Another 1023 RLW review.

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Review by ksicon posted 09-05-2013 08:34 AM 11153 views 2 times favorited 9 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Another 1023 RLW review. Another 1023 RLW review. Another 1023 RLW review. Click the pictures to enlarge them

So let me just say thanks to the community, I don’t normally post anything anywhere but this community was very helpful in making my decision so I feel the need to give back. Hope this helps anyone looking to buy this saw. After trolling these boards and agonizing for about a year I pulled the trigger on a 1023 RLW.

Also, so you know where I’m coming from I spent the majority of my childhood learning and projecting on my grandfathers delta unisaw w/bis fence and worked in a small custom cabinet shop in college with a couple of powermatics. I then went to a 50’s craftman with a unifence and I currently work out of a 11×22 single car dedicated space and am replacing a circa 2001 original Bosch 4100 series type saw. Replacing is the wrong word but the Grizz is now the primary and I have the Bosch on locking casters pulling triple duty as infeed, outfeed and the “I forgot to cut something” and the stack dado is on the Grizz saw. (or something similar that makes cutting on the Grizz annoying) Lastly, I suffer from a inability to deal well with poor customer service and not getting what I pay for so rest assured if I think something is done poorly I’ll say so.

Ordering: Easy, Simple. Did it over the internet without talking to CS. Originally ordered the 1023 RL but it was backordered almost a month so CS called me and asked what I’d like to do. I upgraded to the RLW for that reason alone, I’d have gotten buyers remorse and probably cancelled it if I’d had to wait a month. I was skeptical of the router table but extra wide cast iron wings aren’t a bad idea anyway so worst case I spent 100 bucks on a bit more iron. I also opted for a forrest WWII, zci, shop fox mobile base/extension and a incra miter guage.

Delivery: The shop fox base, blade, pusher, incra miter guage etc all arrived literally the next day. Ordered on a Thursday, they arrived Friday, it was nice to come home to a pile of new toys. UPS freight called me on Friday PM and asked when they could deliver. I was unavailable until Wed of the following week so I requested the driver call me when he was inbound (I work 10 minutes from home) and paid for the tailgate service. Now mind you I intended to toss him 20 or so bucks to help me or let me use his pallet jack to get it into my garage. I got a call Wed about 10am saying the driver was outside my house and he was going to leave it on the street, no pre delivery phone call. I asked him to wait 10 minutes and he said he would. When I got home the truck was gone and the boxes were outside my garage door so no complaint there. He tailgated it and hauled it up the driveway. Should have hung around for a tip.

Unpacking/Assembly. First off, to those who say they assembled this thing in 2 hours I’m not going to say your crazy but I can’t see getting this thing properly set up and dialed in to its capabilities in that amount of time. I put the base together the Friday I got it, took about a half hour. The shop fox box was open but all the pieces were there. The table saw was bolted to its shipping pallet and stacked on another pallet. The shipping pallet was broken and the box was badly dinged up. After unpacking, everything was fine and undamage. All parts were accounted for, manual was clear. I set this up in a evening taking my time and adjusting as I went. I wrestled the unit off the pallet and onto the base by myself with the help of a 2×4. Not really a issue if you leave it on the pallet and slide it onto the base. Would have been a ball ache if I has put it on the ground first.

Setup:I used both a digital runout guage with a magnetic arm and a digital caliper for everything setup and tuning related. Getting the wings flush was a challenge, had to torque them a bit after tightening one side and used some tape to get it level. Router wing was level already so no tape needed. Blade was within .0001 to the slot out of the box but the 90 and 45 stops were way out. Adjusting them was easy, 90 from the motor side and 45 from the opposite access door. Arbor runout was literally half of 1/1000th so no problem there. Blade runout confounded at .0004 me a while until I realized the forrest blade was warped. The stock blade ran .0001. I called Grizz and they emailed me a UPS label and swapped out the blade. No issues or hassles. Milling on the table and wings was acceptable. They do scratch a lot easier then my Delta equipment but I don’t know enough about cast iron to know why that would be.

Fence:The shop fox classic fence went together easy. That said the fence could be better, does not slide as smooth as the Bis or Unifences I’ve used in the past but it locks vault door solid. They could mount the set screws on the outside not between the tube and the table top. I could adust it if I cut down a allen wrench but I shouldn’t have to. Otherwise its not bad, good enough to not replace but its just not Bismeyer quality. The magnifier on the tape is odd and convex so its hard to lock in the right measurement. If you not real careful you’ll be off a 64th or so in either direction. You need to view it from EXACTLY dead center. I just pulled it off and am using a piece of 1/8” plexi with a razor blade cut in it until I can retrofit a regular one off another saw. My eyesight is good enough that I don’t miss the magnifier. Folks complain about a lack of micro adjust but I grew up with the palm bump so I don’t care about one.

