Jointer vs Planer: Compare and Choose Best Tool for You

Are you a new-ee to the woodworking industry or a learner of different wood art? Then you must be confused between two tools related to woodwork (i.e.) Jointer and Planer. Aren’t you? I agree that it is quite confusing. 7 out of 10 people think that both are things are similar and work for the same purpose. But, it’s not true! There is a huge difference between these two! In this article, you will get the exact meanings of the wood jointer and wood planer.


If you have a log which has uneven edges, then jointer is the tool which can make it even. It is a tool which can be used to cut off that extra inch of wood which makes the edges slight patchy. A jointer makes it precise. It can make the surface smooth.

The jointer purposes to flatten the log and square up the edges. Here, you should note down that a jointer can make the wood face flat, but cannot make it parallel! It cannot match left side and right side equally; especially maintaining the thickness. A jointer may not take proper dimensions.


Planer does not work similarly as the jointer. It makes the wood sides parallel to each other. It helps you to make both the edges equal to make it flat without disturbing the thickness. It does not cut, it just bends.

So, if you have a planer, you should not be worried about uneven thickness or gaps. A planer can be helpful in thickness the wood and make sure that both the surfaces and edges stay parallel with one another.

Jointer vs Planer

We all know how expensive these tools are! It is entirely a fair decision to buy one device at a time! So, decide which device you want to buy first by determining your needs, uses, and advantages. You should take a smart decision so that you can invest in a useful tool for your workshop.

Can handle wider and narrower pieces of woodCan only handle thick pieces of wood
Ensures that two opposite faces are even, without any extra inch of crumbed logEnsures two edges and the whole log/wood piece is even, and there is no gap
It can shave off the extra wood and is perfect for the finishing workIt just bends the wood to make it parallel by giving pressure

I am sure that you will surely need a planer, even if you buy a jointer. But, if you do not have a jointer, there are various options available to do such finishing as well as decorative work to make your wood look attractive.

But yes, here one thing to keep in mind regarding planer is that it is not the appropriate tool for any thin boards. It can break the board if it does not have a particular thickness. The jointer can handle even the narrower pieces of wood.

Which Will You Choose?

I have explained to you how both the tool works! Both of these tools are costly. So, it is preferable to have one at a time. A jointer is mainly for some finishing work; where the planer is essential for complete jointing processes without lumps. If there is a lumber which you want to use to make a creation/art piece is uneven from upside down (like a banana,) then it may create an issue.

A planer can make both the sides flat by giving absolute pressure on the wood. It will not allow the log to be thicker on the one side and not on the another. Here, if you are worried about the rough sides and edges, you can always consider table saw or the circular saw to get the help for cutting that extra inch from all the sides.

I hope this article has explained the fundamental dissimilarities between the jointer vs planer. It is up to you which tool you want to use according to your requirements. Here, there is one thing which is easily understandable is that both the tools operate according to the surfaces of the lumber.

Most of the time, you will need both of them. But, if you are on the ‘cost-cutting’ mode or you don’t have a separate budget for both of them, I suggest you have a planer first.

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