Best Joint Planer Combo: Ultimate 2020 Buyer’s Guide

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If you’re dealing with a lack of space in your garage or workshop, then purchasing the best joint planer combo can be a great space saving option. These combos can free up plenty of space, while also providing two essential tools for your next fine woodworking project. You need both of these tools to take on most woodworking projects, but finding the right combo can be a challenge, especially if you’re used to standard planers, which are usually benchtop units. If you don’t know much about joint planer combos, other than they can save you both money and space, then this buyer’s guide can help you find the perfect model for your workshop, based on the type of projects you take on, your skill level, budget, and space needs. I’ve also tested out several of the most popular combos on the market, narrowing it down to four sets that every woodworker will appreciate.

Below, you’ll find my comparison chart, which lists each of the sets that made it onto my list, their best features, and how they rated.

Joint Planer Combo Comparison Chart

Jet JJP-10BTOS 10-Inch Bench-Top Jointer/Planer


Our Rating: (5/5)

Jet is a company that has paved the way, thanks to their unique jointer/planer combo designs that make it a cinch to switch from one mode to the next. While their tools feature a compact design, they’re incredibly durable and can often be used in a home workshop or on the job.

Their latest jointer/planer combo features a max cutting limit of ten inches, with a max cut depth for the jointer at 1/8 and a max cut depth of .08 for the planer. The compact benchtop design makes this model a great choice for workshops and garage that have limited space. To ensure precise cutting, both the jointing and planing tables lock. The fast cutting speed of 18,000 CPM and the high max cutting width makes this model very versatile, and able to handle a wide range of jobs at work or around the home.

Pros

  • Max cutting speed of 18,000 CPM
  • Versatile
  • Space-saving design
  • Includes rigid steel stand

Cons

  • Handles are made out of plastic

Conclusion

The model comes equipped with its very own stand made out of rigid steel, saving you plenty of precious benchtop space. The powerful thirteen-amp motor provides a solid, reliable performance for a wide range of cutting tasks, while the steel knives perform smooth, precise, and fast cutting action. This model is a great choice for both on the job and around the home use.

JET JJP-12HH Planer/Jointer Combo


Our Rating: (4.5/5)

This jointer/planer combo comes with a helical cutter head, complete with carbide inserts that promote a quieter cutting performance and a beautiful finish. The included one-piece steel stand comes with mounting tabs for improved stability. The tool’s innovative design keeps the cutter head close to the table for more precise adjustments for cut of depth and an improved finish. The extruded extra-large aluminum fence features centered controls that allow for fast adjustments. You’ll also find a four-inch dust port that can be used for both planing and jointing tasks. This versatile tool will save you time and space. It offers an all-in-one precision cutting capability that will allow you to get your work done faster. This model also allows for a tool-less switch from planer to jointer in a few easy steps, so you can enjoy the capabilities of both tools without having to sacrifice precious workspace. Featuring a 12.5-amp motor and 3 HPs, this model can take on any jointing or planing project you can throw at it.

Pros

  • Five-year warranty
  • 12.5-amp motor
  • Compact design
  • Durable

Cons

  • Difficult to set up

Conclusion

Each function provides a twelve-inch width capacity, so you won’t have to worry about an extra ripping process when switching from one mode to the next. The rugged steel stand and the compact benchtop design makes this tool convenient to use, even if you’re short on space. The jointer/planer’s oversized controls will fit comfortably in your hand, so you can easily make precise adjustments.

RIKON Power Tools 25-010H Planer/Jointer


Our Rating: (4.5/5)

This model comes with a 1 ½ HP motor, a four row helical cutter head that’s designed to produce an ultra-smooth finish, and a feed rate of thirteen feet per minute. The ten-inch planer jointer comes with a helical head that includes easy to change carbide inserts. This model is able to easily switch modes by releasing a couple of locks on each table. The planer can be adjusted quickly and easily by cranking the handle. The included four-inch dust port can be used for both the jointer and planer models, for easy cleanup.

Pros

  • Compact design
  • Easy to use
  • Can make precise adjustments
  • Easy to change carbide inserts

Cons

  • Low powered motor

Conclusion

Considering the motor only offers 1 ½ HPs, this model may not have what it takes to handle bigger jobs, but it’s a great choice for smaller projects in the workshop. The compact, space-saving design is a huge selling point for the woodworker who is short on space in the garage or workshop, while the easy to adjust controls make this model a great choice for the beginner in need of a jointer/planer that features a simpler design and one that can handle heavy-duty use.

RIKON Power Tools 25-210H Planer/Jointer


Our Rating: (4/5)

This model features a 3 HP motor with an RPM of 3400. This model is also equipped with a four row helical cutter head that’s designed to produce the smoothest finishes. This model is able to handle a feed rate of twenty-three feet per minute, which is pretty impressive. The large twelve-inch cutter head will make short work of the widest or hardest rough-sawn lumber. The planer table is made out of cast iron that’s heavy-duty and machined smooth for a more efficient operation. The jointer table features a unique one piece  design that makes it easy to lift it out of the way when the user wants to switch to planer mode.

Pros

  • Compact design
  • Includes fifty-six carbide inserts
  • 3 HP motor
  • Excellent feed rate

Cons

  • Price

Conclusion

This model comes with fifty-six four-side carbide insert cutters, a four-row helical cutter head, and a motor that comes in at 220 volts. This table doesn’t have the same type of power that you can expect from a model that’s designed for bigger projects, but it can easily handle a wide variety of jobs in the workshop, offering a reliable performance that’s fast and efficient. This model is a good choice for woodworkers of all skill levels in need of a moderately powerful jointer/planer combo that features a compact design that won’t take up too much space in the garage or workshop.

