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Thread: Why not Wen?

  1. #1
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    Why not Wen?

    I've been looking at some of the Wen products.
    They seem to be a great value.

    In a recent thread about why a drill press is so expensive, I might have been too quick to label Wen "junk".
    I based that on the stuff they used t offer 40/50 years ago that was - "junk".

    Wen seems to offer a lot now- for - not so much.

    Anyone using any of their products?
    My granddad always said, :As one door closes, another opens".
    Wonderful man, terrible cabinet maker...

  2. #2
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    I bought their spindle sander for a one-off project. Works as well as I would ever wish. Cheapest I could find, but not cheaply built. Heavy machined cast iron top.



    https://www.amazon.com/WEN-6510T-Osc...1336613&sr=8-1
    NOW you tell me...

  3. #3
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    Mar 2016
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    I have a Wen air filtration system hanging in my shop. I've had it for 5 months now and use it pretty much everyday. I've noticed a significant cleaner shop since installing it. Quite happy with my purchase,especially since it was a few hundred dollars cheaper then the big name brand and looks to be identical except for the paint. Would buy again.
    SWE

  4. #4
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    Mr. McGuire: I want to say one word to you. Just one word.

    Benjamin: Yes, sir.

    Mr. McGuire: Are you listening?

    Benjamin: Yes, I am.

    Mr. McGuire: Plastics.

    Tonge in cheek of course, as finding any tools that are not full of plastic gears and such is really hard. I've had a couple of Wen tools over the years, they broke almost immediately. That's why not for me. I'd consider it for a single-use tool, but not for anything I used regularly.

  5. #5
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    I've had the variable speed 10" drill press for about 3 years. I'm only a light-medium duty hobbyist, but it has given me no problems so far.

  6. #6
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    I have the Wen 9" bandsaw and the 40v Wen 16" chain saw. Both work great and were real bargains.
    You know, the worst ain't so bad when it finally happens.
    Not half as bad as you figure it'll be before it's happened.
    - Bob Curtin

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Patrick Varley View Post
    I've had the variable speed 10" drill press for about 3 years. I'm only a light-medium duty hobbyist, but it has given me no problems so far.
    The 4214 Benchtop or the floor model?

    I'm looking real hard at the variable speed benchtop the 4214 right now - which is what prompted this thread.
    My granddad always said, :As one door closes, another opens".
    Wonderful man, terrible cabinet maker...

  8. #8
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    I've purchased the Wen air filtration system, which is (exactly) the same as several other brands except for paint. All use the same filters. I've purchased a Wen orbital jig saw which while is plastic bodied has worked out well. I purchased the Wen spindle sander which is largely the same as many other spindle sanders except for some plastic trim. I also purchased the Wen 3401 dust collector for my small shop only after thinking I needed something more than my portable Rigid Shop vac and that I could attach to the wall. But I'm a hobbyist and not a full time wood worker. OBTW, plastics gears can outlast metal ones as long as they are properly designed and not just made out recycled plastics in some offshore sweat shop as cheap as possible. Before someone points out that Wen tools come from China, so do all the others in the same price range. So did my MicroLux metal lathe and small milling machine, but that's for a different forum.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rich Engelhardt View Post
    The 4214 Benchtop or the floor model?

    I'm looking real hard at the variable speed benchtop the 4214 right now - which is what prompted this thread.
    It's the Bench top 4214. I was pretty surprised by the fit and finish for $229 in 2018. I checked the spindle runout when I got it and it was negligible, and I didn't have a problem squaring up the table. I was worried that the variable speed mechanism might be the weak link, but no problems yet.

    Even if the thing falls apart in a few years, I won't complain. I needed a drill press at the time, and didn't have the money to spend on a higher end model or time to restore/repair something else. I'll certainly feel that I've gotten my money's worth out of it.

  10. #10
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    Iíve got their track saw and track (newest version). Theyíre great. Dust collection isnít nearly as good as Festool, but the track is straight. It makes braking down sheet goods prior to bringing it to the table saw in the shop much easier. Much easier pill to swallow than Festool or any other name brand. The whole kit (saw, (2) 4í tracks, and clamps) were under $200.

