Jointer vs. Table Saw: Do You Need Both. Table saw jointer

Table saw or jointer?

I am in the market for a new table saw and jointer, only thing is I have the funds for only one right now. With my budget being about 700 dollars. I am watching craigslist constantly, so hopefully I can get both. But let’s say I buy new, what one should I get first? Right now I have a cheap table saw from skil that is a bench top. I am getting into building bookshevles, coat racks and night stands. I have a lumberyard very close with cheap for rough sawn lumber, so I would love a jointer to take full advantage of that place, but once I would joint the wood and plane it down I would be stuck using the crap table saw. But should I get a good saw then be at a loss with the rough sawn wood from the yard? Any suggestions would be great!


You can do with a table saw most of what you can do with a jointer, but you cant use a jointer to do what a table saw can. Since you already have a table saw, the big question is how satisfied are you with your current saw? Cut through everything you need it to? Wide enough fence range, etc? If any of those is even “not quite”, ID prioritize the table saw

For 700 you should be able to buy 2 decent quality new tools. A decent contractor or hybrid saw is generally in the 4-600 dollar range, and something like a benchtop 6 inch jointer ive seen around 2-300, and honestly the benchtop ones are usually sufficient for hobbyist use.

Last note, ID prioritize a thickness planer over a jointer. Sure, you cant edge joint a board with a planer, but you can face a board with the right jigs and use the table saw to edge joint materials. Personally, i see the thickness planer as a somewhat more versatile machine, and the price range for a smaller one is near the same as the aforementioned jointer.

Okay, this is the last note, a TLR version of sorts: 700 would be more than enough to get both tools if youre willing to buy used. ID recommend keeping an eye out for an older contractor style table saw, as theyre generally powerful enough for home use and available at decent costs. ID also recommend going for a thickness planer over a jointer at first, due to the planers increased versatility at the same price point


Buy the Ridgid R4512 table saw and find a used Craftsmen jointer on Craigslist. Easily done for 700, problem solved! I have the Ridgid and wouldn’t hesitate to buy it again. I’ve had it for about a year and a half.

Sent from my Samsung-SM-G900A using mobile app

MT Stringer

Start with a rough sawn board. Run it across the jointer on the flat side until it cuts flat. With the flat side against the fence, run one edge over it until smooth. You now have a flat side and an edge 90 deg to it. Run it through the planer until you obtain the desired thickness. Use the table saw to rip your stock to the desired width.

Only you can decide what to buy. Good luck. Mike


Any boards cut using a table saw MUST be first straightened and flattened on a joiner OR you will get a pinch or wobble which will result in a kickback. Straight and flat is where it’s at on the table saw. Seriously. :yes:

Plywood is not an issue because it’s basically flat when you get it. usually. Hardwood lumber, rough sawn, is where a good jointer will save you money and give you the ability to make many more projects.

A fully equipped shop would have in my order of priority: As large a table saw as you can afford and store. A jojnter with as wide and long tables as you can afford. A 15″ wide a planer is just fine, since your jointer is the limiting factor. As large a bandsaw as possible, for resawing and making curves. A table mounted router with a lift for profiling edges and several hand held routers in various weights and sizes. A a powerful dust collection system and a good shop vac. As far as shop environment and hand tools goes: Great lighting. A large heavy workbench with good woodworking vises for hand planing work AND a separate assembly table for making glue ups. Lots of clamps, squeeze and pipe in various lengths. A collection of hand planes in various lengths and widths. Good hand chisels. A few pull saws and a dovetail saw. etc. etc. :yes:

Wisdom comes with age and experience. So, I try to include the reasons I have come to a certain opinion or the “whys” it will or will not work, because otherwise, it’s just unfounded blather. I try not to be that person!

