Jet Cabinet Saw Review: Deluxe XACTA Saw Has Few Frills but Performs Flawlessly

The Jet Deluxe XACTA Saw offers woodworkers one of the most solidly constructed cabinet-style saws on the market. From the outside, it might appear that Jet has not done much to improve upon a rather standard design, but opening the cabinet reveals several thoughtful features that make the XACTA Saw a joy to work with.

A powerful motor, efficient dust collection, world-class fence, and welcomed safety features all contribute to one of the finer professional-grade table saws on the market. They come at a remarkably affordable price. In this Jet cabinet saw review, these elements and more are covered in depth.

Jet Deluxe XACTA Saw Specs

  • 10-inch max blade diameter
  • 5/8-inch arbor size
  • 4300 RPM arbor speed
  • 13/16-inch max dado width
  • Left-tilt blade; 45 degree max tilt
  • 3-inch max depth of cut @ 90 degrees
  • 2 1/8-inch max depth of cut @ 45 degrees
  • 30-inch max rip right of blade; 13 inches left of blade

  • 3HP, single-phase, 14.5 A induction motor
  • 230V
  • 3850 RPM
  • Poly-v belt drive
  • Magnetic switch with overload protection

  • 490 pounds
  • 34-inch table height
  • 40-inch table width including extension wings
  • 29-inch table depth

  • Jet Xacta Fence II commercial T-square fence
  • Deluxe miter gauge
  • 3/4 x 3/8-inch T-slot mitre slot

  • Compatible with standard 10-inch blade with 5/8-inch arbor (not included)
  • 0.100-inch riving knife thickness
  • 0.071–0.094-inch required blade body thickness
  • 0.102–0.126 required blade kerf thickness

  • 4-inch dust collection port

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Design & Build

With their Deluxe XACTA Saw, Jet did not seek to reinvent the cabinet table saw. Instead, the company chose to focus on improving the core features of a class of tool that has remained largely unchanged since the mid-20th century. The Jet Deluxe XACTA Saw will be immediately familiar to any woodworker, but the largely under-the-hood enhancements will not go unnoticed.

Jet has focused much of their effort on creating a smooth and stable operating platform. From the solid cabinet and cast iron base up to a heavy-duty cast iron trunnion. The trunnion, which supports the saw’s arbor, is connected directly to the cabinet. Not only does this help to transfer any vibration away from the blade, but it also makes for extremely easy adjustments for blade alignment. More on this later.

The trunnion and arbor are adjusted by way of dual 8-inch hand wheels. The Deluxe XACTA Saw employs the standard table saw configuration that places the blade height adjustment wheel on the front of the cabinet and the blade tilt adjustment wheel on its right side. These wheels turn precise worm-drive gears for effortless adjustments. Locking pins at the center of the hand wheels allow adjustments to be held firmly in place between cuts.

Jet Cabinet Saw Review - Storage

In addition, a built-in drawer and storage hangers for the included miter gauge and fence maximize space in the shop and keep needed accessories close at hand.

Table Top

A precision-machined table and cast iron extension wings further add to the stability of the saw and offer a solid surface upon which to guide stock through the blade. The table and wings are remarkably flat.

With extension wings in place, Jet’s cabinet saw offers a width of 42 inches and depth of 29 inches, which is quite large compared to other saw’s in this class. This provides for 10 inches of operating space in front of the blade.

Surface area is further extended by a wooden extension table. The table could easily be replaced by (or possibly converted into) a router table extension, a common modification in the wood shop.

Assembly & Adjustments

The Jet Deluxe XACTA Saw comes largely assembled from the factory. The cabinet and table top ship as a single piece with the user only needing to attach the finishing details. The two most challenging aspects of the assembly are installing and aligning the fence rail and extension wings.

From the factory, alignment and tolerances are pretty bang on. If checked and not up to par, the saw’s manual includes precise instructions on making any needed adjustments. While oftentimes alignment can be the most frustrating aspect of setting up a new table saw, some of Jet’s design choices help make this not the case with the Deluxe XACTA Saw.

The choice to bolt the trunnion to the cabinet rather than the table top, for instance, is a prime example of this. Four easily accessible bolts at the corners of the table top are readily accessed without opening the cabinet and allow the surface to be tapped into place when aligning the miter slot to the blade. In other saws where the trunnion attaches directly to the table top the process is not so straightforward.

