Is JET a decent company for making bandsaws, or are they a cheap chinese
knockoff company? Or heck are they a cheap American knockoff company.
I noticed on their webpage that they list themselves as JET Europe, so
presumably they are European. Are they made in Europe or somewhere else?
Slight correction -- one of the two Griz's took best value, the other
was in the "also-ran" category w/ some defects (although w/o looking
again I don't recall what specifically was the problem with it).
I do remember noting and being somewhat surprised that PM and Jet were
two which rated worst on wheel alignment owing to being out and not
having sufficient upper shaft length to compensate via shimming...
I always have a real problem in believing some of the details on these
reviews like this, however--they take measurements of some such as
runout and report it. But, there's absolutely no indication of
reproducibility and no way to measure it so you could by the same model
and have results better or worse by a significant amount...or, it could
be identical, there's no way to know.
A correction to the correction... :)
I don't mean "believe" here, bad choice. I meant relying on the
single-point measurement as being a reliable ranking of all machines of
the given vendor/model compared to the population of another...
I think you guys think I know more about this than I really do. I was
asking about JET and the replies all mentioned Grizzly and Laguna. Since I
don't read Fine Woodworking I don't really understand what you are referring
to except maybe that JET makes the Grizzly line.
Sorry for the confusion, I'm a total woodworking noob and am just trying to
familiarize myself with the vendors so that later when I can justify the
purchases I can put a name with a face so to speak.
For now I'm looking at a joiner/planer for $450, a bandsaw is a long way
aways for now.
Or looked at it online...I think they still have current articles
available but their site is slow for dialup so I don't use it much...
www.taunton.com is top link
Grizzly is independent importer www.grizzly.com
Jet is the parent of Powermatic besides the Jet line
Every few days there is a bandsaw thread and we always talk about the
same few brands (Laguna, Grizzly, Jet, Craftsman, Harbor Freight). You
don't even have to ask here. Either search the archives (Google is your
friend) or just wait a few days.
Big bucks are on Laguna. Grizzly is for serious hobbyists. Jet is for
occasional users. Craftsman is for habitual losers (hey ... it rhymed).
And Harbor Freight is for the likes of me, big ambitions and dinky wallet.
I'm not not at the above address.
I have a Jet 14" 1 hp bandsaw. The FW article is B.S.
I had to tune the saw, put an after market tension spring on it and shim the
top wheel to get proper alignment. It does a great job resawing and it is
adjusted to have no blade drift. I am completely happy with it.
It will cut tenons quickly and there is no after work required on the tenon
to make it fit. I use B.C saw blades from Canada. I had very poor luck with
Timberwolf. The saw was made in Taiwan and the fit and finish are what Delta
used to be. I also added the extension block to resaw 12" stock.
No, what DJB posted was in fact printed and photo illustrated in said
I have a Delta X5 that I love. Did you see how well MY saw did? <G> I
will agree that if you use Delta's stamped blade tension scale, my
example will return the same resaw result the test stated, but I totally
disagree with other comments about my saw.
Remember, the testers get one example of each tool, just like the
examples you and I own.
So much personal preference is involved in any too review that I just
use them as feature reviews and listings of measurable stats. In many
cases, personal methods of work can greatly tilt preferences.
I did not mean the op was wrong. I totally disagree with the article.
When I was shopping for my saw, I was biased toward Delta, but The Jet
and the fit and finish of the Delta tools had deteriorated to being
Michael Fortune did a FW article about tuning a band saw. I don't remember
if it was Michael
or another writer that resaws happily with a 3/4 hp Rigid saw. It seems to
me that a properly
tuned bandsaw is a joy, but if you don't take time to figure it out, you
will be miserable.
Michael Fortune recommends using a 3tpi skip tooth blade fro BC Saw. I went
to using that
blade and the performance is great.
I might mention that I regularly apply Johnson's paste wax to the blade and
there is no rust,
which being in the Texas Gulf Coast area is remarkable.
That wasn't OP, but me who commented on what the article said and your
point might have been clarified a little... :)
I think it illustrates what I went on to say that a single-point sample
may (or may not) be an accurate representation of a machine overall.
Then again, maybe the one machine out of a 1000 you happened to get is
the one on the far extreme of the distribution that did just happen to
have manufacturing tolerances come out right.
Or, is it sure that the machine you have is even the same model as the
one in the FWW review article? Or have they introduced a "new and
improved" version of the same model? Is it clear that the 1 hp motor on
yours isn't actually stouter in performance than the 1-1/4 hp-rated one
on the sample machine?
None of those are known so if you had the tested machine in your shop
it's quite possible you would be badmouthing it, too, or had sent it
back and gone to something else.
