Grizzly T10097 8-inch Grinder / Sharpener - Not worth the money

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Review by DHS posted 05-21-2012 10:09 PM 18251 views 0 times favorited 22 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Grizzly T10097 8-inch Grinder / Sharpener - Not worth the money No-picture-s No-picture-s Click the pictures to enlarge them

Executive summary: Cheap tool and not recommended.

Tired of grinding plane irons and chisels on my bench grinder while repeatedly quenching them in an old coffee cup nearby, but dismayed at the price of the Tormek system, I paid $90.00 for the Grizzly T10097 8-inch grinder with water bath, tool rest and leather stropping wheel. I got what I paid for. I’ll cut to the chase. The housing is plastic. A grinder with a plastic housing? The motor shaft runs through a bushing that fits onto the plastic housing. The grinding wheel rides on the shaft between two washers and it is held in place with an arbor nut. If the nut is loose, the grinding wheel wobbles. Tightening it against the bushing deforms the plastic housing and it still wobbles. I never could get the wheel to turn smoothly. The machine is simply too cheaply made to serve as a precision grinder/sharpener.

I took the grinder back to the Grizzly store and they were very nice. In my experience, Grizzly customer service has always been very good. The clerk who had sold me the grinder brought out another one for comparison. When switched on, the second grinder emitted a horrible high-pitched noise. It also had a chipped grinding wheel. Yikes. Grizzly refunded my money. Grizzly sells a higher-priced version, the 10-inch T10010. I examined the floor model and it appears to be much sturdier than its younger, cheaper brother. And it has a metal housing. But, they were out of stock at the Bellingham store. I’ll pick one up when the store is restocked and write another review comparing it to the 8-inch T10097. In the meantime, I’ll stick with my dirty coffee cup.

-- Dave S., Bellingham, WA

View DHS's profile


139 posts in 3995 days

22 comments so far

View knothead's profile


163 posts in 4719 days

#1 posted 05-21-2012 10:43 PM

I hear Jet makes a good grinder – I saved for months and pulled the trigger for the Tormek, OMG was it worth waiting for!!! I have tried scary sharp, honing guides, slow grinders, diamond stones, water stones et al. sucessfull with all of the methods, well, except for the WorkSharp 3000 (Now THERE is a piece of JUNK) but the Tormek blows them all right out of the water. Glad I bought it and recommend it to all that are willing to spend the coin, You won’t be sorry.

-- So Much Wood - So Little Time! --

View Oldtrekguy's profile


4 posts in 3030 days

#2 posted 05-21-2012 11:50 PM

I have the Grizzly T10010 grinder, and I like it for sharpening plane blades and chisels. The tool holder provided with the grinder is not very good (difficult to align blade square to the wheel), so I replaced it with the Tormek square edge jig. The Grizzly does not come with anything to dress the wheel, so I purchased the Tormek TT-50 diamond truing tool. I’ve never owned or used the Tormek machines (T-3 or T-7), so I can’t comment if they are worth the extra money. A 90 rpm wet grinder keeps me out of trouble, but it might be too slow for a more experienced user. Grizzly is great to work with, and delivered the unit very promptly, but I am close (about 400 miles) from the Bellingham warehouse. Overall, my tools have never been sharper, but that isn’t saying much! I need to add an 8000 grit waterstone to my arsenal. I have a 1000/4000 combination stone, but I don’t think I’m getting the final finished edge that I want.

View HillbillyShooter's profile


5811 posts in 3063 days

#3 posted 05-21-2012 11:51 PM

Check out fellow LJ “TheDude50”’s blog and tests at his website on sharpening machines, Do yourself a favor, suck it up and go directly to Tormek. Otherwise, you’re just going to be frustrated because all the rest are copies.

-- John C. -- "Firearms are second only to the Constitution in importance; they are the peoples' liberty's teeth." George Washington

View Big Ben's profile

Big Ben

87 posts in 3661 days

#4 posted 05-22-2012 12:52 AM

I actually have the 8” Grizzly Wet sharpener and it works fine. I use my from plane blades mostly. I will determinately agree that the plastic housing does have some vibration but it has not seriously affected my ability to sharpen and most of the Tormek jigs fit it.

View DHS's profile


139 posts in 3995 days

#5 posted 05-22-2012 01:22 AM

Hi Ben – I am thrilled to hear you sharpener works for you. I looked at two different machines and both had problems. Maybe Grizzly has a quality-control issue with this product. I do think there is a fundamental problem with the way the shaft fits into the plastic housing. Given my observations, I am still going to steer other LJs away from this product. But, it’s good to know that you’ve had success with it.

