Grizzly G0691 Review
by, 03-01-2010 at 1:10 PM (30796 Views)
Last Tuesday my new Grizzly G0691 arrived to much fanfare (at least by me) as this was going to be a massive upgrade for me. My previous saw was a Craftsman 315.228390, which was actually a pretty decent saw, but I was ready for something a bit bigger and a little more stable. Anyways - on to the whole reviewing process.
To the point: Reviews that don't get to the point annoy me; so in a nutshell... This is a great saw for the price. Minor issues like the fence face not being flat, the extension table being a little flimsy, the above table dust collection not being great, and the stamped steel arbor wrenches sucking are just that... Minor issues; and not issues that are worth an additional $700-1000 of my money. If you're in the market for a quality cabinet saw that has a solid t-square fence on 7' rails, with a riving knife... and only have $1500 to spend, then this saw should make your list for review.
Ordering / Shipping / Delivery: Three complaints here; and only one of them would be major (and not against Grizzly).
The ordering process hit the same snag others have hit. Internet site allowed me to order something they apparently didn't have, or didn't have ready at the time. We got it sorted out at the end of the day, but this caused me some grief as I had a project coming up and had already sold my saw.
I'm not sure what happened here but the invoices clearly showed what number I wanted to be contacted at. Unfortunately UPS got a number other than that; and I missed the appointment confirmation call. I would never have known I needed to setup an appointment either. We only figured this out when I called UPS trying to figure out when my saw was showing up...
Delivery was the major complaint. The damage to the main crate was pretty brutal. It looked like the crates were drug behind a train all the way from Springfield. The delivery guy even asked me if I thought it would be OK if it had tipped... Not sure what that means but the angle adjust shaft had a big chunk of cardboard in it, like it was a giant hole puncher! I'm really impressed there was no damage to the saw itself. My dust collector didn't fare as well, unfortunately. I believe Grizzly is working on getting me a replacement part for that now.
When the saw arrived we pulled everything out and made sure everything was OK, and that we had everything. The first thing I noticed was the arbor wrenches. They were stamped steel and very cheap looking. Nothing like the ones pictured in the online user manual... Speaking of the manual, this was missing from my stack of goodies. Searched high and low, but it was nowhere to be found. Funny because I was told this was the reason why the saw was originally listed as a back ordered product.
Assembly took about 4-5hrs with my brother helping me out. He's not the most mechanically inclined person and basic tool precision is completely lost on him. He couldn't figure out why I was so adamant about the extension wings being flush and level with the top... Apparently in his world it is ok for the wings to hang 1/8 lower than the main top. lol. Once the saw was assembled we called it a night. I'd save tuning/calibrating for the weekend.
This past Friday I began to tune the saw up, and calibrate it as best I could. The first thing I checked was the miter slot. It was actually off by about 1/16" going towards the back of the blade. Looking at it now I believe this probably happened with the saw was tipped by the delivery guy. This was easily adjusted; but I didn't have a good way of testing it with my dial indicator so I just used my combination square. I to build a jig for my dial indicator this week though and really hone this in.
The riving knife required no adjusting on my part; except for loosening the center screw so that it slides in and out without a lot of work. I don't recall if the manual states this or not - but they should definitely mention loosening this screw and then tightening it to taste. I could easily see someone hurting themselves by trying to install this with the screw torqued down, slipping and running a hand across a very sharp saw blade (which probably shouldn't even be on the saw yet, but you know how people are...)
The required some adjusting but overall seemed to be pretty close. The face wasn't dead flat, but based on reviews... I wasn't expecting as much. I contacted Grizzly regardless, and I believe they are shipping me replacements when they arrive.
Once I got everything tuned up I ran a piece of 3/4 ply through the machine to make sure nothing was going to explode or destroy a decent piece of wood. It chewed through it with no problem at all, just as I expected. I ran a 48x12 piece of 8/4 rock maple through the saw and it never once bogged down. Not even the slightest groan, I was totally impressed by this. I got some burning but I believe this was because I didn't feed the board fast enough. The first couple of runs I was being really cautious; as I wanted to listen/watch for any potential problems.
The pulley to move the blade up and down runs really smooth, and only takes about 8 cranks to fully raise or lower the blade. On my old saw I measured this in time, rather than rotations... if that tells you anything.
The dust collection seems to be adequate enough for my needs, but the collection at the throat plate is a bit lacking. The saw tends to send dust up at an arch towards the operator, which was a little distracting at first. I don't know if my using a ZCI with it is part of the reason or not. I can see myself investing in an overhead DC system at some point though.
I haven't really tested out the cabinet collection much yet though. I ran it several times without the DC unit engaged, so I'll need to clean it out to be fair. Right now I'm just happy to see dust in one central area, rather than all over my garage.
So far I'm quite happy with my purchase and I'm really looking forward to how much a difference this saw will make in all of my projects. I have some cabinets to make for the garage soon - so I'll have to follow up with this post at that time.
Additional Gloat: To accompany this saw I also picked up a Forrest Woodworker II blade, and a Forrest Dado King. The WWII has lived up to its hype, and I can't wait till I can put the dado king to use.