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Forum topic by IAHawk posted 10-11-2015 05:19 AM 655 views 0 times favorited 11 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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IAHawk

12 posts in 646 days


10-11-2015 05:19 AM

Hello,
I am sure this has been covered but I am looking into buying a new stand alone planer, I currently have and old bench planer but would like to step up to a bigger one. There are a number of planers available in the 15” size and one of the brands I am considering is a Grizzly. I currently have a Grizzly dust collector and it work great but a planer is a bigger investment. So is Grizzly a a good choice? My concern is that it is not made in America, should this be a concern? My other Major tools are either made in the U.S. or Canada (General and Jet). Also cost is a factor in the purchase. So here is what I am considering Grizzly G0454 – 20” Planer, Grizzly G0453 – 15” Planer, Item# G0453PX, Grizzly G0454Z – 20” Planer w/ Spiral Cutterhead although the last one is probably out of my price range. Are there any other brands I should look at in the 1200-1800 price range, should I look at a 15” spiral instead if a bigger one with blades.
What are the advantages between spiral v. blade.

Thank you


11 replies so far

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

3930 posts in 1954 days


#1 posted 10-11-2015 11:53 AM

Well, if you want an NA made planer, I’d bet you’re out of luck. Northfield makes one, and it may cost as much as the rest of your shop + your car. I’m not even sure General has one available anymore (if they ever did). So, consign yourself to an import of some kind. That said, the Grizzly planers have generally good reviews. I have a friend who has one and I think it’s a very well made unit…at least as good as my (also imported) Delta, maybe better. The spiral cutters have a lot of advantages. You no longer worry about setting the knives correctly, they last a very long time (I just rotated mine the first time after 6 years), the noise reduction alone is worth the extra cost. With knives and a strong DC, my planer was the only tool in the shop where I had to wear my shooting ear muffs. After the spiral head, I get by with the same ear plugs I sue for everything else. Lastly, if you ever plane highly figured wood, it will [plane with a lot less (probably none) tearout. A lot of them (including mine) do sometimes have an annoying feature, they might leave lengthwise lines (small ridges) on the board. In my case it’s only 2 passes with an ROS to remove them. At least in the case of the Byrd head, I’ve read they did some design changes to alleviate this to the newer models. One other thing to consider between the 15” and the 20”, the weight. I passed on the 20” only because I wasn’t sure how I would ever move an 800# machine, that is, move as in relocate. The 15” at 400# is a lot easier to manage.

-- Our village hasn't lost it's idiot, he was elected to congress.

View AZWoody's profile

AZWoody

693 posts in 685 days


#2 posted 10-11-2015 01:20 PM

I have the Grizzly G0454Z 20” with the spiral head and it does a great job.
I ran some birds eye, heavily figured to test it out when I got it and left it clean and smooth with no tearout.

It was worth the price.

Fred is right about the annoying ridges. It comes when making shallow cuts but you don’t see it when making a deeper cut.

View Tennessee's profile

Tennessee

2410 posts in 1975 days


#3 posted 10-11-2015 02:07 PM

I have the G053PX with the spiral cutterhead, and I also get the annoying little lines. You just have to sand them out, but sometimes I seem to be able to eliminate them somewhat if I take really light passes the last one or two.

Other than that, the only complaint I have is the bed rollers sometimes will move a little, and have to be re-set. I keep my infeed and outfeed tables angled up one or two degrees, and overall, I cannot imagine ever going back to a straight bladed planer. Also, keep it oiled.
Overall, I am a satisfied Grizzly spiralhead planer owner. I am on the second edge after four years, with a long, long ways to go before edges three and four.

And Fred and Woody are both correct in the ability to do figured wood with little or no tearout. Wood I never thought I could use as a faceing wood is now within my reach.

-- Paul, Tennessee, http://www.tsunamiguitars.com

View bonesbr549's profile

bonesbr549

1176 posts in 2528 days


#4 posted 10-11-2015 04:23 PM


Well, if you want an NA made planer, I d bet you re out of luck. Northfield makes one, and it may cost as much as the rest of your shop + your car. I m not even sure General has one available anymore (if they ever did). So, consign yourself to an import of some kind. That said, the Grizzly planers have generally good reviews. I have a friend who has one and I think it s a very well made unit…at least as good as my (also imported) Delta, maybe better. The spiral cutters have a lot of advantages. You no longer worry about setting the knives correctly, they last a very long time (I just rotated mine the first time after 6 years), the noise reduction alone is worth the extra cost. With knives and a strong DC, my planer was the only tool in the shop where I had to wear my shooting ear muffs. After the spiral head, I get by with the same ear plugs I sue for everything else. Lastly, if you ever plane highly figured wood, it will [plane with a lot less (probably none) tearout. A lot of them (including mine) do sometimes have an annoying feature, they might leave lengthwise lines (small ridges) on the board. In my case it s only 2 passes with an ROS to remove them. At least in the case of the Byrd head, I ve read they did some design changes to alleviate this to the newer models. One other thing to consider between the 15” and the 20”, the weight. I passed on the 20” only because I wasn t sure how I would ever move an 800# machine, that is, move as in relocate. The 15” at 400# is a lot easier to manage.

