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What kind of jointer should I buy

genecoder's picture

Hi I'm looking in to buying a jointer and wondered if any one new about the 8'' jet jointer if it was pretty precise and accurate. Or if I should look in to another brand.


Thank you

seajai's picture

(post #101971, reply #1 of 27)

There has been much discussion here on this very subject. I would do a search and see what comes up. Every brand seems to have its good and bad points. The trouble is most everything is made in taiwan or china now and there are real quality issues with all brands. Delta seems to be the worst. I, personally just got rid of my taiwan made  jet due to warped tables and I ended up buying a 32 year old american made powermatic which is miles ahead of anything coming out of chaiwan.   


genecoder's picture

(post #101971, reply #4 of 27)

Thank you much for the information.

GLAUCON's picture

(post #101971, reply #15 of 27)

I disagree.

These jingoistic slights say more about the poster than they do about the tool.

I have a Grizzly 8" jointer with a spiral cutterhead that I purchased 3 years ago. It was made in Taiwan and arrived with its tables dead flat. I check them for coplanarity every couple of months, but I haven't had to adjust them a whit in 3 years.

5 or 6 years ago, Grizzly got a lot of static for its quality, but much less so now, particularly for jointers. While the quality from PRC is still variable, it is improving, and Taiwan does very well on quality.

Delta for example, still made many of its tools in the U.S. up until 10-15 years ago, and there were well described high and low points of quality for Delta from the 1920s until the present.

Many of the Stanley handplanes made in the U.S. in the 60s and 70s were junk... the LN planes made along the same designs today are not.

If you look (in constant dollars) at the cost of power tools over the last 40 years, the price is dropping, and for many the quality is as good or better. Sure, there's a lot of B&D junk out there, but there is also stuff from Grizzly, SawStop, Steel City, and others that are made to a good quality at a price point.

The notion of only buying from the U.S. does not make sense from either an economic or quality point of view, and is a sentiment that those reading this abroad are likely to view negatively.

Glaucon


If you don't think too good, then don't think too much...

Glaucon

If you don't think too good, then don't think too much...

seajai's picture

(post #101971, reply #17 of 27)

Jingoistic......I'm gonna have to remember that one.


My opinion of  Chinese or Taiwanese made goods has not been formed solely on the bad experience of one machine, but on many years of experiences with a multitude of products.  I will agree that this country hasn't always made top notch stuff, but I'm still sticking to my opinion.


As for Delta, there have been  many threads here bashing them and their lack of quality.  Isn't Delta owned by B&D now? Do they then fall into the category of " B&D junk"?


I could see how my comment about buying an American made jointer could be taken as jingoism, but it was meant more as a dislike for anything made in Chi or Tai. There is a reason so many manufacturers have shifted their production over to China or Taiwan, and I'll guarantee its not because of the superior quality of their goods. Bottom line is people demand lower prices for goods, and the only way do meet that demand is to cut production costs (and quality), and that won't happen in the United States because people here aren't willing to work for pennies a day.


   There are some really high quality products coming from other countries, and I would not hesitate to buy them. I have a right to my opinion, and others have a right to disagree with it. Isn't freedom of speech great?


rwdare's picture

(post #101971, reply #18 of 27)

Don't worry about the brand name, just buy the widest jointer you can afford.


Dick

Huckleberry's picture

(post #101971, reply #19 of 27)

I've heard rumors that what the plant managers in Taiwan get paid a month is what the plant managers in China get paid in a year. . .like I said just talk from a sales rep.

GLAUCON's picture

(post #101971, reply #20 of 27)

<"I have a right to my opinion, and others have a right to disagree with it. Isn't freedom of speech great?">

You do and it is. But posting a public comment will invoke criticism if your reasoning is faulty or overwrought.

<"I could see how my comment about buying an American made jointer could be taken as jingoism, but it was meant more as a dislike for anything made in Chi or Tai.">

To dislike anything (or anyone or everything) based on its country of origin rather than on the quality or character, is jingoism. It's not a good purchasing strategy, and it's not a good foreign policy, nor is it attractive to behold.

<"As for Delta, there have been many threads here bashing them and their lack of quality. Isn't Delta owned by B&D now? Do they then fall into the category of " B&D junk"?">

Delta's quality travails over the past 60 years have been well documented many places. For starters, read the Iturra BS catalogue and its comparison of Delta BSs down through the ages. The Rockwell period of Unisaws is another example. You don't have to wait until B&D purchases them to find examples of uneven quality.

If you compare the quality of a Steel City BS today with a Delta BS of 1970, the SC wins by a country mile. A spiral head jointer by Grizzly is better than its American cousins of 40 years ago. In constant dollars, both tools cost less than they did 30-40 years ago.

