Last Updated on July 8, 2020 by woodcutter
Any piece of lumber board, whether pre-milled or not, needs thorough working before using it for its intended purpose. You need to know the right tool to use to get the best results. A jointer and planners are very similar tools used to reshape, resize, or mill wood boards. They can work perfectly together as a planer jointer to shape a rough piece of wood and fit it into place. However, it is essential to know the difference between each of these. Depending on the purpose you need, you can take your pick between the two.
They have different functions of either smoothening the board, making sides parallel, or square edges. To fully understand the differences, I will start by looking at each of the tools. A comparison to highlight the differences between a power jointer and thickness planer follows.
What is a jointer?
A jointer starts by flattening the board. It has the job of making the wood straight. It produces perfectly shaped edges.
If you are looking to give your piece of wood the perfect shape, or flawless unspoiled edges, you need to use a jointer. Jointers vary in size from a 6- inch jointer, 8- inches to 12- inch jointers. Prices vary according to the dimensions. 6- inch jointers use electricity power of up to 110 volts. For an 8- inch jointer usually requires new additional wiring as it uses electrical power of up to 220 volts. Other bigger joints need more power.
When you initially buy a piece of timber, wood or lumber, it is usually poorly shaped. Most pieces are twisted and curved in an undesirable manner. For you to get started on shaping your piece of timber, a jointer is the best tool to use. It also mainly used to make the piece of wood you are working on straight and flat.
How a jointer works
If you have the answer to the question, what is a jointer? You can now learn how it works. A jointer has multiple knives and a cutter head that is fixed between two tables. The tables are an infeed table and an outfeed table that aligned in the same plane. When using the multiple knives at the top, they are aligned with the outfeed table. The infeed table’s depth is lowered to a distance equal to the quantity of wood that you want to remove.
To cut a piece of wood, you put the guard in place then pass the lumber board across the jointer. The lumber goes in from the infeed table across through the multiple knives and cutter head that shape it. The finely cut piece then goes out over the outfeed table. The jointer also has an adjustable fence that helps guide the wood while flattening it. The wall also acts as a support for the piece making your work easier.
To get your edges right, you position the board face against the fence to get a 90-degree angle. Unfortunately, the jointer cannot achieve a 90-degree angle this way if the piece you are working with is wider than the jointer.
Advantages of a jointer.
1. It straightens your lumber board.
A jointer is the best tool to use to straighten aboard. You do not need to pass the piece of wood too often over the jointer to make it straight. It gives a flatter lumber board quickly. A jointer achieves a perfect vertical shape on your piece of wood.
2. Flattens edges.
After you straighten your board, you can also use a jointer to make the edges flat. Wood pieces are initially poorly shaped with bends and uneven edges. To achieve the flat well-shaped edged you need on your piece, look to use a jointer.
3. You can even adjust it to different sizes of angles.
The jointer has a fence that enables you to change the angles which you cut at. This helps when you are working on molding pieces. A jointer enables to adjust angles that vary in degrees. Whether it is a 90-degree angle or any smaller angle you want to come out with, a jointer is best to use.
Disadvantages of using a jointer.
1. It cannot make parallel faces.
You can use a jointer to make perfect square edges or to flatten the board face, but you cannot achieve parallel faces. To attain two identical faces on your board when using a jointer is not possible. This is only possible with a planner.
2. Board sides remain rough.
You cannot make the edges of a lumber piece smooth by using a joint. It only makes you lumber board pieces straight. A jointer removes the curves or twists in a board but leaves the piece rough. You, therefore, need to do extra work on the board piece with another tool.
What is a planer?
A planner works on achieving the correct thickness you want on your wood board. Apart from working on the thickness, a planer also works to make faces that are parallel.
How the planner works
The planer has infeed and outfeed rollers. In the middle of these rollers is a cutter head. The thickness of your wood pieces is determined by space between the cutter head and the table. You pass the board through the planer more than once to get the level of thickness you need. This is because it only takes away a specific level at a time.
A planner works by taking in the lumber board through the infeed rollers that clutch it to the planer. They then roll the board through a cutter that rotates constantly and cuts the board thickness. The board then moves towards the outfeed rollers and exits the planer machine.
Advantages of using a planer.
1. Works on the thickness of aboard.
Unlike a jointer, a planer can be used to alter the thickness of your board. The cutter head achieves this on a planer. It removes a certain quantity of wood at a time. You need to pass the wood through repeatedly until it is as thick as you need it to be.
2. Remove a precise amount of thickness at a time.
This is seen by many as a disadvantage. However, it helps avoid the mistake of overcutting your board. You can continuously check to make sure you have the right size each time the board exits the planer.
3. It works well on rough wood.
A planer is ideal for rough boards. The boards have to be straightened out first using a jointer. If you put a rough board in a planer, it smoothens and cleans it up.
4. It makes faces parallel.
A planer helps make the edges of a board parallel. You simply make parallel faces bypassing both sides of the lumber board through the planer. But a jointer cannot achieve this.
Disadvantages of using a planer
1. It needs you to make several passes through the planer.
The planer takes away only a certain thickness at a time. This means that you have to pass the lumber board through the planner several times to get the thickness you want. This is time-consuming.
2. Copies board faults.
You should only put a straight board through a planer. If you put a board with twists or bents, it duplicates the twist on the other side of the lumber board. Thus the need to pass the board through a jointer first.
Difference between a power jointer and thickness planer.
When using a power jointer, a single pass works your lumber piece well. That is a jointer vs. planer that only takes away a specific quantity of wood at a time. Therefore, a planer requires you to pass the board many times before you achieve the thickness you want.
If using pre-milled boards, they are usually out of shape. They need to be straightened out first before working on them. For you to do so, you need a jointer. A jointer straightens the twists of a pre-milled piece of wood. A planer cannot rectify the board. It can only work on already straight or near straight lumber pieces.
A thickness planer makes the faces of a board parallel to each other. A power jointer cannot do this. What a power jointer can do is make the edges square. The power jointer does so because of its fence feature that enables you to make a squared angle with 90 degrees or less.
Are you looking at whether to buy a power jointer or a thickness planer? These differences of a jointer vs. planer will help you decide. You are now able to identify the different functions of each. Depending on what purpose you need your tool to serve, you can choose if you need a power jointer or thickness planer. If using both, you work for your board through a jointer first, then through a planner.
To Sum Up
A thickness planer and a power jointer are both tools that work to reshape and resize your lumber board. If you are looking to straighten, flatten, or square a lumber board, then a power jointer is the tool to use. If, however you want to adjust the thickness of a lumber board, then you need to get your hands on a thickness planer. If you need to use the functions of both tools, a best planer jointer will come in handy.