grizzly planner vs shop fox

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Forum topic by shelly_b posted 08-08-2012 01:39 PM 6551 views 0 times favorited 23 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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850 posts in 2142 days

08-08-2012 01:39 PM

Hi, this is my first time posting on this site. I have read quite a bit of your forums but just joined a few minutes ago. I have a question I was hoping to get some help with. My little 12 1/2 delta planer is broke(easily fixed but good excuse to get a new one). Wood somehow got pushed under the blade and bent the blade gaurd. Not sure if my boyfriend tried to take off too much at once or if one of the screws worked it’s self loose, I just know it worked when I used it last lol. Anyway, I have been researching new planers would like to get a floor model. With my price limit I have narrowed it down to the 15in shop fox or the 20in grizzly. They are about the same price but I have read alot of scary stories about grizzly and their costumer service if something happens to go wrong. Would it be worth the chance of getting a bad product for an extra 5inches? Also I found an 8yr old 15in powermatic for $750 on craigs list. Which I would jump on, but it has alot of rust. The rust on the bed and posts doesn’t worry me, but it’s the rust that I can’t see or get to that worries me. The last thing is that I plan on putting a shelix head on whatever I get in the next few months. Thanks!!!

23 replies so far

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Mainiac Matt

8087 posts in 2352 days

#1 posted 08-08-2012 01:46 PM

I’ve purchased several “capital tools” from Grizzly (drill press, bench top milling machine, dust collector) as well as dozens of accessory type items.

I’ve had excellent experience accross the board and won’t hesitate to purchse from them in the future.

One thing to keep in mind about Grizzly is they actually have CS, tech. support and parts departments… So after 10 years of reliable service, when I broke a knob on my drill press handle, I had no problem getting a replacement, for a very resonable price.

I’m not drinking anyones color of Kool-Aid however, so I always read many reviews (expecially the 1 through 3 star reviews….looking for common issues).

Unless I buy used (which certainly has it’s own risks/rewards) I’ve found that Grizzly often gives the best bang for the buck.

-- It’s the knowledge in your head, skill in your hands and motivation to create in you heart that makes you a woodworker. - Mainiac Matt

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221 posts in 2197 days

#2 posted 08-08-2012 01:52 PM

I have always had good customer service from Grizzly, my biggest issue with them is that they sell Shopfox products which IMHO are sub-standard at best. I own 2 Shopfox products and will never own another.

The best thing would be to search the “reviews” section on LJ..get real user accounts of the product as opposed to the magazine reviews

-- Randy - "I dont make mistakes, I make design change opportunities"

View Ken90712's profile


17563 posts in 3213 days

#3 posted 08-08-2012 02:00 PM

I have Several grizzly items and have had good luck with them. I did have one issue with them a while back. They sent me an email with some tools on sale, I ordered a osc. spindle sander 2 min after getting the email. The called my a cpl days later saing it was on a 4 month back-order. When I asked how could this be you just sent out the info? They had no answer kinda fustrated me but I have been thinking of buying one of they’re 5hp table saws. 5 extra inches would be great, I would love to have a 20” planer instead of the norm.

Good luck look fwd to hearing more about this.

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

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3070 posts in 2281 days

#4 posted 08-08-2012 02:38 PM

Shelly, welcome to LJ! There are a lot of really nice and helpful people here so I am certain you will get a lot of good input to your question.

I, like the other respondents, so far, have a number of Grizzly machines and am happy with them.

I don’t own a Shelix head, so take this for what it is worth. My jointer and planer both have the Grizzly spiral cutter head and they both produce smooth surfaces on the woods I use, mostly qswo, but no birds eye maple, etc. Perhaps, you can find a Grizzly someplace to try it out and see if it will be adequate for your needs. My point is that I wouldn’t buy a machine that I knew I would want to upgrade in a couple months.

I have this planer and don’t recall that it hasn’t been wide enough for any of my projects. I know that we all want bigger, better, faster, but I just don’t find the lumber that would require a 20” planer. I don’t think I could move a 16”+ wide plank anyhow. ;) YMMV

In any event, please let us know your decision so we can congratulate you on your new purchase. :)

-- Art

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850 posts in 2142 days

#5 posted 08-08-2012 02:41 PM

Thanks guys! The grizzly seems like the best buy so I’m glad to hear some good reviews about them. ssnvet- I do the same thing with the stars, I always read more of the 1 & 2 stars than the 5 stars. The shop fox had like 10 ratings on amazon and they were all 5’s and a couple 4’s, so no bad stars to look at there…though I know I saw some when I first started my research. The thought of getting a powermatic for that price makes it really tempting too. Any thoughts about the rust? The 20in would be great, the only downfall to that would be the shelix head is going to go from about $800 to $1200-1400… I love getting good deals, so if there was a great sale on one, that would make up my mind for me… I hate making big decisions like this lol.

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5674 posts in 2235 days

#6 posted 08-08-2012 02:42 PM

Grizzly and Shop Fox are both owned by Shiraz Balolia and most of their tools are produced side by side in the same factories, just with different paint jobs and badging. The only major difference in the brands is how they are sold/marketed.

