Difference Between Jointer And Planer (Jointer Vs. Planer)

Planner Vs Jointer

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Both planers and jointers are indispensable tools among wood shop power tools for tackling delicate woodworking projects. Planers thicken wood, and jointers flatten or straighten their faces.

To be clear, you need to understand this basic information about these two tools. But to determine whether you need one or both, you must first understand the differences in detail between a planer and a jointer.

Since you’re not the only one who needs clarification about the difference between these two woodworking machines, we’ll explain the differences between them and help you decide which one is best for you.

Jointer Vs. Planer: Definition, Functionality, And Differences

To tackle delicate woodworking projects, woodworkers need flat, square, and consistent wood. These may result in the complete failure of the project. It does a great job of avoiding this risk and achieving similar dimensions using a jointer and planer.

But it can be challenging to decide which tool is right for your project since each has its advantages and disadvantages. Therefore, it is crucial to understand how these two machines differ. And for that, you need to know the definition, function, and what kind of project to use them.

The following is the section where we go over these things in detail.

Know The Jointer

If we describe a wood jointer, we can introduce it as a jointer planer or benchtop jointer. The tool is long and flat with two wings, one adjustable and one non-adjustable. It consists of a cylindrical blade whose function is to level one surface of a board.

Two tables are aligned in the same plane, one being an infeed table and the other an outfeed table. The knives in the cutter’s head are flush with the tops of the outfeed table, and the knife-cutting circle tops are mounted between the tables.

As a woodworking machine, a jointer smooths wood board surfaces like a hand plane. This tool can flatten wooden boards that are warped, bent, or bowed.

Functionality Of The Jointer

When it comes to woodworking, woodworkers always need plain wood.

As a result, they need a jointer to level the boards for the dining table or other tables. To do this, you must lower the infeed table to the same depth as the wood board you are smoothing or flattening.

There are two tables for infeed and outfeed on jointers with rotating blades. The spinning blade removes small amounts of wood from lumber, while a hand plane removes material from boards.

The running machine removes the wood from the board as it passes over it and calibrates the cut part of the board so that it can be supported on the outfeed table. The fence is a guide when flattening a face or joining board edges. And this adjustable fence can be set at different angles, usually 45 degrees. Eventually, the surface will appear flat and consistent after multiple jointers pass.

Know The Planer

In a sense, a jointer is the opposite of a planer. A jointer has a cutter head below, while a planer has a cutter head suspended up above with a pressure roller or feed roller on either side. They pull the wood through the cutter head with a little rubber grip, then flatten it on the table at the end.

Using a planer, you can join a board flat and equal thickness from end to end. A planer has a more complicated mechanism than the jointer, but it’s simpler in terms of functionality. A planer is similar to a hand planer, except it is powered and can plane a piece of lumber instead of just a strip.

Functionality Of The Planer

You can use a planer when bringing the wood stock to make it straight, flat, and square for various purposes. Its purpose is to keep the thickness of the wood material consistent. You can easily create parallel surfaces by rotating the board again through the planer.

Due to its smooth and consistent surface, the board is ideal for creating parallel surfaces. Planers and jointers create parallel surfaces on wood when used together. If you do this, the wood pieces will be flat, smooth, straight, and square when you put them together.

A planer, commonly referred to as a thickness planer or benchtop planer, is a tool that can adjust a board’s thickness.

Differences Between Jointers and Planers

As you already know what joiner and planer tools are and how to use them. It is now much easier for you to distinguish between these two tools. These differences between thickness planers and jointers are quite apparent from our discussion so far:

  • You can achieve a straight surface and uniform thickness of wood with a planer, whereas you can achieve a precise square edge with a jointer.
  •  A jointer gives a precision squared edge and flattens that edge precisely, while a planer gives you uniform thickness and parallel surfaces.
  • A planer cuts from above the wood, while a jointer has the cutting knives embedded into the table, and the wood passes over them as they cut.

Despite their differences, both provide you with a smooth and straight wood board that can be used for a variety of purposes.


Do planers work as jointers?

Yes, a jointer can work as a planer, but with some limitations. Your planer’s dimensions – its bed width and cutting blade thickness – and the wood you can run through the chamber are your limitations. Some tricks can turn a planer into a jointer. Despite limited tool inventory or poor wood, so many skilled carpenters always find a way to make do.

Do I need a jointer if I have a table saw?

It is possible to square both sides of the wood with a table saw instead of using a jointer. Besides making wood pieces flat with the table saw, it can also square the edges of wood pieces to ensure they are perfectly perpendicular. Using a similar jig will work in this scenario.


You’ll be able to expand your shop’s capabilities when you add a jointer and a planer to your table saw, and miter saw, even though they serve different functions.

But the two together may be more expensive. Based on the needs of your woodshop project, you may bring either one.

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