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Thinking About Getting A Jet J-8201k Bandsaw...

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Chip

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#1
I noticed one the other day in a fabrication shop and it looked like a nice compact footprint for a garage shop. They mentioned it has been working out fine for them. I've never owned a vertical bandsaw before, but one has always been on my wish list. 115v means I can place it anywhere, and being able to use it on rare occasion for wood is a plus. The $1200 J-8201K seems to get positive reviews on Amazon assuming those are legit. For that Jet's price point and size, Grizzly is a possible contender too.

Lots of used industrial bandsaws out there as well I suppose, but space is a concern. I'm not going to be able to to squeeze in some behemoth DoAll no matter how much of a bargain I can get it for.

J=8201K

There is also a variable speed option for $1600 if it is a worth the $400 upgrade.
J-8201VS

The Grizzly I looked at is $1429
G0621X

As always any thoughts or experiences are greatly appreciated!
 

Doubleeboy

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#2
Something to consider, Jet customer service is next to worthless. I used to sell Jet equipment, and they were not the best, we ate the problem frequently to keep a customer happy. But they do seem to have good quality control and we had few problems, but when we did it was always a trial. This was woodworking equipment not metal btw.

michael
 

Chip

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#3
Well, Enco ran a sale on the J8201K for $1199 shipped, then later came out with a 20% off coupon. That seemed like too good a deal for me to pass up. I also found out it's made in Taiwan.

20150425_155032.jpg 20150425_155112.jpg
I mounted it on a ShopFox heavy duty mobile stand so I can keep it tucked in a corner until I need to use it.

I had to do a little sheetmetal tweaking once I un-crated it because it appeared the crate was knocked over on its side judging by the way the saw was shifted inside. However, to Jet's credit the steel is heavy gauge and the fit and finish is excellent. I used a block of wood on a rubber pad and pounded a couple minor warps back to square with no paint flaking whatsoever. You can't even tell now. Light years ahead of the craptastic Chinese paint used on my ShopFox lathe.

Because of the rough transport, I went ahead and put a wrench/driver on every component to ensure it was ready to go, and then made all the fine blade adjustments. Everything I inspected looked properly machined and assembled.

Overall, I am very happy with this bandsaw. I suppose for $960 I could have found an old Grob or DoAll on craigslist, but those are prohibitively big and heavy. This Jet however, doesn't take up much floor space in my shop, it has that familiar, ubiquitous design found on many 14" vertical bandsaws sold by various manufacturers, (but with an added gearbox to switch up from 3000 for wood and possibly aluminum, to several very slow speeds for steel) runs on 120v single phase, and has lots of options available like; various designs of ripping fence, a 4" riser block, and a quick release blade de-tensioner.

Like I said, I'm happy.
 
Last edited:

Ironken

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#4
Old thread but, great info......I'm looking at that saw as well. Are you still pleased with it?
 

sanddan

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#5
I have a Wilton 8201VS which is a rebranded Jet that was sold by Enco. The VS is a variable speed using a system similar to a variable speed mill. It makes speed changes faster than moving a belt to a different pulley, you just turn the adjusting knob. You get one wood speed and then the VS for metal speeds. It's a decent saw for the size and has plenty of torque for metal cutting. I was using a converted 14" wood saw (metal speed reduction using a reduction pulley system) and it was too easy to stall the blade due to the belt slipping. The gear box does not have that issue. The Wilton is a heavy duty 14" saw but still based on the basic wood saw design, they just beefed up some of the parts to better handle the stress of cutting metal. A true metal cutting saw such as Doall would be better but size can be an issue. I looked for a long time for a smaller metal cutting saw, 16" or 18", but they seem to be very rare in my parts. It's one of the most used tools in my shop.
 
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