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Thread: South Bend brand positioning vs Grizzly

  1. #1

    South Bend brand positioning vs Grizzly

    Grizzly is pushing a new series of "High Quality" tools from the South Bend brand. These tools look to be the same models as the Grizzly parts. They are clearly indicating these are higher quality, does anyone what changes they are making? Are they just picking the premium castings, or putting in higher quality bearings and other parts?

  2. #2
    Shiraz has posted on here before about the South Bend tools and he seemed very happy with them. I know he mentioned using entirely new parts for certain machines (like the knee stop on the jointers) and it sounded like all around improved quality. It sounds like they are indeed a step-up from traditional Grizzly machinery.

  3. #3
    The above mentioned quote.

    Quote Originally Posted by Shiraz Balolia
    Correct.

    South Bend is a line of very high end Woodworking machines, often with features not available on other similar machines. For example, the edge-sander has a variable speed, we believe a first in the industry. Certainly not a gimmick as it is very functional. The jointers have a large emergency knee stop, besides the normal control panel stop. Many other components are different.

    We were hoping to launch earlier, but had to wait till we had enough models in stock. This project has been several years in the making with every machine being carefully specified with the factory. They are a little more expensive but worth every additional penny for the person who wants the best.

  4. #4
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    I've noticed a number of them also have built in DRO. The 8" jointer also has hand wheels instead of levers as seen on their more expensive 12 and 16" jointers. Also 2 year instead of the usual 1 year warranty.

    I think this is going to be like Black and Decker and the DeWalt brand. Black and Decker had a reputation for lesser quality products that they could not shake with their Pro line, so they bought the DeWalt name to use to badge their previous Pro products.

    So far I like what I see, but that's just from watching videos on the internet. The real test will be what happens when people have been using them for 5-10 years.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew More View Post
    I've noticed a number of them also have built in DRO. The 8" jointer also has hand wheels instead of levers as seen on their more expensive 12 and 16" jointers. Also 2 year instead of the usual 1 year warranty.

    I think this is going to be like Black and Decker and the DeWalt brand. Black and Decker had a reputation for lesser quality products that they could not shake with their Pro line, so they bought the DeWalt name to use to badge their previous Pro products.

    So far I like what I see, but that's just from watching videos on the internet. The real test will be what happens when people have been using them for 5-10 years.
    Grizzly has the same 8” with hand wheels, at a lower price point. The equivalent model is the G0495X.

    Screen Shot 2021-02-23 at 8.59.25 PM.jpgScreen Shot 2021-02-23 at 8.58.51 PM.jpg
    Last edited by derek labian; 02-23-2021 at 10:03 PM. Reason: added images

  6. #6
    $2545 for their 3hp table saw, $2700 including freight. Yeeow. I just don't know how much weight to give the features they've added to account for the price.

  7. #7
    More to the point: ShopFox is the distribution/retail side of Grizzly. They have a higher price point and include a longer warranty. Grizzly is an Internet brand focusing on more value at a lower price point. South Bend angle is "...."?

    An internet brand with higher quality? A retail brand? A mixture? I'm just curious if anyone knows how they are positioning this.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by derek labian View Post
    Grizzly has the same 8” with hand wheels, at a lower price point. The equivalent model is the G0495X.
    Wow, you're right, that's the same model, only differences appear to be the knee level stop, and maybe the handles on the wheels? I know the SB ones fold in.

  9. #9
    There look to be a couple other minor differences. Notably, the cutter head on the Southbend has relief groves behind the cutters, and the base (in addition to the knee-switch) seems to be a bit larger, and the fence is 1/8" taller. But yeah, all the controls, and the bed itself appear identical other than the paint color. I'm kind of tempted by this, but the price difference makes the Grizzly seem like a better deal.

    -Also, I too am confused by the brand positioning of this tool line. Griz/ShopFox/SouthBend ? The prices are so close, and the features nearly indiscernible, it seems odd.
    Last edited by Bill Sweeney; 02-15-2024 at 11:51 AM.

  10. #10
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    Both are made in the same Taiwanese factory. It's also the factory that builds other brands like Powermatic. I don't think you can just look at a picture and say "they are the same". The differences could be that the specifications for the table flatness could be tighter and/or they could use higher quality parts like bearings. Personally I don't know. This is like the question "Is Powermatic better than Grizzly"? I have both in my shop. My Powermatic jointer's tables are extremely flat. I couldn't slide a .002" feeler gauge under a precision straight edge on either table or the fence. But mine could just be better than most. If you could find a number of people with a Grizzly G0495X, SB 1091, or a PM 822HH and had all of them check how flat the machining is so you could get an average for each brand then you could find out if you are paying more for the name or tighter machining.

  11. #11
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    Based on a cursory look, it seems like their "South Bend" level are the same machines that have some additional features and design. Ultimately, though, it's still a "Grizzly machine".

  12. #12
    I just bought the South Bend 20” helical planer. It’s only $300 more than Grizzly’s green extreme machine. The variable speed feed was the main reason I went with South Bend.

    I also have Grizzly’s 12” helical combo jointer planer.

    Not sure I see that much difference in them quality wise. There both Taiwan made machines.

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