10 Best Benchtop Mortiser- Reviews & Buyer’s Guide

Image of benchtop mortiser in useWoodworking is more of an art than an activity. This is because it involves numerous artistic designs that complement the overall appearance of your projects. You should also note these fantastic results are achievable using different woodworking machines or tools. In the case of mortising, the best benchtop mortiser is the ideal tool.

It is portable and can operate from different angles. You can also use it off the table, thanks to the adjustable head. These units can handle any wood type with ease. The benchtop mortisers also boast of the robust motor that provides immense power necessary for high-speed operations. The conveniently located controls eliminate the need for professionalism as you can also mortise as a hobby.

However, do not let these incredible features confuse you since not all the units are genuine. In this article, I’ve discussed some of the very best mortisers in the market. Additionally, I’ve included a buyer’s guide with all the necessary information that you should know about this tool going into the market. Read on to find more:

List of the Best Best Benchtop Mortiser

1. Powermatic 1791310 Horsepower Bench Mortiser

With the Powermatic 1791310 Horsepower Bench Mortiser, you won’t have to rack your machine down to the base to stop at preset depths. This is all possible with the inline depth stop. You will also experience fatigue less changing of the handle from one side to the other as it’s reversible, versatile, and does not require any tool to do so.

Additionally, you will have quick setups, thanks to the two integrated bit and chisel spacers. This machine also features a stock hold down with a double lock system that holds the workpiece in place to prevent slippage. By only making one 90 degrees movement, you can quickly lock the fence in position using the quick-action cam lock.

The 1791310 also boasts its ½” chuck, which firmly holds the bit and chisel while operating. You will also have quick access to the chuck using the large, hinged chuck door with a magnetic catch. This unit’s most outstanding feature is the potent 3/4 HP motor that works quietly to produce an immense operating speed that reaches 1725 rpm. 

Summary of the key features

  • Inline depth stop.
  • Large chuck door.
  • Rugged reversible handle.
  • Adjustable fence system.
  • Large work surface.
  • Chisel and tool holder.
  • Sharpening stone.
  • Double lock system.
  • Reversible handle.

Image of best benchtop mortiserPros

  • No slippage.
  • Easy chuck access.
  • No racking.
  • You require no tool for installation.
  • Simple fence adjustments.
  • Excellent stability and accuracy.
  • High operating speeds.
  • Quick setup.

Cons

  • It only reaches a maximum of 1725 rpm.
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2. Delta 14-651 1/2″ Mortiser

 Save on your work time with the Delta 14-651 1/2″ Mortiser. This impressive unit is very easy to set up and operate. The effortless setup is facilitated by the ⅜” capacity drill chuck and the adjustable rack and pinion fence. It also includes a multi-position hand lever and a rotating mortising head that makes tricky off-table projects seem easy. You will also use it to punch smooth mortises in a range of stock such as hardwoods.

That’s not the end of these fantastic features since this product also has a height attachment, which increases the mortiser capacity by 1¾”. If this is not enough, turn the tool’s head to 180 degrees to mortise off the table. The 14-651’s head also features a dovetail option for intricate jobs.

Being powered by a ½ horsepower single-phase induction motor, this product guarantees professional results no matter the type of wood. It can operate with high feed speeds of up to 1725 rotations per minute, while you use the multi-position feed lever to match the correct position for the job.

Summary of the key features

  • Large cast iron base.
  • Rotatable mortising head.
  • Adjustable dovetail way, fence, and hold down.
  • Robust motor.
  • Multi-positioning feed level.
  • 1725 rpm.
  • Safety fence.
  • Adjustable depth.
  • Autolock down depth.

Benchtop mortiserPros

  • Easy bit and chisel changing.
  • Effective control and stability.
  • Wide working area.
  • Durable.
  • Smooth and steady operations.
  • Easy engaging and releasing.
  • Suitable for any woodworking venture.

Cons

  • The chuck capacity is only at ⅜”.
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3. JET JBM-5 Benchtop Mortiser, 1/2″ capacity, 1/2HP (708580)

It’s time to get professional with the best benchtop mortiser in today’s market. Indeed, no unit compares to the JET JBM-5 model (708580). This machine provides flexibility as you can use it on either a bench or an independent stand. Besides, it has a rugged construction that provides consistency, stability, and durability.

