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Forum topic by azwoodman posted 10-20-2009 07:57 PM 5307 views 0 times favorited 23 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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132 posts in 3381 days

10-20-2009 07:57 PM

Topic tags/keywords: planer jointer bandsaw question shop setup tool recommendations

Fellow LJ’s,

I am currently in the process of adding a few desperately needed tools to my shop here in Gilbert AZ… I am taking the next step in my woodworking journey and want to make sure that I do it right.

So here’s the question…

If you needed a planer, jointer, and a bandsaw and only had $1200-$1500 to spend, what brands would you buy and where would you go to get them? Would you go NEW or “PRE-OWNED”?

Here are a few of my ideas….

Grizzly sells a few less expensive tools (6” jointer, lunchbox planer, 14” bandsaw) that might fit into the budget…
HD’s store brand “Ridgid” makes the similar tools for even a little bit less $$...

I could buy these tools online at, or go the pre-owned route and search…

This is what I have come up with but what are your thoughts, recommendations, etc?

Thanks everybody! Isn’t it so great to belong to such an awesome community of talented, hardworking, thoughtful people?!

-- Spencer, Gilbert Az (

23 replies so far

View Alan 's profile


51 posts in 3917 days

#1 posted 10-20-2009 08:21 PM

Ah, the smell of new toys. I’ve never had Grizzly, but I’ve heard of problems with them, particularly their customer service, but that’s all anecdotal at my end. I’ve had a few ridgid tools and have been pleased with them. One of their best features is the lifetime warrenty. I don’t know if that applies to machinery but it does to things like drills. Plus HD is pretty accommodating and you can actually go to a store, whereas with Grizzly it’s all mail order or internet. (I think.) The problem with Amazon is returns. I understand they’ve become a little difficult to deal with, especially on big ticket items that may have additional freight charges. Unless you have convenient access to a manufacturer’s service center, buying from a brick and mortar retailer would make it easier to deal with any glitches or problems.

You might check out Woodcraft or Rockler. I don’t know if you have them in your area, but since they’re woodworking specialists, they can recommend the best tools for your budget. I’ve got several Jet tools (table saw, lathe, small band saw) that I’ve been happy with and their customer service dept. is easy to work with. Dewalt is supposed to have a pretty nice 12” planer. I understand that Delta has also gotten their act together again and are doing a better job. There’s also Steel City but I have no experience with them. (Why mention them, right?)

I’ve never been a fan of used tools and I don’t think it’s a good idea to buy something without seeing and trying it first. Plus there’s no warranty.

I think you could get what you need new from Woodcraft or Rockler for around $1500.00. Check their websites for prices. You might even be able to negotiate a better price for buying all 3 at once.

Fine Woodworking has done reviews of all the tools you’re looking at. You may be able to see them on their website, but I don’t know if you have to pay for the premium service for that or not.

These are just my opinions and I have no connection with any of the dealers or brands. Good luck and good hunting.

-- Alan Carter,

View azwoodman's profile


132 posts in 3381 days

#2 posted 10-20-2009 08:28 PM

Thanks Alan, I’ll look into what you’ve suggested.

-- Spencer, Gilbert Az (

View NathanAllen's profile


376 posts in 3144 days

#3 posted 10-20-2009 08:46 PM

I’m a huge fan of Craigslist, but the money you save will be balanced against time and hassle. Add to that a few repairs here and there on used items and you’re not saving as much money as you thought you were.

However, I did pick up my planer (Ryobi AP1300) for $80 off Craigslist still in the packaging with a spare set of blades. I also picked up a Delta JT37-160 for $150. Well used but maintained fairly well. The only down-side was replacing the blades, but they can be had for $40 with shipping.

As with craigslist spend time researching the model before purchasing. Find out if replacement parts are readily available and accept the fact that your tools will not be cosmetically perfect.

Also, don’t forget about dust collection. Planers and Jointers generate an almost surreal amount of chips.

Another way to save money is buying refurbished. If you wait for sales/free shipping you can save quite a bit of money on toolking or CPO.

View DTWoodknot's profile


150 posts in 3186 days

#4 posted 10-20-2009 08:49 PM

you can find some real deals on craiglist but you have to be very patiant and research what your looking to be sure that replacment parts are still available for older models. with a $1,500.00 budget you should be able to get everything your looking for, new or used. I recently purchase a Powermatic Jointer model 54A off CL for $650.00 and I am in the market for a new Bandsaw as well I'm leaning towards the Grizzly G0555 I found one like new on CL $300.00 or you can get that one new for $509.00 including the S&H. the Dewalt is a nice planer i have one and love it picket that up 3 year ago Home Dep for under 5 bills. hope this helps good luck and keep us posted.

