Updated: Aug 23
Mortising machines, or simply 'mortisers', are a must-have tool for any serious woodworker. These powerful machines make it easy to cut square or rounded rectangular holes, a fundamental task in joinery. Whether you're making furniture, cabinets, or crafting intricate designs, choosing the right mortiser can make a significant difference in your woodworking journey. Here, we'll highlight the 11 best mortisers of 2023 to help you make an informed decision.
Best Mortiser 2023 for Value
A tried and true favorite among woodworking enthusiasts, the Jet JBM-5 offers excellent performance and impressive durability. It features a heavy-duty cast-iron and steel construction that ensures it can withstand long hours of work.
The Jet Benchtop Mortising Machine (JBM-5) has long been a favorite among woodworking enthusiasts, and for good reasons. Known for its excellent performance, impressive durability, and sturdy construction, the JBM-5 also comes at a reasonable price.
At the heart of the Jet JBM-5 is a reliable 1/2 HP induction motor that provides plenty of power for various mortising tasks. Whether you're working on softwoods or hardwoods, this machine can deliver clean, precise mortises consistently.
The JBM-5 features heavy-duty cast-iron and steel construction, making it rugged and durable. This strong build not only ensures the machine can withstand long hours of work, but it also enhances its stability during operation. The result is reduced vibrations, leading to smoother cuts and better precision.
One of the key features is its long, multi-position mortising handle. This handle lets you adjust the position for a comfortable grip, ensuring easier operation and better control. It's especially beneficial during prolonged use, as it reduces fatigue and enhances precision.
The machine also features an adjustable depth stop, which ensures consistency across multiple cuts. This feature is especially useful for projects that require uniform mortises. Additionally, it comes with a three-jaw drill chuck, which securely holds a range of mortise drills for flexibility in your projects.
In summary, the Jet Benchtop Mortising Machine (JBM-5) offers an excellent blend of power, durability, affordability and user-friendly features. It's a reliable choice for both professionals and enthusiasts, promising consistent results and longevity. Whether you're just starting your woodworking journey or looking for a reliable workhorse to add to your workshop, the Jet JBM-5 is well worth considering.
Best Mortiser 2023: All Around
If versatility is what you seek, look no further than the Powermatic 719T. This mortiser offers a tilting head, which allows for angled mortising – a feature that is quite rare among mortisers.
The Powermatic 719T Tilting Mortiser stands out in the realm of mortising machines due to its unique versatility. Its tilting table feature, which is indeed quite rare among mortisers, allows for a new level of creativity and precision in your woodworking projects.
Powered by a strong 1 HP motor, the Powermatic 719T provides plenty of power to handle a wide variety of woods and cuts. But it's the machine's tilting head feature that truly distinguishes it from the crowd. The head can tilt from 0 to 30 degrees, allowing for angled mortises. This capability opens up a new world of possibilities in your woodworking projects, from crafting unique furniture designs to creating intricate joints.
In addition to the tilting table, the Powermatic 719T also features a sliding table that gives you even more flexibility when positioning your workpiece. This feature, combined with the tilting head, allows for precise positioning and movement, resulting in highly accurate mortises.
Stability is another strong point of the Powermatic 719T. The machine's heavy-duty cast iron base reduces vibrations during operation, resulting in smoother cuts. This is particularly useful when working on detailed or delicate projects where precision is paramount.
Other useful features include an adjustable depth stop for consistent, repeatable cuts, and a removable on/off switch that enhances safety by preventing accidental startups.
In summary, the Powermatic 719T Tilting Mortiser is the best mortiser on this list because of its versatile and powerful. This tool can take your woodworking projects to the next level. Its unique tilting table feature and other user-friendly design elements make it an excellent choice for both experienced professionals and ambitious hobbyists who seek to expand their woodworking capabilities.
The Grizzly Industrial G0846 Horizontal Mortiser is a robust and advanced tool that provides a level of flexibility and precision often unmatched in traditional benchtop mortisers.
It's designed for woodworkers who regularly perform complex mortising tasks, particularly those that require horizontal mortising.
Powered by a strong 1.5 HP motor, the G0846 provides enough power to handle a variety of hardwoods and extensive woodworking projects. With its capacity to perform both horizontal and vertical mortising, this machine truly stands out in terms of versatility.
One of the unique features of the G0846 is its X-Y-Z table. This allows you to move your workpiece along three axes – up and down, left and right, and forward and backward. This level of precision control makes it easier to create accurate and consistent mortises every time.
The Grizzly G0846 also features a table that tilts up to 30 degrees, allowing for angled mortising. This makes it possible to create complex joints with precision, such as those used in chair construction or custom furniture pieces.
In addition to its power and versatility, the G0846 is designed for durability and stability. The machine is built with a heavy-duty cast-iron base, reducing vibration during operation and ensuring cleaner and more precise cuts.
