Last updated on August 16th, 2021 at 11:09 am
Most jointers are usually in the form of heavy floor model machinery, which are not only expensive for the average woodworker, but also require a large workshop space to operate. That is where the need for small portable units known as benchtop jointers arise.
With a benchtop jointer, you get a small portable machine that will not only fit your small workshop, but will also be suitable for jobsite projects due to its portability.
Floor model jointers like this 2 HP Powermatic and this Grizzly Helical cutterhead jointer might prove to be too big for woodworkers with very small workshop space. Hence the need for portable benchtop models.
As a hobbyist or simple DIYer, you can pair a small portable jointer with a similar portable thickness planer machine to produce boards that are flat, square and fit for any type of woodworking project.
The benchtop units are also perfect for contractors looking for portable machines for jobsite wood jointing projects.
You can easily get it into your truck and take it to the jobsite for work. In this post, I’ve listed and reviewed the best benchtop jointers you can get today.
Most of these power tool brands and manufacturers produce it, and in this post, we’ve listed only the best ones you can use for your projects.
What you should know before getting a benchtop jointer
Finally decided to get a benchtop jointer? Well, there’s one thing you should know first before you go all the way to getting one for yourself.
They’re not big floor jointers. They’re just portable units which you can use if you have a small workshop or if you’re looking for one you can easily take with you to the jobsite.
As a result of this, you shouldn’t expect too much from this little portable machine. You’ll find more success and accuracy face-jointing short boards with it than when you try to joint very long or large boards with it.
So, if you have a long board to joint, consider dividing the board into two or more shorter boards depending on the length of the board and jointing each board separately so you can get the best result possible.
1. PORTER-CABLE PC160JT Variable Speed 6 inch Benchtop Jointer
Porter Cable’s 6 inch benchtop jointer makes use of a 2 straight knife cutterhead but it produces one of the best results you’ll ever get with a portable machine like this.
The 2 knife cutterhead makes use of a jack screw knife levelling arrangement and a built-in cutterhead lock which makes it easy to adjust the knives or replace them when necessary.
The table is extra-large, thus providing you enough space to support and joint boards easily with it.
One important feature of the PC160JT is that it has variable speed. That means you can vary the speed depending on the amount of material you’re taking away in one pass.
If you’re taking out a lot of material, you can reduce the speed, and increase it when you’re taking out a lesser amount of the wood you’re jointing.
As far as performance go, this Porter-Cable performs flawlessly for a machine of its size. Setting it up is easy and working with it is even easier.
2. Rikon Power Tools 20-600H Benchtop Jointer
If you’re looking for a benchtop jointer, one of the first ones you should consider is the Rikon Power Tools 20-600H.
One of the best feature of the Rikon is that it comes with a 6 row helical cutter head made up of 12 high speed steel , 2 insert cutters, which not only makes jointing boards with it super easy.
Straight knife cutterheads can be a bit noisy, but with a helical cutterhead like the one on this Rikon, you can work without disturbing the neighborhood with your jointer.
Though, you still have to wear ear protection as it’s not soundproof.
The Rikon 20-600H comes equipped with a powerful 10 Amp motor, ensuring there’s sufficient power to spin the cutter head and joint the boards you want to joint.
Every part of this Rikon benchtop jointer body is made with metal while the tables are made of machined aluminum. This all-metal body construction is good news for you because you can be sure that it’s not something very flimsy.
It’s rigid and strong, and will definitely stand the test of time with proper maintenance.
3. Delta Power Tools 37-071 Benchtop Jointer
The Delta Power Tools 37-071 is one other benchtop jointer you should consider if you’re looking for a portable means of jointing and squaring up your boards.
With up to 20,000 cuts per minute, if anything is lacking in this machine, it’s definitely not power. With it, you can make as much as 1/8 inch depth of cut in one pass.
The durable cast iron construction of this Delta jointer not only assures its quality, but also ensures that the added weight will improve its stability, especially when working with large lumber.
An extra wide jointer table provides ample space for work, while a precision machined cast iron fence allows easy adjustments needed to joint boards squarely with precision.
4. Wen 6560 Benchtop Jointer
Talking about the best benchtop jointers, the Wen 6560 definitely makes it into the list. It comes with all the features you need to flatten and face-joint boards efficiently.
With a 10 Amp motor, the Wen 6560 doesn’t lack in power, as it pins the cutterhead, producing 20,000 cuts per minute on your board and leaving the smoothest of finishes on it.
It’s equipped with a wide table with dimensions of 6-1/4 x 28-1/2 inches, providing enough space needed to support boards and face-joint them successfully.
With a heavy cast iron base, the Wen 6560 will never walk while working with it. It will always remain rigid and steady as you joint boards with it.
Overall, if you’re looking to choose from the best benchtop jointers, this Wen 6560 is one which you should strongly consider.
5. Shop Fox W1829
The Shop Fox W1829 benchtop jointer will serve you well if you’re looking for a portable machine to plane the surface or face-joint your boards and get them square.
With a fully adjustable aluminum fence which you can adjust up to 45 degrees inwards, 90 degrees and 45 degrees outwards, you get a suitable jointing machine you can use in your small shop or jobsite comfortably.
It comes equipped with a 1-1/2 HP, 12 amp motor which spins the cutterhead at a speed of 10,000 RPM and produces up to 20,000 cuts per minute on your board.
The table is large enough and provides a wide space to support your work piece. Dust collection is very easy with the Shop Fox W1829 as it comes with a built-in dust collection fan and bag for collecting the dust produced as you work with it.
With the spring loaded blade guard always covering the cutterhead, you can work with peace of mind and safety as you use the machine.
This Shop Fox also comes with a pair of safety push blocks which you can easily use to handle workpieces to ensure safety while using the Shop Fox W1829 benchtop jointer.
In terms of negatives, changing the blades of the Shop Fox poses a little problem, but with a little time tinkering with it, you can easily get them out and replace them.
The Aluminum fence that comes with it is not the best of jointer fences, but as long as you’re not always changing the position of the fence, you’ll get it to work just fine. One positive is that, setting it up is very easy. Just follow the manual or watch a few Youtube videos if you can, and you’ll be on your way to jointing boards with it in no time.