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!