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Thread: Grizzly Tormek look-alike questions

  1. #1
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    Question Grizzly Tormek look-alike questions

    Anyone have a GT10010 and use it for general woodworking sharpening (planes, chisels), machine tools (jointer / planer) or turning tools?

    Anyone in a position to compare it to Tormek?

    I need to replace an ancient wet grinder. The bill for a Tormek with the jigs I need is well over $1K. I'm wondering if for a hobbiest, the Griz may not be sufficient.
    Last edited by Steve Demuth; 02-12-2018 at 11:09 AM.

  2. #2
    Hey Steve,

    I have had the GT10010 for a few years. Although I cannot compare it to a Tormek through using both, I did a lot of research prior to my purchase of the Grizzly. I found pretty well almost everything about the Tormek seemed to be better (from reputation, reviews and comments), however the deciding factor was the cost, not only of the machine itself but the accessories (if I recall, the drill bit attachment was in the $500 range). As a home hobbyist, I could not justify the expense of the Tormek for occasional sharpening use.

    The Grizzly is equivalent in quality to most other Grizzly products (I have a few Grizzly machines as they are just across the Canada/U.S. border from where I live) and having used the T10010 for awhile now, I can provide the following observations:
    - fit and finish OK but not exceptional. The universal support bar (upon which the jigs slide) is not shiny and smooth and is a little rough-surfaced. As a result some of the jigs (tool holders) do not slide as smoothly as they should. The support that came with the machine was not true and straight either, so I had to play around with that a bit.
    - the various jigs do not seem to be well designed but are sufficient for their purpose. The Tormek jigs appear very well made and they have a couple that the Grizzly does not (as mentioned one is for sharpening drill bits, if I am not mistaken). Of course, these are optional jigs and cost a lot.
    - the sharpening and buffing wheels do the job and probably work as well on either machine. If I recall, both turn at around the same RPM.
    - the Grizzly is quite heavy and solid and does not move around at all when using it. In fact it is a pain to move so hopefully have it in a stationary location.
    In short, although both machines are capable of sharpening, one is like a Chev, the other like a Bentley. Both will get you to your destination.
    I should also mention, if you do decide on the Grizzly, the motor (which is heavy and hangs on a pivot point) rests against the drive wheel (which has a soft rubber-like surface) with some pressure so, unless they changed the design and fixed this issue, make sure you get a piece of wood or something to hold the motor away from the wheel (easy to do just tip it back and you will see the motor can be swung away - then remove it when using). After a couple months of non-use, the drive wheel had a dent formed in the edge from the pressure and I had to get a replacement so it would rotate smoothly without going thump every turn (one of those design flaws I mentioned).
    Hope this helps,

    Marv

  3. #3
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    Recently, I attended a seminar on sharpening tools. The discussion ranged from sand paper glued to a flat surface to the use of Tormek/tormek clones to stones and a lesser extent
    Japanese water stones.

    The presenter lost his Tormek due to age and replaced it with a clone. Yes the Tormek is a better product, but his suggestion for hobbyists spend your money on less expensive products and spend 5 minutes more sharpening by using alternative methods. Clones are perfectly acceptable over the more expensive but better Tormek. That was the gist of the conversation.

    I have an old Tormek, Veritas jigs, dry grinder Oneway jigs, Japanese water stones, and have used sand paper on flat surfaces. I like Tormek the best as it keeps the steel cool, and the Japanese whetstones are enjoyable to use.

    My thought is as a hobbyist, I don't have to justify my purchases. Sometimes its just more satisfying to have the tools I want.
    Last edited by Joe Mioux; 02-13-2018 at 8:46 AM.
    Vortex! What Vortex?

  4. #4
    I have had the Grizzly for several years and price being a big consideration am quite happy with it. I did add the Tormek wheel dresser because Grizzly is lacking in this area. I use it for chisels, planes and finishing lathe tools. I also added the Grizzly attachment for sharpening planer blades, mine are 12" and it works for those also. Jim.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joe Mioux View Post

    My thought is as a hobbyist, I don't have to justify my purchases. Sometimes its just more satisfying to have the tools I want.
    I love your attitude sir.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joe Mioux View Post
    My thought is as a hobbyist, I don't have to justify my purchases. Sometimes its just more satisfying to have the tools I want.
    Joe,

