General International, Canwood, King Canada, and Busy Bee


General International, Canwood, King Canada, and Busy Bee. These are the four brands readily available here in Canada. I can find a limited quantity of Jet tools around as well as some others. The Box stores of course have some Delta, Rigid, Black and Decker and such.
Now in my experience the General and Canwood tools seem almost identical. Speaking to the store rep at the House of Tools (where Canwood is the house brand), the jointers ARE identical with the general having more attention to detail (tighter specifications, better paint jobs... etc). Now in the case of the 8" jointer I was looking at I could get the GI for $1800 or the Canwood for $900 (for those who care I ended up with a 6" GI for $800, mainly due to space in my shop and resale value). A friend has the 8" Canwood, and admits that he has to use a little more finesse than he has to on General tools to get it accurate. I hear similar things about Grizzly.
I have no experience with King, although I see Costco selling them these days. Lost of people sell them but I don't know anybody (personally) that owns one. Does anybody have a comment?
Finally Busy Bee. Driven by the store, never stopped in. I get nervous with tools that are just price too low, there has to be a point where quality really drops off. But then again all the model above are produced overseas.
Anyway, just looking for opinions on these brands of tools for the remaining equipment I need to buy.
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General has a good reputation. The others are cheap imports who's performance is hit or miss. If you want value for your dollar, buy the name brand products that pass muster in most folks' opinions. That means of course, doing an appropriate amount of homework and checking reviews; even the name brand products include lemons. I would never buy a product off of Busy Bee (I have one that was given as a gift).
Mike
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Recall that General International is their "low end" line. Of course believe their low end is good.

There is a discussion of Kind Routers on the newsgroup right now
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Hi Buster, The major component accounting for the price difference between the 8" GI and the Canwood is likely the cutter head.
http://www.general.ca
Also, as you and others have noticed the fit and finish of the GI is pretty good compared to it's competitors.
King like Busy Bee has some good stuff and a few dogs. You are likely to get more first hand replies if you ask your questions in this forum.
http://www.canadianwoodworking.com /
Cheers, JG Buster wrote:

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I have a King contractor saw, a King 14" band saw and a 10 " King mitre saw. The table saw itself is ok, but the fence SUCKS so I intend to replace it with an Accusquare. The band saw is fine, I added an Accusquare fence to it already. I wouldn't recommend the mitre saw because of the poor ability to set angles. The settings using positive stops (90, 45, 22.5) are fine, but it's extremely difficult to set accurately to anything in between. I'm hoping it will break so I can justify a new big-name saw (DeWalt, Bosch, Makita, Hitachi, etc.). My dream table saw is a General 350. Hope this helps.
Ed
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