a piece on my table saw broke and I decided that I will not spend money
on Jet tools again. Too many little things have broken on the two shop
tools I have that are made by Jet.
I've made a replacement piece for the latest breakage from wood and
so far it seems to be fine
the original part is broken into about 10 pieces
a crappy cast aluminum part which was exactly the wrong material
for this application
I can't do that for the other stuff and have just had to fudge it
for example the quick-adjust handle on the lathe tool rest is
the handle is spring loaded so you can pull it out, rotate it then
tighten/loosen in a better position. well that crappy aluminum
was a really bad choice as it stripped out and I did not abuse this
I was always careful to pull it all the way out then rotate and
made sure it was seated again then tighten/loosen
I bought a plastic knob and that works ok, but not as much leverage
as the original handle
also the nut on the lathe tool rest that attaches under the bedway
was a flattened nut with a nylon ring. the nylon gave way and
the tool rest could not be adequately tightened to the bedway
replaced it with a plain old nut and so far so good
all these little things add up to sour me on Jet
they may have reduced the cost to pass on the savings to me but now
i lose and they lose
a lose-lose situation or mutually assured disappointment
I can understand your frustration and is the primary reason I buy better
quality tools. But having said that I own/have owned 5 Jet woodworking
machines. They are by far a better quality of any Delta tools that I
Anyway things wear out and a few dollars for a replacement or better
replacement part seems to be better than a premium price for a
On 2/24/2015 5:44 PM, email@example.com wrote:
I considered a Unisaw when buying my first cabinet saw in 1999. At that
time there was a lot of comments about new Unisaws having broken
trunnions. The Delta explanation was that the shippers were at fault.
While this may have been true no other manufacturers were having issues.
IIRC some one like Charlie Self had found out one way or another that
the torquing was not correct during assembly, IIRC. Anyway I thought
that the complaints/issues were an anomaly until I visited my local
supplier, 2 blocks from home, and learned that their show room floor saw
had a broken trunnion. That prompted me to buy the Jet cabinet saw. I
owned that saw until 2013, when I replaced it with the SawStop, and sold
the saw for what I paid for the saw itself. I threw in the HTC out feed
roller and mobile base. The saw cost me $400 to use for 14 years. I
had no issues with the saw at all other than a normal situation that
even the Unisaw on NYW exhibited. I do have a Delta DP and like it, it
replaced a smaller Rockwell radial DP.
Delta Scroll Saw sucked a big one. Delta 15" stationary planer works
fine but is no better IMHO than the other Jet equipment that I have.
Delta 12" disk sander is useful but it is not a precision tool.
Although it has adjustments for table tilt I would not want to make
those adjustments. Delta 12" CMS prone to break at the guard.
And speaking of the Unisaw, the new one/latest version has dropped in
prove significantly since the first few years of production. IIRC when
I was looking at all of the saw brands again 2 years ago the Unisaw was
in the neighborhood of $3700.00, basically the price of a PM 2000.
Today it can be had for about $1000.00 less. The PM is a little less
too but still north of $3K.
Anyway.....it was going to be the Euro version of a Laguna with scoring
blade and sliding table or the SawStop. I chose the industrial version
of the SS and I am extremely pleased with it.
I remember that period. I didn't buy mine until 2009, though. It's
been great (wish I could play with it).
The SawStop would have cost twice what I paid for the Unisaw. The
capital expense board didn't have any problem with $1600. Nearly
$3500 wasn't going to get approved. ;-) Remember, it doesn't
represent income, rather outgo.
When I was looking at DPs, I just about went with the variable speed
Powermatic but decided that it didn't go slow enough. The 18-300 came
out about that time and I bought it instead.
Yes, when I bought my Unisaw the new version was about the price of
the SawStop (silly). Mine was a leftover so I got a steal on it New
Unisaws under $1000?
Given unlimited $$ I might have done the same. ;-)
I would guess that delta will have to get more thoughtful designs
to remain viable, same for jet. I looked at some videos of laguna
bandsaws and if I had the $ I'd get one soon
this is nothing to do with parts wearing out, this is about bad
engineering which includes bad choices for materials
jet saw short-term sales by lowering quality but long term they
now will see diminished customer loyalty and lower sales
mutually assured disappointment
As an engineer, I have to comment on this. It's not
"bad engineering". It's "cost engineering", which is
when management forces the engineers to design to a
predetermined cost. Engineers hate it, because it
forces you to design in all sorts of crap to meet an
Price point has become more important than dependability. Anyone
working in a manufacturing world had seen this for years now.
