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11 Best 6-Inch Jointers for Small Wood Shops – [Top Picks 2023]

best 6 inch jointer with helical head

Wonder if there is a machine to smooth warped lumber without being overly bulk? It’s no brainer, for hobbyist woodworkers the value of the best 6-inch jointer is irreplaceable.

To help you choose the best one, today I’ll walk you through the top 6-inch jointers for small shops that work wonders with rough faces.

So, let’s jump into the article.

Best 6-inch Jointers for the Money- [My Top Picks]

Best 6-inch Jointer for Small Shops – (Top Picks of 2023)

Here are the 11 best jointers for small shops you need to know about.

1. Powermatic 54HH Helical Cutterhead 6-inch Jointer – Best Overall

Powermatic 54HH Helical Cutterhead 6 inch Jointer – Best Overall

Key Points:

  • Cuts more layer in less time.
  • Industrial-grade build quality.
  • Longest table for extra support.
  • Efficient dust collection system.
  • A bit expensive for hobbyists.

Starting with Powermatic 54HH, this 6-inch wood jointer comes with lucrative features and earns the top spot on the list. From start to finish, this USA made machine is designed to give you the best overall wood jointing experience. 

Right off the bat, Powermatic 54HH’s 66-inch table is biggest among its class. Due to this generous surface, milling longer pieces of lumber won’t be cumbersome.

Moreover, with a rapid lever adjuster you’re allowed to change the depth of cut whenever you need to.

If we look closely, it has a helical cutterhead instead of conventional straight knives. The 40-carbide inserts leave a smoother and quieter finish even on the roughest of faces. 

The heavy-duty cast iron table does an exceptional job to true up hardwoods. Again, its 38-inch two-way tilting fence lets you cut bevels precisely. Last but not the least, a lockable push button adds an extra layer of safety to your woodworking.

2. JET 6 inch Long Bed Helical Head Jointer – Runner Up

JET JJ-6HHDX 6 inch Long Bed Helical Head Jointer – Runner Up

Key Points:

  • Runs relatively quieter.
  • Efficient cutterhead design.
  • Allow more accurate table setting.
  • Ensure adequate safety during use.
  • Pricey for a small shop/novice woodworker.

Next, we’ve another 6-inch helical jointer to present here. JET JJ-6HHDX is built to handle the toughest of wood flattening tasks and deserves our runner up place.

Thanks to JET JJ-6HHDX’s long cast iron flatbed. It prevents tipping when jointing longer faces. The indexable helical cutterhead offers a premium finish and worth every penny. 

We also appreciate that the hand-wheel table adjustment allows making slight changes and fine-tune the cutting depth. It comes with a 1HP motor that runs quietly, yet produces enough power to carry out day-day sharpening. 

Also, the fence works well to square flat stock. It stops positive at 45 to 90 degrees in both directions. With this versatility, you can perform all bevel operations with ease.

Apart from this, a push stop button is conveniently placed on a mast for quick access.

3. PorterCable 6 inch Jointer – Best for Hobbyist Woodworkers

PORTER-CABLE PC160JT 6 inch Jointer – Best for Hobbyist Woodworkers

Key Points:

  • A solid fence mechanism.
  • Easy-to-use ergonomic design.
  • Sturdy USA manufactured product.
  • Adjustable usage for different hardness.
  • Two-knife cutterhead – Not geared for professional jointing.

Porter Cable PC160JT is an outstanding wood jointer for hobbyist who seeks the highest quality in their machine.

With variable speed options (6,000 to 11,000) you can do more than just regular face flattening. Get creative with different hardness of the materials without any issues. 

The two-knife cutterhead is easily replaceable. Thanks to the built-in lock Porter Cable PC160JT comes with. In addition, a front meter allows you to see and adjust the cutting depth more accurately. 

With thick grooves, its metal fence is a true star. You can perform edge jointing without worrying about any slippage. Besides, it’s a portable benchtop jointer, which is easy to handle and carry around.

4. Grizzly G0813 6 inch Jointer – Best Jointer for Small Shop

Grizzly G0813 6 inch Jointer – Best Jointer for Small Shop

Key Points:

  • Table setting isn’t complicated.
  • In-depth easy to read user manual.
  • Ergonomic fence for effortless moving.
  • Built-in mobile base for maneuverability.
  • Cutterhead is little noisy.

