Spiral cutters worth the cost!

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Review by tooldad posted 04-08-2008 06:33 AM 6686 views 0 times favorited 12 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Spiral cutters worth the cost! No-picture-s No-picture-s Click the pictures to enlarge them

I was recently able to obtain a 5hp Grizzly 1033X 20” Planer for my school shop. Our old 20” planer has been around for 10 years and has seen better days. I convinced admin that this was the way to go and the extra cost would be worth it to cut on noise levels. I have always heard of this but have never experienced it until just a month ago. Boy were they right! We now have 2 planers in the shop. The spiral cutter is quieter standing next to the machine than standing in the same place where the normal cutter is over 100 ft away. We are so investing the $1000 next year to upgrade the other one.

I love the switch box, it is very sturdy, the 3hp previous model had the plastic magnetic switch. Unfortunately one of the students has already found a screw. So I will get to experience blade changing this summer. At this point, nothing a RO won’t take care of.

The only complaint is I had some electrical issues with the mag starter. One of the wires was loose, got that solved. It still kept blowing a breaker. finally looking at the electrical diagram, there is a dial for the amperage. It was set at 34 amps, no wonder we kept blowing.

We can fill a 40gallon trash can with sawdust in no time flat, approximately 15-25 minutes with a class building small coffee tables.

We have invested in a cyclone separator, well worth it also. Saves having to shut down the dust collector each hour and empty. 90% of dust goes to trash can and we then just switch cans if it gets full.

I will try and post a pic of the new and the old soon.

Arnold, MO

View tooldad's profile


665 posts in 4571 days

12 comments so far

View motthunter's profile


2141 posts in 4655 days

#1 posted 04-08-2008 11:53 AM

I have considered changing the blades on my Grizz jointer to spiral head. THanks for the information

-- making sawdust....

View Huckleberry's profile


218 posts in 4709 days

#2 posted 04-08-2008 03:21 PM

My class had upgraded to this planer also and as you said the difference in the noise level is tremendous. And to my surprise it makes a really nice cut. The big draw back for our shop was the size of connector for our cyclone, the one on the machine is about 1” larger than what we had at the time. In my opinion overall this is a great machine for the cost.

-- I cut it twice and the damn thing is still too [email protected]#$%

View GaryK's profile


10262 posts in 4844 days

#3 posted 04-08-2008 04:28 PM

Great review! I’ll have to stick with my little 13” for a while longer.

-- Gary - Never pass up the opportunity to make a mistake look like you planned it that way - Tyler, TX

View Grumpy's profile


26628 posts in 4707 days

#4 posted 04-09-2008 05:04 AM

Thanks for the tip tooldad.

-- Grumpy - "Always look on the bright side of life"- Monty Python

View Alex Lane's profile

Alex Lane

575 posts in 4746 days

#5 posted 04-09-2008 02:27 PM

I wish you the best with your spiral cutterhead!!! In the famous words of Tony the Tiger…”They’re grrrrrrrrrrrrrreat! ;-D

I will have one soon as you can see in this blog

-- Alex...builder of wooden wings for vintage sport biplanes...I'm your wingman :)

View Joel Tille's profile

Joel Tille

213 posts in 5100 days

#6 posted 04-12-2008 01:55 AM

Thanks for the review, i have been keeping an eye on this one. Debating between this and a dual drum sander.

-- Joel Tille

View tooldad's profile


665 posts in 4571 days

#7 posted 04-12-2008 02:55 AM

I have a 24” grizzly dual drum sander at home. Hated sandpaper changes so much I bought the velcro kit for it. Since then I don’t use the back drum any more. Very slow, however I kind of use it as a wide planer for my panels. Too difficult to change papers for finish sanding 60-100-150-220. Alot easier just to use a RO. The finish that the planer leaves is glass smooth surface. If I could afford the $4k for the extreme 24” planer that is what I would have at home.

View Dusty56's profile


11859 posts in 4544 days

#8 posted 08-15-2008 05:56 AM

regarding spiral cutter heads …..I’ve been told that they don’t cut as well as the straight blades do on woods such as Pine . Any experience with this issue ?

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

View BuilderBob59's profile


14 posts in 4121 days

#9 posted 06-19-2009 01:13 PM

I have a comment and a question. My 20 inch planer is also very quiet and planes pine like it is cutting butter. I haven’t experienced the dust collection issue but conservation of mass make sense.

My question is how did you hook up the 5 1/4 inch dust outlet port to your dust collection system?


View tooldad's profile


665 posts in 4571 days

#10 posted 06-19-2009 02:33 PM

All we used is a simple HVAC 5-4” reducer from HD and a little duct tape. I haven’t seen any variation in cutting on any different types of wood. In fact the other instructor made The Wood Whisperer’s end grain cutting boards and we sent the glueups through, and only chipout occurred on the last row. Not too bad for cutting cross/end grain.

Follow up, instead of updating a 10 year old planer, we spend the $1400 and got a new 15” spiral head, same model, just smaller. Has a 3hp motor. Have a little snipe problem, so I will call tech support this summer and see if I can adjust. Also 1/2 a turn on 14” wide board bogs down the motor. Where on the 20” model a full turn on a 19” wide oak end table top, didnt even phase it. Shows what a couple of horses can do. We also have no snipe on our 20” model.

View a1Jim's profile


118136 posts in 4433 days

#11 posted 06-21-2009 07:36 AM

Hey Arnold
I’ve had the same planner for almost 2 years and it is great. Thanks for you Review.


View sheetzy's profile


175 posts in 3015 days

#12 posted 12-27-2013 12:23 AM

I have the same planer but with the straight blades. i love it. most of my tool in my shop are grizzly. I’ve been using them for years. sheetzy

-- What this world needs is a little more sawdust on the floor.

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