-- Dave S., Bellingham, WA

View REL's profile


84 posts in 4428 days

#6 posted 05-22-2012 01:34 AM

I’ve got a Grizzly 8” also. It seems fine for general sharpening. I do the fine finishing by hand. I do like the leather stropping wheel to obtain mirror finishes on my tools. It appears to be worth its price.

-- REL, North Jersey

View Howie's profile


2656 posts in 3694 days

#7 posted 05-22-2012 11:08 AM

well, except for the WorkSharp 3000 (Now THERE is a piece of JUNK)

I have a WS3000 that has served me well for 5 years. I would give it 5 stars, not “junk”

-- Life is good.

View DHS's profile


139 posts in 3995 days

#8 posted 05-22-2012 02:55 PM

I’ve noticed a pattern. Comments from folks who have owned one of the cheaper grinder/sharpeners indicate that they either really like them or really hate them. I wonder if these comments reflect differences in the way these machines are used, or if something esle is going on here.

-- Dave S., Bellingham, WA

View b2rtch's profile


4920 posts in 3819 days

#9 posted 05-22-2012 05:59 PM

I bought the same sharpener from Northern Tools a while ago.
It has been working well for me except for the stones which wear and get out of round very fast.
HF carries tone which fit this sharpener

I bought a WorkSharp 3000, I used it once and I never used it gain.
I mostly use scary sharpening ,now with sand paper later with diamond stones, this is my favorite way to sharpen anything.

-- Bert

View DHS's profile


139 posts in 3995 days

#10 posted 05-22-2012 08:14 PM

Bert – Do you think the stones on your sharpener got out of round so quickly because of the wobble I noticed when I ran the T10097? Did you see a small wobble on the grindstone on your machine?

-- Dave S., Bellingham, WA

View bunkie's profile


415 posts in 3918 days

#11 posted 05-22-2012 08:25 PM


Don’t throw good money after bad. You won’t be all that happy with the T10010. Mine mostly gathers dust as I have never been able to get a clean, square edge on a plain old bench chisel with it. The wheel is seriously out of round and the rest isn’t square to the stone surface. The included attachments are crude and I’ve chalked this one up to experience. These days I use a granite plate and sandpaper to sharpen my chisels and plane irons.

I’ve thought about doing what Oldtrekguy did, but part of me thinks that if I’m going to buy Tormek parts to improve my Grizzley, I might as well just suck it up and buy a Tormek instead.

-- Altruism is, ultimately, self-serving

View Howie's profile


2656 posts in 3694 days

#12 posted 05-22-2012 11:18 PM

I wonder if these comments reflect differences in the way these machines are used, or if something else is going on here.

I assure you I could have bought anything I wanted when it came to sharpeners. I chose the WS3000. Not sure why the comment about “something else going on” ,care to explain?

-- Life is good.

View DHS's profile


139 posts in 3995 days

#13 posted 05-22-2012 11:32 PM

Howie – I’m just curious about the reason behind the strong differences in opinion about these lower-cost sharpeners. It might be that those that love them are using them for a different purpose than those that don’t like them. Or, something else might be going on. For example, it might be that individual units vary in quality. Or, there might be another explanation that I have not considered.

-- Dave S., Bellingham, WA

View Howie's profile


2656 posts in 3694 days

#14 posted 05-22-2012 11:44 PM

I can see where “turners” would like the Tormek system for sharpening their various tools.
I sharpen only plane irons, bench chisels, carving knives. I’m not putting down Tormek(don’t own one) I just don’t need that much sharpener. But I do not consider the WS as “junk” just because it cost half of the Tormek. Price is not necessarily a leading indicator of quality.

-- Life is good.

View Mainiac Matt 's profile

Mainiac Matt

9554 posts in 3099 days

#15 posted 05-23-2012 02:58 AM

After putting good money onto quality 8” oil stones and honing guides years ago, I haven’t been able to convince myself to upgrade to a power system… Since these still work

But them again, I cheat….

I can use the surface grinder at work to repair dinged blades and get an accurate and square bevel…. This cleans up fast on a medium India, then a hard Arkansas, then 1,000 grit on a granite plate.

It’s still a lot of work…. But the funds are too limited for dropping as much on a Tormak as I have into my table saw :^).

Thanks for the review though, I’ve been tempted to try the 8” Grizzly.

-- Matt -- I yam what I yam and that's all what I yam

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