Porter-Cable, Craftsman, or Grizzly Industrial, Inc.?

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Forum topic by Scooter McClain posted 03-04-2013 09:05 PM 7693 views 0 times favorited 23 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Scooter McClain

174 posts in 2159 days

03-04-2013 09:05 PM

Topic tags/keywords: planer drill press jointer sander

I am looking into buying some brand new tools for when I get off deployment to start on some projects that I promised the wife. The four specific power tools that I am buying: a 12” thickness planer, a floor drill press, a jointer (this is the only tool where there is a dimension difference: 4” wide vs 6” wide) , and a combo disk/belt sander. I have found a way to keep everything price wise to within $10 dollars of the three companies and not compromise quality or the tools fitting my needs, and its not exactly a budget issue, just I would like to stick with one company. I’m not a brand-name snob, but I have replaced more than my fair share of Ryobi power tools, and while I’m not knocking them, I was looking to make the next jump forward and buying something that is not light blue in color and of a little higher quality. Of those three companies mentioned above, which one company should I go with? Please do not add any other companies into the three I have here, as I have done the best researching into it that has had me arrive at these three.

How are the products that you have bought from these three companies? I’m particularly interested with the Grizzly products. Random things that have brought me to these three companies: Grizzly is right up the road from me, so it would be a local purchase and I would be saving with shipping and handling, as well as freight.
Lowes supplies Porter-Cable products locally, and like Lowes and Grizzly, Sears is always nearby.

Any input is greatly appreciated! Thanks!

-- I make sawdust. I think thats a fair assessment of my finished products!

23 replies so far

View Swyftfeet's profile


170 posts in 2409 days

#1 posted 03-04-2013 09:25 PM

I would not do anything with craftsman. They have sunk their own battleship. The had a name synonymous with quality and rode it into the ground by replacing quality tools with relabeled cheap throw a ways. I also hate dealing with sears salesmen more than best buy sales folk, which says a lot.

Grizzly is mostly Chinese but I would feel a lot better about going there, at least they know what they are and have good customer service.

Porter cable is hit and miss to me, I like their router that I bought, but the jig saw I purchased is crap, always cuts at an angle to the base no matter how new the blade is or what direction the grain is going…

-- Brian

View JayT's profile


6008 posts in 2448 days

#2 posted 03-04-2013 09:28 PM

IMHO, of those three company’s tools, I would pick Grizzly, hands down. If you are at the same amount of money, then usually a Grizzly will give you a little more bang for the buck. Plus the fact that you are close enough to pick them up makes it even better.

Edit: Are you not wanting to buy used? If you are patient, you can usually find some of those tools in pretty good condtion on Craigslist and either save or have a better tool than new. For instance, I routinely see floor drill presses sell in the $150-200 range that are way better than a new one in the $300-400 range.

-- In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice. In practice, there is.

View Earlextech's profile


1162 posts in 2928 days

#3 posted 03-04-2013 09:30 PM

Don’t buy your stationary tools at the big boxes, go to a tool store to get them or you will get inferior parts. Customer service is as important as price and Chinese products aren’t cheap because the product is cheap, it’s because the labor is cheap, so I’m comfortable with Grizzly. I prefer Porter Cable but I always buy at a real tool store.

-- Sam Hamory - The project is never finished until its "Finished"!

View Tennessee's profile


2893 posts in 2752 days

#4 posted 03-04-2013 09:45 PM

Well, since you are keeping us to only the three brands, I would have to add another vote for Grizzly.
The only change I would make is on the lunchbox planer, a Dewalt I think is king, at least for now.
But…if you could squeeze out a little more coin, then I would definitely go for the 15” spiralhead Grizzly G0453. I have owned one for about 15 months, and have yet to even rotate the four sided carbide cutters yet, although they are getting close. I probably would have gone through 5-6 sets of blades on a lunchbox planer by now. At $30 a set, that’s already $150 gone. I’m still on set one of four sides, which came with the planer.
Everything else you mentioned, Grizzly, especially since it is close, is kind of a no brainer.

-- Tsunami Guitars and Custom Woodworking, Cleveland, TN

View knotscott's profile


8178 posts in 3613 days

#5 posted 03-04-2013 09:56 PM

Seeking to buy specifically from one brand intentionally is usually a sure way to pay more for less tool. It’s very rare that one brand offers the best value in each tool across multiple tool categories. I would spend some time researching each tool, and buy it for it’s merit, not the brand name. You’ll get the most tool for your money, and you’ll know what you got and why you chose it. It could end up all the same brand, but it’s not very likely.

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

View kdc68's profile


2692 posts in 2514 days

#6 posted 03-04-2013 10:27 PM

Scott – In your list of tools I noticed drill press. I have the Porter Cable 15” Drill Press. I think it’s a good bang for the buck. There is good reviews here and at Lowes. Here’s a couple of links.

My review as well as 3 others

Lowes reviews

-- Measure "at least" twice and cut once

View DocSavage45's profile


8733 posts in 3080 days

#7 posted 03-05-2013 12:26 AM

I agree, it’s Crap”man tools LOL although it depends on amont of use? Porter cable router great tool. Have a couple Grizzly hand tools which they now don’t carry.

Would go with larger than 12” planer. I would do that on my next one.

Grizzly replaced the heart of my three speed air filter with a phone call!