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Cutting Power

The 230V motor of the Jet XACTA Saw delivers every bit of its 3HP directly to the blade offering exceptional cutting performance. The Motor is rated at 3850RPM, which is a bit more than the 3450RPM of many other saws.

The power is translated to cutting force through a Poly-V belt drive system. The Poly-V design allows for a smaller belt width and diameter, both of which contribute to reduced friction and smooth operation. This not only improves the cutting power of the saw, but also increases the lifespan of the drive belt and arbor bearings.

In terms of shop use, the Jet XACTA Saw is ready for the hardest of cutting chores. Thick stock reaching towards maximum cutting depth at both 90 and 45 degrees poses little challenge. The stable foundation of the saw and smooth power train make cutting and ripping both manageable and accurate.

For those in need of even more power, such as production cabinet or furniture shops, a 5HP motor is available in both 1 phase and 3 phase (wirable to 460V) configurations.

Blade Options

Most manufacturers of table saws will include some sort of combination blade with their saw. Typically, this is a low quality blade that any serious woodworker will quickly replace. Jet, perhaps recognizing that most folks who might invest in a cabinet saw costing over $2,000 are in fact “serious” woodworkers, has foregone the inclusion of a blade with its Deluxe XACTA Saw. This saves Jet a few dollars, knocks the overall price down, and leaves the blade choice up to the consumer.

When making that choice, it is important to know that Jet’s cabinet saw is designed for a full kerf blade out of the factory. The saw takes a standard 10-inch, 5/8-inch arbor blade rated for an arbor speed of at least 4300RPM. If a thin kerf blade is desired, Jet offers a thinner riving knife to accommodate this, but it must be purchased separately.

The Deluxe XACTA Saw is compatible with any 8-inch dado stack up to 13/16 inches wide. The Jet cabinet saw’s full-sized arbor allows the user to take advantage of every fraction of the dado’s cutting width.

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Jet Commercial XACTA Fence II

The Jet Deluxe XACTA Saw ships with a beefy commercial-grade XACTA Fence II system. This Biesemeyer-style T-square fence is fairly standard for the category in terms of construction, but features a few tweaks the make it a pleasure to use.

Rather than laminated plywood, the XACTA Fence II takes advantage of HDPE fence faces. This slick plastic keeps wood gliding along the fence’s length with little effort and helps aid in smooth cutting operation. The plastic composition of these 3/4-inch thick faces also means they are less prone to warping due to ambient humidity changes. Jet also makes access to the bolts securing the faces to the fence body easy, allowing the user to position the faces as desired.

Adjusting the fence parallel to the miter slot and 90 degrees to the table top is easy using the set screws fabricated into the foot that glides along the heavy duty steel guide rail. These adjustment points are fairly standard for modern fences of this style, and here operate with accuracy to allow for fine adjustments to the the fence setup.

The locking mechanism features a smooth operation that secures the fence body in place without much effort at all. An adjustable, magnified cursor makes the process of setting up a cut all the easier.

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Deluxe Miter Gauge

An included deluxe miter gauges allows for easy, repeatable miter and bevel cuts using the Jet Deluxe XACTA Saw. The oversized gauge features adjustable stops at both 45 degree positions as well as 90 degrees.

The design of the adjustable stops allows for quick access to common angles, but in a way that is unobtrusive to the use of the gauge for finding less common angles. This can be a common issue with gauges that utilize an alternative indent stop design. To adjust the gauge, the lock knob is loosened and the body turned to the desired angle. A flip stop is either engaged or disengaged to make use of the adjustable stops at 45 and 90 degrees.

The miter gauge rides in a standard 3/4 x 3/8-inch miter slot. Any number of accessories utilizing this standard size miter bar can be used readily. As mentioned previously, the cabinet body includes onboard storage for the miter gauge when not in use.

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Safety Features

The Jet Deluxe XACTA Saw, like most modern table saws, takes safety seriously. A number of features have been included with the saw to insure safe operation, both for the user and for the saw itself. The highlight is a modular blade guard assembly with riving knife. An advanced magnetic switch insures against accidental startups.

