Jointer VS Planer: MY Top 6 Recommendation

Struggling to choose between Jointer vs planer?

A Planer, or a Jointer, Which Do I Need?

Our First opinion: Planer

In our humble opinion, you should buy the planer first. A wood planer offers you more value than a jointer. Don’t get me wrong; having both of these power tools are very helpful. But as they are quite expensive, beginner woodworkers can’t get their hands on them easily. So, if you’re on a tight budget, then go for a planer first.

DEWALT Benchtop Planer

You can make the surface smooth and parallel and get rid of any excess thickness using a planer. Chop off the rough or uneven edge bypassing the stock couple of times through the planer. The planer will take the 2nd face as a reference and make the previous one alike. A planer can ensure giving a flat surface at any given time.

All a wood jointer does is make the surface flat and give a square angle to the stock. You can do both of them using your planner. But keep in mind, the results won’t be absolute and perfect. This is a short time solution for a long time problem. Eventually, with time, you’ll be able to get your own jointer and work flawlessly! Until then, the planer will be your best friend at woodworking.

Our Second Opinion: Jointer

A jointer will provide you services that a planer is unable to do. First of all, a jointer will make your stock completely even and square with a couple of passings. It will make the edges of both sides aligned with one another.

Many times, you need to have a perpendicular cut to joint the stock with another piece. A jointer will come handy during this time and provide you with a perfect 90° cut.

PORTER-CABLE Benchtop Jointer

A flat surface is a basis for building up any project. A flat surface will offer you to step forward with your project. A jointer’s purpose is to make your stock’s surface horizontal and totally flat.

Difference: Planer vs Jointer

There are some key distinctions between a planer and jointer. These two tools are to be used for different kinds of jobs. Here’s a table describing the difference between jointer and planer.





Makes the stock flat & square.

Makes the surface parallel to each other.


Clears any bow or bump from the surface.

Clears the rough & ruggedness of the surface.


Unable to make the surface smooth or parallel

Does a great job at making the surface smooth and polished


Works best with lengthy stocks.

Works with both long or short stock.


Able to make an actual perpendicular cut.

Can’t do a perpendicular cut.


What is a Jointer?

A jointer is a powerful tool that’s job is to make a stock flat and square. Usually, stock from the mill is warped or has bumps on the body. You have to cut it down as you need. A jointer makes lumber smooth and even by getting rid of the excess bulk. It makes the sides square, which is crucial for quality woodwork.

PORTER-CABLE Benchtop Jointer

A jointer has a cutter in between the infeed and outfeed table. The stock goes through the infeed for the cutter to chop off the excessive bulk. Afterward, it leaves from the outfeed table. The fence assists the wood to stay straight during the procedure.


Benefits of using Jointer

While starting the debate of Jointer VS Planer, you need to know about every fact about both of the tools. So, what is a jointer’s benefits? Let’s dig into it.

  1. The purpose of a jointer is to make the stock flat and square so it can be joined with another piece easily.
  2. It’s crucial for the stock to be even on both surfaces. Jointer does exactly that by cutting off the edgy part of the surface.
  3. A jointer is the best tool to square up your stock. Jointer takes one side of the wood as a reference and cuts down the other sides according to it. Thus providing you the perfect square shape.
  4. A Jointer comes with a fence that helps to get the perfect perpendicular cut when needed.

Quick Comparison: Top 3 Best Jointers

PORTER-CABLE Benchtop Jointer
  • 6, 000 to 11, 000 RPM speed range
  • Extra 6'' large table 
  • Center mounted fence
Check Price
Delta 6" Bench Top Jointer
  • Up to 1/8" depth of cut
  • 20, 000 cuts per minute
  • Heavy duty, cast iron fence support
Check Price
Powermatic 1610086K 8''
  • Helical cutter head
  • Extra long tables
  • Adjustment lever
Check Price

1. PORTER-CABLE Benchtop Jointer

2. Delta 6″ Bench Top Jointer

3. Powermatic 1610086k 8-Inch Jointer

Cons Of Using A Jointer

Cons is an essential fact when determining the facts of Jointer VS Planer. Let’s see what the cons of using a jointer are.

