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A Guide to Kity Woodworking Machines

By  — Last updated on November 8, 201960

How to identify from what period a Kity machine is, and what that tells you.

Kity Woodworking Logo

Kity was a French producer of woodworking machines based in Bischwiller in the Alsace. They made solid machines, aimed at hobbyists, that can still be found on the second-hand market quite a lot, especially in Europe. Their reputation is that they made reliable machines, which did their job, but were not made to the highest standards of for example Inca.

It can be difficult to make sense of all the different machines on the second-hand market, and to figure out which machines are reliable, and in what period they were produced. In this short guide we will give a short overview of how to identify from which period a Kity machine stems, and what the general quality of machines from that period is.

Production Periods

Essentially, Kity machines can be divided into 4 or 5 periods, each with its own characteristics — how they look visually, where they were produced, what features they had, and their quality.

Originally the company was named Electroli, but somewhere in the 1970s (or even 80s) the name changed to Kity. Occasionally you can still find some machines under the Electroli brand that are identical to Kity machines.

The periods I’m mentioning below are rough estimations, because updates and new releases of machines were more fluid. Also, not all information is available anymore. Consider these periods more as general trends that give a good indication.

1970s and 80s: Production in France, red and green colors

This is the first period of production under the Kity name. These machines can be recognized from the traditional pale green color and red logo. Machines like the 617 Table Saw, 612 Band Saw, and 636 Jointer Planer were first produced in this period.

Generally, these machines are reliable and of decent quality. If they were maintained well and are still complete, they are a good addition to any beginning woodworker’s shop. The quality standards (seen for example from the materials used) are not at the same level as for example Inca machines from the same era, but they work well enough.

Besides selling the machines as single products, they also sold a combination machine, which was simply a large table with several standard machines around one single motor in the middle. Different combinations were possible. See the image below for an example.

Kity combination machine grande table

Kity later also sold a similar setup, called the K5 combination machine. The K5 was also a combination of machines around a single motor on a table, but with smaller machines than the original combination machine table. It can still be found quite often on the second-hand market.

Late 1980s and 90s: Production in France, red and green colors

Starting from the 1990s, a new wave of machines was released by Kity. These machines have a slightly different, more square and stylized look. The green and red colors changed slightly as well, to something less shiny.

The machines from this era had more features than the older ones. For example, Kity introduced larger table saws with more advanced sliding tables, and its jointer planers were larger and heavier. During this period Inca machines were produced in the same factory as Kity, and it is likely that Kity incorporated some of their designs into their own machines.

They also started to move away from having replaceable motors with pulleys under the table, and towards integrated motors. This can be seen for example in the Kity 618 pictured above.

Early 2000s: Production in France, green and yellow colors

Kity 1647 Jointer Planer
Kity 1647 Jointer Planer

In the early 2000s, the machines were updated, but were generally quite similar to the ones of the 90s. They used the same stylized, square look, but the colors changed to green and yellow rather than red.

2004: Kity goes bankrupt, designs and materials taken over by Scheppach

In 2004 Kity was liquidated. We could not find a specific reason, but mostly likely producing consumer-grade machines in a Western country was simply not viable anymore with the competition which moved production to East Asia, benefitting from cheap labour.

After the company was liquidated, Scheppach came in and bought pretty much everything that was left of Kity, among which the brand, designs, materials, stock, and after-sales service.

Why is this important to know when you want to buy a second-hand Kity machine? Because Scheppach moved the production of Kity machines to China. It is unclear whether they briefly also produced at their own location in Germany, but it seems unlikely.

Since Kity was now produced by completely different people in a different factory on the other side of the world, it is very difficult to judge to what extent the quality levels of the China-made machines live up to the standards of the ones from France.

Therefore, if you’re looking at a second-hand Kity, it is important to check whether the machine was made before or after 2004. That is not to say the post-2004 machines are no good, but generally Chinese machines from this era are much more variable due to poor quality control.

