Jet JFM-5 Initial Assemble and Use Review

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Review by jcecil posted 01-02-2009 04:40 AM 6953 views 1 time favorited 5 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Jet JFM-5 Initial Assemble and Use Review No-picture-s No-picture-s Click the pictures to enlarge them

Like many others I recently purchased the Jet floor mortiser from CPO for 499-150 in Jet Rebates, so first off it was a fantastic deal that drove me to the tool. The tool was drop shipped directly from Jet.

The tool arrived in two boxes that were on a pallat and shrink wrapped with little to no damage more than a small knick on the cardboard, so A+ to Jet and the freight company for packing and shipping. One box contains the stand and weighs in the 40 lbs neighborhood, then comes the other box weighing in around 250 lbs or so.

As I should have waited for another person to help me I was too anxious and attempted to assemble by myself. If at all possible I would suggest against this. I personally installed the base to the actual mortiser while the mortiser was still in the cardboard package and styrofoam (have to cut open the box and pull away some styrofoam obviously first). I then had my wife help me steady the mortiser as I tipped it up into position. As this worked out fine I think it would have been much easier with somebody more confident to pick up the mortiser with me and setting it on the base.

To attach the base to the stand required only 4 bolts. Next you go through a bit of setup with the x-y tables undoing what Jet does in an effort to keep the tables from moving during shipping which is a good thing. Cleaning up the cosmoline was the typical effort as with any cast iron tool. Attaching the stop and handle were simple. All in all I would say no more than 30-60 minutes for ititial setup. You can find all the specs out on the Jet site or elsewhere, I just wanted to give my initial impressions as someone who has used a bench mortiser and moved up to this floor machine.

Now I have only used the mortiser once to do 8 – 1/2” x 1 3/4” deep mortises in maple. I was using a new CMT chisel that I lightly honed with the rockler mortiser sharpening set and ensured no burr on the outside edges. My initial impressions were the following: (one caveat is that I previously had the Delta 14-461 which I think was a great machine for the money)
- pulling the handle to lower the head was near effortless, was extremely impressed, handle is very long and provides tons of leverage with no feeling of flexing
- very quiet machine, noise from bit but the motor was very quiet running
- extremely long travel capabilities though I didn’t need it on this project it will be great to have as I ran into issues with my previous mortiser
- prior to my first use I really didn’t care about the x-y table; however it prooved to possibly be the most attractive feature of this machine. once the fence to chisel distance was set moving the workpiece was as easy as cranking the handle.
- the clamping mechanism is great, the self releasing is great
- the cabinet is a nice plus to keep everything close at hand especially for those of us with small shops where clutter is eminent.
- the replaceable mdf table for those of you who do through mortises will be nice addition
- not once did I have an issue with stalling the chisel or any burning, as I know sharpness of chisel probably has more to do with this.
- comes with 3 bushings to allow you to purchase many different shank sizes of chisels allowing greater choice for you the consumer in brands to use.
- I was used to an allen set screw for the chisels but this has a flathead machine screw which is different, seems beefier than the Delta.
- there is access to the chuck from both sides, not sure if and when this would be nice but the feature is there.
- many extras are included such as the bushings, shank extension, etc.
- Would have been nice if Jet had fabricated the chuck key with a flathead screwdriver end so that you would have everything needed at hand. (Maybe I am a idiot and it came with something who knows)
- no chisels included with this machine, but I think that is potentially a plus, it would drive up cost and this allows you the consumer to choose the quality you desire

View jcecil's profile


40 posts in 4451 days

5 comments so far

View Matt (Upper Cut)'s profile

Matt (Upper Cut)

264 posts in 4614 days

#1 posted 01-02-2009 08:31 AM

Thanks for the review. I ordered mine a while back and it’s been in Chicago for who knows how long. Estimated delivery date is 1/5. Woo hoo!

-- Matt Gradwohl, Upper Cut Woodworks,

View map's profile


98 posts in 4314 days

#2 posted 01-03-2009 06:41 PM

Another thanks for the review. Mine got here on Wednesday, but I have been under the weather and not up to the assembly. I will likely use a comealong that I attache to the ceilung joists to lift the body onto the base. I look forward to trying the unit.

-- measure once, cut once, swear, start over

View Matt (Upper Cut)'s profile

Matt (Upper Cut)

264 posts in 4614 days

#3 posted 01-10-2009 12:46 AM

The price is up on this tool significantly:
List: $1,269.00
CPO Price: $1,069.99
Sale Price: $899.99
You Save: $369.01 (29%)

-- Matt Gradwohl, Upper Cut Woodworks,

View Tomfoolery's profile


7 posts in 4327 days

#4 posted 01-12-2009 04:59 PM

I just received mine last week. I will echo the ease of setup! No problem with power or leverage. I agree with the chuck -it would be nice to grind one end to a flat edge to use on the chisle set-screw. Great machine! Just waiting now for the rebates!

View Taigert's profile


593 posts in 4641 days

#5 posted 06-25-2009 09:40 AM

I have 2 big Jet Boxes sitting (actually 4 I bought the 22-44 Osc. sander as well) in my shop waiting to be assembeled. I just figured I would check to see if there were any assembly suprises to watch out for.

-- Taigert - Milan, IN

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