-- Dave, I wood if I could but I can't so I woodknot

View Bob N's profile

Bob N

131 posts in 3927 days

#5 posted 10-20-2009 08:51 PM

The Jointer

Watch for it on sale for $350 or less

The Planer

Shop around and should find it for around $350 also

Now that we have spent $700 of your money, you should have about $800 left for the bandsaw.

The Bandsaw

I have all three off these brand tools and have been extremely happy with them.

Good luck on your quest!

View Damian Penney's profile

Damian Penney

1141 posts in 3991 days

#6 posted 10-20-2009 09:06 PM

Regards the jointer determine what kind of pieces you are going to want to build. If you have an eye towards larger pieces, then I’d hold off on a 6” and go straight to an 8” one. With a simple jig you can do face jointing on the planer and edge jointing on the TS.

-- I am always doing that which I can not do, in order that I may learn how to do it. - Pablo Picasso

View Vincent Nocito's profile

Vincent Nocito

485 posts in 3364 days

#7 posted 10-20-2009 09:22 PM

I would try to avoid used tools if they are meant to be mainstays for your shop. Since you are planning a garage workshop, you need to keep the size of the tool in mind when you purchase. I have the ridgid 13” planer and I am very happy with it. Most 6” jointers have tables in the 48-56” range and present a footprint that is workable in a garage shop. An 8” jointer consumes about 70 – 80 inches of linear space. Add on the length of the board that you are jointing and the distance can easily triple. Grizzly has several 6” models that may suit your needs. I have a few tools from griz and the customer service and delivery has been good. What do you plan to do with the bandsaw? If it is a utility tool for the occasional curve or resaw job, a 14” may be suitable. If you plan to harvest your own lumber and cut down logs, go larger. In my shop, the bandsaw if a utility tool for occasional curves cuts, etc and a 12” model with 7” capacity is adequate.

View dbhost's profile


5712 posts in 3232 days

#8 posted 10-20-2009 09:50 PM

Assuming your $1,500.00 budget for…
Band Saw.

You have more than enough for excellent quality new tools with warranty and no headaches.

There is a Woodcrat in Phoenix. Take a look at the following band saw.

Steel City 14” Granite Deluxe Bandsaw. This thing comes pre done with riser block, Timberwolf blade, fence, etc… Nice saw. $699.00.
Now the Ridgid R4330 13” planer is a nice unit, but lacks a cutter head lock. From the reviews I have seen from magazines, and owners, this has not lead to any undue snipe issues. The price tag of $369.99 brings you up to just under $1,070.00, leaving $430.00 for a jointer.

Since you are going with a Garage shop, a large 8” jointer just is too big unless your garage is huge… The Steelex ST1001 6” jointer has few reviews out there, but the few that own them seem to like them. Grizzly sells them as item T20835. I was on the fence about one of these or a bench top jointer myself. Needing the space more than jointer capacity I opted for the bench top. For a delivered price of $313.95 it is hard to beat that bargain unless you opt for the Central Machinery 6” floor model from Harbor Freight. And more than a few folks will tell you to avoid Harbor Freight. I have a LOT of their stuff, so far it has been very durable, and quite functional. I get the accuracy I need from their stuff. I just lack bells and whistles is all.

-- Please like and subscribe to my YouTube Channel

View Rabbet's profile


35 posts in 3141 days

#9 posted 10-21-2009 06:18 AM

First, I would decide which one I would use the most. Then spend the bulk of the money on that tool
(preferably new) Then scour the internet for the other two ie. Craigslist, local newspaper, discount tool sites.
Most of my tools are Jet, they are reasonably priced good quality and easy to find accesories. Grizzly always receives fair reviews on tool comparisons so I would’nt discount them so quickly, especially if one or two are the budget buys. Good Luck

View a1Jim's profile


117094 posts in 3577 days

#10 posted 10-21-2009 06:34 AM

If you are a good shopper you will get better brands and better equipment used ,but you have to check out what your buying very carefully. On the Other hand buying new means a warranty and a unused tool but with your price range probably a lower end tool. Are you sure you don’t want to buy one good tool. like just a planner or just a band saw or the jointer. I’m a grizzly fan I feel like you get a lot for your money,free shipping and super customer service

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View azwoodman's profile


132 posts in 3381 days

#11 posted 10-21-2009 07:02 AM

I know everybody always says it but LumberJocks seriously has attracted the best people! All of your suggestions have been helpful and sincere. Thanks.