Post 2008-2010: Kity brand dies, machines produced under Scheppach name and off-brand licensing

Some time around 2008-2010, Scheppach decided to kill the Kity brand. However, the machines did continue to be produced but under the Scheppach name. For example, the Kity 2638 Jointer Planer became the Scheppach Plana 4.0 and Kity 619 Table Saw became the Scheppach Precisa 3.0.

Scheppach also seems to license the design for these machines to off-brand companies, for example Holzmann and HBM table saws and jointer planers most likely come from the same factory as the Scheppach Precisa and Plana machines.

Because of the newer machines that were based on the original Kity designs, some replacement parts for those machines also fit the Kity machines. This is an advantage of the new Kity machines over the old ones, and something to consider when deciding on buying one.

So, even though the Kity brand no longer exists, its soul lives on in several other machines.

Comments

  1. Hi, I have just bought a 1985 Kity K5 and I need an instruction manual and if possible a parts list. Can you help at all?

    K
    Keith Byrne
    2 people found this helpful
  2. some of your comments are not quite correct -whilst the kity machines were sold individually and also marketed as a combination machine where
    they were arranged on a table around a single motor this was not the K5 setup which was introduced at a later date and were much smaller machines
    sold in a creamy/buff finish.

    E
    E J Jones
    1 person found this helpful
    • Thanks. I’ve updated the article to reflect your comment (I also added a picture as an example of the large table combination).

      R
      RobFounder
  3. Hello
    Found a Kity k5 on a fleemarket in Sweden.
    There were no manual on it.
    How do we change the direktion of the tablesaw now it mowing upp insted of down. Do you have any ideé where to serge.
    Sorry abot my bad english.

    D
    Daniel Andersson
    1 person found this helpful
    • I’m not 100% sure, but it sounds like your electric motor is rotating in the wrong direction. Either the entire motor is positioned wrong, and you need to swap it 180 degrees.

      Or you need to change a setting inside the electric motor to make the arbor rotate the other direction. On some machines this is very simple, on others you need to change some of the electric wires inside.

      Hope this helps!

      R
      RobFounder
    • Try putting a twist in the belt. I have a Kity multi machine and have to twist the drive belt to reverse rotation.

      C
      Cliff
    • Cliff’s solution would indeed have the same effect, but I’m not entirely sure how stable and safe it is. But if it works it works.

      R
      RobFounder
  4. Hi,
    does anyone have a manual for Bestcombi 2000 and if possible a parts list. Any help would be much appreciated.

    A
    Alec Ashworth
    1 person found this helpful
  5. I have a Kity 636 (green and red , ,1990s) inherited it from my uncle
    Question: The power works (can hear buzzing noise but blades don’t turn ) I was told it needed a new starter capacitor , I have brought two different capacitors without luck , can you assist ?

    B
    1 person found this helpful
    • Hi Bradley, a simple test to see if the capacitor is the problem is to start the motor, and manually swing the drive belt between the motor and the blade shaft.

      (DON’T manually swing the cutterblock, that is too dangerous)

      Without a capacitor the motor still works as long as you help it overcome initial resistance.

      If it still doesn’t work, the problem is something else than the start capacitor.

      If the capacitor is indeed the problem, you’ll need to make sure you get an exact replacement (particularly the Ohm value), because otherwise it won’t work.

      Hope that helps!

      R
      RobFounder
  6. I have a Kity CK 26 combination machine. Had to replace the belt for the saw table but now find the saw blade rotates in the wrong direction and actually loosens the blade. I did not take note of the size of the old belt nor the fact that it might have been twisted. Ordered belt 1120×20 (as listed in the machine’s leaflet)
    which produces the wrong blade direction. Altering the direction of the motor will effect the other machine function. New belt is not long enough to accept a twist Can you advise of the correct belt details and possible supplier if twisting the belt will rectify my problem?
    Many thanks.

    G
    Gordon McFadyen
    1 person found this helpful
    • Hi Gordon, I have been in contact with a former seller of the Kity combo machines. In his recollection, at least the belt from the Spindle Moulder was twisted, so it’s possible that was also the case for the table saw. In which case it would be odd that they listed a different size belt.

