There are currently nine different Jet bandsaw models available for woodworking, ranging from a 10" portable bandsaw to a big 20" 5 HP model. Here we will talk about the 10" and 14" band saws. For information on the bigger 16", 18" and 20" models, visit our other Jet Band Saw page.
Jet Tools is part of The Walter-Meier Holdings group, which also produces Wilton and Powermatic woodworking tools. Jet Tools began in 1958, and expanded into woodworking tools in the early 1980s. They have always produced tools and equipment that were designed with the professional or serious hobbyist in mind. The current lineup of Jet band saws is no exception.
First up is the 10" JWBS-10OS Jet bandsaw. It comes with an open stand, but can easily be mounted on a benchtop too. It is designed to be portable, but has many of the features that are usually only found on larger band saws. These unusual features include ball bearing upper and lower blade guides, a poly-V drive belt, a quick-release blade tension lever, rack and pinion blade guide height adjustment, a built in LED light, and a fence.
The Jet JWBS-10OS has a 1/2 HP motor, 9-5/8" rip capacity, and a 4-1/8" resaw capacity. The table is a little over 13 inches square, and will tilt from 0 to 45 degrees. It will accept up to a 1/2" wide blade, and comes with a 3-year warranty. It also has a neat slide-out extension for the table, which makes it easier to handle large workpieces on the small band saw.
Most owners were happy with the saw overall, and in its price range it is hard to beat the number of features that this portable bandsaw has. Currently, Amazon reviewers give it 3.6 out of 5 stars with over 50 reviews (click to see) listed, and Woodcraft reviewers give it a 4.1 out of 5 stars with 7 reviews listed. CPO Tools has 2 reviews that average 4.5 stars.
Several owners reported an issue with the tires coming off, and Jet is taking care of that issue by sending replacements under warranty. There are little plastic caps on the adjustment knobs that have a habit of falling off, although that doesn't affect the function of the saw.
A few owners of the small Jet bandsaw wish it had more power, but that kind of comes with the territory in a portable bandsaw. A couple of owners said it took some tinkering to get everything so that it would align properly. Also, the selection and availability of replacement blades is somewhat limited.
The most common complaint is that when it is ordered online, the box and packaging don't stand up very well to rough handling from UPS and FedEx. A number of owners received a saw that was damaged during the shipping process.
Keep in mind though that there have probably been hundreds if not thousands of these portable band saws sold online and shipped over the past couple of years, and there were a dozen or so complaints on the Amazon website. Most of the more recent reviews reported that the saw and packaging arrived in good condition, so Jet may have improved the packaging somewhere along the way.
Next up we have the 14" JWBS-14OS Jet bandsaw. This one has an open stand and a 3/4 HP, 115V motor that can be wired for 230V. It offers a 13-1/2" rip capacity, and a 6" resaw capacity. You also can purchase a 6" riser block that will extend the resaw capacity to 12". The cast iron table is 14" square, and tilts from 10 degrees left to 45 degrees right. It will accept up to a 3/4" blade.
One advantage that the Jet 14" bandsaw has over some of the competition is a cast iron upper and lower frame. Cast iron is more rigid than stamped steel, and also absorbs vibration better. The JWBS-14OS also has a 4" dust port which many open-stand bandsaws don't.
There aren't many reviews of the Jet JWBS-14OS online, in fact I only found three. Two of them rated it a 4 out of 5 stars. The third one had good things to say about it, except that it was underpowered. I imagine that this particular model doesn't sell very well, because the next model in the Jet bandsaw lineup only costs slightly more and has some added benefits.
That brings us to the 14" JWBS-14CS Jet bandsaw. It appears to be made from the same "chassis" as the open-stand model above, but it has a closed stand, a more powerful 1.0 HP motor, and a larger 15" x 15" cast iron table. The other specs are the same as the open stand model, and it also will accept the 6" riser block.
I imagine this is Jet's best selling model, for several reasons. The 14" vertical band saw has become somewhat of a woodworking "standard", kind of like the 10" table saw. The 14" size is large enough to suit the needs of most woodworkers, and competition in the marketplace for 14" band saws has brought the prices into the affordable range for many woodworkers. Also, there are more reviews available for this saw than for any of the other Jet bandsaw models, and the next model up the ladder is considerably more expensive.
The Jet JWBS-14CS has better overall reviews than the first two band saws above. Amazon reviewers currently average 4.2 out of 5 stars, with 51 reviews at the moment. There are also several positive in-depth owner reviews on other woodworking websites. This Jet bandsaw is a solid performer, meets the needs of most woodworkers, and is reasonably priced.
There are a few common complaints though. The design of the dust collection system isn't the greatest, and that is the most common complaint. The next most common complaint is the quality of the supplied blade, but you will be buying good quality blades for different purposes anyway, right?
The next complaint is the graphite guide blocks. They seem to wear quickly, which requires that you make frequent adjustments. The solution is to replace them with Cool Blocks or the Carter roller guide system when the originals wear out, and that will solve the problem.
Some owners who had installed the 6" riser block said that the saw does not provide enough power to resaw 12" wood efficiently, while others said you just have to slow down your feed rate, use a good blade, and it works fine. Some wish it came with a fence and miter gauge, but those items are available separately.
All in all, mostly minor complaints, and most are easily and inexpensively corrected. The Jet JWBS-14CS is a good quality machine and a solid value in the 14" bandsaw category.
Note: If you are thinking about getting your first bandsaw, or need help tuning up one you already have, I recommend getting a copy of either (or both!) Lonnie Bird's The Bandsaw Book or Mark Duginske's The New Complete Guide to the Band Saw. These books will help you to understand the features and capabilities of a band saw, and guide you through choosing the right types of blades, adjusting and maintaining your saw, and tell you what to do when things go wrong. Both have excellent ratings on Amazon, and are recommended by lots of folks in the woodworking forums.
Finally, we have the "Cadillac" of the 14" Jet bandsaw lineup, the JWBS-14DXPRO. It is similar to the 14CS model above, but with some added features and improvements. No riser block is needed with the 14DXPRO, as it already has a 12" resaw capacity built in. It comes with a larger 1-1/4 HP motor, with two speed pulleys that use a poly-V belt instead of the single-V belt that the other Jet 14" band saws use. This model also adds a quick-release lever for the blade tension, ball bearing guides, and a nice rack and pinion adjustment for the blade guide height.
Reviews for this saw are quite good. It averages 4.7 stars out of 5 on the Amazon website with 21 owner reviews, and 5 stars out of 5 on the Rockler website with 2 owner reviews. NewWoodworker.com lists a positive review with no complaints. CPO Tools has 7 reviews, and all seven would recommend it to a friend. The only real concern from all of these reviews is that one owner reports the blade tensioner knob and shaft broke off in his hand, but that appears to be an isolated case of a defective part.
For a good look at the JWBS-14DXPRO Jet bandsaw, take a look at the video below:
The disadvantage of this Jet bandsaw is its price. It faces stiff competition from several other brands with similar capacities, more power, and similar quality. One thing to be aware of is that the 14DXPRO does NOT come with a fence, even though almost every picture I found online shows the fence installed. This surprised at least one purchaser, who didn't read the fine print and expected the fence to come with it.
If you want all the detailed specs on the Jet band saws, visit the JetTools.com website.
If you are in the market for a 14" band saw, I also encourage you to take a look at what Grizzly has to offer. The Grizzly bandsaws get great reviews and are budget-priced.
That about covers the smaller Jet bandsaw models. If you are interested in something with a little more capacity and power, take a look at our other Jet Band Saw page for reviews of the larger 16", 18", and 20" Jet bandsaw models.