Jointer vs. Planer| What about their differences?

Have you ever wondered how flat wooden panels are smoothened and leveled in their entire length and width?

For people who are unfamiliar with power tools and woodworking procedures, this can sound strange, but for woodworkers, they know something about planers and jointers.

However, don’t worry if you are green as in this article we are going to cover more about them, their differences and areas of application.

Planers and Jointers are tools designed to turn rough lumber directly from the sawmill into boards or fine furniture suitable for use in a wood workshop.

This work was initially done in a hard way, using large hand planers to finish the wood for the final product evenly.

What is a jointer?

A jointer is a powerful tool that can either be free-standing or portable. It has a set of blades, usually two or three, attached to a cutting head that rotates at high speed.

Sitting between the adjustable in-feed and out-feed table, the blades are usually positioned against guide fence.

Just like the table saw, the material to be cut is placed on the in-feed table and pushed over the rotating blades. This results in smooth and more beautiful wood.

What Are The Applications Of A Jointer?

A jointer can be used to make two or more planks square, look identical and have equal size. The jointer can also help remove the imperfections very quickly, usually in less than a minute, if not seconds.

Then, when a piece of wood is placed next to another piece, they fit together smoothly and accurately.

Let us look at its counterpart below.

What is a planer?

A planer is not that wide inches from a jointer. It also has a rotating cutting head with blades just like a jointer. It also has a fixed in-feed table with adjustable leaves.

It is equipped with powered rollers that grab the wood and pull it through the cutting blade which shaves the wood for fine results.

The primary work of planer is to set the thickness in boards. Using a planer, one can make many boards of the same thickness.

Below are some of its applications.


A wood planer remains a useful tool for an average woodworker who wants to cut through furniture materials ranging from boards to countertops.

In any workshop, this handy tool serves two purposes; used to thin board or to form a wooden board. Some wood projects require a slab with certain thickness, so the planer is used to resize the diameter. The planer can also be used to correct and finish the rough surface.

What about their differences?

From the definition, one can wonder what are their differences. Yes, they have differences. They have size and function differences. Below is how you can identify each from one another.

  • Differences in size

Jointers, whether portable or freestanding, come in different sizes, but the in and out-feed tables combined usually take about 30 to 36 inches in length, and the tool can be about a foot wide. The blade size is generally between 6 and 8 inches wide.

Most planers have a size of about 18 x 18 inches though depends on the model. Although planers are usually bulky (60-90 lbs.), they are relatively portable, and they will require little space in your shop.

In most cases, joiners come as handheld tools while planer comes as free-standing tools.

  • Differences in function

A jointer can be applied to make the surface and edge of a board straight and smooth. On the other hand, a planer is employed to make boards of the uniform thickness.

Frequently Asked Questions

After furnishing you with the proper information about planer and jointers, we also respond to frequently asked questions. Below, find some of the common questions asked by most readers and those willing to use planers and jointers.

  1. What are bench top jointers?

These are the type of jointers which cannot stand on their own. For them to perform as required; they require tabletop or a stand to use it.

  1. What are the basic components of a planer?

Though planers come in different size and shapes, their mechanism remains uniform regardless of their dimensions and shape. They both have a metal edge that makes contact with the surface of the wood. They also have a roller mechanism that allows it to glide along the surface of the wood.

  1. Is there a particular way to care for planer cutting blades?

No, there is a particular way. Just like any other cutting tool, the first is to sharpen the edge of the blade before or after each use by using either a leather strop or sharpening stone.

Planer blades that become cracked or chipped should be replaced immediately. These are a safety hazard, and from the speed a planer runs, could crack further or even cause pieces to come off and injure you.

Wrapping Up

These two tools each have a specific area of application. They can as well work together depending on your needs at the time. However, when thinking what to buy first, I ultimately recommend the planner.

The planer, when combining it with little dedication and enthusiasm along, can work with any other woodworking tool you have. It is certain that you can keep your shop and your projects running as it is not selective.

Good luck and be cautious while doing your work.

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