Ryobi Jm

The Ryobi D-handle joiner uses plastic construction for the base, but the fence is stamped steel. The movement of the fence is smooth and adjusts from zero to 135 degrees.The main handle is comfortable to hold, and the rubber edge of the fence serves as a good auxiliary handle. The fence platform is large, making it easy to keep the tool stable while plunging. This joiner is easy to use, but the plastic construction seems less rugged than the cast aluminum on other tools.

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FREUD JSIOO AND JSI02 (not shown)

The JSIOO and JSI02 plate joiners use the same motor,gear box, base, and blade. Where they differ is in the fence system. The JSIOO uses a fixed-angle main fence, while the JSI02 has an adjustable-angle fence. For the price, they are very well built, with cast aluminum base and lower gear box, but the upper gear-box cover is plastic. We didn't find this to be a significant problem with the tool, especially when price is considered.

These joiners have a pronounced grinding noise in normal use, due to the straight-tooth bevel pinion and head gear. Another drawback is the large, squared-off barrel, which is difficult to grab with small- to medium-size hands.While the power switch operation may be awkward for right-handed people, the position and operation work well for lefties.The JSIOO is a well-built tool,one of the lowest priced, and receives our Best Buy award.

Street Price: JS100: $ 100; JS102: $ 125: Freud, (800) 334-4107.

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