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Forum topic by DwightDarrow posted 09-21-2010 06:05 PM 7916 views 0 times favorited 23 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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10 posts in 2833 days

09-21-2010 06:05 PM

I was attracted to this site initially because of a discussion about Grizzly Tools. Someone had asked if they should buy one. My advice DON’T. I bought a Grizzly Jointer/Planer combination tool. It was a production capacity model. Began to use the thing in planing down rough black walnut to make some trim for a house I am building. The infeed and out feed rollers began acting up pretty much right away. Then sparks and a grinding noise. Took the shield off of the machine to find the chain that drives the rollers had jumped off of the infeed roller and out feed roller sprocket. Further investigation found the sprocket to be “out-of-true”. We found the tensioner pulley for the chain to be very poorly engineered. That needed replacing. Ordered the parts and was told that there would be a one month delay on the sprocket. Called at the one month point on a diffreent issue and asked about my order. Was told there would be ANOTHER three month delay. That ia unaccepetable. the machine is down. Was promised that a customer care representative would call within forty-eight hours. They did not. I called five days later. Still have not connected with the supervisory person who left a message saying that she “konws something” about my issue. I have ahouse to finish. Went and bought a Delta 15” planer. What a joke. No more Grizzly for me.

-- Dwight Darrow

23 replies so far

View knotscott's profile


8057 posts in 3404 days

#1 posted 09-21-2010 06:37 PM

Welcome to LJ’s Dwight. That’s a heck of a first post. It’s understandable that you’re not happy. While your situation is certainly an unfortunate experience, I’m positive that the vast majority of experiences with Grizzly equipment are not similar to yours. I’d hate to see everyone else pass up the opportunity to buy good tools that are comparable to many other import brands for less, due to a few that are defective that don’t work out favorably. I don’t have industry data in front of me, but I’d guess the odds are similar of a getting a defective Delta, Jet, GI, Steel City, Shop Fox, Ridgid, Craftsman, DeWalt, Hitachi, or Rikon product, etc. Stories of bad tool experiences exist for every brand I can think of.

I’ve had several good Grizzly tools that have served me well, and only one that was defective that was returned. All of my customer service dealings with them have been favorable. That doesn’t excuse the poor treatment it seems that you’ve received, but nor does it warrant dismissing an otherwise well regarded brand by everyone else. Mail order isn’t for everyone, but it poses a viable discount for those who are willing to forego paying the premium of a traditional retailer. For every sour note, there are likely several that will sing the praises of Grizzly.

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

View Dan's profile


3630 posts in 2909 days

#2 posted 09-21-2010 07:27 PM

I would assume like many other companies Grizzly is hit or miss with certain tools. I have got some things from Grizzly but never anything big. What I have got has been decent or good. I have heard good things about some of their table saws and dust collectors.

Hopefully you get it all worked out with them.

-- Dan - "Collector of Hand Planes"

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Steven H

1117 posts in 3089 days

#3 posted 09-22-2010 01:45 AM

What both said. Every company has at least one product that they designed poorly or they slacked off.
Every tool that comes out of the factory is not the same. Someone here might get a defective tool, somone over there might get a perfect one.

View mcase's profile


446 posts in 3158 days

#4 posted 09-22-2010 04:47 AM

What surprises me here is not that something went wrong, but that Grizzly did not offer to simply replace the machine. Every now and then someone posts a complaint about Grizzly customer service that is unlike the positive experiences so many of us have had. This sounds like a real bad experience. And it sound as if you really gave them an opportunity to make it right. This is unusual, often when people complain about Grizzly CS you find they never engaged in a reasonable communication with Grizzly. Sure not the case here. At this juncture I would keep going up the line and ask for a refund. Keep track of who you talk to and write down their exact responses. I doubt the president of company would condone the kind of mismanaged response you have received. Its just not how he runs his company. You have very good case for a refund and its probably worth pursuing. I know you may not be in the mood to hear this, but even a credit with them would be worth it, especially if you looking for a great 8” parallelogram jointer to go with your Delta planer.

View DwightDarrow's profile


10 posts in 2833 days

#5 posted 09-22-2010 05:32 AM

Okay Last post was uncalled for. Send me your e-mail and I would be glad to e-mail you pictures of the out of true sprocket and the tensioner pulley design. Would you know what a sprocket is or a tensioner pulley?