Other notable features include an adjustable depth stop for consistent mortising, a gas spring head support for smooth movement, and a dovetail column ways with adjustable stop for added precision.
In conclusion, the Grizzly Industrial G0846 Horizontal Mortiser is a versatile, powerful, and precision-focused tool that is perfect for serious woodworkers who demand more from their mortising machine. Whether you're a professional or a dedicated hobbyist, the G0846 can be a valuable addition to your woodworking arsenal.
Best Mortiser 2023 for Good Value
This machine by Shop Fox boasts a heavy-duty construction and a unique swiveling base for off-table mortising. It's perfect for tackling larger workpieces.
The Shop Fox W1671 Heavy-duty Mortising Machine is a robust and innovative tool designed to tackle larger workpieces with precision and ease. Its heavy-duty construction and unique features set it apart from many other models, making it an attractive choice for serious woodworkers and professionals.
Built for demanding tasks, the Shop Fox W1671 is equipped with a robust 1 HP motor, providing ample power for deep, clean cuts even in tougher woods. Its heavy-duty construction ensures stability during operation, reducing vibration and enhancing the precision of your cuts.
One of the standout features of the Shop Fox W1671 is its unique swiveling base. This innovative design allows for off-table mortising, giving you the flexibility to work on larger workpieces that wouldn't typically fit on a mortising machine's table. Whether you're working on a large furniture piece or a timber framing project, this feature can significantly expand the range of tasks you can handle.
The machine also features a double support column, which provides extra stability and precision during operation. This is especially beneficial when working on large or heavy workpieces, where the extra support can lead to more accurate and consistent results.
In addition, the Shop Fox W1671 is equipped with an adjustable depth stop and gas spring return, making it easier to create precise, consistent mortises every time. It also comes with a chisel set, adding to its versatility and value.
In summary, the Shop Fox W1671 Heavy-duty Mortising Machine is an impressive tool that offers a unique combination of power, durability, and flexibility. Its ability to handle larger workpieces makes it an excellent addition to any workshop, particularly for those who frequently work on larger-scale projects.
Best Benchtop Mortiser
The Powermatic 701 Benchtop Mortiser is a high-performing and reliable tool designed to provide both amateurs and professionals with a seamless and precise mortising experience. Its key features and robust construction make it a top choice among many woodworking enthusiasts.
Equipped with a 3/4 HP motor, the Powermatic 701 delivers ample power to handle a wide range of woods and tasks, allowing for clean, accurate cuts. Its high-speed capacity of 1725 RPM ensures smooth operation and excellent results, even in harder woods.
One of the standout features of the Powermatic 701 is its in-line depth stop. This feature allows for quick adjustments and setting of the depth at various stages without having to reset the entire machine. It can significantly enhance the efficiency of your woodworking projects, especially when you are creating a series of similar mortises.
The 701 model also features a robust fence that provides support on both sides of your workpiece. The fence can be adjusted for angles between 0 and 30 degrees, providing flexibility for a wide array of projects.
This benchtop mortiser also showcases Powermatic's attention to detail when it comes to user comfort and safety. It includes an adjustable handle that can be moved to the most comfortable position, reducing operator fatigue and ensuring better control. In addition, the mortiser comes with a safety switch that prevents accidental startups, enhancing the safety of the user.
Constructed with a sturdy cast-iron base, the Powermatic 701 Benchtop Mortiser promises stability and reduced vibrations during operation. This feature ensures more accurate and precise cuts.
In summary, the Powermatic 701 Benchtop Mortiser combines power, precision, and user-friendly features in a compact yet robust machine. It's a great choice for any woodworker seeking to upgrade their workshop with a high-quality, reliable mortising machine.
Grizzly Industrial's G0645 model is known for its powerful 0.5HP motor and easy-to-use design. It's great for beginners and experts alike.
The Grizzly Industrial G0645 Benchtop Mortising Machine is a well-rounded tool that strikes a balance between power, user-friendly design, and reliability. This makes it an excellent choice for both beginners venturing into the woodworking domain and seasoned professionals seeking a reliable, easy-to-use machine.
Equipped with a potent 0.5HP motor, the Grizzly G0645 offers impressive power in a compact size. This power enables it to handle a variety of woodworking tasks with ease, from creating simple mortises to crafting more intricate joints.
One of the defining features of the Grizzly G0645 is its user-friendly design. It's engineered with simplicity in mind, making it easy to operate even for those new to mortising. It features an easily adjustable depth stop for repeatable precision in your cuts and an adjustable fence that allows for the accurate positioning of your workpiece.
The machine also includes a long, multi-position feed lever, providing more comfort and control during operation. This design allows for a smoother, more precise operation, making it easier to create perfect mortises every time.
