Drill Press

Jet 708580 JBM-5 Review

Jet Bench Mortiser, 1/2 HP, 120V, 1/2' Cap.
139 Reviews
Jet Bench Mortiser, 1/2 HP, 120V, 1/2" Cap.
  • 1/2 horsepower bench mortiser; 115 volts; 1,752 rpm Motor
  • 1/2 inch chisel capacity; 4 3/4 inch head stroke; Rack and pinion head
  • Constructed from rugged cast iron and steel
  • Includes mortiser, three bits, chuck key
  • 44 pounds; Backed by 5 year limited warranty


Mortising using power tools can be critical if the tools aren’t selected properly. Low power, lack of stability, and durability are common issues faced quite frequently. If you are a professional furniture make or a woodworker, it’s important for you that your tools fit you properly and you can be totally comfortable working with them. Power matters a lot in the case of mortisers. With A HP powered induction motor clocked at 1752 RPM, JBM-5 JET Bench-top Mortiser offers a total tension-free operation. So, let us see what this has to offer.
Motor: .5 horsepower

Motor Speed: 1752 RPM

Chuck Size: 3/8 th in

Head Stroke: 4 – 3/4 in

Chisel center to fence: 3 – 1/2 in

Chisel shank capacity: 5/8 in and A- in

Dimensions: 14.4 in by 22.8 in by 11 in

Fence size: 1-9/16 x 13-3/4 in

Base size: 7-5/8 x 12-3/16 in

Product Features

– Easily To Use. The product weighs at 44 pounds and very easily handled. It has the mechanism to shift in reverse at the base which makes it easier for long stock mortising.

– Easier fittings. To change the bits you only have to flip open the doors (steel) for an easy access to the chuck. Moreover the chuck key being at 4 inches, it gives more room for the user to work on.

– Grip. The device includes a three-jaw drill chuck which helps in securing the mortising bits for chisels up to 3/4 in

– Heavy-Duty Base. The drill head is set on a heavy-duty cast iron base. This has four pre-drilled mounting holes for easy mounting.

– Adjustable feed handle. The feed handle is adjustable and can be set on any position according to the user’s comfort.

– Safety measures. This employs a quick-setting depth stop and also removable toggle switch which can prevent unauthorized or accidental use of the device.


Below are the positives and few advantages that this machine has:

1) The HP offered at .5 which can be quite an impressive number when it comes to drill head motors.

2) It is clocked at 1752 RPM is quite impressive and suitable for most mortising operations. Moreover cutting hardwood at higher RPMs may burn the wood sometimes. With this moderate speed and appropriate cutting tools, this works very good indeed.

3) The chisel bits supplied with the set are very sharp themselves. So, if you are thinking of buying a new bit set, you would surely try the ones supplied, first. Maybe you will not need to make another expensive purchase.

4) The column is affixed to the base with screws. There are two assembly hole patterns supplied. The second assembly hole pattern allows you to turn the drill head around 180 degrees . The main advantage of this is you can mortise stock which is quite a couple of inches taller than normal and this could be done without any serious setup changes.

5) The hold-down bracket can clamp evenly and this feature can be modified upon.

6) You can easily adjust the depth stop without any help of additional tools.

7) Since the unit can be reversed at the base, long stock object mortising is no longer a trouble.

8) It is very easy to put together, thanks to the clear and concise English manual.

9) This machine is backed by a 2-year warranty.


Nothing is perfect. Here are a few cons listed below for this machine:

1) Certain times when working on uneven surfaces the hold-down clamp may not prove to be that effective when you are using the default supplied unit. But you can work upon and adjust or modify the clamps by adding a few pieces of wood or metal chips as required for your operation.

2) The cast iron table is not too big.

3) The adjustable fence is designed poorly and needs to be worked on to be perfect and ready to be used
Some frequently asked questions about this machine and answers you might find helpful:

Q) How well does this work on hardwood?

A) Working on hardwood is not a problem, given that you are supplied with adequately powered motor with 1752 RPM. But, if you smell wood burn you may want to slow down or take some time Since hardwood mortising is better done with sharp chisels, make sure that the chisels and bits you are using are sharp enough. Though the supplied parts are good in quality and pretty sharp, still make sure that whatever attachments you are using are of durable quality and sharp.

Q) Can this be used as benchtop drill press also?

A) Yes, it can still be used as a drill press to some extent. Given the RPM of 1752 and since the spindle speed cannot be adjusted, it is rather fast for a smooth hole to be drilled through; it better works for square holes. If you want to buy something that serves as both, it is better to go for a drill press with a mortising attachment where your budget can increase significantly.

Q) What chisels are supplied and what chisel size it supports?

A) It is supplied with 1/4 inch, 1/2 inch and 3/8 th inch chisels and it can support up to A th inch chisels.


This is one fine power tool to have if you are working on mortising projects. Though it has its fair share of pros and cons, most of its cons can be “fixed” using appropriate measures known by almost all woodworkers. Given its performance, pros and specification at this price range, it is a machine that can be really helpful for newbies and professionals alike; also, its ease of usage and some added capabilities offered are some small things that most of the other manufacturers are prone to overlook.

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