This is a common question that is asked by beginner carpenters, and the answer to this question is that there are a lot of differences between the two pieces of equipment. A jointer and planer is similar in the sense that they both can be used to flatten surfaces of wood and square them, however, if you get into the technicalities you will realize that the two are very different. Once you know how the two equipment work, you will understand which one to get for your work space to make things easier for yourself, as you will know what kind of wood you will be working with. At the end of the day, both of them will save you a lot of time that you can use doing something else.
What are jointers?
A bench top jointer will help you make a rough or bumpy piece of lumber completely flat and squared from the edges. With jointers, you will have an infeed and out feed table and they will both be aligned on the same space. It will have a cutter and knives between the table. Along with that it will have a fence that will be used as support when you joint the edges of the board. When you think of getting one, you should check the best benchtop jointers out there so you have one with the best quality and efficiency.
There are also two main types of jointers that is floor jointers and bench top jointers. Floor jointers tend to be used by carpenters that are more professional and work at a larger scale as they are very big in size and require a proper space designated just for them, whereas, bench top jointers can be used by literally anyone as they are smaller and they can be mounted on any work table. Amateur carpenters tend to get bench top jointers as they are more affordable and don’t take up as much space.
What are planers?
A planer will be used to make sure that the thickness of the board is levelled from every end. It is slightly more complicated to use than a jointer, but from a functional perspective it is a lot simpler. An already flattened board will be pushed into the planer, the rollers will grab onto the board making it go through the cutter head that will level the board in terms of thickness. The thing with planers is that there is a limit to how much wood it will remove in one pass; you probably will have to pass multiple times.
In conclusion, a jointer will help you make any kind of surface completely flat and the edges squared up, whereas the planer will help you make the thickness uniform across the board, and you can’t really use these functions interchangeably between the two machines. Both machines will help you achieve perfection when it comes to carpentry.