Jointer/Planer combos are unfortunately both rare and often lackluster, underperforming compared to dedicated members of either tool. Still, there are a few gems shining in the rough, which I’ll be spotlighting today. If you’re in a hurry, this one is my pick for the best:
In a Rush? My Top Pick:
Grizzly G0634Z with Spiral Cutter Head
Top Planer Jointer Combos on the Market
How do I Choose the Right One?
For Jointer/planer combos you’re looking at all of the things you want in a planer or jointer, plus one feature in the combo that will make your life easier.
All planers and jointers want more horsepower (which leads to a higher RPM, which give you more cuts per minute, which leads to a smoother finish when you’re done), and efficient use of power.
Generally the more power the better, though keep in mind that RPM does not directly correlate to how fast the job will get done (that’s the feed rate, in feet per minute), only how thorough it is, and you get a bit of diminishing returns after a while.
Both planers and jointers want better blades. Generally on both (and especially the jointer) you prefer helical cutterheads, which use a larger number of smaller blades to maximise contact with the wood and increase the smoothness of the finish.
Also take a look at the blade material: whether it’s steel or carbide. Which one is better actually depends on what kind of cutterhead you have. Straight blade cutterheads prefer steel, since they can be repaired and reused a bit and are cheaper to replace, while carbide cutterheads are sharper but crack easily.
Helical cutterheads on the other hand prefer carbide blades, as they use a large number of small blades which can be bought in bulk, easily replaced, and even turned to a different side when chipped or cracked to reuse the same blade, mitigating all the downsides straighter carbide blades have.
Generally you’re buying a combo instead of two machines to save space, so on that surface level you want to make sure the machine is small and light enough for your space.
Deeper though, a bigger table is better. In width (which affects your width capacity; how wide a board you can plane or joint), how much thickness capacity (how thick of a board you can plane or joint) and the length of the table (especially important for the jointer).
Larger tables with more and better rollers usually help eliminate snipe (noticeably deeper cuts on the leading and lagging ends of the board) as well, so it’s all a bonus.
The last thing, unique to these combo machines, is how fast, easy, and safe it is to convert the machine from jointer to planer and back again. A few combos were eliminated form this list due to having reported issues with the fence that made it come back on wonky or uneven when converted back to a jointer, making the machine cumbersome and frustrating to use (if even usable after that point).
Keep that in mind if you browse further beyond this list: many seemingly good machines flub the landing when it comes to converting between modes.
3 Top Rated Jointer Planer Combo Reviews
Grizzly G0634Z Planer/Jointer with Spiral Cutter head, 12"
This is the best it gets when it comes to planer/jointer combos, and it’s actually a pretty good example of both.
A 12 inch width capacity, with an 1/8 inch depth of cut from its 32 carbide insert spiral cutterhead (5 horsepower, 220 volts with 5034 RPM from the motor, totaling up to 20, 136 cuts per minute) round out a great set of basic stats both sides of the combo share. They can be easily swapped from one to the other by simply removing the fence and flipping the jointer table up (or the same in reverse), with the jointer mode being considered the default (it’s best left that way when not in use).
Admittedly the table is a bit small for a planer this enormous (it’s about 750 lbs), but that’s the main compromise combo machines have to make, since they’re primarily designed as a space saving machine (generally it’s always better quality-wise to just buy two machines if you have the room).
It won’t really impress in either mode, but neither will it disappoint, and just under $3000 is a pretty solid bargain for two tools in one.
JET 708476 JJP-12HH 12" Planer/Jointer with Helical Cutterhead
If it were significantly cheaper I might mark this as great, but as-is it’s slightly overpriced for the power. With a 3 horsepower (12.5 amp, 230 volt) motor it’s decent, but not exemplary, and it doesn’t really make up for it in the way of dimensions (12 inch width capacity, 8 and ¾ inch thickness capacity) or adjustability, with the expected 45 to 90 degree fence angling for the jointer and similarly standard depth of cut adjustment on the planer side.
It’s not bad, by any means, but merely average, and it doesn’t significantly outperform the cheaper Grizzly above.
That price (over $4000) is the real sticking point. I see no situation in which I buy this over the Grizzly at that price point, and would really only consider it if it was about $1500 cheaper, especially since users have reported issues with leveling the table for some purposes.
Ridgid JP0610 Planer, 6-1/8-Inch Jointer
While this one significantly underperforms compared to the above two, I give it a pass since it’s roughly ¼ the price of the Grizzly (under $800, almost a reasonable price for a benchtop planer, much less a combo).
It’s positively tiny for a machine like this, at a trim 213 lbs and a mere 6 and 1/8 inch width capacity, with a 1 horsepower motor (using three straight blades to get 5000 RPM and 15, 000 cuts per minute), a maximum depth of cut of 1/8 inches and a decently sized 45 inch table.
Consider this sort of a compact model even more so than these are already supposed to be. It’s not portable by any means, but it’s easy to park somewhere out of the way in a decent two car garage you’re using as a makeshift workshop or something and use for small projects, and it’s downright cheap to boot.
While it won’t be winning any awards, it’s a great option for what it is: an affordable, compact jointer/planer combo for small woodworking needs. Unlike the Jet above, while it underperforms the Grizzly it at least doesn’t hit your wallet so hard.
In terms of raw quality out of context, this list is in order of what I think are the best, though the order I’d suggest you buy them is: Grizzly, Ridgid, Jet.
JET 708476 JJP-12HH
The Grizzly is just the highest performing of the three, with the Ridgid taking a space as a very cheap, still serviceable option. The Jet is good, but not good enough to spend an extra $1000 over the better Grizzly model, and so I only really recommend it if you can find it far cheaper than its usual asking price from a third party seller.