I think I’m going to try to get one nicer tool and then the other two used and then as I go I’ll upgrade…

My current thoughts:
The Ridgid 13” Planer and 6 1/8” Jointer seem to get good reviews and I’ve been able to find a good deal on those tools used on CL…

As for the Bandsaw… I have read a few reviews and it seems that those that have them all have had to do several upgrades just to get the thing to work properly… So… The Rikon 14” Deluxe is looking really good…
13” resaw capacity, twice the size on the motor as the Ridgid (Ridgid=3/4, Rikon=1 1/2 HP), and a few other nice features…

If I can swing the $800 price tag on the Rikon then I think I’ll be able to keep it for a long time and then when the time calls for it, get the bigger brother (the 18” or 22”) to do the heavy duty resawing…

Gentlemen, thank you for your wise counsel.

-- Spencer, Gilbert Az (

View dmorrison's profile


151 posts in 3262 days

#12 posted 10-21-2009 08:09 AM

YOU have to decide what kind of woodworking you’re going to do. Small items or large furniture. Everyone loves the “biggest and best” in tools, God knows I do. But are you really going to use it, or better yet is it to much tool for what you do. I know someone mentioned—-1. Wait for the 8 inch jointer. I actually was looking at a used Powermatic 54A, but I have no idea where I could fit it into my shop, nor do I really need an 8” jointer . and—2. the Rikon band saw, very nice tool, I really do like it . But understand your working habits and methods. I have a Delta 3 wheel 16 inch band saw ( 28-560) I bought in 1988 for $150 that has done everything I have have wanted it to do. I don’t resaw because my wife and I like pine. It’s cheaper to thickness a board down to what I need than resaw the pine ( by buying a Delta 14 inch saw and the riser kit). So the 16 inch 3 wheel bandsaw has been fine for what I do. I looked at a Powermatic 6 inch jointer, missed it by 1 day ( $400), a Delta 37-190 6 inch jointer, it was crap and really abused, A Delta DJ-15 for $300, missed it by one day, and then I was trying to figure out how to get a DJ-15 from Kansas to Texas (local pick up only). I realized it was more machine than I really needed. When I found out the Rigid 6 inch jointer was discounted due to it being discontinued I realized that that was the size that I really needed. (I have a Delta 6 inch 37-280 35 inch bed, aluminum fence jointer, which basically did what I needed, it will now have to be sold)

So don’t overbuy your tools. And that statement from a guy that can never have enough tools. Try to make your tools fit your needs, and then overbuy a little bit. Yeah a 8 inch jointer is great but if you can do everything with a 6 inch jointer, why spend the extra $$$.

I got started in woodworking when my Father In-law gave me his shop. He was in Dallas temporarily and his shop was in his rented house in NY. He was worried about the teenage kid and all the tools. The Air Force moved his shop, um my shop, to my house in South Carolina. I wore out his table saw and radial arm saw. So I bought him a new Sears table saw and Sears electronic radial arm saw. He has produce such wonderful things with the few hand me downs I have thrown his way. I’m embarrassed to say I have not produced anywhere close to what he has done, and I have a lot more tools and more expensive tools than he does.

So figure out what your going to build and fit your tools to that level, than upgrade from that point a bit so your happy.
I have always said if you think you need a 3/4 HP tool, buy the 2HP tool and you will be a lot happier. And don’t be afraid to upgrade in a few years if your skills require it.


View dmorrison's profile


151 posts in 3262 days

#13 posted 10-21-2009 09:18 AM

OK, a a quick correction, the Powermatic 54a is a 6 inch jointer, not a 8 inch jointer I know, I messed up. That’s not the point. What I was trying to say is, buy the tool that fits your needs, not your ego.


View 559dustdesigns's profile


633 posts in 3168 days

#14 posted 10-21-2009 09:45 AM

Sometimes you can save cash at the day after Thanksgiving sales Home Depot and Lowes ect. might have these items marked down. Seams like every year I’m working that day and have no extra money to spend, but there are nice deals to find.

-- Aaron - central California "If you haven't got the time to do it right, when will you find the time to do it over?"

View BlankMan's profile


1490 posts in 3353 days

#15 posted 10-21-2009 11:06 AM

I too never subscribed to buying used machines, that is until this past year but now that has changed.

All of my machines had always been new, I bought what I could afford then, and bought better over the years as I could afford it and sold my well maintained machines to offset the cost of the upgrades, so keep that in mind.

I started out with a Star 8” long bed jointer and upgraded to a DJ-20 a couple of years back and sold the Star for 70% of what I paid for it. It was a decent machine.

I always wanted a Delta Sanding Center but I just could not fathom paying $1200 for one. I picked up the Jet equivalent this past spring for $400 at the GM Janesville plant auction.

