Planer vs Jointer – What’s the Difference?

by Joost Nusselder | Updated on:  March 16, 2022
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Both planer and jointer are the wood cutting machine. But for a novice woodworker, it’s a dilemma to choose between a planer vs jointer to prepare their lumbers for the next project. Even if these two tools are similar, they’re used for different purposes. A planer tool is required when you want to make both edges and the entire surface of a wood plane so that they can join.
Whereas a jointer is required to make sure that the edges of the lumbers are square and eye-catchy. Both machines are adjustable; thus, you can set the equipment according to your convenience. Here, we’ll discuss these two tools to point out the differences between them and make your concept precise.

What Is a Planer?

A planer tool is necessary to make the edges and surface equal; hence the name of this tool is ‘Planer.’ There are different types of planers. This equipment comes with a flattened board attached to the planer bed (table). When you enter a piece of wood into the machine, the feed roller of the machine grabs the lumber. Then to remove the excess wood from the surface, it pulls the board and passes it through a rotating cutting headset. And the space between the cutter and planer table will be the thickness of the wood. However, you can’t remove all the excessive wood in one pass. You may need to pass the board multiple times to get the desired thickness.

What Is a Jointer

It works just like its name implies. A jointer is a machine used to make the edges of woods straight and square to join it with other pieces of wood. You can surely do this with a hand plane tool but using a jointer to square edges is much easier than using hands. Besides, it can also quickly remove cupping, wraps, and twists from the wood. However, you need some skills to use this machine which you can attain over time.

Differences Between Planer vs Jointer

The main differences between planer vs. jointer are –

1. Woodcutting Style

Planer is used for creating plane surfaces and consistent thickness. Whereas, Jointer is used for squaring and flattening the edges of the wood.

2. Debris Removal

The planer only removes excessive wood to make the surface even throughout. But jointer can remove twists, cupping, and wraps from the wood and make a straight surface, not completely even.

3. Board Thickness

The thickness of the whole board will be the same after cutting out the extra wood with a planer. On the other hand, the thickness will be roughly the same on the surface after cutting the wood with jointers.

4. Woodcutting Angle

Planers cut wood from the above slide, and jointers cut wood from the bottom side.

5. Price

Planers are expensive machines. But joiners are relatively affordable machines compared to planers.

Final Thoughts

Hopefully, you got everything clear as you just went through the detailed and straightforward differences between the planer vs jointer. Both machines are used for cutting wood, but their operational purpose is different from the other one. Mechanically, jointers are less complicated to use than a planer, and it’s also less expensive. But a planer is easier to master as it’s functionally simple. We hope this article was helpful to understand how these two machines are different.

I'm Joost Nusselder, the founder of Tools Doctor, content marketer, and dad. I love trying out new equipment, and together with my team I've been creating in-depth blog articles since 2016 to help loyal readers with tools & crafting tips.