|Tried and True 6" Jointers
| 6" jointers battle for the top spot.
According to the old adage, if you don't start square, you won't
end square. In fact, Creating dead-flat faces and perpendicular,
straight edges should be your first steps in preparing stock
for any woodworking
project. A jointer provides the perfect solution.
We chose 6" jointers
for this test because their price and capacity matches the budget and
needs of most woodworkers. Unless you have need
to face-joint boards up to 8" wide or 12' long, we can't see spending
$1,500-$2,000 on a heavy-duty 8" jointer. (Note: Although touted
as 6" jointers, the knives on most of the machines are actually
about 6 1/16" long. Ridgid markets its JP0610 with a 6 1/8" capacity-the
exact length of its knives.)
- For a jointer to produce good results,
the infeed and outfeed tables must be straight and co-planer
- All of the jointers in our test come with
quiet, 1-hp induction motors pre-wired for 110 volts; but all can be rewired
for 220-volt operation.
- Poor technique can negate the performance of a well-tuned
jointer. For the best results, after 8-10" of your workpiece
has passed the cutterhead, shift your downward pressure to
the outfeed side.
We put 'em together, then put 'em to the test
After assembling the jointers and cleaning the machined surfaces
of protective coatings, we carefully checked the tables
and fences for straight, flat, and
parallel, using a combination of straightedges, dial indicators, and
feeler gauges. If needed, we corrected any misalignments.
We also examined each
and fence for twist using a machinist's 90° angle block and feeler
we made the chips fly by removing a hefty 1/8" from the faces of a
forest of 6"-wide ash boards, and observing each jointer's power under load.
With sharp knives, all of the models tackled this task with power to spare, and
with no significant slowdown in the number of cuts per minute.
We then edge-jointed
the same boards
and examined the quality of the cuts, comparing them to both
a straightedge and each other. Finally, we used each machine's rabbeting
ledge to cut 1/2X1/2" rabbets, again noting the quality of the cut produced.
learn the results of our tests of the Delta 37-195, Grizzly G1182HW, Jet JJ-6CSX,
Ridgid JP0610, and Sunhill CT-60L, pick up the September 2001 issue of WOOD
magazine and turn to page 60.