A major appliance manufacturer called in all of its suppliers. They had
their unit on display as well as a competing unit from Korea. We were
told to reduce the price by 25% or the product would not exist any
longer. Everyone did what they had to do to meet the competition, but
after a few years, China came along and the plant closed down anyway.
Who do you blame? All of us. We talk how much we want quality, but
price become the deciding factor. We go to Woodcraft, fondle the tool,
then order it from Amazon because it is $5 cheaper there. Just look at
how well Harbor Freight is doing.
On Wednesday, February 25, 2015 at 1:18:13 PM UTC-6, Ed Pawlowski wrote:
Right there with you, Ed. Couldn't agree more. When I started in the trad
es back in the early 70s, tools were good enough to rebuild. Using them al
l day, we simply wore out hand power tools and their parts. So we put in t
riggers, bearing, brushes, etc., as a regular part of the tool owning exper
Many of the old tool names that were on the tools I used to love were bough
t by investment groups, not tool makers back in the 80s. The powers that b
e at those companies only sought to maximize their profits, not caring abou
t the tools, nor understanding their importance to the craftsman, tradesman
, or any other end user that valued a good tool. For all those companies c
ared, they were simply manufacturing widgets, and applied their college eds
as they had been taught.
Now, unless it is a stationary tool all tools to me are a balance of tool l
ife to longevity. About ten years ago I took my favorite Milwaukee circula
r saw in (at that time about 25 years old) for a new cord, bearings and a "
tightening up". The bench fee was $65, the bearings were $35, the cord was
$18, and the clean and lube was another $25. I was stunned and found that
the newest replacement model for that saw was $125 at HD.
I commented to the guy at the counter as I was getting my saw (no repairs..
.) that I was glad the trigger didn't go out. So just for fun, he looked i
t up. The "heavy duty" trigger was $49, and still carried the same bench f
ee ($65) as any process.
So I bought a Makita at HD, and it is a great saw. But now as before, if so
mething breaks or wear out, it will be prohibitive to have it fixed.
Years ago I always bought from our local supply house as they stocked acces
sories for the tools they sold, some parts, and had someone that could diag
nose your problem if a tool "quit working". We haven't had anyone like tha
t years here.
I would gladly pay more for a tool of there was a quality company standing
behind it and I got good utility value from the tool. Now they all seem to
be varying degrees of just junk to pretty good until you get up in the Fes
tool, Metabo, Lamello, etc., range. I buy the Bosch, Ridgid, DeWalt, etc.,
and depending on what goes wrong and how long it lasted, probably toss the
m after they break.
I feel like I am like a lot of folks that are getting the short end of the
stick because of consumer habits. I have no more local support for my tool
s or for parts as Amazon, ebay, etc. put them out of business long before H
F came on the scene. At one time, you could save 30% by buying online, so
off most went to their computers. I have no selection for better tools as
no one can afford to keep a showroom since folks will do as you said, try o
ut a tool, handle and inspect it and then go home and purchase it. I have
seen many, many times at the Woodcraft demos where folks go and use the too
ls they are interested in, then go to Amazon or other places to buy their t
ool after using one for a few hours at WC.
Folks always brag about the low prices they pay on things, but then if you
need any backup or support, many times you find out how little that price d
ifferential was actually worth. I would gladly pay more for a quality tool
backed by good service.
On the other hand, the black eye isn't all on us consumers. About 3 years
ago I bought a Ridgid branded 12v drill package. Two identical drills, a c
harger, and two batteries for a promotional price. Lifetime warranty on th
e drills and batteries, one year on the charger. I went through the scrupu
lous registration process and got the drills registered.
Last Monday I took the drills in as the batteries had died. In about 3 wee
ks I will need them to drill and mount about 60 hinges and installs new dra
wer hardware at the house I am working on. The guy at the counter told me
he was "the tool guy" and would evaluate them. It could take (he told me)
about a month for him to get to their assessment. If he found the batterie
s to be dead and non revivable, then he would send them to the Ridgid servi
ce center, so add in another 10 days for packing, transit, and receiving.
So now we are at six weeks.
They told me at the service center that their normal turn around on any too
l (unless it needed an extensive rebuild) was about a month. So now good s
ir, the replacement of two dead batteries (which were determined dead by th
e tool guy when I brought them in, he was just wanting to do additional tes
ting to "make sure") is at best guess... 2 1/2 to 3 months.
