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Thread: Spiral Cutter Heads

  1. #1

    Spiral Cutter Heads

    Hi All,
    I've recetly traded my DeWalt 13" planer for a Bridgewood 15". I had installed a Byrd cutter head in the DeWalt, and the Bridgewood has straight knives. I'm afraid I've been spoiled by the spiral cutter head.
    In doing some on line searching, I found a Chinese alternative to the Byrd head for the Bridgawood. It's made (or at least distributed) by a company called CTS. Anyone familiar with them or their cutterheads? The CMT is a couple of hudred dollars cheaper...
    Also, for anyone who's made the upgrade, how difficult was the swap? The DeWalt swap took me an hour or two. Was it worth it?
    Thanks in advance,
    Paul

  2. #2
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    Grizzly makes a series of replacements... have you tried them? They have a value line, a mid line, and the standard Byrd Shelix.
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  3. #3
    Thanks Dan. I checked them out. The Byrd head is $200 cheaper than I've seen elsewhere.
    Is the Bridgewood head interchangeable with the Grizzly? That would be awesome!
    Thanks,
    Paul

  4. #4
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    I converted to a Byrd head on a 15" planer recently. It was definitely worth it, if for no other reason than not having to go through the tedious process of replacing straight blades again. The quality of the cut is good, although not as smooth as really fresh straight knives. Plenty good, though. Definitely quieter and less work for the machine. It's also nice to plane odd grain patterns without tear out.

    I look at this as a long term investment which I expect to get 20 years of hobby use out of. With that in mind, I got the Byrd heads for my planer and jointer because I imagine I'll be able to get replacement cutters in the future. Grizzly is good about replacement parts, so their cutter heads are probably a safe bet also. I don't think that replacement cutters are interchangeable between brands, so you might be taking a chance with unknown manufacturers. Just something to think about.

    On the other hand, if you have found backdoor access to the manufacturer of Grizzly spiral heads for a better price, you might be on to something. I wonder if it's possible to contact the company to determine if they are offering the identical cutter or at least using the same carbide cutters.

  5. #5
    David,
    The grizzly and Byrd head cutters are not interchangeable. Grizzly is aparently selling a Byrd head for their 15" planer. http://www.grizzly.com/products/15-S...tterhead/H7768
    The Bridgewood planer looks identical, but are the cutterheads interchangeable? Anyone out there know?
    Paul

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by david brum View Post
    The quality of the cut is good, although not as smooth as really fresh straight knives. Plenty good, though.
    There was a short period of time when folks were getting Byrd heads with poor cut quality. Some found residue between the inserts and the head. Once cleaned and the inserts were torqued to spec, the problem was cured. What is the condition that you are seeing as a reduced quality? Are you seeing tracks in your surfaces? Perhaps the folks who experienced this could help if it is the same issue.
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  7. #7
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    David,
    The grizzly and Byrd head cutters are not interchangeable. Grizzly is aparently selling a Byrd head for their 15" planer. http://www.grizzly.com/products/15-S...tterhead/H7768
    The Bridgewood planer looks identical, but are the cutterheads interchangeable? Anyone out there know?
    Paul

    Paul, If you go to page 48 of the Grizzly catalog, then scroll down the page, there is a chart which shows which planers their Byrd head will fit. There is a Bridgewood model mentioned. You can always call Byrd for confirmation. http://www.grizzly.com/catalog/2011/Main/48

    It's clear that Byrd and Grizzly carbide inserts aren't interchangeable. I was wondering out loud whether CTS and Grizzly inserts are the same. It would be interesting to see some competition in that market.

  8. #8
    Thanks for the link, David. It appears that the Byrd head from Grizzly will fit my Bridgewood. I may be investing in this soon.
    Paul

  9. #9
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    In partial answer to your question, I had the Bridgewood version helical head on my 20" Bridgewood planer and it cut as clean as anything I've seen. Don't know who made it but my guess is it was an inexpensive Asian copy.....just like the rest of Bridgewoods stuff

    good luck,
    JeffD

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