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A jointer (also known in the UK and Australia as a planer or surface planer, and sometimes also as a buzzer or flat top) is a woodworking machine used to produce a flat surface along a board's length.

The jointer derives its name from its primary function of producing flat edges on boards prior to joining them edge-to-edge to produce wider boards. The use of this term probably arises from the name of a type of hand plane, the jointer plane, which is also used primarily for this purpose.

For an extended description of a Jointer, consult this wikipedia article.

Manuals & Documents

Safety Classification


Safety Notes


Jointer Operation and Safety

Potential Hazards

  • Contact with the blade is the most significant and dangerous hazard. Hands and fingers can be amputated if they come into contact with moving blade.
  • Getting loose clothes, jewelry, or long hair caught in moving parts.
  • Being hit, especially in the eyes, by debris flying from point of operation.
  • Kick-backs – Stock is caught by the blade and thrown back at the operator.
  • Inhalation of dust and particles.
  • Dropping objects on foot.

Specific Controls

  • DO NOT wear gloves while using the jointer.
  • There MUST be a self adjusting or automatic guard over the cutting head.
  • A guard must also be in place that will cover the portion of the cutting head that is back of the fence.
  • Ensure the 3 blades that make up the cutting head are tight and sharp and without defects.

Operating Precautions

  • Stock should be pushed through the machine using two push pads or a push pad on front of stock and a push stick on the rear of the stock.
  • It is recommended NOT to use a jointer on the following:
  • The face of pieces of wood that are less than ½” thick as they can splinter and break.
  • The edges of pieces of wood that are ¾” or less as they can vibrate split and cause a safety hazard.
  • Any piece of stock that is less than 12” long. The material must be long enough to bridge the jointer throat and have complete support on the bed or you could be injured.
  • Adjust cutter head so that no more than 1/8” is removed at a single pass.
  • Adjust the width of the table to match the width of the stock. You want to minimize the amount of exposed cutting blade to reduce risk of your hand coming into contact with the moving blade.
  • Ensure the fence is locked down in the correct position.
  • Stand on the left, beside the jointer, not behind or in line with your material. You will have more control over your material, will not have to reach so far, and will not be hit by the material if it is thrown from the machine.
  • Do not start the machine with the wood contacting the cutting blades.
  • To reduce risk of kick-backs:
  • Avoid use of very poor quality lumber. There should be no loose knots, splits, or structural defects. Also, there should be no nails, screws or other foreign objects in the stock.
  • Ensure blade height is correctly set and blades are in good condition.
  • Avoid deep cuts. Make multiple passes using a less aggressive cut to achieve desired surface,
  • Ensure dust collection is on and working (attach a shop vac if not hooked up to dust collection).

Current Status


Available for use by trained users.

Operator Tips