Jointer vs Planer – Which One Is Better For Your Needs?

Jointer vs Planer

Jointer and planer are two machines that every woodworker needs. Especially, if they want to make the most out of a rough piece of lumber. But, without proper know-how, any novice woodworker would go through a dilemma.

Preparing lumber for a big project requires skill and expertise with the craft. For that, you would need the right equipment to stand out.

Now, let’s discuss the question that every beginner has in mind. Whether a jointer would be the right tool to prepare lumber for your next big evening? Or would you need a planer to do the job?

The answer to it is that you don’t have to choose one over the other. It’s a matter of preferences as every experienced craftsman says. To choose the best equipment, you need to have an understanding of working. And the mechanism of both the tools.

The first thing is to overcome the collective delusion. And that is the jointer and planer are dissimilar apparatuses. They achieve a similar primary purpose. In fact, both products are beneficial for different purposes. Furthermore, a benchtop planer is the best machine for your DIY wood projects.

What is Jointer?

A jointer is a durable and potent part of the machine that is used to confirm that your wooden board’s edges are square and straight. So that they can be linked mutually to make a much bigger board. Not to mention, there are various types of these machines; benchtop jointer, benchtop planer, hand planer, jointer planer combo, etc.

Naturally, there is a possibility of doing this without using a jointer. It is done through the movement of a hand plane. Through the wood instead of shifting the wood over the machine as you would have to do with a mechanical jointer.

Another important fact to appreciate is that you would need to develop a certain skill level for it. It’s not possible to get the machine and perform the task; instead, you need to get hold of it over time. Professional craftsmen with a firm grip over manual tasks do admit that executing it is a fairly time-consuming task.

By using a jointer instead of manual operations, squaring edges are made quick and mostly uncomplicated. But, they can also be used to perform other tasks. Benchtop jointers are rapid and cut more even wood.

Additionally, the jointers are also valuable at eliminating cuppings, warps, and twists from your boards. But, the hand planers smooth the surfaces more than jointers. Getting a jointer planer combo would give you both options in the same machine.


  • A lot easier than shaping edges with hand
  • The fastest method of removing warping and twisting
  • Completely modifiable making it easier to alter the angels of the cut to suit your requirements
  • Usually cheaper than planners


  • No method of guaranteeing constant thickness through the board
  • Rough faces are still left that can be treated better with a planer

What is Planer?

Once you have used a jointer for your board, you would get a flat surface and one impeccably squared edge.

It’s good progress, but how would you deal with the remaining edges and surfaces? How would you treat them?

It is possible to use a jointer for the same board several times before you achieve the desired results. However not only is the task arduous but also equally ineffective and pointless.

Perhaps the biggest hindrance of using a jointer that a woodworker would face in this situation is it’s nearly impossible to confirm that every surface is corresponding. Or it has a constant thickness.

It is where you can use a good quality planer to achieve anticipated results.

At the base of this specific device, you will discover a flatbed that is installed for the board to drive on. It has a cutting head that is located exactly above it. It assures you a lot more accurate, stable, and even surface than you would acquire from a jointer or through a manual hand plane. Utilizing the input and output breakers to control the promptness at which the wooden board moves over the cutting top.


  • It offers the easiest method of getting parallel surfaces
  • Ideal selection for steady thickness
  • Easier handling and operation than manual tools
  • Delivers a general smooth texture compared to what you would get from a jointer.


  • Unable to cupping, warping, and twisting
  • It could sometimes get time-consuming. Since you would have to pass the lumber through the planner several times before achieving the desired outcome
  • Unsuitable for edges squaring off
  • It is an expensive choice, particularly in comparison to a jointer.

Key Differences among Jointer vs Planer

Some of the critical differences between Jointer and Planer are as follows:

  • Jointers are used to impeccably square a sole edge and level a single surface. While the purpose of using planers is to ensure uniform thickness and produce corresponding surfaces.
  • The jointers are capable of finishing boards to an approximately similar thickness. While planers can confirm that the wooden boards have identical width through each side.
  • Jointers comprise of knives attached inside the table. That can cut the wood from underneath, but planers usually cut from overhead.
  • Jointers can eliminate cupping and wrapping, while planers are somewhat more costly.

Jointer or Planer, which one to choose?

Jointer and planer are two individual machines. While most of the professional craftsman usually own both of them, it is also important to regard the fact that you might not need both of them.

There is Pre-finished wood available in the market that doesn’t need processing at all. So you can get it and get the results without investing in any of the selections. In some instances, you can buy S4S lumber straightaway.

In several instances, you would purchase uneven, unfinished wood. That, despite being resilient and sturdy, you can’t use without treating it adequately.

A wood that has been rough-cut can have irregular surfaces, which make it is joining quite tricky. Furthermore, storage environments can make that wood cupped, twisted, or warped. And that renders it inoperative.

For this reason, several skilled artisans contemplate planers and jointers as some of the fundamental tools in their possession.

A good quality jointer can eliminate that twisting and wrapping. Whereas a planer can smooth off wooden planes, leaving every board flawlessly ready for instant use.

Therefore, it depends upon the choice of the woodworker and what it expects of the equipment. The best tool is, thus, merely a question of preferences.

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