Grizzly is sold direct from the company, predominately as Internet sales, and usually carries a 1 year warranty. Shop Fox is only sold through dealers (those dealers may sell over the Internet, but the manufacturer does not) and usually carries a 2 year warranty. Regardless of which you buy, there should be a similar level of customer service, which by most accounts is pretty good.

-- In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock. Thomas Jefferson

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850 posts in 2142 days

#7 posted 08-08-2012 02:52 PM

AandCstyle- thank you:) and you have some really good points. I probably would not need to plane any boards wider than 15, which would let me upgrade to the spiral head. I hate sanding!! And I am OCD about sanding so it always takes me forever so the less sanding I have to do the happier I will be lol. The only reason I was thinking of upgrading rather than buying it with the spiral head was that the shelix is really not much more expensive, and it seemed to be the best brand of helical heads offered right now. But I have never used anything other than the straight knives. Would there be much difference in the shelix and the spiral cutter? Or do they both produce pretty much the same results? I think the only time I would use the full 20in would be for evening out glue ups…

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850 posts in 2142 days

#8 posted 08-08-2012 03:39 PM

I think this is my new favorite website LOL. I am very impressed with how fast I get anwers:)

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Jeff Tobert

64 posts in 2886 days

#9 posted 08-08-2012 03:54 PM

I have the grizzly 20 inch planer and it is a fine machine, no issues, I have many other Grizzly machines and they have always been a great company to deal with. If I were you always go for the machine that has the larger capacity. There will be times you will be glad you did. Planing panels after glue up for example.

-- All in or give in.

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5723 posts in 3256 days

#10 posted 08-08-2012 04:06 PM

First off, keep in mind, Grizzly and Shop Fox are owned by the same guy, and very often sell the exact same tools with different paint and labels. Grizzly does the mail order thing, Shop Fox does the in store thing. That’s the big difference…

I know some folks have had bad experiences with Grizzly customer service, but that seems to be the exception rather than the rule.

I have some Grizzly stuff. Air Filter, and accessory type stuff, and have been happy with them. I would be more than happy if I had the $$, to buy a large ticket tool from them like a new band saw, cyclone, or whatnot… I would love a G0691 if it came with a SawStop type brake…

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View AandCstyle's profile


3070 posts in 2281 days

#11 posted 08-08-2012 06:44 PM

Shelly, I believe the Byrd heads have the cutters are patented and they are perpendicular to the curve as can been seen here. The Grizzly and others have the cutter set perpendicular to the cylinder as shown here. I am not aware of any head to head studies that have found the Byrd heads to be significantly better, but there may be some out there. Practically speaking, I doubt there is much of a real world difference, but I could be wrong with regards to really wild grained wood.

I fix mis-aligned joints with my ROS. FWIW

-- Art

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226 posts in 3327 days

#12 posted 08-08-2012 07:05 PM

I have 15” with carbide. From the first day I thought I should have gotten the 20” I have a Delta 22-44 sander on p220 sandpaper and 16-32 sander on 80. Figured maple is tough on my 12 1/2 Delta planer so now I plane in very thin lifts on the Griz 15 and finish sand on the 220. I use the 80 to sand to thickness when a thicker cut on the planer would tear out the figure. Note! Big Secret to follow: The Griz on slowest drive speed does not tear out Tiger maple or Birdseye figure if you spray the surface as it enters the planer with universal solvent. Only the shavings have higher moisture. Big time saver. Make sure all surfaces are waxed before and after using the water treatment. Good luck. s

-- Steve, 'Sconie Great White North

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8056 posts in 3400 days

#13 posted 08-08-2012 08:12 PM

I wouldn’t be too concerned about getting good service from Grizzly if needed. You should expect to be your own middle man….there’s no dealer markup, and no dealer support to handle things if they go wrong. Grizzly sells lots and lots of tools, likely more than Jet, Delta, Steel City, or other mainstream import brands, which increases the chances of you spotting a bad service experience posted somewhere. In general, most people experience excellent service from them. I’ve gotten great performance from my Grizzly G1182HW 6” jointer, Grizzly G1029 DC, and Shop Fox W1677 cabinet saw, and have had excellent service for the few minor things I’ve called about.

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

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1735 posts in 2833 days

#14 posted 08-08-2012 10:26 PM

Shelly, were it me I would go with the 20 inch, especiiallly if it is at or near the same money. One big advantage is having the ability to skew your material when feeding. I think everyone is on board about not having a need to plane 20 inch wide lumber very often, but try to skew a 12 inch wide board through a 15 inch planner. Skewing gives you a similar effect that you would expect from a spiral head cutter. Good luck wiht your decision ! JB

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850 posts in 2142 days

#15 posted 08-09-2012 10:24 PM

Thanks you guys have all been alot of help.i think i am leaning more towards the 20in. My only delima now is 15in spiral. Or 20in straight blads. A man i work with has rhe 20 in so i think i will give it a try. I will let u know my decision!

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