There are five different Jet planer models available at the moment, plus one planer/molder. Jet currently does not offer a portable planer like many other manufacturers do; all of these are full-size floor models with stands. Each of these woodworking planers come with cast iron tables, dual speed feed rates, and totally-enclosed fan cooled motors. Overall they get really good reviews, with very few owners reporting any reliability issues. They are heavy, solidly built, quality machines that are well suited for both the hobbyist and the professional.
The smallest and least expensive model is the JPM-13CS Jet planer molder. This model has a 13" width capacity and a 6-1/8" height capacity. It comes with a 1.5 HP motor that can be wired for either 115V or 230V. The Jet JPM-13CS uses three knives in the cutter head, and offers feed rates of either 10 or 20 feet per minute. It has built-in lockable casters that allow the machine to be moved around the shop as needed, and is the only Jet model that also accepts molding blades.
Reviews are good on the Jet planer molder, averaging 4.3 stars on Amazon (click to view) with 20 owners reporting at the moment (this model is listed twice, and there is one duplicate review). Woodcraft has two reviews, an both are 4-stars. There is an additional 2-star review where the owner actually has an older version of the machine that did not come with the dust port or the infeed/outfeed supports that are now included, and those two items were his main gripes. CPO Tools shows 5 reviews that average 4.6 stars, and Rockler has a 4-star review. Here are some of the comments from the various reviews and forum posts:
- For the hobbyist or the small shop that can't afford a dedicated planer and a separate molder, the Jet JMP-13CS is the answer. Great machine. - Andy
- I highly recommend this unit. - Dave
- Over all I have been happy with it... One thing that I don't like is how the speeds are changed. You must remove two gears and swap their positions. - John
- I've had one for about 1-1/2 years and it has handled everything I've thrown at it. I've sent plenty of rough 8/4 walnut, oak and mahogany through it and never had the slightest problem. - Tom J.
- It's a solid and reliable machine... I can strongly recommend the Jet planer molder. - Tom V.
- I have this planer and love it. - Chris
- It's a nice machine, always has been. - Mike
- My Jet JMP-13CS works like a champ. No complaints here. - Dan
One reviewer above noted that you have to swap gears to change speeds, which several other folks mentioned. Changing the feed speed requires turning the machine off, removing a cover and swapping greasy gears, then replacing the cover. Not the most convenient thing in the world! Another thing to be aware of is that like many other woodworking planers, the height is adjusted by moving the table up and down. This makes it difficult to add extended infeed or outfeed supports to the Jet planer molder.
Going up one step in price is the JWP-16OS. This Jet wood planer has a 16" width capacity and a 6" height capacity. It comes with a 3 HP, 230V motor and an open stand. The Jet JWP-16OS uses 3 knives in the cutter head, and offers feed rates of either 16 or 20 feet per minute. The speed is changed by moving a lever while the machine is running, which is much better than the gear-swapping procedure that the Jet molder planer above requires.
The JWP-16OS does not have the built-in casters like all the other Jet wood planer models, but it is also the only Jet model that has a fixed table. That makes it easy to add extra-length infeed and outfeed supports to help prevent snipe.
Amazon has 6 reviews of the Jet JWP-16OS at the moment, averaging 3.8 stars. A single one-star reviewer had some sort of a defect or adjustment issue that caused the belts to burn up twice with just a few hours of use, but I didn't find any others with the same issue. Everyone else seems to be quite happy with the Jet JWP-16OS, although several owners noted that the components are very heavy and it takes several people (or a hoist) to assemble it. There is also a 5-star review at CPO Tools. A couple of owner comments from the forums:
- I've got the Jet JWP-16OS and am very happy with it! I've had it for nearly two years and it has worked flawlessly with my moderate use... Good planer for the money and I have no complaints. - Nick
- I have this machine and love it so far... I haven't had any trouble. It is made very well. - Mike
Next up the Jet planer ladder (price-wise, anyway) we have two 15" models, the JWP-15DX and JWP-15HH. They both have a 14-7/8" width capacity and a 6" height capacity, with a 3 HP motor. They have fully enclosed cabinets with built-in lockable casters. The lever-operated 2-speed gearbox gives you a 16 or 20 feet per minute feed rate. Both of these Jet planers have stock return rollers on the top of the unit, which is very convenient when making multiple passes.
