Jet vs. Powermatic 66

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I am about to get pushed out the door at the office and want to get my shop in first class shape before retirement. The old contractors table saw is going to be replaced and I have always longed for a Powermatic 66. Today I stumbled into a deal on the Jet 708663MBK for $1,320. That's about 1K less than the Powermatic 66. I am having a hard time justifying that extra as I sit looking at my old Sears jointer. That could be replaced with a long bed version for around 1K. Any advice on the Jet table saw?
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I used the Jet a couple of times and liked it. The PM66 is nice, but so is that new jointer.
Enjoy retirement.
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wrote:

FWIW. I bought Delta for various reasons but before doing so I shopped Woodworker's Source here in Tucson. They have Jet and PM and, according to what they told me, all of the employees seem to have Jets at home and when the old PM was replaced in the shop in the back they installed a Jet.

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Paul Gilbert wrote:

one, and to hell with the extra K$. You get what you pay for and I have never regretted that decision. A few years later, my old Sears jointer tried to maim me so I gave it away and bought the Griz G0500. How many years do you have left and should you short yourself for a few bucks?     mahalo,     jo4hn
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That's right, You can't take it with you so spend it now and enjoy.
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you always wanted a PM- what's the problem?? Sure, the Jet is 98 percent as good a saw as a PM66. But it just ain't the same thing.
Spend the bucks.
-Dan V.
wrote:

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You guys do know that Jet bought Powermatic a few years back right? I bought a new 66 in 1997 and it was a nightmare to get right. The factory sent three tops before it was right and I just regretted it. I hope Jet made things right with the factory in Tennessee. I would try and look at a Powermatic in a showroom next to a Jet before you decide to spend the extra 1K. I would also try and look at a General in person. max

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I've got a Jet cabinet saw with the 50" fence now... upgraded from a Jet contractor saw with 30" fence. I've been very happy with the saw. I put it on a Delta mobile base and added an outfeed table that is easily removed if I have to move the saw. The cabinet saw compliments my DJ-20 jointer well and they are my most used stationary tools.
John
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While not retiring, I'm at exactly the same point, after my old 34-300 died. I regretted not getting the PowerMatic bandsaw (over the Jet deluxe) and thought about the JTAS-10X30/708663MBK versus the PowerMatic 66.
The Powermatic 66 has the following advantages as far as I can tell:
Yellow :-) Beefier Trunions - Easier to operate blade lift/tilt MADE is the USA More polishing 150 more pounds
I think the guard is better. But it's the same fence, AFAICT. The exploded parts diagram is completely different.
While I'd like to support the US, $1K is a LOT of support. I'm not sure what the extra $1K gets me, besides yellow.
I think the Powermatic 66 is shipped assembled, right? Will Amazon shipping provide a way for it to get off the tailgate and onto the floor?
I have to get the saw into my basement w/Bilco door. I'm thinking the Jet will be easier. It's certainly lighter.
BTW - does anyone else think the Jet catalog and Jet website is very hard to get info from?
Jet offers 300 different table saw packages, but they don't describe them in the catalog, and their web site doesn't really describe them well. They all use the same picture, and I'm not sure which model number corresponds to which option.
On page 10 of the 2004 catalog is a picture of the massive cast iron trunnions. I'm not sure if this is in the JTAS-10X or not. I suppect it's in the Powermmatic 66, and not all of the Exacta saws.
Page 12 describes the 708436 model. This is no longer available, and the wheels look really puny compared to the other Exacta saws. I assume the JTAS-10X doesn't look like this.
Also - many web sites don't let to make your own combination. It looks like I have to get a JTAS without a table or right cast iron wing, and get a plain table as an option. I was interested in one with a router cut-out, but finding this combination is difficult. I think Southern Tool has it, but they charge $150 extra for tailgate service over Amazon. I'm looking at the 30" fence because I have a space problem, and do small projects.
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Bruce Barnett wrote: ...

150-lb, mostly in the castings...that's significant.

