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Thread: How good is grizzly?

  1. #1

    How good is grizzly?

    My shop is currently equipped with Inca machinery which are superb quality but just can't handle the kinds of things I'm building now so I'm upgrading several of the machines in my shop. I've been looking at all the standards (powermatic, grizzly, etc) as well as the europeans (Felder). The grizzly owners I've talked to have been very happy and I get the impression that grizzly is not your standard low-medium quality knock off. I went into this process assuming I would end up with european machinery since I liked the Inca so much but I find I am leaning strongly toward grizzly machines. I love the idea of saving money but after using really high quality machines am I going to be happy with grizzly?

  2. #2
    I've been very happy with my grizzly G0453 15" planer from griz. They have a lot of good stuff. My neighbor has the 1023 table saw and absolutely loves it. Both of these machines have a very big bang for the buck. Are you a hobbyist or do woodworking full time? Grizzly has some pretty big industrial machines like huge 24" planers and giant drum sanders that I don't know much about. If you reply with a list of machines you have your eye on, maybe someone here can give you advice.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Mt. Pleasant, MI
    It is best to individually research each piece of equipment you plan on purchasing and buy whatever fits your needs best.

    For several items of mine that has been grizzly. 15" planer, 8" jointer, 24" dual drum sander, 2" belt grinder and 3 HP shaper. Not the top quality but worth above the cost in my opinion, at least for the items I have personal knowledge of.

    Most machinery is produced in roughly the same factories except for the European machines and a select few others, or old iron.

    JC Custom WoodWorks

    For best results, try not to do anything stupid.

    "So this is how liberty dies...with thunderous applause." - Padmé Amidala "Star Wars III: The Revenge of the Sith"

  4. #4
    When I bought my cabinet saw, I wish I had been paying attention. What I bought was a Delta cabinet saw that isnt a Unisaw, but is a very good quality machine. The money I paid for it would have bought one of the higher end 1023s'. Im not un-happy with my purchase, but the Grizzly cabinet saw is given very high regards. My Delta saw is now discontinued, and I wonder, in the back of my mind, if I made a mistake.

    When it came time to buy a bandsaw, I bought a Grizzly G0457. Its an excellent bandsaw and has done everything I have asked of it. My experience with this bandsaw made me choose Grizzly again for a planer. Its a 1021X, a 15" spiral head, 3 hp. It also is excellent. I now have a Grizzly cannister dust collector, G0548 and am happy with it as well.

    Is there better equipment available? Maybe. Will someone who looks at your completed projects be able to tell that you used an $800 bandsaw or a $1000 table saw, as opposed to machines that cost 3 or 4 times as much. No... I dont think they will. Will you be happy with the quality and value of Grizzly machines. I think so. I am, and Im not the only one.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Rochester, NY
    Only you can really answer whether or not you'll be happy with a given machine. Grizzly is a name that gets put on a lot of equipment. I really think you need to evaluate each piece on it's own merits b/c they're not all equal. Grizzly offers the gamut from cheap hand held low cost tools to some really fine machines.

    You also should consider that many who are happy with Grizzly are hobbyists, along with some pros, so the name may take on some level of esteem but the expectations may differ from yours. From my perspective, Grizzly is a good value Asian import on par with others like Jet, General International, Steel City, some Delta, some Craftsman, Woodtek, Rikon and possibly even some of the lower PM stuff. Grizzly is a direct importer who offers lower price by selling directly with no dealer markup, but also no dealer support. I hear of very few people who put Grizzly at the same level as Agazzini, Martin, Felder, Minimax, General, Altendorf, Laguna, Inca, etc. There's definitely a place for Grizzly in the market, and their customer service has a good reputation but it's not that simple to say definitively that you'll be happy with Grizzly for your needs.
    Happiness is like wetting your pants...everyone can see it, but only you can feel the warmth....

  6. #6
    I just went through the research phase and decision making process to replace the major tools in my hobby shop. For the last 20 years, I had fairly light, but decent quality mix of machines. I do not use my shop daily at this point, but in a few years plan to retire and increase substantially my use. One of the tools that I had for approximately 15 years was a Grizzly bandsaw. The quality of that tool was good, but not great. But, everything I read said quality had improved.

    I ended up getting a G0490 jointer, G0453 planer, G0513x2 bandsaw and a G1023SLW tablesaw. All of the machines are as represented, set up easily, were in reasonably good tune from the factory, and the service is second to none. I am very pleased, and can easily use the money I saved on more toys! If I were a production shop, using my tools hard day in, day out, the choices may have been different, but I'm not sure of that. I don't see myself wearing out these tools in the next 25 years, if the good Lord gives me that long. That is good enough for me, but your needs may be greater.

  7. #7
    Jim, my experience with Grizzly tools has been similar to others'.

    I ordered a jointer from them, and it never came. They didn't tell me until a week after I had placed the order that it was back-ordered. I waited a couple months before finally cancelling the order. (wound up getting a Jet)

    I also ordered a 12" planer, which was pretty good. (but not great)

    If you're used to European quality, you'll be disappointed with the lower end Grizzly stuff. The higher end stuff is pro-grade. Grizzly is just a brand name that is put onto any machine that meets their spec.

  8. #8
    Scott has some good points.

    I bought a Grizzly 1023 and am quite pleased.... but I use the saw as a hobbyist, so that means not every day 8 hrs / day either. I am limited to a few hours at night and a few weekends. Not all that time is spent on the saw either.