    I would say I don't have to justify my purchases to anyone other than myself. But, I can be a tough sell - I'm able and willing to pay for quality that makes a difference in results. It is very rare I can talk the boss (me) into paying for quality that does not deliver commensurately better results.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by James A. Brown View Post
    I have had the Grizzly for several years and price being a big consideration am quite happy with it. I did add the Tormek wheel dresser because Grizzly is lacking in this area. I use it for chisels, planes and finishing lathe tools. I also added the Grizzly attachment for sharpening planer blades, mine are 12" and it works for those also. Jim.
    James,

    Do you know whether the Tormek jigs are compatible with the Grizzly grinder rail system. They look essentially identical at internet resolution, but one can't be sure from that.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marv Pelkey View Post
    In short, although both machines are capable of sharpening, one is like a Chev, the other like a Bentley. Both will get you to your destination.
    Thanks, Marv. Helpful insights.

    At this point, I'm looking at ~$300 to repair my vintage wet grinder (tempting, because like most vintage tools, it's heft and history appeal to me), $150 or so for the Griz, or $450 - 800 for the Tormek, with extra for the jigs I need in the two latter cases.

    If I made the decision right now, based on what I've read here, I'd go with the Griz, and then probably fix the vintage machine ... just because I can, and because the machine work is a nice addition to just working wood in the shop. Heck, that way, I could spend the $500, AND get the poorer quality machine, thus confirming the LOML's long term suspicions about my judgment just in time for Valentine's day.

  9. #9
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    Im not sure this has been discussed, but I hear that the Tormek's stone is very long lasting. The guy, i mentioned in my previous post, said his 23 year old tormek's stone went from 10 inches to 8 5/8 inches (or something like those numbers) of professional use over that period. The stone quality is something to consider.
    Vortex! What Vortex?

  10. Good question, all I know for sure is the wheel dresser fits and works fine. Jim.

  11. #11
    I fell into a Tormek,at a great price several years ago. It is well built and performs as advertised. That being said, I can't say it's worth it's premium price. Really, it's a very simple machine that does a job that our forefathers did with a stone. Also, it isn't subjected to the sorts of stresses that cause equipment fail. So, absolute premium components don't add much to it's utility. If I had to buy new at full price, I would absolutely bypass the Tormek in favor of its lowwr priced competition.

  12. #12
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    You get what you pay for. I enjoy my Tormek, and am not at all sad or hesitant in any way for buying it. I wore down my grey stone, bought the blackstone for my turning tools, and was wearing that out, so I got a CBN wheel and am VERY happy about that. If you do want to save a few precious dollars, see if the available CBN wheel will fit on the Griz and you'll be set.
    I don't even remember how old my Tormek is. If you can afford it, invest. If you have to think about it, save your money and get the Griz. I think I've saved enough money using the Tormek to pay for itself. My turning tools aren't worn away, as the Tormek removes a minimum of steel. Friends of mine have ground the tools down to where they had to buy new tools. If you turn, you do know that the tools are the most expensive part of turning.

  13. #13
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    I've had the Tormek for for well over 10 years and I use it a lot. A couple of years ago I started using it with CBN wheels from Woodturners Wonders. I have a 600 grit and a 1200 grit. I like the 1200 grit for my spindle gouges. I have no regrets for the money spent although I'm too cheap to buy a second one - I keep hoping to find a good deal on a used one!

    The Tormek is great for sharpening but horrible for grinding a new shape on a tool. I would hate to regrind a big scraper or skew. I do use the Tormek jigs with a standard bench grinder for shaping tools - I added a Tormek jig support:

    tormek_B.jpg

    JKJ

  14. #14
    Good points,John. Tormek is too often mentioned as a do-all. I see it as an electric hone set.

  15. #15
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    I have the Griz. I just borrowed some Tormek jigs from a friend for lathe tools. They do indeed work with the Grizzly and the combo did a nice job sharpening all my lathe tools. The grizzly works quite well, especially for about 1/5 the price of Tormek. I especially like it for paring chisels. However, it is slow when putting a new grind on an edge (suspect the Tormek is too). For turning tools, a better option is a slow (1675 rpm) turning grinder with CBN wheels.

    Another thing about the wet grinders: can't use in winter in unheated spaces for fear of cracking the stone. Stone takes way to long to dry out.

    CBN wheels on these grinders is probably a good conversion. But, then why not just get a slow speed grinder for a little bit more?

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