What professional can have a duty tool offline for a quarter of the work ye
Further, I was informed and signed a document at the time I turned the tool
s over that said that Ridgid/HD has the sole power to determine of the tool
was simply worked until the end of its life, abused, broken due to acciden
t, used incorrectly (drilling 2" holes in yellow pine all day with the 12v
drill), not stored or taken care of properly, used for a task other than wh
ich it was specifically designed to do, or neglected in any way they determ
ine is detrimental to the tool. Any of the aforementioned conditions could
and probably would lead to denial of the warranty.
So now what do I do? I don't even know if they are going to honor their wa
rranty... I need the drills in a couple of weeks and probably won't have wo
rd by then on what they are going to do.
In reality, I will probably go buy a cheaper drill and use it for the job,
then until it breaks. At this point, I see little point in paying any prem
ium for a working class tool. At this point (at least with Ridgid) I feel l
ike I am playing a game with them, one I just might lose. I don't have the
time for all that dancing around and I need my drills. With that in mind
and at the cost of rebuilding my tools, I almost always look for cheaper al
ernatives for the job site these days.
Right there with you, Ed. Couldn't agree more. When I started in the
trades back in the early 70s, tools were good enough to rebuild.
Using them all day, we simply wore out hand power tools and their
parts. So we put in triggers, bearing, brushes, etc., as a regular
part of the tool owning experience.
During the early '60s, I worked on devices that got mounted on
the engines of military vehicles.
The performance specification was straight forward.
500 hours of performanc life with ZERO, ZIP failures.
If the device survived 500.001 hours and then died, that
The reason the performance spec was written as stated was
Hit the beach with 100 new trucks and the enemy destroys
10-20 of them in the first 10 hours of battle, and renders another
50 of them inoperable without a rebuild facility to make repairs
which is highly unlikely on the battlefield.
Turns out the lowest cost to the military is to have new spare
devices available to be used when the opportunity presents itself.
It's a case starting with a 100% operating device and using it until
it fails, then scrap the device and start with another new device.
No attempt is made to rebuild what is basically a throw away item.
Another example of a throw away device is the printed circuit board
populated with poorest tolerance components as possible except for
a single resistor and a capacitor which are the tightest tolerance
The populated boards are then tested to determine the resistor
and capacitor values to classify the board assembly as a tight
From a manufacting point of view, it's the best of all worlds.
Low cost, wide tolerance components are used for at least 90%
of the of the devices while high cost, tight tolerance devices
allow a low cost, high performance boards to be delivered to
There is no way to repair a board like this in the field which is
why a replacement board assembly is routinely sold for about
60% of a new device along with the old board ass'y.
I'm afraid the days of being able to make repairs, even simple
ones to rebuild a tool in the field are quickly becoming history
from another era.
On Wed, 25 Feb 2015 18:21:06 +0000 (UTC), John McCoy
As an engineer, I'll have to disagree. Engineering is *all* about
cost. It's easy to build a bridge that will stand. It's really hard
to design one that will barely stand. The goals might be unrealistic
or perhaps the engineers aren't quite smart enough. ;-)
You're kind of misreading what I meant.
There's a difference between "come up with the lowest
cost design that meets these specs" and "come up with
a design that doesn't exceed this cost". For the first
one I might come back and say "here it is, and the cost
is $43.17". For the second I might say "here it is,
and to meet the $35 cost requirement we have to relax
this, this, and this specification".
The fun part of engineering is balancing all the specs,
both performance and cost, to get the best result. It's
not fun when the cost is locked in, and you can't trade
off one area for another.
Bridges, fortunately, are not built to a preset price.
Just like the cantilever locking device made out of plastic and
opens / locks the back side door on my 3 door S10. The door is held
in by force and the force drives the plastic to break. Wish I had a
metal version. Might have to make one.
I suspect it was done to limit weight like the crappy 5mph bumpers
that is used on many cars to limit weight.
The S10 is an excellent example of cost-engineering. There's
a lot of crappy design in that truck to make it cheap.
The plastic part isn't to save weight, it's to save cost.
The cost to form a metal part is 10x that of a plastic
part, if not more.
There's much to what you say. In many cases plastic parts
replaced castings of zamac or similar pot metals which had
comparable strength. In those cases there is a worthwhile
savings in weight and cost.
On the other hand, there are many cases where a plastic
part replaced a metal part (often steel), where the
strength, brittleness, or wear resistance of the plastic
part was not adequate, leading to a much reduced product
It's also worth noting that not all plastics are equal,
and an application where a fiber reinforced plastic like
Delrin is suitable wouldn't work with something like LDPE.
Especially in the 80s you saw a lot of metal subsituted
with weak, unsuitable plastics, where now better material
choices are being made.
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