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Thread: How good is grizzly?

  1. #46
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    I think the best thing to come out of this post so far is Mr. OConnell's picture of that georgeous old piece of PM iron and that bandsaw fence! Last week I was trying to tell someone that pro woodworkers don't typically spend a sizillion dollars on some over wrought aluminum piece of strange love in search for the ultimate precision resaw fence, and you just posted the proof!

  2. #47
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    Oh, but if I had that zillion dollars I would.

  3. #48
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    I think some of the reviews here are way out of balance. If comparisons are going to be made lets keep things in the same perspective. Surely it is unreasonable to compare a $2,000.00 machine to a $850.00 machine just because they are both table saws or whatever

    There isn't any sport in such a comparison nor any valuable information.

    I own an original Grizzly 1023 table saw that is about 15 to 16 years old. As soon as I got it I ordered and installed a Bies Fence, the original fence didn't suit me but I didn't expect to receive a one thousand dollar fence on a $750.00 machine. My saw has been used for both hobby and pro work through the years. One of the jobs I did was for the York County School system, I produced about $350,000.00 worth of corner cabinets that had 62" rips at 22.5 degrees. Every one of the cabinets were cut on my Grizzly table saw and the joints were excellent. I know there were many days when my table saw ran almost continuously as we machined about $10,000.00 worth of 3/4" plywood at a time.

    The saw has never been touched, still has the original motor and I can honestly say it has been a fantastic machine and it will still pass the nickel test today. I would bet money that there are other saws made by other manufacturers that are just as good in the same price range. I'm also sure that there are even better saws that cost two to five times the price of mine that are more accurate...but that isn't what I need for my shop or the kind of projects I build. I happen to know a little bit about accuracy and precision, years ago I was an ASNT Level III Examiner. Recently a professional carpenter inspected a 72.0" diameter template that I machined on my CNC router with his tape measure and told me it was about 1/32" under size, all I could do was grin knowing that he really didn't understand that his measuring equipment wasn't capable of inspecting my work. He brought a knife to a gun fight so to speak. I think that a lot of woodworkers try to work to tolerances that they don't understand and some purchase machinery that is more precise than necessary...for woodworking.

    If your gonna rag on Grizzly or any manufacturer for the quality of a fence you might tell us which fence it was. I would guess that Grizzly has sold a hundred different table saws through the years and I also would expect that they have used at least 50 different style fences. If the performance of a fifty dollar fence disappointed you well I guess it did and I expect the owner got his money's worth. If you worked in a Professional woodworking shop that didn't have anyone who was capable of setting up or maintaining their equipment then it wouldn't matter what quality of machines they purchased. If they hired inexperienced woodworkers who didn't care about the equipment they used every day then a $10,000.00 band saw would most likely be unusable in just a couple of days.

    .
    Last edited by Keith Outten; 03-04-2008 at 11:35 PM.

  4. #49

    True

    Quote Originally Posted by Peter Quinn View Post
    I think the best thing to come out of this post so far is Mr. OConnell's picture of that georgeous old piece of PM iron and that bandsaw fence! Last week I was trying to tell someone that pro woodworkers don't typically spend a sizillion dollars on some over wrought aluminum piece of strange love in search for the ultimate precision resaw fence, and you just posted the proof!
    Just today Ernesto ran 12" red oak through it for door veneers. I think he made 80) 3/16" y 84" pieces all well within a 1/32" I actually saw him smiling. Probably because I put a new Lennox blade on it. I can just tweak that fence with wood shims if need be. Resawing isnt rocket science really although Ive heard it described as such
    I made a belt cover for the new (old Planer) so no one got caught in the link belts and off she went. Im still "Learning" that old machine but today we were planing veneered door staves with it . I only trashed one and that was operator error

  5. #50
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    NE Pennsylvania
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    I think this question needs to be more model specific, IMO some Grizzly machinery is made pretty well and some isn't so hot.