I have the 14” band saw, and a craigs list 1023sl cabinet saw.

As I have said to many folks “buy what you like, can get a bad item in any brand but at least you will be willing to make an effort to fix it?”

-- Cau Haus Designs, Thomas J. Tieffenbacher

View wiswood2's profile


1138 posts in 3933 days

#8 posted 03-05-2013 01:19 AM

I wish I lived that close to Grizzly, I would have saved a bundle of cash I have 15 of grizzlys major tools. I have had very little problems and when I did the took care of it if it was in warranty and if not the sent the parts the same day I called I do have a delta orbital drum sander and RBI scroll saw. Living that close I would not look any further.

-- Chuck, wiswood2

View runswithscissors's profile


2927 posts in 2262 days

#9 posted 03-05-2013 01:24 AM

As I am in Bellingham, I get to check out the Grizzly tools from time to time. I agree with others that that is your best bet. The weakest item in your list would be the 12” planer. I am not a fan of lunch box planers, having owned 2 or 3 of them, including the DW 735. My problem with it was the excessive noise. But a lot of people like them. I saw one on CL just yesterday for $300.

Please don’t get a 4” jointer. A six incher will be much more useful, and 8 is even better.

I have 2 Grizzly bandsaws (14” and an old model 18”), their belt/disk combo sander, and 2 hp. dust collector. If I didn’t already have an oldish Unisaw, I would probably get one of their cabinet saws. I had their 1.5 h.p. shaper (off CL) for a while, and it was not a bad little shaper, but I swapped it out for a 2 hp older Jet (also off CL). I am not a fan of Grizzly portable power tools, nor their cordless tools. I have a PC drill press, but am watching CL for a Grizzly radial drill press, for woodworking (radial DPs aren’t good for metal work, as they flex too much—and I do quite a lot of work with metal).

I agree with the comment above about brand fixation. There is no tool brand I know of that has a line up of perfect tools. They all make duds. A few are really pathetic. Don’t mention I said this to any Festool people, please.

-- I admit to being an adrenaline junky; fortunately, I'm very easily frightened

View Scooter McClain's profile

Scooter McClain

174 posts in 2159 days

#10 posted 03-05-2013 03:02 AM

Awesome inputs from all, thank you very much.

Someone mentioned early on about looking on CL. I have been looking on there too but it’s mostly things that are not what I was looking for. I’m not opposed at all to buying something used. An old 300Lb 6” planer with shot bearings and/or shot motor would be a dream find right now, as would an 1940’s drill press. I mention new because the wife is allowing the purchase and I figured I’d start with some of the ones that I could get my grubby hands on the easiest.

-- I make sawdust. I think thats a fair assessment of my finished products!

View unisaw's profile


92 posts in 4370 days

#11 posted 03-05-2013 03:06 AM

Be sure to go with a 6” jointer not a 4”.

View Matt Przybylski's profile

Matt Przybylski

569 posts in 2615 days

#12 posted 03-05-2013 05:57 AM

If I was in your position and wanted to buy local I’d go this route (ignoring your one brand business because as knotscott said its a bit silly, honestly):

Drill press: lowes porter cable 15” ( I have it, it’s awesome for the price, 4+” travel…)
Jointer: grizzly 0604x (I have this as well, 6” with parallelogram beds, very nice cut)
Planer: dewalt 735x (have this too, for lunchbox planers it’s unbeatable)
Sander: I won’t comment because I don’t have one and honestly don’t know much about them

All 3 of those can be bought locally (lowes, grizzly, HD or lowes) and they’re very solid tools.

-- Matt, Arizona,

View Marcus's profile


1165 posts in 2257 days

#13 posted 03-05-2013 02:33 PM

It’s hard to argue with Matt’s advice there. Those are all pretty solid buys and if local is important to you for return/warranty reasons, they seem like a good fit. If you want to stick with all one brand though, I would probably go Grizzly out of the choices you mentioned.

View CrazeeTxn's profile


151 posts in 2188 days

#14 posted 03-05-2013 08:50 PM

Griz, P-C, Craftsman: In that order. I’m not going to beat a dead horse but can’t say enough about how Craftsman has tanked on power tools. I have some of their old iron and wish it was still made that way…but it’s not. I think P-C used to be up there, but maybe has dropped slightly (just from posts I’ve read).

Can’t go wrong with wanting your shop one color. Check with the store when you get back and see if they’ll offer you a discount for buying alot from them at once. If not, mention you can just as easy go down to Lowes and get what you want.

If you want some PC stuff, check out their CPO site or a factory authorized site

Good luck!!!

View James 's profile


138 posts in 3163 days

#15 posted 03-05-2013 11:11 PM

I have a few Grizzly tools and I like them. CL in the Oak Harbor area is pretty scarce and you may have to wait a long time before something your interested in comes up. Here is Grizzly 1182 jointer for sale in Anacortes, seems like a good deal and I think this was one of there highest rated 6” jointers when it was in production. I know you said no other brands but check out the Ridgid 13” planer at home depot when you get back to Oak Harbor, they usually have them in stock. It gets very good reviews and is pretty well priced, not to mention they offer a 10% military discount. It might be worth looking at their drill press too while there. It’s always worth the trip to Bellingham to visit the Grizzly store quite overwhelming the first time you go there but fun. Good Luck!


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