Excellent performance, great value

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Review by nwbusa posted 12-11-2013 04:05 AM 7674 views 0 times favorited 18 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Excellent performance, great value No-picture-s No-picture-s Click the pictures to enlarge them

So, back in March or so of this year I was shopping for a new jointer to replace an old 6” Delta / Rockwell that was bought and subsequently sold on CL. After using the 6” for a while and learning its capabilities and limitations, I decided I wanted a larger machine. Ultimately, I decided I wanted a 8” jointer with a helical cutter head, as I work a lot with figured maple.

Up here in Canada, we don’t have the abundant selection of woodworking machinery that’s available in the States. I did some comparison shopping and decided to order from the US. A Grizzly 10% discount coupon was generously provided by a fellow LJ, which helped tremendously with the freight charges. For those who are curious about buying machinery from the US and having it shipped to Canada, I did not have to pay any duties or extra fees—just sales tax.

Ok, onto the the actual review…

The UPS freight truck arrived on time. I ordered the lift gate service, and the friendly driver pallet jacked the boxes right up my driveway and into my garage without me even asking. That was a relief because technically, they are only obliged to drop it at the curb side. I tipped the man, thanked him, and got to unpacking. Here’s how the jointer arrived:

And here’s how it looked unpacked.

I don’t remember a lot about the assembly process, other than I did it almost all by myself (except lifting the bed onto the stand—that sucker is heavy! My neighbor and I managed it though). Couple of things I recall:

—Getting the motor lined up was a bit of a PITA, requiring some trial and error to get the motor pulley aligned with the cutter head pulley. Not a huge problem, just takes some time.

—The biggest PITA was getting the Cosmoline grease cleaned off the thing, especially out of the cutter head. Q-tips and WD40 are your friend for this job, believe me.

—The tables were flat and coplanar, with the out feed table set perfectly to the height of the cutter head

—Fit and finish was acceptable for this price point. No peeling paint, overspray, or anything like that.

I’ve now run several hundred BF (maybe 1000) of various lumber through the jointer over the last eight months and I can say that I am pleased with the machine’s performance. The 3HP motor has plenty of power for face jointing wide boards, and the spiral cutter head leaves a very good finish on most woods. I do sometimes get minor tear-out on heavily figured soft maple, but it’s easily sanded out. It usually leaves a very smooth finish and leaves the milled surface flat, which is really what it’s all about. The carbide cutters seem to be as sharp now as they were new, and I don’t expect to have to rotate them for a long time.

Overall, I would recommend this machine to someone who is looking for a 8” helical head jointer at a moderate price point. I hope this review will prove helpful!

-- John, BC, Canada

View nwbusa's profile


1022 posts in 3135 days

18 comments so far

View a1Jim's profile


118136 posts in 4426 days

#1 posted 12-11-2013 04:15 AM

Thanks for the Review,enjoy your new jointer.


View ShaneA's profile


7085 posts in 3448 days

#2 posted 12-11-2013 04:24 AM

8” with the helical heads…nice! Thanks for the write up.

View bobasaurus's profile


3647 posts in 4033 days

#3 posted 12-11-2013 06:08 AM

That looks like an excellent machine. I’m still stuck with my old 6” delta for the time being, but someday I’ll have to upgrade to something similar.

-- Allen, Colorado (Instagram @bobasaurus_woodworking)

View pintodeluxe's profile


6205 posts in 3663 days

#4 posted 12-11-2013 06:51 AM

Nice review. I have the Delta DJ-20 which is a similar machine. The parallelogram beds are trouble-free, and won’t sag like the dovetail-way style machines.

I especially like the long infeed table. You can lay a 6’ long board on the infeed, and it won’t fall off. That long bed sure makes it easy to straighten lengths of lumber.

Thanks for sharing.

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

View Ken90712's profile


17902 posts in 4038 days

#5 posted 12-11-2013 12:06 PM

Nice I have one of there 8 inch jointers as well. Been happy with it…. Congrats…..

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

View Mark Davisson's profile

Mark Davisson

598 posts in 4167 days

#6 posted 12-11-2013 01:14 PM

nwbusa, thanks for the review. But I’m curious about the “missing star.” What would need to be different in order for you to give the tool 5 stars?

