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Freud JS102 Biscuit Jointer

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gidon

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Freud JS102 Biscuit Jointer



Well spotted - this jointer is the spitting image of the Trend T20 - even down to the same blow moulded case and accessories. You can see a review for the T20 here. So first appearances are very good - nicely presented with decent accessories including tools for changing the blade, some biscuits, some machine oil and a dust bag.

The feel of the machine is good - nice and solid. So onto the manual - yuk! Although it looks like it has some good information in it - it's so poorly presented that I chucked it to one side and guessed how to use the thing! The main problem is the quality of the pictures - blurred and not in my opinion usable. But help is at hand - as I said the router is the same as the T20 - and Trend kindly have their manuals on line (here).

I went on to trying to make some biscuit joints. Very straight forward, adjust the height of the fence and the depth of the biscuit and you're away. However although the manual says the depth is adjusted in the factory to the size of the biscuits - this is a blatant lie - it's not even close. Anyhow it's easy to adjust and once you've adjusted it for one biscuit the others will automatically be set. The height adjustment is not so helpful though - there are two vertical scales. Both are stuck on misaligned and don't even line up with each other. And they are a mm or two out. So you have to manually add/subtract this systematic error to each adjustment. This also makes it difficult to ensure the fence is straight. This to me is the most disappointing "feature" of the jointer.

But that aside the plunge action is smooth. And the cut slots are accurate. There's no play that I can see. I cut a biscuit a fraction of a mm below the surface of some planed wood to test the accuracy of the cut. The results were good. The fence is also fully adjustable and there are pre-set stops for 0, 45 and 90 degrees. Haven't tried any angled joints yet.

Haven't played with the dust extraction - but it's there if you need it. And haven't changed the blade yet.

Overall although I've picked out some bad points I am pleased with the jointer. The vertical scale is the only real downer - but I could go to the trouble of unsticking and re-sticking the scales more accurately. I will have to see if it really matters in practise as I use the jointer more.

Would I pay £30 more for the Trend? Not sure - probably not. It's the same jointer. But they may go to more trouble in sticking those scales on the front plate - I don't know. For £109 it's not bad at all.

I got mine from MTS Powertools - it came a couple of days later and delivery was free. They seemed pleasant enough when I phoned them to check on delivery.

Oh yes - and here's a close up of the jointer:



Hope you find the review useful and please e-mail me if you have any questions.

Cheers

Gidon
 
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