Frustration with Rikon benchtop jointer

Discussion in 'The DIY Tool Shed' started by GotTheSilver, May 15, 2021.

  1. GotTheSilver

    GotTheSilver Tele-Meister

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    I bought the 6" Rikon benchtop jointer, model 20-600H, a couple of years ago. This is my first jointer. At first, I was very happy with it. Out of the box, it performed very well. Then I left it on the shelf for several months before using it again. When I pulled it out, the tables were misaligned and needed to be adjusted. I spent a lot of time aligning the tables, using the four screws on each table. Using these four screws is a very time consuming and frustrating way of aligning the tables. I have since learned that most jointers do not use this method of aligning tables.

    So I got the tables aligned and was able to use the jointer. I then put it back on the shelf. About two months later, I pulled it out to use it again and again the tables were misaligned! I spent a lot of time trying to align the tables before finally accepting the fact that I now cannot bring the outfeed table into alignment with the cutter heads! The front of the table is fine, but the back of the table is higher than the cutters even with the adjustment screw at the end of its travel range. I cannot bring the back of the table down any lower, and it is still just a bit higher than the cutter heads!!! This makes the tool useless.

    Using my straightedge I can also see that neither of the tables are completely flat. I realized it was like this from the start, but I was able to make good cuts so it was not a problem. Now that I am having the table alignment problem, this is just that much more frustrating.

    Also, the HSS cutters have worn out much more quickly than I would have expected. They now leave ridges all down the surface of the wood, instead of a nice smooth surface. Given how infrequently I use this jointer, I would have expected them to last longer. Repositioning them to a fresh edge is easy, but they only have two cutting edges instead of the four that other jointers have. Not to mention that Rikon sells replacement cutters in packs of 10, while the tool actually uses 12 cutters!!!

    I am extremely disappointed in Rikon. My perception of them in the past is that they produce quality products for a bit less money than companies like Jet. I have a Rikon benchtop bandsaw and a Rikon benchtop belt sander. I have never had any problems with either of those tools.

    Anyone else have problems with this jointer, or one of the identical ones sold under different names?
     
  2. guitarbuilder

    guitarbuilder Telefied Ad Free Member

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    This is not an answer to the question. It is just my perception based on teaching shop and buying machines for it all those years. Cast Iron rules.

    Benchtop jointers are not a machine that I would expect to work flawlessly. If you want a good quality jointer you have to pay for it. My first jointer was a Crapsman 6"...good for nothing but a boat anchor. It had no adjustable outfeed, and had a 4 bolt adjustable infeed. The fence was warped from the beginning. I couldn't get an acceptable joint that I thought was professional grade. I sold that off and bought a Jet.

    This was 30+ years ago and Jet was just starting out. I still have it and it works pretty well for an early MIC machine. For light duty use, I would look for something like a Delta/Rockwell/Powermatic type.


    This is what I consider to be a jointer. I never had one with the parallelogram adjustment, just wheels, but Grizzly has had them for decades now.


    delta.png

    Grizzly Industrial 14 Amp/7 Amp 6 in. Corded Jointer with Cabinet Stand-G0814 - The Home Depot


    Jet 708457DXK JJ-6CSDX, 6" Deluxe Jointer with QS Knives (toolup.com)


    As far as Rikon is concerned, I've seen enough companies go out of business over the years to avoid most anything that wasn't in business 20 years ago( Craftsman not included). Having the ability to buy parts is an important aspect of machine buying. That eliminates a lot of brands. That narrows things down to Jet or Grizzly.
     
    Last edited: May 15, 2021
    RogerC likes this.
  3. GotTheSilver

    GotTheSilver Tele-Meister

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    I hear what you are saying, Marty, and I agree with you. I'd love to buy a full sized 8" helical head jointer right now, but I'm planning on buying a new house hopefully this Fall, so I don't really want to buy a new big tool right now. But when I get into the new house, I plan to replace my benchtop tools (jointer, bandsaw and tablesaw) with full size, quality tools over time. I can't wait for that, but right now I have to wait. Problem is, I don't know what to do in the meantime. I was just starting to build myself a new breakfast table, but am now at a standstill without a working jointer.
     
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