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Thread: Jointer and Planer Advice

  1. #1

    Jointer and Planer Advice


    I am looking to purchase a serious jointer and planer (separate.) I am wanting an 8 inch jointer preferably with a segmented cutter head. For a planer I would love to do a stand alone model and skip the bench top option. I love the idea of getting Powermatics based on the reputation and features. However, putting the Powermatic Model side by side with equivalent Grizzly's they seem virtually the same feature to feature for a lot less money. I have even heard they are made in the same factory. Can anyone speak to quality differences that might be worth the increase in price. The models I am looking at aren't available near me to look at I person so any advice would be appreciated.



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Hi Jordan,
    I had a Powermatic 8" jointer(straight bladed) and upgraded to a Griz 12"(seg head). PM was a good machine but I wanted more capacity. I bought at the Griz showroom and the Griz machines all looked great and I think they are a better value than the comparables from other brand names. I have a Griz 20" planer(seg head) and it's a good machine as well. If you are close enough to a Showroom it's worth a visit to see all the goodies up close. Take your truck!!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    McKinney, TX
    My brother just bought an 8" Griz with the spiral head and it worked perfectly right out of the crate.
    Steve Jenkins, McKinney, TX. 469 742-9694
    Always use the word "impossible" with extreme caution

  4. #4
    Jordan, I just went through this same decision process.

    The first thing you have to decide is how wide your planer needs to be. While there's no easy anwser, many folks say that you need only as wide as you band saw can re-saw. For me, that rang true, because I also am very good with handplanes, so I can flatten the occasional super-wide piece by hand. (I actually find this enjoyable.) So for ME, a 12" planer was enough. (Then I went and got a much larger band saw, but I digress ....)

    The ultimate would have been a General 130, but you almost never see them for sale. I got very lucky on a local deal for the next best thing, which is a Powermatic 100. You can read about both these machines ad nauseum on the net. Basically, MOST small stationary planers are designed to to heavy duty work, day after day, but with limited capacity. However, as opposed to the best lunchbox planers (Makita 2012NB, and to some extent the Dewalt 735) they are NOT designed for maximum finish quality.

    - With the exception of the General 130 and the Powermatic 100. These two machines really are built differently from most of the others. They use wider diameter heads, for better cut angle, they have stronger, better placed chip breakers & pressure bars, they use serrated infeed rollers but smooth outfeed rollers, and it goes on & on.

    So there's the next question you need to ask:

    Are you looking for minimal prep time after planing? If so, try to find one of the above beasts, or maybe a Woodmaster, which while not quite the same, allows to to massively slow down the feed rate with difficult woods. Also consider budgeting for a shelix head, which will run anywhere from $900 to $1400, depending on the machine.

    If you are considering ANY modern import, then plan on more final sanding, either with a drum sander or by hand. (or hand planes, of course.) - And I doubt there's much difference between any of them, I'd go with Grizzly as they at least use top-rated Taiwanese plants, not Chinese.

    Re your jointer, IMO 8" is perfect with a 12" or 13" planer, but not wide enough with a 15" planer, assuming you actually NEED a 15" planer. If you have just a little more jointer width than HALF of your planer, and your jointer's blade guard is removable, you can easily mill any board that fits the planer. (look it up.)

    - Or you could put your entire budget into a better planer, (for instance, use that money to buy a Shelix head) and use a "jointing sled" instead of buying ANY jointer. If you build one correctly, jointing this way isn't nearly as big a PITA as some folks make it out to be.
    Last edited by Allan Speers; 06-14-2015 at 12:54 PM.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Upstate NY
    They could be made in the same factory and appear to be identical, but one could be made to tighter tolerances and use better alloys. The better once could cost much more to make. Supposedly you can beat the hell out of a Powermatic and it will work fine, but for the casual woodworker the Grizzly should be adequate. I know I have never had a problem with one.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Louisville, KY
    If you are worried about the quality of the Grizzly tools, I can only tell you my experience.

    About a year ago I started to upgrade all of my bigger tools that I bought in my 20's. I really worried about Grizzly, did a lot of research and ordered their 8 inch jointer. Since then, I have bought a table saw and just got in my lathe from them. I cannot be happier with any of the tools. They have all worked great out of the box and I just don't know what else I could want in any of the tools.

    Let us know what you end up doing.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    SE PA, Central Bucks County
    Where are you located?

  8. #8
    I'm in central Florida.

  9. #9
    I think if you want a better grade of machines, buy the better grade of Grizzly machines. They have several models of jointer and planer. I would have liked to have purchased a G0544 planer, for 4595, but settled for a G0453px for about 1695. I'm sure the better grade planer is worth the difference, but I don't run it every day. And I got the G0609 jointer with helical cutterhead, much more easily adjusted than the dovetail jointers, but if you want to spend more they have the G9860zx. You can buy better machines from Grizzly, it is just that most of us can get by with the lower cost models. And they are good machines for the money.

  10. #10
    Another point to consider for planer (and jointer) width, is the ability to surface entire panel glue-ups. I can glue most of my panels, then plane the glue-up without having to smooth individual glue-lines. It's a time saver when doing large projects with lots of panels.

    The wider your planer the more of your panels it will process and so the better it should be built.

    Everything is a compromise based on your use. I bought a 20” planer, and can make a dining room table top in halves, smoothing only the final center glue-line.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Central WI
    Go online and look at diagrams of planers to understand how they are designed. There should be a chipbreaker located right in front of the head. It should be adjustable. They are less important with an insert head but a planer with one is better than one without. The pressure bar should be fairly stout and easy to adjust. The PB is an area that manufacturers have cheapened up in recent years. Flimsy and hard to adjust. They are important so know what you are getting. Feed rollers should be as close to the head as possible and two in the rear beat one although that isn't a deal breaker. Rollers in the table are not that important IMO unless powered and few are anymore. Planers that also double as molders can not have anything close to the head to accomodate the knives so they can not perform as well as a good planer.

    Look at the design rather than who manufactures the planer and you will be better informed than most. Dave

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Bronx, NYC, NY
    I'd just look at the price of USED, OLD Powermatic machines. As an example, look at the speed with which '66 saws get snapped up, and read the crowing which follows the acquisition of one.

  13. #13
    Thank you all for the advice. Much appreciated.

    I wanted to ask in this forum because the sales guy at Woodcraft was adamant that the Powermatic is far superior to Grizzly. Then again, they sell PM not Grizzly.

    The two jointer models I am looking at are, Powermatic
    PJ-882HH and the Grizzly G0490X. From my perspective they are very similar expect for about a $1700 price difference.

    As for Planers I am looking at the Powermatic 1791213 and the Grizzly G0453Z. Again, very similar except for a $1300ish price difference. Altogether we are talking about $3000 of saving for going all Grizzly from Powermatic.

    Generally, I am of the opinion you get what you pay for but, most people seem to be pretty pleased with Grizzly so, am I missing something? Is there any advantage to the Powermatic? $3000 worth?



  14. #14
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Midland MI
    I dont have any powermatic tools to compare to, but i have a grizzly 20 inch planer and i really like it. It work good, has decent dust collection. And i like the ability to plane up to a 20 inch glue up

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Ashburn, Virginia
    Blog Entries
    Powermatic and JET put there tools on sale a couple of times each year. Usually about 15% off. I think they are consistent enough with the sales that you can plan your purchases around them. One of the sales is near the Thanksgiving holiday. I'm not sure when the other sales tend to be.

    i have the Powermatic. PJ-882HH jointer and a 15HH planer. I'm happy with them. If I had to do it again I'd buy them again, especially the jointer. The tables on a PJ-882 are combined almost 7 feet long.

    I dont own any tools from Grizzly so I can't comment on them.

    Good luck with the purchase.

    Last edited by Paul McGaha; 06-14-2015 at 5:29 PM.

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