Was at my town's new Woodcraft's Grand Opening a couple of weeks ago,
and ran into the Jet rep who was there. I commented on their low price
on the Jet 18" Bandsaw. Woodcraft calls it the JWBS-18, but the
official number is 708750B. They want $999 for it, and I think that's
before a $100 rebate on a subsequent Jet purchase, although I'm not
completely sure. Anyway, he explained to me that the price is because
they're coming out with a new version (I think it's on their website as
the 710750/JWBS-18X) that has a 12" cutting capacity (improved over the
10 1/4" of the old one). It also has an extra quarter horespower to cut
the extra material better; reading the Amazon reviews, lack of power
seems to be a criticism of it. He wasn't sure of pricing but guessed
it'd be about $1250.
Amazon now has the old one at $999, as well. Just thought I'd let you
know - if you've been thinking about one of these, they've just gotten
cheaper, or are about to get better. So you might want to think about
either running out and getting one or waiting for the new model,
depending on whether saving $200 or getting 2" more cutting capacity
makes you more excited.
The Jet 18 has never been the equal of any other 18" bandsaw and Jet has
recognized it. $999 is about right for what its value is. I'm glad to see
Jet upgrading it. It remains to be seen if it will be competitive with the
other established performers. I like Jet company and own several of their
tools, but their bandsaws have never impressed me.
I have the Jet 18". Hopefully they add more than 1/4hp to the new model,
it could use at LEAST 2 hp to resaw 10" stock. I wouldn't say it's
terribly underpowered as is, currently at 1 1/2 hp, but it's like having a
full size truck with a v6 instead of a v8. It gets the job done, just
slower. In fact, I've been toying with the idea of buying the Jet 2hp 1200
cfm DC and switching motors with the 1 1/2 hp band saw. My shop usually
looks more like a horse stall with all the dust, so a DC is next on the list
anyway. I'll follow up if this works. --dave
On the Amazon reviews page, Eric Davidson says he upgraded his to a 2HP
motor after he burned out the stock one:
(Amazon.com product link shortened)
He encourages people to email him for details and posts his email
address there and encourages people to email for details.
I hadn't realized these things were so underpowered. I'd kinda-sorta
had my eye on them, but hadn't done any real research because the
purchase for me is quite a ways off. Just moved into my new place, and
the shop is still too full of boxes to even use the tools I *already*
<snip>> I hadn't realized these things were so underpowered
They are not as bad as it sounds. I too wrote as review on amazon and did
read about the motor conversion. Recently, i read "Band Saw Handbook" and
gave the saw an in depth tune up. Also added the "right" blade, which for
me is a 1/2" 3tpi hook tooth for resawing. Since then, I've been able to
resaw 7" to 8" thick cherry and QSWO fairly easily and accurately. In fact,
the saw now runs how i expected it to when i bought it, and overall I'm very
pleased with it, especially the bearing guides. If you are just cutting
regular hardwoods a few inches thick, the saw has ample power. My only
complaint is if the saw is built to resaw 10" thick material, it should be
powered to cut 10" material, not 8" thick material, hence the need for a 2
hp motor. --dave
Well, consider that they call it an 18" saw, yet a Powermatic 14" has a 1.5
hp motor, and a Laguna 14" has a 2hp, etc. I'd say they over rated it rather
than underpowered it. If they called it a super 14", it might not look so
DON'T downgrade the motor on their DC 1200 dust collector. There is more
than just a motor change difference between their DC 1100 and DC 1200 dust
collector. The DC1200 has a large impeller, moves more air and requires
more horsepower. You would likely overheat a 1 1/2 motor trying to turn too
big an impeller, not to mention voiding the warranty. You might consider
just buying a larger motor for the Jet 18 bandsaw.
Try the 220 conversion I have experienced the the motor doesn't bog down as
easily. Also neoprene tires and add a second dust collection port in the
bottom of the lower wheel cabinet at about a 7:00 position as you view it. I
also use a 1/2" woodslicer blade and can get reasonable 8" resaw work out of
Does a 220 conversion really do this? I thought the only point of a 220
conversion was to lower the number of amps you needed at the tool (and
maybe make it run cooler). But I didn't think a 220 conversion would
make better cuts or bog down less. Am I mistaken on that? I've never
used a 220 tool, so I'm just leaning on my book learnin' here.
I'm planning on rewiring all my big tools to 220 (because I only have 40
amps for my new shop), but I wasn't expecting to get any performance
gains out of that. I'd love to be wrong!
Any performance gains would be due to a lower power loss in the feed lines.
Moving to 220v cuts the amperage draw in half. Since the power loss is a
function of the square of the amperage ( P = R * I^2 ) your line loss at 220v
will be only 1/4 as much as with 110v. (Voltage drop is 1/2 as much with 220 as
with 110, Power loss is 1/4 as much.)
Whether you see a noticeable gain at the tool or not will depend on the total
amperage draw and the resistance of the line feeding your shop. You will see the
greater effect the closer you are to the amperage limit (ampacity) for the gauge
of the current feeder line.
Wichita, KS USA
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