|Forum topic by making_sawdust||posted 06-10-2015 08:50 PM||7031 views||0 times favorited||9 replies|
06-10-2015 08:50 PM
KING KC-10JCS – King Industrial 2 HP Left Tilt Cabinet saw review
Before I begin this review I wanted to note that I’m not an engineer, or anything more than a hobbyist, I’ve had a number of years experience woodworking however, and I am mechanically inclined. But this is by no means a professional review.
I was recently in the market for a table saw, and like many of us, my first step was to go online and do as much research as possible on what machines were available. I found plenty of reviews on many models, but I could find no information at all about the King KC-10JCS or really reviews of any king industrial cabinet saws. I ended up getting this saw on a good sale, and have since formed an opinion of it. I think, for the sake of others doing their research there should be a review available online, even if done by an amateur like me.
My motivations behind purchasing this saw were pretty simple, over the last year, the Canadian dollar has tanked against the US dollar. This means the Delta, and Rigid table saws on the market have both jumped to $700+ locally. While I feel those were viable options at $500, at $700 I felt I was close enough to the price point of a hybrid cabinet saw to dip my toes in that market. I narrowed my research down to 3 saws, the General 200-r, the Stallion CWI-T1002, and the King KC-10JCS. They all were selling for about the $1000-1400 mark. As the Canadian dollar changes the prices have also changed, even in a matter of weeks since my purchase. The King came on sale $999 so, I opted for this saw. At the time I had seem a display model of King’s premium cabinet saw at another store, but I had not actually seen this saw in person. That was a mistake. I have since seen them on the floor locally to view.
Ok, onto the saw.
The assembly of this saw was very easy and straightforward. I had it together and ready to be adjusted inside an hour and a half, I did it myself. I could see wanting two people to assemble the wings, or remove it from the skid, but it was doable on my own. The saw weighs is about 350lb, it’s heavy, but not insane. I did have to shim the wings with tape to level them out, but it was not a difficult process.
Build quality: This saw is a budget hybrid saw, and it shows. While everything is functional, I did notice a lack of refinement and the choice for cheaper materials throughout this saw. The table tops, as shown in the pictures, are coarsely ground. The general, the Stallion, Ridgid and the Delta saws all have much cleaner grinds to them. An advantage over contractor models is that the wings are cast iron rather than stamped steel. The grind is flat, but it’s not really all that pretty. Functionally, it works, so I am merely commenting on the look and feel.
The knobs for adjusting the height and angle, are flimsy. They don’t feel refined and are nicer on the Delta and Ridgid saws. They look ok from the outside, but they are cheaply made, pretty flimsy, and honestly the locking mechanisms barely hold the knobs from free spinning. They also make a lot of noise when turning then, granted a little lube helped, but it didn’t eliminate the noise.
The marker for the angle is large and easy to read. Adjusting the positive stops for 90 and 45 were also pretty easy to do on this saw, though you do have to reach way back into the cabinet for the 45. They stops feel good, and you are confident when you hit them.
The riving knife and the guard on this saw are nice. I was very happy with the riving knife, and the guard. Nobody really loves the guards on table saws, and I can agree with that view. I did like that I can see through the sides of this guard, and it has a slot on the top which has a magnifying lens so you can see the blade when aligning marks with your blade. I also liked the little finger that comes down at the front of the guard, it prevents a lot of sawdust from getting blown at your face. While it’s still a guard, I found it to be very functional and I actually used it. The downside, which seems common among all cabinet saws, is that the riving knife and the guard don’t accommodate tin kerf blades, which saturate the market now.
The blade that came with this saw is cheap, but functional. It requires sanding to clean up after it. It happily sings its song at speed. But it does cut ok, what you would expect from the blade that comes with any inexpensive saw. It’s a 40t general purpose made from pressed steel.