If you have incompetent woodworkers or your workshop is prone to access by kids. Worry not, because this fantastic unit features a removable on/off toggle switch. You can use this feature to prevent accidental or unauthorized use of the tool. Reposition the feed handle for more comfortable operation and optimum handle position using the long, multi-position mortising handle.

The 708580 flaunts its robust three-jaw drill chuck, which keeps a positive grip on the mortising bits with up to ⅜” diameter shanks. This ensures that you comfortably work on large wood pieces with a guaranteed output. Among these outstanding features, I also had to include the potent motor that produces up to 0.5 HP, which results in lightning-fast operating speeds of up to 1725 RPM. 

Summary of the key features

  • Rack and pinion head adjustment.
  • Adjustable depth stop.
  • Optimum handle position.
  • Reversible column.
  • Removable on/off toggle switch.
  • On-bench and stand operation.
  • Drill chuck.
  • It weighs 44 pounds.

Image of the Best Benchtop MortiserPros

  • Great head stroke.
  • Easy to change bits.
  • Effortless access to the chunk.
  • No banging or scraping knuckles.
  • Rugged construction.
  • Compact and lightweight.
  • Mortises larger stock.
  • Solid performance.

Cons

  • It only takes up to ½” chisel bits.
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4. Shop Fox W1671 Heavy-duty Mortising Machine

The shop fox brand did not lag. That’s why on my fourth item, I have the Shop Fox W1671 Heavy-duty Mortising Machine. This incredible unit is designed to address all the frustrations with other models on the market. And that’s why it comes with a ¾ HP motor. It also incorporates other additional features like the ½” drill chuck that fears no size of the workpiece.

Suppose you need to mortise more extensive stock with extra height and depth capacity for off the bench operations. Please leave it to this unique mortising machine since it has an incomparable swiveling base feature. In just a few straightforward steps, you can set up to achieve off the bench operations and open new possibilities for custom mortises. 

With the heavy cast iron base, this unit provides you with a 6″ x 16″ table for solid support and stability. The exceptional fence and cast iron hold-down diminishes the unwanted wood movement and prevents chisels from getting stuck, a common issue when trying to mortise using non-dedicated machines.

Summary of the key features

  • Doble support columns.
  • Swiveling base.
  • Extra height and depth.
  • Quick-adjust depth stop.
  • Solid steel positioning handle.
  • Dual chuck access door.
  • Double support columns.
  • Gas spring return.
  • Rack and pinion elevation system.

Image of a benchtop mortiserPros

  • Micro-adjustable fence.
  • Powerful ¾ HP motor.
  • 2-year warranty.
  • Adjustable depth stop.
  • Removable key.
  • Safety switch.
  • Adjustable long handle.
  • Easy to use.

Cons

  • The maximum stock width is only 8”.
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5. Powermatic 1791264K Model 719T Tilt Table Mortiser

The Powermatic 1791264K Model 719T Mortiser sticks true to its name by providing powerful performance on different wood types. This is geared up by the strong and durable cast iron construction and a powerful 1-HP motor that offers adequate power for most demanding jobs. The head is mounted using adjustable gibs to assure prolonged work time with trouble-free service.

The Powermatic 1791264K also features a heavy rack and pinion gearing mechanism that uses a spring-loaded six position adjustable handle to initiate movement. With this efficient tool, you rest assured with uniform depths of mortise using the handy depth stop. It also has a large 20¼” x 7″, which gives plenty of work support and adjusts to any angle between 0 and 35 degrees.

Additionally, you can move the table left to right or forward and back in dovetail ways using the large handwheel controls. This tool’s most iconic feature is the adjustable linear stops and flip down stop that allows for precision repeatability. Lastly is the quick-adjust clamp that ensures you have plenty of work-holding force, and it swivels to accommodate angled workpieces.

