Reply by JBrow

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Posted on Difficulty in changing planar/jointer blades to Byrd cutter

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1368 posts in 1249 days

#1 posted 02-16-2017 10:50 PM


The only reason I can see for buying a new jointer or planer with straight knives and then immediately changing over to a helical cutter head is to save some money. Therefore it may be worthwhile to select a jointer and planer and price the machines with straight knives and helical cutter heads. Then price the helical cutter head as a replacement for the straight knife cutter head.

For example…

The Grizzly G0490XW 8” jointer with a 40 insert helical cutter head is priced at $1350.

The Grizzly G0490W 8” jointer with a straight knife cutter head is priced at $1025.

The Byrd Shelix 40 insert helical cutter head from Grizzly is priced at $425.

Thus it would be $100 more to buy the straight knife cutter head and then replace the cutter head than to buy the jointer with the helical cutter head already installed from Grizzly. When I did the same comparison with Powermatic, I found the factory installed helical cutter head on their 8” jointer to be $85 less than the straight knife version + the Byrd Shelix cutter head.

On the other hand if the idea is to buy a jointer and planer now and then replace the straight knives with the helical cutter heads sometime later, I agree with jmos and pintodeluxe. Additionally, manufacturers seem to post their manuals on-line. By looking at the manual for the machine you are considering, you may get a better idea of what is required to change out the cutter head before buying the machine.

By the way, I have used the straight knife versions of the jointer and planer. I now have the machines with the helical cutter head. For me, the helical cutter was a worthwhile upgrade.

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