Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 20

Thread: Table Saw Hold-Down Comparison Wanted

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    SoCal
    Posts
    810

    Table Saw Hold-Down Comparison Wanted

    I am trying to understand what the functional differences are between these hold-down systems. Granted, the Jess-Em unit is prettier but I wonder if it is worth the near $200 premium. I had the Woodworker's Supply unit on my old Ridgid saw. While it worked, it was a pain to set up and had to be totally removed for narrow rips to allow for a push stick or a Grrrip'r.

    Were I to purchase, the unit would be mounted on a Sawstop T-Glide (Biesmeyer clone) fence by means notmade obvious by either unit. It appears as though neither unit will work for narrow rips. Therefore ease of mounting & unmounting becomes paramount.

    I would very much appreciate comments from anyone who uses either of these units.

    Jess-Em
    https://jessem.com/collections/table...s-stock-guides

    Woodworker's Supply
    https://woodworker.com/anti-kickback...mssu-96974.asp

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2015
    Location
    SW Florida
    Posts
    111
    I'm no expert and can only speak to the Jess-Em unit and will simply say I love them. My fence is actually a piece of extruded aluminum and the Jess-Em's ride on the top slot. They are extremely easy to adjust/set up. Quick twist of a couple of thumb screws to slide it along the fence, then a large knob knob on top to adjust the extension and downward pressure of the hold down arm. Super easy to use. You are correct in the fact they do get in the way when doing a narrow rip but I've been able to manage thus far by sliding the nearest hold down towards the front of the saw for the last portion of the cut if need be.

    Jess Em Clamps.jpg
    A wannabe woodworker!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2020
    Location
    Oakland, CA
    Posts
    129
    I, too, love the jessem. I have it on my sawstop biesmeyer clone with a couple of magswitches (YouTube video on how to do this is easily found). This works fantastically and no drilling in to your fence required.

    Note also that they swing up and out of the way, so there's no need to remove them for narrow rips.

    Two thumbs up all around.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Manistique, Michigan
    Posts
    1,314
    I also have the JessEm Hold downs. People on this forum convinced me to try them. They work well. Easy to set the height. I do find I rip smaller strips with the guard off. I just had installed a Shark Guard a few months before, so even with the guard off, the riving knife is there to help reduce kick back risk. These hold downs are icing on the cake the way they force the wood against the fence - the wheels are angled slightly towards the fence to keep the wood against the fence. I had a pair of yellow board buddies for years. They were OK, but bulky.

    I have since purchased a set for the router table. I just installed them and haven't used them except for a practice run.
    Rich Aldrich

    65 miles SE of Steve Schlumpf.

    "To a pessimist, the glass is half empty; to an optimist, the glass is half full; to an engineer, the glass is twice as big as it needs to be." Unknown author



  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Wenatchee. Wa
    Posts
    459
    I have used both. The Jessem is the better unit both in quality of construction and function. But with a riving knife kickback is minimized. I like the Jessem for sheet goods but of minimal use and downright dangerous with narrow boards. And a pain to set up the distant hold down. I never remember to set it before I set the width of cut.. They work but not worth 200. The ones for the router table I find really useful and a nice safety addition.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Columbus, OH
    Posts
    2,316
    First a disclaimer - I haven't used either product. A requirement that I would insist on would be that the hold downs also pull the material to the fence. The Jess-Ems do that. It is not clear from the description if the Woodworkers do that.
    Brian

    "Any intelligent fool can make things bigger or more complicated...it takes a touch of genius and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction." - E.F. Schumacher

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    SoCal
    Posts
    21,227
    Blog Entries
    1
    Quote Originally Posted by Brian Tymchak View Post
    First a disclaimer - I haven't used either product. A requirement that I would insist on would be that the hold downs also pull the material to the fence. The Jess-Ems do that. It is not clear from the description if the Woodworkers do that.

    The Leichtung units have been around quite awhile. The JessEm units caused a resurgence of interest in this format. A reviewer talks about the angle wheels "the anti kick wheels work great plus there [sic] angled to draw the material into the fence.". Most reviewers say similar things about these devices. They're great as long as you have a large enough or tall enough piece of material to provide clearance for feeding the material safely.

