|Review by BoardSMITH||posted 01-30-2014 03:30 PM||2635 views||0 times favorited||7 comments|
Since my wife says I am very hard to buy a Christmas present for, I normally act excited and appreciative when I open a Christmas gift, even if it is something I already have or is the wrong size or color. SO I normally buy my own so I get what I can really use.
I had a G0453Z that I purchased three years ago. It worked well and with the increased volume here in the shop I decided it was time to upgrade to a larger planer with added features and more power. (Sounds like Tim Allen doesn’t it?)
The planer arrived before Christmas, well packed and heavy as lead. At 900+ pounds it is no lightweight. With the aid of another shop I had it lifted by a forklift and set down on the mobile base I purchased with it. Set up was easy, little to no packing cosmoline except on the platen and feed tables. This was removed quickly. The instruction manual was easy to understand and the assembly required no real time.
What I like: The spiral head is different from the G0453Z, more of a staggered pattern with the inserts, looks more like a Byrd Shelix head but it isn’t according to Grizzly Tech service. And with no cosmoline on the head it was a breeze to get working. The 20” will allow for heavier work and wider pieces when needed. The chip chute is larger at 5” but I wish they would go ahead and install a 6” instead. No big deal, I had the adaptor already so it fit like a glove. The motor is more powerful which makes the planning session go smoother and quicker. The faster cutter head speed leaves a much smoother finish. The four columns are covered with a shroud which will keep dust out.
What I don’t like: The feed rollers do not have permanently lubricated bearings and require periodic oiling. This also means the oil will leak to the base and will cause a small mess. No big thing either, but it should have permanently lubricated bearings to prolong to life for those who might forget to get the oil can out. A small point is the feed rate. I was accustomed to a faster feed rate with the other planer and this one only goes up to 20 fpm and down to 16 fpm. I suppose the slower feed rate is due to maybe having wider stock go through it. The motor is enclosed in the base with only one opening which might be a problem if the motor needs service/replacement or the magnetic switch needs to have the amp setting changed. I would like to see the base with openings on both front and back. The noise when planning is a little louder but not unacceptable.
The fit and finish is acceptable.
So I give the planer a 5 star rating based on one months use, how it compares to the older G0453Z I had.
-- David www.TheBoardSMITH.com