|Review by Timber4fun||posted 07-18-2008 03:47 PM||23562 views||0 times favorited||17 comments|
Introduction – After 16 years of using a Craftsman contractor-style table saw, I decided to investigate and upgrade to a cabinet saw. My priorities included dust collection, accurate fence, performance, accurate/efficient cuts, quality components, functionality, size, and price. I am a no nonsense type of person. I really don’t want a bunch of fancy marketing features that tend to break in the first 5 years. Give me a good solid tool and I am happy. The Grizzly G0478 2 HP Hybrid Cabinet Saw is just that. Read on.
Installation – I am not going to go into much detail about installation. If there were problems, I would go into more detail. The Grizzly G0478 was easy to install, assuming most of us are handy with tools. If you are not very handy with tools, you probably shouldn’t be using a table saw. To prevent rust, it comes with a layer of goo on the cast iron components that you’ll need to clean off. I used a product called Goo-Gone that worked well. I had to provide a saw blade and purchase/install the electrical plug. Neither were big deals, but something to keep in mind.
Quality – I was surprised at the quality of components on this saw. It is very well built. The cast iron top is top-notch. I am not sure how they can sell this saw for $695 (which is what I paid for it). The turning wheels are solid metal and the motor glides easily up and down with each turn. I really like the cabinet style and paint finish. I am not big into the paint finish of tools, but for the purpose of this review I can say that the finish is very nice and should prevent rust for many years. I was only disappointed with two things – the insert and the miter. The insert seems a little flimsy. I may have to look at a zero clearance insert, as that bothers me a bit. The miter is built fairly well, but I just don’t like the feel of it. I had to make some minor adjustments to the miter, as out of the box it did not provide an accurate 90 degree cut. Once I adjusted the miter, everything was fine. I’ve heard some complaints by other woodworkers that they dislike the ON/OFF switch. To the contrary, I think it works very well and as intended. The Off switch is a large red button. If you tap the red button the saw will go off, but stay unlocked. If you smack the red button it will lock the switch at which you have to twist it to release the lock for the ON switch to work again. It works very well for me as I tend to tap it to Stop and then smack it at the end of the day to lock it for safety reasons. The Grizzly G0478 2 HP Hybrid Cabinet Saw is very impressive from a quality standpoint.
Dust Collection – For me, one of the primary reasons for upgrading from a contractor-style table saw to a cabinet saw was good dust collection. As I have gotten older, I’d like to think that I’ve gotten wiser. My health is a top priority these days. I’ve been an amateur woodworker for over 20 years. The Grizzly G0478 Cabinet Saw did not let me down. The dust port is metal inside and out. The inside of the cabinet is designed to funnel the sawdust diagonally to the dust port. In other words, the sawdust easily slides down to the dust port using gravity. The dust port is located on the left side, which I think works well, as this saw tilts left. This provides some space efficiency as the right side of the saw is completely free to store other tools, like a shop-vac or tool cabinet. Space efficiency is important to us woodworkers with limited space. We like to use every last inch. Anyway, the Grizzly G0478 does a great job of pulling the sawdust down through the cabinet and out the dust port to a collector. It keeps the shop a lot cleaner and my lungs a lot healthier. Grizzly has a nice dust collection design with this saw and the cabinet is built very well with nice paint finish.
Fence – The fence that came with this saw was another surprise. It is very accurate and glides smoothly back and forth. I have used a number of table saws in my life and this fence works the best. When you lock it in place it pulls itself true. The fence is constructed of metal, including the guide rails. The guide rails extend beyond the cast iron table, so I added an extension of my own to take advantage of the additional length. The ultimate goal is an accurate and consistent cut and the Grizzly G0478 fence provides for both. I have no complaints with this fence.
Hybrid Functionality – The fact that the Grizzly G0478 Cabinet Saw is in fact capable of running on 110V or 220V electrical service was a big selling point for me. It comes pre-wired for 110V service. Like many, my workshop is in the corner of my basement. Currently, I have a combination of 15 Amp and 20 Amp 110V service to my shop. Although I may want to switch to 220V service in the future the hybrid functionality gives me the capability to do that on my own terms. Right now I have the Grizzly G0478 hooked up to a 20Amp 110V service and it runs really well. I believe the manual recommends a 30Amp 110V service, but the 20Amp circuit seems just fine for me. I have yet to knock out the breaker and I rip thru a lot of hardwood – oak, cherry, hard maple, and walnut. The only disappointment is that it does not come with an electrical plug. You have to run out to the hardware store and wire that up yourself. For me that was not a big deal. Again, I wired it for a 20Amp 110V outlet.
Size – Another selling point for me with the Grizzly G0478 saw is that it is designed as a cabinet saw. In comparison to my contractor-style table saw where the motor extends out the back side of the saw, the Grizzly G0478 is completely contained under the cast iron top. This translates into a smaller footprint, which is once again important when considering space efficiency. The actual cast iron top of the Grizzly G0478 Cabinet Saw is larger than my old contractor-style table saw, but the contractor-style saw took up more space due to the position of the motor. Furthermore, safety was a concern of mine with my former table saw having the exposed motor extending out the back side. I like the efficient design of the Grizzly G0478.
Performance – The Grizzly G0478 Hybrid Cabinet saw comes with a 2HP motor that runs really smooth. There is very little vibration with this saw. It cuts accurately right out of the box. It sits very solid on the shop floor. I rip thru a lot of 4/4 oak, cherry, hard maple, and walnut. I have also cut through a lot of 3/4 plywood. I have even done some re-sawing. Could I get more performance from it by upgrading to a 30Amp 110V service or 220V service? Yes, I could probably increase the performance of this saw by upgrading the electrical service in my house, but at this point it is completely unnecessary. It has done everything I have asked of it efficiently and without compromise. I really enjoy using it. The Grizzly G0478 Cabinet Saw easily outperforms my former contractor-style table saw.
Conclusion – The Grizzly G0478 2HP Hybrid Cabinet Saw is the backbone of my workshop. It meets all my priorities, including quality components, dust collection, performance, accuracy of cut, space efficiency, and price. I purchased this saw for $695 plus shipping. I am not sure how Grizzly can sell a saw of this caliber for that price. I highly recommend it. This is a great saw for the amateur woodworker.
-- Tim from Iowa City, IA