    For many operations they are in the way so the "easy on / easy off" factor would be the deciding factor for me. I have a sort of biorhythm for these things; I get interested and then it fades. I've had them in my cart many times over the years but, never made the buy.
    Last edited by glenn bradley; 04-23-2021 at 11:12 AM.
    I always forget . . . Is it the letter "S" or the letter "C" that is silent in the word scent?
    - Glenn (the second "N" is silent) Bradley

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Alaska
    Posts
    370
    Quote Originally Posted by Bernie Kopfer View Post
    I have used both. The Jessem is the better unit both in quality of construction and function. But with a riving knife kickback is minimized. I like the Jessem for sheet goods but of minimal use and downright dangerous with narrow boards. And a pain to set up the distant hold down. I never remember to set it before I set the width of cut.. They work but not worth 200. The ones for the router table I find really useful and a nice safety addition.
    I agree.... I like them when ripping sheet goods, but hate them for narrower boards. I'm not a fan of the grippers either. What works best for me is a simple push stick cut out of a 16" length of 2X6 board. It's easy to make, cheap, and I don't care if I destroy it.....I can make another in less than 15 minutes.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Perth, Australia
    Posts
    7,997
    While I do much of my ripping on the slider wagon, my Hammer K3 is the shorter 49 version, and consequently I also use the rip fence for longer stock. I added the JessEm ...



    This is a worthwhile fixture. What I like is not just the hold down feature, but that the angled wheels force the work piece against the fence. This smooths the cut.

    I have always used a hold down of some type, especially for narrow stock. What I find is that there is a constant danger of the work piece being lifted up otherwise. For narrow stock, a 3/8 dowel as a push stick works well. The JessEm just requires the work piece to be pushed forward, as it does the rest of the work.

    Regards from Perth

    Derek

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2019
    Location
    Lafayette, CA
    Posts
    671
    It looks like I'm in the Dark Ages. I use either one or two grippy push blocks, like the kind you use with a jointer, to simultaneously push the work down, forward, and into the fence. Seems to work for me. For cuts too narrow for the 3-inch block, I use a featherboard, and sometimes for rips in questionable wood I bolt on my little splitter to keep things from pushing outward once past the blade.

    I can see how the JessEm product would be a nice convenience. So's a slider saw. But I don't see them as necessities.

  11. #11
    I have the Board Buddy which predates the guides you have named. They are still available. They are cheaper but also work well with a wide enough board. The wheels are angled toward the fence and have anti reverse to help stop kick back. For narrow stock, I use a magnetic feather board just ahead of the blade.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    SoCal
    Posts
    810
    Gentlemen, I thank you all for your advise. The issue came up when I jammed a piece on the blade guard/splitter. There is only a ~0.002 clearance as the piece slides by the splitter. I apparently let the piece wander and it jammed on the inner kickback teeth. I had to forcibly lower the blade and then beat the piece off the guard.

    The guard came off and was replaced with the riving knife. The rest of the pieces were processed without incident. At this point, I am disinclined to spend that much money just to use a blade guard. Router table may prove to be a different story.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    River Falls WI
    Posts
    439
    I like them, to set them I always use a scrap piece of stock for them. I also made a board that uses Mag switches to hold it on my fence. Got the idea from Dave Stanton on You tube. Makes it real quick to remove them. Dan

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
    Location
    Elmodel, Ga.
    Posts
    653
    Magswitch makes a table saw system that looks interesting. https://www.rockler.com/magswitch-ve...xoCcKIQAvD_BwE. One of the benefits of the Jessem system is they pull the material towards the fence. I don't know if the Magswitch system does that. Probably not, it looks to just be a hold down. For the price between the two, I would opt for the Jessem since it pulls towards the fence, and you would need two of the magswitches to be effective. As for removing for narrow cuts, I'd do the magswitch conversion mentioned above.
    SWE

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Sep 2016
    Location
    Modesto, CA, USA
    Posts
    5,921
    The old board buddies I had can lift the fence if it does not lock down in the back as well as the front. Like a unifence and others. May be an issue with thin stock that could sneak under the fence.
    I have no idea if this is a problem with newer units.
    Bill D

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •