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Thread: Thoughts on my first real table saw, Grizzly G0690

  1. #1

    Thoughts on my first real table saw, Grizzly G0690

    Maybe ten years from now, when I know what I'm talking about, I'll write a review of the Grizzly G0690 cabinet saw I recently got. But at the moment I'm just a guy who lately spends too much free time tinkering with modest projects, buying power tools, and hitting refresh on SMC, so I'll try to stick to areas of relative competence.

    My primary motive for posting this is guilt. I've learned a ton from this site, so I wanted to take an opportunity to contribute something useful myself, and not many have posted yet about the G0690 or the G0691 (same saw with longer rails & extension table).

    Delivery. The boxes my saw arrived in were beat up pretty good. Having read others' bad experiences here, I was concerned. I was careful to note the damage on the shipping invoice, which is necessary to follow up with Grizzly about a damaged shipment. In the end, my concerns were unfounded. The only damage was to the particleboard extension table (sits outboard of the right cast iron extension table). I called Grizzly, told them the problem, and a few days later I had a new one. Great service.

    Fit and finish.
    Again, I don't have much perspective here, but my overall impression is very positive. I noted two minor fit/finish issues. One I posted about here: one of the faceplates on the fence was not dead flat. When I mentioned this to Grizzly, they said no problem, we'll send you another, and they did. The new one was better, but dead flat is going to require shimming. I get the idea that's par for the course. The second issue was that the motor housing cover does not fit perfectly against the body of the saw -- the curve on the door handle seems to be bent at the wrong angle. (see photo). A non-issue in practice for me. Other than that, no problems noted.

    Impressions. First, a digression.

    Before I bought this, I had a hand-me-down Ridgid 2412 10" contractor saw that scared me. The blade guard/splitter was terrible so I never used it; that, combined with my careful but inexperienced technique resulted in one big piece of wood zipping past me and, a couple weeks later, another into my ribs. Ooof. It routinely bogged down to a dead stop when I was ripping. It always burned the piece I was cutting, even with a WWII. The fence was no joy to use, and my dust collection efforts were largely for naught. Bad technique may well have been to blame for much of that, but suffice to say this was a saw that put a spotlight to my every mistake.

    So believe me when I say that the fact that I love my new saw doesn't mean much.

    But I do love it. It passed the nickel test on the first try. Fence moves with one finger. Power galore. Dust collection okay, certainly better than my contractor saw. The stock guard is good enough that I use it all the time except when making non-through cuts. I'm not scared of my saw anymore. And, suddenly, my inexperience is a LOT less obvious.

    If I had it to do all over again ...
    I struggled for a while with whether to buy a new saw. Did I really want to spend that much on this hobby? If I did, wouldn't I be better off getting a tool I didn't have (bandsaw, jointer) instead of upgrading one I did?

    After a couple month's use, I am 100% glad I upgraded the saw. The "reasonable compromise" tool I bought new just a few months ago, a benchtop drill press, I'm already hunting around to upgrade. I don't foresee any reason why I'd need to upgrade this saw, ever. And having a good saw has made this hobby a good deal more satisfying.

    But did I upgrade to the right saw? I seriously considered one more expensive option, a Sawstop. For me, having a guard/splitter I actually can use has resulted in a massive safety improvement. The added benefit a sawstop would provide on top of that seems pretty meager, and it ain't free. So I have no regrets there.

    I also seriously considered one cheaper option, waiting for a used cabinet saw like a used unisaw or griz 1023 on CL. The main reason I decided on the 690 instead was because it had a riving knife. In retrospect, I think a usable guard/splitter was a lot more important, and that's something I could have had on any used saw for a lot less. If I had it to do over again, I might jump at that used 1023 that came along right before I got this. Might not. Like I said, I love this saw.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by Matt Stiegler; 08-18-2009 at 6:31 PM.

  2. #2


    The Grizzly website doesn't have especially good pictures of the stock blade guard/splitter, so here are a couple.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  3. #3

    Immobile base

    I'm tall, so I built a rudimentary base out of scrap 4x4s and plywood to raise the height of the table. I didn't need it to be mobile, obviously. I'm planning to replace the little 2x4 stubs with a more elegant railing solution later, but I think I'd have to be pretty determined to knock it off as is.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Baker City OR
    Nice review Matt.

    I'll add that I bought a model 691 around the first of July and have really enjoyed it too. It's a lot of saw for the money. I didn't have any of the minor issues that you had. However, something that you didn't mention that I did make a point of "fixing" was the riving knife.

    The one than came with my saw was pretty rough - just a stamped piece of steel with fairly sharp edges included - not very comfortable to handle. I took a file and emery cloth to it and ended up with a nicely polished tool. Not a big deal to fix - but would have liked to have seen a nicer factory finish.

    I went one step further with my polished riving knife. Added a bake-on Teflon finish. Now it'll never rust and is slicker than snot!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Shorewood, WI
    I'm sure you'll stay happy with that saw. If the riving knife on yours is not smooth, it would be a good idea to follow Stan's lead and smooth yours a bit.

    Stan Mitchell: Is a bake-on teflon finish an available product, or do you have access to industrial facilities?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Baker City OR
    Is a bake-on teflon finish an available product, or do you have access to industrial facilities?
    Alan: I used an aerosol baking lacquer type product that contains a Teflon additive. It came out of my gunsmithing supplies. Don't remember where I bought it, but Brownells sells a similar product - much more durable than spray paint.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Can't you just perch the bent motor housing part on a piece of hard wood and knock it's curve a bit,or better,squeeze it in a vise to eliminate some curve? You might hurt the paint a bit,but a few judicious puffs with a spray can,being careful to not spray the sheetmetal cover,would render it very hard to see. That is very much a non issue it would be so easy to fix. For dust collection,I'd want it to fit closer to the cabinet.

  8. #8
    Yes, I agree it should be easily fixed, and agree its a non-issue. Am very happy to have quibbles like that as my biggest issues with the new saw.

    I hadn't notice any roughness in the riving knife. Just gave it a close look, and mine seems fine.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Oceanside, So. Calif

    That's what I call an excellent, informative, write-up. If I were purchasing a TS, your information would really affect my decision.


    First of all you have to be smarter than the machine.
    So. Calif. 5 miles to ocean

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Rochester, NY
    Congrats on the new saw, and thanks for an excellent writeup about it.
    Happiness is like wetting your pants...everyone can see it, but only you can feel the warmth....

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    West of Ft. Worth, TX
    Always glad to see another write up on the saw, 691 in my case, that I'm saving for.
    Ok, Stan, I understand the teflon in the spray paint, but how did you bake it. Yes, oven I'm sure, but what did you mount it on, and how long at what temp? Sounds like a neat thing to do to any sliding metal surface. How durable is this paint? How many colors does it come in?
    Congrats on the new saw Matt! Jim.
    Coolmeadow Setters...Exclusively Irish! When Irish Eyes are smiling....They're usually up to something!!
    Home of Irish Setter Rescue of North Texas.
    No, I'm not an electrician. Any information I share is purely what I would do myself. If in doubt, hire an electrician!
    Member of the G0691 fan club!
    At a minimum, I'm Pentatoxic...Most likely I'm a Pentaholic. There seems to be no known cure. Pentatonix, winners of The Sing Off, s3.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Tallahassee, FL

    A good table saw is like a good wife


    A good table saw is like a good wife. Your previous TS relationship was like an inadequate, violent, and failed first marriage. I'm glad you got a good saw now. I predict you'll have many happy years together. I once asked myself that same question about why would one spend so much on one tool for a hobby. I then proceeded to buy what was an expensive saw for me at the time. That was when I was 25. I'm now 50. The amount of wood I've pushed through that saw is unfathomable. Me and that saw have had some great times. Together we furnished a home and personalized it with a lot of built-ins. But now I'm beginning to look at the newer models. The ones with all the nice features like yours...

  13. #13
    That's a beautiful machine. I bet it operates as well as it looks.

    By the way, great choice of decorations for it too. I particularly like the decal!

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Baker City OR
    Okay, here's a picture of my G0691 just for fun:


    I'm thinking that the model 691 was produced before the 690. I just noticed that the riving knife on Matt's guard is gold anodized. Well, both the stand alone riving knife and the one built into guard are plain looking steel on mine.

    Here's picture of the riving knife after the Teflon coating:


    Jim O'Dell: hope this advertising blurb answers some of your questions:

    Aerosol Baking Lacquer is an epoxy-enhanced, oven-cured finish that’s sprayed directly on clean, degreased metal with no priming required. Let dry for 10 minutes then bake in a oven for 30-40 minutes at 300-350 F. You’ll get a flexible, uniform, professional coating that offers exceptional resistance to salt sprays, plusAerosol Baking Lacquer is impervious to corrosion, water, sweat, solvents, chemicals, trichlor, and bore cleaners. Highly resistant to nicks, scratches, abrasions and wear marks.

    Can be applied to any properly prepared, metal surface that can withstand temperatures as high as 350 F. without melting or warping. Black is available in two gloss levels, Matte Black and Gloss Black, O.D. Green, Earth Brown, Desert Tan and Coyote (light gray-brown) produce a non-reflective finish that can be combined with Matte Black to produce effective camouflage patterns. Matte Clear provides an easy-to-apply, non-glare, protective coating to French Gray and other metal finishes. Parkerizing Gray is a medium matte gray that closely matches un-oiled, new, Brownells Parkerizing for easy restoration of military firearms and accessories. Dark Parkerizing Gray is a matte charcoal gray to match cosmolene-treated, parkerized guns that show years of age, use and oil. Stainless Steel Gray is a light, metallic-silver gray that approximates the look of bead-blasted stainless steel.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Minneapolis, Minnesota
    Hi Matt.

    I'm tall, too (6'4"), so I built this...

    The nice thing is that the angle brackets allow for some adjustment as to the exact height of the saw. I probably could have raised or lowered the saw another 2-3 inches with this design, but a 40" table height seems just right for me.


    Quote Originally Posted by Matt Stiegler View Post
    I'm tall, so I built a rudimentary base out of scrap 4x4s and plywood to raise the height of the table. I didn't need it to be mobile, obviously. I'm planning to replace the little 2x4 stubs with a more elegant railing solution later, but I think I'd have to be pretty determined to knock it off as is.
    Last edited by Jason White; 08-20-2009 at 2:10 PM.

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