Planer - Economic in cost, Industrial in performance

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Review by Troy posted 01-08-2010 05:17 AM 11620 views 0 times favorited 10 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Planer - Economic in cost, Industrial in performance No-picture-s No-picture-s Click the pictures to enlarge them

I got this planer a few months ago mainly cause I really needed to upgrade from a bench top model I had (Dewalt). My shop has a 100 amp service subpanel and I left room for it at the first drop for my DC.
It came in a decent crate, which had minor damage, but prevented any issues on the machine. The control panel outer cover had a ding for some reason, but it gave it character, so I don’t mind.
There was a ton of packing grease on every single moving part. While reassuring that the parts were in great condition, it was an effort to remove all the grease, and you cannot use this thing before it’s clean. It was pretty manageable with the top cover removed and the table fully lowered.
It took 2 deliberate efforts to get the in-and-out feed tables just right, but once dialed in provided excellent support and zero snipe. It’s kind of a guessing/anticipation game when adjusting the allen bolts before locking in the table attachment bolts though. Not hard to figure out at all luckily.
The helical head——AWESOME. I love that thing. So quiet, so smooth. I doubt in the next 5 years at least, that I will need to replace one single chipper.
Chip collection (not really dust) is good. I would give it 85% when hogging and 95%+ when taking very light passes.
The vertical control is super smooth, and at times, almost seems loose. No issues yet though.
I just ran some figured maple through it with light passes and the results were very good. Couldn’t expect any planer to do better probably.
The roller pedal works just fine. I wheel it around with no issues at all.
All-in-all, for the price…this thing is a damn good machine.


-- Troy Bouffard || Master Sergeant, US Army (Retired) ||

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186 posts in 3832 days

10 comments so far

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5688 posts in 4077 days

#1 posted 01-08-2010 07:12 AM

About a year ago I bought the Grizzly G1021X2 planer. I do not see it on their website anymore but it seems to be almost identical to the GO453Z. It has the 3 hp motor, the helical carbide cutters and is a 15” planer that is the same approximate price. The only difference I see is that the GO1021X2 did not hace a built in lift. I had to buy a separate mobile base to move it.
I also am extremely satisfied with mine and it is a extreme workhorse. Don’t know why they changed the model # but as long as I can get parts if ever necessary, it will probably outlast me.

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89 posts in 4495 days

#2 posted 01-08-2010 11:44 PM

Thanks for the review, I’m considering this machine later in the year. What cons brought it from a 5 star to a 4 star rating??

-- Paul

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186 posts in 3832 days

#3 posted 01-09-2010 12:13 AM

Paul, I suppose if the machine had all the features I could want, I would rate it 5 stars. I meant to state that I would rate it at 4+ stars if allowed, or 9 out of 10. Since it was a bit tricky to get the tables just right, and the overall finish wasn’t perfectly pretty and other very minor, almost insignificant details, I didn’t feel it appropriate to give it the highest rating. In my opinion, it would be very difficult to justify the addition cost of the main competitors.

-- Troy Bouffard || Master Sergeant, US Army (Retired) ||

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2387 posts in 4315 days

#4 posted 01-09-2010 02:09 AM

I am very excited for you. Sure wish I was buying one of those right now, I suspect we will be adding one within the next year or two though. We just bought an older model Jet 15” 3 hp for now, probably not nearly as nice as yours though.

-- .

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1 post in 3867 days

#5 posted 01-09-2010 02:48 AM

Hi everyone,
I am a new member (1 month). This one of the two or three 15 inch planers that I am looking at to replace my AP12 Ryobi that I have had for 18 -20 years. It still does a good job with some care. I want to upgrade. I keep reading reviews and views of fellow LBJ’s. I have looked at the Dewalt 735 and a few others. If I get the Grizzly 15 inch it would be this one carbide cutters. Over a 8-10 year period you would not have to change blades. In this time, you would buy at least 5-8 set of HSS blades which would make up the price difference. I have never ordered anything from Grizzly. Most of my tools were bought at a Woodcraft store. Therefore, I have not had any issues with shipping.


