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Jet 14" Bandsaw

Specifications
Rip Capacity: 12 1/2"
Resaw Capacity: 6" w/o Riser 12" with Riser
Blade Capacity: 3/4"
Accessories: 6" Riser Block, Fasttrack Fence
Price: $550 without accessories
Rating:

 

 

 

Review

The 14" bandsaw has become the standard bandsaw. It isn't a toy but it isn't big and expensive either. It is sort of the "jack plane of bandsaws." Like many other bandsaws, this is modeled after the old Delta bandsaw. The other tool makers must have felt if it wasn't broke they didn't need to design their own.

Assembly
When I purchase a tool I expect to open the box and find hundreds of pieces and spend a half day of frustration getting the tool setup. I was very pleased to find this tool almost entirely put together. I don't think it took me more than an hour. It is basically in 3 pieces, top, base and motor. Not bad if you ask me. I wish I could have said the same for my table saw.

Motor
The saw comes with a 1 HP single phase, 10 amp induction motor. This motor gives the saw a blade speed of 3000 sfpm. I've found the motor to be powerful enough for my purposes. I wouldn't mind a little more kick in the motor but this is an economical bandsaw. If you want more power, get a different saw.

Blades
The blade that this saw came with was a total joke. The first piece I tried to cut on this saw was 2" thick piece of soft maple. After a few minutes of messing around with that blade my wife came down to the shop to ask what was burning. I had a bad case of buyers remorse at this point. Not being a real bandsaw expert at all I went back to Woodcraft where I bought the saw. They said the blade was junk and sold me a new blade. To my surprise it actually worked fine. The original blade left my possession the next garbage day.

I've used 3/16", 1/4", 1/2", and 3/4" blades on this saw. With the exception of the 3/4", the saw handles these blades well. I do not recommend the 3/4" with this saw. First, if you have the riser blocks installed there can be clearance issues with the metal guard. The blade is so wide that the flimsy guard has to be in a perfect position or else you'll have blade/guard contact, something I'd like to avoid. Secondly, the blade just seems to cut poorly with that big blade. Sure, it chews through wood but I never got it to cut well. Maybe it is the crown on the wheel, I'm not really sure. Using a 1/2" or 3/8" blade with hook or skip teeth should cut just fine for most resawing applications, you just need to go a little slower.

Blade Guides
The blade guides on this saw don't seem to compare with Delta's. I've used a Delta 14" saw and the guides just seem bigger. Maybe it was an after market guide on the saw but in any case, this saw has rather cheap looking guides. If you want better guides you can pay big $ for a Carter system or you can save your money for a new saw. Keep in mind this is an economical 14" saw so the guides are honestly about what I'd expect for this saw.

Riser Block
The riser block for this saw is 6". This gives the saw a resaw capacity of 12". That capacity is larger than many much larger saws. Frankly, I think it's excessive. Had the standard riser block been 4" I wouldn't have complained. I really only got the riser block because I'll often resaw something in the 7" range. I don't intend to do a lot of 11" resawing. If you do a lot of resawing in that range I would suggest a bigger saw. You just won't be happy with this saw for many reasons.

Fence
This saw does not come with a fence. I purchased a Fasttrack fence for my saw. Having a good fence is very helpful but not quite necessary for a bandsaw. Since this fence is not made by Jet I'm not going to review this fence.

Dust Collection
This saw come with a rather small dust port below the table. It is far from perfect, but with my 1.5 HP dust collector it really helps. Bandsaws don't produce a large volume of dust but the dust it creates is very fine. A little larger port might help the dust collection.

Cast Iron Table
The cast iron table on this saw is 15". For a saw this size that is about all you can expect. For most projects that is just fine. If you like to cut very large pieces on this saw you may have trouble unless you build an outfeed and infeed table. The table itself is nothing special. When cutting smaller pieces I've noticed the insert isn't flush with the rest of the table. This will cause the piece to tip in or get raised up. This is very minor, but it would be nice if it was more flush. I've also had a little trouble with pieces catching on the cutout for the blade. A slight chamfering of the edge would help, it is quite sharp on my saw.

This is a very economical saw that has good quality for the price. If you want to pay for a little more quality I think the 14" Delta would be a worth while purchase. However, on a budget this saw's worth the money spent. I'm pretty stingy with the 5 and 6 ratings so this saw gets a 4.

Overall Rating 4 out of 6.

 

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