The Metabo HC260 jointer-planer combination is the successor of the original Elektra Beckum HC260, with a few modifications. It is one of the most popular mobile jointer planers, and one of the most affordable among the ‘reliable’ manufacturers.
Unlike the earlier Elektra Beckum models, the Metabo HC 260 cannot be upgraded with a mortiser. The fence of the two models is actually very similar and the Metabo one can be used on older EB models. The blade guard has been changed, however, and now can be raised or lowered at the end of the outfeed table.
Some versions come with resharpenable blades and some with two-sided replaceable blades. The throwaway blades are generally preferable, because you only have to align them with the tables once, and then you can maintain the same setting forever. They are also not very expensive.
To convert the machine from jointing to planing mode, one side of the tables needs to be taken off, the dust-port flipped over and secured to the body of the machine. This should take no more than 2 minutes.