combo plainer jointer machine


Recommended Posts

I was thinking of buying a combo plainer and jointer machine but I don't know how good they are. Can anyone share their feed Back from using one of these machines. Jet makes one hitachi and ricon. Are they better or as good as the bench top versions ?

Link to post
Share on other sites

I've been using a Makita combo my dad first purchased back in the 80's.  Makita 2030 model -- sometimes they show up on buy/sell forums.  Still going strong.  Had to replace the planer rollers poly coating a few years back.  Nice feature is independent cutter heads. Although it is very loud.  Perfect solution for smaller shop imho. No experience on the new versions. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

This topic comes up constantly.  Bottom line is those combo units will get the job done, you'll gain some jointing capacity in width but lose the length, and you can probably save some money over buying two separate machines - and you'll definitely save some space.  But the elephant in the room is that you have to switch the machine back and forth between jointer and planer every time you wanna mill a board, and that's beyond a deal killer for me...no way I'd deal with that PITA.  Plus I have no idea how finicky the calibration is with these machines because I have no experience with them, but my gut says they'd be a real headache.  Buy two separate units if you can.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

The only "good" one from my extensive research on the topic is the 12" Jet unless you want to get crazy importing a Euro one.   All the smaller ones tend to be garbage.    The 12" Jet and 12" Grizzly both do well, but the Grizzly is much more of a hassle to switchover (because you must remove the fence to go to planer mode).   With the Jet, the switchover is very quick (flip jointer table+fence up, swing cutter/DC over, and go).   Sure it's a bit of hassle, but no more so than something like switching to dado stack.

 

The biggest upsides are space, jointing width, and the ability to buy 1 helical head for 2 tools.    The biggest downside by far is length of jointer table and switching back and forth is the other main negative.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I have a Jet JJP-12HH. If you make the choice for combo, do it for the space savings, not for money reasons. I chose the Jet over the Grizzly because of the number of cutters and the Byrd Shelix shearing pattern. What I really wanted was a Hammer A3 31, but I was already pushing it for being a hobbyist.

 

I like the machine, but if I had the space, separate machines would be better.

 

Wilbur Pan speaks highly of his 10" Rikon, FWIW.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I have a Jet JJP-12HH. If you make the choice for combo, do it for the space savings, not for money reasons. I chose the Jet over the Grizzly because of the number of cutters and the Byrd Shelix shearing pattern. What I really wanted was a Hammer A3 31, but I was already pushing it for being a hobbyist.

 

 

 

People really love the combo Hammer machines.  Italian made but they have a U.S. outlet.  This seems to be one way to get a wider jointer without spending lots of money.

Link to post
Share on other sites

A few years ago, I wrote a typically-lengthy post on this question… You can Google for it...

 

I’ll give brief summary with the understanding little background or supporting info will be provided:

 

I've lived with combo units and stand-alone kit... There are pros/cons to each... Right now, I'm stand-alone... However, my retirement shop is going to be a 5-station Euro combo unit (probably Felder)...

 

If you tend to batch workflow operations, you’ll do fine with a combo unit… If you lean toward an organic workflow, combo units will drive you crazy…

 

Combo units are all about saving space… Trying to save money is false economy… Combo units are significantly more complex than their stand-alone brethren ---- they take more engineering, higher-precision manufacturing, significantly more parts and greater attention to QC… Even with all this effort, they will still have a lower MTBF than stand-alone units – and this is important… For example, my Felder 5-station combo unit was down twice in four years (once for controls, once for a motor), but that's unusual. Also understand that you can lose all functionality for a significant length of time from the failure of a minor part... In my case, the controls failure took the entire machine off-line for two weeks -- which is quick… There are well-documented cases with down-times lasting several months (not a Felder)...

 

Stand-alone units are fairly homogeneous in design... In twenty years you could still get most parts from the used market or have them fabricated at a reasonable cost... In addition, you may be able to substitute parts between models or even brands… On the other hand, combo units have many model-specific components that are not ‘off the shelf’ or brand-substitutable... If a component breaks and you can’t source a replacement, then you now have an expensive paperweight…

 

Manufacturer’s spare part retention policies are critical for long-term viability of combo units… Euro-mfgs tend to be end-of-life +20 or +25years… Asian-sourced tend to be end-of-life +5years… Last time I looked, Powermatic was end-of-life +10years… BORG is end-of-life… Under no circumstances should one get an Asian-sourced combo unit – unless you tend to be very lucky…

 

Under no circumstances should trust mag reviews on combo units – they care about change-over time, who places the biggest adverts and the sales price for the ‘evaluation’ units ---- not long-term reliability.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Who's Online   3 Members, 0 Anonymous, 271 Guests (See full list)

  • Forum Statistics

    29608
    Total Topics
    401374
    Total Posts
  • Member Statistics

    22319
    Total Members
    3644
    Most Online
    bigbrohardwood20
    Newest Member
    bigbrohardwood20
    Joined