Have to tell them it's home delivery...don't assume, make sure. That's a case where I'd talk to them directly.
PM66 user approaching 20+ years...picked it up in McMinnville meself :)
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I have the JTAS and like it very much. You will be happy with either. My only beef with the jet is the HDMW??? (whatever you call that white slippy plastic) faces on the fence. They are not dead flat, maybe out by .01 on a couple spots. Three are some articles somewhere on the internet that explain shiming or correct but it's just not bad enough to fix. All things other things being equal I would opt for a laminate-covered fence. That's my only beef and a very small one. Not sure what facing the PM uses.
Why should you get the PM66? How does the joke go? Why do dogs lick their balls? Because they can!
Seriously, If it's not a hardship it *will* make you feel good to have what I think is generally accepted as the best. If you think you have to compromise (I did, and that was the right calll for me) then compromise.
Only you can decide. The good news is that both choices are winners.
Enjoy the new toy.
Steve

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I personally plan to have several fences with T-Tracks instead of that plastic fence.
I read a review that didn't like the precision Fence upgrade. He said that (1) You have to use special bolts you have to buy from Jet to make your own fence (2) It was harder to drill the holes for these bolts, and (3) the precision fence was flimsier.
I think I'll pick the standard fence when I buy the JTAS.
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FWIW mine is about 3 years old. It is *not* the newer micro-adjust version. I assume that's the one to which you refer.
-Steve
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on and off with the tap of a mallet. The clips do require 2-tier routing; one to recess the clip and the other to clear the screw head. Unfortunately, the uhmw fence suffers from compression distortion with these clips. I 86'd the uhmw and put on a nice baltic birch face.

they were talking about the standard version as opposed to the commercial version?
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I'm not sure. I wish I could find that review. I may have mis-spoke, but I thought he said the micro-precision was thinner in metal than the the non-micro-adjust one. I thought the word "flimsier" was used.
I really wish WHM/Jet had a web page like Dell uses when configuring computers. You select the main piece, then options, sub-options, etc. If you didn't understand an option, there would be a pop-up with more info.
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On 10 Mar 2005 11:55:46 GMT, Bruce Barnett wrote:

I have the JTAS10 with the micro-adjustable fence. There's nothing flimsy about it. The only disappointments, for me, are that the micro-adjust has lots of backlash, and the quick-release UHMW plastic sides are not perfectly flat.
So, I don't use the micro-adjust all that often (tap-tap-tap works just fine). And there recently was a discussion here about the quick-release sides, where fixes and alternatives were well discussed.
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Art Greenberg
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Paul:
I have used a Delta Unisaw for almost 15 years in our shop here at McFeely's. I recently purchased a used PM66 for myself, and finally got around to setting it up in the basement. After making a few cuts, I called my wife down to take a look. First, she didn't know I was using the saw because it was so well balanced, and had enough mass to damp most of the noise. Second, she couldn't believe how smooth the cuts were (and I couldn't either). I made one rip, and the only way I could tell which edge was sawn rather than jointed was by the knife marks on the jointed edge. The SAWN edge was better! I was using a Freud LU83 Anti-Vibe thin kerf blade (which we sell). Now my wife knows a thing or two about tools and shops because her father built big boats in a small shop (33 ft cabin cruiser of his own design for Chesapeake Bay was the largest), and while not a wood worker, she has had enough exposure to wood working to be impressed by the PM66. I can't speak to the quality of the Jet, but I can tell you that the PM66 is every bit as good as you have heard.
HTH
Jim Ray, President McFeely's Square Drive Screws www.mcfeelys.com

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Jim wrote: ...regarding PM66...

Yes, that extra mass is well worth the price, Jim.
Newcomers to the shop, I just flick the switch to let them hear/feel it run--it just has an "attitude" that invariably impresses those who've only had/seen others...
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Snip
Second, she couldn't believe how smooth the cuts were (and I couldn't

With all due respect Jim, IMHO any cabinet saw set up properly should produce those type results. My Jet cabinet saw has been producing better than jointer smooth for about 5 years now. Shiny smooth actually. I have indicated that since I only use a jointer to straighten the edge of wood that I may get rid of my jointer. I can straighten a board on my TS with a simple jig. Still, I would not turn down the Powermatic and perhaps I am a bit happier that I chose the Jet over the Unisaw after reading your comments. ;~)
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I bit the bullet and bought a PM66, though I had gone to the store for a Unisaw. All the way home I said to myself "After wanting a Unisaw for 30+ years at the last moment I clutch up and get the PM66, hope I didn't make a mistake". I've never used a Unisaw nor a Jet but each time I use the PM66 I have a smile on my face. When woodworking magazines rate various saws it doesn't hurt my feelings any that the PM66 usually comes out on top, not the best saw for the money, just the best saw.
So my suggestion is buy the best and cry only once!
Don Dando

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