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Smartmiter miter gauge sled

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Review by OttawaP posted 05-09-2008 09:08 PM 6722 views 0 times favorited 14 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Smartmiter miter gauge sled Smartmiter miter gauge sled Smartmiter miter gauge sled Click the pictures to enlarge them

I’ve been in the market for a new miter gauge . I’ve sold my previous Kreg due to it’s short length and light structure. While it was exceptionally accurate, I just found the crosscut length too short and was always afraid if I ever dropped it would be bent. I considered the Jessum, Accumiter, and Osbourne as the top contenders until I found the Smart Miter. The Jessum I found a little fiddly with the two pin set up and there did seem to be some issues with this system from what I’ve read on the internet. The Osbourne I’ve used but I don’t like the fact that the flip stop does not recess into the fence to prevent mitered points from slipping behind it and the way I can fly through cuts on a good production run I thought it would not work for me, other than that it’s a pretty good bang for the buck. The Accumiter I love for the weight and length of the longer version, but it too seems to suffer from fiddly pins that don’t always seem to sit perfect in the key from what I’ve read.
Doing a search I discovered the Smartmiter by Jointech. I had never heard of this company before since they don’t have a distributor here in Canada but they have a pretty good line of interesting products. I could not find one negative review of this product, most people are just pleased as punch with it. The amazing part of this miter sled is the adjusting pivot point which makes the flip stop scale useable for all angles. So a 12.5” cut at 90 deg is12.5” at 45 deg, no moving of the flip stop is required. Sweet. (see the pictures, the 45 deg miter and the 90 deg cut are both the same distance away from the blade.) It miters from -50 deg to 50 deg in ½ deg increments. The fence has spring loaded bearings that pop in and out of a steel plate on the underside and lock in place with a simple clamp. It has a fine adjustment knob with a #32 thread so it’s very easy to adjust to 1/128th with just a ¼ turn of the knob.
Drawbacks of this sled (and all sleds in general) is you do lose ½” in cutting height due to the thickness of the sled itself. Not a big deal in my book. And in a left tilt saw such as mine, I’ll refer back to my General miter gauge that came with my cabinet saw for any bevel cuts, again such a rare occurrence that it is not a deal breaker for me.
So I took a chance and ordered it. Unfortunatly the sled arrived damaged slightly. The cursor was broken and the flip stop would not sit nice and square. It must have gotten wacked pretty good by USPS. The sled overall is well made. Heavy phenolic base and strong aluminum extrusions that extend to 48”. It sets up quickly, just basically install the handle, square it to your blade, adjust the tape measurements and you are good to go. But alas, that’s where the problem started…….after 6 hours I realized I had a defective unit. It wouldn’t close a simple picture frame no matter what I did. The angles were off and there is no way to play with it, there was a fundamental error in the manufacture of it.
This was a on a Saturday so I took several pictures of the unit and damage and emailed them off with a letter to Jointech. Late Monday night I got a phone call from the Ernest Saldana, president of the company, and within 5 minutes an apology and the promise of a new unit were furnished to me. Now that’s impressive. A week later I got an email saying they went through the inventory and found a handful of defective units and were sending me out a hand tested replacement. It arrived undamaged a few days ago with an extra hold down clamp that I never ordered originally. I guess a “thanks for being patient gift” from the Jointech. I setup the new sled and it’s fine and performs wonderfully. It’s rock solid, heavy, stable and cross cuts up to 48” with useable measuring scales at all angles. Since it locks at both the pivot point and the clamp at the arch its very stable on long pieces unlike most single pivot miter gauges.
It is not a panel cutoff sled, it is limited to 12-15” depending on your saw since it miters in both directions, but for that I have a shop made panel sled that cuts a 24” width easily.
Theres’ a few videos on the website showing the setup and use, check them out http://www.jointech.com/smart_miter.htm
Improvements I’d suggest, a magnified cursor over the double lined parallax cursor would be better for older eyes. Possibly a bigger handle would be more comfortable and I really don’t have big hands either. These are minor items though and don’t really distract from the sled a whole lot.
I’ll rate the sled 4.5/5 since there is always room for improvement and 5/5 for service from the company. An excellent product, I highly recommend it.
Paul

-- Paul




View OttawaP's profile

OttawaP

89 posts in 2383 days



14 comments so far

View brunob's profile

brunob

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#1 posted 05-09-2008 09:25 PM

Thanks Paul. I’ll have to check that out.

-- Bruce from Central New York...now, if you'll pardon me, I have some sawdust to make.

View GaryK's profile

GaryK

10262 posts in 2645 days


#2 posted 05-09-2008 09:40 PM

Nice review. Thanks.

