Woodworking Basics: What are Jointers and Planers?

Woodworking Basics: What are Jointers and Planers?

Jointers and planers are some of the most useful items for smoothing rough pieces of lumber, but what are their differences? Most woodworkers would tell you that both jointers and planers are essential in almost any kind of project. So, let’s know more about these woodworking basics, and when you should use each.

The Jointer is suitable for flattening the rough surface of the wood. It is also desirable to correct the cuts and distorts on one side of the wall. A jointer does what a hand plane does, except that you move the wood through it instead of pushing it through the wood. At the same time, the Planer can also make the rough side smooth and parallel to the other side. A Planer, on the other hand, is a thickener, it renders thicker wood and makes it thinner.

Between jointers and planers, which one should you pick? It depends on your hand tool skills and the amount of energy you’re willing to give up. Let us find what its differences are and which one you should pick for specific projects.

What Is The Difference Between Jointers And Planers?

As you expand your woodworking skills, a Jointer and Planer come in handy. These tools are both beneficial for rough lumber but somehow different purposes. Most large woodworking projects require the exact thickness and lining of the wood. Whenever you purchase from big box retailers and suppliers, it is common not to have straight or perfect flat shapes. Therefore, both a Jointer and Planer provide solutions.

A Jointer is ideal for making perfectly flat wood while removing warps and twists. All you have to do is to run the tool on the rough lumber. It also creates a flat surface through the motorized hand plane. Planers, on the other hand, take down the thickness of any wood. Then, for more efficient results, you can use a Planer to get a more consistent thickness and parallelism. At the same time, the plane would also make the rough side smooth and parallel to the other side.

Jointers VS Planers: Which One To Buy First?

Choosing which one to buy first between Jointers VS Planer depends on case to case basis. Most woodworkers buy the Planer first. It’s because it allows them to do more on their own than you can with a jointer. The Jointer excels in having one flat face and one square or triangular edge, and that’s all about it. 

If you put the other rough face on the Jointer, you can make it square, but you’re not going to make it parallel to the first face. It makes the board thicker at one end than the other. Speaking of thickness, the Jointer does not allow you to thicken boards of a specific size quickly. 

What Are The Different Kinds Of Jointers?

Are you looking for jointers to help you work on your project? Don’t fret, because here are the different major types of jointers. How will you use it for furniture or wood panels? It’s all about knowing the right kind of Jointer to use.

  1. Closed-Stand Jointers – It’s the most common Jointer you can find on the market today. It comes in four sizes, 6, 8, 12 and 16 inches. This Jointer comes in an enclosed base to hold the engine in place and, at the same time, shield it from dust. It also reduces noise and vibration when cutting wood. The housing adds more weight to the Jointer, giving it more stability and safety.
  2. Open Stand Jointers – This form of Jointer is one of the cheapest that is easy to transfer and transport. However, because of the exposed engine, it can be a little noisier than other jointers that have closed cabinet machines. Hence, the name is open-stand.
  3. Benchtop Jointers – These types of jointers are the baby versions of the table jointers described in the first category. It is going to work with smaller ventures. However, if you want a more durable and larger board, you won’t be able to accommodate it. The maximum cutting distance is about 6 inches.
  4. Jointer or Planers – Some devices are a mixture of a jointer and a plane in one. The Planer helps you to cut wood to a precise size. It helps you to build a flat surface at the same time. You can note that there are two forms of jointer or Planer combinations, one of which is over or under combination, and the other is a side-by-side combination. The over or under combination consists of a single cutter and a single surface. And if you want to turn from a jointer to a planer, you’ll need to change some settings. On the other hand, a side-by-side combination has a jointer attached to the plane. The benefit of this form of Jointer is that you don’t have to buy separate glider equipment. You’re going to be able to save hundreds of dollars by having a machine that combines the functionality of the Jointer Table and the Planer. You will also be able to save on the workspace at the same time.

What Are The Different Kinds Of Planers?

If you enjoy working with wood, you will eventually come across a job that needs you to form. You can do so by taking a little bit off here and a little bit off there. In such cases, you can be either rounding sharp corners or flattening twisted wood that you want to use for boards. There are a lot of Planers, but we’re just going to think about manual planners for now.

  1. Hand Planer – This is a simple Planer. You can change the depth of the cut and use both hands to shape wood with a solid, guided Planing. Nothing beats the old days, and these devices are a throwback to a simpler time when people are working with their hands. The benefit of manual gliders is that you can do your job nicely and slowly. These tools will provide the highest accuracy, making the finished product look like a real piece of art. 
  2. Two-handed Planer – A variation on the standard hand plane, this one places the handles on each side for a lighter, more controlled planning motion. It’s perfect for shaping corners with fast, delicate movements, but its blade is also adjustable in case you need to cut a little deeper.
  3. Combination Rasp Planer – The movement here is less like a typical Planer and more like a cheese grater. It is much more flexible than a conventional wood planer. It also works on other materials such as fiberglass and soft aluminum.
  4. Flat Plane Bottom-Edged Wood Hand Planers – This Planer needs one hand to use. So, don’t take this path if you have a lot of hard planning work to do. However, it’s going to encourage you to shave off materials just a little bit at a time. The bottom line is that this model is easy to use, and you can see what you’re working for better results.
  5. Hand Scraper – A conventional planer requires a moving action to restore hardwood floors by a pulling motion. It’s similar to a plane that lets you avoid rough patches on the road. So, if the planer’s pushing action isn’t exactly what you need, this is an alternative.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some answers about jointers and Planers.

Are jointers dangerous?

Jointers have sharp edges, so it can be quite dangerous to use if misused. Therefore, it is essential to take extra care in using jointers. You can watch online videos and other tutorials on how to use this tool appropriately, and get some tips using jointers safely. For short, jointers require 100% focus and attention.

Do I need a Planer?

A Planer is essential, and it would be ideal if you can learn how to use this tool. You only need a Planer if most of your project requires the use of it. The choice depends on your frequency of use. If you want to build objects from scratch, then a Planer would come in handy.

Can a Planer be used as a jointer?

Jointers and Planers may have almost the same use, but they have different applications. Regardless, Planer is essential for flattening both pieces of wood. It would be best to use a Planer for its purpose – and vice versa.


If you have the right skills to flatten wood with a hand plane, then a planer would be right for you. On the other hand, jointers are ideal if you are in a hurry. Power tools are efficient and quicker because of the motor attached to its body. However, choosing the right kind of woodworking tool will make your job faster and easier.

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