allows the user to select the right speed for the size and hardness of material being cut
- Two knife cutter head with jack screw knife leveling arrangement for easy replacement and adjustment of knives
- Built-in cutter head lock facilitates knife replacement and adjustment
- Extra large table provides ample work support and Surfacing stock up to a full 6" wide
The Craftsman CME2020 is a great benchtop jointer for working with any and all kinds of wood, allowing for both soft and hard, as well as thin and thick varieties of material.
Once again you also get a variable speed motor, to better allow for this versatility. And it’s another piece that’s good value for money, even costing less than most benchtop jointers on this list.
C for Craftsman and Compact
This Craftsman benchtop jointer is also rather small, so it is one of the best benchtop jointers for homes and own workshops that really are pushed for space.
Even if you only have a section of room that’s a foot or so wide each way, you’ll be able to work with this piece quite well.
The machine allows for a 6-inch wide cut, which is great for anyone with a casual interest in woodworking or carpentering, alongside allowing you the freedom to take your crafts from one level of material to the next.
Craftsman also takes care to make and manufacture replacement blades as and when they are needed, and can be bought directly from the brand themselves.
It won’t be hard to keep this benchtop jointer running for longevity, and promises good value for money in the long run. Not to mention how well presented the piece is itself, with a good weight and a good paint finish that any workshop would be happy to show off.
And above all else, the Craftsman brand is known for quality in every machine they put on the market, so you can be sure this benchtop jointer comes with a seal of approval from the woodworking sector at large.
- 10 amp benchtop Jointer features a variable speed range of 6, 000 to 11, 000 RPM and cutter head speed of 12, 000 to 22, 000 cuts per minute, allowing selection correct speed for material's size and hardness. Two-knife cutter head, with jackscrew knife leveling arrangement and built-in cutter head lock, allows for easy knife replacement and adjustment. Jointer is ideal for edging, flattening, or face jointing.
- Variable speed: range of 6, 000 to 11, 000 RPM allows the user to select the right speed for the size and hardness of material
- Easy replacement and knife adjustments: two-knife cutter head with jackscrew knife leveling arrangement allows for easy replacement and adjustment of knives
- Accurate cutting: center-mounted fence gives needed support throughout the cut for accurate edge jointing
- Hard and soft surfaces: heavy duty 10 amp motor provides power for hard and soft woods
Designed for the budget-minded novice to professionals mastering their craft, Wahuda Tools offer high-quality woodworking equipment with practicality and superior accuracy in mind.
You can create perfectly flat surfaces and edges quickly and hassle-free with the Wahuda Tools power jointers, for smoother and accurate cuts even on tough or figured woods.
Choice Of Sizes
At about 48 lbs, Wahuda Tools’ 6-inch Benchtop Jointer is a perfect fit for smaller workshops while still conveniently movable on a job site.
It has a 30-inch end-to-end total table length and a depth of just over 17 inches with a height of a little over 13 inches.
With its compact size, it makes for an ideal jointer for smaller woodworking needs.
For larger jobs or worksites Wahuda also has 8- and 10-inch models.
They all feature a unique spiral cutter head, low noise operation, longer-lasting blades, hassle-free adjustments. Set up is user-friendly and they’re conveniently movable.
The spiral cutter head has 4-sided carbide inserts for sharper and quieter cutting precision, and the standard blade size also allows for a cost-effective and simple replacement.
Wahuda Tools benchtop jointers are powered with a 120V motor with a fixed 12,000 RPM for capable and steady performance. They can handle edging, jointing, flattening, or tapering no matter the surface.
Solidly built, adjustable and expandable cast iron table enhances stability even when working on longer, larger pieces, with an adjustable fence that tilts from 90 and 135° for versatility.
- No More Cupped Woods. Create perfectly flat surfaces and edges quickly and hassle-free with the Wahuda Jointers. Experience smoother and accurate cuts even on tough or figured woods w/ Wahuda Tools.
- Cutting-Edge Sharpness. Our spiral cutterhead has 4-sided carbide inserts for sharper and quieter cutting precision. The standard blade size also allows for a cost-effective and simple replacement.
- Capable Steady Performance. Wahuda Jointers are powered with a 120V motor with a fixed 12,000 RPM. They are fully capable of handling edging, jointing, flattening, or tapering no matter the surface!
- Solid Built For Your Convenience. Our adjustable and expandable cast iron tables enhance stability even when working on longer, larger pieces, with a fence that tilts from 90 &135° for versatility.
- Perfect For Job Sites Or Small Shops. Depending on your needs or your shop’s size, Wahuda Tools have 6, 8, and 10-inch wood jointers that will do the job right. They’re conveniently movable, too!
Shop Fox describes itself as built to last, and according to the specifications of this model, that’s a real promise.
The Shop Fox W1829 benchtop jointer is a solid jointer with cast iron construction that anyone would be able to use, and be proud to use, with flat outfeed and infeed tables that promise quality, which may seem surprising considering the lower price.
