Iv owned the Hafco p200-h for over a month now and over all im very pleased with the machine.
After dreaming about owning my very own jointer for over a year I finally bit the bullet and bought this 8″ 2hp unit.
I had a few options when it came to jointers, and the decision was to be between the Hafco, Carbatec and Sherwood units, and in this case the hafco won the battle, value for money was great at $990 it was the cheapest 8″ jointer I could find locally, although price played a big roll in my decision it certainly wasnt the only contributing factor to my choice.
So lets talk briefly about what other fact made me choose this unit. Firstly, Cutter head this unit has a 4 blade cutter head opposed to the 3 blade cutter head wich the other units sported, this helps in obtaining a smoother finish right off the jointer, wich means less finishing, And of-course the motor played a big part in my decision too, at 2hp it matched the sherwood and beat the carbatec model wich was sporting a 1 1/2 hp motor, I dont know much about the technologies in side these motors, and I certainly dont know how much of a difference a induction motor would make over a regular motor but in my mind 2 is better than 1.
Setting up the unit only took me about 30 minutes, entire thing comes almost complete, the base was already housing the motor and all electrics where already wired in, All I had to do was secure the rubber feet and attach the dust shoot. The jointer it’s self came pre-assembled too, all that needed to be done was attach the fence, secure it to the base and attach the drive belts to the motor.
Of course the unit did need fine tuning, but from factory I found I only had to make minimal adjustments, and this took less than an hour.
After about 5 weeks of solid use the jointer is only just starting to show signs of dull knives, but up until this point the cuts have been smooth and in some cases I wouldnt have even felt the need to sand before finishing, althought I cant think of an occasion when I would go straight from the jointer to finishing, its still nice to know.
The Fence is also nice and solid, I did however find that from the factory it was quite easy to knock it out of square if you applied too much pressure to the fence, But a solid spring washer on the adjustment pin fixed this!
So whats the down side?
For the price of this unit I did expect to find some things ”inferior” to the more expensive models, but I can safely say I am stoked with this unit, but thats not to say there isnt any complaints because there is one, Just one.
When it is time to replace the blades in the cutter head you will find that you’ll need to purchase two sets at most places, At-least the places I shop that is, why? Well most places will sell knives as a set of three, and this unit has a four blade cutter head, but if thats all I have to complain about im happy!
So if your considering this unit but your a little put off by the cheaper price, I would say go for it! but if you have the money to spend I would probably suggest looking into getting a unit that has spiral cutter head as the performance you will see with this style of cutter is unbelievably good! smooth, quiet and reliable.