Too many variables and too much unknown to draw more than some general
conclusions on various things such as a general "fit and finish" and the
design features or lack thereof imo.
What I'd like to see would be a subsequent test where instead of 8 or 10
different manufacturers' machines they took a sample of (say) 5 each
from two to make an actual assessment of variability. It would be ideal
if these were procured over a period of at least a year or so and not
all in one bulk purchase as well.
Manufacturers have process tolerances and a final functional
tolereances. The final functional tolerances on a band saw are such
things as blade tracking,radial and axial wheel runnout, wheel
balance, table flatness, slot alignment, blade speed, arm deflection
under tension, motor power characteristics, overall run vibration,
table tilt accuracy, etc...
Good manufacturers check most of these things on every saw. Hitting
one out of a thousand would put them out of business in a hurry.
The process tolereances and the philosophy for gettting them are what
insures meeting the functional expectations. Or not meeting them in
a statistically relevant manner.
All the above, quite likely
Five better than one, but still doesn't result in a statistically
relevant sample for a capability study. Better to send the tester to
the assembly line and observe the final tests, the number of failures
that are set off, and what is done about them.
All true and don't disagree to varying degrees w/ any of the above points.
The point is, of 14 saws in the sample, point estimates for two for
alignment of wheels wasn't all that great. Now, whether that is
significant functionally is another question not addressed specifically.
Given the two manufacturers whose saws were the two in question, I found
that a most interesting observation in as they are two normally
considered as "better" than the run-of-the-mill imports.
While a sample size of five is certainly small, the results would
certainly be indicative of the variability in the underlying process and
would go a long way towards establishing what could be expected by a
prospective buyer contemplating a future purchase of one of the subject
machines. And, given that few, if any, of us here or in the general
readership audience of FWW are going to be able to go and observe the
actual operating line quality control data from any of the
manufacturers, it would certainly be far more than we know now (or are
likely to know in the future).
Again, it revolves around the product review "game" -- much of it is no
more than that--guys want to write a story and need something to put
into it to make it appear worthwhile...
imo, ymmv, $0.02, etc., etc., of course...
We were not discussing the general readership audience but the
testers/writers representing the various mags. At my place they had
an open invitation to come whenever they requested, and often did.
However, none spent a week on an assembly line observing units coming
off and collecting quality data. Would be an eye opener if that were
done on a comparison basis. I would have welcomed it.
And I think that it would be more fun to test a bunch of units in the
lab, and quicker to get the results and go to publication.
Back in the late eighties early nineties, I believe it was, FWW did do
an article on each of the major manufacturing plants, comparing
processes and technology. Somewhere, I have reprints....One
manufacturer stood out for technology, cleanliness and impressive
process control. "like going on the set of Star Wars", I believe was
Sadly, that plant is no longer in business, nor, I think, are any of
the others that were in the comparison.
While sometimes I would question whether a particular functional
judgement was weighted properly in the larger scheme of things, I've
found the tester/writers to be very knowledgeable, competent and fair.
We were? That's news to me! :)
My comments had to do with the presentation of a single measurement to
the world through the vehicle of a review of a sample of products based
on the measurements taken from that sample. Those are the only data
available to the person reading that article other than some they might
take (if so equipped and inclined to do so) on a similar piece of gear
of their own.
In that respect I questioned the validity of the apparent conclusion
which can be inferred would be drawn by those readers that the data
reported are of value and importance and imply a real difference between
the machines themselves that has some bearing on the selection of one
over another for a prospective purchase. Otherwise, what is the point
of even making the measurement or reporting it other than to have
something to write in the article?
I don't doubt either of those although it would undoubtedly have been in
the first enlightening and in the second, worthy of discussion and in
reporting. I would doubt though, that the invitation would have
extended to allowing them to publish those data... :)
Which is what I was driving at. If the vendors would supply the
manufacturing tolerances for the measurements the reviewers thought of
interest and value and those were published as a reference, _THAT_ would
be of real value, far more than an individual number. Lacking that, the
best they can do would be the data from the individual machines. And,
of course, what that leaves out is context of where is this particular
measurement in the overall range of tolerances?
And, of course, there is very little serious evaluation in most reviews
at least of what these measurements _really_ mean in a quantitative
sense of how the machine actually will perform on a comparative basis.
That is where a really knowledgeable reviewer and writer in conjunction
with an open and candid manufacturer could provide a real educational
service to his audience.
I recall it...it was, as you say very interesting and informative and I,
too, grieve that the subject facility is no more... :(
I didn't intend anything I wrote to imply otherwise -- my use of "game"
was referring more to the limitations for their reviews owing to the
restrictions of format and volume in a publication. There is far more
to say than can be fit into the available space and many really useful
details are thus never brought out.
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