Built with a sturdy cast-iron base, the Grizzly G0645 promises stability during operation, minimizing vibrations and ensuring cleaner, more accurate cuts. Moreover, it comes with a set of three chisel bits (1/4", 5/16", and 3/8"), offering a good starting point for a variety of projects.
In conclusion, the Grizzly Industrial G0645 Benchtop Mortising Machine is a solid tool that combines power, ease of use, and reliability. It is an excellent choice for both beginners seeking an easy-to-use machine and experts who need a powerful, dependable tool for their woodworking projects.
For woodworking professionals, the Delta 14-651 offers powerful performance, featuring a multi-position feed lever and adjustable depth stop for superior control.
The Delta 14-651 Professional Bench Mortising Machine is a tool that promises robust performance and superior control, making it an ideal choice for woodworking professionals who demand high precision and efficiency from their equipment.
This machine is powered by a 1/2 HP, 120-volt motor, which gives it enough power to handle even the most demanding woodworking tasks. It can cut sharp, clean mortises quickly and efficiently, reducing the amount of time spent on each project.
A key feature of the Delta 14-651 is its multi-position feed lever. This gives users the ability to adjust the feed lever's position to what's most comfortable for them, ensuring smoother operation and better control during the mortising process. This feature can significantly enhance the precision of your cuts and can contribute to better overall outcomes in your woodworking projects.
In addition, the Delta 14-651 is equipped with an adjustable depth stop. This enables woodworkers to control the depth of the mortise precisely, ensuring consistency across multiple cuts. Whether you're working on a series of similar joints or need to repeat a particular depth for a project, this feature can prove invaluable.
The Delta 14-651 also boasts a solid cast-iron base that adds stability during operation, reducing vibrations and ensuring more accurate cuts. This is especially important when working on detailed projects where precision is key.
In conclusion, the Delta 14-651 Professional Bench Mortising Machine is a high-quality, powerful, and highly adjustable tool. It's a great choice for professionals who need a reliable, efficient, and precise mortising machine for their workshop.
The RIKON 34-260 is a game-changer with its X/Y axis movement feature, offering unmatched precision in cutting mortises.
The RIKON Power Tools 34-260 Benchtop X/Y Mortiser is a step above many of its competitors, thanks to its advanced X/Y axis movement feature. This specialized feature gives woodworkers unprecedented control and precision, making it a game-changing tool in the realm of woodworking.
The X/Y axis movement feature refers to the ability of the machine's table to move both horizontally (X-axis) and vertically (Y-axis). This function grants the user more flexibility in adjusting the position of the workpiece, leading to more precise and accurate cuts. It's especially useful when crafting complex joints or working on intricate woodworking projects.
Powered by a sturdy 1/2 HP motor, the RIKON 34-260 is capable of handling a range of wood types, making it a versatile addition to any workshop. Its solid cast iron construction ensures its stability, reducing vibration during operation for more accurate mortising.
Another notable feature of the RIKON 34-260 is its gas-filled stabilizer, which helps control the movement of the head, allowing for smoother operation and more accurate cuts. This feature, coupled with the X/Y axis movement, sets this machine apart in terms of precision.
Additionally, the machine comes with three-bit and chisel sets (1/4", 5/16", and 3/8"), providing flexibility for a variety of mortising tasks right out of the box.
In conclusion, the RIKON Power Tools 34-260 Benchtop X/Y Mortiser is an excellent tool that offers advanced control and precision, thanks to its innovative X/Y axis movement feature. Whether you're a seasoned professional or an ambitious hobbyist, this mortiser is a solid investment that can enhance the quality and precision of your woodworking projects.
While most mortisers are stationary, the Makita 7104L is a portable chain mortiser, making it a great tool for timber framers and log home builders.
The Makita 7104L Chain Mortiser is a unique tool that brings portability and power to your woodworking arsenal. Unlike stationary benchtop mortisers, this chainsaw mortiser is designed for on-site rustic work, making it an exceptional tool for timber framers, log home builders, and anyone regularly working with large timbers or logs.
Powered by a robust 12 AMP motor, the Makita 7104L can efficiently cut through various types of wood, making clean and precise mortises. It operates with a chain, much like a chainsaw, which allows it to make deep cuts – a necessity when working with large timber.
One of the stand-out features of the Makita 7104L is its portability. With its compact design and a weight of just 38.1 lbs, it's easy to carry around job sites. This feature is a boon for professionals who need to work in different locations, as it allows them to bring their mortiser directly to the workpiece.
Another noteworthy feature is its adjustable vise. The vise can securely hold square and round workpieces, and it can adjust to a variety of sizes, making it versatile for different tasks.
The Makita 7104L also comes with a large adjustable handle, providing comfort and control during operation. Moreover, it's built with a razor-sharp chain that requires minimal sharpening, which further enhances its efficiency and longevity.
