How to Use a Brick Jointer: Step-by-Step Guide and Tips

Brick jointer, a versatile and essential tool for masonry work, offers precise and professional finishing touches to your brick structures. This tool effectively smoothes and shapes mortar joints between bricks, giving them a clean, polished look while also improving their structural integrity. By following a few straightforward steps and employing some pro tips, you can confidently wield this tool to achieve impeccable results, even if you’re a novice in the world of masonry. So, let's delve into the intricacies of brick jointing techniques, explore the various types of jointers available, and uncover valuable insights to ensure that you can make the most out of this indispensable tool.

Do I Need a Brick Jointer?

When it comes to bricklaying projects, a brick jointer is an essential tool to have in your arsenal. This handy tool is specifically designed to create neat and professional-looking joints between bricks, ensuring a strong and durable structure.

It’s important to select the right brick jointer for the job at hand. These tools come in various shapes and sizes, with each serving a specific purpose. The size of the jointer should match the width of the mortar joints you’re aiming to achieve. For smaller joints, a smaller jointer will be more suitable, while larger joints require a larger jointer. Additionally, the shape of the jointer can vary, with options such as concave, convex, or flat. Each shape provides a different aesthetic effect, so choose one that aligns with your desired outcome.

Most jointers are typically made from hardened steel or carbide, ensuring durability and longevity. It’s also important to consider the handle of the jointer. A comfortable and ergonomic handle will make the task of creating joints much easier and more comfortable, reducing strain on your hands and wrists.

The neatly tooled joints can enhance the overall visual appeal of the structure, giving it a professional and finished look.

So, be sure to invest in a high-quality brick jointer and master the art of creating clean and professional joints.

Tips for Using a Brick Jointer Effectively

  • Always wear safety goggles and gloves when using a brick jointer to protect your eyes and hands.
  • Before starting, make sure the mortar between the bricks is fully set and dry.
  • Hold the brick jointer at a 45-degree angle and firmly press it into the mortar joint.
  • Move the jointer along the joint in a smooth, steady motion to create an even and clean finish.
  • Apply consistent pressure to ensure the jointer cuts through the mortar evenly.
  • If necessary, adjust the angle and pressure to achieve the desired depth and width of the joint.
  • After each pass, wipe away any excess mortar with a brush or damp cloth.
  • Clean the brick jointer with a wire brush and warm soapy water after each use to remove any excess mortar buildup.
  • Store the brick jointer in a dry place to prevent rusting.

When repointing one specific joint and in need of a quick fix, it may be reasonable to use a flat makeshift tool as a temporary replacement for a brick jointer. Nonetheless, it’s important to keep in mind that if you need to match an existing mortar pattern, alternative tools or techniques may be necessary.

What Can I Use Instead of a Brick Jointer?

When it comes to replacing a brick jointer, there are a few alternatives you can consider. One option is to use a putty knife or a small trowel with a flat edge. This makeshift tool can help you smooth out the mortar and fill in the gaps between the bricks. While it may not offer the same precision and finish as a brick jointer, it can serve as a temporary solution.

Another alternative is to use a finger or a thumb. By applying gentle pressure, you can create a clean and neat joint between the bricks. This method requires a bit more manual labor and attention to detail, but it can be effective, especially for smaller projects.

If you’re looking for a more specialized tool, a grout bag or a caulking gun can be used to apply new mortar into the joints. These tools allow for a controlled flow of mortar and can help you achieve a consistent and even finish. However, keep in mind that using a grout bag or caulking gun may require more practice and skill to achieve desirable results.

In some cases, you may also find that a small brush or a sponge can be helpful when repointing a joint. By applying mortar with a brush, you can ensure that it gets into all the nooks and crannies. Alternatively, a damp sponge can be used to smooth and shape the mortar, giving it a more cohesive appearance.

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Jointing in construction refers to the crucial process of achieving a smooth and seamless finish on the exposed surface of a mortar joint. This technique involves using specific tools to carefully work over the rough outer layer of freshly laid mortar, resulting in an impeccably smooth joint. Proper jointing is essential for enhancing the overall aesthetics and structural integrity of the construction project.

What Is Jointing in Construction?

Jointing in construction refers to the technique used to smooth out the exposed surface of mortar joints. When a bed of mortar is freshly laid, the outer surface is often rough and uneven. In order to achieve a more polished and aesthetically pleasing finish, jointing is performed. This process involves the application of a tool against the rough mortar joint surface, and then sliding the tool over the joint to produce a smooth and even joint.

By creating a smooth and level joint, the mortar is able to provide better structural support and withstand the stresses and pressures that it may encounter over time. Jointing also helps to seal the joints, preventing water infiltration and reducing the risk of water damage and deterioration.

There are various tools that can be used for jointing, depending on the desired finish and size of the joint. Examples include jointing trowels, striking irons, joint rakers, and joint finishers. The choice of tool will depend on factors such as the type of joint, the size of the joint, and the level of precision required.

Different Types of Joints Commonly Used in Construction

  • Butt Joint
  • Lap Joint
  • Tongue and Groove Joint
  • Dado Joint
  • Mitre Joint
  • Half-lap Joint
  • Dovetail Joint
  • Box Joint
  • Biscuit Joint
  • Butterfly Joint

Source: Jointing Definition – What Does Jointing Mean in Construction?


By understanding the purpose and technique behind this tool, individuals can enhance the strength and durability of their brick structures while simultaneously improving their overall appearance. By familiarizing oneself with the various types and sizes of jointers and practicing the proper method for it’s usage, individuals can confidently create flawless and impressive brickwork that stands the test of time.

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