Beware of Grizzly paddle switches

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Forum topic by b2rtch posted 12-25-2013 03:27 PM 2327 views 0 times favorited 49 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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4371 posts in 1831 days

12-25-2013 03:27 PM

-this is not a review , this is why it is not in the review section.
-I do not say the Grizzly paddle switches are not working or not working as they should.
I do not not say that I did not receive what I ordered.

Some of you might remember the near-accident I had with my PowerMatic jointer when this one started unexpectedly and that a piece of the cutting head flew away braking a part of the out feed table and nearly missed me.
This happened because the original switch was just that a purely mechanical switch and that by accident it had been turned on while the jointer was moved and that as soon I plugged the jointer in, it started.
This would have been prevented with an electromagnetic motor switch, which open the circuit as soon as the power is interrupted and does not turn back on until someone push the switch again.

Since this near-miss, I equipped all my equipment with paddle switches from Woodstock that I buy on Amazon.
This switch incorporates a mini-solenoid which functions as a magnetic motor switch. If the power is interrupted for any reason, unless someone push on the button again, the motor will not start again. This is very safe switch.
The only kind of switch I want o use.

Last week I received and installed a brand new 17” band saw from Grizzly.
I immediately noticed that it was not equipped with paddle switch but with on ordinary push button “permanent” on/off switch. Which means that if the power is interrupted for any reason with power on and then re-established the saw starts immediately, may be with your fingers in it
In my opinion this is a huge safety hazard, specially on saw and why today someone would sale a piece of equipment with such an “unsafe” switch I do not know.

So I decided to install a paddle switch.
I was going to buy the same paddle switch that I bought in the past but I saw that I could buy a Grizzly one for just few dollars more.
I bought the Grizzly thinking that it would mount directly in the saw.

The Grizzly switch looks almost identical the Woodstock switch.
I received the switch yesterday. This morning I went to install it.
First thing I will not fit in the saw without either modifying the switch or the saw. It does seem to be a standard pattern like the Woodstock switch is.( the Wood stock will fit in an ordinary 1 gang box)
Second: this is not a “safe” switch as the Woodstock is.
This is just an ordinary permanent switch as the one originally on the saw with a paddle on the top of it.
Not what I wanted or expected.

I believe that Grizzly description of this switch on the Amazon website is near-deceiving as it does not clearly indicate what this switch is and, more important what it is not .
Further more is does not say that it will not directly mount in at least some of Grizzly equipment.
I have nothing against Grizzly but they should more clearly indicate what they sale

-- Bert

49 replies so far

View joeyinsouthaustin's profile


1286 posts in 855 days

#1 posted 12-25-2013 03:46 PM

FWIW the original switch should have come with a disabling key. Safer but not as safe as the magnetic switches. Sorry to hear about the parts trouble. I looked at the grizzly site and they do make a magnetic switch for the band saw similar to yours, but the site is unfortunately hard to use unless you are buying exact replacement parts. It is good for that. I had a good experience recently ordering a new safety cover for my new jointer (by new I mean new to me, the last owner had removed and lost it… very bad idea as you describe)

One thing I like, IMO, that you advocate is something I have done in my shop. I have replaced all the switches on each machine to be consistent. All the table saws have the same style, all the shapers, etc. And placed them all in the same place. It makes a consistent action turning on and off, and is much safer imo. This did mean some light modifications on some tools.

-- Who is John Galt?

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4371 posts in 1831 days

#2 posted 12-25-2013 04:01 PM

I believe that all equipment should be equipped by the manufacturers with these “safe”switches.
There is no reason to safe a piece of equipment with an “unsafe” switch.

There is no key on my saw and even if I had one this would not make the switch safe.

-- Bert

View bbc557ci's profile


553 posts in 857 days

#3 posted 12-25-2013 04:04 PM

Good to know Bert!! I plan to look for a paddle switch for my older 220V unisaw. Switch that’s on it now is a smallish push button on/off, and tucked under the front of the table and is a PIA to get to. Paddle switch as you prefer, would be a nice/safe addition. I’ll check to see if Woodstock makes the paddle for 220V

-- Bill, central where near the "big apple"

View Tennessee's profile


1657 posts in 1297 days

#4 posted 12-25-2013 04:08 PM

Interesting. I just checked the Grizzly site, and it now appears you have to go all the way up to the G0513X2BF, (Cast wheels, electric brake, foot pedal), before you get an honest magnetic starter type of switch. Looks like they made some money-saving changes. Mine has the magnetic starter, as does my Grizzly planer. My old Jet jointer has the type of switch you are replacing.

