|Review by Frostyjo||posted 04-26-2009 03:28 PM||5230 views||0 times favorited||9 comments|
After the recent reviews where various customer service centers have taken a beating, here’s one that has a happy ending.
Last fall I was on the quest for a new dado set to go with my new saw. As a weekend hobbyist with Christmas approaching I couldn’t rationalize spending $200+ on a stack. After looking at several I narrowed it down to the Freud 208 and the Grizzly’s H7777 8” stacks. The deciding points that leaned me towards the Grizzly were price ($50), the chippers are full plates with 5 teeth and it will cut 23/32”.
I ordered the set in November as a Christmas present for myself. My wife insisted that I had to wait until Christmas to open it (and be very surprised at the great present Santa brought me for my 3 year old). As my schedule worked out, it ended up I didn’t get the chance to use it until March.
First impression: The stack was well packed with foam between all the blades and chippers, and each had a protective plastic ring around it. It comes with a 3/32” and 1/16” chipper, 8 shims (.005”, .010, .015, and .020) and an instruction sheet. The outside blades are 30 tooth. 5 sets of 6 teeth, beveled toward the outside with a flat tooth at the end of each set.
I set it up to crosscut 3/4” dados and ran a test cut. After some shimming it was at ¾”. The edges of the cuts were sharp and it didn’t splinter at the exit point. But, the right outside blade had a very noticeable bevel. It was also considerably deeper than the rest of the dado, which wasn’t exactly flat either. Looking at the end of the dado, there were noticeable differences in the depths of the cuts. I rearranged the chippers so the shallowest was next to the right outside blade and made a few more cuts. The difference between the shallowest cut and the deepest was close to 1/16”. I don’t have extremely high expectations for a $50 stack, but that was just too much.
I called Grizzly customer service and explained my disappointment. I also explained why I was calling in March about an item I bought in November. I told them I wasn’t looking for a refund, just a set that cut satisfactorily. They said to return the item and they would test it. I did, then waited about 2 weeks. About the time I was getting ready to call them for a status, I got an email saying my order had shipped. 2 days later the UPS man brought me a new replacement set. About 3 days after that I got a check for the cost of the returning the first set.
The new set cuts flat. You can see where the individual chippers cut, but there is little noticeable difference in depth when looking at the end of the cut. Tightly seating a board in the dado left no gaps, it’s flush across the width of the dado. Edges are nice and sharp. Running a chisel down the dado peeled up some hair thin strips but that was all.
I went with 4 stars because the item works as I expected, although I it could be a little cleaner. I think a weekend warrior (like me) will be happy with the performance for the money invested. I don’t believe a professional builder or a production shop would be happy with it. Perhaps the 208 would have been a better choice but I like that the Grizzly will cut in variances of 32nd inch since I use plywood for projects that will be painted, or in areas that won’t be seen. Eventually, this set will be delegated to plywood tasks or wasting out bulk before routing when I invest in a higher end set.
The happy ending: It took two tries for Grizzly to get it right, but they did come through, they did it quickly (mail does take some time) and they did it without question even though I returned it almost 5 months after I bought it. I would expect this kind of service from high-end companies, so I think it’s great to get it from a company that makes products that aren’t in the top of the price range.
-- If you can't fix it with a hammer, you have an electrical problem.