Need advice on New Jointer and Planer

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Forum topic by lazyoakfarm posted 10-22-2011 05:01 PM 1377 views 0 times favorited 5 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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144 posts in 2795 days

10-22-2011 05:01 PM

Topic tags/keywords: grizzly jointer planer table saw advice question help

I am new to fine woodworking, and I dont plan on making a living, just a hobby and maybe a few sales here and there. I will be building cabinets, furniture. Not much in the real small stuff like boxes and dominos…

I am setting up a shop and buying a few things at a time. I have a tablesaw with an Incra fence system. I have the Router Table setup with an Incra LS Super system. This Incra stuff is great.

My next purchase is going to be a Jointer and Planer. I dont want to buy cheap, but really dont care about wasting money either.

Jointer. Im thinking about an 8” Jointer. I do plan on working with some rough cut lumber.
8” the right size? I have acutally just learned that you should joint the face of a board before the edge to square it up so I changed my selection from a 6” to an 8”
Sprial cutter head? Worth the extra money? It seems to me that it would pay for itself in the long run.
Parallelagram table. Worth the extra money? I have read that if the table become warped the Parallesagram table is easier fixed. How in the world does a cast iron table get warped?
Is the Grizzly G0490X $1250.00 a good choice? Over kill?

Im thinking 15” G0453PX $1475
I would have chose the 20” but there is a huge incrase in the price.
also thinking that the sprial cutter head will pay off.

As I was writing this I came across the Grizzly G0634Z $2295 and saves 144 not having to ship 2 items.
I have not liked combo machines in the past becasue I like to get setup on one machine and keep it setup for additional cuts if necessary without having set it up again. The cost and space savings is making me look a little harder.

Thank you all for your advice.

5 replies so far

View lazyoakfarm's profile


144 posts in 2795 days

#1 posted 10-22-2011 05:59 PM

Already decided NOT to get the Combo machine. It only has a 12” planer and I want a larger one.

View richgreer's profile


4541 posts in 3072 days

#2 posted 10-22-2011 10:56 PM

I’m probably in the minority on this issue, but it is my opinion that the spiral cutters are not worth the extra cost.

I will speak in defense of Grizzly, but I cannot comment on their combo machine because I have no experience with it. I’m very fond of my Grizzly jointer and lathe.

Regarding combo machines in general – - They save space and for many of us, our shop space is limited. If space is not an issue, I don’t see any advantage to a combo machine.

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

View JJohnston's profile


1622 posts in 3289 days

#3 posted 10-23-2011 02:39 AM

Spiral cutters on a jointer are pointless IMO, since you’re going to put the wood through a planer after jointing. If you want a spiral cutterhead, it should be on the planer.

I have a G0490 with straight knives. It’s gone up $400 since I bought mine. I don’t think it’s worth that much more. The parallelogram tables are nice. There’s an adjustment at all 4 corners of both tables.

-- "A man may conduct himself well in both adversity and good fortune, but if you want to test his character, give him power." - Abraham Lincoln

View Jeremy Greiner's profile

Jeremy Greiner

568 posts in 2769 days

#4 posted 10-23-2011 08:31 AM

Hi Lazyoakfarm,

Assuming money is no object.

When would you need to plane something larger than you can run through on your jointer? Really this would show up mostly for glued up panels you would want to flatten out. And a drum sander can handle that as well as other things.

So getting a 12’’ combo jointer planer allows you to joint boards the same width that you can run through your planer. This means never having to create a planer sled to run that 10 or 12’’ piece of wood through the planer to “joint” it because it won’t fit on your jointer.

And you can use the space that would house your 15’’ planer, to house a 16’’ (or larger) drum sander. The drum sander can be used on things that planers shouldn’t be, such as end grain cutting boards. I’ve even heard of people running assembled drawers through just to smooth them out.

In the end the choice is yours, and if you are dead set against the combo machines don’t get one. I just wanted to add some information.


-- Easy to use end grain cutting board designer:

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

4985 posts in 2491 days

#5 posted 10-23-2011 01:54 PM

The most common advice I’ve seen is that the 8” jointer/15” planer is the sweetspot for most hobbyist woodworkers in terms of practicality and value. I must agree with that since that’s what I wound up with. I then added Bird heads to both. Here’s my current opinion: in terms of size, I really don’t think a larger planer would be much added value. I considered a 20” when I bought mine, but passed since it weighed twice as much (800#) and at the time we faced the prospect of moving one more time (we did) and I didn’t want to deal with a machine that large. To be honest, I had upgraded from a 12” lunchbox and I had only felt undersized once/twice with it. So the 15” seemed to be right for me. I do admit, however, I wish I had a larger jointer even though the one I have is great. So far, I’ve still been able to accomplish everything I’ve wanted so maybe it’s just a personality disorder brought on be seeing David Marks with his 16” unit on TV a few years back. The spiral heads are nice, no question (in my mind) about having it on the planer. The jointer is debatable….I like mine, but it’s hard to justify. They have other advantages besides the cut….less noise, no changing knives (ugh), and a very long life on cutting edges. Still, the cost makes it hard to defend. Buying a jointer with one already installed makes it less expensive, and maybe worthwhile. My opinion, of course.

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

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