    Before buying the Wen, I tried Menards house brand Masterforce - now that is total junk. Track is terrible being the main issue.

  11. #11
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    Buy a product that will suite your needs. If you are using it all day every day and it has moving parts spend more money so that it will last you, because in the end if you have to buy a harbor freight grinder every day it will eventually be more expensive than a good Metabo

    If it is simple product that will not be used alot or hard why not save money

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rich Engelhardt View Post
    The 4214 Benchtop or the floor model?

    I'm looking real hard at the variable speed benchtop the 4214 right now - which is what prompted this thread.

    I didn't see that model when I recently swapped out an older floor model vintage drill press for a benchtop. I instead picked the Rikon 30-212vs which I had found a bunch of good/detailed reviews about. I primarily selected this unit due to it being pretty powerful (for its class), having good spindle travel (for its class), and mostly the crank handle to change speeds without having to change belts.

    In looking at the Wen model you mentioned, I can tell you that it looks a LOT like the Rikon I purchased, and I wouldn't be surprised if I were to learn that they're made in the same place. I paid $399 for the Rikon a few months ago (I see it now at $450) and put another $100 into some customizations.

    Anyways, I'll tell you what I like/dislike about the Rikon in case it helps you think about the Wen.

    Like:
    3/4 hp
    3+ inches of spindle travel
    The laser is actually surprising useful
    The LED light works great
    Changing speeds within a range is very easy
    Digital readout very handy
    Raising/lowering the table is a breeze
    The table will be easy for me to affix an auxiliary surface to


    Dislike:
    Mechanism to tighten / lock the table height and rotation is hard to crank by hand (I added a longer handle which resolved this)
    There is no "quill lock" on these models (I resolved this by adding push button thumb nuts to the threaded depth stop)
    The plastic cover over the belts/pulleys feels cheap to me (I just choose to ignore this)

    I hope this helps!
    - Bob R.
    Collegeville PA (30 minutes west of Philly)

  13. #13
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    Iím a hybrid tool worker (70-30 in favor of hand tools) and have no experience with WEN tools, but I picked up a NIB Ryobi spindle sander at an estate sale for $20. Iíve used it quite a bit with great results. Almost identical in appearance to the WEN pictured. Itís the only Made in China tool I own. Would I have spent $150-200 on it? Unlikely. Iím a believer in buying the best quality available. That said, I donít own any Festool products. Theyíre probably excellent tools and I know there are a lot of Festool fanboys out there, but are they worth 3-4x vs. the competition? Watch the attached video and decide for yourself. AVE is some type of engineer (mechanical?, electrical?, structural?), so heís not blowing smoke out of his patooty. I subscribe to his channel and find his reviews uncompromisingly informative and unbiased.
    https://youtu.be/oezp-_DcUgg

  14. #14
    I am making some dining room chairs and decided that was enough reason to invest in the Rigid spindle/belt sander. But I couldn't find one. Wen had one similar - seems to be functionally equivalent. So I bought it off Amazon (easy returns). It is working great. I have only used the oscillating belt sander part but that is all I've needed so far. No issues at all. Dust pickup is even pretty decent. I've only had it about a week but I have used it several times now and it will get a workout since I am about ready to sand the parts and start putting chairs together. I was worried that the current draw is only 3.5 amps but it doesn't seem to bog down unless I really push it with a coarse belt. I am impressed for the price.

    I have also had a Wen grinder for several years. I do not use it often but it works OK. The guards and tool rest are pretty flimsy but functional. The motor on that tool does leave a bit to be desired sometimes. But it works and for it's price, I am OK with it.

    I also bought some Wen tracks to use with an Evolution track saw at church. They did not match up to this track saw real well, sacrificial strip was not extended far enough and one anti friction strip was misplaced but I don't know that it is the fault of Wen - could be the unique saw. Both strips were not hard to peel off and reposition. The track works well with the small modifications, used it just yesterday.

  15. #15
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    Bob - thanks!
    That helps quite a bit.
    My granddad always said, :As one door closes, another opens".
    Wonderful man, terrible cabinet maker...

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