Glaucon


If you don't think too good, then don't think too much...

Glaucon

If you don't think too good, then don't think too much...

SteveSchoene's picture

(post #101971, reply #26 of 27)

I agree absolutely.  I doubt it would be possible to do a correlation between place of origin and quality.  That relationship would be confounded by the correlation between price and quality. 


If shoddy goods come from anyplace it has almost nothing to do with the place but plenty to do with the specifications and how many corners were allowed to be cut to keep the price down.  A $900 cabinet saw Made in the USA would probably be much worse than a $900 cabinet saw made in the far East. 


For that matter, even the corporate ownership of a brand may have little to do with "quality"  Black & Decker Corporation makes powertools for one market segment under the B&D brand, but these are the same people we developed the DeWalt brand, and also own Porter Cable.  Baldwin Hardware is near one end of the price spectrum while Kwik-Set Lock is at the other.  Both are B&D companies. 


Besides there is little choice but to buy Tools from the far East.  You can pay more and endure quirky safety rules by importing European tools.  You can buy older used tools--I've done that--my unisaw was made in the 40s.  As far as I know there is only one company making a full line of woodworking machinery that are Made in USA.  They have a good "medium duty" 8" jointer among their products--it's list price is $10,870 for the base model.  I doubt it will give you problems, at least if your workshop floor will support it.  (Northfield) 

Test your finish on scrap, FIRST, or risk having to scrap your finish.

TRexF16's picture

(post #101971, reply #21 of 27)

Glaucon,


     I just bought an as-new 8 inch Griz jointer with spiral head (G0543).  Probably identical vintage as yours. My tables are also dead flat but I am not so sure about co-planarity.  I'm trying to locate a straight edge long and accurate enough to evaluate co-planarity, but if it's off, how do you adjust it?  I didn't find this issue addressed in the manual. 


Thanks,


Rex

GLAUCON's picture

(post #101971, reply #22 of 27)

Rex,

You can get a machinist's straight edge from Lee Valley:

http://www.leevalley.com/wood/page.aspx?c=2&p=50074&cat=1,240,45313

It's $72 (for 50"), but it comes in handy for a variety of tasks.

To check for coplanarity, raise the infeed table until it is just above the cutterhead. Then raise the outfeed table until it is aligned with the infeed table. Place the straight edge across both tables in several different locations (front to back, side to side), shining a flashlight behind it (a little halogen penlight in a darkened room works well). If no light is visible under the straightedge, you're done. If you do see some light, you can estimate the gap using a feeler gauge.

If you do have a problem, and it's a new jointer, I would call Grizzly and complain. If the problem occurs on an older machine, then adjusting it depends on the machine type (parallelogram vs dovetailed ways). The G0543 has dovetailed ways, and you can try adjusting the gib screws. If this does not work, the easiest (and most lasting) fix is to shim the table(s) near the gib screws with sheet brass. Lee Valley sells this in various thicknesses for ~$8.00:

http://www.leevalley.com/wood/page.aspx?c=2&p=40946&cat=1,43456,43407

I'd be surprised if you had an issue that couldn't be resolved by a simple adjustment, but in any event it's not the end of the world.

Good luck.

Glaucon


If you don't think too good, then don't think too much...

Glaucon

If you don't think too good, then don't think too much...

michaellc's picture

(post #101971, reply #2 of 27)

I don't have the Jet 8",  but my 3 jet machines have been very satisfactory.  I don't think you'll go wrong with the Jet.  I will say that in 8" jointers Grizzly seems to be the brand.  I have used one and seems like a very nice machine, excellent fit and finish and a great value.  Hardly a negative word mentioned about them.  Either way and in my opinion you will be fine and the sooner the better as prices on heavy machines will only go up.  Good luck.


mike.........

genecoder's picture

(post #101971, reply #3 of 27)

Thank you very much for the information Mike I agree I need to buy it sooner then later.


 

Scott_y's picture

(post #101971, reply #5 of 27)

I would suggest a Lie Nielson #7. No size limit is a huge plus.

flairwoodworks's picture

(post #101971, reply #6 of 27)

While Delta's quality does seem to be going downhill as of late, I acquired a new Delta 8" jointer last fall and my experience has been outstanding.  My only complaint is that the dust port comes out the left side of the machine while my dust collection network comes from the right.  From my experience, I can recommend this tool, but based on others' experiences, I would be hesitant.  For what it's worth, mine was a floor model at a woodworking show.

Chris @ www.flairwoodwork.spaces.live.com


 - Success is not the key to happines.  Happiness is the key to success.  If you love what you are doing, you will be successful. - Albert Schweitzer

Chris @ www.flairwoodworks.com
and http://flairwoodworks.wordpress.com

 - Success is not the key to happiness.  Happiness is the key to success.  If you love what you are doing, you will be successful. - Albert Schweitzer

Phoebe in Asheville's picture

(post #101971, reply #7 of 27)

I always look up the tool tests on this site (or in the FW magazine itself). I have been using a helical (carbide) insert jointer and planer and would hate to go back to the other...

Quickstep's picture

(post #101971, reply #8 of 27)

I would agree about getting the helical cutter. I added one to my Delta DJ-20 and can't imagine anything else.

pakman1's picture

(post #101971, reply #9 of 27)

I really don't think that the brand you buy matters that tremendously much - they're


all made in China or Taiwan now anyway. To me, the most important part of the


jointer is the cutterhead. I bought a Yorkcraft about 2 years ago and had them


install a Byrd shelix cutterhead before I picked it up, and I've been extremely


happy with the machine and the surface and edge it puts on any kind of wood


that I've run through it. Put you're money in the cutterhead and I think you'll


be miles ahead. Just my opinion, but I've had a few different kinds.


 


                                                                               good luck,


                                                                                Pat


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 

Brandon 55's picture

(post #101971, reply #10 of 27)

12" Grizzly

Huckleberry's picture

(post #101971, reply #11 of 27)

I am very interested in the idea of a granite fence as advertised on the SteelCity jointer. I don't have one yet, but if I were going to buy a new jointer I'd look closely at that one.


I also heard that they're all made in China or Taiwan, but the rumor I heard was that the Taiwanese quality is way higher than that coming from China.  

polarsea1's picture

(post #101971, reply #12 of 27)

Granite fence = gimmick. You're not going to split atoms with a jointer or build inkjet dies. :-)

Jimurock's picture

(post #101971, reply #13 of 27)

I'm no proponent of unnecessary accuracy on woodworking machines, but I don't agree that a granite fence is a gimmick.  Search the site and you'll find several threads where owners complain of the difficulty of straightening out warped cast fences of recent manufacture.  Even if it works, laying your fence on a concrete floor and jumping up and down on it to straighten it is bad for your mental health.


Re. China / Taiwan: my SC saw is made in China with a fence made in Taiwan.  Even a "made in Canada" General may have a switch made in Poland.  Maybe they should all be classes as hybrids ;(.


Jim

Huckleberry's picture

(post #101971, reply #14 of 27)

I think it's gimmicky too,but it's something to look at.


My JET has a warp in the fence. It hasn't been a big problem becase I clean the edge jointer cut with a no.8, but it didn't seem like a lot more money for the accuracy. Of course, you'll still have the chinese cast tables.

polarsea1's picture

(post #101971, reply #16 of 27)

I guess it's not a gimmick if you can't find a jointer with a straight fence...I didn't realize it was such a problem.

terrylee86's picture

(post #101971, reply #23 of 27)

I have used the new SC jointer with a granite fence and it definitely is a not a gimmick. I am not sure about durability, but it is dead flat and nice to look at as well. I saw the new SC TS with the granite top and the BS with the granite table as well. Great Idea! Not sure how long they will last without cracking, but they look amazing. I put my Lee Valley straight edge on them and they were dead flat. They are not polished like a granite counter top, more like a Corian counter top. Of all the granite accessories they have come up with, I wish they would make retrofit jointer fences for any model. I would buy one in a heart beat. Geologically they are not really granite tops. The igneous rock used is really called gabbro, the same stuff the kitchen guys call black granite. There is no black granite, it is gabbro.

KiddervilleAcres's picture

(post #101971, reply #27 of 27)

Jim,


I was going to suggest mongrels but then some of the best behaved dogs are mongrels.


Help, I can't get my tongue outa me cheek,


Bob @ Kidderville Acres


A Woodworkers mind should be the sharpest tool in the shop!

Bob @ Kidderville Acres

A Woodworkers mind should be the sharpest tool in the shop!

WillGeorge's picture

(post #101971, reply #24 of 27)

Taiwanese quality is way higher than that coming from China.


Just my comment. I have worked in factories in China that could do NASA work and then some. If a quality factory they do anything.. To specifications provided and a bit better.. Like anyplace there is good and bad..

Have a great day.. Life is wonderful even if you are having a bad day!

Huckleberry's picture

(post #101971, reply #25 of 27)

kind of puts it all in the dark? Hit or miss? I guess the thing to do is pull out the straight edge when it arrives and make sure it's flat.