Let’s face it; these are tough economic times, and for many of us, that means putting off major purchases that are not critical. But for those of us who love our woodworking hobby, a weak economy might just be the ideal time for bargains. At least that’s the way Barry Schwaiger from JET’s marketing department sees it, and as he points out, JET is doing all they can to make the situation work to our advantage.
“JET is aware that the economy has taken a downward turn,” Barry quickly admitted, “and things are challenging for the tooling industry. However, we are committed to making sure we are there for our loyal customers both during these tough times, and in the future when things turn around. How are we doing that?
“First and foremost, we are streamlining our operations to make our sales divisions more efficient. Don’t get me wrong; we are not getting rid of any distributors. Instead, we are trimming costs by consolidating our internal facilities and taking advantage of the fact that raw material costs are coming down. What that means for you is that we can hold the line on the price of our tools, and in some cases, even reduce it.
“Because we are not cutting anything in the realm of manufacturing costs, we, and our customers, can be assured of the same high quality tools JET has always delivered. Put simply, there will be no dilution of our products.
“Neither have we stood still in terms of development. Over the past 18 months, we’ve introduced some very exciting new products. Most notable was the introduction of an entire bench top product line. Our goal with this line of tools is to bring you extraordinary value for your dollar.
“For example, for only $300, we offer a 10-inch band saw with an impressive list of features, including a cast table, quick release blade tension, upper and lower ball bearing guides, and an easily adjustable LED worklight. Included is a fence, an extendable outrigger for the table, and a floor stand, though the tool is small enough to be bench mounted if you prefer.
“For that same $300, you can get a great bench top drill press loaded with features typically found only on more expensive models. Most impressive is the fact that there is no belt changing required; speed is adjusted by a single lever that controls a variable speed drive. The panel has a digital readout indicating spindle speed, and there’s a cross hair laser that tells you exactly where the center of the bit will hit the wood. There’s also a built-in worklight, an oversized five-eighths chuck and a cast-iron table.
“Of course, that’s just two of the tools making up our bench top line. There are also miter saws, a jobsite saw, planer/jointer combos and tools for dust management. All are affordably priced and well endowed with great features.
“We haven’t been sitting still on our larger tools either. Our new line of band saws includes a triangular main column that is stiffer and more rigid than the old style square columns found on most tools. More rigidity means more precision sawing, and ultimately better performance. The line has 16-, 18- and 20-inch models, and all come with European style ball bearing guides and an industrial switch. The two larger models also sport a quick tension release for the blade, and the 20-inch model also has a foot brake to quickly stop the blade.
“Need a drum sander? Ours goes further than most. We offer a 22-inch cantilevered sander that, thanks to the open-ended design, will sand a 44-inch wide board. That in itself is nothing new, but we’ve added an oscillating head just like the ones you find on very expensive wide belt sanders. With the oscillator on, it dramatically improves the surface quality of the sanding while vastly reducing burning and sanding clogs on the paper. Of course, you can also turn off the oscillator to use it as a traditional drum sander.
“What’s important to us, and most likely to you, is that in spite of a tough economy, we don’t compromise our attention to quality and innovation. What we are doing is working as efficiently as possible to ensure that we will continue to be the old reliable company you’ve come to know and appreciate, long into the future.”