Never again will I trust Grizzly for "Precision" equipment

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Review by Hawkeye1434 posted 06-08-2014 08:09 PM 12144 views 0 times favorited 34 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Never again will I trust Grizzly for "Precision" equipment Never again will I trust Grizzly for "Precision" equipment Never again will I trust Grizzly for "Precision" equipment Click the pictures to enlarge them

I just had the biggest hassle of my life when I got the grizzly 8 inch spiral head dovetail jointer. It took me about three months before I actually got a chance to unpackaged my purchase and then it took me another three days to get all the Schmutz cleaned off of it from the being sent from overseas. I thought to myself boy this is going to be awesome 8 inch helical cutterhead for less than half of the price of a powermatic. Once I finally got the machine set up I put a straight edge on it outfeed table to touching the blade to the infeed table and I ran my long straight edge all the way to one end or the other it was 3/32 inch out of being coplanar. Also my fence was warped on the outfeed side the top left-hand corner was out and on infeed side the bottom right hand corner was out so if I fixed one issue the other one actually got worse. Grizzlies customer service was actually pretty good, they want me to take pictures of my issues and send it to them, they decided that my issues were not acceptable or fixable and they authorized the return for me to ship it back and that’s where things went downhill. They told me to send it back the best I could so I put the machine on a pallet wrapped it with three layers of thick foam and tape and took pictures and that was part of my saving grace. After I ratchet strapped the machine to the pallets I gave it to UPS and took pictures after they loaded it a few weeks later I got an email telling me that they had received my machine and I had returned it in horrible condition. They proceeded to tell me all of the things that I had broke and was bad and that they had set the machine back up and fix the parts and that it was very much within their acceptable tolerances. I sent them the pictures that I took and told them that I was not the person who broke any of that stuff, UPS the carrier was to blame I was very upset and mad that they blamed the customer for all the broken stuff and didnt even think to ask UPS if they had dropped it in shipment. Needless to say after they saw my photos they agreed that UPS was to blame for the damage, by that time after hearing that their engineers thought that the things that I found were bull and that the problems that were caused by me and things that were broken were my fault I got totally turned off to precision grizzly equipment. With that said I own many things from grizzly a dust collector, a sander, a grinder, and a small lathe, but please note that all of those things are not precision instruments much like Harbor freight there certain things you buy there and certain things you don’t and I think grizzly is the same way stay away from precision equipment. IMHO.

-- Do it Right the First Time

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14 posts in 2248 days

34 comments so far

View JoeinGa's profile


7741 posts in 2807 days

#1 posted 06-08-2014 08:15 PM

Good thing you had taken all those pictures. They would have just blamed you and basically done NOTHING

-- Perform A Random Act Of Kindness Today ... Pay It Forward

View a1Jim's profile


118079 posts in 4377 days

#2 posted 06-08-2014 08:44 PM

That sounds like a bad experience alright,but keep in mind many folks have the same kinds of problems no matter who makes their equipment. It’s bad enough that you received a jointer with a defect but the customer service should have made everything right for you once you reported your problem. It seems depending what area your in your experience you may get different treatment from Grizzly’s CS .I’ve had nothing but top service from their Washington state CS. I think comparing them to HF is understandable given your experience, but 98% of their products are far superior to anything HF makes and many times on a par with equipment that cost 3 times as much.


View Hawkeye1434's profile


14 posts in 2248 days

#3 posted 06-08-2014 09:34 PM

Fair enough Jim like I said I own a lot from them and I am very satisfied with what I have. I just said like HF you have to be very careful what you buy from them simple things no problem I have an amazing DC. I love my sander and my sharpener is half the price and I love it but after they told me that their engineers are good with the specs on the jointer I returned, then they have no business with me cause the specs are way off, precision is not their game, selling to the masses at a low cost is what they are after but with that said I will buy again on the right kind of items. Also no matter what jointer I look at half the reviews say grizzly and half say powermatic each has good and horrible reviews I don’t know who to believe maybe I will try jet or something else in an 8 inch I really don’t know what to do

-- Do it Right the First Time

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Mainiac Matt

9591 posts in 3128 days

#4 posted 06-08-2014 09:41 PM

That’s a major bummer.

Just out of curiosity, did you tighten up on the gib screws? (Not the lock screws, but the actual gib adjustment screws).

For those who might not be familiar, by virtue of the design, a dove tail jointer (by any manufacturer) will have the table will sag if the gibs are not clean and tight. And after shipping half way around the world, it’s reasonable to be expected that the gib adjustment screws may be loose.

Once the outfeed table is set tangent to the tippy top of the cutter head, I tighten its gib screws very tight, since it will not be moved during normal operation. Then I tighten the infeed table gibs so that I can just move the infeed table with effort.

One of the reasons a Powermatic cost so much more is because it is very carefully set up by their techs in the USA. Discount manufacturers save you money by shipping to you directly from the warehouse, and I’m the kind of guy who is more than happy to invest some elbow grease to save that kind of doe. Fortunately Grizzly’s does provide pretty good documentation.

I personally would hope to be able to get the tables to within 1/32” coplanar after some adjustment and would definitely be making calls if I couldn’t.

Got to love digital cameras… you did well to photo document everything

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

View WildmanJack's profile


33 posts in 2385 days

#5 posted 06-08-2014 09:43 PM

One of my best friends sent a DeAngelico Tenor guitar via UPS. insure it for $17,000.00 as it was only one of 6 Tenor Guitars DeAngelico ever made. UPS packed it an made sure that they put a fork life right thru the guitar !!!! So much for sending really expensive stuff thru UPS !!!!!!