      Probably the best would be to get a slightly longer belt (maybe test with a piece of string how long it needs to be) of the same type, so that it can be put in a figure of 8. That should change the direction of the saw and solve your problems.

      Hope that helps.

      R
      RobFounder
  7. I have just acquired a load of Kity machines in various states of repair. These include two 636 planers, the 617 table saw, a 627 and a 628 spindle moulder. I didn’t find much discussion here about the spindle moulders and wondered why not. I bought the 627 and 636 separately as I was after a planer. In looking for an appropriate motor I found a dilapidated K5 unit in bits with table, planer, saw, 628 moulder and motor. The motor has three pulleys and is switched for five units. I now need to clean it up and figure how to put it back together.

    S
    Stan
    1 person found this helpful
    • Hi Stan, that’s quite a nice collection you’ve got there. If you have any particular tips or advice to getting those machine in great shape again (particularly the spindle moulders), feel free to share it here. I’m sure many other readers would find it very helpful.

      Rob

      R
      RobFounder
    • Hi Stan, I just got an old kity k5 I think it is anyway! I’m in australia and wondering where you are located and also if you are willing to sell any parts as mine is missing some! Can send pictures of you like? Please send email thanks

      A
      Aaron
  8. I bought a kity mitre saw second hand here in south africa. Its of good quality in my opinion, its date says 1995 and made in italy. Can you tell us more about this machine?

    S
    Stefan
    1 person found this helpful
    • Hi Stefan, I wasn’t able to find any information on Kity mitre saws. All I could find were some Kity mitre saws that were really just rebranded Scheppach saws. But these were made much later than 1995.

      Maybe Kity also sold the mitre saw you have as a rebranded product from an Italian manufacturer (there are many). I haven’t seen it in any of the old catalogs.

      R
      RobFounder
  9. Hello,
    Does anyone have a manual for the CK26 combination??

    Thanks

    K
    Karen
    • Hi Karen, I do have the manual for another version of the Kity K5 combination machines. I’m not 100% sure how similar it is to the CK26, but maybe it can be helpful. You can download the manual here.

      R
      RobFounder
  10. Hi My brother gave me an Kity 637 Thicknesses/planer. It is green in color. I am in need of a manual for this machine. May you please assist.

    H
    Hendrik van der Walt
  11. Hi , I think I’ve just bought a kitty best combi , what’s throwing me is that’s it’s gray and yellow ? No manual either ? Cheers

    P
    Peter thomas
    • Hi Peter, do you know if it’s the Bestcombi K5 (multiple machines on one table) or the Bestcombi 2000 (one large machine with all functions in one)? And is it dark grey or very light grey (almost white)?

      Depending on the version I might have the manual for you.

      Rob

      R
      RobFounder
  12. Hi my name is Dave
    Would any body be interested in buying a kitty ck 26 combination set complete it was my farther in-laws I have got all the manuals for each unit on the table , it will need cleaning but was all working had to take it apart to get it home very to put back together,

    D
    David
    • Hi David, I would recommend posting this on UKWorkshop.co.uk. I’m sure you could find a buyer near you quite quickly.

      Rob

      R
      RobFounder
  13. Hi there i have just acquired a kity 819 3 phase sliding table saw. i cannot find much online about the 819. it has been sat unused for 10 years so as i start to get it going it will undoubtedly need parts. do you know of and parts suppliers and where i might be able to find a manual? Many thanks

    a
    alex maddern
    • Hi Alex, the only supplier I know that has most original Kity parts is this French site. They only seem to stock a belt for the 819 table saw specifically, so I’m not sure if they have other parts.

      This topic on woodworker.de might be helpful too (although in German, but google translate might help), where there is someone who has the user manual + there is a drawing of the riving knife, which you could copy to make your own should it be missing.

      Hope that helps!

      R
      RobFounder
  14. Hello, I have got a planer thicknesser combo machine was told its possibly a kity Machine can I send a photo to help? The only markings I have found are zinken zc21 on the housing for the cutters and zinken international on the wheel for adjusting the height of the thicknesser

    Image added:
    Jointer Planer Identification

    B
    Brad
  15. Can anybody give me the measurements for the belt on a kitty best combi 512 on the planer section,where can I order one from,where can I get a manual in English. Thank you

    G
    Gerry Heneghan
  16. Hi is this site still active ? As I have a question about a kity spindal moulder I have

    R
    Richard Manley
    • Hi Richard, Machine Atlas is still very much active! What question do you have about the spindle moulder?

