Grizzly 1023RLW 10" 3 HP 220V Table Saw

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Review by Scomel Basses posted 02-26-2013 04:10 AM 20754 views 2 times favorited 23 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Grizzly 1023RLW 10" 3 HP 220V Table Saw Grizzly 1023RLW 10" 3 HP 220V Table Saw No-picture-s Click the pictures to enlarge them

I received this saw about a week ago. I must say, whoever built this saw, must have just come back from a long and relaxing vacation. It was built perfectly. The powder coat was spot on, no overspray to be found. The build date shows to be late January 2013 so it’s fresh off the boat. That may be why there was very little cosmoline to clean up. The packaging was very good and shipping went without a hitch and no damage to either of the boxes.

Assembly went without difficulty; the instructions were very clear and easy to follow. I unboxed the cabinet, removed all the parts that were packed within the cabinet, and then built the Shop Fox mobile base. I’ve read some negative reviews on the Shop Fox base, but have to say I find it to be very easy to assemble and solidly built. I hope it never fails because I would hate to put this saw on another base. Speaking of which, I was able to walk the cabinet off the pallet and then used a long 2×4 for leverage to lower it into the base by myself. Would’ve been nice to have some help but it was actually fairly easy.

After reading the manual and getting a general sense of assembly steps, I unboxed all the parts and laid them out in a manner that would ease their installation. The top, wing, and router extension were grounded and polished perfectly and were very flat. The wings attached to the table without issue or need of shims and the top as a whole was flat to well within spec. I installed the fence rails according the manual, moving the front tube over one bolt to gain some rip capacity. I then placed the fence on and it measured an even 1/16” above the table for the entire length. Nice! I checked blade to miter slot alignment and it was dead on. I had to make a very small adjustment to get the fence parallel to the blade. Thankfully the fence was plenty flat and 90 degrees to the table. More on that later.

One of my worries about the router extension table was that for the type of woodwork I most commonly do which is building musical instruments there wasn’t enough work space in front for my large templates to rest on. I build mostly large bodied electric basses and was concerned the template and body blank would tip on the front edge. To gain more real estate for both routing and rip capacity I decided to build an extra wing.
The wing was the first project for the saw. The table measures 27”x12”. I made a frame out of some poplar I had in the shop to those measurements and assembled that with pocket screws and glue. I then took the measurement for the inner part of the frame and cut a ¾” piece of MDF to size. This simple build really tested the saws accuracy. I used the supplied miter gauge for the crosscuts indexed off the fence with a spacer and the fence for the rip cut. The frame I built was as square as it could be and needed the MDF insert to be as well for it to fit right. The MDF fit the frame perfectly with no gaps and was very snug! It was so exact I was a little concerned about fitting it after applying the glue. I did have to use a bit of force via a mallet but it went in great. I used clamps but I probably didn’t have to because the fit was so good. The MDF was installed flush to the top of the frame. I then took an 1/8” piece of hardboard and glued it to cover the entire frame and MDF. After the glue dried I beveled the edge to match the bevel on the front of the saw and waxed the hardboard. I then drilled the router extension and bolted the new wing in place. This little addition makes the router table much better for me and I now have 37.5” of rip capacity! Later I’m going to add a miter slot to the hardboard extension. Should be cool.

This is a fantastic saw that cuts beautifully and is very accurate. It does exactly what a 3hp cabinet saw is supposed to do. Is it perfect? No.

There are a few things I don’t particularly like. I do not like the blade guard much. I wish the splitter and guard were one piece. As it is, the guard just doesn’t seem that stable with the way it’s mounted to the splitter via a thumb screw that puts pressure on the backbone of the splitter. There has to be a better way. That said I will always use it. To add, though, I don’t really like how the splitter/riving knife are removed. You have to open the side door and reach in for a lever. No it’s not difficult but it should be easier and removable from the top of the saw. I suppose some could probably lift the insert and reach in but my hand wouldn’t get in there comfortably. Both the splitter and knife were perfectly aligned from the factory.

