Planer: Powermatic vs Grizzly??

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Forum topic by Jesse posted 06-28-2014 03:44 AM 3526 views 0 times favorited 11 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Jesse's profile


58 posts in 1621 days

06-28-2014 03:44 AM

I am looking to buy a new planer with a spiral carbide cutting head. As I look around I just don’t see that much difference between General, Powermatic, and Grizzly when it comes to these planers. They are all made in Taiwan, same HP, same speeds, appear to be the same everything almost. I am not a brand snob or brand loyal, I have a huge shop and I buy whatever is going to work best for the job. I have all three of these brands and they all seem to do their job. I don’t really have any complaints about any of them myself.

That being said, I’ve never owned a planer and to add to the confusion I need the unit to be durable. I will be planning over 2000 bdft of maple every month and I need a nice smooth finish plane. It has come down to the Powermatic or the Grizzly… besides price what do you think and why??

Thanks in advance for your thoughts!

11 replies so far

View Loren's profile


10378 posts in 3643 days

#1 posted 06-28-2014 03:51 AM

Powermatic has gone downhill. Not the same standard,
cruising on the old reputation. It’s not junk, just
priced higher than need be for the quality.

The Grizzly is probably just as good and a lot less money
to buy. Consider a used Italian machine too.

View MT_Stringer's profile


3168 posts in 3226 days

#2 posted 06-28-2014 05:27 AM

This months Wood mag has that very comparison.

-- Handcrafted by Mike Henderson - Channelview, Texas

View NiteWalker's profile


2737 posts in 2572 days

#3 posted 06-28-2014 06:37 AM

It depends on the price gap, but generally I’d be happier paying a higher price and getting a longer warranty and better service.
Both manufacturers have gems and lemons.

-- He who dies with the most tools... dies with the emptiest wallet.

View Boxguy's profile


2643 posts in 2263 days

#4 posted 06-28-2014 07:30 AM

I can’t speak to the Grizzly product. I bought a Powermatic about three years ago and use it practically every day. I would recommend the spiral head cutter. It makes planing a joy. It is quiet and does a good job. I don’t like the rough start, but it works well.

I read the Wood Magazine article today. It seemed a bit bogus to me. It looks to me like all of them are made in the same factory in Taiwan and are just painted a different color. The Shop Fox seems to have only cosmetic differences. They do use different cutting heads, but having had long blades and the noise that goes with it, I would never own anything but a spiral cutting head. It is so much easier to turn a tooth than it is to grind out a chip in a long blade.

My Powermatic is guaranteed for 5 years, but I have had no complaints. I wrote about it in this blog.

-- Big Al in IN

View knotscott's profile


8008 posts in 3371 days

#5 posted 06-28-2014 10:59 AM

The machines could very well come from the same factory. That’s doesn’t necessarily make them identical, but they could be. PM has a strong dealer network and a longer warranty….both are perks that add some cost. You may also get some quality upgrades in some aspects with the PM, but it’s largely an unknown and is subjective ….things like the switch, motor, paint, and possibly tolerances can be different even when the machines are cast at the same plant.

Grizzly sells directly with no dealer markup and a 1 year warranty. That’s a less expensive retail method, and the savings get passed on, but you have to be willing to be your own middleman. Their larger machines are generally very good, and their CS is very well regarded.

Which is best suited for you really depends on what the cost difference means to you, and what’s important to you. I’ve had good dealings with Griz in the past, and have found many of the machines to be excellent for my hobby needs.

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

View Jesse's profile


58 posts in 1621 days

#6 posted 06-28-2014 03:33 PM

Ya the price difference is somewhat significant but that is not the driving force behind the decision for me. I want the best product but if they are the same I do not want to be the sucker that pays $3000 for a machine that could have been had for $1800. I could almost go through two Grizzlys for the price of one Powermatic.

That being said, it is not worth the savings at all if the cut quality and the tolerances and the Grizzly itself is not as accurate and as easy to use as the Powermatic.

View wiswood2's profile


1138 posts in 3691 days

#7 posted 06-28-2014 03:43 PM

I have a grizzly 15” and a 12” .they are straight blade ,The 15 in is great I have had it 8 years and no problems ,I would get the spiral head model.

-- Chuck, wiswood2

View waho6o9's profile


8188 posts in 2572 days

#8 posted 06-28-2014 03:44 PM

Considering how much you plan to use your planer have your considered


View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

4983 posts in 2488 days

#9 posted 06-28-2014 03:55 PM

The current issue of Wood just showed up yesterday. They have a review of 15” planers. I know a lot of guys don’t like tool reviews…I am not one of them. They always provide some direct comparison info you won’t get elsewhere, and just some general info that might be news. Anyway, take a look at it at the newstand and see if it provides anything of use to you.

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

View Alan72's profile


209 posts in 2028 days

#10 posted 06-29-2014 03:19 AM

I readed the WOOD magazine write up and I believe that the writers chose the JET 15” spiral planer over PM. Also they chose the Grizzly 15” Straight blades if money was tight.

View darthford's profile


601 posts in 1919 days

#11 posted 07-04-2014 07:43 PM

I need a nice smooth finish plane – Jesse

See the machined serrations on the outfeed roller of the Grizzly 15”, this is why I sold my Grizzly and purchased a Powermatic which has a smooth outfeed roller. The Grizzly roller left slight indentations in my wood which then had to be sanded off. Worse, some are so slight they are hard to see until you apply some finish. It was quite difficult to choke down the much higher cost of the PM because other than this roller I really didn’t have a problem with the Grizzly. The PM extension tables are a bit longer, there’s a difference here and there but nothing so major as to warrant the much higher cost.

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