I'm fairly new to the woodworking world so I need some help with this
one. I'm wanting to purchase a planer or a jointer, but not sure which
one I should buy FIRST? I would like to purchase both at the same time,
but I can only afford one at the moment. I would like to build small to
medium furniture, so each of these tools is a neccessity, but we can't
always have what we want. As far as the value of each tool is concerned
which would offer me the most starting out? Which models would be good
for a beginner as well? Thanks for all your help.
Matt in Benton, AR
Frequent question and you will get answers of both sides.
IMO, the planer. I still don't have a jointer. I can buy my wood at a
couple of local dealers and have it at least jointed, maybe planed to final
thickness. That eliminates a lot of need for the jointer. There is always
something I want to resaw or otherwise plane so I get a lot of use from my
Delta 580. I'd go with the Delta again of the new DeWalt 635.
No matter which you get first, a dust collector is sure nice to have with
I'm in the market for a planer and the Amazon reviews are generally more
favorable for the Delta, but owners of both models you list complain of poor
blade life. Do you have any comments on that issue?
By the way, I can't find the DeWalt 635, but the 735 comes up just fine...
They seem to last OK, but once they get a few nicks and one crappy piece of
wood, they go fast. They are reversible though. I keep a set hanging on the
peg board because they always go when the stores are closed.
Yes, the 635 was a typo, 735 is the latest.
Wed, Dec 28, 2005, 4:12am (EST+5) email@example.com (Edwin Pawlowski)
<snip> IMO, the planer. I still don't have a jointer. <snip>
You'll never get anywhere if you believe what you "hear".
What do you "know"?
- Granny Weatherwax
IMHO, if you can only have one, get a planer. If you have a table saw, it's
not that hard to do edge jointing on it with a bit of fixturing. Probably
90% of the work I do on my DJ-20 is edge jointing. If you're determined to
do so, you can even do some face jointing with the planer, again with enough
fixturing. OTOH, it's a lot harder to duplicate the results of a thickness
planer. If I was starting out, I would go with either the Delta 22-580 or
the Dewalt DW735. If I already had a dust collector, I'd probably save $130
and go with the Delta. If I didn't have a dust collector and didn't plan on
buying one soon, I'd lean towards the Dewalt. The Dewalt has an integrated
chip ejection fan that according to feedback I've heard works reasonably
well. I can't speak to that personally, since I have the Delta 22-580.
Yeah, what he said.
I have both, and since I do, I use both. But my jointer sees much less
use now that I have a good table saw with a good blade.
"Good judgement comes from experience. Experience come from poor
I'll come in on the side of the planer, but I hope you've got a few hand
planes around to help flatten that wood. Unless you're getting s2s, I
I got the planer first and it was two years before I was frustrated enough
to get a jointer. But I also had a nice old Stanley jointer plane and it
did a pretty good job of prepping the wood for the planer. Pretty good.
Most of the time.
I reasoned that I could find a way to get the boards reasonably flat with
hand tools easier than I could mill a whole bunch of boards to the same
thickness. I was right. It was fine for a while.
But it got to be a pain, and then it got to be a royal pain, and then I ran
into the Board From Hell That Would Never Get Flat No Matter WHAT I Did,
and finally I snapped like a twig.
I bought the Delta 733 planer on sale after it was discontinued, and two
years later the Grizzly G0586 jointer.
The guy that I've been paying to mill the rough lumber for me said to me, in
front of my wife, "You want both a planer and a jointer, but get the jointer
first. It makes an excellent Christmas gift." :) So that's what I did. It
makes sense to me, because with just a planer you can't guarantee flatness.
With a jointer you can't guarantee the faces will be parallel, but to
reasonable widths you can still plane them.
I'm now trying to figure out the best way to make a table top without a
planer. Got any tips?
- Owen -
If you're into serious furniture building, you want both.
To the OP: Don't sweat that statement. You don't want two new tools to learn
at once anyway. One tool at a time. Yoiu need to fiugure out what you can
and can't get away with on any piece of machinery. That just takes some
IMHO nothing looks more amaturish than a piece build from exclusively
standard dimmensioned stock (e.g., all 3/4")
3/4" drawer side look positively dopey on a smallish piece like an end
table. To avoid this, buy a planer.
I bought a planer first and I still think that is the best way to go. Then
when I got a jointer, the accuracy of all of my cases magically improved. If
you think about it, just about every cut you make is referenced from some
presumbably straight/square/flat edge. If you can establish that edge from
the beginning (that is what a jointer is for) you have a much better chance
of having a tight square carcass,drawer,box or door.
Planer first, try not to wait too long for the jointer.
I wasn't going to answer this question, but since I disagree with
Around here anyhow, it is easy enough to buy S2S that is already planed and
perfectly adequate to use. It must still be jointed though. Sure, you can
kinda edge joint on a good saw (which you probably do not have if you are
asking this question) and you can kinda joint on a good router table
(ditto), but not real well.
So, if the S2S available to you is okay, you should get a jointer first.
You only need a planer when using rough wood, thicknesses other than what is
available, or the local S2S is crappy.
I thought the purpose of s2s was that one face was already jointed
flat, with one edge jointed at 90 degrees, so that you only need a
planer for the opposite face and a table saw to rip the opposite edge.
IOW, you need the planer first and not the jointer.
To the OP, I would avoid both the planer and jointer until I could
afford both. You can always buy s4s and use plywood. You could start
on some shop projects with the plywood to help get set up and get some
practice. You can also make some smaller stuff like boxes or magazine
racks that avoid large glue-ups. Once you get the money together, I'd
get a lunchbox planer and something like the grizzly G1182HW at the
same time, then go out and buy some rough-sawn lumber.
True but you can also re-saw that board from the home center when you need
thin stock and clean up the sawn surface easily with a planer. Lots of uses
even with no jointer. How about that less than perfect glue up that can be
easily made true with two passes through the planer?
Assuming you build relatively simple stuff using standard board
lumber, I would say in order of importance, a jointer is more
important. It's most useful function would be to clean & true up board
That said, a pretty decent jointer for that purpose can be made with a
3/4" straight bit and a router table. So, if you were to make a
jointer and buy a planer, you'd basically have both tools.
Unfortunately, while you can make a decent homemade jointer, you can't
really make a decent homemade planer. Unless you want to screw around
with planing surfaces by hand or go at it with a belt sander... if
your works demands a planer, you pretty much need to buy a planer.
So, my advice is to buy a planer and make a jointer. Later, you can
always buy a "real" jointer.
First things first. Neither of those tools is a necessity. Both are useful
though. The answer to your question lies in another question. Which process
is easier to do by other methods? The answer is, there are many ways around
a jointer but thicknessing without a planer can be difficult. I have a
planer. I don't have a jointer nor am I likely to ever own one.
Bought a DW 735 first, loved it and still do.
Discovered that buying "good wood" (not Borg) required that someone
put a reference face and edge on it. Bought a jointer 6 months after
the planer. No regrets. It's real hard to find 5/4 S2S rosewood or
qulited maple or ...
Planers make life easier, jointers make wood work.
Just an opinion.
I find that the jointer is used 10x more often than the surface planer
in my shop. It is possible to hand joint the edge of a board with
some skill, but to surface plan a board by hand can be a daunting
task. I have the Delta DJ20 and a Makita surface planer and I'm very
happy with these. There are "combo" machines that will do both
jointing and planing, although individual machines usually perform
For a beginner I usually recommend the highest quality hand
tools--these will continue to be useful even after power tools are
purchased. Buy a couple how-to sharpening books too.
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