Cabinet stand jointers are ideal for smaller shops and this Grizzly G0813 is no exception. It’s the tiniest among Grizzly’s line yet a super sturdy 6-inch long bed jointer worth considering. 

Thanks to cast-iron table material, it brings more stability. This stationary machine features a strong engine, meaning the motor does not have to deal with heavier loads all the time. As a result, it will last for many years.

Additionally, Grizzly G0813’s 3-knives cutterhead turns at 5000 RPM, enough to produce desired cut on rough faces. 

The infeed lever adjuster is quite handy. It makes sliding on dovetailed-ways a breeze. Again, a handwheel adjuster on the outfeed table brings more precision. The mobile base makes it more functional for a small shop. 

Moreover, the fence is a true charm. It comes with an extra-long handle. Adjusting bevel settings has never been much easier.

5. Rikon 20-600H – Best Benchtop Jointer Under $500

Rikon 20-600H 6 inch Benchtop Jointer – Best Jointer Under $500

Key Points:

  • Powerful heavy-duty motor.
  • User-friendly benchtop jointer.
  • Helical cutterhead offers clean cuts.
  • Allow more specific table adjustment.
  • Smaller table configuration.

If you need an outstanding 6-inch jointer under $500, RIKON 20-600H is the perfect one to try. With a powerful 10 AMP motor, it’s a performance beast and there are several reasons why we think so. 

Firstly, RIKON 20-600H portable wood jointer comes with a helical cutterhead that can pull up to 12,000 RPM speed which is simply remarkable. This feature is typically seen on expensive tools to provide a premium finish in the least of time. 

Additionally, this benchtop model has small legs at each corner. They help to distribute its weight evenly and give it more support to handle different workpieces. Its rigid steel construction plays a crucial part here as well.

Other than this, a front control knob lets you quickly set up the cutting depth. There is also a scale to see the results. A spring supported guard and instant on/off power switch ensures your safety during use.

6. Delta 37-071 6 inch Benchtop Jointer

Delta 37-071 6 inch Benchtop Jointer – Also Great Benchtop Jointer Under $500

Key Points:

  • Ruggedly built parts prevent vibration.
  • Long-lasting easily adjustable fence.
  • Reasonably priced for a premium product.
  • Commercial grade motor handles a bulk of boards.
  • Not suitable to work with larger stocks.

After looking at a ton of positive reviews and what professionals have said about it, we can’t deny Delta 37-071 to be considered on our list. It’s another great benchtop jointer under 500 bucks. 

Delta 37-071 features the most powerful (12 AMP) motor that sets it apart from the competition. It takes up heavier loads, yet ends up with clean, precise cuts every time. 

The heavy-duty aluminum cutterhead is designed for accurate jointing. In addition, the jackscrew arrangement makes adjusting knives easier. 

This USA-manufactured machine also has a cast iron base to keep it from vibration when you use it on a bench or table. Again, an emergency stop button will provide additional safety.

Moreover, the fence is easily adjustable and lets you achieve angled cuts with ease. 1/8-inch cutting depth is ideal for any jointer to get smooth faces at each pass.  Overall, Delta 37-071 is a fine piece of wood jointer at an affordable price.

7. Shop Fox W1829 Benchtop 6 inch Jointer – Best Jointer Under $400

 Shop Fox W1829 Benchtop 6 inch Jointer – Best Jointer Under $400

Key Points:

  • High-rotating, yet quieter cutterhead.
  • Secure user-friendliness in its design.
  • Affordable jointer option for hobbyists.
  • USA made heavy-duty engine.
  • A few users criticizes the fence for adjusting issues.

Here is another best 6-inch benchtop jointer for those who are looking to buy one spending less than $400.

From the beginning, we’ve put a lot of emphasis on motor sizes and safety features. Shop Fox W1829 is best in both worlds. Thanks to the 1.5 HP motor, available safety push block, and emergency stop switch this machine comes with. 

Its helical cutterhead will allow for more cuts per minute (20,000 in particular). Furthermore, the built-in impeller driven dust collector is quite efficient for chip disposal and prevents tear cuts. 

Like other high-quality benchtop jointers, it features a fully adjustable fence (+/-45 degree) and supports your edge jointing needs. All in all, there is nothing much we could expect from an affordable 6-inch tabletop jointer.

