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Thread: Review - Grizzly 8" Jointer G0490

  1. #1
    Join Date
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    Review - Grizzly 8" Jointer G0490

    On Friday, I took delivery on a Grizzly G0490 8” Jointer parallelogram jointer. I have put together the following review for others considering a similar purchase.

    The Choice
    In deciding on which jointer to purchase, I looked at the Jet, Grizzly and Powermatic. I chose the Grizzly based on features. The differentiators were, HP rating and integrated mobile base and of course price. The Jet came in at about the same price, but was a little short on HP (relative) and dove-tailed ways.

    Ordering
    I ordered the jointer on Monday via the Grizzly web site. I received an immediate email acknowledging my order. On Tuesday morning, I received an email with a tracking number for Saia Trucking.

    Shipping
    The Saia website had a very comprehensive tracking page, so I could ‘see’ my jointer every step of the way. The machine was shipped from Grizzly’s Springfield MO warehouse on Monday evening. On Wednesday, I got a call from a professional Saia representative to schedule delivery. Considering the thing is 600 lbs, that’s pretty impressive. Since I was going to be off on Friday, I delayed delivery till then. I arranged with Saia when they called me on Wednesday to have it delivered with a lift-gate equipped truck.

    The driver was supposed to call me on my cell 1 hour prior to arrival. Naturally, I had been home all day except for a quick 20 minute errand. That is exactly when he called – from in front of my house. I got home about 10 minutes later and the driver apologized for not calling sooner. They charged me $30.00 for the lift-gate delivery which I paid the driver directly. When I scheduled the truck, they didn’t make any mention of the additional charge. But, based on past experience and the fact the driver’s paperwork was clear, I didn’t mind paying. The driver was very helpful and helped me get the jointer into my garage.

    Packaging
    The jointer arrived in one crate and one cardboard box. Neither package had any evidence of mishandling. The Jointer stand was in the cardboard box. From early reviews, the shipping of the stand has clearly changed. The stand is now packaged upside-down with the motor bolted to the top of the stand. I welcome this improvement as there is literally no chance to damaging the motor mounting bars/brackets. Each side of the stand has access panels. One of the screw heads has sheared off (standard size). The switch was included in this box. The top of the switch has a few minor nicks. I may contact Grizzly to see if they have any touchup paint.

    The jointer and fence were packaged in the steel-banded , ¾” plywood crate (with some of the worst quality ply I have ever seen – but still very effective for a crate). The jointer was bolted to the crate with two bolts. One of the bolts came loose in shipping; the other was in-tact. There was no evidence of any damage due to the missing bolt.

    Setup
    I was able to carry the stand down to my basement shop by myself with the access panels removed. The manual does not cover the fact the motor is now shipped differently and needs to be moved. But just looking at the stand, it becomes clear the motor needs to be moved. If I had already positioned the jointer on the stand, I would have been irritated. But since I was using my hat-rack, it was no big deal. The switch is equipped with a 5’or 6’ foot cord. I replaced the cord with a nice 12’ 12-3. The picture of the switch in the manual shows the power coming in on the left. In actuality, it enters the switch on the right. I was very impressed with the construction of the stand. It is thick gauge steel with a beautiful paint job. I had one unfortunate friend that was home who helped me carry the jointer into the shop. Three guys would have been better, but it was doable with two. He also helped me get it aligned with the stand so I could get the jointer bolted to the stand.

    The belt cover was not formed correctly. The flanges were not anything close to lining up with the mounting holes. I was able to correct it with a vice and a few well placed hammer blows. The rest of the parts went together easily. Although the manual does walk you through in a logical sequence, it does not specify which bolts to use for each step. Normally instructions advise something like ‘Attach the frammel to the thingamajig with six 5/16” x 1” bolts, nuts and lock washers.” It certainly wasn’t a big deal to figure out, but the manual could have been clearer.

    All bare metal parts are coated with some type of oil based product. Unlike other machines I have purchased, this stuff came off very easy. Practically one swipe with a paper towel removed it. Any remaining residue was removed with mineral spirits. The cast iron beds and fence were ground to nearly a mirror finish. But, more importantly, they were straight and true (when measured with an 18” Bridge City Tool Works straight edge).

    The first time I started it up, the belt was slapping against the belt guard. I adjusted the belt tension (by lowering the motor) and that problem went away. I didn’t try the nickel test, but then again, I don’t joint very may nickels..

    In total, it took me about four hours to set it up.


    Running
    The machine comes equipped with an integrated mobile base. So in my basement shop I can easily move it into position to work with 10’ boards (this is why I swapped out the cord). When the mobile base is locked, there is no chance this thing is going to move. The base is a very thoughtful addition to the tool. Grizzly does not make mention of it, but it does come with two nice push blocks (hey, I like this kinds of thing).

    Hitting the ‘On’ button, this thing springs to life and runs with a satisfying hummmmm. Yesterday, I ran 100 bdft of cherry through it – most of it a full 8” wide. The jointer left a very smooth surface. Even at full width, there was not any noticeable bogging down of the motor even with relatively deep cuts.