-- Just an old banjo player tryin my hand at woodworking.

View waho6o9's profile


8917 posts in 3377 days

#6 posted 06-08-2014 10:39 PM

Bons review of the Oliver is worth your time. Bummer Grizzly

doesn’t provide adequate customer service.

View rustfever's profile


793 posts in 4110 days

#7 posted 06-08-2014 11:40 PM

“The bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of low price is forgotten” – Benjamin Franklin

-- Rustfever, Central California

View Manitario's profile


2816 posts in 3683 days

#8 posted 06-09-2014 01:08 AM

reviews like this keep me turned off from ever buying Grizzly; yes they have great customer service and yes other companies also have QC issues too, but I’d rather spend a few more $$ and have a better chance at receiving something that I don’t have to send back.

-- Sometimes the creative process requires foul language. -- Charles Neil

View pintodeluxe's profile


6173 posts in 3613 days

#9 posted 06-09-2014 01:56 AM

I find dovetail-way jointers difficult to adjust. Even once they are set perfectly, they sag over time. I have had much better luck with parallelogram jointers. They are easy to adjust, and once set they will not budge. I lifted my Delta DJ-20 with a forklift (with straps around the infeed / outfeed tables) and it was still coplanar within .002”. That thing is bulletproof. The Grizzly 490 was modeled after the DJ-20, and ShopFox makes a clone too.
Whatever brand you decide on, consider a parallelogram style jointer.

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

View Mainiac Matt 's profile (online now)

Mainiac Matt

9591 posts in 3128 days

#10 posted 06-09-2014 02:29 AM

Ditto what Willie said…. If I can ever afford to upgrade my jointer, it will be with a parallelogram model.

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

View lumbermeister's profile


128 posts in 2779 days

#11 posted 06-09-2014 03:11 AM

Pardon – But it is tough for me to understand the issues raised from the photographs attached. The first pic shows a combo square against the fence, with a gap that increases from bottom to top. Is it like that across the entire fence/table, or just the area that you photographed (if it is like that everywhere, a fence adjustment will solve the problem).

The next 2 pics show a scale held against the butt end and sidewall of a Veritas straightedge; I am not at all certain what info this is conveying. Appreciate, from anyone here, any elaboration of the meaning of these pics. Thanks.

UPDATE: Pardon – I see the gap you are conveying at bottom of straight edge. Good luck with your dealings on this.

View Hawkeye1434's profile


14 posts in 2248 days

#12 posted 06-09-2014 04:59 AM

Well lumbermeister I think I was only aloud to post three pics but I have another pic of the opposite side of the fence with a gap going toward the bottom. The fence is warped and if I adjusted the fence like you were saying then the opposite bottom corner on the infeed table got severely out of wack. Grizzly agreed these were unacceptable tolerances I found and gave me a full refund. My only issue with them was they blamed me for the machine being severely damaged in shipping. They said I broke things and sent it back trashed. They never once asked or considered to be UPS fault. That really pissed me off. They said I would have to pay for the damages, a restocking fee and pay for the upgrade to the parallelogram model which was a whole $100.00 different at the time. After I showed them my pictures their whole tune changed and I got an email saying “after further review” we found out ups was to blame. Ok so now their backpedaling, they still wanted me to pay a restocking fee and upgrade. I said wow it sounds like I have been inconveniencing you this whole time. I reminded them I am the one who spent a ton of time and effort getting this beast in my barn (about 150 feet thru the snowy grass), 2 full days of cleaning and setup only to be disappointed, having to pack it up, the hassle of photos and emails and phone calls to grizzly, only to be called a liar after they got it back, and they say on top of that the machine is within specs well I’m letting the world know how crappy their specs are

-- Do it Right the First Time

View Hawkeye1434's profile


14 posts in 2248 days

#13 posted 06-09-2014 05:07 AM

Finally they waived the restocking fee, but still wanted me to pay this $100.00 upgrade. I told them you pissed me off and wasted almost 5 weeks of my life dealing with this. (I know this is short timeframe compared to other stories but I had better things to do). And I had no jointer for my shop and they still had my money at that time. I said if you want me to give you more money to fix an issue your lack of specs or quality control caused your crazy. Just give me my money back and I will take my business elsewhere but guys I have no idea what to get but I’m leaning hard towards a powermatic 8 inch with helical head but every machine on here has good and horrible reviews so I don’t know what to buy anymore.

-- Do it Right the First Time

View b2rtch's profile


4920 posts in 3848 days

#14 posted 06-09-2014 10:20 AM

I have a Powermatic, I am not sure that it is really better than anything else.
It is an older one and the casting in place sucks, and the welds on the base also suck.
I installed a Shelix head on it.

-- Bert

View Matt Przybylski's profile

Matt Przybylski

580 posts in 3178 days

#15 posted 06-09-2014 12:59 PM

I have an 0604X (the 6” parallelogram model) and I have the same exact issue with my fence. No matter what I’ve tried to do I cannot for the life of me get the damn thing square. I can square the infeed side and the outfeed side is off or I can square the outfeed side and the infeed side is off. Unfortunately for me when I originally bought the jointer I had no idea what to look for and thought it “close enough”. I’m now past 1 year of owning it so I think I’m basically SOL and have to plane the edges to get them square to the faces :/

I was able to finally get my tables coplanar after a few hours of fidgeting with them after I thought that may be affecting the fence squareness but alas that didn’t help the fence issue. I’m not sure where to go from here but I’m considering an upgrade to a jet jointer/planer combo as I’m starting to run out of room in my shop anyway :)

-- Matt, Arizona,

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