In summary, the Makita 7104L Chain Mortiser is an excellent tool for anyone needing a portable and powerful mortising solution. Whether you're a timber framer constructing a log home or a professional woodworker who values mobility, this chain mortiser is a great investment that can enhance your efficiency and broaden your woodworking capabilities.
The WEN 43012 stands out due to its cast-iron construction and impressive precision. Plus, it comes with four chisel bits, adding to its value.
The WEN 43012 Cast Iron Bench Mortiser is a top choice for woodworkers who value durability, precision, and overall value for money. Its solid construction makes it a decent tool for various woodworking tasks.
The body of the WEN 43012 is made of cast iron, ensuring its stability and durability. This heavy-duty construction significantly reduces vibration during operation, which not only contributes to its longevity but also allows for more precise cuts.
Precision is indeed a strong point of the WEN 43012. It features an adjustable fence and depth stop, allowing woodworkers to make highly accurate and consistent cuts. These features are crucial when creating joints, where precision plays a significant role in the quality and stability of the final product.
But what truly adds to the WEN 43012's value is its inclusion of four chisel bits: 1/4 inch, 5/16 inch, 3/8 inch, and 1/2 inch. This variety of sizes allows you to tackle a wide range of projects right out of the box, from crafting intricate joints in furniture making to creating larger mortises for construction applications.
Another notable feature is the WEN 43012's long lever handle, which allows for smooth and easy operation. This feature, combined with its impressive precision, makes this mortiser suitable for both novices and seasoned woodworkers.
In summary, the WEN 43012 Cast Iron Bench Mortiser is a sturdy, precise, and versatile tool that offers great value for money. Whether you're a beginner or an experienced woodworker, you can count on this machine to help you create high-quality mortises with ease and consistency.
This model from Baileigh offers a dual-axis table, with an impressive tilt of up to 35 degrees, making it perfect for specialized woodworking tasks.
The Baileigh MC-1000TT Bench Top Mortiser is a high-performing tool that takes woodworking to the next level with its unique and innovative features. Designed for precision and versatility, this model caters to a wide range of woodworking tasks, including specialized ones that require a greater degree of control and adjustment.
One of the distinguishing features of the Baileigh MC-1000TT is its dual-axis table. This feature offers woodworkers the freedom to adjust the table both left-to-right and front-to-back. It allows for a more controlled and precise operation, especially when working with intricate designs and complex joints.
Another notable feature is the table's tilt capability of up to 35 degrees. This is quite impressive compared to many mortisers in the market, and it opens up a new world of possibilities for angled mortising. This makes the Baileigh MC-1000TT a perfect choice for specialized woodworking tasks that require non-standard angles, like crafting intricate furniture or unique woodworking projects.
In addition to these features, the Baileigh MC-1000TT boasts a solid construction, ensuring durability and stability during operation. It also comes with a powerful motor that can handle a variety of hardwoods, making it a versatile addition to any workshop.
In conclusion, the Baileigh MC-1000TT Bench Top Mortiser offers a unique combination of versatility, precision, and power. It's a great choice for both hobbyist woodworkers who want to expand their creativity and professionals who need a reliable and versatile tool for their complex projects.
Rounding out our list, the General International 75-050T M1 is a compact yet powerful tool with a versatile chisel capacity, a perfect fit for workshops with limited space.
The General International 75-050T M1 Benchtop Mortiser is an excellent option for those working in a space-constrained environment or those who require a more portable option. Despite its compact size, it doesn't skimp on power or versatility, which are key factors when it comes to mortising.
This model comes with a 1/2 HP motor that delivers enough power to handle most woodworking tasks. The machine is engineered to ensure precision and ease-of-use, with an adjustable handle that allows for comfortable operation and accurate positioning. This is especially important when it comes to creating consistent mortises.
A standout feature of this mortiser is its versatile chisel capacity. It can accept chisel sizes ranging from 1/4 inch to 1 inch, making it suitable for a wide variety of projects, from crafting intricate furniture joints to creating sturdy structural joints in larger woodworking projects.
Additional features include a reliable depth stop for repeatable drilling, and an adjustable fence and hold down, ensuring your workpiece stays securely in place during operation. It also comes with a large base for added stability, a crucial aspect when working on precise tasks.
In summary, the General International 75-050T M1 Benchtop Mortiser is a compact, versatile, and powerful machine. It offers many of the features you'd expect in larger models, but in a size that's perfect for smaller workshops or for woodworkers who need to maximize their space. It is a testament to the fact that good things can come in small packages.
Selecting the right mortiser greatly depends on the nature of your woodworking projects. Whether you're an enthusiast or a professional, having the best tool for your needs can make all the difference. With these 11 top mortisers of 2023, you're sure to find one that suits your needs and takes your woodworking craft to the next level. Happy woodworking!