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Advice on Powermatic vs. Grizzly 15" Surface Planers

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Forum topic by Sam12 posted 09-28-2013 06:36 PM 1338 views 0 times favorited 11 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Sam12

26 posts in 446 days


09-28-2013 06:36 PM

Topic tags/keywords: planers powermatic grizzly advice question

Fellow Lumberjocks,
I am in need of some advice on planers. I have approximately 1,000 bd ft of rough, air-dried lumber to plane. (Mix of species including pine, oak, walnut, cedar, cherry, h/s maple). I had been planing using a Dewalt 735 but it died on me. I am now researching 15” planers and narrowed down my search to the Grizzly G0453Z and the Powermatic 15HH both with the new spiral/helical cutterhead. I currently have 4 Grizzly machines all of which I am pleased with. However, because of my lack of experience with the larger professional/industrial style planers I am a little concerned with the Grizzly simply because the only tech support they offer is via phone. I would feel more comfortable being able to call someone and have them come to my shop or be able to bring the machine somewhere to get it worked on. Also, I am a home hobbyist so it probably will take me several years to plane all of my lumber. The Grizzly warranty is only for 1 year so if I have trouble after that year is up I am stuck dealing with 1-800-techsupport.
The Powermatic machine is available locally (approx 40 miles) through Woodcraft. I really like the idea that Powermatic offers authorized local service centers with reps who come to your shop. And the 5 year warranty is a major plus as well. But, as would be expected, it comes with a hefty price tag…almost twice as much as the Grizzly. I don’t know if, as a home hobbyist, I can justify the extra $1,600.00 for the ‘piece of mind’ that Powermatic offers. I can afford the extra money but I wonder if I am truly getting $1,600.00 more of value with the Powermatic. Do I spend the money and go with the Powermatic or should I buy the Grizzly and save the $1,600 to put toward future tool purchases? I am currently in my 30s, so hopefully I have another 40-50 good years of woodworking in me and would like a machine that is going to last and be reasonably easy to maintain and fix.
I would really appreciate any advice that you can give me on this matter. What do you think of these two machines? Which machine do you have and would you purchase it again? Have any of you had troubles with either and how were your experiences with trying to rectify the problem?
Thank you for your help!
Sam


11 replies so far

View bowedcurly's profile

bowedcurly

486 posts in 419 days


#1 posted 09-28-2013 06:51 PM

they are both made in ASIA one is just got gold paint and a higher price

-- Staining killed the wood<<<<<>>>>>Dyeing gave it life

View bowedcurly's profile

bowedcurly

486 posts in 419 days


#2 posted 09-28-2013 06:54 PM

there is nothing to a planer but a motor and a cutterhead good pm’s will make one last forever

-- Staining killed the wood<<<<<>>>>>Dyeing gave it life

View unbob's profile

unbob

421 posts in 594 days


#3 posted 09-28-2013 07:04 PM

On that type of planer with carbide head, there is not a whole lot to go wrong.
But, it will need some adjustments from time to time that are not hard to do.
Having it serviced in place, could be costly and for sure not usually covered by any warranty. When I was looking for my first planer, I felt the Griz 15” was the best deal. I ended up finding an older Powermatic 16” in great condition, but with a 3 knife head. The adjustments are fairly complicated, and takes a few special tools, and some hours to get it right.

View Grandpa's profile

Grandpa

3190 posts in 1366 days


#4 posted 09-28-2013 07:05 PM

I know little about either of the tools except they are 15” planers. I have no experience with either. At a quick glance I notice that the Griz is about $1800 plus a few dollars. If you buy one of these you can afford to buy a second just like it if it were to come to that. That is a lot to pay for a warranty you hope to never use and someone to come to your house and you also hope you never have to call him. I would probably risk the money on the Griz. I have had pretty good luck with their tools. I am sure there are some that haven’t but I know some that haven’t had such good results out of their PM tools. Just my $.02

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

1891 posts in 1184 days


#5 posted 09-28-2013 07:08 PM

It would be a no brainer for me, I’d save the money and get the green one. That said, my 15”planer is gray and I’ve had it for over 10 years with nary a problem. These things may be imports, but they are all pretty much the same and based on a time proven design….little trouble.

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

View crank49's profile

crank49

3458 posts in 1661 days


#6 posted 09-28-2013 07:33 PM

I’d go for the Grizzly since they both have the spiral cutter head. I don’t think either company does the cutter themselves and that’s a big part of the value.

-- Michael :-{| “If you tell a big enough lie and tell it frequently enough, it will be believed.” ― A H

View darthford's profile

darthford

532 posts in 614 days


#7 posted 10-17-2013 03:45 AM

Check the Grizzly OUTFEED ROLLER, when I had my G0453 4 years ago the outfeed roller had ridges machined into it, I guess so it could get a better grip. The problem is it leaves tiny indentations in the wood, so what’s the point planning it smooth with a Byrd Shelix cutter head only to have to sand and sand to remove these. Worse they are slight, just when you think you got them all you apply some finish and the ones you missed show up.

This is why I went with the Powermatic 15HH this time, I have a brand new 15HH in the garage, its outfeed roller is smooth.

View Loren's profile

Loren

7739 posts in 2338 days


#8 posted 10-17-2013 05:25 AM

I don’t think the light industrial new Powermatic are
likely much better than Grizzly. Some heavier Powermatic
machines are rebadged machines from Europe: Robland
for the table saws and some Italian maker for the
big jointers, planers and boring machines.

Most 15” planers are light industrial class. Asia owns
that market and from brand to brand the machines
are getting to be more and more similar.

-- http://lawoodworking.com

View Quanter50's profile

Quanter50

160 posts in 986 days


#9 posted 10-17-2013 05:50 AM

You already have 4 green machines, wouldn’t a gold one added in look out of place? Seriously…....like previously mentioned, I would go with the Griz.

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

1891 posts in 1184 days


#10 posted 10-17-2013 06:24 PM

Made the decision yet????

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

View Sam12's profile

Sam12

26 posts in 446 days


#11 posted 05-19-2014 03:03 AM

Thanks everyone for the helpful advice! I was leaning toward the Grizzly when I happened upon a great deal on the Powermatic that I couldn’t pass up. I have been using it now for a month and a half and it is AWESOME! Wow, what a difference from my old DeWalt. It produces a better finish, is much faster, and is so much easier to use. I used to dread planning, now I love it!

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