Me and my father are looking at getting some things for our wok area. Just small hobby stuff. My question is if any one has tried any of the jointer/planer combos out there? Are they worth it or are we better off getting them separately?
Ps I am not positive this is the right sub forum for this question. Sorry if it isn't.
Trying to answer this feels kind of like trying to answer a "which knife should I buy" question ... 210, 240 Gyuto? Suji? .... The answer kind of depends on what you plan to make, your comfort and experience with maintenance....and of course, the last word: budget.
In my (limited) experience with these machines and a reasonable amount of experience with individual stand alone's - few thoughts
first - dual purpose machines are great space savers.... but what you gain with that efficiency, you can some times lose with ease of use. Budget can be a big factor. On the more affordable side, many machines are difficult/awkward to switch between function. On the high end models, less of an issue but you're paying thousands for the machine
second, and similarly - set up/adjustment for a particular task once the machine is set to that function, can be a pitfall. As an example: tuning a jointer to cut well, accurately and not tear out or snipe usually requires careful adjustment of infeed/outfeed tables (coplanar etc) , blade heights etc. On good jointers this is pretty easy. On bad ones, it can be incredibly frustrating. either way, though, on a stand alone machine. Once set, you don't have to tune too often if you're not a high volume pro shop. On a multi use machine....you're going to have to check and tune much more frequently, sometimes after each change of function.... and this tuning, may or may not be easy to do well....and it may or may not be accurate to within the tolerances you need.
third - also tied to budget - the more affordable machines are going to hit their price-point through less powerful motors (1.5hp instead of 3hp for example), lighter weight assembly - aluminum instead of cast iron etc. , and straight cutter heads instead of spiral. These variations will make a difference in accuracy/performance. Specifically, higher vibration, less power, and lower quality blades all increase the risk of more tear out or snipe problems if you're using dense or figured hardwoods.
Jet makes a couple models at the 8" and 10" size that are bench-top or small machines....prices below $500. They have a reputation of being difficult to tune and hard to get consistent/accurate results. Different league, Jet make a 12" model that's a beauty...but it's several thousand plus in cost, heavy, 240volt instead of 110.... Rikon makes a model that's somewhere in the middle that has gotten good reviews but I have no personal knowledge of it.
so, the answer kind of depends on how much money you want to spend and how precise you need the machines to be for you. Going by "small hobby stuff".... i'd say - get a good jointer within your budget. Unless you plan to mill and work lots and lots of rough sawn lumber ...you can improvise the planar's functionality with other tools ...from hand planes to routers on jigs/sleds.
That was very helpful. Thank you.
Glad to help.
Originally Posted by ChuckTheButcher
If you can find a used (discontinued for years now) Hitachi F1000A locally (they are heavy) they are a great machine. Make sure it's in good nick they are a PITA if the planer head needs bearings. I rebuilt one several years ago and basically had to disassemble the entire thing. Once they are setup however they are bullet proof for years.