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Forum topic by Jim posted 02-26-2010 04:51 PM 2153 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Jim

38 posts in 2512 days


02-26-2010 04:51 PM

After retiring 5 years ago I’ve been on a mission to upgrade my shop equipment. I try to get it right the first time but after getting a spiral head planer I’ve been thinking about replacing my Grizzly 8” GO586 jointer with a spiral head version, not limited to Grizzly. Changing the cutter head on it would probably be the most economical but I am open to getting a new one, if I could sell the Grizzly.

I read all I could find here and I think I understand the differences between the spiral head versions and the blade type, mainly that the blade type might give a smoother cut in non-figured wood but the spiral head will stay sharp longer, is quieter and is easier to maintain.

It seems a bunch of you have the Grizzly version but does anyone have experience with other brands? Honestly, I’m not sure doing this is really that beneficial. I had no problems upgrading my saws and planer but this one is not so clear as my son-in-law feeds me just enough work for his custom furniture business to allow me to consider things I could not otherwise justify. Maybe I need to consider using the little extra money I earn for something nice for the wife, instead.

-- JimT


6 replies so far

View IowaWoodcrafter's profile

IowaWoodcrafter

280 posts in 3538 days


#1 posted 02-26-2010 06:01 PM

Jim,

I am trying to decide between the G0490 and the G0490X myself. I really believe I’m going to buy the G0490 now and then buy the Byrd Shelix cutterhead later.

A couple things I’d ask you. Do you feel you need any new features from the jointer machine itself? Do you want the built in casters that a couple of the new machines have? Do you want the parallelogram beds like the G0490 has? If you can answer no to both of the questions above then I would suggest buying the Byrd Shelix cutterhead for your existing jointer. I have a Byrd Shelix cutterhead in my Dewalt DW735 planer and I love how it works.

The Byrd Shelix cutterhead for your existing jointer would run $375 dollars compared to $1400 for a new jointer. If I already had an 8” jointer I’d likely just buy the new cutterhead. Since I only have a 6” jointer I’m going to spend the extra money for the built in casters and the parallelogram beds. I really don’t care about the extra width of the 8” jointer but I definetly want the extra bed length for jointing longer pieces of wood.

-- Owen Johnson - aka IowaWoodcrafter

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richgreer

4541 posts in 2537 days


#2 posted 02-26-2010 06:20 PM

Before spending a lot of money I suggest that you look at the March 2009 edition of Wood Magazine. They did a review on 10 jointers and provided some explicit comments on straight blade versus spiral heads. It surprised me to read that, with respect to providing a really flat, smooth finish the straight blades out performed the spirals. It also surprised me to read that, all other things being equal, the spirals require more power. A spiral head is cutting constantly. A straight blade cuts and then has a micro second before the next blade mades contact. Apparently that tiny break allows the head to regain some momentum and, as a consequence, less power is needed.

If you cannot find a copy of the article I am referring to, it can be downloaded for $4.95. When you are about to spend $100s, this $4.95 may be worthwhile. FYI – The G0604X got the highest rating and that is what I bought after reading the article.

-- Rich, Cedar Rapids, IA - I'm a woodworker. I don't create beauty, I reveal it.

View IowaWoodcrafter's profile

IowaWoodcrafter

280 posts in 3538 days


#3 posted 02-26-2010 08:41 PM

I have read another article that said the opposite about power required. The spirals only have a very small portion of a blade touching the wood at any one time. I’ve also heard, and can confirm with my planer, that the spiral blade leaves a much smoother surface. With the Byrd Shelix heads, which are angled instead of parallel to the wood, the wood is sheared instead of chopped so you have a much lower chance of tear out with highly figured wood.

-- Owen Johnson - aka IowaWoodcrafter

View Todd A. Clippinger's profile

Todd A. Clippinger

8901 posts in 3562 days


#4 posted 02-26-2010 08:52 PM

There has always been an ongoing banter on straight knives vs. the spiral cutter heads.

I bought an 8” Grizzly Jointer with the spiral head about 4 years ago and I would never go back.

I get superior cutting on all types of wood from straight grain to highly figured compared to the straight knives.

This machine and the sanding machine are the two best reasons that I can work highly figured woods because they do not tearout the wood.

The 2 hp motor never is burdened with load.

The results and performance of my Grizzly spiral head jointer are very positive.

SV102140

-- Todd A. Clippinger, Montana, http://americancraftsmanworkshop.com

View Todd A. Clippinger's profile

Todd A. Clippinger

8901 posts in 3562 days


#5 posted 02-26-2010 08:56 PM

Another thought – I would not buy an aftermarket head to install myself if I was looking at buying a new one.

It will not be worth your time to save a few bucks by buying them separate and installing yourself. Just buy the machine with the spiral head to begin with.

The secondary argument is the Grizzly vs Byrd shelix head.

Mine has the Grizzly spiral head and works fantastic.

I would say that more people have problems with heads that they install themselves than ones that are installed at the factory.

-- Todd A. Clippinger, Montana, http://americancraftsmanworkshop.com

View Jim's profile

Jim

38 posts in 2512 days


#6 posted 02-26-2010 11:20 PM

Thanks for the repsonses. I will look in the Wood magazine as I never throw one away.

I’ve already mentioned several times that I just got a brand new 20” Shop Fox spiral head planer that was a closeout. It was made in Taiwan in December 06 before they moved the manufacturing to China. Well, this morning I found out they also have some of the discontinued W1705 8” spiral head jointers left over, also made in Taiwan, for around a $1000. I think the original price was $1499. Not sure what Grizzly model this comapred to at the time. I know the main difference between Shop Fox and Grizzly is the paint and a year longer warranty. Wood Magazine reviewed the 1705 in 06 and basically did not rate it all that well because it left marks in in the test pieces. I’ve also looked at the Jet but it has a shorter table and is $1649. Powermataic is several hundred more. Just don’t want to spend that much.

Still thinking.

-- JimT

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