6″ Or 8″ Inch Jointer: Which One Should You Buy?

Choosing between a 6 inch or 8 inch jointer is one of the most common dilemmas facing woodworkers. This comprehensive guide will examine the key factors to help you determine which size jointer is best for your needs.

6 or 8 Inch Jointer

A 6 inch jointer is generally limited to boards around 6 inches wide or less, while an 8 inch jointer can handle widths up to 8 inches. For larger tabletop slabs or wider boards, a jointer planer combo machine may be required. The 8 inch jointer offers greater versatility for resurfacing wide boards, though it does take up more shop floor space. An 8 inch jointer also typically features a larger motor (3+ HP) that generates smoother, deeper cuts and less vibration compared to the smaller motors found in 6 inch models. Many woodworkers find the 8 inch jointer produces superior cutting quality on hardwoods, with less tearing or ridges. The heavier cast iron build makes the 8 inch jointer ideal for frequent use shops as well. While the 6 inch jointer costs less and saves space, the 8 inch is a better long-term investment for dedicated woodworkers who can accommodate its larger footprint. Occasional hobbyists may find a 6 inch model adequate for their needs. But for professional cabinetry or fine furniture work, the increased width capacity and robust build of the 8 inch jointer can be worth the extra cost.

Key Factors in Choosing Between a 6 or 8 Inch Jointer

There are several considerations when deciding between a 6 inch or 8 inch jointer:

1. Width of Boards You Work With

The width capacity of your jointer will dictate the maximum size board you can flatten or straighten in a single pass. A 6 inch jointer is generally limited to boards around 6 inches wide or less. An 8 inch jointer can handle widths up to 8 inches.

If you routinely work with wider boards up to 12-16 inches, a jointer alone may not suffice. You may need a jointer planer combo machine. But for most small furniture and cabinetry projects, an 8 inch capacity jointer allows enough width capacity.

2. Available Space in Your Shop

A 6 inch jointer takes up less floor space in your shop. The total length of a 6 inch jointer with extensions may be around 5-6 feet. An 8 inch jointer requires around 7-8 feet with extensions.

If you are tight on space, the smaller footprint of a 6 inch model may be appealing. But the added width capacity of the 8 inch can allow you to resurface wider boards, making it a better long term investment if you have room.

3. Types of Cuts and Projects

The longer beds, wider knives, and greater torque of 8 inch jointers generally allow for smoother, deeper, and easier cuts than on a 6 inch model, especially in harder woods. The larger motor and mass of an 8 inch jointer produces less vibration as well.

If you find the cuts from a 6 inch model leave excessive ripples, ridges, or chatter marks, or you wish to hog off more material faster, the 8 inch may produce superior results. The 8 inch capacity can also accommodate larger tabletop slabs.

4. Budget and Cost Considerations

6 inch jointers range from about $300-$800 for a quality floor model. The 8 inch jointers start around $800 and go up to $3000 or more for industrial models. So stepping up to the 8 inch jointer does entail an increased cost.

However, the 8 inch offers greater versatility and room to grow. The wider capacity, smoother cuts, and more robust build quality make it a better long term investment for dedicated woodworkers.

5. Power and Precision

The larger motors found in 8 inch jointers (3+ HP is common) provide more cutting power compared to the 1-2 HP motors in 6 inch tools. This allows the 8 inch models to take fuller passes with less strain and produce a flatter, smoother surface finish.

Many 8 inch jointers also offer features like parallelogram beds, spiral cutterheads, and solid cast iron builds for increased cutting accuracy and smoothness across the board. These features optimize precision but are less common on 6 inch models designed for more casual users.

6. Shop Environment and Use Frequency

Another factor to weigh is your shop environment and how often you use a jointer. The more robust build quality and enclosed stand of most 8 inch jointers make them better suited for frequent use and professional shops where they will be exposed to sawdust and moisture.

Occasional hobbyists may find a 6 inch benchtop jointer adequate for their needs if they have a clean, dry shop space. For a professional woodworking business, the 8 inch floor model is worth the investment.

Comparison of 6 Inch vs 8 Inch Jointer Features

Features6 Inch Jointer8 Inch Jointer
Maximum Board Width Capacity~6 inches~8 inches
Minimum Length Capacity4-5 feet5-6 feet
Typical Motor Power1-2 HP3+ HP
Cutterhead Size6 inches8 inches
Cutterhead InsertsCarbide 2-sidedSpiral/Helical
Table Length4-5 feet5-6 feet
Overall Size5-6 feet x 18-22 inches7-8 feet x 24-30 inches
Weight100-200 lbs300-600 lbs
Price Range$300-$800$800-$3000

Recommended Uses for 6 vs 8 Inch Jointers

A 6 inch jointer is best suited for:

  • Smaller furniture projects
  • Woodworkers with space limitations
  • Beginner and intermediate hobbyists
  • Occasional use in a home/garage shop
  • Jointing boards up to 6 inches wide

An 8 inch jointer is ideal for:

  • Larger tabletops, doors, or panels
  • Routinely jointing hardwoods over 6 inches
  • Fine woodworking and cabinetry shops
  • Professional full time woodworkers
  • Frequent use and rugged conditions
  • Maximum cutting precision for flawless joints

Top 6 Inch Jointer Models

Here are some of the best 6 inch jointer options that offer good performance for the money:

  • Jet JJ-6CSDX – A popular benchtop model with sturdy all-metal construction, extending tables, and a precise fence.
  • Rikon Power Tools 6″ Jointer – Compact and lightweight yet powerful for its size. Great for small shops.
  • Cutech 40600H-CT 6″ Spiral Cutterhead Jointer – Features spiral cutterhead for smooth, tear-out free cuts.
  • Wahuda Professional Benchtop Jointer – Good for beginners with adjustable fence, easy depth settings, and safety toggle switch.
  • Grizzly Industrial Benchtop Jointer (G0725) – Affordable model with rated power and precision-ground table.
  • Jet 708457DXK 6″ Open Stand Jointer – Larger open stand model good for small to midsize boards.

Top 8 Inch Jointer Models

These 8 inch jointers provide excellent performance for avid hobbyists or professional shops:

  • Powermatic 1791317K 8″ Parallelogram Jointer – Commercial grade with helical cutterhead and parallelogram design for supremely smooth cutting.
  • Jet 8″ Jointer/Planer Combo (JJ-8CSX) – Great versatility with ability to swap between jointer and planer functions.
  • RIKON Power Tools 8″ Jointer (10-325) – Powerful yet affordable floor standing jointer good for small spaces.
  • Cutech 40160H-CT 8″ Spiral Cutterhead Jointer – Industrial performance at a great value with low noise spiral cutterhead.
  • Laguna Tools Fusion 8″ Jointer 110V (Laguna Tools PJOINT8F110) – Unique hybrid design combines features of cabinet shop and industrial jointers.
  • Grizzly 8″ Jointer (G0725) – Rugged heavy-duty jointer with built-in mobile base at a reasonable price point.


Determining the right size jointer depends primarily on the width of your workpieces, shop space constraints, features required, and your budget. For many woodworkers, an 8 inch jointer offers the best balance of capacity, cutting quality, and long term versatility. Take the time to carefully assess your needs and usage to select the model that will serve you best. With proper care and maintenance, a quality 6 or 8 inch jointer can provide many years of flawless performance flattening, truing, and dimensioning boards in your shop.