Used 8" Jointer Knowledge/Opinions

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Forum topic by pwk5017 posted 11-18-2014 06:57 PM 2215 views 0 times favorited 12 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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55 posts in 1530 days

11-18-2014 06:57 PM

I am coming up on my one year anniversary of starting this hobby, and my 8 month anniversary of owning a jointer. I started with an orange ridgid 6” jointer, and while it has performed well enough, I would be lying if I said it didn’t leave me wanting from day one. I run it without the guard constantly, so I can joint typical boards in the 7-9” width. This ultimately results in a less than perfectly flat face, but something that is “close enough”. Unfortunately, this means I need to take very small cuts(1/32” or so) at once, flip the board, and then clean up the last pass’ ridge with a plane before sending both sides through the planer. Also, the 48” beds showed their true colors when I jointed all 19 7’-6” boards for my work bench top. I bought the thing for $250 with 3 sets of freud blades(one used, two new), so I should easily be able to sell it for that much. The beauty of smartly buying used—its like free tool rental. Now that the rest of my shop is shaping up, I want to start looking for a replacement to the ridgid. 8” jointers are a rare bird on CL, so I want to get a handle on what models to look for so I can dig in for the next few months and patiently wait for “the one” to show up. I assume the ideal situation would be a DJ-20, or a PJ-882 for about a grand. Are parallelogram beds an much better than dovetailed ways? I would like to have the ability to upgrade to a helical head sometime down the road. I take it this would be more straight forward on the Powermatic? I realize each used tool purchase is a case by case basis, but what are some models found in pro/serious hobbyist shops that I should really be looking for? I am going to try and stay away from the 50s-60s vintage models, because I don’t envision myself having the patience to rehab a tool.

There is always the fall back of going with a new grizzly for my budget of about a grand, but I feel like this is the one tool where the increased tolerances and QC of the more expensive brands is really worth it. Im 26, so Im not to the point where I am looking for my “forever tools”, but I am to the point where I want high quality stuff to use for the next 5-10 years.


12 replies so far

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

5177 posts in 2697 days

#1 posted 11-18-2014 08:22 PM

The only advantage I can see to the parallelogram beds is that the gap is closer between the tables and the cutterhead. For that you get a much more complicated jointer that often costs quite a bit more. So I suggest you go with any of the types you find. I have a Jet 8” that I bought new in 1999, it’s done yeoman service and never had a problem (well, OK…it blew a start cap right out of the box. Jet, back then, Fedex ed one to me). Since I’ve had it I doubt I’ve adjusted the cutting depth more than a dozen times. So I don’t see am advantage to the parallelogram setup…that said, if you find a good deal I’d still jump on it. BTW, I did upgrade mine to the Byrd head, it takes all of about 30 minutes is you take your time.

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

View Minorhero's profile


373 posts in 2809 days

#2 posted 11-18-2014 09:02 PM

A 1/32 bite is pretty typical for jointers I would say. Start getting more than that and you really are just putting more stress on blade, machine, and wood than is wise.

That said I totally understand the desire for bigger jointer. I did a rehab on a 60s era powermatic and love it. But you have indicated you don’t want to rehab. So your pricing is about right. You might want to keep an eye out for larger jointers if you have the space. Frequently the real deals are in the 10” to 16” jointers since most people don’t have the space and you are already doing 9” boards. So a 8” jointer will be inadequate on day one. In the larger jointers I haven’t heard anyone having a bad experience. So really any brand is acceptable assuming in good enough condition. Its really the smaller and cheaper 6” jointers that have such quality problems.

View TheWoodenOyster's profile


1317 posts in 2139 days

#3 posted 11-18-2014 10:15 PM

I would get a parallelogram jointer if possible. The adjustments to level the beds are way easier, or at least possible. On a dovetail way jointer, if it ever goes out of coplanar… good luck. That’s my opinion. I’ve only owned a dovetail way 6” JET and while I am glad I at least have something, I’ll be going for a parallelogram next time. As I like to say – Go big or go home. (I only say that when other people are covering the check :))

-- The Wood Is Your Oyster

View DrDirt's profile


4511 posts in 3946 days

#4 posted 11-18-2014 10:40 PM

Get the helical cutter head…especially since you want a wider jointer. maintenance is MUCH MUCH easier.

Don’t be afraid of Grizzly jointers… they are probably the best tools Grizzly makes. The other tools are good, but the jointer is really top notch.

-- “The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.” Mark Twain

View Rob's profile


704 posts in 3275 days

#5 posted 11-18-2014 10:49 PM

I’m also curious how important it really is to get a parallelogram jointer. I initially passed on a like-new PowerMatic 60B 8” jointer I saw on craigslist for $900 a month or two ago, then changed my mind after I got home but the listing had already been deleted. I’ve been kicking myself ever since because it was the first 8” jointer I’ve seen on CL in my area. Then again, the listing wasn’t up very long; maybe a few hours at most…I try to tell myself that someone else probably snapped it up even before I saw the ad.

