Power Planer vs Jointer

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Modern power planers can plane and perform many of the same duties as a shop jointer, but are more portable. Woodworking and building are related but do not necessarily overlap. Tools for one may not be appropriate for the other.

Newer power planers, like the Porter-Cable model, include a switch to alter the direction chips and dust fly out.

But who’s supposed to undertake deck construction, patio furniture, garage and roof repairs, or repair/replace doors around the house? Of course, the woodworker. Keeping this in mind, a smart carpenter will always consider taking tools outside the workplace. Power planers are among the best equipment for the job.

While they have limited utility within a well-equipped shop, they can perform a variety of woodworking tasks extremely effectively on-site. This may save you time by not having to rush back and forth to the shop every time you need to utilize a shop-based piece of equipment.

Consider the Planer’s Cutterheads

Planer cutterheads feature chamfering notches that vary in size, quantity, and form, depending on the kind of cut and planer. So they must be planers, right? Yes, but when you look at the business end of a planer, it’s quite similar to another shop tool: the jointer. Only the orientation and hand-held nature of these devices make a difference in terms of functionality.

Power planers utilize a rotating cutterhead similar to a jointer’s, with the blade positioned to cut in the opposite direction. A jointer feeds the stock into the cutterhead, while a planer feeds the stock into the cutterhead.

Use a planer at maximum speed and hold it down throughout the cut, particularly on lengthy cuts like doors.

Planing Long Cuts with a Jointer

The same as with a jointer, the amount of stock removed each cut is governed by the workpiece’s features and size. The cut quality is adjusted similarly to a jointer. Slower, shallower cuts look smoother than deep cuts. Adjusting the depth of cut on a power planer involves raising or lowering the front shoe. The most common technique is a big twist knob on the front of the instrument that also serves as a handle. Plans have smaller depth dials.

Festool used a thick twist handle to set the depth. Also, comparing a planer to a jointer, all may be used with a fence (don’t purchase one that doesn’t). A fence is required when cutting a door edge or milling stock at 90 degrees. Some manufacturers provide angled barriers for beveled cuts. The cutting width and capacity of power planers varies, but the most common is 3-14″.

Cutterheads may have one or two single or double-edged HSS or carbide blades. A single spiral blade is used by Festool. Along with capacity, power, weight, and cost are all variable. Some cheap machines need 4 amps, whereas more powerful machines use 7 amps or more. Most are between 5 and 6 amps, with machines weighing between 6 and 8 pounds. Like most instruments, increasing power increases weight and expense.

Prices range from $70 to $80 for low-power versions to $90 to $160 for those with greater power and features.

Put a Planer to Work

Some planers may be reversed to become jointers. If you know how to use a jointer, you can use a power planer easily. The key is to use a jointer upside down. First, adapt the cut depth to the task at hand.

Set it deep for hogging large amounts of material; shallow for final cuts and small trimming (like fitting a door). Beginner’s tip: start with a front shoe that’s slightly up on the workpiece. Turn on the machine, lower the planer so the front shoe is level on the workpiece, and drive it forward smoothly.

Lift the planer only when the cutterhead has cleared the workpiece. This may be done without moving the workpiece. It is preferable to “walk” the planer through longer workpieces like doors.

What kind of work can you do with a power planer vs Jointer

In short, you can use a powered hand planer for almost everything a non-powered hand plane can accomplish.

Using a planer with a fence will give you a precise 90-degree edge; a small bevel to suit the door may be done freehand or with an adjustable fence. It’s also difficult to install door casings if the jamb extends beyond thin walls. A power planer can quickly level the jambs.

Outdoor Projects & Decks A power planer is the fastest method to chamfer deck, railing, and post edges. They all feature a V-shaped chamfering notch on the front shoe, and some have several notches of different widths. This notch helps machining stock corners.

Warped Studs A stud or joist that isn’t in the same plane as those adjacent to it is common when installing ceilings, floors, or drywall. It’s difficult to hang drywall with a bent stud out of plane with the rest. But a decent straightedge can tell you which studs (or joists) require shaving. A few passes with a power planer and regular straightedge checks may quickly provide a level surface for installation.

