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New woodworkers have a host of considerations when they get into the trade. Many of these revolve around understanding tools and their relevance. Jointers and planers tend to form a part of these considerations, as people often wonder which comes before the other and which is better to use.
You shouldn’t be comparing these tools to each other in this manner, as each has its useful place in the shop. If you ask any woodworking veteran, you are likely to get a similar response.
If you believe that the two are alternative tools that perform the same function, this is a good time to dispel that myth. You can use both on the same wood piece to great effect. So, the information below is aimed at explaining the differences between a jointer and a planer, which should help you to decide how to apply each to your tasks.
This heavy-duty implement helps you to keep the edges of your wooden boards straight. When you want to join pieces of board together to create a larger unit, their edges must sit flush against each other for the best results. The jointer ensures you achieve this objective by maintaining perfectly symmetrical square or rectangular shapes.
A hand plane could be used to achieve a similar objective, but going that route is not recommended. Not only does it require greater skill, but it is wildly inconvenient compared to the results of simply letting the jointer do what it does best.
Apart from this fall ocean, you can use your jointer to remove copying, warps, or twists from your board.
Here are the positive aspects of the jointer:
- You can get your square or rectangular edges perfectly done with minimal effort when compared to what would be required for a hand plane.
- The cost is very attractive compared to that of planers.
- Adjustability is a huge factor present, which allows you to modify your cut angle as needed.
- There is no quicker way to remove warping and twisting than to use a jointer.
On the downside, you have these considerations with a jointer in the mix:
- Even when you have done your best job with the jointer, it’s all about the edges. The rough faces that need to be smoothed out remain.
- Theirs is no guarantee of thickness consistency.
When you use your jointer to ensure you have that sought-after square or rectangular look, it doesn’t and there. what happens beyond the squared edge and flat surface that you have taken care of? Are you going to put the board through the jointer repeatedly to handle the rest? You could go that route, but it’s not the most efficient or attractive method to use.
The planner handles the matter of consistent thickness and parallel alignment. The design of the planer includes a flatbed for your board, as well as a conveniently positioned cutting head immediately above.
Using the included input and output rollers, you can exercise tight control over the board’s processing speed. At the end of it all, you end up with a smooth finish that has a consistent thickness, which you would not be able to get from your jointer.
Now it’s time to highlight the areas that make a planer amazing:
- There is no better choice if you are trying to achieve consistent thickness.
- The automation that’s present makes it a far superior choice to traditional hand tools.
- While it’s not the only way to go, using the planner gives you the most effortless method for creating parallel surfaces.
- When the job is done, there is a smooth finish present throughout that you would not get if you stopped at just using the jointer.
What about the downsides of the planer? Well, they are as follows:
- Compared to the jointer, the planer is a much more expensive tool.
- There is no functionality present for handling cupping, twisting, or warping.
- Though the planer is better suited to achieving consistent thickness, you often don’t get that result after passing the board through the machine once.
- A planner is not suited to edge squaring.
Contrasting the Differences
So, now you have all the information you need about what jointers and planers do, where they shine, and where they falter. To further drive home the necessity of either tool, it’s time to zoom in on the contrasting areas.
First, there is the matter of each tool’s main purpose. If you’re getting a jointer, you want to square an edge and flatten a face, particularly because you’re going to be joining the said edge and face to another piece of wood. Planers, on the other hand, ensure you have parallel surfaces and consistent thickness throughout the piece of wood.
A jointer has knives mounted on the table, which means the wood gets cut from below. the cut is made from above when planers are used.
While planers have no functionality that assists with warping or cupping, a jointer is the most efficient way to take care of these nuisances. Additionally, planers tend to be on the more expensive side of the fence than jointers.
Are These Tools Always Relevant?
The imperfections that would necessitate a jointer or a planer are not always present. For example, it’s quite possible to get your hands on wood that has already been pre-finished. In such cases, the edges and faces would already be properly shaped, warping and twisting would not be a factor, and parallel layout, as well as thickness, would be in order.
However, if you are paying a visit to your local lumberyard our other traditional DIY vendor, you are getting strong and durable unfinished wood, which is going to require some work on your part.
This means it’s rough cut, there are likely uneven surfaces, and the wood may be twisted, cupped, or warped. Your jointer can tackle the warping, cupping, and twisting, while your planer can handle the smoothing and leveling of the surfaces. In the end, the wood is ready for use.
Final Remarks – Which to Buy
As you can see from all the information presented, you are not meant to choose one or the other. Their best-case scenario would be purchasing both since they come together to create the finished product you want. The workflow involves starting with the jointer then turning to the planer.