View Full Version : Final Showdown--Delta or Jet
01-08-2001, 09:16 PM
LAST EDITED ON Jan-08-01 AT 10:01PM (CDT)[p]In searching for a quality table saw within my budget I think my decision has come down to two. The Delta 36-444 1.5HP 10" Contractor's TS or the JET JWTS CW2JF 1.5HP 10" Contractor Saw with JetFence and cast iron wings. Both price at $599. If anyone has suggestions or comments to the pros and cons of either saw I would appreciate the help as usual. Thanks for the advice.
01-08-2001, 11:33 PM
Both saws are good choices. I don't know much about the fences that come on them but they will be much better than you would find on some other brands.
I have just look at the web site for both machines. Based on what I know of both brands and the features of both machines the JET is the better deal. The solid cast Iron wings will be enough of a difference to justify the purchase. Also check out Jets web page there is a great deal on that saw right now.
01-09-2001, 12:44 AM
I was in a similar quandry and have just ordered myself a new table saw. It was a difficult decision, Jet or Delta.
Before I say which one I ordered, let me share my logic with you so that it may help you with your decision.
First, it was money is of little importance so get what I wanted.
Second, it is not realistic to put 230 VAC in my shop area so a cabinet saw was out as was the new Grizzley 115 VAC cabinet saw. (The Grizzley draws 28 Amps at 115 VAC.) I even tried to find a 115 VAC motor that I could install in cabinet saw that would PHYSICALLY adapt but would require me to rewire the saw to no avail. So, it's a good contractors model.
Next, while at a woodworking show, I realized that a saw purchase is really two purchases; the table saw and the fence system. And in reality the fence system is really the first decision with the table saw second. While wandering about this woodworking show, the importance for the largest cast iron table top became obvious. Also, I don't expect to be cutting sheet material exactly and precisely in half at 48" so a 32" fence system is good for now. What is important to me is the ability to perform cuts that are repeatable and very precisely repeatable.
OK, looking at fence systems. The Biesmeyer is at the top and seems to be the easiest to install because every place that I went, the Biesmeyer was installed and working on the floor models. The Jet Xacta fence seemed to be a bit behind the Biesmeyer but that may be because they weren't installed properly on the floor models. I saw one Unifence that wasn't completely installed so any judgement is unfair. After the woodworking show and looking in a half dozen tool stores my decision was: twist my arm and I'll take the Biesmyer but I really want the Incra TS-III. The Incra is a bit more expensive and only available as an after market accessory.
The decision on the Incra and the largest cast iron table top pushed me towards a table saw without a fence system. (There aren't any available.) Next step was, which one has the largest cast iron table top and the cheapest fence system? In my case I decided on the Jet JWTS-10CW2-JF and an after market Incra TS-III fence system. It hasn't arrived yet but I'll let you know how everything goes.
01-09-2001, 10:31 PM
Thank you for your comments, however, I am a little confused. Are you saying that the Jet has the "cheaper" fence? Can you tell me a little more about how the fences of each compare because I probably will not upgrade until I buy a jointer and save up enough for an aftermarket fence. Thanks for your help.
01-09-2001, 11:46 PM
There are fences and then there are fences. The Xacta, Bessy, and unifence are all "analog" fences. You can lock 'em down at any point on their travel. An Incra is a "digital" fence. It has toothed racks that mesh forcing the fence to a multiple of 1/32" *every time*. This allows you to return to a previous setting in a couple of seconds and be to +-.002" of that setting - perfect repeatability. If you need to fine tune a cut to some measurement that isn't a multiple of 1/32" you can always use the micro adjuster to dial in to the nearest .001".
Bessy is "big iron". Heavy, strong, brute of fence that will lock tight and not quiver if you slam a sheet of ¾" ply into it. Uni and Xacta are almost same-same but not quite as beefy as bessy.
Incra, operating on completely different principle than "analog" fences doesn't really compare as it is in different class. Because of the interlocking teeth you have an absolute interference fit between fence and adjuster. The teeth simply CANNOT slip. Thus an Incra will hold it's setting until it *BREAKS*. There is just no way for it to slip without a complete mechanical failure. Given that the locking surface is about 1/32" deep and 4" x ¾" or so you have three square inches of MESHED TEETH that have to shear before it can start to move. And yet the lock is very easy as you just gently cam the toothed racks together. Mechanical lock is obtained and is not dependent on how "hard" or "light" you engage the locking lever. It's either locked like it's cast in concrete or it's completely free.
Incra also has precision "step & repeat" built in. If you mount router in TS wing you can use router to cut perfect dovetails and box joints (or you can cut box joints on TS). Is added bonus of fence, no dovetail jig is needed and you can be as creative as you want.
Incra also allows you to use aux scales. you can lay out multiple cuts as different lines on piece of plastic that inserts into fence. Label A, B, C, or #1, 2, 3, etc. Then you can remake item by having monkey make so many cuts at A, so many at B, etc. and they'll all come out perfect.
Bessy is good for cabinet shop where +-1/32" isn't issue and you're going to slam sheet goods at it all day. But if you're making furniture and need to be able to precisely duplicate pieces then Incra is way to travel.
