5 Best Benchtop Jointers Reviewed

Whether you are a hobbyist carpenter or a professional woodworker, one of your most essential tools is, without doubt, the benchtop jointer. Jointers come in all shapes and sizes, of course, and are also a significant investment. You need to find the best benchtop jointers your money can buy, then, to ensure that you can work efficiently, accurately and creatively in equal measure.

But what, exactly, makes the best benchtop jointers stand out from the worst? A good jointer should help you flatten curved or bent pieces of wood while increasing its durability and giving it a uniform shape. And benchtop jointers are thought of as the best for working on small woodworking projects. But even within this highly specific field, there are many options available on the market these days, and the array of choice can be bewildering.

With this in mind, we have taken a look at some of the most popular benchtop jointers on the market to help guide you through some of the features you need to be looking for to ensure you get the best jointer for your money.

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10 Best portable jointer to Buy (Review) (Source: Youtube.com)


Comparisons

As with many other products, the best benchtop jointers will usually cost you more money than the worst. Ultimately, you get what you pay for, although the reality is that you also need to consider the actual functionality of the machine itself. You can use a benchtop jointer for many different tasks, and some will make it easier for you to do ‘Project A’, while others will be better for ‘Project B.”

The trick, then, is to make sure you have a good idea of what you will be using the jointer for - and then you can assess how much you need to pay. To highlight this point, we’re going to take a look at some of the most popular benchtop jointers on the market right now, and explain some of the key features, pros and cons of each device. Let’s take a closer look at some of your options.

Brief Reviews of 5 Best Benchtop Jointers 2018

1. Powermatic 1610086K Model 60HH - Ultimate tool for professionals (Under 3000)

Powermatic 1610086K Model 60HH 8-Inch 2 HP 1-Phase Jointer with Helical Cutterhead
  • Helical cutterhead with four-sided inserts provides smoother, quieter cutting and a superior finish
  • Extra long tables are mounted on dovetailed ways, for extended workpiece support
  • Adjustment lever offers quick infeed table positioning and fine-tuning of cut depth
  • High mount switch for operator convenience
  • Handwheel operated worm gear system for smooth fence tilting

Last update on 2018-05-21 PST - Details

Powermatic is a big name in the world of benchtop jointers, and the Powermatic 1610086K is a great example of what they offer. The 9-inch Powermatic jointer features a helical cutterhead, extra long tables for working on, and an adjustable lever for fine-tuning while working. It has a high mount switch, too, and a handwheel operated worm gear system that is great for smooth fence detailing.


Weighing in at 518 pounds, the Powermatic 1610086K has garnered some excellent praise from buyers, who express their delight at the smooth finishes, perfect joints, and tremendous cuts that the jointer makes. It’s a sight to behold, too, and if you want to have a talking point for your carpentry shop, then the bright yellow jointer could well be it. It’s stable, safe, and easy to operate, too, so ideal for anyone looking to get started in woodwork of any kind.


There are a couple of issues, however. The on/off button is a little tricky to reach, and as benchtops go, this jointer is far from portable. It’s a great hulking machine that is best left where you need it.

PROS

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    Super stability
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    Incredibly flexible - will work with all kinds of wood
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    Smooth cuts, joints and finishes
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    Durable and quiet cutting

CONS

  • Access to some controls is difficult
  • Big learning curve
  • Heavy and not good for portability
  • Big price tag

Verdict

While the large price tag will put off most home DIY enthusiasts, the Powermatic 1610086K is a fantastic choice for a professional workshop. It is an incredibly heavy unit, however, so is best used to make your cuts off-site. It’s a powerful, accurate and incredibly versatile machine that will benefit any business working with wood cutting.

Powermatic 60HH Jointer - User Review! (Source: Youtube.com)

Last update on 2018-05-21 PST - Details

2. RIKON Power Tools 20-600H - A great choice for rookies

RIKON Power Tools 20-600H 6" Benchtop Jointer with Helical Cutter head
  • Helical Cutter head with 12 two-sided inserts
  • Large 19 3/4" x 4 3/8" Fence tilts 90° to 135°
  • Safety on/off switch

Last update on 2018-05-21 PST - Details

The RIKON Power Tools 20-600H is an incredibly well-priced piece of kit that offers a lot more features than the pricetag suggests. It is home to a helical cutterhead with 12, two-sided inserts, features a safety on/off switch and can handle large pieces of wood on its 19 ¾ x 43/8-inch surface. The RIKON benchtop is super light, meaning it could be housed in any workshop of any size - and it wouldn’t be too difficult to bring it on-site while working on a job, either.