Base/Dust Collection:The extension on the mobile base is mediocre and needed to be shimmed to stay level with the rest of the base, I’m not convinced its even necessary since the extension wing is bolted to the shop fox rails at the ends, perhaps its only for weight distribution. I took the weight off the extension and it does not seem to have any adverse effect on the saw without it. The dust collection as some others have mentioned is fair. The 2” flex from the shroud will clog if you get small cut off pieces in it. I have the 4” port reduced down to my 2.5” shop vac and it does a decent job with the stock insert. The zci is almost dust free. The stock insert is well a stock insert, it will hang on a hook and now I have zci’s for my regular blade and 4 more I’ve run up for my dado stack popular sizes. Same goes for the stock dado insert.

Safety:The riving knife is nice, I originally set the fence out about .003 at the end but with the knife I don’t see the point. Its now .001 or less and I don’t feel like a kickback is imminent by any means. I really don’t like the blade guard or the way it sits on the splitter. The anti kickback pawls are permanently held up by the spring since I’ve already gouged the hell out of the sacrificial plastic plate. Truth be told 2 weeks later the guard is collecting dust on a shelf and I’m using it with just the riving knife. Call me what you will but at 43 with 30 years of table saw dust behind me I use common sense and still have all my fingers and toes. For what its worth if it feels stupid and dangerous it probably is. Not all accidents are avoidable but I don’t think this guard is worth the materials its made out of. I will say that the riving knife is like driving with a seatbelt after 30 odd years of driving without one. It just makes the whole thing feel safter. I can’t see not using it unless I’m doing something where it has to be removed to make a cut.

So for a overall performance review I’m satisfied. This is a well built, zero vibration, properly tuned and calibrated entry level cabinet saw. Its miles apart from my Bosch or any contractor saw I’ve ever used. Plenty of power. The largest thing I’ve ripped so far is a 2.5” oak square leg and it did it in a single pass without complaint. My wife claims she can’t hear a thing inside the house. At the street its a whisper with the garage door open. I have to honestly say that while the shop fox classic is not a Bis its not so far off I’d spend 450 dollars for one. The saw is comparable in every way to the unisaw I grew up with or the powermatics (10” at least) that I worked on in college and I think that has as much to do with setup and tuning as anything else. Fit and finish is pretty good too. I’m not one to harp on paint overspray or things that have no real effect on the saws performance but all that seems fine too.

All in this thing took about 8 hours to unbox, setup, clean and tune. Time well spent and I’m very pleased. Good value so far. I’d have given it a 5 if the guard wasn’t annoying and the fence was a bit smoother.

View ksicon's profile


1 post in 2571 days

9 comments so far

View Ken90712's profile


17902 posts in 4034 days

#1 posted 09-05-2013 08:47 AM

Nice review, this is one of the saws I have been looking at… I think Grizzly shouldhave really considered showing up to the woodworking show in Vegas. As I might be going with the Laguna after getting to see it up close and personal. Thx for the details.

-- Ken, "Everyday above ground is a good day!"

View Scomel Basses's profile

Scomel Basses

169 posts in 2842 days

#2 posted 09-05-2013 04:51 PM

Good review! It seems we both view this saw in a similar way. I love mine and still think it’s a great saw with no regrets.

View MT_Stringer's profile


3183 posts in 4076 days

#3 posted 09-05-2013 06:20 PM

Love mine also.

Hint: When you get ready to mount your router, it is an easy task to drill a hole through the cast iron table so you can adjust the depth with your hex key by inserting it into the hole.

Measure three times, drill once. :-)

I had no trouble drilling the cast iron.


-- Handcrafted by Mike Henderson - Channelview, Texas

View Bill729's profile


241 posts in 3927 days

#4 posted 09-06-2013 12:26 AM

Thanks for the thoughtful review. I’m hoping to get a cabinet saw this year, most likely a Grizzly.

View Binn's profile


93 posts in 3799 days

#5 posted 09-06-2013 02:16 PM

A warning about Laguna! . I have had problems with them in the past and other people have had trouble. Laguna does not keep saws in stock, they order it to be made when you place an order. They have NO support if you have trouble. As for as Grizzly I have 8 of their machinery and would recommend them, especially the prices.
You get a great tool for the money.

-- Barry, Louisiana

View scarpenter002's profile


618 posts in 4750 days

#6 posted 09-07-2013 12:58 AM

Thanks for the nice review. I hope you enjoy this saw for many years to come.

-- Scott in Texas

View Wstein's profile


70 posts in 2602 days

#7 posted 09-09-2013 12:51 AM

Thanks for the review, I just ordered a grizzly g0715p, I hope it’squality is on par with your 1023

-- I would offer moral support, but I have questionable morals - Me, 2005

View VillageBoy's profile


64 posts in 3265 days

#8 posted 03-10-2014 06:49 AM


Hows that the saw treating you?

The Pursuit of Wicked Gorgeous Lumber, A Noble Undertaking

Village Boy~

View Roger's profile


21030 posts in 3649 days

#9 posted 03-13-2016 04:13 PM

Thnx for your review

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Keep your dust collector fed. [email protected]

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