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For the money... not bad... but not great, either

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Review by ryno101 posted 2170 days ago 3372 views 1 time favorited 8 comments Add to Favorites Watch
For the money... not bad... but not great, either No-picture-s No-picture-s Click the pictures to enlarge them

So let me start by saying that this is the first major tool purchase (in excess of $150) that I have made, and while overall I’m satisfied, there are enough problems to warrant a second thought for a first table saw.

If I could have given 3 1/2 stars, I would have… but I’ll settle for 4, since it’s not quite a 3 star tool.

I ended up getting this on Amazon, free shipping, with a promo including an outfeed roller, and the whole package was $299. For the money, this is a great saw. It’s the only one in this price range that has a belt-driven blade, and it’s smooth and quiet which is nice.

Pros:
Inexpensive
– For less than $300, you get smaller, portable models from Ridgid, Delta, Bosch, etc. without the nice table extensions, outfeed extensions and whatnot that this has. Or, you get a Craftsman with a table that you can drop quarters through and a miter channel that has tons of slop (I did check them out).

Quality construction – this will last a while, and it’s solid.

Easy to set up – From out of the box to a trued (as best I could… see Cons below!) saw ready to start ripping was about an hour.

On board storage – There are nice places on either side to store stuff…

and

Dust Collection – Other than the fact that the dust collection bin fell out constantly…(I ended up having to heat and bend the plastic to get it to stay in the bottom of the saw!) connecting my shop-vac to the port does a pretty good job of keeping the dust down.

Noise – This is a surprisingly quiet saw.

Cons:
Fence
– The stock fence on this thing is utter crap, and is my single biggest complaint about this saw. Cheap, extruded aluminum, not even remotely square. I ended up adding a piece of MDF on either side, shimming like mad, and was able to make myself a reasonably decent fence. Below is a shot of the end, after my fence work…

Look at how far off from square that aluminum is!

And the fence I made…

Alignment – Although the manual has very good, detailed instructions for aligning the blade properly, the execution is somewhat more difficult than they make it out to be. There are two bolts recessed into the top of the table that serve as stops for the blade during bevels, which are simple. However, the blade was about 1/32 away from parallel to the miter slot, and getting at the nuts that loosen the motor to make that change was incredibly difficult. The clearance inside the saw means you have to use a wrench that is about 3-4” long (as that’s the max length that will fit in there!) and unless you have one of those fancy gooseneck extenders for a ratchet, there’s no way you’re going to get at it. Very, very difficult.

Blade Inserts – Excessively large clearance… close to 3/4”, and that’s not even the Dado insert! I’ll be making a zero clearance insert for this soon.

All in all, this is a decent first saw for someone starting out in woodworking. Unfortunately, one of the major tenets that I have learned is that precision counts for something in woodworking, and without some work, this is not a high-precision tool.

-- Ryno




View ryno101's profile

ryno101

377 posts in 2262 days



8 comments so far

View OutPutter's profile

OutPutter

1194 posts in 2588 days


#1 posted 2170 days ago

Ryno,

Thanks for that review. As a low end saw owner myself, I can relate to your problems making things square and parallel. Another big problem for us low end guys is usually the width of the the miter slot. Is yours the larger 3/4” standard size or some other random size?

Jim

-- Jim

View Yettiman's profile

Yettiman

161 posts in 2336 days


#2 posted 2170 days ago

Review, very detailed, very clear, thank you for posting, very helpful.

-- Keep your tools sharp, your mind sharper and the coffee hot

View PurpLev's profile

PurpLev

8476 posts in 2246 days


#3 posted 2170 days ago

Nice Review, I was looking at this saw before I bought my Bosch 4100, and one of the major things for me was having a saw with a standard 3/4”x3/8” miter slot to accomodate for my after market Incra Miter Guage, and other accessories down the line.

but it’s great that the Jet is Belt Driven – definitely a great feature to have!

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View trifern's profile

trifern

8132 posts in 2365 days


#4 posted 2170 days ago

Nice review Ryno.

-- My favorite piece is my last one, my best piece is my next one.

View AaronK's profile

AaronK

1389 posts in 2062 days


#5 posted 2059 days ago

thanks for the review. my Craftsman 21805 has a similar fence (i think most of these lower range saws do) and i reinforced the fence with MDF on one side… it may need both like yours. or maybe double up on one…

how easy is it to align the fence parallel to the blade?

View Richforever's profile

Richforever

739 posts in 2318 days


#6 posted 2059 days ago

Thanks for the review. Lots of good info.

-- Rich, Seattle, WA

View EEngineer's profile

EEngineer

885 posts in 2211 days


#7 posted 2058 days ago

It is a sad commentary on American business that Jet thinks they can get away with putting their name on a product like this. C’mon! A plastic part that is so badly formed that you have to heat and bend it to get it to stay where it is supposed to be? Aluminum extrusions that are not square?

There’s ‘cheap’ and then there is just poorly made. I work with plastic molded parts and aluminum extrusions at work all the time and these parts would have never made it past incoming inspection, let alone into a customer’s hands.

And how cheap is $299? You can get a decent saw, the Ridgid TS 3650, reconditioned, at HD for $447. Do you seriously think that this saw is worth 2/3 the price of a TS3650? Although I must be honest, I haven’t been to HD to ‘touch’ one of the TS3650’s in over a year. Maybe they are made just as bad nowadays. The only reason they can offer ‘reconditioned’ saws is that they were returned for one reason or another by dissatisfied customers.

I weep for America!

-- "Find out what you cannot do and then go do it!"

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rikkor

11295 posts in 2472 days


#8 posted 2058 days ago

Great review.

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