JET’s new Deluxe Xacta Saw takes the 10-inch cabinet saw to new heights with a host of just the sort of improvements woodworkers have been requesting. Not the least of these is a push button arbor lock for changing blades, and tool-free quick-change fasteners for the riving knife type splitter and its attached safety guard and pawls. The result is a saw that needs only one wrench for all its iterations, and there’s even an space included to store that. Clearly, someone at JET is listening.
Let’s start our tour of this new table saw on the inside, with the drive belt. “Instead of the traditional V belt,” explained JET spokesman Patrick Curry, “Xacta is driven by what we call a poly-V belt. Designed to give smoother operation, it is a wider, thinner flat belt with small V-shaped grooves. The grooves in the belt match up to similar grooves in the sheave, providing more surface area contact and translating into better horsepower transfer from the motor to the arbor.
“The arbor itself has an arbor lock that makes blade changing easier. Simply push the red button and rotate the arbor until it locks. Once locked, you can loosen the nut to release the blade without having to jam a piece of wood into the saw teeth. Once the nut is released, the lock disengages automatically so you can’t accidentally start the saw with it engaged.
“Down below, there’s a tool storage drawer in the front bottom of the saw case. It’s perfect for storing items that tend to wander around the shop, like the saw’s lone blade wrench, or perhaps extra push sticks. The drawer is completely enclosed so that it won’t fill up with sawdust.
“Probably the most important improvement is the riving knife. A riving knife is a splitter that always hugs the back end of the saw blade and is contoured to it, but does not protrude above it. That means you can still use it even with buried cuts, so long as you use a standard blade. As you move the blade up and down or tilt it left and right, the riving knife rides along with it, following its height and angle orientation. Unlike normal splitters, which are farther from the blade the lower the blade is set, this riving knife always stays the same distance from the blade.
“Under the table insert, you’ll find a quick-release lever to quickly remove the riving knife for when you put in specialized blades or dado sets. We supply the saw with a 100 thousandths thick knife, perfect for most saw blades, but there’s also an available 80 thousands one, and two low profile ‘European’ style riving knives that sit a bit below the top of the blade.
“Attached to the riving knife is a guard that rides with it. There’s a spring-loaded quick-release pin in the back, giving you tool-free removal for those cuts that do not require a guard. The guard itself has two independent leaves so that when you cut very narrow stock, only one side of the guard lifts, leaving the other side down to protect you from the blade.
“When it is time to change blades, the whole guard lifts up out of the way and stays up during blade change. Sitting astride the guard are anti-kickback pawls that also snap on and off with no tools required. And to make it completely convenient, the right side of the saw has two support arms to store the fence when you are not using it.”