Blade Guard and Riving Knife

Jet Cabinet Saw Review - Blade Guard

The XACTA Saw takes advantage of a modular blade guard and riving knife assembly. The riving knife can be used alone or in combination with a unobtrusive blade guard for maximum protection against both kickback and accidental blade contact. The entire assembly is topped off with a set of removable anti-kickback pawls.

The blade guard itself is very similar to that of the Powermatic PM2000, which is considered one of the better blade guards on the market. The independently moving leaves of the guard ride on a support that is suspended above the table, allowing for maximum clearance and visibility, making the desire to remove the guard almost nonexistent. Only specific cutting operations benefit from or require the removal of the guard (dado cuts being an obvious example).

The riving knife, when used alone, can be adjusted up or down to accommodate non-through cutting operations. The anti-kickback pawls offer one final line of protection against rogue wood being launched back at the user.

Magnetic Switch and Overload Protection

Safe motor operation is of the utmost important when it comes to a powerful cabinet saw. In terms of both protecting the equipment itself as well as the user, the Jet Deluxe XACTA Saw is right there with its competitors.

Overload protection will automatically shut down the motor should it be pushed beyond its safe operating limits. This primarily prevents the motor from wearing down or blown. It is also a gentle reminder to the user should they attempt to force feed stock into the blade at a rate beyond its capacity.

A magnetic switch prevents accidental motor startup after a power failure or overload, putting less staring on the tool as well as keeping surprises to a minimum. No one wants to be caught off guard with a blade spinning in excess of 4,000RPM. When power is cut to the saw by some outside factor, the motor can only be restarted by re-engaging the ON/OFF switch.

As for that ON/OFF switch, it is perhaps one of the only disappointing aspects of the XACTA Saw. Most manufacturers opt for large paddle-style switches that allow the user to quickly shut down the saw with a knee or hip. This is useful should both hands be tied up. Jet has made the somewhat questionable decision to use a smaller OFF switch that is not so readily accessible.

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Dust Collection

A shroud assembly makes dust collection on the Jet Deluxe XACTA Saw some of the finest in the industry. The shroud avoids the more common open cabinet with slanted bottom design. An open cabinet design is ineffective at containing dust and inefficient in directing that dust toward the dust port. The operate must supplement dust collection with regular cleanings with a shop vac. Otherwise, dust accumulate in the gears and other moving parts of the saw, bogging down operation over time.

The blade of the Jet XACTA Saw is completely shrouded, and a flexible 4-inch dust hose connects the shroud to a 4-inch dust port on the cabinet. The result is a system that contains nearly all generated sawdust and keeps it moving toward the dust collection system. As with any high-end cabinet saw, dust collection is virtually a must.

The dust collection system means a minimum of excess dust accumulates on the internal parts of the XACTA Saw. One could go months without the need to even open the cabinet. It’s just another feature that allows the woodworker to focus on their craft, not continued upkeep of their tool.

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Jet Cabinet Saw Review: The Verdict

The Jet Deluxe XACTA Saw is not a machine that will turn heads for reinventing the table saw. At first glance, the saw does not appear to differ much from the cabinet table saws of yesteryear. Rather than introducing “innovative” features that often amount to gimmicks, Jet has focused on improving core aspects of saw operation.

Whether it’s a motor and arbor system that has been tuned to take full advantage of its power, safety features that allow the user to focus on precision cuts without worry, or a dust collection system that keeps the tool and wood shop clean, Jet has paid close attention to details that many operators (and saw manufacturers) take for granted.

Reasonably priced starting in the low $2,000, the Jet Deluxe XACTA Saw is not one to be overlooked despite lacking the flash of some other tools like the latest generation Delta Unisaw. Jet has crafted a saw that could easily be the last a user will ever need to purchase; one that could possibly even be handed down generation to generation.

9 Total Score
Function Not Frills

Jet has chosen function over frills for their excellent cabinet saw. Immediately familiar yet exceptionally powerful and accurate.

Design & Build
9.5
Cutting Power
9.5
Fence
9
Miter Gauge
9
Safety Features
8.5
Dust Collection
9.5
PROS
  • Finely tuned motor delivers maximum power
  • Dust collection among the top in its class
  • Accurate, easy-to-use fence system
CONS
  • ON/OFF switch could be bigger
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