Joint Planer Combo Buyer’s Guide

Unlike a standard planer, which is a benchtop unit, joint /planer combos are available in a free-standing design, which will save you plenty of workbench space. You know how important that is if you’re in the middle of a project and your garage or workshop is very tight on space.

Combo joint planers will use the bottom for planing and the top side of the cutter head for jointing tasks. Because both tools need the same type of cutting head, motor, and drive train, combining these tools together will allow you to save plenty of cash.

Most people see planers and jointers as the same tool, they just have different configurations. However, this is a common misconception. Each tool has a very different purpose and they’re not able to do what the other can. But a combo tool can handle both functions. Yet, you will not be able to effectively plane in the jointer mode, and in the planer mode, you won’t be able to joint.

Jointer

A jointer is basically used for working on the edges of lumber. They’re named after their primary purpose, which is preparing the edges of lumber to be joined. If you’re making a large wood panel or table, the edges must be exactly perpendicular to the surface. If they aren’t, then you will not be able to join them together.

A good jointer will have a split table, which will allow the front portion of a table to be lowered and raised in comparison to the cutter. The rear part of the board is set to a position that’s the exact height of the cutter head. This provides the board with even support, throughout the length, as it’s cut. It will also have a fence, which will allow the wood to be held in the correct position. A fence is critical for cutting precision. If the board isn’t held perfectly perpendicular to the surface, then there will be gaps when the wood is joined together, or the ends of the wood will be cupped slightly.

The ability to square the ends of the lumber also allows you to utilize lumber that would otherwise be unusable.

Planer

The jointer is mainly used for the edges of a board, while the purpose of the planer is to work on the back and face of a board. Because of their design, they cannot be used to work on the edges of the board like a jointer can. What makes the planer so different in design is that it’s made to provide a precise cutting distance between the cutter head and the bed. In this case, the cutter head is overhead, complete with rollers that hold the board flatly against the bed. This design ensures that the board’s final thickness is exact.

Using a planer will also guarantee that each workpiece is perfectly parallel, ensuring that all the wood fits together perfectly.

How a Joint Planer Combo Works

man working on wood

The joint planer combo is unique because it can do the jobs of both the standard jointer and the planer. It’s able to achieve this because both tools use the same sort of cutting head. One tool cuts the bottom side of the board, while the other cuts the top side of the board.

This means that the tool comes with a couple of beds, each of which are designed the same way they would be for stand-alone tools. However, the jointer bed is significantly wider than what you would normally find on a standalone tool, since the cutting head requires more width in order to serve the planer.

In order to switch modes for each task, the user needs to move the dust collector from the body to the top for planer mode.

Moving the dust collection hood for each function can be somewhat of a hassle at first, but once you get the hang of it, it’s pretty each and will end up saving you a lot of time.

Important Features

The whole point of this tool is to provide the user with the most capability, while saving on space. There are some models on the market that have the jointer installed on the side of the planer instead of over it. This actually defeats the entire purpose of making the tool a combo since it’s more complex and much larger.

Power and Design

Like with any type of power tool, the level of power the tool provides is an important consideration. Models that are underpowered can easily catch on lumber instead of cleanly cutting it. This can lead to divots in the surface, splintering, and breakage.

A top of the line model will offer sufficient power, in addition to fences and tables that are solidly built. A good combo will have large control knobs that make adjusting the settings and switching from mode to mode a cinch. This will give the tool an ergonomic design that will make it easier to use.

Conversion

Probably the biggest concern many buyers have regarding this type of tool is the ease of conversion from one mode to the other. The models that landed on my list have a reputation for ease of conversion. A model that’s difficult to convert probably won’t be used much, so it will just end up taking up space in your garage.

Price

You can expect to pay $200 to $400 for a top of the line model, however, you’ll run across larger combos that run into the thousands. These larger models will take up plenty of workspace, which is exactly what most woodworkers don’t want. A great, compact model is affordable, powerful, and can work even for the woodworker on a tight budget.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are Joint Planer Combos Any Good?

Yes. Top models will allow you to easily switch from one mode to the other, cutting production time in half while saving you plenty of space in your workshop or garage.

What Can I do with a Jointer Planer?

Sizing rough lumber is done with a jointer, which will flatten one face, while the planer cuts the thickness. In order to cut the width, you’ll use the jointer in order to straighten and square one edge, then you’ll rip the width.

Will a Planer Fix Warped Boards?

In order to flatten a board that’s cupped, twisted, or warped, many woodworkers will use a jointer in order to create a face that’s perfectly flat. The board is then run through a plane with the flat face placed downward. The planer will make the top face parallel to the bottom.

What do I do if I Don’t Have a Planer?

If you don’t have a planer, then you can try using a table saw instead. Of course, a table saw will not thin a board precisely, like a planer can, so you may end up ruining an expensive piece of wood if you decide to give the table saw method a shot.

Final Thoughts

Buying the best joint planer combo will be a great choice for the garage or workshop that’s short on space and for the buyer who’s on a tight budget. If you’re planning on building furniture in your garage or workshop, then you’re going to need both of these tools at some point, so why not purchase a combo tool that’s easily able to handle both types of jobs? The latest models have come a long way, offering easy conversion from one mode to the other, minimizing downtime that was required in the past for changing modes. This will increase your productivity and will make your job much easier. The tools on my list are considered the top combos around. Each manufacturer has an excellent reputation for producing quality products, so the tools will be able to withstand daily, heavy-duty use.