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Woodworking Profile of Jet Tools


Jet JSSG-10 Wet Sharpener

Jet JSSG-10 Wet Sharpener

(c) 2012 Chris Baylor, licensed to About.com, Inc.
Jet Tools, a manufacturer of woodworking machines and tools, has been a popular name plate in the industrial tool arena since the company was founded, in 1958. The company's founder, Leslie P. Sussman, gave the company its name after he was one of the passengers on the first commercial Boeing Jet Airplane flight from Seattle, Washington to Japan. I'm sure that Mr. Sussman had no idea that his company would grow from humble beginnings as a tool manufacturer with a Seattle machine shop selling tools in one local hardware store into one of the most recognizable brands in not only the woodworking arena, but in a number of industrial tool lines.

The company's color scheme has evolved over the years to keep pace with the company's growing line of tools. Initially, the colors of their initial products, air hoists and trolleys, were mostly blue. As the company realized success after success and ventured into metalworking tools, material handling and air tools (along with a wide variety of unrelated items such as snowmobiles and nylon stockings), the Jet monicker and color scheme transitioned through shades of green and orange before settling on the trademarked white and red scheme.

In the 1990's, Jet transitioned from being primarily an importer to a manufacturer, as they began to build some of their equipment in the United States. Today, Jet Tools is a subsidiary of the Walter Meier Group, a multi-national corporation that also boasts the Powermatic power tools and Wilton hand tools nameplates.

Jet Tools Woodworking Tools:

Jet Tools focuses their woodworking products primarily on woodworking machines, namely larger, professional machines such as cabinet table saws, jointers, drill presses, large-scale sanders and shapers. However, they do offer some smaller, bench-top tools, including compound miter saws, mortisers and even the impressive Jet JSSG-10 Wet Sharpener (which was previously reviewed on this site).

One area in which Jet has been expanding their woodworking product line in recent years is in air filtration and dust collection. At the moment, they offer a number of single stage dust collectors (in both bag and canister style) to help keep sawdust in the wood shop to a minimum, protecting not only the woodworker by minimizing airborne dust particles from causing respiratory issues, but also keeping the tools to which they are connected cleaner and performing at their optimum efficiency.

Jet's Vortex Cone Single Stage Dust Collectors employ a special design that they call the Vortex Cone, which helps to separate as much as 98 percent (according to the manufacturer's tests) of wood chips from reaching the air filtration system, keeping the filters from being clogged with larger particles and allowing them to filter at a level of as much as 2 microns with an air flow of as much as 1200 cubic feet per minute through a 4-inch collection hose.

What Sets Jet Tools Apart?:

While every company tries to boast of having top-notch service after the sale, my experience with Jet Tools tells me that they truly mean it. Jet has 750 local Authorized Service Centers around the United States alone, as well as easy-to-reach customer relations and technical service departments, all available on the phone via a toll free number listed on their website (www.jettools.com). They even boast that their parts department keeps over 40,000 unique parts in stock.

However, that's not what really impresses me. What does impress me is the level of detail in Jet Tools' product manuals. Yes, every company's tool comes with an owner's manual. I just find that so many of them that I see with the tools that come through my shop are so hard to read or follow. Or worse, what if you lose the manual and need to get a replacement?

Jet Tools takes operator's manuals to the next level. Not only is each manual thorough and easy to read, but every Jet Tools manual that I have seen has included an illustrated parts list (including the Jet part number) so if a part breaks and you need a replacement, you can find the exact part you need in seconds using the exploded diagrams in the manual. What's more, the manuals appear to be well-written, not auto-translated from another language. As such, they are easy-to-follow, allowing you to find the information you need when you need it.

Additionally, should you lose your manual, Jet Tools lists nearly 600 full manuals for their products right on their website where you can download the complete manual in PDF form right on your computer at no cost. I don't know if this number of manuals encompasses their entire history of products, but it is impressive nonetheless.

Finally, Jet Tools warrants their products for anywhere from 90-days (for some of their accessory lines) on up to five years, depending on the tool. Should you need warranty service, you can call their toll free number or contact one of the 750 authorized locations for assistance.
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