It is curious to me that planers (and jointers) are often considered luxury tools. I know that you can get along without them but, like many tools – once you own one, you can’t even think of doing without. Some tools just make the process so much easier. I can’t even think through a process if I don’t have a combination square in my apron and a scraper in my back pocket. In the same way – a good planer just make a project easier.
Last July, JET Tools unveiled their new and improved 12-1/2″ planer, and it is a sure thing, in my opinion. The tool’s design takes advantage of the Powermatic and JET Tool affiliation. Using the best features from previous models offered by both brands, the new tool offers features like dual headlocks (not a wrestling move, but an engineering feature) to help eliminate snipe. Longer infeed and outfeed tables are fixed up with rollers to increase stability and allow the stock to move in and out of the machine more easily. It also has a newly designed cutting indicator that lets you see the depth of your cut before you start it.
I know, all planers do is make rough stock smooth and flat. But as an old farmer once said to me as I was working on his son’s farm: “A minute of preparation is worth an hour or power.” Old farmer’s say things like that – but I know what he was saying, and it applies well to woodworking. The JET 12-1/2″ planer is a basic bread-and-butter sort of power tool, built tough to work long and hard. This planer is a good choice for those looking to buy their first planer or those replacing an old war horse.