MT Stringer

I am in the market for a new table saw and jointer, only thing is I have the funds for only one right now. With my budget being about 700 dollars. I am watching craigslist constantly, so hopefully I can get both. But let’s say I buy new, what one should I get first? Right now I have a cheap table saw from skil that is a bench top. I am getting into building bookshevles, coat racks and night stands. I have a lumberyard very close with cheap for rough sawn lumber, so I would love a jointer to take full advantage of that place, but once I would joint the wood and plane it down I would be stuck using the crap table saw. But should I get a good saw then be at a loss with the rough sawn wood from the yard? Any suggestions would be great!

As I wipe the sleep from my eyes, I re read your post. If you could find a jointer, that would be great. You could still use your current saw with a rip blade to rip your lumber.

Say you find a jointer. Now you can. Make a cutlist for your project. Crosscut your material if possible to make shorter lengths. If the board is bowed or crooked, you could use the jointer to create a straight edge or make a simple rip sled which works great for ripping a straight side on crooked material. That would depend on whether or not your table saw top is big enough to support it. A temporary outfeed and/or infeed table would be very beneficial.

“Woodnthings” has made a sled that would work great for this operation. It is much easier to straighten shorter boards than long ones.

jointer, table, need

What I am trying to convey is a jointer would be an immediate improvement to your work shop.

Here are some pics of a sled I made to rip rough lumber on the table saw. It is about four feet long.


Thanks everyone! I believe I’m leaning towards a jointer. I already have a 12 1/2 inch planer I got this spring that was too good of a deal to pass up. So with those two I can really square up some boards. I’ll just keep my eyes posted for a good table saw.


Spend 600 for a jointer and 100 for a good blade for the table saw you have. The blade can be used on any saw you get later so nothing lost.

Sawdust Making 101 a guide for the beginning woodworker I don’t say no because I am so busy, I say no because I don’t want to be so busy.


Okay, being that you already have a planer ID like to change my recommendation to work on the table saw. No reason you cant get both, I’d just prioritize the table saw


I think Craigslist is your best friend. For now and later.

I bought my 1948 unisaw for 160 with no fence just the original rails and the original motor.

I got a restored Delta 6″ jointer from the 1940’s with a new motor and fresh paint for 200

I got all these off Craigslist and within 30 minutes of my house. If you wait for a deal to come up you can save quite a bit of money.

Craftsman 6″ jointers are always listed for 200 or less and table saws are just as common.

If I were you, I’d buy the best used tools I could find. Then as you continue, sell the used tools and buy new.


I think Craigslist is your best friend. For now and later If I were you, I’d buy the best used tools I could find. Then as you continue, sell the used tools and buy new.

Sage advice there. But I’d amend it to say. as you continue, sell the used tools and buy better used tools. rinse and repeat. If you can find what you want on CL, why buy new?

Al B Thayer

I don’t understand why so many woodworkers are poor as church mice when It comes to buying tools.


My first power tool was a table saw

My first stationary power tool was a Craftsman 10″ 1 HP table saw. Back then, I didn’t know any better. I was just 18 years old. and cut many boards and plywood, using the fence to rip and miter gauge to crosscut. I didn’t think I needed a splitter/guard and it was set off to the side in a drawer. I had a few kickbacks and never really understood why. Once in a while a piece of plywood would come away from the fence at the back and rise up and over the blade and hit me in the gut. I never knew why.

I didn’t get a jointer for about 5 years later or so and I still didn’t understand why I really needed it or how to get a square edge to a flat surface. Somehow after more years of use without any serious accidents, I began to figure out some very basic rules of “safe table saw use’

The first was to always use a splitter to keep the kerf open AND to maintain the workpiece snug against the fence to avoid those spinning/rotating workpieces. My splitter now always stays on except for partial through cuts. especially when ripping hardwood lumber which can pinch the back of the blade unexpectedly resulting in a stall or a kickback.

The second was a realization that a curved board or one that was not perfectly straight and flat would wobble or twist during the pass and either stall or kickback. OH! that’s why I needed the joiner, to make boards straight, flat and square.

The third realization was that the two machines are a team AND you need them both for the safest operation of the table saw. If you mainly cut sheet goods plywood, MFD etc. you don’t really need a jointer. If you cut rough sawn boards, with twist or curves that’s where the jointer is necessary.

