|Max cut depth|
|Max cut depth (45)|
|Rip to left|
|Rip to right|
We're big fans of the sliding table, and this one from Jet is a great specimen, giving you the advantage of a slider with the do-it-all capability and the smaller footprint of a contractor saw.
The cast-iron slider travels as if it's on air, but it's actually on ball bearings, and the difference between this and a shop-made sled are delightful. The fence on the gauge is super stable and generous, and crosscutting wide pieces with it is a walk in the park. The gauge itself is dead-on, and we like its easy legibility, with common miters clearly designated. It pulls out in front of the blade so much farther than a standard miter gauge, offering incomparable stock support. The lock-down clamp is cam-operated and easy on the hand, too. The miter head removes quickly and the table locks securely when you need the open surface for sheet goods or other work, too.
We've always liked Jet's Xacta fence; it's smooth as silk, reliable, accurate and the cursor is easy to read. This one gives you a 30-inch capacity to the right of the blade, and should you need to make adjustments, that's easy to do.
The enclosed stand, a nice improvement from the open-legged design, adds a lot of weight and so improves stability and dampens vibration, but be aware that this saw is nearly impossible to reposition once you've assembled it. We think it's a good idea to pick up Jet's mobile base along with this saw and assemble them together. Also, because of the closed cabinet, dust collection's vastly improved. If you're not connecting this saw to an extraction system, you'll really want to go in and vacuum out the sawdust accumulation. It's also a good idea, we noticed, to clean out the glide tracks on the slider table after heavy use, to keep them free of sawdust that could impede travel.
And talk about custom: You can mount the power on/off switch nearly anywhere along the front rail that suits you. But is there something we'd change? That's tough. If anything, we'd beef up the 1-3/4 horsepower motor – but then, that would change the nature of the saw. Just keep in mind that while this looks like a true cabinet saw, it really isn't. It's perfect for the home woodworker: a great start for a beginner, perfect for the intermediate and advanced sawdust-makers. We're betting you'll love the slide table and wonder how you got along with just a miter gauge before. --Kris Jensen-Van Heste
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