New Porter Cable 6" Jointer - Nicked Blades - Keep or Return ?

Ziggy587

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Hey, everyone.

I just got the Porter Cable 6" jointer (model PC160JT). I knew it wouldn't be competing with something of a more professional grade, but it seems to get decent reviews from people using it on the hobby level. It has 4.5 stars (out of 5) on Amazon, with over 1,500 reviews.

So I just got to using it for the first time. I passed the edge of a board through it a few times, looked like a nice clean cut. Then I passed the face of a board through it, about 3.5" wide. I passed the face once or twice and it looked OK, then after further passes I started to notice notches on the wood. I inspected the blades and they have a few nicks in them. There was absolutely NO nails or anything in these boards, just wood. So I'm kind of pissed that the blades got nicked so fast and easily.

Now I'm trying to decide how to handle this.

I know I could get new blades for it, but I'd worry about the longevity of those blades. I wouldn't bother buying the replacement Porter Cable blades, since the set that came with the jointer nicked so easily I'm not sure if they'd be worth it. Are there any trustworthy blades that are compatible with this jointer?

Or should I just return this Porter Cable jointer and try and get something else? But I realize anything else in this price range is going to be as hit or miss as this one is.
 

Davecam48

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You could probably get a Helical blade drum but that would be quite expensive, but the results should be consistently excellent!

DC
 

telepraise

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If your jointer showed no signs of being previously used when you unboxed it, your easiest course of action would be to buy a replacement set of knives for $20. You can also shift the blades a bit, one to the left and one to the right say 1/8" so that the nicks in the knives don't line up. That will necessitate you getting good at setting up jointer knives (they have to be at the perfect elevation).

I had one of those jointers starting out before I graduated to free standing cast iron tool. You can get real clean surfaces off it with shorter stock but they are loud. Best to wear hearing protection and ALWAYS use the safety push blocks.
 

Tmcqtele65

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This jointer design has been around for years - I have the "exact same" one by Delta from the late 90's. The blades are available everywhere and fairly cheap....I'd pick up a set, and then maybe try to hone the ding out of the set you have.
 

guitarbuilder

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Get new knives. I'm pretty sure those won't shift Left or Right because of the way they mount and are probably disposable. I have found that today's jointer and planer knives are thinner and it could have been a knot that caused your nick. I'd just leave it for a while and get a scraper to knock off the raised wood. It won't be long before they'll be dull anyway. If you want longevity on knives you get a jointer that uses thicker steel knives that can be resharpened along with the hardware to allow them to be adjusted.
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schmee

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It sounds like they put soft steel cheap blades in the jointer for profits. I would NOT buy Porter Cable blades.
Yeah, PC used to be the Pro Grade small electric tools.......
My 6" jointer built an entire boat in the 80's......... I think I put blades in it once in 3 years of building and most my jointing was Teak.
 

Ziggy587

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OK, so I've decided to get new blades for now. I figure I could try new blades and still have time to return the jointer if I decide to.

I had one of those jointers starting out before I graduated to free standing cast iron tool. You can get real clean surfaces off it with shorter stock but they are loud. Best to wear hearing protection and ALWAYS use the safety push blocks.

Yes, I don't mess around with hearing protection anymore. From going through my teens and most of my 20's without caring about hearing protection, I've been exposed to my fair share of rehersals, live sets, and power tools. I have had some ringing in my ears for a long time now. If there's any noise at all, I can block it out. But if it's dead quiet, then I can hear the ringing and cannot tune it out. I don't want it to get any worse. Also, I've read that anytime you're exposed to something loud enough that it hurts your ears, you've just caused a small amount of permanent hearing loss for yourself. Over the years, these add up to a significant amount. Now I'm pretty much always wearing hearing protection. The other benefit of wearing ear muffs is you can pretend not to hear someone when they're talking to you LOL.

This jointer actually wasn't too loud on it's own, doing a 3/4" edge. But adding a dust collector to it made it MUCH louder, so much so that hearing protection isn't a question.

Porter Cable used to be a benchmark contractor grade company.
Not so much anymore.

They seem to be hit or miss now. I was really on the fence about getting this jointer, but it just had so many good reviews I thought it would be a safe bet. Some people say that with the jointer, it's hit or miss if you get a straight out feed table. I checked mine, and it seems to be good. So at least there's that. And for what it's worth, with the exception of the blades, it seems to be a well made machine.

I have a Porter Cable 18 gauge nail gun that I got some years back. I've heard people say their nail guns jam all the time. Well mine doesn't jam, but recently every now and then it'll stop shooting nails for seemingly no reason. I have to mess around with it for a few minutes, then it starts shooting nails again for unknown reasons. At least my Porter Cable pancake compressor never gave me any issues (knocks on wood).

I recently bought the Porter Cable 23 gauge pin nailer from a mom and pop tool shop. They were trying to sell me another brand, twice as much money, on the premise that you can get parts for it and have it serviced. The Porter Cable, they said, you can't get parts for and basically just throw it away when something happens to it. I got the Porter Cable anyway, since a pin nailer is a blue moon use for me.

I'm pretty sure those won't shift Left or Right because of the way they mount and are probably disposable.

Yes, I've noticed that. They have those square notches in the blade, I'm guessing for alignment, which would mean you cannot shift them left or right. Also, the screw holes are oblong but only in the direction to adjust the height.

I would NOT buy Porter Cable blades.

Exactly. But there's only two brands I can find that fit this machine. The Porter Cable brand, and "POWERTEC." So I got the POWERTEC blades from Amazon, they're supposed to be delivered today so I will see how it goes. I'm not going to hold back on using them. I figure if the POWERTEC blade set isn't good enough, then this jointer isn't worth keeping (if I have to replace blades so often).

I know it's a low end machine, but with how popular it is I'm surprised no one has come along and made an upgraded blade set for it.
 

gb Custom Shop

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I'm curious to know how the jointer is treating you with the new blades so far?
FWIW, I really wanted an 8" cast iron jointer, but was never feasible for me - too expensive and the large footprint wouldn't work for my shop. So I looked into benchtops, and there really isn't much out there with a cast iron fence & a true helical cutter head. For me, that's what I needed if I got a benchtop jointer. The only benchtops with a cast iron fence are just way too expensive, and I'd need an aftermarket helical head, which again are quite expensive.
I ended up investing in an older #7 plane and couldn't have been happier. I only really use it for edge jointing, but it was a fair price to pay for perfection & consistency.
 

Davecam48

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About a year and a bit ago I bought a 6" jointer branded VEVOR. It seems to be quite well built for the price (cheap!) I actually used it today first time for a long time, and was more than happy with the clean finish. If you are interested in purchasing a jointer they have 8" and 6" units. The 6" is ample for my purposes and works really well!

Warning!!! Jointers can remove a lot of fingers very quickly so please be very careful when using it and keep any youngsters well away from all your power tools!

DC
 




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