So the answer to the question. “Which should I get first?”. is it depends on what you are doing and the type of material you intend to cut. I would invest in a quality table saw either new or used with a good fence and not settle for anything less.:no: Believe it or not, the FENCE is the heart of the table saw and is the most used device on the machine. It had better be easy to use and self squaring OR you will not be a happy woodworker. I have 2 types of fences, the Biesmeyer and Unifence both of which are great and have distinct advantages over one another But that’s a whole different discussion.

Wisdom comes with age and experience. So, I try to include the reasons I have come to a certain opinion or the “whys” it will or will not work, because otherwise, it’s just unfounded blather. I try not to be that person!

Jointer vs. Table Saw: Do You Need Both?

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If you are planning on getting into the world of carpentry, then there are some specific tools that you are absolutely going to need. Here we are talking about large power tools.

Two tools that you may be familiar with include table saws and jointers. That said the two are very different machines. A lot of people wonder, if they have a table saw, do they still need a jointer? Today, we want to determine exactly what both machines are and if you need both of them.

Jointer and Table Saw: The Basics

Before we start talking about the similarities shared and the differences between jointers and table saws, let’s first figure out exactly what both of them are.

What Is a Jointer?

A jointer is a specific type of woodworking machine that features both an infeed and an outfeed table, as well as a fence. In the middle of both of the tables, there is a horizontal riving knife. Unlike a saw blade, this riving knife looks more like a circular drum.

It looks kind of like a thin and elongated tube with knives lining the outside. These are straight blades that spin at incredibly high speeds, and they protrude out of the surface of the table by just a little bit. Wooden boards are then laid on the table and passed over these knives.

The point of a jointer is to shave away small amounts of wood from the flat surface of a board. A jointer can be used to flatten out both the narrow and the wide edges of a board. Jointers are designed to get rid of cups, bows, and twists in wood. They’re designed to shave away a certain amount of material to flatten out a board.

What Is a Table Saw?

On the other hand, we have the table saw. A table saw, as you can imagine, generally features a fairly large table. A large and circular saw blade then protrudes out from the bottom of this table. This saw blade is quite large, and it spins at incredibly high speeds.

Table saws usually come complete with fences, and they may also come complete with miters. They also feature both infeed and outfeed tables. Wood is laid on the surface of the table and then pushed through the spinning blade. The point of a table saw is to saw apart pieces of wood.

Depending on the blade being used, a table saw may also be used to cut apart other materials. Table saws can very easily perform rip cuts on very long pieces of wood. If we are talking about shorter pieces of wood, they may also be able to perform cross cuts or angled cross cuts.

Similarities of Jointers and Table Saws

Now that we know what both jointers and table saws are, let’s figure out what makes them similar.

They Both Have Spinning Blades

One of the most basic similarities shared between these two machines is that they both have very sharp blades that spin at very high speeds. Yes, these blades do have different functions, but they are still spinning blades nonetheless.

They Both Have Infeed and Outfeed Tables

Another very basic similarity that both of these machines share is that they generally have fairly large tables. People generally refer to these as infeed tables and outfeed tables. One end supports the wood as it starts to pass through the blade, and the other end supports the wood as it comes out of the blade. That said, jointers do usually have slightly larger tables.

They’re Both Designed for Woodworking

Perhaps the biggest similarity that both jointers and table saws share is that they are both designed to work with wood. As you will find out below, yes, what they are designed to do is very different, although they are both designed to work with wood.

Both Come in Various Types

Something else worth mentioning about both of these machines is that they do come in various types.

For instance, you have full-sized cabinet table saws and full-size cabinet jointers. These are extremely large and designed to work with large materials, but they certainly aren’t portable. There are then also far more portable models, such as benchtop table saws and benchtop jointers.

These are much smaller than the cabinet versions, and much more portable, although they can’t work on materials that are quite as large. You then also have contractor models of both, which are like combinations of benchtop and cabinet models.