      R
      RobFounder
  17. hi rob, picked up 1993 637 planer. its in great shape, I’m looking forward to using it. problem is the connection is still European and I am in USA. I’m thinking of picking a European extension cord and a step up and down voltage converter to solve my lack of a 240v outlet. Let me know if it not a good idea. I will appreciate any advice on subject. thank ed.

    e
    ed solis
    • Hi Ed, I’m not an expert regarding electric questions, so I’m afraid I can’t give you any helpful advice on this. But I don’t think there’s anything special with this machine, so any general info you can find on converting a 240V EU machine to your US outlet should apply to the Kity as well.

      Best of luck!

      R
      RobFounder
  18. Hi
    My names John and I’ve just bought a kity 432 planer thicknesser. It all seems to be working fine. I wondered if anybody has a user manual and what if any belts I need and where to buy them. I’ll be grateful for any help
    Thanks
    John

    J
    John Lockett
  19. Hi, I have a recently purchased a Kity 627 and wondered if there is anywhere I can get an operating manual. Also are there any photographs of a complete machine available online. I’ve tried searching on internet but most of the images are of used/incomplete machines. My machine is working well and I have what appears to be an accessory jig for angle cuts – I’d like to get hold of a manual/list of accessories and some good images to check exactly what I have and that there are no obvious parts missing. Any help much appreciated.

    C
    Clive Harward
  20. Kity K5 for sale in Stockholm

    All parts with it including sawdust collector

    per.roos@ki.se

    P
    Per M Roos
  21. Hi Rob , I have the chance to buy a kitty combination , it consists of a 636, 627. 626, 616,617 , it’s all sat in a workshop unused for years and will need a fair bit of cleaning , she assures me it all works , or more likely it did when it was last used ,the old lady selling it has asked me what it’s worth , I don’t want to rip her off and don’t want to pay silly money ..Ball park figure would help ..many thanks ..

    R
    Richard cole
    • Hi Richard, that’s a nice set of machines. It’s a bit difficult to give an exact price as it also depends on where you’re located, and prices also tend to change a bit over time. But for about €500+ I’d say you’d pay a fair price,. Could be quite a bit more, depending on the condition and how much demand there is in your area.

  22. I am an owner of a Kity combination machine bought in 1980 it is equipped with 1) Morticer, 2)Table Saw, 3)10″ planer and a spindle moulder. I never bought cutters for the spindle moulder. Now I would like to buy some. My spindle moulder shaft is 30mm while the slot in the shaft is 5.8mm. Can you guide me and give me some contacts from where I could buy these cutters. I do not have a cutter block and I do not wish to buy one I intend to use the cutters in the slot on the spindle shaft. Thanking you for your assistance.
    By the way, we have no Kity agent in Malta anymore.
    Regards Joseph Bonnici Malta

    J
    Joseph Bonnici
  23. HEY NOW , ROB INTERESTING & VALUABLE INFO THERE ! I RECENTLY PURCHASED A KITTY 613 BAND SAW IN WHAT APPEARS TO BE UN – USED CONDITION ! WOULD YOU MAYBE HAVE ANY INFO. , I GLANCED AT THE MOTOR AND IT HAS A DUAL VOLTAGE TAG 220V /110 V. IT CAME WITH A 110V. MALE END. WHEN I PLUGGED IT IN IT SEEMED. NOT TO BE ENOUGH. ANY SUGGESTIONS ? ONE MORE QUESTION THE VALUE ? THANKS ! THIS MDL 613 IS IN NEARLY PERFECT COND. !!!

    R
    RON Evraets
    • Hi Ron, usually there are some specific instructions on how to switch the motor from 220V to 110V. But if it already has a 110V cable, then it seems likely the motor is already set up for that (but do check!). Does the motor run at all? Or is it having trouble moving the saw blade.

