Here I go again-with Grizzly

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Review by Tennessee posted 07-14-2012 11:37 AM 7083 views 0 times favorited 9 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Here I go again-with Grizzly No-picture-s No-picture-s Click the pictures to enlarge them

Finally pulling the trigger on a new, 17” bandsaw for my larger jewelry box line shaped like the instruments I build, I had to wait a few weeks for my saw. Finally arriving at my day job for unloading, crate and all were carefully inserted onto skids into my Chevy Suburban by 6 guys so I could take it home. Friday the 13th of July I carefully slid it out with the help of my John Deere and some oak ramps, and carefully soon had it upright, unpacked, and finally in position in my shop. Not bad for 90 minutes alone. But it was a hot and sticky day, and sweat was running down my glasses. This would later cause me to not read every page provided by Grizzly….

The machine went together well, and I was using the main manual that came with the saw. I glanced at what looked like an accessory page that came with the saw manual, but set it aside. Had I turned that thin packet over, I would have realized it was a manual insert that showed a new and better bridge that used to be reserved for the 19” saws.

As assembly went together, I tested things manually, and all seemed well. I finally got the bridge box open, and using the main manual it quickly became apparent that this bridge would not bolt on – it didn’t even seem to be the right bridge or table.
I stopped and called Grizzly, still not looking at the manual insert that I thought was an accessory page.

Here’s the kicker – the CS guy did not have this manual insert on his computer and also was working off the main booklet, which showed the old table and bridge. Whoops!
We decided together that I had the wrong table, wrong bridge, (we were both wrong), and they are supposed to be sending me the older unit.
But since the table was bolted on, I figured I could use the saw without a bridge, so off to HD I went for a cordset. While driving I got to thinking about what they did send me, and that those flat standoffs in the bridge packet would fit on my table, so when I got back home I put the bridge on, (as it would go all along!), and I proceeded to wire up the cordset. The saw runs true and smooth, and I love the magnetic brake. (More on that in a minute.)

I then went to the website, and looked at my saw online, and saw a bridge with the extruded aluminum rails and a short, stocky cast bridge. The first saw on their website online Friday, July 13th with the large bridge with the solid chrome rod was the G0514X2F. Hmmm.

Fast forward to this morning, July 14th, and I went down to my shop thinking I will tell all about this on my favorite forum, when I finally picked up that “accessory page”, which turned out to be a new manual insert that obviously even the CS reps at Grizzly don’t have loaded yet!
Then I went to my computer and lo’ and behold…the pictures on the site have changed, and my G0513X2BF now is shown with the new style bridge! And I have a work order with Grizzly to send me a new table and bridge! I guess I should cancel that…but after having to change out the 70 lb. motor that failed in 10 seconds on my 15” spiralhead planer by myself, with my crappy back and arthritic knees, maybe I’ll just see what they send.

This saw basic model has been reported on this site in less appointed models, suffice to say that the blade that came with it I got one good cut out of, then in the trash it went. A new 1/2” Timberwolf is now riding onboard. Everything about the saw is exactly as I wanted. It cuts true, set up perfectly, square, and easily passed the nickel test. I think it might pass a dime test if I could get one to set up on it’s side. Wheels were coplaner, and my only gripe about the roller and thrust guide bearings is the thrust bearing on the bottom, the allen screw is a bitch to get at when you change a blade. And everything is painted or is flat black down there, including the bottom of the table, it’s like looking into a black hole.

But the best part, the part some have resisted buying on this site, has got to be that magnetic brake.
If I had a penny for every second over the last 40 years I’ve stood in front of a bandsaw waiting for the blade to stop…well, let’s just say I would be on some island somewhere.
Later in the day, after all was set up and I was into some bandsaw jewelry boxes, I decided to use my Porter-Cable for a drawer cutout, since the Grizzly was sporting the 1/2” blade, and my PC had a 1/4” blade on it. The box I designed forced me to do multiple “backout” cuts, where you stop the saw, wait for the blade to stop, back it out of the cut, reverse it, blah, blah, we all been there.
After about three of these, I looked over at the Grizzly and I quickly realized how much of my life I have spent waiting for bandsaw blades to stop!
This is definitely one of the best features of this saw, and I am really glad I popped the extra coin for it. It stops cleanly and smoothly in about 3.5 seconds, whereas my much smaller PC takes about 12 seconds to stop. I can’t imagine how long it would take a standard G0513X2 to stop with those cast wheels, and I don’t have to keep my leg on the pedal. I just tap it, and 3.5 seconds later, the saw is stopped, or I can hit the stop button and same applies. It’s kind of like having a power recliner in your TV room. You don’t need it, but doggone, is it nice!