Both Require Great Safety and Respect

The other thing to keep in mind here is that both of these machines are quite dangerous due to their sharp and spinning blades. The utmost safety and respect is required when working with either of these tools.

Differences Between Jointers and Table Saws

Now that we know what makes jointers and table saws similar, let’s determine what makes them different. Although there may be fewer differences in number between these two machines, the differences are far more significant than the similarities.

Types of Blades

One of the primary differences between these two machines is the types of blades that they have. The table saw has a very thin, large diameter, circular blade that spins at very high speeds. On the other hand, the blade or blades on a jointer take the form of a circular drum with knives on the exterior. You can imagine a thin and elongated soda can that is covered in blades.

Primary Function

The primary function of both of these tools is very different, and this is the biggest difference between them.

A table saw is designed to saw apart pieces of wood. These are generally fairly long boards. The table saw is designed to make long rip cuts, and sometimes crosscuts too. The bottom line is that table saws are designed to saw apart wood.

A jointer is very different. In no way does it saw apart pieces of wood. Instead, the function of a jointer is to shave away thin layers of wood, either from the narrow or the wide edge. By removing material from areas that are convex or warped, a jointer has the ability to create a perfectly flat and even board. Jointers are made to remove warps and flatten boards.

Workable Materials

The other difference worth noting here is that table saws are a bit more versatile in terms of the materials that they can work with. A jointer is designed strictly to work with wood and wood only. However, table saws, depending on the blades that are fitted into them, can cut various materials such as wood, plastic, tile, metal, and more.

Jointer vs. Table Saw: Which of the Two Should You Use?

To answer the question of the day, if you are getting into woodworking, you are going to need both of these machines. As you can see, they both perform extremely different tasks.

For instance, if you have a long board that is both warped and needs to be cut apart, you will need both of these tools. You are going to need the jointer to ensure that the board is perfectly flat and straight. You are then going to need the table saw to cut the board into multiple pieces.

The bottom line is that if you need to flatten and straighten a piece of wood, it’s a jointer that you need, and if you need to cut what apart, then it is a table saw that you need.

Can You Use a Table Saw as a Jointer?

No, you really cannot use a table saw as a jointer. A jointer has a very wide set of blades that can be several inches wide. This means that you can easily flatten the wider edge of a two-by-four.

Due to the limited depth at which a table saw blade can protrude from the table, it really cannot cut all the way through a board in this sense. You definitely cannot even out the wide face of a board with a table saw.

You just cannot stand a board up on its narrow edge and cut all the way through the wide edge with a table saw. It just doesn’t work that way. Due to the way in which a table saw is built, flattening a piece of wood is very hard in general.

It’s just not designed to do that. You could flatten out or straighten the narrow edge of a board using a table saw, but not the wide edge. If you need to flatten a piece of wood, it is a jointer that you will need.


As you can see, jointers and table saws really are two very different tools.

Although they are both used for woodworking, they perform very different jobs. Therefore, if you are seriously planning to get into carpentry of any kind, you are going to need both a table saw and a jointer. They both perform vital tasks that will be required to complete any sort of woodworking project.

How Do Jointers and Table Saws Compare with Other Tools?

See how table saws compare with: bandsaws | cabinet saws | circular saws | flooring saws | miter saws | panel saws | routers | tile saws | track saws

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Jointer, Planer, and Table Saw. Rookie in need of advice!

I am just starting out as a woodworker and I am in need of some expert advice and wisdom. I would consider myself a first generation woodworker (no one in my family that I know of has ever so much as thought about taking on a woodworking project). Therefore, I don’t really have anyone to go to for advice on this stuff. In the last year I have completed some basic projects; a workbench, bookshelf, and produce cupboard for my wife. I have decided to take on a few bigger projects in the future, such as a bed frame, a coffee table, and an entertainment center. I want these projects to be very precise and last us many years, so I have come to the realization that I need to begin upgrading my arsenal of tools.