Summary of the key features

  • Onboard storage compartment.
  • Robust 1 HP motor.
  • Rack and pinion gearing system.
  • Adjustable handle.
  • Gas-filled shock.
  • Table and fence tilt.
  • Adjustable depth stops.
  • Wooden table.

Image of benchtop mortiserPros

  • It included operating instructions.
  • Work stop assembly.
  • The table can move left, right, forward, or backward.
  • 5-year custom warranty.
  • Precise repetition.
  • It accommodates angled workpieces.
  • Smoother mortising operations.

Cons

  • It’s a bit heavy.
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6. Grizzly Industrial G0846

Are you tired of mortising using the standard mortising machines, especially for the most demanding woodworking tasks? Well, roll the Grizzly Industrial G0846 into your workshop, and you will never experience those time-consuming setups common to the traditional units. Adding this horizontal boring machine to your shop will let you enjoy the 20″ x 8″ precision ground cast iron table that is fitted with a cam locking clamp to secure the workpiece.

This exceptional table can glide through the two hardened V-shaped ways with the four-ball bearings’ help to facilitate smooth, effortless motion. The bearing tracks are incorporated with two “X” direction stops and one “Y” direction stop, ideal for repeatable operations.

Additionally, the X-axis integrates an indexing bar that provides up to four different spacing patterns. This renders the Grizzly Industrial G0846 mortiser the most accurate, efficient unit among the best benchtop mortisers. It ensures that you never get disappointed when cutting lots of mortises. All gratitude goes to its vigorous and efficient 2 HP motor that also prolongs its usage.

Summary of the key features

  • Powerful 2 HP motor.
  • 10¾” maximum stock thickness.
  • 12½” longitudinal travel.
  • 5½” vertical travel.
  • Hardened V ways.
  • Large cast iron table.
  • Compact design.
  • Convenient control system.

Image of benchtop mortiserPros

  • Easy to use.
  • Durable.
  • Quick operations.
  • It has increased capability and production.
  • Four spacing patterns.
  • Movable table.
  • Large working space.

Cons

  • The table cross travel measures only 6”.
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7. RIKON Professional Power Tools Benchtop X/Y Mortiser, 34-260

The 34-260 X/Y mortiser is another outstanding unit from RIKON Power Tools manufacturers. It is an ideal tool for benchtop mortising as it allows for precision positioning of your work. This is achievable using the sliding table that can glide in the X and Y axes. The powerful ½ HP motor ensures that you finish all your mortises in no time, with speeds up to 1750 RPM. The high speeds facilitate quick cuts even in the toughest woods without stalling.

At only 93.5 pounds, the 34-260 tends to be so light to facilitate job site portability. You can also use this unit with dovetail column ways with an adjustable stop for solid, consistent cutting of multiple mortises. This comes with a guaranteed safety on your consistent work since the tool has a gas-filled stabilizer that helps control the downward and upward chisel motion during operation.

What you will enjoy most about this machine is the way you can take control of all the operations using the X – Y directional table with stops that provide ultimate positioning control for boring mortises. This also lets you focus on your work since it has other essential control mechanisms conveniently located on the machine.

Summary of the key features

  • Gas-filled stabilizer.
  • Dovetail columns ways.
  • ½ HP motor.
  • X – Y directional table.
  • Tool holder.
  • Precise sliding table.
  • Shank chisels.
  • Table clamp.
  • Portable.
  • 1750 RPM.

Rikon benchtop mortiserPros

  • Precision positioning.
  • No stalling.
  • Ideal for multiple mortises.
  • It has a regulatable up and downward chisel motion.
  • Compact and lightweight.
  • Easy to operate.
  • Safe to use.
  • Adjustable stops.

Cons

  • It operates with a maximum of only 1750 RPM.
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8. Grizzly Industrial G0840

Grizzly has just introduced the Industrial G0840 as one of their latest designs. It comes with numerous features that are worth its price. In this unit, you will find a unique rack and pinion controlled forward/backward tilting table. There is also a right/left tilting headstock and a wheel controlled X/Y table. This combination makes Grizzly G0840 a perfect tool for the hard to reach areas and tricky compound angles.

