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47 Buying a 6" Jointer


This article is from the Woodworking FAQ Collection 3, by multiple authors.

47 Buying a 6" Jointer

From: marshall@wind55.seri.gov (Marshall L. Buhl)
Date: 18 Mar 91 20:00:24 GMT

I've been thinking about getting a 6" jointer for a while. I was at the
Colorado Woodworking Show this weekend and bought a bunch of rough
lumber. I'm going to need a jointer to put edges on the 10' boards.
I'm new to this game and still haven't edge-joined my first boards yet.
Several folks I talked to (and none were selling jointers) said I really
needed a jointer - even if I hadn't bought the rough lumber. They
claimed it was one of THE most important tools to own. I'm going to
build that hanging bookcase as soon as the weather turns bad. We've had
an unfortunate streak of beautiful weekend weather here in Denver and
I've spent my time outdoors. I'll need a jointer for that project.

I've seen the Delta 6" motorized and 6" precision jointers at
Schlosser's. The $379 motorized looks cheaply made and doesn't have a
cast iron fence. The $1099 precision seems really nice, but $1099 is
way out of my league.

I've got catalogs from Jet and Grizzley and these two sell for about the
same as the cheap Delta, but look more like the expensive one. I
haven't actually seen either though.

A comparison:

Feature              Jet                 Grizzley
-------              ---                 --------
Price                $389 from ToS       $375 + freight
HP                   3/4                 1
Weight               194#                none given
Ship Weight          203#                260#
Bed length           42.5"               47"
Fence length         28"                 29.25"

Neither mentioned the more useful amperage rating and I don't trust HP
ratings, so I'm not paying much attention to that issue.

Fences and beds are cast iron on both. Grizzley has an enclosed base,
but the Jet is open. The Grizzley has an optional mobile base ($90)
and optional dust chute ($10). The Jet catalog mentions no such
luxuries. The Jet catalog brags about "Easy to use front handwheels for
table adjustment." and the Grizzley, "Infeed and Outfeed tables have
quick adjustment levers making changes in table height really

I guess both of these are Taiwanese (I guess the cheap Delta is too).
I've never bought anything from Jet or Grizzley, but have from Delta.
My Taiwanese built Delta tools (Cont. Saw, 16.5" drill press) both
required significant adjustment to get them to work properly.

I'm leaning toward the (probably more expensive - freight) Grizzley
because of the enclosed base and dust collection and the larger table.
I also think I'll need the mobile base too. I'm going to need to move
it out into the open to use it.

I just can't justify > $1000 for a tool (except for PCs :-), so I won't
get the precision Delta jointer. It IS an impressive hunk of metal

Anyone care to change my mind?

PS. I've made a dozen attempts to get through to Grizzley while typing
this article so I'd know the freight charge, but it's been busy. I
guess it's lunch time in WA, but relentlessly busy phones make me nervous.

I decided to give 'em one more chance and got through. It's $80 from
Bellingham, Washington to Denver. About what I expected.


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