Safety Rules for Jointers


Jointers are used to smooth and create edges on stock lumber, according to the website of the Kansas City Woodworkers Guild. This is accomplished with a high-speed cutting head made of multiple knives. These rotating knives can be extremely dangerous if you do not follow safety precautions.

Understand the Jointer

  • Understand the parts of the jointer and how they work. This includes the cutterhead and the cutterhead guard, the fence locks and tilt lock screws and outfeed table. The proper adjustment of these components plays a part in the safe operation of the jointer. Follow adjustment instructions in the product manual for safe operation.

Prepare the Area

  • Make sure the area around the jointer is clear of people and obstructions. This includes making sure the floor is clear of any items that would impede traction or could cause the operator to stumble. The operator should not wear loose fitting clothing, and should always have the proper eye and ear protection in place.

Prepare the Jointer

  • Confirm that the guards are in place before doing anything else with the jointer. Set the thickness of the cut to no more than 1/16 of an inch. Make sure all adjustments are locked into place before starting the jointer operation.

The Wood

  • The size of the wood plays a part in the safe operation of the jointer. Pieces less than 12 inches in length should never run through a jointer. Boards that are wider than the length of the cutting blades should not be run through the jointer. Wood thinner than 5/8 of an inch should not be run through the jointer.


  • Feed the wood through the jointer in the direction of the grain. Use your right hand to hold the piece of wood down while you push the wood forward with your left hand. Use a push stick to move the last portion of the piece through the jointer. Your hands should never pass directly over the cutterhead.

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