Next, I’m not crazy about the fence. It slides smoothly and locks down solidly and is 90 degrees to the table. What’s the problem? It should have adjustment screws for the 90 degree alignment. Thankfully I didn’t need them but it would be nice to have. So while the fence operates perfectly for me it could be better.
I struggled between choosing this saw or the 0690. I haven’t hand any experience with the 690 but from the pics I believe I would have preferred its fence, blade guard, and splitter removal. Dust collection on the 1023 has been pretty good so far and I really like the single belt compared to the triple belt. The 1023 has virtually no vibration. So would I choose the 1023 again over the 690? I don’t know…

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Scomel Basses

169 posts in 2770 days

23 comments so far

View JesseTutt's profile


854 posts in 2883 days

#1 posted 02-26-2013 03:28 PM

Thanks for the review. I am considering a Grizzly as my next saw. I would love the StopSaw, but I can’t seem to afford it.

-- Jesse, Saint Louis, Missouri

View woodmaker's profile


321 posts in 3464 days

#2 posted 02-26-2013 05:31 PM

Good review, I looked at this saw before I bought the Grizz G0690 two years ago and have not had one regret!
Okay 1, dust collection could be a whole lot better. :-)

-- Mike

View blackcherry's profile


3344 posts in 4596 days

#3 posted 02-26-2013 05:56 PM

OK I’m on the other side of the fence, my 690 just came in last week and going through the same set up / difference with our model. I like how my RK/fence is detachable from the top but not to thrill with the insert that came with the saw and nor either with the blade guard, will have to get use to using. I made up a few zci and am now using, much better just hate when cut off fall into the throat plate very unnerving. Now the plus sized of thing the packaging and set up of the saw was truly a blessing. The wing fit like a glove no shimming what so ever, the top was spot on, the fence was parallel to the slots and blade and I set the whole thing up by myself. Directions out of the manual were very easy and spot on. I’m really happy with my choice and I bet your are as well, best wishes with your new saw and a big shot out to Grizzly TS’s Model G0690 and G1023….BC

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Scomel Basses

169 posts in 2770 days

#4 posted 02-26-2013 07:02 PM

Being that I almost always go through buyers remorse and second guess pretty much every purchase I’ve ever made, I decided to speak to someone other than a sales rep/customer service person. I just spoke to an actual technical support guy from Grizzly who is a woodworker who seemed to know the saw inside and out as opposed to just reading script straight from a spec sheet. I did not tell him that I already purchased a saw, I just asked which saw is the better and why, the 1023 or the 690. He did not hesitate and said the 1023. He said it is a modern design with a much better, more accurate blade elevation system and has better dust collection. He mentioned several other minor things that I don’t recall. He also stated that if he had to choose, no question he’d choose the 1023. I know I may be a bit weird but I feel so much better about my purchase.

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3344 posts in 4596 days

#5 posted 02-27-2013 12:21 AM

Nice to have peace of mind, enjoy your new work mate and stay safe…BC

View harvey4804's profile


120 posts in 3455 days

#6 posted 02-27-2013 03:36 AM

I never thought about moving the fence rail over one hole for rip capacity. It’s so blatantly easy I didn’t think about it! I think I just might go do that now. I find it easiest to access my riving knife by removing the throat plate and reaching my hand to get to the lever.

-- Ryan, FRMR HMM165 - HMX1 01-10

View Ettu's profile


2 posts in 2695 days

#7 posted 02-27-2013 04:13 AM

Thanks for the review. I’ve been having a tough time making up my mind which Grizzly saw to buy. I really liked the G1023 but was concerned about the limited rip capacity. You’re shifting of the fence solved my problem. Have you encountered any downside to the shift? Thanks for putting me out of my misery. Ed K

-- Ed K

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Scomel Basses

169 posts in 2770 days

#8 posted 02-27-2013 05:54 AM

Thanks for the comments! Ettu, I have found there to be no negatives to shifting the rail. On this particular fence, the square tube is attached by 4 screws. By shifting it over, the tube is now attached by 3 which is plenty strong enough, especially considering the weight of the fence and tube are supported by the angle iron mounting bracket. Just having the router extension wing and moving the rails gained several inches of capacity but to get the full benifit of the shift an extra extension is needed. This is an extremely easy modification. Checking my rip capacity again, I believe I can safely rip up to 38”. That’s plenty for me and takes up a lot less room than a 50” plus rail. I’ll take no credit for the idea of moving the rail. This came from knotscots great article.