Currently, I have a Skil compound miter saw (which I have been relatively satisfied with given the price, though I realize I will need to upgrade at some point), an old Black and Decker circular saw, a Bosch jig saw, and an 18v DeWALT cordless Drill. My shop is limited to half of a one car garage. I feel like my next purchases need to be a table saw, a bench top planer, and some sort of jointer because I want to be able to square up rough sawn lumber for my projects. I know the most efficient method is jointer-planer-table saw but I’m not sure I can afford that method all at once. I have considered going with a hand plane to joint one face and one edge, then using a bench top planer and table saw to do the rest. However, I am open to any alternative ideas.

I am still in college and my budget is kind of tight, but I am willing to wait and save up for quality tools rather than settle for something… well, like my miter saw. I have been looking at the Rockwell RK 7241S and the Rigid R4512 table saws. Also, I have been considering the Grizzly G0790 bench top planer or possibly a Makita. In short, a table saw in the 400-600 range and a planer in the 200-350 range. If you were just starting out and in my position which tools would you purchase for jointing and planing, and what advice would you give when purchasing a table saw?

Thank you for your time and I look forward to considering your thoughts,


Welcome to the club Nick! I’m also a first generation woodworker. I’ve ran into my share of bad tool choices and also having to work with limited space. Here are some things to consider;

  • Bench top tools versus floor based tools usually aren’t constructed as well. Jointers are notorious for this issue. Planers are the exception in my experience.
  • A good 13″ 3 bladed planer will go a long way. You can do a lot with fixtures and jigs if you don’t want to spend for the jointer too. Just keep in mind that a good jointer will reduce your work load a lot.
  • Buy yourself your final table saw now. I know a lot of people say that buy a table saw that you can replace as your first, I’m telling you to buy the best you can afford. I started off with a terrible contractor table saw and I struggled to make things. Once I upgraded it to my hybrid saw everything started becoming easier. Cuts were straight, miters were cleaner, and vibration was eliminated. Check to make sure that the miter slots are standard and not some weird configuration which will make it near impossible to create sleds and fixtures.
  • if you have the room and can afford it, get a 8″ jointer instead of a 6″ jointer. I think everyone that has a 6″ will tell you that those 2 extra inches will make many projects easier to build.

The Craftsman Professional 10″ Contractor Saw. Model Ridgid 6. 1/4″ Jointer. Model # JP0610 Ridgid 13″ Planer. Model # R4331

look Ma! I still got all eleven of my fingers!


If money is a serious concern go for a 6 inch jointer. You will NOT plane on an 8 inch wide jointer if you plan on getting a lunchbox planer as well (the DeWALT is a good one). A 6 inch jointer with long bed will do what you need.

I’d even say skip the table saw for now. You can use commercially available or home made straightedges to rip stock down, and there are good right angle squares out there for crosscutting. Basically I’m saying there are substitutes for a table saw, but none for planers and jointers (other than hand planers and jointers obviously).


Check where live, mill work shops, wood providers if they have a planer and or drum sander and if they would plane/sand for you. my wood supplier has both,plus they have a straight line rip table saw and resaw machine, and there charges are minimum. That said I have a 6 inch jointer and does all I need, plus in WI I hardly see used 8″‘ jointers and they get a hefty price, 6″‘ are a dime a dozen and cheap, dont get a bench top one, junk. Craigs List is you best friend for used stuff. Here in WI I see whole wood shop being sold off as the retiree wants to head south to live.


I would go for a table saw and planer, and wait on the jointer. You can make a planer sled to flatten rough lumber in the planer. And you can straighten the edge of rough lumber on the table saw by simply screwing a plywood straightedge to it (at the ends) and running it through the saw with the straghitedge against the fence.

If you’re going to spend 600 on a table saw, you might want to seriously consider waiting for a used Unisaw to show up on Craigslist. It might take a while, but you’ll get a lot more saw for your money.


