Can You Use A Planer As A Jointer? How To Do It?

Use A Planer As A Jointer

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The debate about using a planer or a joiner is pretty common in the world of woodworking. Because both the tools are quite similar in functionality, now, this similarity will make you wonder, can you use a planer as a jointer?

Fortunately, the answer is yes. To use the planer as a joiner, you have to place your wooden piece flat on a sliding table. Then, you can slide the table through the planer to flatten the wood you are working on. Repeat the process for the other side of the wood.

Sounds a bit confusing right? Don’t worry, we will go through the elaborate process below. Make sure to read the whole thing for a better understanding.

How to use the planer as a jointer?

Anyone with a planer can follow the method we are about to discuss and get themselves a jointer. 

It’s a pretty straightforward method and just about anyone can do it. You won’t have to buy a jointer once you learn this process. Let’s get going.

  • First, you will need a hardwood board, preferably a high-density fiberboard.
  • Make sure the board is completely flat and doesn’t have any twists or warps on it.
  • Then, you have to glue in a square piece of wood to create a backer on the edge of the hardwood board.
  • Next, take some anti-skid pads and place them on the hardwood board. It prevents your stock wood from slipping.
  • Once you have that, you can place the stock workpiece on the pad.
  • Afterward, you must use wedges to fill the gap on one side of your stock.
  • Now, you can place the hardwood board and the stock workpiece under the planer and run it through it.
  • You may run the board several times to get your desired results and eliminate the warps or cups on your wooden piece.

You may need to put in some effort and do some extra work, but that’s just one-time work. It’s worthwhile because you don’t need to buy a jointer separately and spend money on it. 

If you are still struggling, you might want to look at the process from the following video.

Differences Between Planer Vs. Jointer

Now that you know the process of using your planer as a jointer, we suggest learning the differences of both these tools.

Going through the differences should give you an idea of what benefits you can gain from using a planer as a jointer. Below is a table showing you the differences between the two tools.

FunctionCreates a uniform thickness all over the wooden board.Flattens one surface of a wooden board
MethodRun the tool over the workpiece to adjust the thickness of the wood. Run the workpiece surface over the tool to flatten the surface
Perfect forPlaners are perfect for adjusting the thickness of wooden pieces and flattening parallel surfaces.Jointers are perfect for flattening a surface and squaring up wooden boards for joining purposes.
Tool designThe cutter head on the bottom of the toolCutterhead is usually embedded inside the tabletop
CapabilitiesProduce uniform and accurate thicknessRemove imperfections like warps, bows, or cups.

You can see that both tools have unique functionality and specialize in certain things. However, if you spend some time with modifications, you can use your planer and turn it into a joiner for a while.

When to use a planer as a jointer?

There is a perfect opportunity to use the planer as a jointer. Using the planer as a joiner pays out great when you have to work on warped wooden pieces. 

Since jointer can remove such imperfections, the functionality of jointer in a planer lets you do the same.

As you see in the method, you must use wedges to fill the gap created by warped wood. But to ensure the planer gets the job done, you use a hardwood board with a flat surface so it gets through the planer without any issues.

Also, when you have to flatten the edges of a wooden workpiece for joining purposes you can follow the same method.

Which one is a better option for woodworking?

You should get both tools when it comes to professional woodworking. A planer has its specific set of uses as well as the jointer. You must use both tools for professional woodworking to get the perfect results.

In that scenario, you need to use the jointer first to flatten the surfaces on the wood and remove the imperfections. Then, you can use the planer to achieve uniform thickness. That’s the best possible way to get perfect woodworking pieces.

As for DIYers, getting a planer over a joiner is better. Because using a planer as a jointer is much easier than doing the opposite. You can have more freedom and options that way as opposed to using a jointer as a planer.

Is there a combo of jointer and planer out there?

Yes, the good news is you can get a combo of jointer and planers out there. You can find many options on Amazon and many other woodworking tool brands. Jet, Rikon power tools, Grizzly, Ridgid, and other popular brands make such products.


We are not over yet. Here we will be answering some popular questions related to planers and joiners. It may help you get further inside the discussion and meet your curiosity regarding the issue.

Do I need a planer if I already have a jointer?

Not necessarily. If you have a joiner, you can use it as a planer with some tinkering and modification. However, if you do projects where you need to adjust the thickness a lot then, you should get a separate planer.

Should you use a planer first or a jointer first?

It’s always best to use the jointer first. Because the jointer will remove all kinds of imperfections on the wood and flatten the surface, you run it through. Then, you can use your planer to achieve a uniform thickness throughout the board.

Is a planer better than a sander?

It mostly depends on your project. If you want to strip off a lot of wood and flatten a large wooden surface, then the planer does a better job. But a sander is a better option if you want to strip coatings or small surfaces.

Can I use a router instead of a jointer?

Yes, you can use routers as jointers. They are pretty much the same tool and serve the same purpose. You must adjust the cutting depth and feed tables to use the router as your jointer.


All in all, now you know whether you can use a planer as a joiner. You also have complete knowledge of the process and how to do it.

As a parting suggestion, we can leave you with one thing: whether you should get a jointer or not. In our opinion, if you do a lot of jointing and constantly need to use a jointer, you should get one. Also, it’s better to get one for convenience and quality results.

Otherwise, as a DIYer or a hobbyist, you can easily get by just with the planer and use it as a jointer from time to time.

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