The 5 Best Budget Jointers That Still Pack a Punch

When looking at power tools classed as being budget versions, I feel people often overlook them simply because they think they will just be inferior. While I do admit that can be the case in some instances, I believe that’s not always true. 

Take a jointer as an example. Some jointer machines can cost a small fortune, but that doesn’t always have to be the case. Instead, I believe a number of budget models are out there that are more than capable of still producing the type of end result you are hoping for.

However, I admit this then opens up a problem. A number of low-cost jointers are out on the market, but not every one is made equally. So, I’m here to help.

What you will find below is my list of five of the best budget jointers on the market that do still pack a punch. In my list, you will discover jointers that are not only inexpensive but also easy to set up, easy to use, and still deliver outstanding results.

But that’s not all.

I know if any individual is new to this type of machine that they may be unaware of what it is you should look for when choosing one. So, after I’ve spoken about the five different machines, you will find several tips on what to look out for.

After that, I believe you will be in a much better position to determine the best jointer that fits your needs and your budget.

working with a jointer

How I Made My List

But to begin with, let me quickly explain how I came up with my list.

I’ve spent far more years working with power tools than I care to remember. However, that experience is fantastic as it makes it easier for me to work out which tools are better than others.

In this instance, I had some simple criteria in mind.

Of course, I wanted the jointer to be inexpensive. That’s the entire idea of selecting these five machines. I also only wanted to focus on tools that were very easy to use. Often, people looking at budget machines also want to keep things nice and straightforward, so suggesting a complicated tool is not the right thing to do.

But I also checked out other reviews from people who have previously gone ahead and purchased the tool. That lets me see what it’s like to own this machine for an extended period, and it gives me confidence in suggesting the machine to you.

Once all of that was over, I was left with these five tools, and I’m sure there will be at least one that fits in with your own needs.

Best Beginner Budget Jointer – Craftsman Benchtop Jointer 10Amp

  • Power: 10 Amp
  • Max Speed: 11,000 RPM
  • Weight: 40 lbs

If you want a beginner budget jointer, then I do recommend this model by Craftsman. I know Craftsman has a reputation for producing quality tools without it blowing a hole in your budget. But that’s not the only reason why I’ve included this model in my list.

First, it comes with a power output of 10 Amps, and that’s more than enough for most home DIY projects where there’s no need to push a tool to its absolute limits. Also, I appreciate that this model has a variable speed option allowing you to change things between 6,000 and 11,000 RPM.

This variation allows you to keep absolute control over your project, and I feel that’s important when you are simply becoming accustomed to using a jointer. Also, as it has two knives, that means it produces up to 22,000 cuts per minute, which I also find to be more than sufficient.

This means this jointer can work on hard and softwood without any problem. Also, even though this is a basic model, it is still a suitable jointer for experienced woodworkers.

Finally, this is a benchtop model. That means it is kind of portable since it only weighs some 40 lbs. While this is not the lightest model out there, I do feel it provides enough stability to allow you to work the machine as hard as you possibly can.

Pros

  • The model is portable
  • It keeps the controls nice and simple
  • It has enough power for most woods
  • The built-in fence makes it easier to get straight cuts
  • Replacing the blades is straightforward

Cons

  • You are limited by the size of the machine

Best Small Budget Jointer – Rikon 6” Benchtop Jointer

  • Power: 10 Amp
  • Weight: 36 lbs

If it’s a small jointer you are after, then this model by Rikon is one to consider. It comes with 10 Amp of power and weighs just 36 lbs, so it’s not a heavyweight machine by any counts. However, I’m still impressed with what you can achieve via this jointer.

You see, this model has a 6 row helical cutter head, and that’s different from what you would typically expect. It also comes with two insert cutters that allow for faster cutting.

The machine is also made from steel, so it’s rigid, and it gives you confidence that you can push this to its limits and it won’t crack under pressure. 

Furthermore, I love how it also offers a sturdy fence, and you have a tilt option from 90 degrees to 45 degrees. That increases the options available to you regarding this jointer, and I do love versatility in my power tools.

Overall, I find this benchtop jointer to be exceptionally easy to use. They keep the controls plain and simple, and I have no doubt you will find it easy to get the results you want.

Pros

  • It’s packed with power, so it can work on all types of wood
  • The tilt option is a great addition
  • The jointer is exceptionally well made
  • The controls are straightforward to use
  • The work table offers ample space for your projects
  • Perfect for beginners

Cons

  • Once again, size limits the projects you can work on

Best Budget Jointer for All Wood Types – Wahuda Tools Jointer 6”

  • Power: 10 Amp
  • Speed: 12,000 RPM
  • Table Size: 54” when extended

If you tend to work with different types of wood, having a jointer that won’t struggle with any material is important. That’s why I’ve included the Wahude Tools 6” jointer.

It comes with the standard 10 Amp of power and offers cutting speeds of up to 12,000 RPM, which is ample for most projects. However, those are not the only reasons why I think this is one of the best budget jointers around.

You see, even though this is a compact machine, it extends to such an extent that the table can then cover a total of 54”. Also, the aluminum fence allows you to tilt it from 90 degrees to 135 degrees, so you can use this tool more efficiently.

I also love the construction of this machine. Made from cast iron and steel, it does mean you won’t struggle from corrosion affecting this jointer. That does mean it’s slightly heavier than most other small jointers at 55lbs, but that’s not too big a deal in my book.

But another thing I really appreciate about this model is the ease with which you can go ahead and adjust everything. From changing knives to adjusting the support arms to increasing the table area size, it’s all done in an instant.

Overall, it’s how this jointer goes from being a small machine into something impressive in size. At least storage will not be an issue if you do go ahead and purchase this particular model.

