Dec 18, 2014
This is a bold question and a very loaded one. When comparing two competitors machinery, you usually need to address them on a SKU to SKU basis. This is typically what Wood Magazine and Fine Woodworking do. They test comparable models from several brands and give their opinion of the superior product. We all find this very helpful when we are indecisive, but what you have to keep in mind is that it’s often a matter of personal taste. We might prefer the location of the on/off switch on JET bench top wood lathe over the location of the switch on a Grizzly. This doesn’t mean our wood turning buddy will.
I’d rather address a very important determining factor that most of you forget about, service and support. Most of us have purchased a product in our lives that has broken or malfunctioned prematurely.
There’s several issues wrong with this situation.
- You have a short warranty window so your issue is not covered
- The product seems to break, die or malfunction right after the warranty period.
- When you call to talk with someone, you get a series of automated prompts and never a human being.
- When you do get a live support person, they have been outsourced and aren’t even US based.
- Service parts take forever to come in and they never have what you need in-stock ready to ship.
- You may have to ship your product back to manufacturer, have them inspect it and then have the issue handled.
So I’ve looked at both of these widely popular woodworking brands. I first addressed the length of the warranty. Grizzly offers a 1-year warranty on all of their woodworking machinery. JET Tools on the other hand offers an impressive industry leading 5-year warranty.
JET also offers what they refer to as the “JET Red Assurance”. JET Red Assurance is a service and support program that:
- Has U.S. customer service
- Has U.S. tech support
- Authorized service centers in all 50 states (750 Authorized service centers to be exact).
- Note: This is where you can take your product locally to get it inspected, repaired or replaced under warranty when you have issues.
- Extensive online resources
- 40,000+ Unique parts in stock
JET Tools shipping facility is based right in LaVergne, Tennessee and we had a chance to go down to see it all. We were very impressed with their operation. Their facility is very clean and organized with their parts all in designated locations. They pride themselves on quality machinery and that’s why they stand behind such a long 5-year warranty.
When I checked into Grizzly I found that they don’t really offer their own version of “Red Assurance”. Grizzly actually requires you to ship out your defective product for inspection if under warranty to one of their three facilities. Once they inspected it and deemed it a warranty issue, they would then repair or replace it. Unfortunately this creates a potential for a huge downtime before your machine is back to for production.
Service starts at the beginning too. Unlike Grizzly, JET doesn’t sell direct but rather to a network of dealers who sell their products. Our company (Tools Plus) happens to be one of these authorized dealers. Grizzly charges freight on all machinery over 70 lbs which can get expensive for you woodworkers out there. JET, when purchased from Tools Plus comes with Free Shipping over $50. This free shipping also includes free lift gate service (a service that Grizzly charges $34 for). Lift gate service is crucial for residential customers who aren’t able to lift 300 lbs out of the back of the truck.
Interested in JET Tools for all your woodworking needs? Check out our JET Tools page at our Tools-Plus.com website.