  • A jointer is built in a way that it can not work properly with a short wood piece. It works best with longer stock.
  • Jointer can’t make the surface smooth. Rather, it makes the surface rough and rugged.
  • A  jointer is unable to work with every type of wood surface.

What is a Planer?

A planer is a woodworking machine that is used to lessen the thickness of an uneven piece of lumber or wood, giving it a flat surface before you put it on a saw table.

It is an essential tool for any hobbyist or professional woodworker. Simply put, it flattens the surface of the wood, either way, making your project less time-consuming and saving your time. There are quite a few types of planers that include their own features, performing different types of jobs according to your requirement.


Benefits of using a planer:

As we already have some basic knowledge of jointer, Let’s dig into the planer for the adequate knowledge on Jointer VS Planer. So let’s see the benefits of a planer. 

  • A planer will get you the accurate thickness you need in the rough piece of wood. It works much better than a jointer in this case.
  • It will leave your rough yet straight wood boards with even and parallel faces.
  • You can easily clean the rough edges by trimming them with a table saw.
  • A jointer can make only one face flattened, but a planer can make both the faces of the wood flat and parallel simultaneously.
  • It not only provides you with any thickness in your wood piece but also enhances the flatness on both sides.
  • It simply saves your time.
  • It can be of both manual and electronic controls. You have to choose according to your requirements, either you want a manual planer or an electronically controlled one.
  • You can adjust both the cutter and the platform for the level of thickness you want in the wood piece.
  • The board planer is also like a rehab center for old woods. It can give them any thickness while ensuring flat and parallel surfaces on both sides, making them wood usable again!
  • Want desired shapes and thickness on custom wood boards? A planer can get you that too.

Top 3 Best Planers

DEWALT DW735X 13-Inch
  • Planer dim: 24” L x 22” W x 18” H.
  • Depth capacity: 6-Inch.
  • Max depth cut: 1/8-Inch.
  • Width capacity: 13-Inch.
  • Tool weight: 92 pound
Check Price
Makita 2012NB 12″ Planer
  • Product Dime;30.35 x 19.02 x 15.79 in
  • Voltage:220 Volts
  • Maximum thickness: 6-3/32 inches
  • Feed rate is 28 feet-per-minute
Check Price
DEWALT DW734 Benchtop Planer
  • Powerful 15.0 Amp, 20,000 RPM motor 
  • Digital display function
  • Disposable, reversible knives
  • Extra-long Infeed and Outfeed Tables
Check Price

5. DEWALT DW735X 13-Inch Planer

6. Makita 2012NB 12″ Planer

7. DEWALT DW734 Benchtop Planer

Read our cutech planer review.

Benefits of Using A Planer:

  • Accurate thickness
  • The rough edges could be easily cleaned.
  • Provides flatness on the wood piece.
  • Saves time.
  • It comes with both manual and electronic controls.
  • Easily adjust the cutter and surface.

Why planers are extremely useful in woodworking?

As mentioned in the above section, planers can work on new rough wood pieces and bring the beauty out of an old wood piece. Wood pieces from old homes and furniture can be recycled in a new and polished way. Also, it saves your time a lot so that you can work on your project in a relaxed mood.

With a simple jig set on your table saw, you can get the perfect edges from the wood piece that has been flattened on a planer. So, you don’t necessarily need a jointer to smooth out the edges as the planer will have flattened most of the wood surface.

Cons of Planer:

In the discussion of Jointer VS Planer, we have mentioned all the pros. Now, we will look at the cons of the Planer. 

·     The desired thickness on wood pieces is often not obtained by only one pass through the cutter. The wood piece has to go through the cutter several times to get the perfect thickness for your project.