-- Dwight Darrow

View DwightDarrow's profile


10 posts in 2833 days

#6 posted 09-22-2010 06:20 AM

I will go one beter for Boisejoe. I will call Independent Machinery Service and Repair (262) 313 7700. They are the folks who I paid to come and look at my G0633 machine. The service representative was great. Anyone who needs woodworking machinery repair in Wisconsin should call them. You see I first called Grizzly when the machine went down ans asked for their help. Did they have an authorized repair service or could they recommend one to me. The guy said that they had no such thing and I was on my own. Okay- I did buy the $1,200.00 machine on the internet, I felt I deserved some of that. I then found this repair service and that is how the diagnosis was made. Call the service!!!

The poor design starts with the fact they Grizzly uses one bolt (part number 33) to go through two flat washers (oart 329) an “arm” (part 306) then through a “spacer” (part 305) then through a sprocket (part 304) then through two ball bearings (part 309) then through a bushing (part 303) then through a lever (part 313) thyen into the machine. The “arm” is the tensioner. You have to tighten the bolt so that the sprocket is tight and the entire assembly does not come into contact with the drive belts. Tightening the assembly makes the tensioner useless. This puts great stress on the drive chain that drives the infeed and outfeed rollers. If the outfeed roller is out of true, the chains grinds into the sprockets and then slides off of the tensioner. Tell me how and I will send you a video.

I spent a lot of money on this unit and have lost faith in it. Now someone from Idaho calls me a liar

-- Dwight Darrow

View knotscott's profile


8057 posts in 3404 days

#7 posted 09-22-2010 10:59 AM

Dwight, was this planer purchased new through Grizzly?

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

View DwightDarrow's profile


10 posts in 2833 days

#8 posted 09-22-2010 02:00 PM

I bought the machine through Grizzly as a Christmas present for myself in December of 2008. It mostly sat unused until the house project started and then only in August 2010 when we got to the trim. I bought a quantity of black walnut and at about the twentieth board the thing failed. Boise Joe’s recitation of the warranty is wonderful, but it is beyond the one year time frame.

By the way I also bought a 3 hp shaper, that is working fine so- made some really nice base trim. Boise Joe can now see that I am not “just dumping” on a company.

The machine weighs 750 to 800 pounds- returning it needs cooperation from Grizzly. Boise Joe I could not put it in a FEdEx box and mail it back to them.

I have done what a customer should do: I called support explained my issue and was told that I was on my own: I called in a professional whom I paid to see the machine, take it apart with me and determine the problem. I ordered parts including the arm and bushing, a new chain, a new neopreene drive sprocket, and the outfeed sprocket. All parts have come except the sprocket. That part was to be here this week; I was told last week that it would be December; support did not get back to me as promised; I had to call after five days. Coincident to my posting (which I told Grizzly I was going to do because of thier unacceptable service) I was told the delivery date was November and now they “think” sometime in October.

So Boise Joe- I gave you my service tech firm’s number. I will call them and give permission for them to speak to you. I look forward to your report as to the accuracy of my claim.

-- Dwight Darrow

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10 posts in 2833 days

#9 posted 09-22-2010 02:03 PM

Boise Joe- you say you did not see the model number. Re-read the post. the G0633 is the model number. My rant has holes- call the number Boise Joe.

-- Dwight Darrow

View Rileysdad's profile


110 posts in 3307 days

#10 posted 09-22-2010 03:00 PM

Like others here, my experience with Grizzly has been good. I’ve got a 10” cabinet saw, an 8” jointer, a 17” bandsaw, and a 15” planer. The only complaint I have is a little snipe on the planer. I just put it together and started using it. A little adjustment should eliminate the snipe.

When I compare the quality of these machines to other manufacturer’s comparable models, the big difference in price puts me squarely in the Grizzly camp.

-- Measure twice, cut once, buy extra stock.

View docholladay's profile


1287 posts in 3088 days

#11 posted 09-22-2010 03:52 PM

Like many have said already, generally Grizzly has had a good reputation. If you search posts on this website, you will find many testaments, not only to the quality of the product, but also posts touting the greatness of their customer service. However, obviously, in this particular case, something has been missed. If I am not mistaken, Grizzly actually manufactures some of their products and then they import or contract out the manufacture of some of their products. I would guess that the latter is the case with this machine. Still, regardless of the warranty, it does not excuse this level, or lack there of, of customer service, or the delay in being able to get parts. It doesn’t sound as if you are asking them to send you the parts for free due to the warranty period. You just want to get the machine working. The fact that the machine is beyond the 1 year warranty period is irrelevant. I have a 25 or so year old Rockwell band saw and a 15 or more year old Delta table saw. I can go into a local service and repair center and purchase parts (often they even have them in stock) for either of them without any problems. This place also services my Dewalt , PC and Makitatools as well. In addition, I can go to the Delta website and download parts diagrams and order parts as well. I do know that Grizzly has parts diagrams available on their website (at least for products currently available), but not sure about other technical info. It surprises and disappoints me that they do not have authorized service and repair centers that would have access to parts and would be able to repair such a machine. Like you, I do think that I would escalate this. Based on everything I have ever heard about Grizzly, your experience with their customer service is surprising. I would have to guess that this is not the standard that their management would expect of their people. I would even wonder if you ended up in a call center insteady of actually talking to a Grizzly employee based on what has happened. I think that I would try to find a direct phone number to Grizzly corporate headquarters and see if you don’t get some satisfaction. A company of this nature would usually rather replace the defective machine than have the bad publicity that could result from this. It’s worth a shot. A quick search at provided the following phone number for Grizzly Industrial Corporate Headquarters in Springfield, MO. (417) 887-9191. You can also find phone numbers for their other locations on their as well.

