The jointer in my shop is a 6″ benchtop model that was made 10 years ago. I’m guessing that I’m the fourth person to own it and I have a suspicion that the blades have never been changed. It has been working fine for me and I didn’t know any better.
However, during the storage closet cabinet project, I ran the painted doors over the jointer to try and trim them down just a bit so they would close better. That put a HUGE dull spot/divot in my blades.
A quick visit to Amazon revealed that I could get new blades for $15. Sold!
I watched a few videos about jointer blade installation using various gizmos (or eyeballing it, etc) so I was a little nervous that I was about to embark on a soul-sucking endeavor. Thankfully it only took me an hour and I could probably do it in half that next time. I just followed the instructions in the manual and purposely didn’t use a dial indicator or any other precise measurement tool. Instead I went with the “If it looks straight, it is straight” approach. Why? Well before I took out the old blades, I checked to see how well they were adjusted. They were terrible and I had never noticed. The new blades were calibrated way better than that so I was already at a net gain for something I didn’t know I needed.
Comparing the old blades to the new blades is like comparing a butter knife to a steak knife. I should have done this long ago. The jointer feels like it has so much more power now and boards glide over the blades much easier.