Last Updated on September 3, 2022 by Barry Gray
If you regularly work with wood, you may have previously considered purchasing a benchtop jointer. But if you have never used one or are unaware of what a benchtop jointer is, don’t worry. I’m here to help.
I’ve spent some 20 years working with wood and power tools, so I believe I know a thing or two about them. So, here’s what I intend to do.
Below are five of the best benchtop jointers on the market right now, and I know that at least one of them will prove to be the correct tool for your projects.
- Best Benchtop Jointer for Adjustments – Craftsman 10 Amp CMEW020
- Best Small Benchtop Jointer – Shop Fox 6-Inch W1829
- Best Lightweight Benchtop Jointer – Porter & Cable 6” Variable Speed (PC160JT)
- Best for Dust Collection – Powertec BJ600
- Best Professional Benchtop Jointer – Grizzly Industrial G0725
But you should also know that I’ve not simply picked the first five benchtop jointers I came across. Instead, I’ve spent a vast amount of time checking out the array of options and using all my experience to create this list.
Oh, but I’m not only going to provide you with the details. I’ll also offer some tips on the key areas to check out when purchasing your new benchtop jointer. By the end, I think you will be in a much better position regarding buying this particular tool.
A jointer is a fantastic tool. In seconds, you can have a flat piece of stock that has been completely transformed from a previously completely uneven piece. You set the machine up to remove the depth of stock you want removing, and you feed the stock over the table.
In the process, the machine will have a number of knives that make cuts to shave off the required depth. I do admit that I always end up amazed at the outcome, and it’s clear that a benchtop jointer can transform that old piece of wood into something you can actually use.
How I Made My List
As I said, I’ve spent a long time checking out the different benchtop jointers available, but each tool that appears on my list had to go through my own checklist.
You see, I always want to suggest reliable and robust tools. I feel you all deserve to own tools that can put up with a lot of punishment and where they won’t simply break as soon as you put them into action.
So, I can assure you that each tool on this list does match up to those standards. However, each model will also prove to be easy to use. I hate when a manufacturer makes life difficult, so I ensured I avoided that as much as possible.
In addition, I paid attention to not only the features but also the opinion of people who currently own each model. I feel that finding out what others think after using the jointer for an extended period does mean you get a far more accurate picture of what’s happening.
By the end, I was left with these five benchtop jointers, and I’m confident that at least one of the options will prove to be perfect for your needs.
Best Benchtop Jointer for Adjustments – Craftsman 10 Amp CMEW020
- Power: 10 Amp
- Speed: 6,000 – 11,000 RPM
- Tilt: 45 degrees
- Weight: 40lbs
First up is this model by Craftsman, and I find this to be an excellent benchtop jointer. For me, the power delivered by this tool is impressive, and the fact it can produce 22,000 cuts every single minute is amazing.
I also love that it comes with a variable speed option, and I like this as it does mean you can achieve better control over your project as you move between 6,000 RPM and 11,000 RPM, respectively. I find this adjustment exceptionally easy to do, and this ease of adjustment is a common theme with this model.
This model comes with a two-knife cutter head, and I don’t encounter any real problems when changing the knives. Once again, adjusting the knives will not prove to be problematic.
One thing to note with this model is the positioning of the fence. It offers adequate support and guidance without causing too many issues. Also, you can tilt to 45 degrees, and that helps you out with specific cuts.
Overall, I find this benchtop jointer very easy to adjust, and I think it’s one of the best models for people new to this type of tool.
- The variable speed is easy to operate and gives better control
- It delivers a crazy number of cuts each minute
- Changing the knives is straightforward
- It’s relatively small in size, so it takes up little space
- The fence is more than adequate
- You are limited with the size of stock thanks to the size of the tool
Best Small Benchtop Jointer – Shop Fox 6-Inch W1829
- Power: 1 1/2HP
- Speed: 10,000 RPM
- Tilt: -45 to +45 degrees
- Weight: 80lbs
This Shop Fox benchtop jointer may be small in size, but where it’s lacking in size, it certainly makes up for it in its capabilities. For instance, you get a 1 1/2HP motor capable of pushing those knives to speeds of 10,000 RPM. Also, it makes some 20,000 cuts per minute, which I find to be more than adequate.
