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Grizzly vs Powermatic & 6" vs 8" Jointer Retrospective

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Forum topic by mnewberry posted 08-02-2015 03:43 PM 1198 views 0 times favorited 10 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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mnewberry

2 posts in 491 days


08-02-2015 03:43 PM

Topic tags/keywords: powermatic jointer grizzly 54hh

I recently purchased my first jointer and wanted to share a few thoughts for anyone who may be stuck between a 6” and 8” jointer and / or Grizzly and Powermatic like I was.

For months, I read every article I could find, and though many said a 6” jointer was fine for many uses, overwhelmingly I kept reading that the 8” was the better choice.

In short, I should have listened.

I’d almost settled on a Grizzly 8” jointer, but changed my mind in the final hour due to Woodcraft’s 15% off sale. I ended up purchasing the Powermatic 54HH, and though it’s a great machine, I regret not having gone for an 8”.

Immediately upon returning from the lumber yard, I started having to rip the boards to 6” to fit. I knew this before I purchased the jointer, but underestimated how much material would actually go to the scrap pile.

Why not the Grizzly? In the end, I read seemingly as many “meh” reviews as I did positive reviews. I wanted a machine I could keep for the long haul, and wasn’t sure I’d find that with Grizzly’s jointers.

Looking back, I wish I’d gone for the Powermatic 60HH or a comparable Grizzly 8”.

Hope this helps anyone in a similar position!


10 replies so far

View toddbeaulieu's profile

toddbeaulieu

781 posts in 2467 days


#1 posted 09-06-2015 03:21 PM

It’s funny, time after time I read here on LJ about how unnecessary a jointer is. Well, I could not live without mine. I started off with a Reliant 6” and eventually upgraded to a Reliant 8”. Ended up selling that and “upgrading” to a Delta DJ-20 for a lot more money. Not sure that was an upgrade but I have no complaints. I can assure that even 8” is not enough on a frequent occasion. I work with rough sawn lumber a lot and would love something a bit wider, like 10”. Doubt they make 10” and 12” machines are behemoths.

View knotscott's profile

knotscott

7210 posts in 2838 days


#2 posted 09-06-2015 03:26 PM

In this case, as long as the quality is sufficient for the task, I’d take extra capacity over extra quality.

-- Happiness is like wetting your pants...everyone can see it, but only you can feel the warmth....

View Kelly's profile

Kelly

1113 posts in 2407 days


#3 posted 09-06-2015 03:55 PM

Had a chance to pick up an 8” Powermatic with blades, but blew the opportunity and the eight hundred dollar deal went out the door. Ended up with the Grizzly 8” with a spiral head and, now, I’m glad I missed out on the Powermatic and a few other good deal for reasons like the parallel beds and turn key (no head replacement) use.

Live and learn, and you get lucky once in a while too.

View bonesbr549's profile

bonesbr549

1176 posts in 2530 days


#4 posted 09-06-2015 04:55 PM

Hate to hear that man. While truly not a requirement jointers make life nice. I used hand planes and they work but a power jointer is easier on the elbows but harder on the ears, so it’s a trade off.

I had a delta 6” that was a total POS. Ended up giving to my brother.

When I decided to bite the bullet and get another one, I considered the 8” with shelix head and the 12” with HSS knives (4). In the end I listened to most of the recommendations. “GET THE BIGGEST YOU CAN AFFORD”.

I’ve had my 12” Griz for over 10 years and she’s still humming along. You could sell take life’s lesson and move on and get what you want.

I know I’ve done that. I made a huge mistake and bought the delta x5 31-255 drum sander. OMG it was bad, and they stopped making it right after I bought it and I know why. Ended up selling it for a 50% loss, but felt like at least I got something for it. Don’t regret it one bit.

-- Sooner or later Liberals run out of other people's money.

View lumbermeister's profile

lumbermeister

127 posts in 1442 days


#5 posted 09-06-2015 08:49 PM

I own a grizzly 6” jointer (G0604X), and do not regret the purchase. There are numerous means for flattening wood larger than the width of the jointer, some of which are highlighted in the below link (see the section titled “The Jointer Trick” within the short article). Key here is that the rabbet attachment on the operator side of the table is removable on the Grizzly machine, thus, one can take as many passes as required when jointing a wider board.

http://www.thewoodwhisperer.com/videos/milling-wide-boards/

View toddbeaulieu's profile

toddbeaulieu

781 posts in 2467 days


#6 posted 09-06-2015 09:14 PM

Yeah, the jointer, bed/spacer, planer tricks works, but it’s not always as easy as he demonstrated. This really only works easily if you need one/maybe stretching it to two passes initially because you simply can’t mill below the surface that’s overhanging the blades, sitting atop the spot where the guard would be mounted. If you can get enough of a level foundation for the bed/spacer to sit you can plane the top side and then flip it over to finish the original side. But man ….. having a wider planer would be nice.

View jonah's profile

jonah

687 posts in 2761 days


#7 posted 09-06-2015 10:28 PM

Jointers are fundamentally such simple machines that even “lower quality” ones are just fine. The only feature that means anything at all on jointers (aside from a helical head) is parallelogram vs dovetail way beds.

With the number of quality used 6” jointers available on the used market, I don’t really know why anyone buys a new one.

View mnewberry's profile

mnewberry

2 posts in 491 days


#8 posted 09-06-2015 11:14 PM


When I decided to bite the bullet and get another one, I considered the 8” with shelix head and the 12” with HSS knives (4). In the end I listened to most of the recommendations. “GET THE BIGGEST YOU CAN AFFORD”.
- bonesbr549

This is right on… I’m a firm believer in “get the best tool you can afford”, but “best” is quite subjective. Replacing “best” with “biggest” in this case would have been the better choice.


Jointers are fundamentally such simple machines that even “lower quality” ones are just fine. The only feature that means anything at all on jointers (aside from a helical head) is parallelogram vs dovetail way beds.

With the number of quality used 6” jointers available on the used market, I don t really know why anyone buys a new one.

- jonah

The honest answer is that I make a good living and have had my dad’s hand-me-downs for the past several years. That said, now on the flip side of a few additional tool purchases, I’m spending more time on craiglist and ebay looking for second hand (quality) tools.

View lumbermeister's profile

lumbermeister

127 posts in 1442 days


#9 posted 09-06-2015 11:18 PM

toddbeaulieu – I completely disagree with your statement re “This really only works easily if you need one/maybe stretching it to two passes initially because you simply can’t mill below the surface that’s overhanging the blades, sitting atop the spot where the guard would be mounted”...

On my jointer, I can take as many passes as required; no limit whatsoever. Again, the key is the removable rabbet attachment, on this and other jointers (the Wood Whisperer uses a Powermatic jointer; that, too, has the removable attachment). With this construction (and the rabbet attachment removed), the blades extend all the way to the end of the table.

I have jointed boards up to 10.5” wide using this trick. To anyone contemplating a jointer of any size, I would recommend, if you want the capability of jointing boards larger than the width of the table, be sure to purchase one with a removable rabbet attachment.

View toddbeaulieu's profile

toddbeaulieu

781 posts in 2467 days


#10 posted 09-06-2015 11:46 PM

Ha ha. Well, “strongly disagree” is a bit extreme … in your own words you advice people to ensure that their jointer has a removable attachment, which inherently confirms that you can’t make more than one or maybe two passes on some jointers, right?

Anywho, I just went out and looked and noticed that the guard mount is indeed attached with a number of bolts and could be removed. I may just do that as I haven’t had the guard on in a year anyway.

My jointer does NOT have a rabbet attachment. It’s not adjustable, it’s just a mount point for the guard.

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