    Overall
    At $919.25 delivered, the Grizzly G0490 represents a great value to me. I was relived to see the shipping aspect of the order was a non-event. I feel Grizzly does a good job at managing expectations with respect to shipping (i.e. driver will only get the product to the end of the trailer). In actuality, the Saia driver was very helpful. I commend Grizzly for preparing the customer for worst-case scenario – while knowing full well that probably won’t happen. Perhaps, I just got lucky, but based on my experience with Saia and Grizzly, I would not hesitate to purchase through/from them again.

    The machine finish is first rate. I am very impressed with the quality of the cut from this machine.


    My Perspective
    To help you put this review in perspective, I am a home hobbyist woodworker with about 20 years experience building furniture and cabinets. I have experience with other jointers in the 8” class.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by Lars Thomas; 08-07-2006 at 3:39 PM.

  2. #2
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    Excellent write-up (and major gloat)! Judging from all you said, I think you meant to say "I would not hesitate to purchase through/from them again" in the "Overall" paragraph. Kinda changes the meaning a bit?

    Congratulations on the new tool! You might consider a HoneMate for keeping the knives touched up.
    Mark

  3. #3
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    Mark, good catch. At least now I know someone read it!

    I edited the original post.

  4. #4
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    Mar 2005
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    Thanks for the report. It is good to know of the delivery all we ever hear about are the bad stories.

  5. #5
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    Mar 2006
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    Burlington, WI
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    I had a very similar experience with my recently aquired 490. I also had Saia deliver mine. The guy was more than helpful getting it off the truck. I'm sure it didn't hurt he was a hobby woodworker also and just enjoyed sharing in the fun of buying a new peice of equipment. I've run about 70 bd ft of alder through mine and there are no complaints. Great gloat....enjoy it!

  6. #6
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    Lars,

    It's to bad that a lot of technical writers are not as organized and concise as you are. Excellent report. You must have a lot of experience doing that sort of thing.

    I think that you made a good decision going with the GO490. Even though I have used mine a limited amount, I think that it is a great machine for the money.

    Allen

  7. #7
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    Jun 2005
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    Woonsocket, Rhode Island
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    Great write-up!
    I took this as you were writing DIRECTLY to me, as I'm in the looking process.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by George Robin
    I took this as you were writing DIRECTLY to me, as I'm in the looking process.
    George it was written to you. See the first line. . .

    Quote Originally Posted by Lars Thomas
    I have put together the following review for others considering a similar purchase.
    George, finish up the 'looking process', the 'using process' is so much more satisfying!
    Last edited by Lars Thomas; 08-07-2006 at 4:06 PM.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Upper Michigan
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lars Thomas
    The Choice
    In deciding on which jointer to purchase, I looked at the Jet, Grizzly and Powermatic. I chose the Grizzly based on features. The differentiators were, HP rating and integrated mobile base and of course price. The Jet came in at about the same price, but was a little short on HP (relative) and dove-tailed ways.
    So, the Grizzly features put it above the Jet? Was it a price issue with the Powermatic, or did it lack the features you wanted too? I ask because I would like to get an eight incher, and haven't actually started researching yet. Thanks for any info.

  10. #10
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    The 8” Jet I was looking at (JJ-8CS) was equipped with a 2hp motor, no mobile base, 3 head cutter vs 4 on the Grizzly and traditional dove-tailed ways. I wanted to stick with Jet (I have the 16” Jet BS and 10” Jet Cabinet Saw), but the additional features swayed my choice. The Jet and Powermatic share very similar specs and at that price, I could not justify the difference. The table below details my findings.

    Also nagging me at the back of my mind was when I was looking at the band saws a few years ago. I bought the Jet, even though the Grizzly had larger capacity and was equipped with a fence for the same general price. Not this time, I was going for the jointer equipped with the most features. I compiled the following table while doing my research.


    Not included in the attached table is the availability and propensity for the ‘manufacturer’ to get involved to help resolve any issues both now and in the future. I think either company would stand behind their product. I have had personal experience with Jet helping me out and I have no doubt Shiraz would make things right (should I need to escalate to his level).
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by Lars Thomas; 08-07-2006 at 5:24 PM.

  11. #11
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    Great review Lars, and congrats on the new addition to your shop!

  12. #12
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    Upper Michigan
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    Thanks for the great info!

  13. #13
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    Jun 2007
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    Marengo, IL
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    Lars,

    Thank you for the info. I have been looking at the Jet, Powermatic, Grizzly issue myself. Having never purchased from Grizzly I am a little skeptical but your info sets aside some of those issues.

    I have been searching the internet looking for info on the new 8" from Grizzly but until your review I was coming up zero. Now I think I will take another look. Stay tuned for the gloat.

  14. #14
    I have the GO490's little brother the GO604. I have had it for about 3 months. I have been meaning to do a review on it as well. It is a great jointer and as far as I know nobody esle does a 6" jointer of this design. Grizz does a great job. I love the built in moblie base!
    Building Inspector, CBO

  15. #15
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    Sarasota, Fl
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    Very helpful write up for me. I can't wait to get an 8" jointer.
    Alan T. Thank God for every pain free day you live.

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