-- Carl, Texas

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81 posts in 3723 days

#6 posted 04-24-2010 02:45 AM

Hey all. I just recieved my 453Z and have to say Im really disappointed in it. I unpackaged, assembled and set up the planer in about 4 hours. The first test run the thermal relay kept kicking open. After 6 stops in 2 8’ boards I called customer service. They were very helpful in finding the problem. The machine is woefully underpowered with a 3 HP motor. Unlike the intermittent chop chop chop of a standard cutterhead, the spiral cutterhead is always in contact with the wood and therefore constantly underload. Im planing 2×14 easter white pine material and even on 16ft/min. and 1/16” depth the planer is still pulling 20-25A. Its a 15A motor. Also it is advertised as being able to handle 3/32 at full width 1/8” at 6”width. I went to the shop at grizzly and the replaced the motor with a new one to see if that was the problem and I got the same results. These are the results of my testing. All tests on 16’/min. White pine 1/16D= 18-21A 3/32D=20-25A
Red oak 1/16=20A 3/32=24-26A. Yes the motor is now well on its way to being completely fried but Im in the middle of a contract and will get my refund when Im done with this run but that is what I have found. For a 1700 dollar machine (shipping and tax inc.) thats advertised to do 3/32 at 30fpm but will only do 1/32 at 16fpm within the limits of the motor, this machine is not even close to being worth the money. It almost keeps up with my old Ryobi 12.5” table top planer (200.00 new). In my opinion the best way to solve this problem is to void the warranty and buy the motor and thermal OL switch for their 20” planer To put in it. If you have anything more than a single piece of wood to plane, youll need it. By the way, Lots of tearout in the curly figure around the knots in the pine. Leaves lots of fuzz. Ive only run 10 boards through it and seriously wonder if Ill get through this job before she blows. Well see. As always If Im missing something drastic here, and Im not above saying I didnt, let me know. This is all info from the two days of running the machine.

-- Dont carry that which you dont hold with.

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11858 posts in 4456 days

#7 posted 06-27-2010 04:32 PM

markplusone I’ve also heard that the Helical heads don’t cut as smoothly in Softwoods as they do in Hardwoods.Did you experience the same fuzziness and tearout in the Oak that you planed ? Is the machine still running or have you returned it ?

-- I'm absolutely positive that I couldn't be more uncertain!

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81 posts in 3723 days

#8 posted 06-29-2010 01:33 PM

Dusty56 I didnt see the tearout and fuzzzies with the oak than with the pine. I also had a chance to run a 20”Lx10”W piece of walnut burl through it. It came out beautifully. Not like hand planing it but definently better than a traditional cutter head planer. Im keeping the planer I think. I have a new motor they gave me to put in it when the first one dies. Its still running though so it works for now. When the first motor goes Ill put in the replacement they gave me and order up the 5hp motor and the thermal overload for it. All the wiring is in the machine and the only dimension thats different motor to motor is the 5 is 2” longer than the 3. And there is more than enough room in the cabinent for that. Of course, everything is for sale for the right price. Anyone need a planer?

-- Dont carry that which you dont hold with.

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81 posts in 3723 days

#9 posted 07-24-2010 01:20 PM

Well the motor finally blew up. Well it fried the starter windings and capacitor. I took it to grizzly (2 hour drive for me) and they replaced the capacitor but because the motor was pulling “only” 2 amps through one leg with no load, they wouldnt replace it. Its now back in the planer but there is a noticable difference in power. When the machine starts out underpowered, any loss it noticable. There is no doubt in my mind that I have to get the 5 HP motor now. Just hope this one doesnt [email protected]*$ the bed before Im done with this contract. (Takes 2 weeks to ship) Just thought Id give everyone an update.

-- Dont carry that which you dont hold with.

View timberframedave's profile


20 posts in 3579 days

#10 posted 09-23-2010 06:02 PM

Just got this planer yesterday G0453Z 15”. Have to agree with Troy – original author of this post regarding the setup and operating of this machine. I am planning to get rid of my old DeWalt 13’ portable planer – which was loud & underpowered.

I ran 6 sticks of rough-cut Doug Fir 2” x 6” x 12’ through this planer in about 15 minutes & got a full wheelbarrow load of chips. The boards came out smooth as glass – going straight to 100 grit sandpaper. The noise while planing is about as loud as my 3 horse Jet table saw (both running 220).

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