In Europe & the UK a planer / thicknesser is a combination machine which does the jobs of a jointer and a planer (In US terms)

I've used two kinds of these machines but am unsure whether the feed direction should be different when planing (stock runs agains a fence above the blade) and thicknessing (stock is fed beneath the planer surface on an adjustable bed and rollers press the stock down and feed it through the machine.)

On the machine I am currently using the manual specifies the feed direction for thicknessing but not planing. I noticed that when planing the blades wanted to grab the stock and move it in the direction of feed. I therefore wondered if the feed direction should be reversed? It is very likely the blades also need replacing as I doubt they have been replaced for several years.

The machine is a Rojek MSP310M


  • 1
    Re. the blades needing replacement, not sure if you'll know this already but just in case you don't, these can usually be resharpened numerous times before needing replacement. Done well you can get edges sharper than stock.
    – Graphus
    Commented Jul 27, 2018 at 21:17

2 Answers 2


I'll use the US terms jointer for the top part of that machine and planer for the bottom part.

Thickness planers typically have a motorized drive, meaning there's no choice about feed direction (unless you're talking about which end of the board to feed first, which is an interesting but different question).

Jointing, in which the work is fed by hand, should be in the same direction relative to cutter rotation, which may be opposite in absolute direction to that of the planer in a jointer/planer combination. This is because the jointer uses the top of the cutter head and the planer uses the bottom. So if you are standing on the side of the machine and feed the planer left to right, you need to feed the jointer right to left.

The advance of the workpiece should always be opposed by the rotary path of the cutter. That is, the action of the cutter should be pushing the work back toward you, resisting the feed. In metalworking, this would be called a conventional cut (as opposed to a climb cut).

It's possible there may be edge-case exceptions, perhaps aided by a stop and using very shallow cuts. But in general, climb-cutting on a jointer incurs a high risk of losing control of the workpiece.


I have a similar euro combination machine, a Robland 310. The direction of your piece (and where you stand) will be opposite when using the joiner feature opposed to the planer feature (unless you are able to switch the direction of the motor).

Like scanny said, the workpiece should always be opposed to the rotary path of the cutter. If you feel that piece getting away from you as you described, you’re probably on the wrong side of the machine.

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