A machine with all these features requires a robust motor, and this is what the Grizzly Industrial G0840 is offering. It integrates a 1 HP motor that provides a continuous runtime with fewer vibrations. Besides, you will work on all of your toughest jobs with ease since this product has a chisel capacity ranging between ¼” to 1”. 

With the G0840, you have no reason to leave a pending project as it features a 21¼” x 7½” table that has a 5¼” of longitudinal travel, 11″ of cross travel, and two large hold-down that prevent unwanted movements. And as a customer favorite unit, Grizzly G0840 has a large capacity cast iron frame mounted on top of a sturdy steel metal to provide durability and stability, especially when handling hard to mortise materials.

Summary of the key features

  • ⅝” chuck capacity.
  • Powder-coated finish.
  • Adjustable work stops.
  • Rack and pinion headstock.
  • Vertical spindle travel.
  • 3580 RPM.
  • 1 HP motor.
  • Large table size.
  • Cast iron frame.
  • Hold down clamps.

Benchtop MortiserPros

  • X and Y moving table.
  • Onboard storage.
  • Tilting column.
  • Mortises hard to reach areas.
  • High-speed operations.
  • Ideal for all wood types.
  • Adjustable handle.

Cons

  • It’s a bit pricey.
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9. VEVOR Woodworking Mortise Machine, 1/2 HP 1700RPM Powermatic Mortiser

As a woodworker, the VEVOR Mortise Machine is a tool that you cannot afford to miss in your workshop. This unit offers reliability from its full metal copper motor, with nested wind plates ideal for removing wood chips while the rear end helps make the drilling smoother. This tool also saves you energy during operation, thanks to the 20″ / 50 cm ultra-long handle, which pushes down the large gear to run.

With the VEVOR mortising machine, you have no reason to worry about your safety. This is guaranteed by the safety switch, which you can use immediately. Consequently, this switch can terminate the operation in case of an emergency. The movable cast iron workbench can glide either back and forth or left and right, depending on how you want to mortise your workpiece. This bench is also wear-resistant and durable, and it can quickly clamp the workpiece to achieve precise cutting.

That can’t be enough since this product has other outstanding features like the additional chisel set, which includes a 13mm drill chuck with a stable drill, a wrench for installing the drill clamp, a ⅜” tenon, a chisel holder, and four hex wrenches. You should also note that this mortiser machine is multi-purpose since you can also use it for processing metallic materials, unlike its primary purpose of woodworking. This is an added feature that categorizes this machine among the best benchtop mortisers. 

Summary of the key features

  • It is made of cast iron and steel.
  • Three jaw key holder.
  • Quick set depth limiters.
  • Movable workbench.
  • Additional chisel set.
  • ½ HP all copper motor.
  • 1700 RPM.
  • Safety switch.
  • Long handle design.

Image of a benchtop mortiserPros

  • Easy to maintain and clean.
  • Sturdy and easy to handle.
  • Safe to use.
  • Labor-saving design.
  • Extra accessories.
  • Multi-purpose machine.
  • It is widely used.

Cons

  • It can only reach a maximum of 1700 RPM.
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10. WEN 43012 5-Amp Cast Iron Bench Mortiser with Chisel Bit Se

If you are a professional woodworker, then WEN 43012 5-Amp Cast Iron Bench Mortiser with Chisel Bit Set is what you have been missing. This incredible tool comes with numerous features that are ideal for all mortising applications. For instance, it has a 5 amp motor with ½” chuck, which provides up to 1725 rotations per minute. This unit can also create mortises up to 3″ deep using the 4¼” spindle travel.

With a spacious chuck, the WEN 43012 can accept bits anywhere from 1/32″ to ½,” giving you the necessary versatility to take on any project. If you prefer making either fine-tune or large scale adjustments, you can use the spring-loaded fence. Besides, you will enjoy adjusting the head since it returns quickly and smoothly. This precision machine also allows you to work on large workpieces as it has a workpiece hold down that accepts thicknesses up to 3½”.

Unlike the ordinary mortisers, which have a rotating handle that can collide with the workpiece, the 43012 has an adjustable feed handle, which rotates freely, preventing collision with the workpiece. It springs back into place once you have selected your optimal start and stop points. This product also has guaranteed safety since the onboard depth stop prevents you from drilling past your intended distance. This is a very genuine reason why you need this machine in your shop.

