At 390mm, the Startrite’s throat capacity is the smallest on test, but its depth of cut is a huge 400mm, which is a serious consideration if you fi nd yourself resawing stock frequently. Although the Startrite is limited to a maximum blade width of just 30mm, this should be enough for the majority of work that the saw’s likely to encounter; the narrowest blade the Startrite can run is 6mm.
Blade tension is manually set, there being no quick-change lever. This means it takes a little longer, but the tension guide mechanism is of industrial quality: the cast iron band wheel is mounted on a massive slide, and the tension held with an exceptionally heavy-duty spring. The amount of tension applied is expressed in pounds per square inch which, according to Startrite’s top technical bod, Phil Meyers, is the proper way of doing things. There is still an element of tweaking needed to fi ne tune the setting for different materials and blade sizes, but this set-up certainly takes the guesswork out of tensioning the blade.
The cast iron table is split to the front for blade changing, with the guarding for the blade hinged for easy access; the running bar for the fence remains in position.
The 401’s 128mm-deep aluminium extrusion fence offers good support for deeper ripping cuts, while the large cast shoe ensures that it runs true.
The table height is the lowest of all the saws on test at only 860mm. When you’re working thinner stock, this might feel a little low. I certainly felt the need to stoop slightly to see under the guides when making these cuts, but on deeper resaw rips the height is ideal as your feet are fi rmly planted.
The table has a single T-slot to the right of the blade, but it measures 15 x 4mm, so the standard accessories aren’t compatible. At 900mpm, the Startrite operates at the same speed as the Jet, and it runs very smoothly, too. The cutting performance is equally impressive: the 2hp motor wasn’t troubled by deep cuts, and now that the Startrites have deep, solid fences that lock, veneer cutting and deep-stock ripping are painless. So, while the Startrite’s throat size may limit some operations, its extra depth-of-cut capacity makes it a very attractive proposition.
Want the latest issue of Good Woodworking or The Woodworker? Use our magazine locator links to find your nearest stockist!
Love Woodworking? Sign up to our emails for the latest news and special offers!
We're always happy to hear from you, so feel free to get in touch!