01-10-2001, 12:06 AM
Mark and I have had this discuss many times on the forum. I have the Beisemeyer fence and have had for about 15 years. True it is an analog fence but, It is very repeatable. I set it to within 1/64 of an inch at any setting between the blade and 52 inches away from the blade day in and day out. I do make furnature and cabinets.
The incra fence is very nice, but if I were give one I would keep my Beisemeyer fence. One of the nice things about woodworking is that there are lots of ways to doing things. Each woodworker finds his or her own methods of work. The Best of them all James Krenov doesn't even use a table saw.
So as long as you get good equipment that will last then you will be able to work to your potential.
01-10-2001, 12:22 AM
Lou & Mark,
It was real agony making the decision between the Jet/Incra and the Delta/Biesmeyer. I think that the fences are so close that it depends upon how anal retentive one is. Yes, I am VERY anal retentive, thus the Incra.
01-10-2001, 12:33 AM
Did you visit my web page on it?
My vote is w/ jet. I own one and am very happy with it. Jet, for now, is the better deal. Why? they are on a mission to take a big chunk of delata's market. I've recently gutted and remodeled my shop. I used 1" sheets of plywood and never needed to adjust the XACTA fence. But then I don't throw my sheet materials at it, I realize this isn't done literaly, but 1" plywood is heavy and unforgiving.
Delta is not a bad choice by any means. I just couldn't see paying a few extra hundred bucks for the delta name tag. Don't get suckered into thinking delta means good ole USA because they are comming from overseas now. After spending nearly a year in this quandry, again I went w/Jet and never looked back.
The basic jet fence is only supported at one end, the front fence end and the other end bends easily.
I looked at a Ridgid 2424 and it has a clamp on both ends that hold the fence in one place.
Based on the way beams develop their strength, you would think fences would be short and wide. Many people make them tall and thin, those bend.
01-10-2001, 09:23 AM
LAST EDITED ON Jan-10-01 AT 09:28AM (CDT)[p]Glen,
Are you saying that for the same amount of money I will probably be getting more of a product from the Jet? Additionally, the Jet deal comes with the JetFence. Am I going to have to replace this before I expect to make clean and accurate cuts? Thanks.
01-10-2001, 11:53 PM
In the contractor's version and with cast iron extension tables the Jet offers a $50 rebate and Delta doesn't (Last time I looked). If you opt for the cheapie and Jet Fence the total is $600. With the Jet Xacta fence I think that it is $700. There is a Delta, Platinum edition contractor's saw with a Biesmeyer 50" fence at Junior's tools (SoCal) for $890 which I expect is rather typical.
RRich is dead on. You will get more for less money with JET.
DO opt for the XACTA fence. Don't, do not get the standard fence w/ a contractors saw. There are a handfull of after market fences but as RRich points out JET gives you credit for the standard fence when upping to the XACTA. I believe if you opt for a standard fence it won't matter if its Delta, Jet, or whoever there will be a margin of disappointment/frustration.
p.s. Any shows comming to your area. U may do even better.
Keep us posted on your decision and your opinion after your purchase. I like to know if my advice/opinion was helpful or needs to be retuned.
01-11-2001, 09:28 AM
Well after taking into account everyone's advice on the Forum and speaking to a dozen Delta/Jet dealers the tally came in at 15 to 1 in favor of the Jet. I ordered the Jet contractor's saw with the cast iron wings and the JetFence. The Xacta fence was two hundred dollars more and I decided to just save for a couple of weeks and purchase an Incra TS-III next month. I think that this set-up, like Rich's, will be a great saw to get started on some projects with my father. Thank you all for your valuable advice, I appreciate it.
01-11-2001, 10:10 AM
Don't forget to set aside a little $$$ for a nice blade or two! Forrest WW-II is top of the line, Freud 50T combo ain't bad either.
Good point !
A quality blade is like adding horsepower to your saw. Not to mention much safer.
01-11-2001, 03:01 PM
Not to mention lots less work to clean up the cuts.
Also look on other posts on table saws here to get input on how to setup the new saw. The very best saw without a careful setup will not work very well. Even the large expensive powertools need lots of TLC to get them tuned to do good work.
01-11-2001, 04:47 PM
Regarding the Forest WWII's, what is the difference between the 1/8" kerf and the 3/32" thin kerf and which should I go with if I want to do furniture and cabinetry? thanks
01-11-2001, 04:54 PM
On any blade the thin kerf takes ¼ less power from your saw as it is removing ¼ less material. This makes pushing the wood easier, motor runs cooler, less sawdust, etc.
You'll have to diddle your scales to match if you change.
01-11-2001, 05:04 PM
Other than the stuff Mark mentioned there is a couple of other things.
First there is less material removed so if you do any resawing it is much better to use the thin blade.
Second The blade is not as substancial and might flex more than the thicker blade. Could cause the cut to be not quite as smooth and the blade to last a shorter time. I don't think this is something we could even measure. Overall the thin blade would be better for everything you might want to do in the shop.