-- I'm selfless because it feels so good!

View mantwi's profile


312 posts in 2746 days

#7 posted 12-11-2013 04:21 PM

I just read a review on the Powermatic J882 that was the total opposite of this review on the Grizzly. I recommended the guy return the Powermatic and buy the Griz at half the cost. This review shows exactly why I would suggest such a thing. Powermatic, Delta and the other venerated brands from the past aren’t what they use to be. New owners with new business philosophies have robbed these once great companies of their mystique. Since the new management is looking at ways to cut expenses a decline in quality is inevitable. The buyers need to do the same, save money but do so while looking for an increase in quality. Based on what I see in reviews the up and coming companies are our best bet, they are vying for the market share the big boys have taken for granted and are therefore losing by default. Good review, I’m hoping to upgrade in the future and this info helps make the choice easier.

View nwbusa's profile


1022 posts in 3135 days

#8 posted 12-11-2013 04:38 PM

Hi Mark, regarding the 4 star rating—I guess for me, a 5 star rating is reserved for tools that can’t reasonably be improved upon, I.e. near perfect. For this machine, there were some minor fit & finish issues (again, these are very minor) and the whole motor mounting / alignment system is a bit finicky. If I could have given a 4 1/2 star rating, I would have. Overall, it’s a good quality machine that performs well.

-- John, BC, Canada

View fuzzface's profile


69 posts in 2720 days

#9 posted 12-12-2013 03:35 AM

I bought this same jointer last summer as part of my new retirement workshop. My previous jointer was a Shopsmith…..4” wide and about three feet long. You can imagine how I felt the first time I used an 8” bed over 6 feet long with spiral cutter heads…..the difference between a Yugo and a Mercedes. I didn’t have a problem with the motor alignment, but I agree that the cosmoline is a PITA. My son and I lifted the bed onto the frame…..then we looked at the spec sheet and found out it weighs almost 400# !! Fired it up and it hums quietly with no vibration. No adjustments necessary, an absolute pleasure to use. Enjoy.

-- I'm a LumberJock and I'm OK.............. I sleep all night and I work all day !!

View Marcus's profile


1165 posts in 2869 days

#10 posted 12-12-2013 12:20 PM

Do you have any issues w/ your fence staying at 90 degrees? I bought the same jointer with the straight cutter head (recently switched over to helical, it really is worth the $$$), and I just can’t trust the fence. I check it every time I use it and every time it seems to need a little adjusting.

View nwbusa's profile


1022 posts in 3135 days

#11 posted 12-12-2013 04:00 PM

Hi Marcus, what I have learned regarding the fence is that it really needs to have the tightening lever cranked down hard to keep it locked at a given setting. Once I started using the required amount of force to tighten the lever, my fence has reliably stayed at 90 degrees. I still check it periodically.

-- John, BC, Canada

View RockyTopScott's profile


1186 posts in 4328 days

#12 posted 12-12-2013 09:40 PM

I just got this one myself and have not had time to unpack it due to some work travel.

I appreciate your review….I hope my experience mirrors yours.

-- “When you want to help people, you tell them the truth. When you want to help yourself, you tell them what they want to hear.” ― Thomas Sowell

View Mainiac Matt 's profile

Mainiac Matt

9650 posts in 3178 days

#13 posted 12-13-2013 02:02 AM

—The tables were flat and coplanar, with the out feed table set perfectly to the height of the cutter head

That pretty much says it all

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

View Marcus's profile


1165 posts in 2869 days

#14 posted 12-13-2013 11:16 AM

Thanks john. Mine is stuck in storage at the moment, but I’ll pay attention to the locking lever pressure when I get it out.

View bowedcurly's profile


519 posts in 2578 days

#15 posted 12-13-2013 06:32 PM

I have the Go490 and it’s been great the fence does move a little and I really haven’t been layin the elbow grease to it, but Im fine with checking the fence when I do a run of lumber, but I will give the elbow grease a try, all in all the jointer is great very quiet with a good setup like it very well

-- Staining killed the wood<<<<<>>>>>Dyeing gave it life

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