Looking for Criticisms on Grizzly cabinet saws and service?

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Blog entry by DocSavage45 posted 11-22-2011 08:08 PM 10260 reads 0 times favorited 15 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Looking through the LJ search engine for Grizzly tablesaws, I’ve found opinions and critiqes.

I will not be getting a higher priced machine like a Saw Stop. I have a pretty nce craftsman that was built 15 years ago. I will be starting to work with hardwoods, air dried, and some salvaged from the town composte pile. The craftsman is underpowered, and might be unsafe?

To be safe I know I need more power. Grizzly has been pretty good in parts and service for me. And better than buying on Amazon as shipping appears better.

Have talked to LJ’ers who have powermatic 5hp and 3 hp. saws, as well as 3 hp grizzly users.

I fantasize about a 1 ph, 220 v, 5 hp grizzly and most of the blogs I’ve reviewed are w/ LJ’s who have purchased a 3hp,1 phase Grizzly machine.

I’d appreciate youur critical pro’s and cons of your Grizzly experiences to help me make up my mind. :)


-- Cau Haus Designs, Thomas J. Tieffenbacher

15 comments so far

View Snookie's profile


173 posts in 2968 days

#1 posted 11-22-2011 08:34 PM

I love my Powermatic 2000. It has plenty of power for me, and is a 5 hp, 1 phase. Most of what I make is using hardwoods! Wouldn’t purchase anything else!

-- Snookie, Jasper,GA

View ChrisCrafts's profile


107 posts in 3061 days

#2 posted 11-22-2011 08:52 PM

I picked up an older Grizzly G1023 about 18 months ago. Has a 1 phase 3HP 220V Motor. I love it and would only trade it for a Sawstop, not that I have an extra $3k laying around.

I picked it up for $250 covered in rust and not working. Once I removed the rust I called into Grizzly Tech Service and they walked me through trouble shooting. It ended up being a very simple fix, there was dust built up in the motor and no connection between the power and the rotor. A blast from the air compressor and boom. So great service on an old machine they new I bought second hand, can’t ask for more than that.

I have since bought a full on Incra TS/LS to go with it. The only downside is not having a riving knife. I have just picked up a couple pack of MJ Splitter Pros which have worked great preventing kickbacks. I could probably pick up a blade guard but it doesn’t seem that vital as I use all kinds of push sticks & jigs so my hands never come within a foot of the blade while it’s spinning.

As for the power I think it is more than enough if you use a quality blade. I have a couple woodworker II’s and some thin kerf Freud’s. I just finished building 75 end grain cutting boards. I had to cross cut 16” wide by 3” thick laminated glue ups of Maple, Purple Heart, Cherry, & Walnut. The Grizzly sawed through it like butter. No problems no splintering no anything just sliced right through as tough a cut as you are gonna get.

There is my two cents. You can pay for the Delta or Powermatic name but I have no idea why.

-- Chris, Washington The State!

View redryder's profile


2393 posts in 3578 days

#3 posted 11-22-2011 08:53 PM

A year ago I went to the retail store in Bellingham, Wa and bought a G0690 10” 3hp 220v cabinet saw with riving knife. I also bought the router table extension and the HTC outfeed roller extension. I brought it all home and assembled it with no problems. The manual was very easy to follow. It purrs like a kitten and I have never had any problems with it. I have never needed the Grizzly customer service so I can’t speak to that. I can not imagine why I would ever need more power than this saw has. Happy shopping…....

-- mike...............

View Chris Davis's profile

Chris Davis

1560 posts in 4459 days

#4 posted 11-22-2011 08:55 PM

I have a Grizzly. I don’t have much to compare it to. Before that I had a simple craftsman. A few months into using it the up and down gears slipped. Come to find out it was a defect and the gears didn’t match up. The customer service was great and sent me some modified oversized replacments. That was years ago and it seems that they are wearing now and a little difficult to crank. I go through barrings about once a year. Not sure if that is normal or not. Also I bought a right tilt and I think I’d prefer a left tilt. I’ve added the extended fence and love that feature. Overall it has been okay, but I don’t have anything to compare it too.

If I replaced it, which I may soon, I may go with Powermatic. Love the front cranks on one of their versions, but don’t know much about them. I’ll come back to this post to see what others say when I do decide to change.