I’d say a planer would be your #1 target. Like Mike above, I too have the Rigid #4331 planer and highly recommend it. But if a new Rigid planer is too spendy, find any ‘ol planer on craigslist or local auctions for 100 or so to get you started. Table saw. I love my Bosch 4100 contractor saw, though it does have it’s limitations. With the gravity stand, it takes up a small footprint in your area (that is a HUGE consideration too). Or a track saw to hold you over. Forget the jointer for time being. Like Gerry above says, you can make a planer sled to hold you over. Use the saved money to get a random orbit sander or shopvac/dust deputy setup.

If I were in college and just starting into wood working, I would go hand tool route instead of power machinery to be honest. Cheaper and easy to move around from home to home.


Let me add my.02 to the good advice already posted. IMO, a table saw should be your first purchase, and a good rip fence is crucial- you’ll have nothing but headaches with a flimsy, erratic fence. As a rule, the fence quality on smaller portable and contractor saws doesn’t come close to those on hybrid or cabinet saws. Unfortunately, you have the dilemma of balancing limited floor space with better quality (larger) tools. BTW, not to quibble, but I don’t think a left tilt saw is essential by any means. As already noted, Craigslist is your friend. Be patient, and don’t settle for something less than you want. Also look at Searsoutlet dot com, which can have some great deals, though unpredictable.

Newer saws have better safety designs, such as a riving knife, and better dust collection.

While a jointer and planer are really nice to have, you can get into a lot of projects by buying wood already trued (S4S- “surfaced four sides”). It’s more expensive that way, but you can get going with projects that way.

One other tool you’ll want soon is a router. From what I’ve seen on CL, though, the price differential isn’t enough to buy used, rather than new.


I would definitely look to add a decent table saw to my arsenal as a priority, but would steer clear of a cheap benchtop like the Rockwell. I wouldn’t run out and grab the R4512 blindly either due to too many issues, but the fact that you’re considering a full size saw is good, and it tells me that you don’t need the portability of a smaller saw. The used market is the first place I’d look when buying a saw on a budget….full size (27″ deep), belt drive, induction motor, and workable fence. If there’s nothing much in your area, I’d look to the Delta 36-725 over the R4512. Tell us your geographic location, and one of these folks might be able to help advise on a good used saw.

In addition to the TS, a jointer and planer are the best methods for dimensioning rough stock. The jointer flattens a reference face and squares an adjacent edge. A planer smooths to a use uniform thickness and replicates the reference face on the opposite side of the board so the two faces are parallel to each other. A planer can be coaxed into flattening a reference face with the help of a planer sled, so when money’s tight, I’d start with a planer over a jointer for that reason. Edge jointing can be done with a TS or a router in a pinch, as long as you have a flat reference face. Add a jointer later when you can.

Considering adding a router some time soon….its the most versatile tool in the shop.

Here’s a look at someone flattening a face with a planer sled…the sled acts as the reference surface, so the planer duplicates that on the top surface of the board, which ultimately gives your board a flat reference face. Then flip the board with the new reference surface facing down and the planer will duplicate the board’s reference face to the opposite face of the board…result. two flat flaces that are parallel and at a uniform thickness. Edge joint and rip to width, then cut to length…it should then be flat ,straight, square, and exactly the size you want:

Super SlowMo Tools. Jointer Flattening a Board at 19,000 FPS!


You’re wise to ask for advice, and believe me, you’ll get plenty here!!

If I was in your position, I would be thinking about the money you will have tied up in entry level machines, and what about moving?, what is my working environment?, will I be disturbing anyone with all the noise? etc.

IMO, you are a perfect candidate for hand tools ;-). Check out Paul Sellers, Renaissance Woodworker, Unplugged Workshop, etc.

You’re in the incubation stages decisions now need to leave you room for error. I would not tie up precious funds in machines that will be producing a LOT of dust and shavings and noise. no small issues to be reckoned with.

So I would be looking for 4, 5, and 7 hand planes and a cross cut and rip hand saw a set of chisels and a mallet, some marking/measuring tools. I would spend time learning to sharpen blade irons and hand saws so you’ll need some stones and files and maybe a saw set. You’ll need these tools to build your real woodworking bench!! (Check out the build by Sellers).