You can sit the fence squarely at 90 degrees and expect it to stay there with absolutely no trouble at all.
A Solid Shop For Your Shop
Once again, a cast iron table and a cast-iron fence are present, meaning it’s a strong, heavyweight unit that’ll sit no matter where you need it or what you’re putting through it.
It might be a little heavy to try and move about freely, but if you don’t mind a stationary jointer it more than makes up for its reduced portability in the quality of the wood you get out of it.
Most of all, the motor moves smoothly and sharply, no matter the type of wood being pushed or processed through it, and pieces up to 6 inches are no trouble to smooth and shape to your needs.
Want to put a piece of rough-cut wood through the blades? You’ll be able to come out the other side with a piece of wood that’s silk-like in texture.
Little adjustment is needed straight out of the box, and when the time comes for blade adjustment, they’re easy to refit, and any replacement blades or screws are very easy to come by. The blades come pre-packaged quite sharp, so no worries there either.
RIKON Power Tools 20-600H 6″ Benchtop Jointer with Helical Cutter Head
The Rikon Power Tools 20-600h is a great all-around benchtop jointer that could easily be on our list.
A Jointer Planer Combo
If you also need a planer, instead of buying two machines it may be worth considering the lower overall expense of a single jointer planer combo machine.
What Makes The Best Benchtop Jointer?
The best benchtop jointer won’t be the same for everyone as certain features will be more important in different cases.
To help you choose the best benchtop jointer for you, we’ll explain some of the features of benchtop jointers so you can decide which are the most important features for you.
Some benchtop jointers have a durable cast iron construction. A cast iron table will be heavier and more stable but also result in a less portable benchtop jointer. The Shop Fox W1829 benchtop jointer is an example of this; a solid and durable benchtop jointer.
If portability is important you may prefer a lighter jointer using things like machined aluminum tables in its construction. The Porter Cable PC160JT may be the benchtop jointer you should consider.
The jointer bed consists of an infeed table and an outfeed table. They are adjusted to different levels which determines the amount of timber that is removed.
You introduce the timber into the machine on an infeed table, it is machined by the blades and comes out on the unsurprisingly named outfeed table.
The width of the infeed table and outfeed table can restrict the size of the timber you want to work on so check this if it may be an issue for you.
The fence is the part of the benchtop jointer that guides the timber as well as sets the angle of the timber. The adjustability of the fence as well as its construction are factors to consider.
If all you will ever need will be 90-degree angles then an adjustable fence may not be needed.
Also, if your bench jointer won’t be moved much then you can go for a cast-iron fence support system for its strength and durability.
However, if you need various angles and will be moving your jointer around regularly from job to job then the best benchtop jointer for you will have a fully adjustable aluminum fence.
The power of the motor will determine how easily the cutter head cuts through the timber. If you will be working on hardwood a lot then you want a motor that won’t be struggling to keep cutting through it day after day.
Cutter Head Speed
A variable speed cutter head is useful to be able to adjust for various types of wood, mainly hard or soft wood.
The amount of timber the benchtop jointer can take off in one pass needs looking at, especially if efficiency may be an issue. You can always pass the timber through again to take off more but it will add to your time taken to complete the project.
And if you will be doing lots of different jobs at different depths then a quick depth setting mechanism will be important to you for extra efficiency on the job too.
Efficiency may not be an issue for you at all, or it may be critical in choosing your benchtop jointer.
There are various types of cutter heads available in a benchtop jointer.
Helical Cutter Head
Helical cutter heads are perhaps best described with their other name, a spiral cutterhead. As this name suggests, a helical style cutter head has its blades arranged in a spiral.
The best benchtop jointers tend to have a spiral cutterhead as they are quieter and make a cleaner cut. The smaller blades are also easier to replace section by section.
The more intricate cutter head does tend to make a helix or spiral cutterhead jointer more expensive initially.
If you opt for a spiral cutter head the Wahuda Tools 50160CC-WHD is a top spiral cutterhead jointer.
The other type of cutter head used in jointers uses straight knives or blades, in various quantities. The straight blades on this type of cutting head can be removed and sharpened for re-use, but also would need to be completely replaced if chipped in one small part.
Two Knife Cutter Head
A two-blade cutter head is commonly used and looks almost like the roller brush on a vacuum cleaner with blades at an angle. The CME2020 Craftsman benchtop jointer employs a two knife cutter head, with readily replaceable blades.
Waste and Dust Collection
Machining timber can be a messy business so you may want to look at the features that help with wood shavings and dust collection. This will keep your job site tidier and save time in cleaning up.
It is also much better for your health not to have dust flying around your workplace.
A good benchtop jointer will have a built-in dust collection system or the ability to connect a separate vacuum. As well as a dust collection bag or filter bag that traps the dust and shavings.
Push block or push stick to keep hands away from blades while feeding timber into the jointer.
Cutter head lock to prevent snipe.
How To Use A Benchtop Jointer
This Youtube video demonstrates how to properly use a jointer: