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Thread: new 8" Jointer

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Salinas Ca

    new 8" Jointer

    I'm looking to buy a new 8" Jointer.
    What make? Jet, Grizzly, Delta, Powermatic, or ?
    Thanks. Larry

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Wapakoneta, OH
    My general opinion: if there are no budget or physical restrictions (you can unload and set the machine up) I'd go with the PM. I'd be sure to avoid Delta (for the time being, given the change of ownership and general confusion in the company). I see Grizzly as a solid contender (especially if budgets need to be met) and I own a Jet 8". Also consider whether you want parallelogram tables, that will increase the price. I don't care for them, they are good if you adjust the table a lot but I'm thinking in the 14 years or so I've owned my Jet I've adjusted the cutting depth maybe a dozen the added complexity doesn't seem worth it to me. The Grizzly (and maybe some of the others) might be available with the spiral head. If you have a planer with a spiral head, you really don't them on a jointer (most of the jointed faces also get planed), but I have them on both and wouldn't give them up; so I suggest adding that if available.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    No, not all of SoCal is Los Angeles!
    I have slightly different views which should not be taken as opposing Fred's very good advice above, its just different. The differing responses from different members based on their methods and experiences are what add value to the forum. So, with that disclaimer out of the way .

    When I was ready to upgrade my jointer I put together a list of things that were important to me, many of them were "gotta-haves". It was something like this:

    • 8" minimum width, spiral cutter head
    • Long parallelogram table beds
    • Tall fence
    • Mobile base

    Your list will undoubtedly vary but, I will give you the reasons for mine:
    • 8" minimum width, spiral cutter head
      • I bought a 6" against all advice, convincing myself that I could make it work, it didn't. I now find 8" workable almost all the time and would take larger if I could make it fit in the shop whereas 6" was unworkable most of the time except for edge jointing (which is pretty meaningless if you do not have a jointed face).
      • I use a lot of figured woods and the tearout was costing me way too much in the way of material. I do not subscribe to the idea that a spiral planer will cure damage done by a knifed jointer as tearout can be deep enough to be beyond what you can plane off and be left with usable stock [DAMHIKT].

    • Long parallelogram table beds
      • Success with a jointer is all about feed path. If you cannot fully support the material being milled you cannot mill it correctly. While roller stands or other supports can be used for really long pieces, I wanted beds that would support the length of most furniture parts I might make.
      • As to the p-bed format, anyone who has been blessed with not having to adjust the tables on a dovetail-way jointer could care less. Anyone who has been down this road knows why I wanted p-beds .

    • Tall fence
      • A lot of people never use their jointer or tablesaw at anything other than 90 degrees. I am not that guy and wanted a good reference surface for my work. Again this goes to assuring an accurate feed path.

    • Mobile base
      • This one is really subjective. I have to swing my jointer out from the wall to get at my lumber rack . This can always be added as an aftermarket accessory.

    Think about what you are going to be making and how you will make it. Jot down the things that are important to you and then cross the available machines with that list. I went with the G0490X which has a large following and is basically a clone of an old Delta DJ design (you'll notice the family resemblance in other colors of paint as well; when a design works, don't mess with it). Since my purchase, there have been corrections to some things we used to have to do for ourselves. The dust chute has been covered (the uncovered trough design was left over from when a broom was considered dust collection) and the belt-slap problem (probably from putting a 3HP motor on what was originally a 1HP design) has been eliminated by changing to a serpentine belt and pulley system. I have been using mine several days a week for almost 7 years and am still well pleased with my decision but, this is in no small part, due to it meeting the "gotta-haves" on my list; YMMV.

    P.s. Given my experience in sharpening and replacing knives, the spiral head paid for itself about 20 months in and has been gravy ever since.
    Last edited by glenn bradley; 01-29-2015 at 01:58 PM.
    Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.
    - Arthur C. Clarke

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