The main difference between them is in the cutter heads. The JWP-15DX has a 3-blade cutter head with quick-change, self-adjusting knives, saving time and aggravation during blade changes. The JWP-15HH has a helical cutter head, with 68 individual blades. The helical cutter head is a big advantage if you are planing figured wood, as it will give you less tearout. A helical head planer is also much quieter than a straight-knife planer. The JWP-15HH also comes with solid cast iron table extensions instead of the roller extensions of the JWP-15DX.
There aren't a ton of reviews out there for either of these Jet wood planer models. Amazon, WoodCraft, Rockler, etc. don't currently have any reviews for the JWP-15DX, but I did find a few owners that commented on them other places:
- This Jet planer has plenty of power to take care of hardwoods without hesitation. I like the table locks, the rollers on the top to transfer the wood to the other side after planing, and the built in casters. Two thumbs up to Jet for the design and quality of this machine! family1
- I have the Jet JWP-15DX planer and love it... this planer can handle anything I put through it. - Jim
- I have the 15" Jet planer and it really is great! It does a very smooth job and will pull big boards no problem. - Mark
Two others on the Sawmill Creek forum said they used to own one, and their comments are, "very good tool", and "nary a complaint, did everything I asked it to do with good results."
The JWP-15HH has a single 5 star review on Amazon, where the owner comments that it is extremely quiet. He has a friend with a Powermatic 3-knife planer, and his friend brings wood over to have it planed on the helical head Jet because it leaves a smoother finish! The only negative thing he had to say was that the casters don't swivel, they only roll in a straight line.
Finally, that brings us to the big Jet planers. The JWP-208-1 has a 20" width capacity and an 8" height capacity. It comes with a 3 HP motor, an enclosed stand, and 3-roller table extensions (although two of the rollers are missing from each extension in the photo!). The 2-speed lever-operated gearbox gives you a 24 or 31 feet per minute feed rate. It has 4 knives in the cutter head, and has stock return rollers on top of the machine.
The Jet JWP-208-1 currently has 4 reviews on Amazon, averaging an excellent 4.8 out of 5 stars. There is also a 5-star review on the Rockler website. Comments are:
- I am very satisfied... Powerful, firm feed, and superb finish... I especially noticed practically no snipe... The Jet planer is a very substantial machine. - James
- Cuts efficiently, I like the top rollers for moving the stock quickly back into feed... I have been very pleased with this planer... I feel it has performed well. - Wild Alaskan
- Operation is intuitive and fit and finish on the machine is very nice... I would highly recommend this machine... - W. Lawrence
One reviewer had the plastic chip deflector break from a large chip, but Jet took care of it quickly under warranty. Two of the reviewers lamented that the table moves up and down (again, like many other woodworking planers) making it difficult to add extra-length infeed and outfeed extensions.
The top of the line Jet planer is the JWP-208HH. It has the same specs as the JWP-208-1 above, except for a 5 HP motor, a helical cutter head, and solid cast iron table extensions. Amazon has a 5-star review of the JWP-208HH, and there is also a 5-star review of the earlier version. Both owners are really happy with it, but the owner of the earlier version felt like the 5 HP rating was a little optimistic. CPO Tools shows 2 reviews averaging 4.5 stars, and there is also a 4-star review on the CPO Tools website, where he says,
- "It is a horse, big and powerful. It smooths wood very quickly, has great infeed and outfeed tables. Not as smooth as I expected or got used to with a blade 14" planer. Bottom line, yes I would recommend it to a friend."
A Jet planer is a solid, reliable choice, no matter which version you choose. There is a 5-year warranty on all of the Jet planers, and many folks speak highly of their customer service. Pricing is right in line with their competition. To get detailed specs on all of the Jet planer models, visit the Jet Tools website. If you are in the market for a stationary model, you will also want to take a look at our Delta planers page just for comparison before you click the "Buy" button for a Jet planer.