-- Paul, Tennessee,

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4371 posts in 1831 days

#5 posted 12-25-2013 04:08 PM

Yes they do, I just ordered one more

-- Bert

View JustJoe's profile


1554 posts in 821 days

#6 posted 12-25-2013 04:14 PM

I agree the key-type thing (craftsman is big on those) isn’t really a safety feature for the user. It can be used to keep children from hurting themselves if they wander in.

The grizzly switch pictured – I just looked at it on amazon. It says it is a regular switch, ideal for emergency shutoffs, and that is indeed what it is and what it is for. If Grizzly or Amazon describe what it “is” in their description, I’m not sure they should also have to describe what it “isn’t.” (Hopefully someone searching online for electrical components knows what he/she is looking for.)

It seems like just a simple mistake on your part. You talked about the safety of a magnetic switch, and then how you decided to install a paddle switch. They are two different things. Interestingly enough, when I pulled up that switch on Amazon it included a bunch of other type switches in the “you might also like” section, to include three magnetic ones.

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4371 posts in 1831 days

#7 posted 12-25-2013 04:23 PM

Joe, The Woodstock switch is micro-magnetic motor switch with an incorporated solenoid or at the least it functions as one.

-- Bert

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1554 posts in 821 days

#8 posted 12-25-2013 04:29 PM

I’m confused then – the woodstock is magnetic, but you bought the grizzly?

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4371 posts in 1831 days

#9 posted 12-25-2013 04:49 PM

Joe, I was thinking that the Grizzly switch,looking identical, was a magnetic switch also.
My point is that Grizzly should indicate that it is not magnetic and that they should equip all their machines from factory with “safe” switches, they have no excuse for not doing it.

-- Bert

View SuperCubber's profile


400 posts in 1067 days

#10 posted 12-25-2013 06:18 PM

Hate to be a ball buster, but I’m having a hard time thinking of a situation in which I would either A, leave the saw on and unplug it, or B, have my hands anywhere near a blade of a saw I am plugging in… Am I missing something?

-- Joe | Spartanburg, SC | "To give anything less than your best is to sacrafice the gift." - Steve Prefontaine

View BobAnderton's profile


62 posts in 1573 days

#11 posted 12-25-2013 06:44 PM

Hey Supercubber, I think the idea is that if the power goes out while you’re running the machine (for example, if you trip the breaker because you’re making the machine work hard on a marginal amperage circuit) you don’t want it to start up again when you reset the breaker. With the machine stopped people might not think to hit the stop button so that it doesn’t run when the power is restored. If the stoppage were caused by a momentary loss of power in the mains, the machine might even restart as you are monkeying around with it trying to figure out why it stopped.

-- Bob Anderton - Austin, TX - Nova 3000 lathe, Alaskan Mark III mill, Husqavarna Saw

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4371 posts in 1831 days

#12 posted 12-25-2013 06:49 PM

This switch (if the one withe one with the solenoid) is an added safety feature.
I do not say that we should be working on plugged equipment, but if by accident the equipment we work on is plugged in or the switch is on ( as it happened to me), this switch is an added safety feature as the equipment will not start with out being controlled, which is not the case with the other kind of switch.

-- Bert

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4371 posts in 1831 days

#13 posted 12-25-2013 07:10 PM

Bob,thank you very much,exactly my point

-- Bert

View GOOD LUCK TO ALL's profile


418 posts in 510 days

#14 posted 12-25-2013 07:24 PM

Look at the silver lining Bert, now you know what to look for when ordering a switch. Next time you will make sure it says magnetic.
I thank you for sharing your mistake to learn the rest of us. At least now I know what to look for.
As far as the switch fitting the saw, I think you made the wrong assumption. I think it would have been noted somewhere as a replacement part for that machine if it had been meant to be.

View distrbd's profile


1362 posts in 1229 days

#15 posted 12-25-2013 08:06 PM

Bert I hope you don’t think of my response as disrespectful but I must disagree with you on your point.
So since Grizzly’s paddle switch looks identical to a magnetic switch sold by others,isn’t it up to you to read what it is you are buying or is it the responsibility of Grizzly to warn you that they are not magnetic switches?
I have that switch and installed it on my old table saw ,never had any doubt what it was and what it wasn’t.

It is no different than using a hand grinder when the switch is on “lock” position for ease of use,it is up to you to make sure to unlock it ,how many times have you seen people plug a hand power tool and the tool start to run because whoever used it last forgot to unlock it.

-- Ken from Ontario

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