The Powermatic PJ1696 is the largest (16-inch) and most powerful jointer made by Powermatic. Because of its size and power it is a machine purely aimed at the professional market.
Helical Head Cutters
The PJ1696 is only available in one model, and has helical head cutters in its standard setup. These help tremendously when cutting difficult grains. Helical head cutters are also quieter, last longer, and are much easier to replace.
One thing to note is that the 7.5HP motor can run only on 3 phase and either 230V or 460V (can be rewired). So before purchasing this machine you’ll have to make sure you have the right electrics to handle it.
Rabbeting Ledge and Fence
The PJ1696 also has a rabbeting ledge which can be used for cutting rabbets of up to 3/4 inch deep. It has a sturdy fence that can be moved using a rack and pinion system for extra stability. It lacks accurate angle setting but it does have positive stops, so once you have those set up you can quickly switch between 45 and 90 degrees.
Replacement Carbide Inserts: You can find replacement carbide cutter inserts for the Powermatic PJ1696 on Amazon, or eBay. Ebay sells them a little cheaper, even though they seem to be exactly the same product.