      It could be that the capacitor has failed, which happens often with older electric motors. In that case, if you give the wheels or blade a slight swing (mind your safety) it should start running properly when you turn on the motor. Another issue could be binding due to overtightened blades.

      Otherwise I’d recommend letting a qualified electrician take a look at the machine.

      In terms of value, I’d say about €500. But it can vary quite a bit.

      Hope that helps!

      R
      RobFounder
  24. I need a single phase switch for kity kombi ck26 you have in stock please.

    A
    Assuero
    • Unfortunately we only provide information, not actual stock. This website sells Kity parts in France. You might find your part there.

      Also check if your machine was also made under Lurem or Scheppach, as you might find the part under those brands as well.

      R
      RobFounder
  25. Hi, does anyone have a link to or a copy of a manual for a Kity 432 please?

    S
    Steve
  26. Hello Rob, I have ,what I believe, is a kity K5 combination machine. I have unfortunately lost drive to the planner (kity 535) feed. Not sure why yet but before I strip anything down, is there anything obvious to you that might cause this loss of drive? I have down loaded your manual for this machine, for which I am grateful, but any more information you care to shed would be most appreciated. I am using the machine to help in renovating a 1934 gentleman’s launch used in the evacuation of Dunkirk. Up to press it has performed very well indeed.
    Thankyou,
    Paul

    P
    Paul Davies
    • Hi Paul, it’s a bit difficult to say. I assume the cutterblock is working properly? And it’s just the feed rollers that don’t work?

      The first place I would check is the plastic gear, because that is the weakest point of the system. If it has broken, or the teeth have worn out, then the feed system is no longer connected to the main pulley.

      Another cause could be a broken chain, but that would be more immediately obvious and probably make some noise when you run it.

      Hope that helps!

      R
      RobFounder
  27. I recently bought a Kity combination machine,the colour is a light green and yellow so probably early 2000s. It comes with a table with a wooden top, unfortunately it has no instructions and the previous owner was a bit unsure of any instructions. Please help.

    R
    Raymond Carroll.
    • Hi Raymond, is it one big machine, or is it actually multiple smaller machines on one big table? If it’s the former, it’s most likely the BestCombi 2000 or 260. I couldn’t find the manual, but if you look on Youtube and Google you’ll find some articles and videos about this machine.

      If it’s the big table with multiple machines, your best chance is to search (on MachineAtlas and Google) for all the separate machines (e.g. 2636 Jointer Planer), as the separately sold machines are nearly identical.

      Best of luck!

      R
      RobFounder
  28. HI I have a 30 year old kity 619 saw table but the capacitor has just blown any ideas where i can source another one Thanks

    • Hi Robby, usually capacitors are not specific to any brand or motor, so you can replace them with any brand capacitor that has the same specifications (particularly the Ohm value), so any store would be suitable.

      I can’t recommend a specific one for the UK, but I’d imagine Amazon.co.uk has some good options.

      Hope that helps.

      R
      RobFounder
  29. Hi Rob do you know where I can buy spindle moulder blades from as I have a Kitty K5 and no idea of Italy’s age
    Regards Richard

    R
    Richard Stratton
    • Hi Richard, I think spindle moulder blades are quite hard to come by, so you might need to get some custom made. Two things that might help you: This thread on UKWorkshop, and this French site, which is the main source for Kity replacement parts. They might be able to help you find the correct spindle moulder blades. (the site is in English)

      Hope that helps!

      R
      RobFounder
  30. Please can Anyone help I’m looking to buy a replacement switch for a kitty 512

    P
    Paula
  31. I have a little-used (in almost new condition) Kity 1429 Spindle Moulder in green/yellow, for which I have unfortunately mislaid the user manual. As I have now decided to find a new home for this machine this will be difficult without the relevant user instructions. Can you advise?

    A
    Antony N Brown
  32. Hi there, can anybody tell me from where I can buy the sanding disk and chuck which fit instead of the Mortiser chuck of my combination Kity machine as explained in the previous question.

    J
    Joseph Bonnici

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