Planer upgrade

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Forum topic by lunn posted 12-16-2013 12:30 PM 1229 views 0 times favorited 12 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View lunn's profile


215 posts in 2332 days

12-16-2013 12:30 PM

I’ve outgrown my Parks and Crapstmans planers. I need something faster, i’m now planning 100bf of walnut and is taking forever it seems. I’ve been looking at the Grizzly G0454, 5hp with 4 hss cutter knives and the polar bear G0453PX, 3 hp with spiral cutter head (about the same price). I’m thinking about doing custom planning so it will pay for itself. So here’s the question 5 hp 4 cutter knives or 3 hp spiral or another brand of planer 3-5 hp. Pro and cons of a spiral cutterhead.

-- What started as a hobbie is now a full time JOB!

12 replies so far

View Marcus's profile


1163 posts in 2043 days

#1 posted 12-16-2013 12:47 PM

I moved over to the g0453x about 6 months ago and love it. It turned planing into a fun part of the process vs a necessary chore. It’s very quiet compared to my old dw735 and get the job done quick. The spiral head is great as well. I’ve yet to see any tear out worth mentioning on any wood, even some very figured maple that I previously dreaded working with. As for 3hp vs 5hp, it’s not a concern for me. I’ve sent through some walnut that used every bit of the 15” cutter and it didn’t bog down a bit.

If you go the g0453 route, you may want to consider the green version, it’s $100 cheaper and I was told by grizzly that it’s the same machine (let the debate begin if that’s true or not!)

View Mark E.'s profile

Mark E.

387 posts in 3766 days

#2 posted 12-16-2013 12:51 PM

I have the G0453px. I really like the spiral cutter head. It leaves a nice smooth finish and is much quieter than my old Ridgid ‘portable’ planer. The 3hp motor has powered through anything I have sent through, including 14+” wide maple glue ups. I have had it for over 2 years and have not yet had to rotate any of the cutters. I would have gone through at least 3-4 sets of knives on the Ridgid in that time.

The spiral cutterhead was really the big selling point for me. I haven’t had a need to plane anything wider than 15”, so getting a 20 inch planer was just wasted money and space. The spiral cutterhead was definitely money well spent.

-- Mark

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

4999 posts in 2517 days

#3 posted 12-16-2013 12:52 PM

One of the biggest advantages of the spiral head for professional use if the longevity of the inserts. You will get far more mileage before you have to rotate them than you will with HSS knives. Another consideration (if you have DC hooked to it) is the noise level. My 15” Delta used to howl so loudly it was the only tool where I had to wear my shooting ear muffs. After I installed the spiral, I just use the same earplugs I use with the other tools; that seems to me to be more important if you do this for extended periods of time. One other thing, you know what a PITA it is to get the new knives set and adjusted for clean cuts, the spiral takes the work out of this, although since you have to rotate so many it’s not much (if any) less time.

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

View WDHLT15's profile


1747 posts in 2500 days

#4 posted 12-16-2013 01:00 PM

Not getting the spiral cutterhead with the carbide inserts is like buying a car without fuel injection and air bags. I have the GO453X with the spiral head and it is a fine planer. I have planed thousands of BF and have yet to rotate the cutters (but the time is imminent). However, if you plan on doing a lot of custom planing, I believe that it will be the very minimum that you could get away with as it might be a bit under-powered for production work.

-- Danny Located in Perry, GA. Forester. Wood-Mizer LT40HD35 Sawmill. Nyle L53 Dehumidification Kiln.

View TheWoodenOyster's profile


1317 posts in 1959 days

#5 posted 12-16-2013 01:12 PM

I don’t own a spiral cutterhead planer, nor have I ever worked with one, so take this with a grain of salt. I agree with WDHLT15 – getting the spiral cutterhead is not really splurging, I feel like it is absolutely worth the extra money and convenience. I have heard nothing but positive comments about the lifetime, cut quality, and noise reduction that spiral cutterheads offer. If I were you, I would definitely go spiral cutterhead, lower HP.

-- The Wood Is Your Oyster

View Tennessee's profile


2873 posts in 2538 days

#6 posted 12-16-2013 01:19 PM

Another +1 for the G0453PX. Both the Polar Bear and the standard green machine are made in China. The Polar Bear is made in a factory that is neither ISO9001, or CSA certified. The green one is also made in a factory that is not ISO9001 certified, but is CSA certified.
Personally I think ISO was initially invented by the Germans to slow the rest of the world down, but that’s just me.
I really like my Polar Bear, even though it was a little more money. Maybe just the paint?

Either way, my Polar Bear has been a great machine, allowing me to plane while still hearing the radio, and planeing wood burl and flame I could only dream of planeing with my old Rigid.

-- Tsunami Guitars and Custom Woodworking, Cleveland, TN

View Shawn Masterson's profile

Shawn Masterson

1325 posts in 1972 days

#7 posted 12-17-2013 01:03 AM

I believe the reason for the HP difference is because the spiral cutter is a smaller cut. What I mean is it doesn’t take 15” at once. The cutters hit the board 1 at a time, so there is no need for high HP.

View ,'s profile


2387 posts in 3571 days

#8 posted 12-17-2013 12:58 PM

I have never used a spiral head but always read food comments on them. You probably would not need the extra HP. But just for calculations benefit, a brand new 5 HP Leeson could be installed in your new planer for 350.00. Of course the like new 3 HP motor you would be removing could sell for around 200.00. So it equates to a few hundred dollar difference to upgrade HP on your own.

But upgrading the head is a good bit more costly.

With all that said, nothing really beats going with a good solid used machine in my opinion. We own 3 planers, all were bought as used planers.

-- .

View lunn's profile


215 posts in 2332 days

#9 posted 12-19-2013 01:58 PM

I’ve been looking for a good used planer, but most i have found have been 3ph or junk. I’ve also looked the sprial cutter head models I know that they turn 4 times as they get dull, but at a cost of $439.60 from Grizzly to replace them is a deal killer for me. Or am i reading the cost wrong?

-- What started as a hobbie is now a full time JOB!

View helluvawreck's profile


31363 posts in 2890 days

#10 posted 12-19-2013 02:15 PM

We had a big over under planer at the molding plant and the spiral heads worked well. You could rotate or replace the square carbide inserts and they lasted a good while.

helluvawreck aka Charles

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

View Marcus's profile


1163 posts in 2043 days

#11 posted 12-19-2013 02:50 PM


The cutters have 4 sides, but each of those 4 sides lasts what seems like considerably longer than HSS blades. The real benefit to me was the “noise savings”, the spiral head makes the planer a joy to use as opposed to a chore.

View Kyheadhunter's profile


40 posts in 1664 days

#12 posted 12-19-2013 11:50 PM

If you decide to sell your Parks planer, drop me a line, I’m in the market for a planer.

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