I am talking only from my experience as someone who got really nuts into getting equipment rather than wood working. I bought a cabinet saw, a 6″ floor model jointer, a bandsaw, a drill press, a 3hp router; 13″ planer. Now I have used all of this equipment as some point, but it takes up a lot of room. When I was single childless, who gave a crap?

You are married(if you live in a cold climate), you find that most significant others believe that at least a Car port is part of the marriage contract. Trying to fit all of the floor model stuff in a single carport along with cabinets and wood storage and a whole mess of other outdoor stuff isnt fun. Upon the birth of your children for the first few years, if chewing on it or playing with it isn’t safe it will find its way to the basement or the garage, which just compounds the issue.

If you are amazingly organized this wont be a big deal, I am more like ole’ Roy. I know where my stuff is 80% of the time because that’s where I was using it last. If you at all like me:

Do as some of the others have said and get a track-saw or a Circular with some guides. Get a hand drill and a dowel guide. Get a hand plane. Rather than buying 4 different kind of sanders, get a scraper. Get a router that can take a 1/2″ bit, if you have a good straight edge you can joint most boards with it… Learn your hand tools. Buy stuff as you need it. You will definitely waste a little more wood, but you can put all your stuff away in one cabinet. Rather than using a bunch of floor model equipment for table space.

The stuff I am pointing out is stuff you’ll likely buy anyway if your really into it, and buying it first allows you to get quality projects out with a little more effort than having a full machine shop, and you will learn a lot using em. So make the decision of how valuable is your time vs. the cost of equipment. Is this a hobby you want to spend your time learning how to shape wood, or is it a means to an end? If you are under the impression that wood working is going to save you money, STOP NOW!kidding slightly…

Have a very long talk with your wife as to what style she likes in this department. If she is all for Craftsman/Arts Crafts/Contemporary pieces, your in luck, start buying gear. If she likes Renaissance/early american type stuff with all kinds of compound curves and what not, then go buy some antiques and refinish them.

Places where you shouldn’t short buy or buy inferior: Layout tools, you can use architectural/mechanical drawing stuff and probably get a better deal buying it from someplace other than a woodworking store…

Also what most people don’t point out is that the ability of your workbench to hold tightly whatever size project you are working on at all the angles you will need it, is probably going to have a greater affect on the outcome than the tools used to create it. A solid workbench that doesn’t rack, with multiple fastening methods is key.

Using a Track Saw as a Jointer:

For any woodworking project that needs you to piece panels together (such as cabinet-making) at a 90-degree angle, you need a jointer.

A Jointer creates a smooth surface for creating the glue line.

Not all of us have a jointer in our workshops so we have to find a decent workaround.

I’ve been seeing folks talk about using a track saw as a jointer.

A high-quality track saw like the Festool 75 will leave a smooth finish and let you skip the jointer.

When facing wood for joining, use a full blade kerf to keep it from skipping.

This is the perfect opportunity to get some added versatility from your track saw.

No Jointer? No problem!

Track Saws, Table Saws Edge Jointers: Need to Know

Track saws, table saws, and edge jointers are all unique tools.

Let’s talk about them individually for just a short bit.

A track saw allows you to make long cuts with a high degree of accuracy. The cuts are precise and you can make quick work of them.

While a table saw also works well for most of these jobs, a track saw offers greater accuracy.

Track saws look a little bit like circular saws in appearance but have the power of a portable table saw.

These power tools are cut in a straight line along a track. The track helps improve the accuracy of the cut.

The track saw is heavily used in cabinet making and can also handle difficult materials such as Formica.

The table saw is more common and self-explanatory.

You can cut in a straight line with the fence set up but it can become challenging to maneuver if you have long or large pieces of wood.

The saw blade rotates from inside the table while you push the wood across for cutting. Table saws are generally used for cutting straight lines and making rough lumber cuts.

These are the go-to tool for DIY projects because they tend to be more precise than the rip blade design of a circular saw.

