Jointer vs Planer: When To Use Each of These Woodworking Tools for Your Projects

Traditional woodwork is an art form that every craftsman should aspire to master at some point. Sadly, it’s not as efficient or time-saving as power milling with the aid of a jointer and planer.

Even though a lot of woodworkers are familiar with both jointers and planers, they’re not quite sure where the distinction between both tools lies.

Jointers and planers are two completely different tools that shouldn’t be mixed up. In this video, we’ll be pointing out the differences between the two and what they’re used for.

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A typical jointer will be comprised of an infeed and outfeed table aligned together horizontally. It also features a cutter head mounted between the two tables in which cutting knives are housed.

Ideally, the infeed table should be positioned at a height that equates to the depth of wood you’ll be milling, while the outfeed one should be aligned with the tops of the knives in the cutter head.

You’ll also notice that jointers tend to have fences that are there for guidance. It will also provide support for the lumber to ensure its safety. The fence can be adjusted to different angles easily.


Okay, so we’ve established that jointers are the ideal tools for flattening a lumber board, but fall short when it comes to producing parallel faces. That’s exactly what a planer is here to pull off.

Now that you have a few pieces of lumber with flat and square faces and edges, it’s time to give them a pass across a planer in order to get the exact thickness and parallelity you desire.

Similar to jointers, planers also have infeed and outfeed components, but in their case, it’s rollers rather than tables. In between the infeed and outfeed roller, you can find a cutter head as well.

Jointer-Planer Combo

No, jointer-planer combos aren’t merely wider jointers. There are actually units that combine the two machines together to bring you the best of both worlds so that you never need help from the lumberyard with preparations.

Jointer-planer combos offer you both the operation and features that jointers and planers deliver separately. And the best thing about such units is that they use a single cutting head for both.

The best thing about jointer-planer combos isn’t just that allow two operations under one roof, but they can also help save a lot of space that would have otherwise been filled by the planer.

Jointer vs Planer

Much of the confusion around the entire jointer vs planer matter stems from the similarity in the operation of both machines, and that’s about it. However, both tools are used for two completely different purposes. It’s not possible for jointers to do planers’ work, and vice versa. Jointers are used to achieve flat faces, while planers are used to produce parallel faces.

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