Planers are basically upside-down jointers, thus they can perform similar jobs like rabbeting. Planer fences, like jointer fences, may be placed anywhere across the shoe. (A curved cutout prevents blade contact.) To cut a rabbet, simply move and lock the fence to the appropriate width, then plane along the workpiece edge to the specified depth.

taper Workpieces Begin with a short pass, followed by a lengthier second pass, and so on. The final cut runs the length of the workpiece, resulting in a simple taper. If you’ve ever attempted to put a door in a non-square frame, you’ll appreciate a planer’s tapering ability.

Finally, a tool like a jointer may also joint boards. Several manufacturers provide adapters to help with this. Most are bench-mounted bases that firmly hold the planer reversed.

What to Look For in a Power Planer vs Jointer

Most planers have a front knob handle, but some with a twist grip handle.

Power and affordability are obvious considerations when looking for a power planer. Most indoor woodworkers only require a 5- or 6-amp power planer on occasion. Consider a larger machine for a big deck, garage, or house expansion. For mild labor, a Ryobi cordless (with a 2″ cut and a weight of just 5 lbs.) may be the ideal choice.

Other variables should be determined by your tastes and duties, but here is a decent list to consider:


When available, always use carbide blades since they last a lot longer than HSS, particularly for large heavy duty applications. And, of course, double-edged blades are used twice by machines. This Rockwell planer features a clearly defined stain port, which may be adjusted simply for additional stain management choices.

Chip direction:

Some machines don’t offer you any option, and only fire chips one way. Choose a machine with the greatest flexibility, that enables you to choose the left or right orientation of the chip (which affects either the position of the dust bag or of the pants).

If you don’t intend to use a bag or dust hose, it’s a smart thing to select a model with a chip that can be tilted away from you. Many contemporary planers are fitted with kickstands to hold the blades away from the surface.


All planers are equipped with a basic range of required blade changes equipment and with a guide/closure but check them thoroughly before purchasing.

The bigger and the longer the fence, the more power it controls; on the other hand, too short a fence is useless. Multiple cutterheads, angled guides, additional dust controls, rabbiting and fasteners are plusses, even if they are optional.

Depth scale:

The simpler to read, the better. Note : Festool planners include a metric depth level that may take some calculation on-the-fly. Some planners include storage for your tiny tools that you may need to change your planner during usage, so that they are simpler to locate.

Tool storage:

If I were a king of the planet, I declare that all required instruments for adjustment must be kept directly on the machine. However, until that day, few manufacturers provide on-board storage. Planners with it are much more convenient.

Cord length:

A too short cord tangles and snags regularly, hence the longer the cord the better. Currently, Makita and Festool are the market leaders with cables that should serve as a model for others.

Power Planer and Joiner Safety and Maintenance

The planner stand is a useful piece of safety equipment to keep the blade free while working and is equipped with the spring for simple adjustment.

Strength planners are disappointing. They’re small, not too noisy, and they don’t feel like a router may jump out of your hands when they’re using them.

Some are really as simple to handle as a power box. However, remember that they feature a cutter that is constantly exposed to a very high speed.

This cutter should always be in your thoughts. Always let the cutter get to speed before cutting and always operate the part smoothly on the machine with both hands; never use a power plant alone. Even though the built-in planer kickstand maintains the cutterhead off the work surface while not in use, it is essential to fully reduce its power before it is set.

Do not overreach; if the workpiece is lengthy, go through the planer. Keep your working area clear of obstructions and be aware of where the cord is at all times. Watch these chips! Watch these chips! During usage, it is always preferable to connect the collector bag of the machine or the dust collection hose. If you don’t, always be careful where the chips are going.

When you plan — particularly if you make deeper slashes — a fairly big tsunami of chips may be sprayed from five to eight feet distant.

Empty it frequently when using an attached bag. These bags surprisingly quickly fill, and chips may go back into the cutterhead. If you intend on flying chips from the bottom of the machine, you have either a full bag or a chip block in the machine. Stop and repair it anyhow.

The surface check for cuts is fairly easy and may verify that you are satisfied with the sharpness of your blades and that various cutting techniques produce distinct textures.

Lastly, maintain the blades sharp. Dull blades slow down, giving the instrument lower cuts and excess. Check them often. Sharp blades generate big, well-shaped chips and splits, so if you notice an increase in fine dust—or the plumbing, of course—these blades have to be changed or sharpened.

This ends our Power Planer vs Jointer Discussion.

We want you to be sure of what you plan to get, please don’t hesitate to ask for advice. 

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