8. Wahuda 50160CC-WHD 6 inch Jointer

Wahuda 50160CC-WHD 6 inch Jointer – Great Spiral Cutterhead Jointer Under $400

Key Points:

  • Doesn’t come with a hefty price.
  • Ideal for straightening hardwoods.
  • USA manufactured durable material.
  • Desired sharpness is achieved quicker.
  • User manual is unclear.

If you want years of trouble-free operation, Wahuda 6-inch jointer with spiral cutterhead is appropriate for your small shop.

Wahuda 50160CC-WHD comes with 4-sided carbide inserts and cuts sharply. These heavy-duty blades retain sharpness even after straightening countless rough boards. 

As a brand, Wahuda may not be very popular. However, it does feature the most durable infeed and outfeed table. So, it’s less likely that you’ll see any grooves or warping on the surface soon. 

Additionally, with a 10 AMP, 120V motor you won’t get short of necessary power. Yet, it remains fairly quiet during use, which is brilliant.

9. Craftsman CMEW020 – Best Benchtop Jointer Under $300

Craftsman CMEW020 6 inch Benchtop Jointer – Best Jointer Under $300

Key Points:

  • Offers easier knife adjustment.
  • Portable, easy-to-use features.
  • Most budget-friendly 6-inch jointer.
  • Adjustable speed option to secure better control.
  • Two-knife cutterhead – Less efficient for hardwoods.

This 6-inch jointer is geared towards novice woodworkers who want a decent benchtop model at a cheaper price. At under $300, this machine supports your needs for wood planning, and edge jointing effectively. 

CRAFTSMAN CMEW020 is equipped with an impressive 10 AMP motor which produces up to 22,000 cuts/minute. This ensures optimal performance to give your wood a finish that feels smooth to touch. 

Alongside this, its variable control option (6,000-11,000 RMPs) will allow you to work with different hard and softwoods and vary the blade speed accordingly. 

Unlike most benchtop jointers, this machine weighs only 40 pounds. You’ll be able to transport it to a jobsite and from storage shelf to the working table without feeling much strain. 

Again, with a perfectly square tilting fence and 30-inch long working surface, you can finish your project with ease.

10. JET JJ-6CSDX – Best 6-inch Jointer With Straight Knives

JET JJ-6CSDX 6 inch Jointer – Best with Straight Knives

Key Points:

  • Heavy-duty versatile jointer.
  • Good for professional jointing.
  • Easy and accurate depth setting.
  • Long adjustable table ensure better stability.
  • Expensive for a cabinet 6-inch jointer.

It goes without saying, helical cutterhead is more durable compared to straight knives. However, that’s not the case with JET JJ-6CSDX. It features one of the toughest cutterhead design (three straight knives) out there. 

With two cutting edges, these blades can square woods without fail. Moreover, with a quick auto-set system in place, you can replace or change all three blades quickly without a knife setting gauge/jig. 

Apart from this, the cabinet style jointer features a table measuring 55-3/4 x 7-3/8 inches. With this wide capacity, JET JJ-6CSDX can handle even the busiest home wood shops. 

With front-mounted handwheels, you can precisely raise or lower the tables for accurate depth setting. Besides, an automatic limiter on the infeed table won’t let you cut deeper than 1/8-inch unless you manually override the operator.

Last but not least, its emergency push stop button is big and conveniently placed above the feed table for quick reach. Overall, JET JJ-6CSDX is a user-friendly jointer at a reasonable price.

11. Powermatic 54A Deluxe 6 inch Jointer With Straight Knives

Powermatic 54A Deluxe 6 inch Jointer – Also Great with Straight Knives

Key Points:

  • Accurate cutting depth set up.
  • Ensures effective dust and chip disposal.
  • Three-knife cutterhead leaves decent finish.
  • All steel construction reduce vibration significantly.
  • Assembly is somewhat complicated.

Our final pick on the list of best 6-inch jointer is Powermatic 54A Deluxe which also features a three-knife cutterhead design. Made from heavy-duty steel you can’t underrate just to know these are straight knives. 

With easy knife setting (adjustment cams) and high-speed capacity, they are designed to create flat, straight faces for elegant projects. 

