A jointer planer combination machine can be good for some woodworkers, and not so much for others.
Being that they are the one machine – the jointer and planer use the same one motor, one cutter head, one unit – but have a jointer at the top, and a planer at bottom.
To some this presents great value for money, whilst for others – the adjustment required when switching between functions can cause frustration.
We’ve put together a quick list of some of the main advantages and disadvantages of a combination 2 in 1 tool.
We’ve also suggested when you might want a jointer planer, and when you might want to purchase each machine separately.
Jointer Planer – Advantages, & Disadvantages To A Combo Machine
Jointer Planer Advantages
1) Value for money
The most obvious advantage to getting a jointer/planer machine, depending on what you want from your jointer or planer, is that they can be tremendous value for money.
Whether you are looking for a smaller 8 inch benchtop jointer/planer, or a large 12 inch ground standing jointer/planer – when comparing the price of a 2 in 1 to two separate machines, you can save a couple of hundred, or maybe a thousand dollars.
It does depend on your intended use though.
2) Take up less space than a separate jointer and planer
Another obvious benefit. A 2 in 1 machine will be one unit, and take up much less space in your workspace than two separate machines.
3) Only have to worry about maintenance of one machine
If you have two machines – that’s 2 x cutterheads you have to adjust, sharpen and replace. The same goes for any part repair issues you might have.
One machine means only one cutterhead and set of parts to worry about.
Jointer Planer Disadvantages
1) One cutterhead, one motor, and one set of parts
The opposite to advantage number 3 is also true…
Having a combination jointer/planer means you are using only one cutterhead, one motor, and one set of parts.
This also means the cutter head wears out twice as fast. The single motor is being used twice as much. And, you can constantly be adjusting the machine to adjust cutting widths, levels and alternate between the jointer and planer.
Having two separate machines spreads out the cutterhead and motor load by 2.
2) Adjusting when switching from jointing to planing, and vice versa
This is probably the biggest disadvantage – especially for commercial woodworkers and those who use each machine frequently.
Having to adjust the 2 in 1 machine when you switch between jointing and planing can be annoying and time consuming.
You have to adjust the dust port, remove the jointing fence, raise the jointing table, and set the levels and depths on your planer.
You then do the reverse if you want to go back to jointing.
Having one planer and one jointer means you can switch between the two functions effortlessly.
Yes, sniping is an issue on even single jointers and thickness planers.
But, some woodworkers feel that especially on the cheaper and small jointer planers – the sniping you can get on especially the planer from the underside isn’t great.
It’s certainly worth looking at how the planer table adjusts on the jointer planer you are looking at, and what it’s made of/it’s design, to see whether sniping could be a bigger issues than a sturdy benchtop planer.
Should You Get A Jointer Planer?
It’s worth considering getting a jointer planer if…
It presents a saving in money to you
You want to do more of one activity than the other e.g. you mostly want to joint the wood, and just want the option of the planer if you need it
You are happy to bulk flatten your wood, then bulk thickness it – then you only have one adjustment to make
You want to save space in your workspace
You can read our guide about jointer planer combos machines here if you want to know more.
You might be better off getting separate machines if…
You aren’t saving money getting a 2 in 1
You want machines for production type woodworking
You want to work on one length of wood at a time
You have plenty of space in your workshop
You need a specific jointer or specific planer for you activities
You can read about some of the best wood jointers here.