Tool Test: Benchtop Mortisers
These fast, accurate drilling machines cut square holes easily
Synopsis: The hollow-chisel mortiser cuts square holes quickly and accurately. The machine’s head is fitted with a square, hollow chisel with a drill bit running through the center. As you plunge the chisel and bit into the wood, the bit removes most of the waste, and the chisel squares up the hole. Benchtop mortisers have enough power to plunge a chisel up to 1⁄2 in. square into hardwoods, and they cost significantly less than larger, floor-standing machines. Roland Johnson tested 13 benchtop models available to find out which performs the best and which is the best value.
Models tested include the Baileigh Industrial MC-625, Delta 14-651, General International 75-040, General International 75-050T, Grizzly G0645, Jet JBM-5, Powermatic PM701, Rikon 34-250, Shop Fox W1671, Steel City 25200, Wood River 151223, Woodtek 138224, and Woodtek 876775.
The mortise-and-tenon might not be the most glamorous furniture joint (there is no denying the dovetail’s beauty), but it’s strong,…