-- Watch live video from our shop.!current-projects/c3c1

View AgentTwitch's profile


631 posts in 3973 days

#5 posted 11-22-2011 09:05 PM


I am offering a longevity perspective in my experience.

I have a 1980’s Grizzly 1023 3HP 1PH 220V table saw. I can tell you that it has exceed my expectations and works very well. The saw is well over 20 years old and is still running great. I have made some minor cosmetic changes and improvements to the saw over the years like adding a motor cover and the improved t-square fence —these changes come with the new Grizz saws, but no mechanical or even electrical replacements to the original saw. This saw pre-dates the ISO 9001 standards that they build to now and it really was a cheap saw, in every way, when it was new. But I am not complaining!

So, if you were looking at buying a brand new Grizzly, here is a list of Pros vs Cons that I have should I replace my trusty older saw.


  1. Price. You can get a great saw for up to half of what other MFG charges.
  2. Performance. You get a 3HP cabinet saw with riving knife that cuts through anything I have thrown at it.
  3. Customer Service. I have found grizzly to be top notch for the customer service folks. You let them know what you want or need and they will do all of the leg work for you.
  4. Options. You can order the saw with a router table extension, an extension table, a 5hp motor, an outfeed table, a motor cover, you can get the blade in left or right tilt, etc.
  1. Fit and Finish. The grizzly may need some shims to get the table extensions to set dead flat, you may have some rougher casting marks or mill marks.
  2. Features. The Grizzly saws dont have some of those ‘features’ that set them apart from the other cabinet saws on the market (other than price). They dont have patented blade stopping technology or dual hand wheels in the front with a distinctive look. They dont have retracting castors for easy movement around the shop or a granite rust-free table top.
  3. As with most saws, the Grizzly is built over seas.
Other Thoughts:
  • I have used SawStop and Powermatic 66 while taking wood working classes. They are great. But when it boils down to it, they accomplish the same end result as my Grizzly.
  • I do not make a living off of wood working. It may subsidize my income, but I do not rely on my saw for a paycheck. My neighbor does, and he has a Grizzly 1023SL saw—and a missing finger from making a poor decision to cut a crooked / twisted piece of Cherry at the end of the day. Something that kept him out of work for a while until he was well enough and comfortable enough to use a table saw. (He still likes his saw)

-- Regards, Norm

View DocSavage45's profile


8856 posts in 3319 days

#6 posted 11-22-2011 09:58 PM

LJ’s : Thanks for answering my question/s

Damn! Chris 250 bucks?! Pay ya 350 for it? LOL

Chris, looks like your projects are usually big ones? Lots of saw time? How often do you do maintenance on your saw?

Norm, thanks for details. :)

It’s always about the money?????

-- Cau Haus Designs, Thomas J. Tieffenbacher

View SASmith               's profile


1850 posts in 3464 days

#7 posted 11-22-2011 10:40 PM

I have only had to use grizzly customer service one time and that was yesterday.
I emailed their tech support for tips on changing the arbor bearings last night at 7pm.
At 9am this morning I had a reply with detailed instruction.
This is for an older 1990s model G1023. Loads of hours on it. I can only hope the new bearings last as long as the old ones.

-- Scott Smith, Southern Illinois

View ChrisCrafts's profile


107 posts in 3061 days

#8 posted 11-24-2011 05:57 AM

Maintenance?? I blow out the gears with compressed air after a big project, other than that not much has been needed. It raises & lowers without effort same with the tilt. When I rebuilt it I used a fair amount of Boeshield T-9 on the inner workings. That has been enough so far. When I change blades I check to see if there is any build up, but so far nothing that doesn’t go away with a quick squirt of air. I will probably go at it with some more Boeshield after the 1st of the year. I hit the table with paste wax at least once a month. So far the bearings and belts seem to be in great shape, based on the condition of the saw when I got it I am more than impressed by how little upkeep it has taken. If it ever needs anything I know the parts are a call away and not too expensive.

About the fence, I tossed it within a few uses. I am not sure if it was the wear & rust damage or the actual design. It was an older round bar based system and it would not stay parallel no matter how hard I tried. I first picked up a Powermatic fence which worked great until I got the LS/TS with an Incra Router Table. I love my LS/TS!

I have never used a Unisaw or Powermatic but I can’t imagine how much better they could possibly be. With it running I can balance a nickel on it’s side and run the blade all the way up and down.

