The Ridgid model JP0610 6″ Jointer is a welcome addition. It’s small footprint and reasonable price make it the perfect choice for the small home shop. With a 1 HP TEFC induction motor, a 6 1/8″ x 45″ bed, and 225 lb. heft, it can do the job. The fence is a good length at just under 30″ and dust collection is very good when the 4″ port is hooked up to a dust collection system. There is even a place to store the included push blocks and angle gauge on board the base.
If you were to ask most woodworkers for their advice on which jointer to buy, you would get a diverse range of answers. However, one common recommendation will usually be to bypass the 6″ size and go straight to 8″ or larger if you can afford it. Well, what if you can’t really afford it? Then a 6″ jointer is your only option and you have a nice group to choose from. I chose the Ridgid because of the abundance of great features for the price. Home Depot carries this model for around $400 but I’ve seen it on sale there for $349 on occasion. I got mine at a woodworking show as a refurbished model from Ridgid for a bit under $300. I consider it quite a bargain for the amount of tool you get in this jointer.
I like the small footprint it has because I am limited on space in my shop. The bed is a good size and the fence is a nice length in comparison to other models. The fence adjusts in two ways: the bevel angle can be changed in both directions (with stops at 45, 90, and 135 degrees), and it can be moved across the width of the bed to increase or decrease the amount of cutterhead exposed (up to 6 and 1/8 inches). The infeed table adjustment is a nice handwheel with smooth action. The dust port is 4″ and I highly recommend the use of a dust collection system when using this machine (or any jointer for that matter). On the down side, the included pushblocks are a little on the small side and the angle gauge is not very accurate (made out of plastic).
Assembly and setup is fairly easy but not really a one person job as the bed is very heavy. I was able to adjust the fence to be perfectly perpendicular to the bed and set the stop for repeatability. The outfeed table was dead on level with the blades so no adjustment was needed there at all. In use this jointer does a great job. It is powerful and makes beautiful, smooth cuts on most woods. I’ve had some tearout on figured woods like curly maple but that’s to be expected. If you run boards through with attention to grain direction you will have excellent results!
To summarize, this is an excellent jointer for the price. I think it is better to have a 6″ jointer and need an 8″ at some point than to have no jointer at all. The small size and quality of this jointer make it a “no brainer” for the smaller shop. I am very happy with this machine and would buy it again if I had to do it over. Considering the bargains that out there for this model it is easily the most bang for the buck in it’s class.