A couple of years ago, Steel City turned the cast-iron tool industry on its ear by switching to granite worksurfaces on some machines. Tombstone tops seemed like a radical idea at first. But, when you think about it, granite is perfect for our stationary tools. It never rusts or warps, it dampens vibration, and it offers a polished smooth, durable surface. This year, the company is enhancing its granite jointer line. Now, in addition to a granite fence, the new 6" (model 40640; $1,199.99) and 8" (model 40660; $1,649.99) Deluxe Jointers also have granite beds. The smaller machine has 36" infeed and 30" outfeed beds with a 1-1⁄2HP TEFC motor. Its bigger brother has 37" infeed and outfeed beds, with a 2HP motor. That’s not all; both jointers also come with spiral carbide-insert cutterheads, so those knife-setting chores are finally over. Thumbs up! And, integral casters make the tools moveable. If you’re planning on a new jointer, give these guys a close look.
Sooner or later, the virtues of granite were bound to catch on, and RIDGID is the next tool label to offer it. Here, for your drooling pleasure, is RIDGID’s R4511 10" Granite Top Table Saw. Available at a Home Depot near you in mid-January, this all-new saw features a 1-3⁄4"-thick slab of granite that provides 50 inches of ripping space. RIDGID equips the saw with a 1-1⁄2 HP power plant and a rise-and-fall riving knife/guard system that can be removed without tools. It even has a built-in wheel base. At around $599 street, this saw should pose stiff competition to other hybrid saws on the market. Looks like rock is becoming a mainstream tune.