This model comes with a maximum cutting depth of ⅛”, but that’s sufficient for the type of job it’s lined up. I also love that you can change the angle from -45 to +45 degrees, which is exceptionally easy.
But that’s not the only cool thing about this benchtop jointer.
When you get your hands on this Shop Fox model, you get a benchtop jointer with an integral vacuum system. That means it keeps the dust to an absolute minimum, which makes a huge difference in seeing what’s going on.
This is all achieved via a mini impaler, which effectively sucks away the chippings from around the cutter head. I find this to work exceptionally well, and it’s not something you see on every jointer on the market.
Finally, adjusting the knives will prove straightforward. Once again, I love this fact simply because I don’t want to spend a lot of time messing around here.
Overall, I’m very impressed, and its size means it takes up little space in your workshop.
- It has an impressive motor for such a small tool
- The dust extraction system is one of the best
- Adjusting the knives and fence is simple
- It takes up little in the way of space
- Changing the cutting angle is a quick process
- It clearly has limits on the size of projects thanks to the size of the machine
Best Lightweight Benchtop Jointer – Porter & Cable 6” Variable Speed (PC160JT)
- Power: 10 Amp
- Speed: Variable from 6,000 RPM to 11,000 RPM
- Weight: 35lbs
If you are searching for a portable benchtop jointer thanks to its weight, then this model by Porter & Cable is one I would highly recommend. After all, the model weighs just 35lbs, and that’s practically nothing regarding this type of tool.
But that’s not the only reason why I think you should seriously consider purchasing this tool.
It also has a wonderful variable speed option that is quick and easy to use. It means you can change between 6,000 RPM and 11,000 RPM, so you can decide on how much control you want over your project.
This 6” machine comes with a two knife cutter head, and you should find it an easy enough task to change the blades as and when required to do so. This model also comes with a jackscrew knife to help level out, and I generally find this jointer extremely easy to use.
The fence is center-mounted, and I feel it does offer more than enough support for your projects. Also, you should have no problem using this model for several tasks, including edging, flattening, and jointing.
Overall, it’s compact and weighs very little, yet it still does a fantastic job every time.
- It weighs very little, so it is highly portable
- You can easily adjust the speed
- Changing knives is not difficult
- It’s capable of carrying out several tasks
- The fence offers substantial support
- Getting the fence to a 90-degree angle is sometimes not that easy
Best for Dust Collection – Powertec BJ600
- Power: 1 ¾ HP
- Speed: 10,000 RPM
- Weight: 75 lbs
One issue I tend to have with a benchtop jointer is the amount of dust it can produce. That’s why I have selected this model by Powertec for anyone who wants the best benchtop jointer that produces less dust than you may expect.
But don’t think this machine produces little in the way of dust thanks to its lacking elsewhere. That’s not the case. Instead, this machine comes with 1 ¾ HP and offers speeds of 10,000 RPM, which should prove sufficient for most projects.
But I love this tool for many other reasons besides the dust collection. For example, I see this model as one of the safest on the market. That’s because they make it easy to switch the machine off should something go wrong. I find it amazing that some brands and models don’t do this, but that’s not the case here.
In addition, I feel this benchtop jointer remains exceptionally stable, which makes a difference when it’s in use. This leads to better control, and the chances of you making some sort of mistake will be reduced as a result.
Overall though, it’s how this model collects the dust created when in use that marks it out as a wonderful machine. Finding another one that works as well as this model is challenging.