-- Hey, woodworking ain't brain surgery. Just do something and keep trying till you get it. Doc

View DwightDarrow's profile


10 posts in 2833 days

#12 posted 09-22-2010 04:17 PM

Graet post. I am not saying that every tool Grizzly builds is lousy. The shaper I bought performs well. I am saying buyer beware. Grizzly either manufactures or contracts out tools made in China (I believe) That may be true with a lot of other manufacturers. My points are these: 1) I expect machines to break; 2) If you want to be a credible dealer then have a place for customers to go to have the expensive machines they buy from you repaired. 3) If you want to be a credible dealer then have parts or ready access to parts so that a person who has purchased a very expensive machine can get up and going again. I do not expect overnight delivery. I expect parts to take a week or two or even three. Being told that a part is unavailable for four months is unacceptable. That story should be a warning flag to anyone who is considering a purchase of an expensive machine from Grizzly.

I am sure that many people have purchased machines from Grizzly and they have worked well. It is when they do not work well that we test the credibility of this dealer. The fact is that other manufacturers have authorized service and repair facilities and, to my knowledge, can get much needed parts to a customer within a reasonable time. Grizzly has not done this in this case. Based upon my experience, I would buy tools that if they fail they can be thrown out only from Grizzly. I would make sure, before I lay out a thousand dollar plus amount for a woodworking tool, that the person I am buying it from will service iit. Buy from a local dealer. Pay a few bucks more but then you have someone to call and come and fix the thing. This would not apply to a tool that costs under $500.00. But when you spend more you expect some help.

I have not asked for a refund; I have not asked for free anything. I just want the (hopefully) one piece that would get my planer running again so that I can finish my house. I will pay the asking price, shipping cost or even some premium just to get the part!!!

BoiseJoe did you call me service tech? Would you like to buy a planer- lots of new parts not many hours on it? I will make you a deal come an get it or pre-pay for shipping.

-- Dwight Darrow

View DwightDarrow's profile


10 posts in 2833 days

#13 posted 09-22-2010 04:54 PM

BoiseJoe. You called me a liar. my story was pretty decently set out the first time. My “agenda” is to warn others of my experience. If I were to call someone a liar and then I was told that I could confirm a story with an objective third-party I would do so. Then, if the story was confirmed, I would apologize. Are you apologizing Boise JOe?

What do you want pictures of? The sprocket in question? My Order form with Grizzly? A picture of the manual? What is it exactly Joe? Like I said tell me how and I will send you a video of the machine in operation and how the drive chain slides off of the tensioner pulley in about a minute because one sprocket is out of true and the design really leaves a lot to be desired. I have not tried to upload pictures. I will try- I will try tonight after my day job is done. But what pictures would satisfy your insatiable curiousity and obvious lack of belief. That is why it would by quicker for you to call. Put a quater where your mouth is and verify my account.

-- Dwight Darrow

View NBeener's profile


4816 posts in 3203 days

#14 posted 09-22-2010 05:01 PM


LumberJocks used to be a much more hospitable forum.

I’ve bought TWO machines from Grizzly—a benchtop mortiser and a band saw.

Both were inoperable (defective) upon arrival. Eventually, Grizzly Customer Service DID get BOTH fixed, but … I wasn’t happy with MY track record with THEIR products.

I gather that my experience is NOT typical, though, and WOULD buy from Grizzly again. Once up and running, I’ve had ZERO complaints with their tools.

Welcome, by the way :-)

-- -- Neil

View Ken90712's profile


17563 posts in 3217 days

#15 posted 09-22-2010 05:09 PM

I have a grizzly 14 inch band saw and love it! Also bought a 1/3 hp motor for a drum sander and they have been nothing but nice and great value.

-- Ken, "Everyday above ground is a good day!"

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