8-in. Jointer 37-380 - Fine Woodworking Tool Review
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8-in. Jointer 37-380

Delta - 8-in. Jointer 37-380

The least noisy of the jointers tested, the Delta 37-380 has an easy-to-adjust fence that moves on a rack-and-pinion gear.

$1,050 (As of 12/1/2005)

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Editor's Review: 8-in. Jointers Under $1,400

by William Duckworth

review date: December 1, 2005

The author selected 11 commonly available 8-in. jointers ranging in price from $650 to $1,350, all with either a 1-1/2-hp or 2-hp motor, and evaluated the beds, tables, fences, knives, and ease of making adjustments for each. The least noisy of the jointers tested, the Delta 37-380 has a fence that moves on a rack-and-pinion gear, making it very easy to move by turning a knob. The table infeed is adjusted with a lever; the outfeed, with a handwheel. The table-locking handle is sturdier and more comfortable than most.

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Editor Test Results:

Average Table Flatness 0.002 in.
Table Alignment (width/length) 0.0025/0.013 in.
Noise Level 79 db.

Manufacturer Specifications

Manufacturer Delta
Manufacturer's Web Site www.deltaportercable.com
Manufacturer's Phone Number 800-223-7278
Bed Size 8-7/8 in. x 72-1/2 in.
Fence Size 4-7/8 in. x 35 in.
Motor Size 1-1/2 hp
Number of Knives 3
Optional Cutterhead No

When it comes to power tools, and hand tools for that matter, the question is: does the tool do what I want it to and will it give me the result I expect (if I do my part). This jointer does that in spades.I expect a properly set up jointer to give me two square edges that meet at 90 degrees or, when surfacing a board, a surface that is flat when I am done with it. This machine does it. It has ample horse power, has a long enough bed to handle long pieces of wood, and has enough width to handle the material I regularly use.I owned a Delta 6 inch jointer for 6 years. I finally needed a bigger machine and conducted much research on the 8 inch machines. I decided that money would not be an object, but 12 inches of jointer would be overkill and oversize for my modest workshop. For the money I had to spend, this machine was a bargain! I shopped and test drove the Delta DJ-20 and the 8 inch Powermatic. Both are nice machines, but there is nothing they can do that the 37/380 jointer can not do.Adjustment of the infeed and outfeed tables is really no easier or harder than the more expensive machines. Also, my experience has been that you select on depth of cut and 95 times out of 100 do not need to change the setting.The Powermatic has a 1/2 horse power more powerful motor than the Delta machines, but I could not tell you I could see or feel a difference in the cut.All the machines gave excellent results. For me it came down to ability to do the job. The higher price machines gave no better result. The quality of the 37/380 seem every bit as good as the DJ/20. The Powermatic was a little prettier, but I am looking to make sawdust, not stare at my reflection in the table!

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