- The dust collection is fantastic
- The machine feels stable when in use
- It has ample power to help you with your projects
- It provides enough speed to deliver the results you want
- It’s still relatively compact in size
- It does weigh more than other models, so portability is not so good
Best Professional Benchtop Jointer – Grizzly Industrial G0725
- Power: 1 ½ HP
- Speed: 10,000 RPM
- Cutting Angles: 45 – 135 degrees
Grizzly Industrial is a brand I love when it comes to carrying out more heavy-duty tasks, as I know their machinery just won’t let me down. This benchtop jointer is a prime example of this, and it comes packed with 1 ½ HP of power and offers up to 20,000 cuts per minute.
However, it’s not the power or speed that draws me to this model. It’s the way that this machine is so easy to set up and adjust to fit your needs. Also, you should have no issue with changing the cutting angle, with it ranging from 45 degrees up to 135 degrees.
I find the dust collection system with this model to be adequate, but it’s how this jointer is so stable and robust that draws me to it. This machine remains solid when used, and I feel it’s strong enough to withstand a lot of punishment and regular use.
Overall, while this benchtop jointer does not do anything too spectacular, it’s reliable and robust, which is vital when you plan on using it regularly.
- The table and machine, in general, are robust and rigid
- Changing the angle is straightforward
- It’s obvious this machine can cope with a lot of punishment
- It has a reasonable dust extraction system
- It has ample power to complete those tasks
- It does weigh a lot, so portability may be an issue
How to Choose the Best Benchtop Jointer
The five different models listed above are all excellent in their own right, but I do understand if you find it difficult to decide which one to choose. So, these tips regarding the main points to look for may make a difference.
The power aspect is always important as it does help you to work on a variety of woods and complete the task in very little time. Generally, I would not go for anything lower than 1 HP or 10 Amp of power. If you drop below that level, you will make your life a whole lot harder in the process.
If purchasing a benchtop jointer with a set speed, ensure it’s not less than 10,000 RPM. However, I suggest often going for a benchtop jointer with a variable speed option since it delivers more control.
With variable speed control, you can drop down to as low as 6,000 RPM and get decent results. Anything lower than that figure would come across as pointless, and it’s not something I recommend.
One thing I love about benchtop jointers is how you can change the angle to get that piece of wood exactly as you want it. I do prefer when you can move from a minus to a positive angle, but you may see some models referring to opening up to a maximum of 135 degrees instead.
I would always push for the biggest and best angles possible. Thanks to the angle options, it just means you can use the benchtop jointer for more tasks.
It’s important you feel that the model is straightforward to adjust, but I’ve ensured that the five listed above fall into that category. For this, I’m talking about the ease with which you can change the angle, and even how to change the knives.
You want the knives to take just minutes to change out. However, once again, each model listed above offers this option.
Considering what you are using the benchtop jointer for, how it deals with the dust you create is essential. You need a model that will remove the dust from the cutter head as it’s working. In doing so, you can pay close attention to what is going on, which means you have more accurate results.
But ideally, the dust collection system will not only pull the dust away but also come with some sort of container to collect it rather than you having to add your own vacuum system.
Finally, there’s the size aspect, and most of these benchtop jointers have a maximum size of 6”. That may very well have an impact on the projects you can complete with this machine.
However, while most benchtop jointers are of this size, check whichever model you are interested in to know and understand its limitations.
I feel that the main things to think about when buying a benchtop jointer are to focus on the power and how easily you can adjust the machine to fit your needs. Aside from that, most benchtop jointers have the same features, so you will often have only slight differences to contend with.
Even though a benchtop jointer is not the most common tool, I still find it exceptionally important when helping me deal with specific tasks. The five models listed above are all fantastic in their own right, and I know the perfect tool will be there for you.
However, I understand that it may prove tough to make your decision, so I suggest you check out my different tips on what to look for when choosing a benchtop jointer. My aim is to make your life a whole lot easier and avoid making a potentially costly mistake.
I never knew how much of an advantage it could be using a benchtop jointer until I bought my first one. I believe you will feel the same way if you decide to take that plunge and buy one.