If you are new to woodworking, having several sized power jointers available could make you ask, what size of jointers do I need? Worry not; we got your back.
The type of project you are engaged in determines the size of the jointers you want to buy. However, before getting one, you need to consider other factors, such as the budget, lumber types, length of the jointer floor, and fence.
It is because all these parameters change with the size of the jointers in the first place. Go through this article all the way through, and you will end up having a clear idea to get the best-sized jointer for your project.
What Size Jointer Do I Need?
Before getting in-depth, you must know which parameter expressively determines the size of a jointer. It is the length of the cutting knife or blade which shows how much bigger or smaller a jointer machine should be.
Here is a chart that shows the sizes of all globally available jointers.
|Size of jointer||Length of cutting Knives|
Now that you know what size jointers are available for purchasing, which one to get? Here comes the type of long-term projects you would do with lumbar and wooden planks. Knowing the type and size of the lumber and planks you would be working with is crucial to get the jointer.
1. Usability of 6-inch Jointer
A 6-inch jointer typically has infeed and outfeed tables that are 6 inches wide and 28 to 30 inches long. You will get maximum cutting depth in a 6-inch jointer, normally around 1/8 inch.
For such small-sized jointers, the length of the jointer knives is normally between 3 and 4 inches. A 6-inch jointer is recommended for small-scale household projects only.
Small boxes such as jewelry or trinket boxes, Picture frames, small wooden signs, furniture pieces, toys, customized moldings, etc., are usually backed up by a 6-inch jointer. Therefore, if your project includes a 6 inches wide or shorter plank, a 6-inch jointer would be a good choice.
2. Usability of 8-inch Jointer
An 8-inch jointer is a standard size for most small to medium-sized household wooden projects. It can withstand most average-sized lumbers because the length of the knife varies from around 6-8 inches with a cutting depth of ⅛”.
This jointer size is very popular for personal and professional uses. Making household furniture, custom frames, fences, cabinetry, stools, or any wooden platform becomes easier and smoother with such a jointer. Importantly, the price range of the 8-inch jointer is manageable.
Thus, if you are into small-scale wood-making projects, household repairs, and customized wooden products, an 8-inch jointer would be a decent choice. As a bonus, the overall machine size could be easily accommodated in a small house of four.
3. Usability of 12 and 16-inch Jointer
The 12 and 16-inch jointers are industrial-grade jointers. These are only recommended for heavy wooden projects. You cannot accommodate such jointers in a small house or workstation because the infeed and outfeed table lengths are much longer than other jointers.
Importantly, the motor of such big-sized jointers uses 220 or 240V of electricity, usually provided to licensed workstations.
Considering you are engaged in professional and heavy woodwork, such as flooring, paneling, making furniture, and house structural boards, such jointers could be purchased.
Factors To Consider When Choosing A Jointer Size
Apart from the work you would do with a jointer, you should consider several other factors before getting one.
Although it resembles a jointer’s size, the table’s length and the fence’s height differ in manufacturing brands with a similar cutting width. Thus, you must thoroughly inspect these dimensions for smooth and uninterrupted work.
An 8-inch jointer has a comparatively longer table than a usual 6-inch jointer. Therefore, working with standard 6-8 ft long wooden planks is easier in an 8-inch jointer than a 6-inch jointer.
Cutter Head Type
Most renowned jointers have two recognized cutter head types. These are spiral or helical-shaped blades and straight-edge knives. Helical-shaped cutter edges include individual all-side square blades.
These individual blades can be easily rotated by unscrewing and repositioning to get a sharp edge. A more traditional cutter edge comes with multiple straight knives parallel to each other in an angled position. Resharpening these knives are tedious and time-consuming.
Although spiral cutter heads come with additional advantages, the price is much higher than straight knife heads. Thus, you can get a straight knife jointer for household work, whereas spiral cutter heads are recommended for more refined work to be done professionally.
Generally, a taller fence is preferable because it gives the jointer more flexibility and versatility in the projects. Additionally, it assists in safety and balance maintenance while moving the planks.
Another crucial feature of a jointer fence is its adjustability. It should be simple and accurate to adjust. Some fences contain locking mechanisms that make this possible.
Getting a jointer with an easily adjustable fence that can be raised to a tall height to fit various tasks is recommended. This feature provides you the freedom and versatility while working with wood.
Movement of Infeed and Outfeed Table
Two types of infeed and outfeed tables are generally found. The first type includes a triangular casting called a wedge bed. The table moves up and down, sliding through the sloped edges.
The expert thinks that the stability of such tables might wear out with time, causing the table to lean in a downward direction. The second type of table has a parallelogram configuration in the center casting.
Here, the table moves in a parallel direction to the floor. However, a wedge bed jointer is less expensive than a parallelogram jointer.
You may choose the wedge bed for comparatively lightweight projects, whereas parallelogram jointers are suitable for heavy projects.
Movability of Jointers
Jointers are made with cast iron and are extremely heavy. Ensure the jointer you would get has been installed with wheels as it eases the movement of the machine. Otherwise, it would be difficult to reposition the jointer inside a workstation alone.
The following FAQs will enlighten you with the regular user’s opinion about different sizes of jointers and their usability for different work types.
The standard size for a jointer is typically 8 inches. This size is considered to be a good balance between capability and portability. 8-inch jointers are powerful enough to handle most types of woodworking projects with the portability to move around the job site.
It depends on the size of the jointer and the size of the large pieces of wood. Sometimes you can still use a small jointer for large pieces of wood, but it will be limited to smaller cuts and may not produce as smooth a surface as a larger jointer.
The cutting capacity, wood surface quality, power, cost, and portability of a jointer are all influenced by its size. Larger jointers are more powerful, expensive, and less portable but can handle large woods. While smaller jointers are more portable, less powerful, produce rougher surfaces, and are less expensive.
Wearing the proper personal protective equipment is essential to use a large jointer. To prevent injury, you should carefully guard the cutter head, and the jointer should be properly adjusted and maintained. Always use push sticks or blocks to move the wood through the jointer, and keep fingers away from the cutter head.
Choosing the right size of a jointer is crucial for the best finishing and a smoother surface of a specific type of wood. Getting an appropriate size of jointer will be a good use of money if you get the expected outcome.
That is why it is advised to characterize your project type and the types of woods with specific dimensions to be used in such projects. This gives you the upper hand to wisely choose what size of a jointer is suitable for you.
Hopefully, this article has cleared your thoughts about different-sized jointers and their uses for selecting one conveniently.
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