The Best Benchtop Jointer Reviews Guide (2017 Version)

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Woodworkers need two things: a jointer and a planer. Sometimes, you can find these tools in a combination tool, but often, you’ll buy individual tools because they provide more power and versatility.

The right benchtop jointer will enhance your woodworking, making your next project faster, easier and more precise.

PORTER-CABLE PC160JT Variable Speed Bench Jointer

Our favorite jointer in 2017

PORTER-CABLE 560 QUIKJIG Pocket-Hole Joinery System

Brilliant self-adjustments, great for repeatable cuts

RIKON Power Tools 25-210H 12-Inch Planer/Jointer with Helical Head

Best combo jointer / planer table

But you need to know how to choose a jointer before opening up your wallet.

How to Choose a Benchtop Jointer

Woodworkers need a jointer, and there is a lot to consider when making your choice. A few of the must-think-about features offered include:

  • Installation: How easy is it to install your jointer? Some will come with pre-drilled holes that make it quick and easy to attach the jointer to your table. Other models will sit on top of the bench, and others will require you to make adjustments to mount the unit properly. Consider the difficulty of installing the jointer onto your bench before deciding on a specific model.
  • Dust Port: Wood and dust go together. Even if you’re a pro at cleaning up dust, this doesn’t mean you like it. A dust port is a must-have, and there are removable ports that make cleanup easy. Depending on your needs and patience, it may be worthwhile to choose a model that offers a removable dust port quick and easy cleaning.
  • Repeatable Clamping: If you work with the same thickness material, a model that offers repeatable clamping options is a must. These models will allow you to switch to a new piece of wood without having to make any adjustments along the way.
  • Depth Control: You’ll need to adjust the depth of your jointer, or you can choose a model that has an automatic depth adjustment. The automatic option allows the greatest ease of all and for minimal input on your part. If you want the easiest option, choose a model that has automatic depth adjustment.
  • Speed Adjustment: The ability to adjust speeds is a powerful one. Speed adjustment allows you to choose a slower speed when working on more difficult joints, or speed up your work at a faster speed. For more advanced jointing, variable speeds are a must-have option.
  • Combo: There are combo models that combine both a jointer and a planer into one machine. Combo models are more expensive, but they eliminate the need for two bulky machines in your shop. Ideal for small shop owners, these combo models can offer the same great features of individual models all packed into one unit. Since these models are more expensive, it’s important to do your research and make sure that this is a viable option for you.

Benchtop jointers have a lot of advantages, and we discuss them a little in the next section to give you a better idea of why you need a jointer as a woodworker.

a woodworking scene

What Are the Advantages of Using a Benchtop Jointer

On the fence trying to decide whether or not you need a benchtop jointer? There are a lot of advantages that need to be considered when deciding whether to buy a jointer:

  • Benchtop: A benchtop model allows you to save space compared to a standalone model. Both of these models will perform jointing well, but a benchtop model does save on space and will be lighter than their counterpart models.
  • Flatten: If you plan to flatten your real wood, you need a jointer- no questions asked. It’s a lot easier to use a jointer than it is to use hand planes, which are a lot more tedious to use on your wood.
  • Better Fit: One of the first tools a woodworker should invest in is a jointer. A jointer will allow for a better overall project that comes together tighter and with more precision. Jointers are seen as the “foundation” of many woodworkers’ shops – they’re that vital to your success.

But you’ll also find combo models, and these combine a planer and jointer into one machine. These models offer you:

  • Better Value: In a lot of cases, a combo model will save you money by not having to buy two different machines. If you think you’ll need a planer in the future, you may want to consider spending more upfront and purchase the combo model.
  • Space Saving: Your shop needs to be much bigger if you buy each piece of equipment separately. One machine allows you to worry about having enough room for just one item.

There are some disadvantages to combo machines, including having to switch between each machine type and having to worry about both machines breaking at once. If the motor dies on the unit, you’ll need to wait to use the jointer or planer.

