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Thread: Which spiral cutterhead for Grizzly 16" planer

  1. #1
    Join Date
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    Which spiral cutterhead for Grizzly 16" planer

    Grizzly sells two spiral cutterheads for its 15" planers (see below): the one made by Shelix and its own. The price difference is only $100. Can anyone compare the two?

    Cary

    H7655 15" Index Spiral Cutterhead



    See larger image Your Price**:$525.00

    Description
    These cutterheads replace the standard straight knife cutterheads on our Grizzly jointers and planers. Each cutterhead has four spirals with indexable, four-sided carbide inserts, so each insert can be rotated for a new factory sharp edge. All cutterheads include 5 extra inserts, T-handle wrench, Torx bits and spare insert screws. These Grizzly cutterheads have an incredible finish, and are comparable to the Byrd cutterheads in quality of cut as well as the quality of the cutterhead itself. The inserts are imported from Germany.

    -----------------

    H7768 15" Shelix Cutterhead


    See larger image List Price:$695.95Your Price**:$625.00


    Description
    Made in the USA by Byrd, these indexable carbide insert cutterheads are the best money can buy-period! The inserts are not only placed along a spiral pattern, they are also at an angle so that the shearing action leaves a glassy smooth cut on the toughest of woods. Each cutterhead comes with 5 extra replacement inserts.

  2. #2
    I can't compare them from experience but research taught me that Grizzly's inserts run square to the feed where as Byrd's are on a shear path. Both have row patterns that overlap.
    “If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear.” -- George Orwell


  3. #3
    Hi Cary

    I don't know about the Grizzly head but I do have the Byrd head on my 15" Powermatic.

    It has 6 rows of the four sided shear cut inserts for a total of 98 (not all rows are equal).

    Amazingly quiet and it planes to a smooth ripple free finish even on the higher feed rate..

    good luck with the new head

    Tom

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cary Swoveland
    Grizzly sells two spiral cutterheads for its 15" planers (see below): the one made by Shelix and its own. The price difference is only $100. Can anyone compare the two?
    Cary,

    Similar to Tom, I can only speak from experience with one version of the spiral head. However, my experience is with the Grizzly, as I have the Grizzly 1021Z 15 inch planer with the spiral head. I get great results with it and quiet operation. I'm sorry, but I have no experience with the Byrd.

    There probably aren't many people around who have used both the Grizzly and the Byrd. The only person that I have seen post who has personal experience with both types is Shiraz Balolia, the owner of Grizzly. If I remember correctly he has stated on this forum that he tested both, as Grizzly sells both, and both give excellent results. The posts on various forums by those who have actually used one or the other of the versions appear to bear this out.

    Hope this helps,

    Jerry
    Last edited by Jerry White; 03-05-2007 at 10:48 PM.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by glenn bradley
    I can't compare them from experience but research taught me that Grizzly's inserts run square to the feed where as Byrd's are on a shear path. Both have row patterns that overlap.
    I think Glenn is right and if he is I think the one with the shear path would be a better cutter. IMNSHO

    Gary K.

  6. #6
    I've used Shelix heads in my jointer and planer and love them. Sorry, the only straight inserts I've used were on a shaper cutterhead. It was a cheap cutterhead, and the resulting surface had prominent lines. Not a fair comparison...
    JR

  7. #7
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    Feb 2007
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    augusta, GA
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    according to a comparison of 8" jointer cutterheads in wood magazine 2006, the finish with the shelix head (radiused inserts) was felt to be a little smoother than the straight inserts on the grizzly and shopfox heads. i have the radiused version and it is very smooth (though not perfect).

  8. #8
    I have a Byrd cutterhead on my shaper. The Byrd inserts are slightly convex on the cutting surfaces. I don't know if the Grizzly's (or others) are straight on each side. This would have some influence on the surface flatness of the final cut, but the Byrd are a shear cut, which should help with figured or otherwise difficult grain.
    Jack Briggs
    Briggs Guitars

  9. #9
    This could make for a great article in a magazine!

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eddie Darby View Post
    This could make for a great article in a magazine!
    it already is, wood magazine 2006

  11. #11
    Thanks! I'll see if I can locate it!

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by Eddie Darby View Post
    Thanks! I'll see if I can locate it!
    I'm on a jointer quest and have read more than I probably should. The overall consensus of many sources seems to be that spirals offered reduced noise and ease of ongoing maintenance.

    Straight knives did not score low on finish of cut per se. As I don't plan to go through knives fast enough to become an expert at changeing them, I'm leaning toward a spiral head of some sort. Lower noise, ease of changes and longer edge life, that makes it pretty easy for me.
    “If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear.” -- George Orwell


  13. #13
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    On the reduced noise part it is absolutely true.

    I didn't put the sound meter on the straight knives but I could plainly hear the machine over the DC. After change over the air moving through the piping is louder than the machine.

    I only have the Byrd on an 8" (and opted to go drum sander instead of spiral planer head) and it is a nice upgrade. I can edge joint through the edge of a knot and get no chip out. Reading I have done indicated that the Byrd has a slight theoretical advantage but in practice probably doesn't matter.

    Joe
    For best results, try not to do anything stupid.

    Si vis pacem, para bellum - Vegetius De Rei Militari III (paraphrased)

    "So this is how liberty dies...with thunderous applause." - Padmé Amidala "Star Wars III: The Revenge of the Sith"

  14. #14
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    May 2006
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    Iquitos, Peru
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    Spiral heads

    Once you make the switch to spiral heads on your planer or jointer you will never look back , I dont think the brand is as important as the concept.. I have a General 20 inch Canadian made and it has saved my busines. I can plane Ipe, Bloodwood and whatever else for a month of 10 hour days without rotating the little knives. I went from 7 hours a day taking regular blades out of my old planer and sharpening to one hour a month to rotate the little knives. Production increase and cost decrease---incredible , not to mention a finish that looks sanded even on end grain log and burl slices.

    I now have a 40 inch big old planer on its way down and newley fit with a spiral head.

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