JET has incorporated the best feature of benchtop planers into their JWP-15DX Planer: quick-change, self-indexing knives. It’s a stroke of genius in my book. You’ll never face the hassle of tweaking jack screws, retightening gib bars or correcting uneven knife settings with this cutterhead. Swapping knives is a breeze. Simply unbolt the top plate, remove two steel bars over each knife, and lift the knives out with the included magnetic knobs. The knives have two slotted holes that fit over a pair of pins on the cutterhead, which registers them automatically. They shift left and right slightly to adjust for nicks. I removed and replaced one of the knives in less than five minutes flat. These knives are also double-edged and disposable. They cut clean, smooth surfaces on the test lumber at both speeds, and chip collection was quite tidy.
I was less impressed with the steel-frame, roller support tables. They were finicky to adjust level with the planer’s bed, but they do provide plenty of workpiece support once you get them set up properly.
Casters in the base make it easier to move this heavy tool around, and they lock with a foot pedal. The JET also sets the low bar of pricing for the group at $1,249. Given its easy knife changing and an attractive price, the JWP-15DX has a leg up on its similar cousins in this test.