6-in. Jointer 21706 - Fine Woodworking Tool Review
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6-in. Jointer 21706

Craftsman - 6-in. Jointer 21706

Craftsman’s 6-1/8-in jointer features a storage shelf on the infeed side of the base for push blocks.

$400 (As of 10/25/2005)

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Editor's Review: Tool Test: 6-Inch Jointers

by William Duckworth

review date: October 25, 2005

A 6-in. jointer is a good starter size for a workshop, so I chose 11 models to examine, all of which happened to be made in either Taiwan or the People's Republic of China. The only significant differences among them were in the fence designs and the mechanisms by which you raise and lower the infeed and outfeed tables.

With a jointer, you want infeed and outfeed tables that are flat and coplanar to each other, meaning that the tables should run parallel from one end of the machine to the other.  To function properly, the surface of the outfeed table must be flush with the top arc of the knife cut and perfectly parallel to the full width of the knife cut as well as to the surface of the infeed table.

Among these machines, you can choose from four fence designs, my favorite of which is the rack-and-pinion, because adjustments are quick and easy to make, and you can move the fence in and out with one hand.

The manual for the Sears jointer, illustrated clearly with drawings, is a good step-by-step introduction to assembling and using the machine. I had to ream out most of the five dozen or so holes in the base panels to make them line up with the threaded holes in the legs. The table surfaces were ground notably flat, and the sharp knives left a surface that felt smooth as glass. This machine features a handy little storage shelf on the infeed side of the base for the push blocks. Adjusting the fence was a less-than-smooth operation.

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Editor Test Results:

Manufacturer Specifications

Manufacturer Craftsman
Manufacturer's Web Site www.craftsman.com
Manufacturer's Phone Number 800-697-3277
Horsepower 1 hp

I got this on sale at Sears and it was a floor model so, it was put together already. Which was good for me so all I needed to do was make some small adjustments to the fame. Other wise this is great for me .I build small items in my shop from toys to beds. I have found that this 6 inch jointer works well for me. My friend has the 8 inch jointer made by General of Canada and that one you need good skills to use and is very nice to work with larger wood stock. Over all Sears jointer is great.

I have read many reviews and I sometimes see the many different flaws that people talk about and sometimes I wonder as a new woodworker if I just have no clue of what quality is OR have I been blessed to get perfect tools all the time? I think this machine falls in the category of blessed!Price:Catch it on sale and it is a deal! ($250 I believe)Setup:The setup is a little difficult for one person (all those hours in the gym comes in handy when trying to lift the top onto the base by yourself NOT RECOMMENDED) but other than this the process was fine. Setting up the tables was fairly simple and I found that using some straight edges and reading instructions is all you need to do this.Performance:I think the big thing here is reading the grain and taking light cuts in the wood and you will be fine. Keep sharp blades and be careful with soft woods because they tend to build up in the dust chute if you don't have a dust collection system attached. This buildup sometimes causes the chips to blow out of the top of the machine. I have ran pine, oak, cherry, mahogony and walnut through the machine with no problems. Overall:I must say this is the first jointer I have ever used and if it gets any better than this then I will be walking on cloud 9. For the novice I definately recommend this machine and I hope you enjoy it as much as I have.

This is a good solid tool. Most of the adjustments are made easily and securely. The biggest compliant is the infeed table adjustment. The lever takes a lot of messing with if you want an exact height. A wheel would make this tool a 5 star. Dust collection works fine. If you are not using a dust collector the shavings will clog up the dust shoot and kick out the cutterhead.

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