  6. #51
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    Dec 2006
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    Toronto Ontario
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    To me Grizzly is like Norm, are they the best?

    Absolutely not.

    Are they crap?

    Absolutely not.

    Woodworking for me is a hobby, so I don't have to justify the cost/performance of anything I purchase or build.

    I happen to like premium machinery, even if the fit, finish, performance of it is more than I need to make furniture with as a hobby user.

    Need however isn't the issue, it's what I like to use that's the issue. I wouldn't be happy with something that doesn't have good fit. finish, excellent engineering and performance.

    The General equipment in my shop is now having to share space with a Hammer A3 31 planer/jointer.

    I looked at the lower priced combination units, they weren't up to the standards that I like.

    Grizzly and Norm however have done a lot to popularize woodworking and the lower price of Grizzly machinery has also been a large factor in making this hobby more accesible and popular. For that, we're all grateful.

    That said, comparing Grizzly equipment to premium machinery isn't fair to Grizzly, they make a product that provides good value for your dollar, which is probably their goal, and may be exactly what you want in a piece of machinery, however it isn't meant to compete with Felder, Altendorf etc.

    Regards, Rod.

  7. #52
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    Keith Outten Quote: "I think some of the reviews here are way out of balance. If comparisons are going to be made lets keep things in the same perspective. Surely it is unreasonable to compare a $2,000.00 machine to a $850.00 machine just because they are both table saws or whatever "

    "There isn't any sport in such a comparison nor any valuable information."


    Sorry for any misunderstanding but it seems to me Grizzly, in their own literature, are comparing themselves to other machinery and asking the consumer to do the same. The 'Ultimate' this and the "Ultimate" that is written all over their website and catalogue, as are the words "add one of these to your shop and you'll know you made the right choice" and "best machine in its class". They clearly want to be compared to machines costing 2 to 4 times as much! If they want to be compared than they shall, and frankly when it comes time to spend my own money even if they don't want to be compared they shall!

    It seems to me that where one falls on the Griz question depends more on an individuals needs than on Grizzly's machines. I am arguing against the suggestion that in any class of machine when compared Griz is 'just as good' for less money and the implication that you would be a fool to pay more for something else. When a vendor really wants to be compared they put the competitions product side by side with their own in the show room and let you have a look at both. Do they do that? Doubt it.


    I don't consider a comparison of heavy industrial Martin/Northfield level machinery to something in the commercial/light industrial range ligitamate either. If your work requires heavy industrial machines then you buy them and nothing else will suffice. Different market.

    Keith Outten QUOTE" I produced about $350,000.00 worth of corner cabinets that had 62" rips at 22.5 degrees. Every one of the cabinets were cut on my Grizzly table saw and the joints were excellent. I know there were many days when my table saw ran almost continuously as we machined about $10,000.00 worth of 3/4" plywood at a time."


    I'm also not in the business of getting into some 'John Henry' contest
    for sport. But if you'ld like to have a plywood race I'll fire up a 10' panel saw, machine all my parts and be on the next job while your still eating saw dust! That would be yet another unfair contest. Maybe we can find a third guy with a festool 55 and see how he does? After that we"ll each fire up our table saws and push wood through them for 25 years 9hrs/day to see how they stand up to that, because the PM66's I worked on didn't run continuously for a "few days", they ran most of the day for decades!

    The last shop I worked in wasn't populated by machine bashing monkeys and slack jawed imbiciles (myself being one possible exception). It was a custom shop with highly trained mechanics who knew how to set up machines and treated them with respect. Machines were purchased with the expectation that they would be used daily for decades, and that they would hold acceptable tolerances with regular maintainence under these continuous duty conditions. Several Griz machines were tried and resold quickly. I mean who wouldn't want to get a $3800 performance for $1900? In that environment, "How good was Grizzly?"...Not very. In another shop they may be just the thing that's needed.

