Wednesday 11 July 2018
We take a look at the latest version of the illustrious Top 20 biscuit joint now called the Top 20 S4. It is top of the range and very accurately built as we have come to expect from Swiss manufacturers. Apart from the stylistic changes to the external design it now features a more powerful 800 watt motor with an optimised fan. The casing looks smart and is tough enough to take hard knocks. The control layout is ergonomically comfortable to use and logically placed with an adjustable loop handle and a motor body that is easy to hold and an easy to knock-to-off switch on the side. Incidentally the motor is soft start which is unusual on a jointer.
The tilt front locks easily with click stops at the more common angle settings.
There are thin anti slip pads fitted either side of the blade opening. A fence fits on the front and slides up and down with a simple lock, no gearing present. Lamello supply a thickness plate that allows the blade slot to roughly centre on the end of a mitre when jointing. A key feature of the Top 20 has always been the Step Memory system, allows blade adjustment up and down in 0.1mm steps over a range of 4mm when using the baseplate as datum. The blade projection can altered using the six position turret, this allows you to use all the standard biscuit sizes plus the extra large S6 and the small H9 Lamello (a special 3mm thickness blade is required for the this) and maximum for saw mode.
Blade changing is very easy, simply undo the blade casing screw, slide the casing off then use the spindle lock button and a blade spanner. With the casing off the oval extraction spout can be exchanged for standard dust spout or a large spout that will connect to a normal size hose.
Very easy to use, it exudes quality, there is little to criticise apart from the bare aluminium baseplate rub-marking light coloured surfaces sometimes. Not a cheap product but then the best never is.