A smooth, fine finish is a trademark of any good woodworker. If you’re working with warped, rough or otherwise misshapen lumber, you’ll need a decent benchtop jointer to tame your material.
Benchtop jointers are power tools with a broad flat surface that are used to plane the edges of wooden material. They’re trusted by thousands of woodworkers every day – and for good reason. Any project that requires uniform edges for jointing can benefit from a good jointer.
Going through the process of buying a benchtop jointer? It can be a little overwhelming, right? This buying guide contains our top picks of the best benchtop jointers out there. We’ve used a strict set of criteria to find tools that represent good value for money with high levels of performance and reliability.
Best Benchtop Jointer: Our Top Picks
Each jointer on this list has its own unique set of advantages. We’ve tried to find benchtop jointers for a wide variety of applications.
1. Delta 37-071 6-Inch Benchtop Jointer
This bench jointer from Delta is a sturdy, easy-to-adjust tool that won’t let you down. The heavy-duty, cast iron build of this bench jointer is nice and heavy. This makes for a strong, dependable base that should significantly reduce vibration when working.
This cast iron workhorse comes with a handy fence system that can be adjusted very quickly. The positive stops on this model can be adjusted to 45° and 90° in and out. Accuracy is rarely a concern with a bench jointer like this. The tool has been precision-machined to ensure you get the best results every time.
The 120 V, single phase motor makes short work of rough, stubborn lumber. Delta has nearly 90 years of woodworking experience. This longevity and knowledge usually shows in their products and this benchtop jointer is no exception. It’s one of the best out there and gets a huge recommendation from us.
- Sturdy, cast iron construction for reduced vibration and improved accuracy
- Easy-to-adjust fence system
- Precision-machined body
- The motor on this jointer doesn’t have the best cooling we’ve ever seen
2. PORTER-CABLE PC160JT
Next up is this fantastic benchtop jointer from Porter Cable. This is one of the best benchtop jointers for those who need a little more room. The extra large table on this model gives plenty of room for even the largest pieces. You should make quick work of them too. The powerful motor on this benchtop jointer delivers up to 11,000 RPM.
This allows for an impressive max cuts per minute of 22,000. Every work piece is different. The variable speed settings on the Porter Cable PC160JT make it easy to set the right speed for the material you’re working with. This makes it much easier to get the best possible finish every time.
The two-knife cutter head and lock on this model are super easy to adjust or remove. Replacing the knife shouldn’t be an issue. This is a benchtop jointer well suited for edging, flattening and face jointing on most pieces of wood. It’s more than earned its place on this list.
- Convenient speed adjustments
- Extra roomy table
- An impressive 22,000 max cuts per minute
- The included hex key is pretty flimsy
3. Cutech 40160H-CT 6″ Bench Top Spiral Cutterhead Jointer
Cutech has built a solid reputation as a dependable power tools brand. That isn’t to say you should blindly trust every product with a Cutech logo slapped on it, but this 6-inch benchtop jointer is definitely worth a look. Don’t be too quick to dismiss this as an exclusively budget option. There’s more here than first meets the eye.
The spiral type cutter head on this machine is powered by a tough 120 V motor. This is more than enough power for most jointing applications. The design here is very well considered; the finish is much better than you might expect when considering the price point.
Dust and chip debris is something you’ll need to consider when working with a benchtop jointer. Debris can build up fast, so it’s best to consider models with a good dust collection system. The built-in 2½-inch dust port on the 40260H-CT does a great job of keeping things clear.
This one of the best benchtop jointers out there for those working on a budget. It can also hold its own when compared to more expensive options.
- Effective dust port
- Spiral type cutter head leaves a fantastic finish
- The outfeed table is easy to level
- The guard could be sturdier
4. CRAFTSMAN CMEW020 Benchtop Jointer
Both hard and softwoods will be no match for this benchtop jointer. Craftsman has built a machine capable of up to 22,000 cuts per minute. This is probably the best option we’ve seen when it comes to portability. The CMEW020 can be carried around without much hassle. The relatively lightweight 35 lbs construction won’t weigh you down.
Craftsman claims that this benchtop jointer was built with versatility in mind and we agree with them. This tool is suitable for almost any situation you throw at it. Complete novices and fanatics alike should get plenty out of this machine.
The variable speed settings on the CMEW020 give you complete control over your work. Even the most fiddly pieces should come out looking great. In our opinion, this is a benchtop jointer that’s well worth your money.