View MT_Stringer's profile


3183 posts in 4004 days

#9 posted 02-28-2013 01:04 AM

@Scomel – good choice on your saw. I am loving mine. Like you I am not crazy about the blade guard. I have never used a saw with a guard so it is kinda scary for me. I feel a lot more comfortable with just the riving knife in position.

Now go get a start/stop switch like I did and mount it on the right front support leg and you will be good to go. Works great, just like the saws switch.

-- Handcrafted by Mike Henderson - Channelview, Texas

View BoardSMITH's profile


124 posts in 3036 days

#10 posted 03-01-2013 04:51 PM

I have both the 690 for 2 years and 1023 for 1 year now. Both work well. The 690 does have blade elevation issues with saw dust clogging the gears but that is minor. Both have adequate power and both look to be fairly well made. The riving knife on the 690 is easy to remove and adjust but I wasn’t to thrilled with the guard. The fence on the 690 was poor at best so I replaced it with a Delta Uni-Fence which fit perfectly. To install/remove the guard on the 1023 you need to be a bit of a contortonist to reach the clamp and remove the guard. That is somewhat minor. The dust collection on the bottom of the 1023 cabinet gets clogged easily and the shroud around the lower portion of the blade clogs quicker. I removed the shroud and opened up the dust collection opening which made it work so much better. I actually had the blade guard fly out of its clamp during a kick back. Grizzly did finally agree to replace the guard and replaced the 20ct Forrest rip blade I was using.

Otherwise I like both saws. The 690 is for crosscuts only and the 1023 is a dedicated rip saw. Since I cut 8/4 stock primarily I can say that both can handle the load.

-- David

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Scomel Basses

169 posts in 2770 days

#11 posted 03-01-2013 09:25 PM

Today I was switching back and forth a lot from splitter/guard and riving knife on a project. I don’t know what the hell I was doing before but I was easily able to remove both from above the saw. I think I was reaching from the back of the saw before, now I have an outfeed table and have to reach from the front. Can’t believe I hadn’t tried it this way before, it’s super easy. Trust me guys, I’m really not stupid, no matter what my prior posts suggest;)

View knotscott's profile


8382 posts in 4149 days

#12 posted 03-09-2013 01:39 PM

Awesome review with great documentation of your experience. I love seeing solid objective reviews that talk about both strengths and weaknesses of a tool….it’s way too easy to let new tool love put an overly zealous spin on things. Excellent job all the way around!

-- Happiness is like wetting your pants...everyone can see it, but only you can feel the warmth....

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Scomel Basses

169 posts in 2770 days

#13 posted 03-09-2013 02:30 PM

Thanks, Scott!

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Mainiac Matt

9556 posts in 3101 days

#14 posted 03-13-2013 01:45 AM

Nice write up… thanks for taking the time

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

View Gittyup's profile


204 posts in 2729 days

#15 posted 04-06-2013 11:36 AM

I just got this same saw two days ago. I got it set up and checked out. Parallelism was dead on for both fence and blade right out of the box. Could not detect any run-out with my dial gauge. Everything was just about perfect except the vertical stop was 0.005 out. I adjusted it to 0.002 and call it good as I’m not sure the supplied blade is flatter than that. Will readjust when I get my Freud blade. I haven’t cut much yet. But seems like it’s going to be a heck of saw.

I am having one problem. When I lower the blade the kickback paws dig into the table and hold back/stress the blade guard. Is this normal? Do I have to raise the paws before lowering the blade?

Also, the vacuum shroud around the blade may turn out to be a PITA. While assembling, I dropped a screwdriver down in it. Had to take the hose out completely to get it out. Then I dropped the blade nut in it too. Luckily it rolled all the way out.

Has anyone made a zero clearance insert that let’s you use the blade guard?

-- tel

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