The great thing about the RIKON Power Tools 20-600H is that it has lots of exceptional features but is small enough to fit into any workshop - even those with minimal floor space. It’s easy to use and has had some good feedback from all kinds of customers, from woodworking hobbyists through to workers in the trades.


However, there are a few issues with the RIKON Power Tools 20-600H to point out. You won’t get a perfectly smooth finish on the bed, and some users have reported occasional problems when using the fence - the micro adjusters can over tighten and cause the fence to move.

PROS

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    Excellent value
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    Highly portable and small enough for tiny rooms and workshops
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    Quiet cutting
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    Easy to use

CONS

  • Fence micro adjusters are problematic
  • Not the smoothest of finishes

Verdict

The RIKON Power Tools 20-600H is not perfect by any means. But for those people new to working with wood looking for a great value and a good starting point for benchtop jointers, it’s a definite option. However, the lack of smooth finishing means the RIKON Power Tools 20-600H is probably best for DIY work rather than professional trades.


Last update on 2018-05-21 PST - Details

3. Powermatic 1791317K 54HH - Great all-rounder for workshops and hobbyists (Under 2000)

Powermatic 1791317K 54HH 6-Inch Jointer with helical cutterhead
  • Helical cutterhead with four-sided knife inserts provides smoother, quieter cutting and finer finish than conventional systems
  • 6-inch long adjustable infeed and outfeed tables provide more working surface

Last update on 2018-05-21 PST - Details

It’s Powermatic again - this time with the slightly cheaper Powermatic 1791317K. It’s a 54HH 6-inch jointer that features a helical cutterhead with a four-sided knife, an adjustable infeed and outfeed table, and a high-performance fence system.


The Powermatic 1791317K is a solid, well-built piece of kit that could be the next step up for your woodworking, whether you are an amateur or pro. The Powermatic reputation in the benchtop jointer world is fantastic, and despite the fact their 1791317K model is cheaper than their top-of-the-range machines, doesn’t make it less than eye-catching. It’s easy to set up, gives you exceptionally clean cuts, and offers quality woodworking with a minimal amount of noise.


If there is one complaint about the Powermatic 1791317K, it’s probably the fence. Overall, it’s a good fence system that matches its description of ‘high performance,’ but some users have highlighted a slight warping - although it doesn’t impact on the overall operation. Like the other Powermatic on this list, it’s a heavy piece of machinery - not for taking to and from external sites.

PROS

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    Super powerful
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    Clean Cuts
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    Quiet operation
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    Great for fine finishing work

CONS

  • Slight warp from fence on occasion
  • Not ideal for processing lumber
  • Could be bigger

Verdict

If you want the Powermatic experience without the price tag, the Powermatic 1791317K 54HH is a possible contender for you. It offers a fantastic finish that is truly capable of lifting your work from amateur to professional. A good all-arounder that will suit small businesses and hobbyists alike.


Powermatic 54HH Helical Head Joingter (Source: Youtube.com)

Last update on 2018-05-21 PST - Details

4. POWERTEC BJ600 Bench Jointer (Under 300)

POWERTEC BJ600 Bench Jointer with Built-In Dust Collection, 6-1/8-Inch
  • Built-in dust collection system for fast removal of wood chips into a full size dust bag
  • Cast iron infeed and outfeed table
  • Cast iron fence tilt 45 degrees inward and 45 degrees outward for chamfer and bevel cuts
  • Safety power switch lock

Last update on 2018-05-21 PST - Details

Looking for a budget benchtop jointer to kickstart your woodworking hobby? The answer could lie with the POWERTEC BJ600. It’s a 6⅛-inch jointer with a built-in dust collection system and features a cast-iron infeed and outfeed table, and 45-degree tilt. It also has a safety power switch and locks to ensure you are secure while working.


As the price of the POWERTEC BJ600 will show, this is a budget jointer with an eye on the hobbyist/DIY customer. It’s a good machine, too, with smooth cuts and wood chip disposal both exceptional features. For a budget unit, the POWERTEC BJ600 is reassuringly robust - thanks mainly to the cast-iron work surface, and it’s light enough to move over small distances.