Sniping is also an issue, and a lot of combo models will suffer from more sniping. Sturdier, single models often have less of an issue with sniping, which is a good thing.

Howcast provides a great tutorial on how to use a jointer with your woodworking.

Our Picks for the Best Benchtop Jointer

Porter-Cable 560 Pocket-Hole Joinery System

Porter-Cable’s 560 offers a pocket-hole joinery system that offers top-of-the-line features, including automatic depth control system, self-adjusting clamps, repeatable clamps, variable speed bushings and a screw-length gauge.

This model’s complete list of features includes:

  • Automatic depth control system
  • Variable speed bushings
  • Self-adjusting clamps
  • Screw-length gauge
  • Repeatable clamps
  • Removable dust port
  • Drill-bit collar setup
  • Pre-drilled base for easy installation

The 560 starts off with a pre-drilled base that makes it easy to install this jointer to your table. The automatic control systems and self-adjusting clamps make woodworking faster and more intuitive.

You’ll spend less time changing settings and more time getting work done with the 560.

And when you’re done, there’s a removable dust port that offers a faster cleanup than the competition with less hassle involved.


  • Quick and easy adjustment for different wood thicknesses
  • Pocket holes are made without needing to adjust collar depth
  • Repeatable clamps allow for quick clamping of the same thickness material


  • Requires a specialized drill bit

You won’t be able to use Kreg Jigs because a specialized drill bit is provided. While not a major concern, it’s something to consider if you had plans to use Kreg Jigs in the future.

Otherwise, the 560 offers automatic and self-adjusting features that make jointing faster and more intuitive.

Cutech 40160H-CT Cutterhead Jointer

Cutech’s 40160H-CT is a bench top spiral jointer with a powerful 10-amp motor that boasts 120V of power. The model has a spiral cutterhead boasting 12 HSS inserts and level adjustable beds, too.

The fence allows 90 – 135-degree tilt.

The width capacity is 6 inches with a maximum depth capacity of 1/8″. There’s a total table length of 30 inches, so this might be a great choice if you have longer boards that need to be jointed properly.

The 40160H-CT features:

  • 12 2-sided inserts
  • 2 1/2″ dust port
  • 10-amp motor at 120V
  • Guard and spring tension is adjustable
  • 6″ width capacity
  • 1/8″ depth maximum
  • 40-pound weight

Cutech makes this a fast and easy model to assemble. You’ll be up and running in less than 20 minutes, and the 12 inserts make it quick to clean up when you’re done.


  • Quick 20-minute assembly
  • Doesn’t jam, even after running 150-feet of wood through it
  • Provides smooth results even on flat edges


  • Fence is flimsy

The only complaint with this jointer is that the fence is flimsy. The fence has problems staying square on the table, but you can build your own or keep fiddling with it until you get it just right.

But for a powerful spiral jointer, this might be your best choice.

Porter-Cable PC160JT Bench Jointer

Porter-Cable’s PC160JT is a larger bench jointer, but this model comes with 6-inch capability and variable speed options to refine your jointing. The variable speed motor allows for speeds between 6,000 and 11,000 RPM.

There’s a 2-knife cutter head that’s easy to adjust and also easy to replace.

A built-in head lock allows for adjustment to be even easier. This bench jointer offers the following features:

  • 10-amp motor
  • Variable speeds between 6,000 and 11,000 RPM
  • 6″ wide options
  • 45-degree fence tilt
  • 0.125″ Maximum board thickness
  • 2-knife cutter head
  • Depth adjustment
  • Center-mounted fence
  • Quick knife replacement
  • 3-year warranty

Porter-Cable makes setting up and installing the PC160JT quick and easy. Powerful, the 10-amp motor has variable speeds between 6,000 and 11,000 RPM. You can adjust the unit’s depth, and there are 2-knife cutter heads to make jointing through thicker wood easier.

Knife replacement is also quick thanks to the built-in head lock mechanism.