I wanted a better Radial Arm Saw then my DeWalt but the 12” Delta I would like sells for $2800 at Rockler. I picked up the the previous model to the current 33-891, the 33-791 for $500 off of Craigslist. Funny thing about that is the guy I bought it from bought it surplus from the Art Department of the University I work at! Go figure.

I wanted a Variable Speed Drill Press but the Delta which I recently discovered they no longer make sold for $2500, again I picked up the previous model for $400 off of Craigslist.

My point is, if you’re patient and willing to clean up the machines you can get some really good machines that otherwise you might never be able to afford. And used Delta equipment is one of the best bets because Delta hasn’t and doesn’t radically change their designs so the majority of the parts from the previous model are on the newer model ergo you can get parts for a much longer period of time then with most other manufacturers. I needed various knobs for the RAS, I got ‘em from Delta. I needed a belt for the VS Drill Press, I got it from Delta (I could have probably gotten by with the belt it came with but I wanted a new one, and in this case the belt for a VS DP is not your Dad’s ordinary belt and is a $100 item), And mind you, both the RAS and VS DP are 70’s vintage. I doubt there are many, or maybe any other manufacturers that you can get parts from for a 30 year old machine. That has always been one of Delta’s strong points so keep that in mind.

Watch Craigslist because you can go inspect them and no shipping, not like eBay. Look for technical school and university systems surplus sales. The technical schools around here are always upgrading their equipment and selling off the old. On my tax dollar. And universities, I would have never thought the university I work at would have a Delta 12” RAS, there’s no shop courses, but the Art Department had one.

So to address you question within your budget, I would look for a used Delta 6” open stand jointer, you should be able to pick one up for around or slightly over $300. A few months ago I saw one new at Ace for $350, end of stock because Delta doesn’t make the open stand any more. Likewise I would look for a used Delta or Jet 14” band saw, I’d lean toward the Delta, again due to parts availability. You should be able to pick up a new Delta 28-206 in the $600 range, Rockler has it for $660 but I’ve seen it for $630. Shipping will add some if you don’t have stores locally and the riser block will too but don’t get too psyched on the 13” for resaw, my Delta does a little over 12” and I’ve yet to have that not be enough. So with the riser block it be in the range or slightly less then the Rikon. And you don’t necessarily have to get the riser block right away, get it when you really need it, that’s what I did. Spreads the cost out a bit. Rockler’s curently got 15% off on Delta for the month of October so maybe you can gt it for $581.If they have to ship it that adds $69, but still not a bad deal.

For the planer I’d go with the DeWalt 735, you should be able to pick that up for around $500 on sale. Might check DeWalt for reconditioned ones also, at least you get some warranty. The only issue with going with a used planer is mainly the feed rollers, if they’re worn that could lead to feed problems. If you’re ok with replacing them then that’s a different story.

I was using a Delta planer when the 735 came out and really didn’t pay much attention to the 735. But after seeing it a few times in action at demonstrations and the WoodWorkers how, I was amazed at how good a finish the boards have coming out of it. And the snipe on it was virtually non-existent compared to my Delta. I always had to leave 2” extra on each end of the board when using the Delta and cut it off or leave a 1/32” in thickness and make the final pass on the jointer. Not so with the 735, don’t have to do either. And did I mention how smooth a surface it leaves? Yes, I’m still that amazed. It also incorporates an automatic head lock and that is the feature that eliminates the snipe.

Buying used has given me the opportunity to own machines that otherwise I would have never been able to afford. (Or didn’t want to try to afford.)

Oh and I also bought 2 other drill presses at the GM auction and a Jet 8” grinder that I had bought one a while back for $160 and now goes for $180+ for $100. The prices were just that low, one DP I wanted the table off of for my VS DP, the other I gave to my nephew. So I’ll restore the one I have from GM and another one I picked up off of Craigslist that is an original Delta 40’s version, when Delta was still Delta.

Jet, Steel City, Grizzley, etc. yeah they may all be nice too but it comes down to in the long run service and parts availability, Delta has the best and longest record IMO of providing both. I ordered Jet parts many times, waited 6 months one time, never ever even a 1/3 that long for any Delta part. (And I’m ordering Delta parts because I restore or modify machines, not because they break. But in the case of the Jet 6 month part it was due to a defective part.)

Oh and, I’m not a fan of granite for machine table tops, the manufacturers did not go to granite with you in mind, they went there because it costs them less and now they have to convince you it’s better. Cast iron machines are around and functioning that were built in the 30’s probably earlier, cast iron is tried and true.

-- -Curt, Milwaukee, WI

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