- Lightweight and portable
- Super versatile
- Provides a great level of control when working
- The dust hose attachment is a little weak at the contact points
5. Grizzly Industrial G0725 6-inch Benchtop Jointer
As the name suggests, this is a seriously durable piece of kit. The durable, cast iron construction of the G0725 is clearly built to last. The added weight that comes with cast iron does a great job of reducing vibration and improving accuracy. Using this benchtop jointer is predictable and comfortable.
The 110V single phase motor powers two cutter head knives at up to 10,000 rotations per minute. The max cutter head speed on the G07525 is 20 000 cuts per minute. Dust collection is a breeze on this benchtop jointer. The built-in system makes light work of any debris you produce.
The infeed and outfeed tables on this model are precision ground and come with a power-coated finish for improved accuracy and durability. If you need a tool that will last a long time, this is one of the best available on the market.
- Sturdy, cast iron tables
- Great dust collection system
- Minimal vibration when working
- Adjustments can be a bit of a hassle sometimes
6. Shop Fox W1829 Benchtop Jointer
The shop fox brand is known for its attention to detail, tough components and strict quality control. This benchtop jointer lives up to these expectations. The Shop Fox W1829 has been designed to deliver excellent results that last a lifetime. The build quality and durability considerations on this model are what earned it its place on this list.
The tough cast iron construction is built to last and is surprisingly compact without compromising on available workspace. The collection system works well and actively vacuums up chips and ejects them through the built-in dust port.
This benchtop jointer is well suited to surface planing, edge jointing and bevel cuts. Name a planing situation, and this tool can probably handle it. The large, fully-adjustable aluminum fence, quick adjustment knife design and bevel jointing up to 45-degrees make this a jointer that’s refreshingly easy to use.
The Shop Fox W1829 benchtop jointer packs a slew of convenient features into a durable, compact design. This is one of the best benchtop tools money can buy in our opinion.
- Great dust collection system with effective dust port
- Tough construction and cast iron fence
- Surprisingly compact
- Make sure you double-check your measurements. There’s no included depth gauge.
7. Wahuda Tools 50180CC-WHD 8-Inch Benchtop Jointer
This is the best benchtop jointer on our list for the complete novice. Wahuda Tools has designed the 50180CC with the beginner in mind. The spiral style cutter head system, cast iron tables and levellers are all refreshingly easy to use. If you’re new to woodworking and feeling a little out of your depth, this is a fantastic option.
That isn’t to say that this is an incapable benchtop jointer; it still performs well where it counts. The powerful 120V motor powers a spiral style cutter head with 4-sided 16 carbide inserts. This design makes for reliable and consistent performance that degrades very slowly.
Adding to the durability are the sturdy cast iron tables and tight factory tolerances that keep the 50180CC running for longer.
Portability won’t be much of an issue here. This is far from the lightest jointer on our list, but the 64 lbs weight shouldn’t slow you down too much when moving around the job site. If you’re a novice looking for a great starter machine, this is the best benchtop jointer on this list.
- Perfect for beginners
- Leaves an excellent finish with minimal skill required
- Relatively portable
- The adjustment knobs are a little flimsy
8. Jet JJP-8BT 8-Inch Jointer-Planer Combo
This is a phenomenal 2-in-1 machine that works equally well as either a jointer or a planer. This could save you a lot of workspace if you need both tools in your shop. In fact, this is the best benchtop jointer (cum-planer) on our list for workers with smaller workshops.
The infeed table, outfeed table and overall design are nice and compact and won’t take up much room at all. Don’t let the size fool you, the heavy-duty motor on the JJP-8BT is more than capable of ploughing through a variety of cutting applications. The main word to remember with this model is convenience.
The feature set here makes for an incredibly easy-to-use machine. The oversized knobs all over the machine are convenient and even satisfying to use. The integrated cord wrap makes it a breeze to move the tool wherever you need it to go. The 67 lbs weight of this 2-in-1 will be relatively easy to lug around.
For an ultra-convenient space saver, look no further than the Jet JJP-8BT.
- One of the few options that combines both a jointer and a planer
- Super compact design
- Very convenient to use
- The included instructions are quite cryptic if you’re new to woodworking
9. RIKON Power Tools 20-600H Benchtop Jointer
The spring-loaded safety guard and a front on/off switch on this offering from RIKON maintains an excellent level of safety when working. This a good thing too, as the high-speed, 120-Volt motor on this jointer is seriously powerful. RIKON boasts that you’ll love the results you get with this machine. We don’t think this is an exaggeration.
If dust collection is important to you, then the 20-600H has got you covered. The built-in port and dust collection system keeps chips far away from where you’re working. Quick knife and fence adjustments are a breeze with this jointer. You’ll be able to quickly tweak to your heart’s content.