Summary of the key features

  • Spring-loaded protective.
  • Cast iron base.
  • 5 amp motor.
  • 1725 rotations per minute.
  • 4¼” spindle travel.
  • 3” maximum depth.
  • Spacious table.
  • Onboard storage.
  • Additional accessories.
  • 4” max stock thickness.

benchtop mortiserPros

  • Easy to use.
  • Lightweight.
  • Spacious chuck.
  • Versatile.
  • Large working table.
  • Convenient controls.

Cons

  • It only takes stock thickness up to 4”.
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Best Benchtop Mortiser Buyers’ Guide

If you are an expert, an amateur, or a hobbyist in woodworking, you need to have the best benchtop mortiser. As seen from the above reviews, the mortisers play a significant role in your finished projects. Therefore, it will be best to know the reasons and essential factors you should contemplate before purchasing.

Let’s get a glimpse of some of them.

Why You Need the Best Benchtop Mortiser

  • Easy to use. You don’t have to be a professional. These units have a well-located control system that simplifies the entire operation.
  • High performance. Despite the compact design, these products offer excellent performance on all wood types.
  • Lightweight. You can never get tired of working since the mortisers are very light to prevent fatigue.
  • Large work area. These products can comfortably handle large workpieces, thanks to the extensive cast iron table.
  • Multifunctional. You can operate these machines from different angles by simply rotating the head.
  • Onboard storage. You don’t have to stress about your extra chisels and other accessories since these items have an onboard storage compartment.
  • High speed. With these tools, you have guaranteed high-speed operations to complete your mortises in no time.
  • Durable. They are made of very rigid material that resists wear and can withstand job site toucher.
Watch the video below on using benchtop mortiser:

Factors to Consider When Buying The Best Benchtop Mortiser

  • Inbuilt storage

With an inbuilt storage compartment, you can never lose any of your accessories. Besides, it saves time since you have all of your necessary equipment right in the onboard case. However, some units have an integral chisel and tool holder instead of an ordinary storage box.

  • Mortising head

The mortising head holds the chisel that is used in mortising. Some units have fixed heads, while some are rotatable. I recommend you go for the one with a rotating head since you can adjust it, especially when dealing with hard-to-mortise materials or off the table projects.

  • Hand lever

The hand lever should rotate freely without colliding with the workpiece. It should be flexible so that you can move it with ease. This enables it to match the correct position for the job.

  • Depth stop

A good benchtop mortiser should have an adjustable depth stop. This feature ensures that you never cut deep by locking down in case you over the drill. The best part is that it works automatically, so you don’t have to make manual adjustments.

  • Motor

With a vigorous motor, your machine will operate at high speeds ensuring that you finish your projects on time. However, due to the difference in designs, the motor ratings differ from one unit to another. The standard ratings range between ½ HP to 2½” HP.

  • Work area

The working area is a crucial feature that you should contemplate. Go for a unit with a large working table so that you comfortably handle even the large workpieces. Your machine should have a large work surface on both fence and table.

  • Safety switch

The safety switch prevents the accidental or unauthorized use of the machine. It also protects the tool from getting damaged.

  • Rotating table

It would help if you chose a mortiser with a rotating table that glides either in the “X” or “Y” axes for maximum output. This means that it should move either forward and back or side to side.

The safety switch prevents the accidental or unauthorized use of the machine. It also protects the tool from getting damaged.

Conclusion

The best benchtop mortisers are the best you can have for mortising applications. I guarantee you that you will always celebrate the results each time you use these units. They are integrated with handy features that contribute to their effectiveness.

Among these features are the X and Y axes table, safety switch, drill chuck, quick adjustable depth stop, and a powerful motor. But from my research and experience, I choose the Powermatic 1791310 Horsepower Bench Mortiser since it offers more than just mortising.

Having acquired all this knowledge from this detailed article, I hope you are now ready to face the market and choose the tool that suits your mortising demands. I wish you all the best.