-- Ask an expert or be the expert -

View HorizontalMike's profile


7770 posts in 3118 days

#6 posted 11-18-2014 11:33 PM

I have an 8” Grizzly G0593 w/ spiral head cutter. Beds are 75” long and I love that aspect of the jointer. Actually picked it up used of of CL, just an hour from home. Sometimes CL does work… 8-)

  • Don’t bother with the parallelogram beds. It does NOT matter one way or the other IMO. Once set to ~1/32” cut, it is possible that you may NEVER need to adjust it again.
  • Helical cutting head is great to have because it cuts noise levels. Do note ONE ISSUE I have had, is that when rotating the cutters from side A to sides B, C, or D, you will find that you may never have a perfect cut again. Sounds bad, but it is not. The effects are minimal, but noticeable. Very light lines begin to appear between select cutters. A quick sanding or planer pass will take care of it. I have a typical lunchbox planer w/3-blades/knives. May I suggest that if starting with NEW carbide cutters, follow this sequence when rotating the cutters as needed : A-to C, then B-to D. As cutters wear, they will NOT be as wide when rotated 90-degrees (this may be why my rotated cutters now leaving light lines/ridges).

-- HorizontalMike -- "Woodpeckers understand..."

View pwk5017's profile


55 posts in 1530 days

#7 posted 11-19-2014 03:50 PM

Yes, I have read that knife setting can be a bit of a pain. Thankfully, I have never done it. Hopefully I get rid of this machine before ever having to replace the knives!

Yes, I have seen a few of the vintage 16-24” jointers go for $1000-1300, and while they look great, and perform well im sure, I cant help but look at those machines and think of hypothetical situations. What if X breaks and I need to get parts for a 80 year old machine? How the hell am I going to move a 1400lb machine into my basement shop? It’s ground level, but theres still a typical door to navigate. I know some of the jointers should be avoided at all costs. The local lumber guy has a useless oliver or crescent that had the clamshell cutterhead. It self-destructed when the knife came loose and clipped the outfeed table. Other than the 16-24” capacity, there is absolutely nothing about those machines that I would want to be involved with. Oh, and 90% of them are 3 phase. I will leave all those beasts to the professionals.

Thanks for all the input. I suppose I shouldn’t put grizzly out of my mind, but I cant help but feel like I would be better off spending the money on a 10-30 year old Powermatic over a new grizzly. Plus, having to pay sales tax on grizzly kinda grinds my gears a bit. The damn showroom could not be farther away from my house. It might as well be in another state.

There is this one:

I would think about it, but I just bought a new cyclone, so the woodshop funds are back at “0” for the moment. Maybe if it doesn’t sell by January-February.

View TheFridge's profile


10756 posts in 1690 days

#8 posted 11-19-2014 04:10 PM

Parallelogram is way easier to adjust to coplanar.

-- Shooting down the walls of heartache. Bang bang. I am. The warrior.

View pwk5017's profile


55 posts in 1530 days

#9 posted 11-28-2014 05:23 PM

Ok, so my first opportunity showed up. I will be going to check this thing out tomorrow and possibly purchase. Hes asking $600, and I am not sure how keen I am to pay that. It looks like it has seen some decent wear, and it has spotty rust on the table and cabinet. This model seems to be well reviewed. What do you all think? Do it at his asking price, work him down, or pass all together? The 66” bed length kinda irritates me a bit. I wanted something closer to 76-82”

View ElChe's profile


630 posts in 1541 days

#10 posted 11-28-2014 06:04 PM

I’ve coveted an 8” parallelogram to replace my 6” jet basically because it should be in theory easier to level the infeed and outfeed tables. On my Jet I bought brass shimming material in various thicknesses and shimmed the dovetailed ways. This took me the better part of a morning to do and two cigars. Being somewhat dense I shimmed the infeed table. In retrospect I should have shimmed the out feed table because once I level the tables and set the knives to the outfeed table I would then be able to raise/lower the infeed table for depth of cut. When I replace the knives I will shim the outfeed table. I predict two more cigars and moderate cussing. :)

-- Tom - Measure twice cut once. Then measure again. Curse. Fudge.

View AandCstyle's profile


3179 posts in 2461 days

#11 posted 11-29-2014 01:42 AM

Ok, so my first opportunity showed up. I will be going to check this thing out tomorrow and possibly purchase. Hes asking $600, and I am not sure how keen I am to pay that. It looks like it has seen some decent wear, and it has spotty rust on the table and cabinet. This model seems to be well reviewed. What do you all think? Do it at his asking price, work him down, or pass all together? The 66” bed length kinda irritates me a bit. I wanted something closer to 76-82”

- pwk5017

Take a really good straight edge with you to ensure that the tables are co-planer; if not, pass. Surface rust is easily resolved. Whether the bed length is an issue for you depends on what you might intend to make. Cutting boards will be fine, bed frames will require the use of additional stands for in feed and out feed.

I have a G490X and am very happy with it, but it is a little above your indicated price range. However, depending on your location, you might wait for the annual scratch & dent sale and pick one up quite reasonably. I would definitely go with a spiral cutter as opposed to blades no matter what you decide to purchase. HTH

-- Art

View buildingmonkey's profile


242 posts in 1752 days

#12 posted 11-29-2014 01:44 PM

I went with the 12” Grizzly G0609 with a Byrd head also from Grizzly. Byrd heads are on sale now, and are cheaper than the Grizzly heads. My jointer cuts perfectly, at least as good as any other jointer out there.

-- Jim from Kansas

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