·       It may make the wood surfaces flat and parallel, but it can’t make the starting edges smooth for which you will need a jointer.

·       If you are using a wood piece that is not flat and has dips and lumps on one side, then it is likely to pass the dips to the other side of the wood piece as well, resulting in cracks.

Cons of Using A Planer:

  • Sometimes it needs several passes for perfect thickness.
  • Can’t make the edges smooth.
  • Can’t remove surface defects.

Jointer VS Planer : What do they do?

Jointer and Planer are basically used to transform a stock into a square, flat, smooth, and parallel.

Stock comes out of the mill bumpy and unequal. A wood jointer‘s job is to get rid of any distort or warp from the surface. The purpose is to make the face square and flat. A jointer is used to clear out any extra, uneven edge from the stock, so it can adequately joint with another wood. But the wood jointer can only work on one side of the stock. It can not make the other side equal to the first one as it has no reference for the width. For the sides to be parallel with each other, you’ve to put a planer in use.

A planer’s duty is to make the surface smooth and parallel. Jointer cuts off any bumpy spot from the stock but leaves the surface rough and rugged. To make it smooth and polished, we use a planer. It is used to reduce the thickness of a stock congruously.

A planer gets the sides to be aligned with each other. This helps to connect the stock with another piece easily.

Jointer Deatils

What does a jointer do?

After knowing about what is a joiner, a question arises subsequently, “How does a jointer work?” While operating your job,a flat and perpendicular surface is necessary to make your project perfect. The problem is, most stocks are left with the uneven edge, warped or distorted for you to fix as your preference. A jointer easily cut down the unwanted patches. It will toss out the unnecessary cups of the wood, make the surface even, and provide the square shape of your stock for easy connecting. You can make the stock straight and flat by passing it through the jointer.

What a jointer can’t do

A jointer can’t ensure the smoothness of the surface of your lumber. It can only throw out the bulky part of the stock, and it leaves a rough surface on the process. It is not efficient with short stock. So, in a “Planer VS Jointer” argument, it could have been a significant fact to determine the winner.

How does planer work?

Woodworking requires a number of tools to give any project the best outcome. So, what is a wood planer do with your project? Planer is one of the most essential of them. Rough and uneven yet straight wood pieces are the reason behind the need for a planer. The planer works in various ways.

·       Any thickness required can be made by a planer.

·       Gives the wood piece parallel and flat surfaces.

·       Turns the rough wood pieces into finely polished ones.

·       Can provide certain shapes needed for your projects.

·       Can make the old pieces and scraps of wood from furniture and homes usable in new projects.

What does a planer do?

What is a planer? What does a planer do? These are commonly asked questions by the novice woodworkers. Novice woodworkers often confuse the jointer with a planer while both of these are totally two different tools.

A planer is a tool that gives your rough wood pieces the required thickness you would want for your project. Benchtop planers are mostly used ones, consisting of a cutter, an outfeed roller, and an infeed roller. Planer makes the surfaces parallel to each other while giving it a polished surface. A planer works like no other for trimming out extra wood and obtaining the desired thickness for your project.

What a planer cannot do?

As discussed before, the planer works in a great way to give perfect thickness to your wood piece. It is undoubtedly an essential tool for any kind of woodworking.

But it also has some limitations that cannot be overlooked every time. For example, you have to run the wood piece several times through the cutter to get the required thickness. Also, the planer doesn’t give the perfect edges, unlike the surfaces. Squaring up wood piece edges isn’t something you can expect from a planer. It also cannot remove twists and wraps from them. Moreover, it might be pricier than jointers.

When to use a planer?

Planer is used after the wood piece is run through a jointer, obtaining smooth edges and a flat surface on only one side of the wood. Planer is a tool that works to make the wood piece smooth and polished on both sides and also giving it the perfect amount of thickness required.

When you buy a rough piece of wood from your local supplier, you would want to set its thickness that is needed for your project. In this case, you will need a planer machine that will give your wood piece the perfect amount of thickness required for your project. It will also make the surfaces parallel to each other.