-- Gary - Never pass up the opportunity to make a mistake look like you planned it that way - Tyler, TX

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27251 posts in 2479 days


#3 posted 05-09-2008 11:41 PM

This is a good review. Thanks for the post. I will have to take a look at this one.

-- Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful- Joshua Marine

View molarman's profile

molarman

44 posts in 2475 days


#4 posted 05-11-2008 05:10 AM

Very nice review. I have this sled and love it as well. I also have Jointech’s digital router lift and their clincher/fence on my router table. I am very satisfied with all of this stuff!!!

-- Woodworking is not a destination....it's a joinery !!! http://smilesrus.com/pages/woodgallery.html

View TomK 's profile

TomK

504 posts in 2531 days


#5 posted 05-12-2008 05:25 AM

That is an exhaustive review. Thanks for taking the time to write it!

-- If you think healthcare is expensive now, wait until it's free! PJ O'Rourke

View Grumpy's profile

Grumpy

19468 posts in 2508 days


#6 posted 05-13-2008 12:59 AM

Great review Paul, thanks.

-- Grumpy - "Always look on the bright side of life"- Monty Python

View Bob #2's profile

Bob #2

3808 posts in 2678 days


#7 posted 05-13-2008 01:14 AM

Thanks Paul.

It looks like it fits the bill for you.
It’s so nice when a purchase makes you smile even after the box is gone.

It is the sibling of the old doobie gauge?

Bob

-- A mind, like a home, is furnished by its owner

View OttawaP's profile

OttawaP

89 posts in 2383 days


#8 posted 05-13-2008 01:43 AM

Bob #2,

The dubbie sled is sort of a dumbed down version I would say, a much more simple design. The smart miter eliminates the need for a left and right version since it miters -50 to +50, and I can’t go on enough of that constant zero clearance pivot point…can’t figure out how it does it but it sure is an accurate time saver. Think about it , you need a 22” piece with a 15 deg miter? adjust the flip stop to 22”, rotate to the 15 mark and cut away.

-- Paul

View blackcherry's profile

blackcherry

3161 posts in 2480 days


#9 posted 05-14-2008 03:34 PM

Nice review…sorry to hear about the mishap but always happy to hear about a manufactor standing by their products….happy sleding…Blkcherrry

View Greg3G's profile

Greg3G

815 posts in 2742 days


#10 posted 05-14-2008 03:41 PM

Good review. Thanks, I always like to hear stories about Good Customer Service. Seems to be a lost art with some companies these days.

-- Greg - Charles Town, WV

View Wade Putnam's profile

Wade Putnam

108 posts in 2386 days


#11 posted 06-10-2008 03:37 PM

Based on your review and watching the on line video demonstration, I ordered one and used this past weekend and it’s great. I really like for cutting small project parts and is very accurate.
Thanks for putting me on a unknown great tool.

Wade

-- Wade, Nashville, www.mcgconstructs.com

View hasbeen's profile

hasbeen

89 posts in 1342 days


#12 posted 02-19-2011 05:46 AM

Good review. I’ll definately check this out soon, (like now)!

-- I may not have a lot of good ideas, but some of them are just incredible.

View Tom's profile

Tom

24 posts in 1112 days


#13 posted 11-17-2011 02:32 AM

Thanks for taking the time for this review. I have been expiramenting with jigs for cutting segments for bowls. This looks very promising. The other post here are also helpfull.

-- chipsawturn

View Bluzman's profile

Bluzman

14 posts in 1001 days


#14 posted 12-26-2011 01:07 AM

Like molarman I have the SmartMiter. Had it for about 4 years now and it still works perfect, it is extremely accurate and super easy to use. A rare combination when you think about it.

I also have one of their router table/Cabinet Maker systems with the SmartFence and Clincher, same as above. High quality, very easy to use and very accurate. Jointech products are made in the USA!

I had a very positive customer service experience when I purchased the Cabinet Maker system, one of the fence stops was defective, I called them about it, a new one arrived in two days, no charge no fuss. I asked them if I needed to send the old one back, they said no that’s too much trouble, they told me to just keep it or throw it away. The honor system, imagine that. It was common when I was a kid, sadly not so much these days.

I work for a manufacturing company as a product manager, one of the most important things I have learned is that customer complaints can be a tremendous opportunity. When someone buys your products its a good opportunity to show them that your company makes quality products. When a customer has a problem with one of your products, it’s an opportunity to show them what a great company you have.

Jointech makes very good products and their customer service is second to none.

-- Paul Stewart • Hendersonville, Tennessee

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