Pros

  • It’s compact but then explodes in size
  • It is designed to be a heavy-duty machine
  • It has more than enough power to complete almost any task
  • Changing knives is done almost instantly
  • It’s easy to move around and set up

Cons

  • Some parts of the jointer do not feel as well made as the frame

Best Budget Jointer with Base Cabinet – Powermatic 54A Jointer 

  • Power: 1HP
  • Table Size: 66”

Jointers that come complete with a base cabinet are generally more expensive, but if you want a high-quality model that costs less than its competitors, then this model by Powermatic is the one to look at.

It comes with 1HP of power, and there’s also a 2HP version, which means it packs a considerable punch. Basically, this jointer can power through any type of wood and do so with absolute ease.

What I also love about this model though is the accuracy it offers. This model is quick and easy to line up, and maintaining control of it when it’s in action is also not difficult. 

The table is also impressive in size since it measures 66” long and 7 ½” wide. That makes it bigger than most, so be aware you will require more space in your workshop as a result.

But don’t worry about this tool being difficult to adjust just because things are often encased in the cabinet. You see, Powermatic ensured the motor was situated in a unique spot, so belt tensioning will not be too difficult. 

Finally, it does also come with a cast-iron fence and it does come with a tilt mechanism that is also straightforward to operate. As a result, you will have no problem getting the angle you want at the first time of asking.

Overall, this is a large and impressive machine that still represents value for money compared to its competitors.

Pros

  • The large table means you can work on bigger projects
  • It’s exceptionally easy to set up
  • The fence has a tilt mechanism allowing you to get that perfect angle
  • A dust chute is included in the base cabinet
  • It has so much power that any task is made easy

Cons

  • It’s larger than most machines, so you need more space

Best Easy to Use Budget Jointer – Delta 37-071 Jointer

  • Power: 12 Amp
  • Max Speed: 10,000 RPM
  • Weight: 75 lbs

I’m a huge fan of tools that are easy to use, and if you want a budget jointer that does not complicate matters, then this model by Delta is one to consider. 

But first, this benchtop jointer has more power than most since it has 12 Amps as opposed to the more common 10 Amps. That little boost does make a difference with more challenging materials, so that’s something you might want to consider.

Also, it does cuts of 20,000 per minute, and that’s also higher than you may have generally expected. However, all of this speed and power is supported by a cast iron frame, which ultimately means this jointer weighs some 75lbs.

But even though that’s a bit on the heavy side, I appreciate the fact that it reduces vibrations. In turn, that also means this model is quieter than you would expect.

For the fence, then it comes with two positive stops at 90 degrees and 45 degrees. The fence is solid and easy to align, so there should be no problems with getting that straight finish you are looking for.

Overall, the key for me with this model is how it is easy to adjust and operate. Everything is well laid out, and you don’t have to struggle to change the knives either.

Pros

  • It packs more power than most benchtop jointers
  • You won’t struggle to change knives in this model
  • The fence is sturdy and makes life easier for you
  • Adjusting and setting up this model remains easy to do
  • It’s cast iron, so it should last for years

Cons

  • It’s less portable than most due to the weight

How to Choose the Best Budget Jointer

working benchtop jointer

The five models listed above are all excellent in their own right, but I know some people may still struggle to understand how to choose the correct budget jointer. So, I have a few tips on things to look out for should you find yourself in that situation.

Power

Power is important, and I would not generally go below 10 Amps for a benchtop model. Anything less than that, and you may find the jointer starts to struggle with hardwood, and you will probably not be too impressed with the finished result.

I know some models go up to 12 Amps with the power aspect, but that’s only something I would go out and purchase if other features and specs on a model were also better than most. I certainly wouldn’t base my decision to buy a jointer purely on that 2 Amp difference.

Speed

With speed, you will often see two measurements. One refers to the number of times the cutter head revolves in a minute, hence the RPM, while the other speed refers to the number of cuts per minute. However, that number is simply the number of knives multiplied by the RPM.

The higher the number of cuts, the smoother the finished result should be. I would go for around 18,000 cuts per minute or higher as an absolute minimum.

Portability

It’s best to know if your jointer will be sitting in one place or if you expect to have to move it around from time to time. Remember that larger jointers will be extremely heavy, so moving them is not an option. However, that’s not always the case.

Benchtop jointers are your best choice here. They will regularly be under 60lbs, but some are heavier, so moving from job site to job site should not prove difficult.

Changing Blades

I’ve ensured that each option in my list makes it easy for you to change the knives. However, I know not every model is like that. So, I suggest you check how you change the knives, or your jointer will be unable to function correctly.

Fences

Your jointer must come with a fence, and it’s best if you can also take advantage of a tilt mechanism to allow you to work on different angles as well. This will increase the machine’s versatility and mean you can carry out a whole host of other projects on the one machine.

Ultimately, I feel those are the most important aspects to consider when it comes to choosing a jointer. The fact you can get all of this, and a whole lot more, while not blowing your budget is just a real bonus.

Overall Conclusion

So that’s my list of the five best jointers on the market that are perfect for people on a budget. As you can see, the machines are still more than capable of producing the results you want, and the fact they are exceptionally easy to operate is an added bonus.

A jointer can prove to be a highly useful tool to have at your disposal, but at least now you know you do not have to spend a lot of money to own one. All that’s left for you to do is examine each one in my list, run over the tips I mentioned above, and see which one is perfect for your individual needs.

I promise there will be the perfect one sitting there for you.

Photo of author

Barry Gray

Hi, I’m Barry. I’ve loved woodworking and bringing things back to life for more years than I care to remember. I hope my passion for tools comes across loud and clear in everything you read here on The Tool Square.

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