Like its big brother, the table is 66-inch long. It’s an enormous support when you’re planning to work with longer pieces like doors and tabletops. 

We’re not a big fan of wedge bed table configuration. However, a big thumbs up to its handwheel outfeed table adjuster. With this, you can offset misalignment more quickly.

I also appreciate the front scale. It’s easy to read and lets you make slight changes more accurately. 

With a safety push lock button and all necessary accessories in the box, there is not much to complain about this feature-packed jointer.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is a 6-inch jointer?

Jointers are a great machine to replace hand plane for straightening and squaring woodblocks. The process takes place on a flatbed with the help of a cutterhead. In particular, 6-in jointers will have a 6-inch wide cutter head.

What is a 6-inch jointer used for?

6-inch jointers are used for trimming out rough materials on wood boards (that is 6-7 inches wide) and truly flatten them. It is used for squaring up rough edges on the board as well. 

What does a 6-inch jointer do?

A jointer doesn’t join wood boards, instead, they are used for flattening and smoothening rough lumber. They feature infeed & outfeed table wings and a cutter head (you have knives to be set up in place) in between held into a groove. 

As you turn on the machine and run a sawn lumber across the flatbed, the spinning blades will perform a flat cut on its surface.

An adjustable fence (vertical) keeps the parts in place, which you can also use to square up flattened edges later.

Who should buy a 6-inch jointer?

If you own a small shop, or just starting out in woodworking, a 6-inch jointer is ideal. You’ll get the best of your limited floor space and more importantly wouldn’t have to spend $2000 on a bigger machine.

What are the advantages of 6-inch jointers?

6-inch jointers are a great tool to true up workpieces in the least of time.  They allow angle adjustment to cut various bevels precisely. Moreover, they come with a guarding fence for efficient edge jointing. 

Are 6-inch jointers any good? 

6-inch jointers offer features to make fattening a lot easier than manual crosscut. If you make your own furniture and don’t work with woods bigger than 6-inches they will fit perfectly. 

Who should buy a 6-inch benchtop wood jointer?

If you’re a woodworking hobbyist and want to take it up a notch, benchtop jointers would be ideal. They’re portable, and handle all small to medium size parts comfortably.

If you run a smaller carpentry shop, 6-inch models will give you the most space saving solution too.  

Is a 6-inch benchtop jointer good for woodworking hobbyists?

Sure. A hobbyist or beginner will rarely trade wider stocks and a benchtop jointer will fit their needs. Moreover, benchtop jointers are faster means for shaving woods than to set up jigs, and router tables.  

What is a straight knife jointer?

Straight knives are traditional cutterheads, usually consisting of three blades, therefore cut three times at each pass. These blades trim on their full length per revolution. They are usually cheaper than spiral/helical cutterheads. 

What to look for when buying a 6-inch wood jointer?

Helical cutter heads offer smoother cuts and the carbide inserts remain sharp longer.  In addition, the taller the fence the better the square edges will be on your lumber. 

Also, check whether you have good access to the motor drive belt. Sometimes you may have to adjust the belt tension when a jointer throws it off the pulleys.

Finally, depending on your wood sizes you’ll find ease working on long tables.  

What HP 6-inch jointer is good?

A 6-inch wood jointers mostly come with motors in 1-2 horsepower rating. While 2 HP gives you the most powerful finish, 1 HP is sufficient for small woodworking. 

What is the best jointer for hobbyist woodworkers?

Due to its versatile features, I recommend PORTER-CABLE PC160JT as the best 6-inch jointer for hobbyist woodworkers. 

What is the best jointer for a small shop?

Grizzly G0813  is the best contender of its smaller size and built-in mobile base. Apart from this ease of maneuverability, it has a 3-knife cutterhead to make cutting faster and a 1HP motor to reduce bogging down.

Final Words

6-inch jointers combine performance with ease and are able to make a big difference to fulfill your woodworking projects on time. Hopefully, our article regarding best 6 inch jointers is of use to you finding your specific machine. 

Nevertheless, a quick reminder for you, with best cutterheads Powermatic 54HH is the finest 6-inch jointer we recommend.

If you like traditional straight knives JET JJ-6CSDX is best in this class. PORTER-CABLE PC160JT  benchtop jointer offers the most lucrative deal for hobbyist woodworkers.

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