Included in the box are a pair of safety push blocks, two hex wrenches and a 6-inch jointer. The table and fence are made from machined steel which allows for a lightweight construction that’s easy to carry with you. When it comes to safety, portability and convenience, this jointer ticks all the boxes.
- Very lightweight at 36 lbs
- Great built-in dust collection
- The helical cutter head works great
- The included push blocks could be bigger
Are Benchtop Jointers Worth it?
We certainly think so. It does of course depend on your requirements, but as a general rule they’re a fantastic addition to the woodworker’s toolkit. They represent a significant upfront cost that’s hard to deny. What you get for your investment though is a mountain of time saved and significantly fewer headaches.
It can also end up saving you money in the long run.
A key element to consider when it comes to a good jointer is accuracy. A decent jointer with an accurate cutter head will significantly reduce the amount of material you waste when working. Manual planing and sanding options are one way to go when it comes to getting a smooth, uniform finish on your edges.
One area where these approaches fall short though is the amount of wood they can waste if you’re not careful. If you regularly produce larger builds like cabinets or other furniture, it won’t take too long before you’ve recouped the cost of your tool! Even as few as 5 large cabinets might save you enough material to pay for the price of the jointer.
Over time, these savings can be reinvested into improving your kit or growing your skillset. When you add this to the amount of time and energy you’ll save, a good jointer starts to seem like a worthwhile investment after all.
The best thing to do is to figure out exactly what you’re looking for. The clearer you are about what you need your tool to do, the easier it will be to decide if a jointer is worth it for you. It helps to know what exactly the machines are for. If you’re a beginner, read the section below to clear things up.
What Benchtop Jointers Are Good For
Benchtop jointers take the edges of your wooden pieces and plane them, leaving a smooth, uniform finish. Once you’ve planed down the edges of your boards, it’s much easier to glue them together. This is why they’re referred to as jointers.
The great thing about benchtop jointers is their versatility. They’re capable of the following :
- Beveling the edges of boards and doors
- Tidying up glue joints
- Fixing warped and misshapen edges on wooden pieces
- Sanding away saw marks
- Straightening curved edges on boards
- Trimming down stock fractions and similar pieces
- Leaving smooth, uniform edges on a variety of materials
If the tasks above are a regular part of your woodworking routine, it’s definitely worth considering picking up a jointer.
Things to Look Out For
There are a number of features to look out for when buying a jointer benchtop tool. This buying guide will give you the lowdown.
Built-In Dust Collection
This is an important consideration that some newbies overlook. These machines generate a huge amount of debris so models with built-in dust management are a huge plus. Look for features like a collection bag or port that quickly gather up or eject the wood chips you produce.
The premium you place on portability, among other characteristics, will determine the type of bench you go for. The three main types available in 2020 are:
- Closed stand
- Open stand
Each comes with its own set of pros and cons. Check the user manual or specs sheet of each individual model to learn more.
Depth of Cut/ Cutting Depth
Keep in mind that this will affect the number of passes you need to make before reaching your desired thickness. The lower your cutting depth, the more passes will be necessary.
There are three main types of cutter head on the market with slightly different purposes:
- Spiral knives – These are designed to need less sharpening and to produce much less noise.
- Straight knives – This is the most common type you’ll see. They’re usually made of strong steel and are suitable for most standard jointer applications.
- Spiral inserts – This is a more recent innovation. Several inserts are added into the body of the machine for an increased number of cuts per minute. The more inserts, the higher the number of possible cuts.
The sizeable majority of these machines use a single phase, 110 V motor. Other variants do exist such as 120 V and 220 V options. If you see a wildly different voltage than these three then approach with caution.
Weight and Size
The size and weight of your perfect model will depend on how much moving around you’re going to be doing. If you’re a contractor that’s constantly bouncing around from place to place, you’ll want a lightweight, easy-to-carry model.
If this is less of a concern, a bulkier option will likely be fine for you. As a general rule, heavier machines come with less vibration when working.
There’s an ocean of choice out there when it comes to woodworking power tools. We hope this guide has helped to cut through the mystery. The reality is that there’s no such thing as a one-size-fits-all model. The best tool for you will depend wholly on the type of work you’re doing.
Some features like a good collection bag, or at least a dust port, are universally important, but considerations like portability, infeed table size and cutting depth all come down to personal requirements. The best advice we can give you is to figure out exactly what you’re looking for.
The clearer you are about what you need, the easier it will be to find the perfect tool!