  8. #53
    Have the Griz 1023SLW tablesaw and the 514X2 bandsaw. The 514X2 was a terrible mistake ; was also looking at the 636X bandsaw at the store. Now I see that I really needed the 16 inch cut capacity of the 636. The 514X2 is a great saw, and would rather have the great saw in the higher capacity, along with larger bearings and beefier trunnion (the bear head cutout design in the wheels is just icing on the cake and not really necessary for my use ).

  9. #54
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
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    Big Pool, MD
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    15
    I have a shop full of Grizzly machinery. I love all of their high end sanders, especially the wide belt 15". I also love my 2 hp Cyclone but would get the 3 hp just because i really push it. The 2 hp does well though. If you go with their extreme tools your getting a good tool. I think Grizzly has come a long way.

  10. #55
    I used to have a shop full of green bear stuff. Then I discovered
    I could buy and restore old iron for about the same costs as buying
    new. Once I started using 3 phase direct drive equipment I was
    hooked and eventually replaced every shiny new machine with
    mostly old Oliver equipment and never looked back. The machines
    perform as well today as when they were built and are an absolute
    joy to own and use.

    Martin

  11. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by Martin King View Post
    I used to have a shop full of green bear stuff. Then I discovered
    I could buy and restore old iron for about the same costs as buying
    new. Once I started using 3 phase direct drive equipment I was
    hooked and eventually replaced every shiny new machine with
    mostly old Oliver equipment and never looked back. The machines
    perform as well today as when they were built and are an absolute
    joy to own and use.

    Martin
    OK so where are the pictures?????
    I usually find it much easier to be wrong once in while than to try to be perfect.

    My web page has a pop up. It is a free site, just close the pop up on the right side of the screen

  12. #57
    Here's a little taste of my latest resto:




  13. #58
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    Wow...an art deco sander. Very nice.
    -Jeff

  14. #59
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    Quote Originally Posted by Martin King View Post
    Here's a little taste of my latest resto:



    OK so wheres the dust?????
    I usually find it much easier to be wrong once in while than to try to be perfect.

    My web page has a pop up. It is a free site, just close the pop up on the right side of the screen

  15. #60

    2 Grizzly Machines Experience

    Quote Originally Posted by John Michaels View Post
    I've been very happy with my grizzly G0453 15" planer from griz. They have a lot of good stuff. My neighbor has the 1023 table saw and absolutely loves it. Both of these machines have a very big bang for the buck. Are you a hobbyist or do woodworking full time? Grizzly has some pretty big industrial machines like huge 24" planers and giant drum sanders that I don't know much about. If you reply with a list of machines you have your eye on, maybe someone here can give you advice.
    I first bought a used Grizzly oscillating drum sander for my home shop and I find it better than the Jet I bought for my school shop. The Jet leaks oil.
    I also bought one of the last of the American made Powermatic 8" jointers for home and it is a great machine. For school, I decided to update our 6" PM jointer and ordered the 8" Grizzly. It arrived in perfect condition and alignment and actually rivals my PM.

    I'm about to add a 3rd shaper to my home shop. I have a new Delta 3 hp and a used Delta 1 1/2 hp shaper. I'm going to take a chance and go with the Grizzly. One, because of the price, two, because of my past experiences, and three because you get three spindles with it (1/2" 3/4" and 1") I got the 1/2" and 3/4 " with my Delta but I do not have a 1" spindle, though I have purchased some used 1" industrial cutters. We'll see if there are vibration problems as some have remarked. If so, I'll try "Link Belts" and even replace the bearings if necessary and still save a bundle. One thing for sure, due to the imports, tools have never been a better buy. Another sure thing is that the world's demand for cast iron will not subside. So don't wait too long as I did in your woodworking journey to buy the tools you really need. I paid $2900 delivered new for a 22" PM planer a few years ago and I can't believe what it sells for today.
    Last edited by John Carlo; 03-12-2008 at 10:16 AM.

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