Tips to Safely use a Planer:

While operating a wood planer, one must be aware of the dangers it can follow and be cautious of them. Eye safety glasses should be worn along with hearing protection. Maintain a safe distance of at least 4″ from the infeed side of the table. Wearing gloves is not really a good idea as it can make differences in the grip.

Also, adjusting the table or blade while the machine is on is definitely a ‘NO GO.’ You wouldn’t try to remove dust while the planer is in operation. Thus, dust collectors should also be connected so that the working space doesn’t become clumsy, which may lead to accidents.

Reading the manual or operation guide before working with a planer will give you a brief description that will help you understand how the machine works. Defective wood pieces can cause the planer to malfunction. So, it is essential not to use any wood pieces that contain paint, splits, and cracks.

Wood pieces that contain metal objects should not be put through the planer at all. Only plane the stocks more than 1/4″, not any less than that. Last but not least, never work on a malfunctioned planer, work only under supervision if necessary.

Types of Planers:

There are quite a few types of planers in the woodworking field. They come in both electric and manual form. You can choose a planer according to your preference.

Hand planer: This is the most basic type of manual planer. It is the oldest type as well. You can adjust the planer accordingly, and its full control lies in your hands. They are available in different sizes. The most significant size of the hand planer is considered as the most useful one.

Hand scraper: A hand scraper is a traditional and manual one. It is also quite different from other planers. The difference is that it is used to pull the rough scrapes on hardwood rather than pushing it through the wood.

Benchtop planer: Benchtop planers are the most used electric planers in today’s time. They are greatly known for their speed and for giving the exact smoothness you need for your wood piece. They need to be placed on a table to be operational. These planers include an infeed roller, an outfeed roller, and a cutter. These rollers and the cutter can be adjusted according to the requirements.

Stationary planer: Stationary planers are the biggest planers of them all. These are used in industrial works. They are generally designed for big projects. These come with their own table and do not require a tabletop like the benchtop ones.


What is Planer and Jointer Combination?

Jointer and Planer are meant to do two separate jobs in woodworking. But, with the jointer planer combination machine, you’re able to do the work of these two power tools with a single one. You can use it to make your stock flat and square, which is a jointer’s job. You can also use it to make the surface smooth and parallel, which is a planer’s job.

Why Do I Need a Jointer or Planer?

You would need a jointer or planer because the stock you’re going to use for your project won’t be squared or smooth. The stock will have uneven sides and bumps over its body. You got to appoint a jointer or planer to shape the sides equal, squared, and make the surface smooth, parallel. In this way, you can easily joint this stock with another wood piece.

Question: I just cannot get through my thick head the difference between jointer and planer. I am on a limited budget, so I cannot at this time afford both. I only work with pine at this point, which, as you know, is often bowed or otherwise warped enough to see the curvature. SoI want a jointer or a planer to correct this?

Michael Dresdner’s Answer: In simple terms, a jointer machine is an upside-down cutting machine that turns an uneven, distorted stock into a squared and flat stock. This power tool is used to toss out any bump or dip from one surface to make it equal to the other one. The purpose is to make it square so it can be jointed with another wood piece.

Source: Source 2

However, a wood planer‘s job is to make the surface of a stock smooth and parallel to each other. A planer takes the roughness away from the surface and makes it polished. Its purpose is to reduce the thickness of the wood.

Now, which one you need depends on your skill of using a hand planer along with your energy to do it over time. If you have the capabilities to do necessary work with a hand planer, then go for it, as a hand planer does the exact job of a power tool. But the latter uses a motor to run the machine and makes the job more comfortable.

Buying Guide

Adding a wood jointer would be a significant investment at your workshop. So, mentioned below are some key aspects that you should look into before placing your money.