    If you are comparing Grizzlys to Europeans, its not a fair comparison. IMO two entirely different types of machines intended for two entirely different end users.

    What type of work do you do, or plan to do ? That would elicit some more specific responses.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Doylestown, PA

    How I would view that comparison

    Thinking in car terms

    The Grizzly models mostly discussed on this board=Toyota Camry
    Inca/Euro equipment= BWM or Mercedes

    Will both get You safely from here to there? Yup
    Will they both have the same comfort and panache? Nope.

  10. Quote Originally Posted by Lee Koepke View Post
    Scott has some good points.

    If you are comparing Grizzlys to Europeans, its not a fair comparison. IMO two entirely different types of machines intended for two entirely different end users.
    I bought a Grizzly table saw 20 years ago and it was not impressive to say the least. I sold it and bought a Unisaw which is my benchmark. Jump forward to today: I bought a Minimax MM16 a few months ago, and more recently got the Grizzly 0490 jointer and the new 1021X2 15" planer, both with Shelix cutter heads. The jointer replaced an 8" American made Powermatic. I have no regrets about "trading down" - it is simply better in terms of design, casting and build quality. The planer is mostly dis-assembled because I am building a mobile base and I need to strip it down so me and my wife could pick things up. This also gives a look at how it is constructed. It is hard to find any place where they have tried to cut a corner.

    In terms of build quality, I would put rate these items as good as or better than the MM. I wish I had the the 17" Griz bandsaw for a direct comparison. just my 2 cents

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Saylorsburg, PA
    I am a "serious hobbiest" and I have a a shop full of Grizzly equipment - the G1023 5HP table saw, the G0454 20" planer, the G0490 8" planer, the G513X 17" bandsaw and the G0562 3HP dust collector. I am not a Grizzly fanatic or evangelist....I simply came to my buying decisions one at a time through research, getting "hands-on" the top 3 machines on my list, and then doing a cost-benefit analysis of each. For my own needs and priorities Grizzly won in every case except the drum sander.

    From what I have seen of Delta and Jet (I haveowned these) and Powematic (I have used the PM TS and planer), I am confident that, for what my needs are as a hobbiest, I made the best decision in purchasing Grizzly. The only tool I hope to upgrade someday would be the tablesaw - I hope to eventually get a SawStop.

    I am also very pleased with Grizzly Customer Service (pretty important priority for me)....I have never had an issue with an on-line order (big or small), and when I have had a question or an issue the CS at Grizzly has always met my expectations.

    Now, if money were no object or if I was a full-time woodworker, would I have made different decisions? MAYBE....but again, for what my needs, priorities and expectations are I am very, very satisfied with the quality and value of my Grizzly tools.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Hayes, Virginia
    You can put me on the Grizzly fan list as well. I own a shop full of Grizzly equipment and as I went from Hobby work to professional I haven't had to replace any of my Grizzly machines. A few years ago I sold one of the smaller Grizzly band saws and replaced it with an 18" Jet that I am not happy with...I will be ordering another Grizzly band saw soon, this time it will be the largest they have that I can afford.

    I own a Grizzly 15" planner, it is a very old model...single speed with bearings that have to be oiled every time I use it. I can't wear the dang thing out for the life of me and I used to dry and sell lumber for may years.

    I have the original 1023 cabinet saw I bought when I built me current workshop over 15 years ago. I won't live long enough to wear it out either, it is still rock solid and smooth as glass after all these years of constant use.

    To each his own when it comes to selecting equipment. I believe in purchasing the "Best Value" for my needs, Grizzly has proven to be a solid performer in my shop.


  13. #13
    I should have been more specific. The inca table saw is really too small and uses a tilting table so I'm getting a sawstop. That decision was easy.
    I was thinking of replacing the inca jointer/planer combo with separate machines, the grizzly G1021x2 15" planer and the 12" jointer, probably the G9860ZX. (The separate machines total less than a fully equipped felder 531 jointer/planer.) I have an inca bandsaw which I sometimes love and sometimes is the target of a long stream of invective. At some point in the future, I'll probably replace that.

    I'm not a pro but we're just finishing building a new house which has a shop double the size of what I've got now. I have a long list of furniture I have pledged to build, including 8 dining chairs so the machines will get a lot of use.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Portsmouth, VA
    Jim, I don't know if you saw several recent threads of mine concerning combo machines. I have a Jet 6" jointer and Ridgid 13" lunchbox planer that I need to upgrade for an upcoming project. I started looking at individual replacements vs combo units. What ultimately swayed me away from individual pieces was weight. The planer was the Griz G1021X2 which I think is the top planer in that size you can get. But the problem was with the jointer. I was looking at the G0609X (similar to the one you've listed). It's over 1000 pounds and can not be put on a mobile base. That was an absolute negative. There's no way I could have used it. So I switched my search to combo units, of which I've now decided to go with the Jet (because of features only, I think the Griz unit is just as nice).

    To your original question though...we have a Griz table saw at work and work that thing hard (especially cutting live oak) and it takes it all in stride. I think their equipment, like others have said, is on par with most of the name brands that the average hobbyist woodworker has in their shops.

    Be well,


  15. #15
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Trinidad, West Indies

    Great value for $

    I am a hobbyist.

    I have a Grizzly 19" G0514X Bandsaw and a 20" 1033X planer and I am very happy with the performance of both. When I selected Grizzly I did not save money as such. But I was able to purchase larger capacity machines/or machines that had better features (e.g spiral cutterhead) than if I had selected Jet, PM or Delta.


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