Powermatic 1285 vs Grizzly G9860ZX

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Forum topic by SDWoody posted 03-01-2015 11:26 PM 1453 views 0 times favorited 4 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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2 posts in 1210 days

03-01-2015 11:26 PM

Topic tags/keywords: jointer

Anyone out there have advise/opinions on these two jointers? I am looking to upgrade from a smaller 6” Delta jointer that I currently have and just find too small to use on some of the rough stock I have. I hate having to cut a nice quarter sawn white oak board down just to fit it in the jointer. Plus now that I have a newly constructed shop with a room 32’ x 20’ I finally have room for tools of this size.

I come from the background of a small family lumberyard that was eventually run out of business due to the larger chain yards. Every tool we owned was Rockwell or Delta, which is were my tools came from 20 years ago. Due to the road Delta has traveled I do not feel comfortable purchasing anything from Delta.

I am wondering about the quality of both machines. I know Powermatic used to be held in high regard but has suffered through some darker times lately as all of the past highly regarded USA tool manufactures have. I have read some of the posts from others regarding their Powermatic woes and am curious as to if things have improved?

Also I have read some other posts on Grizzly jointers on the site and most are fairly positive. I personally have purchased shaper cutters and router bits from Grizzly but no major tools.

I am looking for a jointer to last for the next 20-30 years and believe in buying a quality tool at the appropriate cost. Hopefully it may even be a tool my son would wish to have in the future.

Currently the local equipment vendor and Powermatic is offering a discount that brings their jointer with the helical cutter within $200 of the afore mentioned Grizzly tool. Any thoughts both good and bad would be appreciated. Also not just regarding fit and finish, what good is a machine if you can not get customer service or parts in the future.

Thanks for any help you can provide in my decision making process.

-- SDWoody

4 replies so far

View English's profile


658 posts in 1505 days

#1 posted 03-05-2015 02:06 PM

I have several Grizzly large tools, They are good basic machines, But the quality could be better, If it were me and money was not the issue I would pick the Powermatic. The are known for there quality.

-- John, Suffolk Virgina

View TheFridge's profile


9608 posts in 1514 days

#2 posted 03-05-2015 02:37 PM


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

View Minorhero's profile


373 posts in 2633 days

#3 posted 03-05-2015 02:59 PM

You will need more than regular grizzly vs Powermatic opinions on this. The grizzly jointer you are talking about is not part of their regular line up. But part of their premium lineup. You will need an actual review to get a good answer here. You can buy a regular grizzly 12” jointer for 2000$ less than the one you are asking opinions on.

View SirIrb's profile


1239 posts in 1258 days

#4 posted 03-05-2015 03:23 PM

Powermatic, especially the older machines, are worth their weight in gold.

-- Don't blame me, I voted for no one.

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