- Fred Hargis

I got my norhtfield of 1500 bucks. You can have that quality too, but it takes a bit of “I’ll wait for the right opportunity”. I waited for a long time over a year, and watched CL’s with www.searchtempest.com, and ebay. Found this beauty on ebay, and it was close to home only 45 min away. I convinced him to pull it from ebay, and I had a flat bed wrecker pick it up, and we slid it into my basement. Wait and find an old piece of American Iron. Don’t get me wrong, I have several pieces of Grizzly (12” planer, 17” BS, and I had the 1023 TS), they are ok, but once someoen talked me into it, and I bought that first, one, there is just no comparrison.

I see powermatics all the time. Also go over the the OWW old woodworking site, and people sell them there.

I’d go that way. Hell an old Parks 12 planer would be better than new stuff. Love my Northfield.

Have a good one!

https://flic.kr/p/m3GpYx

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

View IAHawk's profile

IAHawk

12 posts in 646 days


#5 posted 10-12-2015 04:14 AM

Thank you for the input. The Grizzly looked like a good buy and from the feedback sounds like it too. As far as the spiral cutter head that sounds like the way to go, I just read some reviews on the spiral cutter which mentioned having a bad cut if one of the bits is out of alignment or dull. The lines left by the cut is really not much of a concern compared to the planer tearing out chunks. I usually plane the wood to a little greater than the desired thickness and run it though a drum sander.

View rwe2156's profile

rwe2156

2190 posts in 942 days


#6 posted 10-12-2015 12:21 PM

I have the G1033 if its like mine its the last planer you’ll ever buy.
Works great.

As far as helical head, I view my planer as a thickessing machine, not a surfacing machine and seems like you do, too, in which case you really have to weigh the extra cost. If working with a lot of figured wood or something like QSWO thats a pita which I did recently, I would have loved to have the spiral head. Ugrading will run $900 can’t justify.

However, I did upgrade my jointer to helical and I def get a much better surface and MUCH less noise.

I’d say go for it. The Grizzly is cast in the same foundry as Powermatic check it out they are all made in Taiwan but they’re good machines.

-- Everything is a prototype thats why its one of a kind!!

View Ocelot's profile

Ocelot

1470 posts in 2099 days


#7 posted 10-12-2015 12:57 PM

I have the 20” spiral Grizzly.

It has one or two small annoying things and when I first received it, the depth adjusting handwheel, of all things, was defective. The sent me two more mis-drilled ones before they sent me a good one.

I like the planer a lot and have added a Wixey digital depth gauge to it – which I would not do without. Every planer should have one.

-Paul

View rwe2156's profile

rwe2156

2190 posts in 942 days


#8 posted 10-12-2015 01:27 PM

Oh I forgot I’ve found I rarely ever plane anything over 12” wide so if I had to do over I would rethink the 20”
15” would probably suffice me and save money.

Gotta get one of those digital gauges…....

-- Everything is a prototype thats why its one of a kind!!

View groyuti's profile

groyuti

45 posts in 419 days


#9 posted 10-12-2015 02:49 PM

-- Spammer in the process of being removed.

View a1Jim's profile

a1Jim

115202 posts in 3038 days


#10 posted 10-12-2015 02:58 PM

I also have a grizzly 20” spiral head planer ,it works great .I’ve worked my way up from a lunch box 12” to a 15” jet to the 20” Grizzly,if your budget will allow for the 20” grizzly spiral head and then youtwon’t every have to upgrade again.

-- http://artisticwoodstudio.com Custom furniture

View Richard H's profile

Richard H

489 posts in 1142 days


#11 posted 10-12-2015 03:14 PM


should I look at a 15” spiral instead if a bigger one with blades.
What are the advantages between spiral v. blade.

That first question is a very difficult one to answer as it’s going to depend on what kind of work you do and I admit I am going though the same internal debate right now. On the one hand I rarely work on pieces over 15” wide and when I do it’s 99% of the time a glue up anyways. On the other hand a 20” planer that few times a year I do need the extra capacity would be nice to have. I think if the choice was between a 15” spiral and a 20” straight blade I would probably go with the 15” spiral but that’s me.

As for the differences between the two cutters you will tell a difference the first time you use a spiral cutter. It’s quieter for one thing which is nice in a small shop and the cut quality especially in uncooperative grain is much cleaner. I used a spiral head planer at school and I really don’t ever see myself buying another straight blade jointer or planer again. I also think blade management is easier as you can replace just one cutter if you knick a part of the blade rather than the whole thing and I don’t know about others but I seem to replace blades for knick’s long before the blade goes dull most times.

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