Generally, there are three types of jointers out in the market. These are Closed Stand Jointers, Open Stand Jointers and Benchtop Jointers. Out of these three, the closed stand jointer is the most convenient power tool for most woodworkers. It comes with a couple of different dimensions, and it has a closed cabinet that helps to reduce noise and vibrations. Moreover, it has a great dust collection port that keeps your workplace clean and tidy.

Open stand jointer has its own pros and cons. Although it is quite portable and relatively less expensive, it is very noisy, and it creates a lot of dust because of its open cabinet.

The benchtop jointers are small in size. It can’t work with the big stock. If you’re going to work with only a small-sized project, this could be useful to you. However, we’d suggest going with the closed stand jointer.

Bed Size

The dimension of the bed of a jointer is a key factor. As it determines which type of stock you’re going to use it in. A jointer with 6″ Width wouldn’t be able to flatten a big twisted stock. It will make you slack at your work.

An 8″ Width size jointer is good enough for your everyday work. It can cut through hard and thick wood. Its high-quality blade will provide you smooth, accurate cut with every pass. In-depth cuts are also possible with this type of jointer.

You can go above from 8″ To 10″, 12″ Or even 16″ Table sized jointer. But the higher you go, the more expensive it gets. An 8″ Version is capable of doing almost anything you need to do. So we won’t suggest wasting any more money on the bigger ones.


This is another part to pay attention to. A good, high-quality fence will assist you in getting more precise and aligned finishing. It gives proper support to the stock and holds it on a fixed position.

As you have to get the stock pass through multiple times, a fence helps to pass it from the same angle and position every time.


Many jointers have one horsepower. And it is sufficient for what it needs to do. With this amount of power, you can trim your stock effectively with ease.

Although there are more powerful jointers out there in the market, it’s not compulsory to have them. First of all, they are more expensive. Secondly, they don’t provide the value according to the money. Stick with the basics, and it will serve you well.

Dust control

The dust port is a necessary feature of a jointer. It is essential for a jointer to have an efficient, standard dust port.

A dusty workshop will reduce your productivity and enhance many problems. For example, a dusty workshop is risky as there are many sharp metallic tools on the open. Any accident can occur at any moment because of it. So it’s important for a jointer to keep the workplace clean and tidy.


In the end, which jointer you’re going to buy depends on your budget. You can get a fair idea about which jointer would be best for you from the above suggestions.

We’d recommend you to get a closed stand 8″ Jointer. It will give you a great service for a long period of time. If you don’t have the required budget right now, then it’d be best to wait for some days, save money and get a high-quality jointer. This will ensure your productive and effective woodwork.

Jointer Safety 

A jointer is one great tool for your workshop. It can do amazing stuff if appropriately used. Maintaining safety rules are mandatory while using it.

First of all, read the manual properly. It will give full guidance on how to use it correctly. Most people don’t read the manual in and out. If you’re a beginner, kindly read it through. The manual guide will save you from many trial and error.

Secondly, use extra safety accessories like push card and stick, protective glasses and air protection.

Pay attention to your hands rather than the wood. If you’re a right-handed person, place your left thumb on top of the front edge and other fingers on the surface. Put your right hand on top of the back portion of the stock. With both hands, press downward pressure and push the stock against the fence.

Always take your time and slowly do the job. Most beginner woodworkers want to get it done quickly and fast. You’ve to be focused on what you’re doing; otherwise, an accident can occur at any given moment.

Tips in how to use a jointer

To use a jointer effectively, you need to know the functional part of this machine—the blade between the infeed and outfeed table that determines the final result of a cut. You need to place the blade on the same level as the out-feed table. This will ensure a perfect and accurate cut.

Insert your stock through the in-feed and Slowly push it toward outfeed. During this time, push it down toward the fence. Keep your hand tight and grounded.

For safety, always wear eye protection and air protection. Use a push card to have a better grip over the stick during the cutting process.

What is a wood planer?

A wood planer is a tool that is used to get the required thickness from a wood piece. It also flattens both sides of the wood surface, making them look effortless and polished.