Yep a steal at $250, I got lucky being the 1st to respond to the ad. The seller called me at 8 am and told me I had 90 minutes to pick it up before he went to the next one on the list. Needless to say I dropped everything!

-- Chris, Washington The State!

View DocSavage45's profile


8856 posts in 3319 days

#9 posted 11-24-2011 06:14 PM

Thanks for the input. I wonder how many LJ’s have accurate and precise table/cabinet saws? I got a few more bucks that came in. I am trying to figure out logistics on getting the saw from frieght truck to my shop. Also what to do with my cast iron 15 year old craftsman. It has a bigger table than the Grizzly w/out extensions, but I can dissassemble it. Bought a freud dado set way back and found the shaft for saw blades can not hold more than the wobble cut dado.

I’m getting “go for it” from my wife…really! And a few others.

Called Grizzly tech support. Can’t break it down any further. And I was informed that the 5 hp is their bread and butter. Just needs a 30 amp breaker and some number 10 wireng. Guy I talked to favored the 5hp 1 phase. Specks said 14 amps for both?

My wife says maybe they will have a black friday sale? LOL

Only Chris Davis identified gear problems, but he also builds big projects? And quite a few.

Thankyou and I hope you all have something or things to be thankful for.



-- Cau Haus Designs, Thomas J. Tieffenbacher

View a1Jim's profile


117708 posts in 4054 days

#10 posted 11-24-2011 06:44 PM

Happy Thanksgiving Tom
Whatever saw you select I hope it gives you many hours of safe woodworking Joy.

View Woodbum's profile


878 posts in 3542 days

#11 posted 11-25-2011 07:48 PM

Doc Savage…Love the name. As a fellow geezer I remember the stories well. My 1 ph 220v 3hp Griz TS is great. Passed the nickle test right out of the box. Can say absolutely nothing bad about it, once I got used to the mag switch being on the left side. Use Forrest blades exclusively except for projects with a LOT of ripping, then a Freud Glue Line blade. Have had no need for service in the past three years since owning it. I upgraded from a 25 year old Craftsman and thought I was in hog heaven. You will be too with whatever full sized cabinet saw you buy. Good luck and Happy Thanksgiving, Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday.

-- "Now I'm just another old guy wearing funny clothes"

View DocSavage45's profile


8856 posts in 3319 days

#12 posted 11-25-2011 08:41 PM

Woodbum, thanks for the good wishes. Geezer my A__! LOL The name fits. Actually didn’t read thoses comics, saw the movie many years ago. Been a bad boy from Chi town who ended up a psychologist????

Fantasizing about how much better, how much faster, etc.. Even have a few bucks ahead. I’m sure I will be happy with the grizzly of my choice after I stop analyzing???? Grrrrr!

a!Jim had suggested asking our fellow LJ’s who had experience what they thought, and experienced. Looks pretty positive?

Have winter logistics, and getting the feather from the truck inside my shop. Also what do I do with my old friend? Looked on Craigs list and ebay. My saw has been well cared for. Just that my shop iworking area for the saw can’t take anymore objects in the space..

Sorry I’m whining. My wife says “do it”! Eventually I do get over the Doc part. LOL

Thanks everyone for the good wishes!

-- Cau Haus Designs, Thomas J. Tieffenbacher

View Arthouse's profile


250 posts in 3127 days

#13 posted 11-27-2011 02:09 AM

My advice is don’t buy them. The will not carry you into the next millenium like a powermatic. I know alot of craftsman they have nothing good to say about a grizzly except they are cheap.

-- "The hand is the cutting edge of the mind but the wind and sun are the healing factors of the heart

View DocSavage45's profile


8856 posts in 3319 days

#14 posted 11-27-2011 08:56 PM

Thanks for your input. If it were my livlyhood, I would spend money for the tools, but it isn’t. Will remain in an ameteur status. I have many holes in which to drp my money and never see it again. LOL Looked at used powermatic tools on ebay as a weay, all three phase motors. That is good if I could afford a converter from single phase.

I have a few grizzly tools, a definite upgrade from my current craftsman tools that are in name only :)

-- Cau Haus Designs, Thomas J. Tieffenbacher

View DocSavage45's profile


8856 posts in 3319 days

#15 posted 11-27-2011 08:57 PM

Would appreciate their critcisms in person?

-- Cau Haus Designs, Thomas J. Tieffenbacher

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