Of course, at this price point, you cannot expect perfection. The POWERTEC BJ600 is difficult to assemble and making adjustments can be complicated. It’s not a problem for experienced jointer workers, but given this is a machine for rookies to the scene, it’s something of a misstep.

PROS

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    Excellent price
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    Wood chip removal
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    Robust build
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    Smooth finish for the price

CONS

  • Can be a little crude to operate
  • Poor assembly and adjustment instructions
  • Lack of room when changing in-feed

Verdict

The POWERTEC BJ600 is not the best benchtop jointer on the market - but at a price, it’s got to be under your consideration if you are a DIY or home-based woodworking enthusiast. Not every user out there will sing its praises, of course, but if you have the patience to work through the assembly and adjustment guidelines, it can pay off.

POWERTEC BJ600 Bench Jointer with Built-In Dust Collection, 6-1/8-Inch (Source: Youtube.com)

Last update on 2018-05-21 PST - Details

5. Delta Power Tools 37-071 (Under 500)

Sale
Delta Power Tools 37-071 6 Inch MIDI-Bench Jointer
  • Durable cast iron construction increases weight providing stability and reducing vibration
  • Precision-machining of the table and fence ensures long term accuracy
  • Heavy duty, cast iron fence support system for accuratejointing
  • Simple fence adjust system with adjustable positive stops at90 ̊ and 45 ̊ in and out
  • Up to 1/8 in. depth of cut. Aluminum cutterhead with two knives. Simple jackscrew arrangement offers easy adjustment when changing knives

Last update on 2018-05-21 PST - Details

The Delta Power Tools 37-071 is a solid, durable, heavyweight benchtop jointer that comes in at an eye-catching price tag with plenty of features to enjoy. It’s a 6-inch MIDI bench jointer that can cut up to a ⅛ inch deep, features a fence adjust system with stops fixed between 90 and 45 degrees in and out, and offers long-term accuracy with precision machinery.


The Delta Power Tools 37-071 has a nice, solid feel to it and although too heavy to move around, you can expect a smooth cut and nice finish. It’s a simple machine, too - easy to use and pick up from the very first time. The Delta Power Tools 37-071 features a good dust collection ports, easily changeable blades, and is exceptional value for money.


It’s not all sunshine and rainbows, however. The machine comes shipped in oil, which is difficult to remove and can periodically bind your wood from time to time. The fence can be a little too flexible, which can result in the occasional misstep. And you can also tell that Delta Power Tools have scrimped on some of the tools on the device - they do feel a little cheap. 

PROS

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    Amazing value
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    Smooth finish
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    Easy to operate
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    Great overall build

CONS

  • Some tools feel cheap
  • Non-portable
  • Use of shipping oil

Verdict

Overall, the Delta Power Tools 37-071 is a fantastic little benchtop jointer that gives you excellent bang for your buck. It’s not without problems, and may not give you the performance you would expect from a top-of-the-range competitor, but it is certainly worth considering.


Sale
Delta Power Tools 37-071 6 Inch MIDI-Bench Jointer
Delta Power Tools - Tools & Home Improvement

Last update on 2018-05-21 PST - Details

Recommendations

So, which is the best benchtop jointer out there? Clearly, if you are looking for something that is close to perfection, then the Powermatic 1610086K has to be on the top of your list. In fact, the only thing that goes against it is the eye-watering price tag - so it just isn’t an option for the vast majority of people out there. With this in mind, we would go for the Powermatic 1791317K instead. It’s the perfect all-arounder for workshops in the home or for business, and it’s worth spending the extra to ensure the best possible cuts and finishes for your projects.

Buying Guide

There are a few things you need to consider when buying a benchtop jointer. As this review article has shown, there is an astonishing array of choice. First of all, consider what you need it for. A woodworking hobbyist is probably better off going for something small and cheaper than a professional carpenter or builder.

Similarly, however, builders and carpenters may need to look at getting something portable that they can use on and off-site. Regardless of your needs, it’s important to get something with a sturdy work surface, fine cutting, and a good fence to ensure straight cuts.

Conclusion

As you can see, there is a big difference in the top-of-the-range benchtop jointer and the budget alternatives. While you don’t need to spend a small fortune on a jointer - if you are a DIY hobbyist, for example - in many cases it makes sense to invest. The fine finish, accurate cutting and heavy-duty nature of the most expensive models is clear to see to everyone. Hopefully, this article will show you the type of thing that is available, and the best option for your needs - good luck!

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