The fence, this is something that King does well. This fence is really really nice to operate. After I had the saw all cleaned and tuned and a coat of wax on this whole machine, the fence could be pushed with one little tap with your pinky from one end to the other. It’s a T style biesemeyer style fence, 52” in length so you have a lot of reference. It has HDPE sides to it, and is honestly the best part of this saw. I really like that, compared to other saws which the fence rides on plastic blocks, this has plastic balls which really cuts down on the friction. It locks in solidly, and is very repeatable. Easy to adjust as well
My only complaint is the HDPE was wavy on mine, it drifted about 0.03” along the length. I’m not sure what is normal for that material though. However the aluminum alternatives I’ve seen are less wavy. But as a whole, the fence is really nice!
The paint on the cabinet was good quality, and didn’t scratch easily like many other saws the banding at the bottom is just a sticker, which did scratch putting it into my mobile base. But that is cosmetic only.
The miter gauge that comes with this saw is functional, it’s nothing special but it works. It was easy enough to adjust to square with the stops. One feature that I have seen on other saws that I wish this had was places to put the miter gauge and fence when not in use, these are common on the cheaper saws and common on most cabinet saws too.
Ok, let’s talk about adjusting this saw, because this is where ultimately I decided to send this saw back, and get a different model instead. This, for me was just terrible, and frankly unsafe. Now, before I start to say the negative let’s talk what is good about this. This is a hybrid saw, so the trunions are mounted to the table top, to access the rear trunion bolts King includes a removable back plate that has 6 screws. It’s really easy to get off and makes getting to the adjustments easy. Using a dial indicator, and loosening the back bolts I was able to get within 0.003” within a couple minutes using a small pry bar, no clamps, pawls or anything crazy. I really like that it was easy to get in alignment with the miter slot.
The major flaw of this saw, and for me unacceptable is the blade drift. I read a lot of reviews of this problem on the Ridgid saws from 2012 or so, this saw made that saw look accurate. As I just mentioned above I could get the blade very close to alignment with the miter slots. But, the second you touch the height adjustment knob, NOT EVEN TURNING IT, the blade moves to the side 0.08” As soon as you start moving it up and down it drifts 0.125 either way, so at any point your blade can be 0.25” out of alignment with the slot. When you hit the top height of the saw, it was even more extreme. What happens with this saw is at any point throughout the range from 0-3” height adjustment you have no idea if your saw blade is straight, with an error rate of +-0.125 left or right. Which, to me seems like a great recipe for kickback! Let alone the fact that you probably would waste a lot of wood on this lack of accuracy. It didn’t even require turning the wheel, just touching it makes it drift. So during a cut, it’s possible the vibration of the saw could affect the alignment of the blade.
It was very hard to get pictures of this, so you might have to take my word on it.
This blade drift issue was cause enough for me to return the saw. I spoke with the King Rep, who assured me this is not typical with their saws. And honestly, if King is reading this and wants to contact me with another saw to prove it, I’m all game to change my reviews accordingly. I did not replace this saw with another King, I replaced it with another brand. The main reason is that I had to pay for the shipping in each direction, and if I had a second bunk saw I would have paid more in shipping than the savings of getting the king on sale. Plus the poor grind quality, the crappy knobs, just added up to me wanting a better unit.
Just because I got one that was bad, doesn’t mean they all are, yes. Even though I didn’t get another one I have since seen these saw on display in a couple of stores, and I’m glad to see them on the floor, finally, and each and every one of them that I tried has the same blade drift problem, and I wouldn’t buy it.
So my final thoughts on this saw are this, the fence is second to none, and I really was sad to see that go, that is by far the best feature of this saw. If you want a good fence and are looking for an upgrade, look into king’s fence. But, ultimately don’t buy this saw. You are actually better off, in my personal opinion either paying more for a real cabinet saw, or pay less and get the Delta or Ridgid contractor saws. There is good about this saw, but I think you can get better value for your money, and above all don’t sacrifice on the safety I think this is a kickback waiting to happen.
I hope you find this informative, please keep in mind this is one person’s opinion from one unit.