One caveat: There is a key switch on this unit, and Grizzly says in the manual that if left in the on position you will keep the magnetic brake engaged. They mention unneeded power consumption, but what they are really telling you is that the brake solenoid is still activated, and all solenoids have a slight vibration to them due to 60HZ hum, so you will greatly shorten the life of your magnetic brake solenoid if you leave the switch on.
I noticed on another forum one poster decided to wire his key switch across, which would cause his brake to stay on 24/7. Solenoids fail, no use in accellerating that.

On dust collection, I use Rigid vacuum cleaners with fine particle filters, (they call them HEPA, not!), and I simply put a 4” to 2 1/2” adopter on the upper discharge with my Rigid, and it caught 95% of the dust and fines, and almost nothing made it to the bottom. I had almost nothing on the tabletop, on a 5” high resaw. There is another port on the bottom in the back, which I think together would really clean it up if you have the system to pull that much air through twin 4 inchers.

Other than that, this is a fine saw, and the only reason I am kicking it down a star is the CS rep did not know that the bridge/table had been upgraded, the website was still not, (until today), and it caused me an extra hour or two in figuring out the changes. Yeah, yeah, I know, the manual insert was there. See how excited you get with your first 12” resaw capable bandsaw comes home and how much you read the manual and inserts when you get yours! Ha!

-- Tsunami Guitars and Custom Woodworking, Cleveland, TN

View Tennessee's profile


2901 posts in 3285 days

9 comments so far

View Howie's profile


2656 posts in 3693 days

#1 posted 07-14-2012 11:46 AM

Well done Paul. Glad you’re happy. I have a 555x and love it.

-- Life is good.

View AttainableApex's profile


347 posts in 3603 days

#2 posted 07-15-2012 02:37 AM

nice, i want one so bad, been saving for a while.

-- Ben L

View woodmaker's profile


321 posts in 3462 days

#3 posted 07-16-2012 04:34 PM

This is the exact same bandsaw I’m hoping to purchase this fall.
Thanks for the writeup.
Are the blades hard to change? I know some saws you have to do a bit of threading to get the blade back in.

-- Mike

View Tennessee's profile


2901 posts in 3285 days

#4 posted 07-16-2012 05:59 PM

To be honest, with the quick release, the only problem is you have to remember that if you are putting on a smaller blade, have to remember to loosen the wheel under the top door before retightening or you might overtighten. And the Grizzly system for blade tightness is strange – they have this graduated scale 1-9 through the little window, with 1 the smallest and 9 the thickest. The book says to put on a blade, tighten just enough to keep it on the saw, raise the upper roller bearing guides all the way, turn it on and loosen until you see blade flutter. I thought that odd, but with the 1/2” Timberwolf I have on there now it actually worked. I put it on, and only had to loosen the knob about a turn when I saw a little flutter. Then the book says to tighten it 1/4 turn, but I went 1/2 to 3/4, and it now deflects about 1/8”, which is what a lot of people recommend.
Actual blade off and on, about 2-3 minutes if your new blade is ready to be put on. The doors swing completely out of the way, and the quick release handle drops the top wheel enough to put the new one on quickly. Only adjustments are the thrust bearings and the tension, both not too hard. T-handle allen makes it much easier, especially for the lower thrust bearing. Of course, if you are replacing with the same size blade, the whole exercise goes down to less than a minute.

-- Tsunami Guitars and Custom Woodworking, Cleveland, TN

View popsshop's profile


42 posts in 3746 days

#5 posted 07-17-2012 06:46 PM

Thanks for a thorough review, I’m looking into purchasing a 17” as well.

-- Drilling holes in wood is a boring job

View a1Jim's profile


118065 posts in 4347 days

#6 posted 07-17-2012 06:49 PM

View Tennessee's profile


2901 posts in 3285 days

#7 posted 07-17-2012 07:13 PM

Thanks, Jim and popshop!

-- Tsunami Guitars and Custom Woodworking, Cleveland, TN

View BroncoBrian's profile


894 posts in 2729 days

#8 posted 02-03-2013 03:55 PM

Thanks for the review, now that you have had it for a while would you buy the same one or is there a current model close to it that you would look at?

-- A severed foot is the ultimate stocking stuffer.

View helluvawreck's profile


32122 posts in 3637 days

#9 posted 02-03-2013 04:16 PM

Thanks for the review. It never ceases to amaze me how in some big companies the left hand does not know what the right hand is doing.

helluvawreck aka Charles

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

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