Finally, a jointer looks like a combination between a table saw and a bandsaw.

It has an extended table and kerf and is equipped with a jointer plan device for the joinery process.

A jointer is ideal for smoothing rough lumber hat that has uneven edges or a twist in them. A jointer lets you smooth these warping and cupping defects.

With an edge jointer, you will move across the surface in order to smooth it out, just like if you used a handheld jointer plane tool or a hand plane to smooth out the surface.

An edge jointer also lets you create a groove for matching pieces of lumber together. The jointer will prepare a smooth glue line to make the pieces fit together better in the end.

Can a track saw replace a jointer?

A track saw might be able to do some of the things that a jointer does but it will not replace a jointer.

If you need a solution in a pinch, a track saw or table saw can help correct some wood defects, especially if you also have a planer. However, if you frequently use rough-milled lumber, you should invest in a jointer.

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A track saw will struggle to create a perfectly straight board and will rely heavily on your measuring skills.

Remember that a jointer is made more for a smoothing motion rather than a cut and while you can achieve the same thing with a track saw, it might not be quite as accurate or quite as smooth.

You will also need a large table to work on, and if you do this type of work frequently, you will want to build a jig for it.

If you have a planer, you can run the board through a planer first and then edge it with a track saw.

Can you use a table saw as a jointer?

You can use your table saw like a jointer. A table saw is designed more similarly to a jointer, and the fence makes it easier to cut a straight line.

You can use a table saw as a jointer. You first need to create a jig that will sit between your fence and the blade, narrowing the gap and creating a narrow kerf for the blade to work.

This jig will mimic the fence on a jointer, and can effectively turn your table saw into a jointer for smoothing edges. It is a much better choice than using a track saw, in my opinion.

Can track saw Replace table saw?

Depending on what it is you are trying to accomplish, your track saw might be able to replace the table saw.

They work very similarly to each other but the track saw is a little more portable.

I argue about the track saw versus the table saw in a full article.

The table saw has its own table and stand built in while your track saw requires a working surface and is a combination of a table saw and a track saw.

There are just some things a table saw might be better for but the track saw can do everything a table saw can do as well.

Truing Your lumber with a track saw

The track saw will only work as well as the person operating it. If you have a severely warped board, it can be difficult to get a flat edge, however, you should be able to get close enough so the two boards will join.

You will likely want to also use a planer, and then use a square to make sure your track is laid properly. Clamping the track will help increase the accuracy.

Plan on using a low blade tooth count such as a 14T.

jointer, table, need

With patience, you can use your track saw to flatten cupped boards, flatten a twisted board, or even rip a straight edge.

Jointing Lumber Without A Jointer

A jointed edge is an edge that has been prepared for matching with another board to create a corner.

This means that you need two, nearly-perfect boards. You have to make the edge straight and true so it will line up properly when you JOIN it together.

Do you need a jointer at all?

If you are creating a lot of corners or working with a lot of rough-cut lumber, you will need to invest in a jointer.

If you have a table saw or a track saw on hand, you can certainly use those for a DIY project or a one-off project but if you do this type of work often, a jointer is an essential tool to have on hand.

Edge Jointing Boards

Once you have both of your pieces of wood ready to go, you will join them together.

Both pieces of wood will need to be smoothed until they are true and squared for the perfect adjacent edge. The two boards must be of consistent thickness in order to be jointed.

Once you have them planed and true, then you can join them together with some wood glue.

Ripping straight board edges

The best way to rip straight board edges is with a table saw but you could also use a track saw or a router table.

You will need a straight edge guide and you should start with a few extra inches to work with to give you plenty of room.

Create a jig that you can use for added control.

How can I face my joint without a jointer?

Simply run the board through a planer. Once you have two flat edges, then you can use your track saw to create 90-degree edges down each side.

Ultimately, a track saw will clean up minimally damaged or uneven wood for a better joint. However, a track saw cannot correct badly damaged wood. A table saw will do a little better for one-off jobs, but a jointer is the best choice.