However, it cannot square up and smooth the edges as it does to the surfaces.

What does wood planer do?

A wood planer works as a tool that trims off the unnecessary wood from a wood piece and gives it the perfect thickness. It is adjustable so you can easily get the thickness you want in your project wood piece.

As said before, it also flattens both the surfaces giving them a polished look.

Are you Looking for Festool Domino Alternative? Is Festool Domino worth the money? Here are the 5 best domino festool alternative lists for your wood working.

Jointer and Planer FAQ

Can you use a jointer as a planer?

No, you can’t. A jointer is used to reduce the bulky portion of the stock. Jointer’s blade goes through the wood and makes it flat and square. Afterward, a planer takes the flat surface as a reference and makes the other side smooth and parallel to it. A jointer’s job is different from the planer. You can’t substitute the planer with a jointer.

What is the difference between a surface planer and a thickness planer?

A surface planer works on every three dimensions of the stock. It makes both sides equal by reducing the thickness of length, width and surface. Whereas, the surface planer can only make the surface smooth and parallel.

How can you reduce the planer snipe?

You can reduce the planer snipe by inserting the stock to the infeed table, and lift the free end side just a little bit when it goes through the cutter head. This will reduce the planer snipe significantly. Source:

How do I pick the right jointer planer and benchtop jointer?

First, you have to decide how you’re going to use these tools. These two tools will provide two different types of service. A jointer creates a flat surface on wood. And a planer thickens the wood.

Does a planer cut both sides?

Yes, it does, but it takes a lot of effort to do the work. You’ve to put the stock on flat ground so that the planer can flatten it out on one side. Then, use this as a reference to work on the other side. It’s the most difficult challenge in woodworking.

How to use a jointer planer?

A jointer planer can be really helpful at your work. It can fix the rough, uneven edge and make the sides parallel to each other.

Can you use a planer as a jointer?

You can use a planer as a jointer. First of all, you’ve to slice off the distorted and uneven part of the stock. Then, make it totally flat. Afterward, use this flat surface as a reference to cut out the other side of the stock. It’s a bit difficult, but it can be done. Most beginners use a planer as their jointer.

Do I need a jointer planer?

Yes. As the lumber is exported with rough, warped edges from the mill, you have to slice them down as your need. To cut off the extra bulk and make it square, you need a jointer. And to turn the sides parallel and smooth, you have the planer. But these power tools are pretty expensive, and beginner woodworkers can’t afford them. That’s where a jointer planer comes in aid. It will help you to chop off bumpy parts and shape up your stock according to your need.

Are jointer planer combos any good?

Yes, a jointer planer can provide you the access to simultaneously do two types of work from two expensive machines. It saves you a lot of money and reduces your workload.

Why is a jointer called a jointer?

A jointer is used to make an uneven stock to a squared and flat one. It makes both ends of a stock perpendicular, so it can be joint with another piece. Hence, the name jointer.

Do I really need a jointer?

Having a jointer is not mandatory. If you have a planer, you can substitute it with your jointer. A planer is capable of doing most of the work of a jointer. Having said that, having a jointer is always preferable.

Can I use a table saw instead of a jointer?

Yes, to a certain extent. You can use a table saw to get rid of the bumpy area of your stock and make it square. With a table saw, you won’t be able to make the surface as flat as the jointer.

Here’s a YouTube tutorial that will show you exactly how to use a jointer planer.


Jointer and planer are two very useful power tool in the game. They can reduce a lot of pressure from your hand and make the job easier. They will be the most go-to tool in your workshop.

Use our buying guide before cashing out. It will definitely help you to choose the one that’s best for you. Either it is a jointer or planer, it will increase the quality of work and take your projects up the scale.

This power can be a bit expensive for any beginner, but we’d assure you that it will be a long term great investment for your workshop. These tools will last you for a long time and deliver full support.

With all these said about Planer VS Jointer, we would like to wish you luck at buying and start using these great power tools. Have fun, happy woodworking!

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