  • Well-priced, but easy to setup and install
  • Wide speed range of 6,000 – 11,000 RPM
  • Center-mounted fence


  • Difficult to get the fence properly lined up

It’s difficult to get the fence into the appropriate place, but you can make adjustments to line up the fence and make sure it’s in the appropriate position. Fences are difficult with every jointer, but proper adjustments will correct the issue 99{63e9163d2c17d0b069b8deee763be7330d4e0c7ed51605edf339b1f505433272} of the time.

Grizzly G0675 Jointer / Planer Combo

Grizzly offers a combo model that combines both a jointer and planer all in one machine. This model offers 10-inch capability, and there are head sliding rails that have adjustable gab plates to refine your woodworking further.

It takes mere seconds to switch between a jointer and a planer with the G0675.

This industrial model features:

  • 2.5 HP single-phase motor
  • 3,400 RPM speed
  • 2 HHS cutterhead knives
  • 6,500 RPM cutterhead speed
  • 13,000 cuts per minute
  • 1/8″ jointer depth, 3/16″ planer depth maximum
  • 10.25″ jointer width, 9.75″ planer width maximum
  • 0 – 45-degree bevel jointing
  • 5-7/8″ x 35 7/16″ fence
  • 4-inch dust port size

Grizzly makes setup, adjustments and working with the G0675 easy and intuitive. The unit’s 13,000 cuts per minute make projects move along quicker, and the 0-45-degree bevel jointing offers advanced jointing in a combo machine.


  • Switches from a jointer to a planer in seconds
  • Offers jointer and planer depth and width adjustments
  • Beveling degree ranges of 0 – 45-degree


  • Dust port is hard to clean

The dust port functions well and eliminates jams, but the port can be hard to clean. It’s a problem that a lot of models seem to face, but it’s something I thought was worth mentioning. If you need a combo jointer / planer, this may be a good option for you.

RIKON Power Tools Planer / Jointer Combo

RIKON Power Tools offers the second combo unit on our list. This 12-inch planer and jointer provides supreme power, with a 220V, 3 HP motor that produces 3,400 RPM. The 25-210H has the ability to provide a smooth finish with easy cutting capacity.

The 4-row helical cutter head is responsible for the ultra-smooth finish that RIKON produces.

RIKON’s features, include:

  • 3 HP motor
  • 3,400 RPM motor
  • 4 row of helical cutter heads
  • 23-feet per minute feed rate
  • 56, 4-sided carbide inserts
  • Cast iron tables
  • Rubber outfeed rollers
  • 20,000 cuts per minute
  • 0-degree to 45-degree fence tilt
  • 90-degree and 45-degree stops
  • 12″ maximum cutting width (jointer)
  • 1/8″ maximum cutting depth (jointer)
  • 5-year warranty

Durable and easy to adjust, RIKON provides you with a combo unit that requires minimal adjustments, and comes with a fence, degree stops and a 23-feet per minute feed rate. Powerful, the 3 HP motor allows for precision cuts, but adjustments are required.


  • Fast and powerful cutting at 20,000 cuts per minute
  • Minimal adjustments needed when unpacking
  • Replaces the need for two different machines


  • Jointer tables need to be readjusted often

The unit’s jointer table does not stay calibrated, so you’ll need to recalibrate often to correct the jointer table. While not a big deal, it’s something to consider if you plan to use this combo unit in a professional setting.


Porter-Cable’s PC160JT offers our top pick for the best benchtop jointer. This model offers a wide range of features: power, variable speed controls, fence tilt, depth adjustment and an easy install. Quick and efficient, this model isn’t without its faults, but every model has its quirks.

a measuring tape

The PC160JT has quick knife replacement and offers a generous maximum board thickness of 0.125″.

Larger in size, this model’s 6,000 – 11,000 RPM speeds and refinement make it stand out from the other models on our list. The PC160JT makes jointing with thicker woods easier, allowing you to get your project completed quickly and efficiently.

There’s even a built-in lock mechanism for the cutting head along with a center-mounted fence.