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Basato 5-4


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Steve Maskery

Established Member
26 Apr 2004
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I bought this machine soon after it was launched. I had been using a DW 2 wheeler, so this was a big upgrade! The main reasons for buying it were
a) Resawing capacity
b) Ability to tilt table to the left for dovetail pins.
I have slightly mixed feelings about it.
There are many good points. It is built like a tank, has been able to tackle anything I've ever thrown at it and is rock solid. The cast iron table is lovely. The fence is excellent.
Whilst all my gripes are small, there are quite a few of them.
The blade-tensioning knob on the top is difficult to turn – far too small. The guard lifting knob is difficult to turn – rather too big. About one millisecond after I bought mine they changed the design of these knobs, so obviously I'm not the only one who thinks that they are not the machine's best feature. And they added a brake, too, again, just after I bought mine.
Blade-changing is OK, though not a doddle. Swinging the fence rail out of the way is easy, but often the thrust bearing/blade guide assembly fouls the blade cover, so just when you think you have everything adjusted properly, you find you can't close the cover. So you have to undo everything again, close the cover, and readjust, without being able to see as well (because the cover is in the way). This doesn't happen with all blades, it depends in their width and where they ride on the wheel.
Working on the lower guide assembly needs a good torch, it's dark down there.
The machine has several speeds, but I've never changed it since the day I bought it, so I don't know how easy that is.
I would like to see a light fitted as standard. I've adapted a desk lamp to fit and it makes it much easier to see what's happening.
Adjusting for blade drift is straightforward, you loosen 4 bolts in oversize holes, but I have had to enlarge those holes to get enough adjustment for really errant blades.
The table tilts easily, is easily adjusted for square and has the facility to tilt left. I use this for cutting dovetail pins. I like it. But it necessitates using 1/8" blades, and the blade guides do not handle these very well. They are great for the bigger blades, they are wheels which turn with the blade. But I would like the ability to use Cool-Blocks for narrow blades like these.
The biggest problem with this machine is the sheer size. It is big. It is huge. It looked like a meaty machine in the showroom, but in my workshop it is a behemoth. I bought the wheel kit, and that was essential really, I could never move it without. Its size is its biggest strength and also its biggest weakness.
So do I regret buying it? No, not really. It is a superb machine in many ways, and it will outlast me.
Would I buy the same machine again? Well, probably not, actually. I'd look for something which didn't take up quite so much space. But most machines don't tilt to the left, or if they do, it's not enough for doing dovetail pins. I could always make an adjustable jig. And I'd miss that nice big cast iron table, too.
Of course, I could always get a bigger workshop.
"Darling, have you got a minute, there is something I'd like to discuss with you….."


Established Member
27 Jul 2003
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Nottingham, England
Hi Steve

Thanks for taking the time to do the review. :wink:


PS I'll buy you that pint on your return from Iceland.

Chris Knight

Established Member
14 Jan 2004
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SE London - NW Kent

Apart from the left tilt, is there a physically smaller machine but having the same cutting capacity you would consider? I am sort of looking for another B/S but need one with a small floor plan, although I want as big a resaw capability as I can fit in. So far one of the bigger Jet machines looks like a possible answer. I presently have a Kity 613 which is a good machine in most respects but has only a 7 inch cutting depth .