Grizzly G0478 2 HP Hybrid Cabinet Saw Review

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Review by Timber4fun posted 07-18-2008 03:47 PM 31758 views 0 times favorited 17 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Grizzly G0478 2 HP Hybrid Cabinet Saw Review Grizzly G0478 2 HP Hybrid Cabinet Saw Review No-picture-s Click the pictures to enlarge them

Introduction – After 16 years of using a Craftsman contractor-style table saw, I decided to investigate and upgrade to a cabinet saw. My priorities included dust collection, accurate fence, performance, accurate/efficient cuts, quality components, functionality, size, and price. I am a no nonsense type of person. I really don’t want a bunch of fancy marketing features that tend to break in the first 5 years. Give me a good solid tool and I am happy. The Grizzly G0478 2 HP Hybrid Cabinet Saw is just that. Read on.

Installation – I am not going to go into much detail about installation. If there were problems, I would go into more detail. The Grizzly G0478 was easy to install, assuming most of us are handy with tools. If you are not very handy with tools, you probably shouldn’t be using a table saw. To prevent rust, it comes with a layer of goo on the cast iron components that you’ll need to clean off. I used a product called Goo-Gone that worked well. I had to provide a saw blade and purchase/install the electrical plug. Neither were big deals, but something to keep in mind.

Quality – I was surprised at the quality of components on this saw. It is very well built. The cast iron top is top-notch. I am not sure how they can sell this saw for $695 (which is what I paid for it). The turning wheels are solid metal and the motor glides easily up and down with each turn. I really like the cabinet style and paint finish. I am not big into the paint finish of tools, but for the purpose of this review I can say that the finish is very nice and should prevent rust for many years. I was only disappointed with two things – the insert and the miter. The insert seems a little flimsy. I may have to look at a zero clearance insert, as that bothers me a bit. The miter is built fairly well, but I just don’t like the feel of it. I had to make some minor adjustments to the miter, as out of the box it did not provide an accurate 90 degree cut. Once I adjusted the miter, everything was fine. I’ve heard some complaints by other woodworkers that they dislike the ON/OFF switch. To the contrary, I think it works very well and as intended. The Off switch is a large red button. If you tap the red button the saw will go off, but stay unlocked. If you smack the red button it will lock the switch at which you have to twist it to release the lock for the ON switch to work again. It works very well for me as I tend to tap it to Stop and then smack it at the end of the day to lock it for safety reasons. The Grizzly G0478 2 HP Hybrid Cabinet Saw is very impressive from a quality standpoint.

Dust Collection – For me, one of the primary reasons for upgrading from a contractor-style table saw to a cabinet saw was good dust collection. As I have gotten older, I’d like to think that I’ve gotten wiser. My health is a top priority these days. I’ve been an amateur woodworker for over 20 years. The Grizzly G0478 Cabinet Saw did not let me down. The dust port is metal inside and out. The inside of the cabinet is designed to funnel the sawdust diagonally to the dust port. In other words, the sawdust easily slides down to the dust port using gravity. The dust port is located on the left side, which I think works well, as this saw tilts left. This provides some space efficiency as the right side of the saw is completely free to store other tools, like a shop-vac or tool cabinet. Space efficiency is important to us woodworkers with limited space. We like to use every last inch. Anyway, the Grizzly G0478 does a great job of pulling the sawdust down through the cabinet and out the dust port to a collector. It keeps the shop a lot cleaner and my lungs a lot healthier. Grizzly has a nice dust collection design with this saw and the cabinet is built very well with nice paint finish.

Fence – The fence that came with this saw was another surprise. It is very accurate and glides smoothly back and forth. I have used a number of table saws in my life and this fence works the best. When you lock it in place it pulls itself true. The fence is constructed of metal, including the guide rails. The guide rails extend beyond the cast iron table, so I added an extension of my own to take advantage of the additional length. The ultimate goal is an accurate and consistent cut and the Grizzly G0478 fence provides for both. I have no complaints with this fence.

Hybrid Functionality – The fact that the Grizzly G0478 Cabinet Saw is in fact capable of running on 110V or 220V electrical service was a big selling point for me. It comes pre-wired for 110V service. Like many, my workshop is in the corner of my basement. Currently, I have a combination of 15 Amp and 20 Amp 110V service to my shop. Although I may want to switch to 220V service in the future the hybrid functionality gives me the capability to do that on my own terms. Right now I have the Grizzly G0478 hooked up to a 20Amp 110V service and it runs really well. I believe the manual recommends a 30Amp 110V service, but the 20Amp circuit seems just fine for me. I have yet to knock out the breaker and I rip thru a lot of hardwood – oak, cherry, hard maple, and walnut. The only disappointment is that it does not come with an electrical plug. You have to run out to the hardware store and wire that up yourself. For me that was not a big deal. Again, I wired it for a 20Amp 110V outlet.

Size – Another selling point for me with the Grizzly G0478 saw is that it is designed as a cabinet saw. In comparison to my contractor-style table saw where the motor extends out the back side of the saw, the Grizzly G0478 is completely contained under the cast iron top. This translates into a smaller footprint, which is once again important when considering space efficiency. The actual cast iron top of the Grizzly G0478 Cabinet Saw is larger than my old contractor-style table saw, but the contractor-style saw took up more space due to the position of the motor. Furthermore, safety was a concern of mine with my former table saw having the exposed motor extending out the back side. I like the efficient design of the Grizzly G0478.

Performance – The Grizzly G0478 Hybrid Cabinet saw comes with a 2HP motor that runs really smooth. There is very little vibration with this saw. It cuts accurately right out of the box. It sits very solid on the shop floor. I rip thru a lot of 4/4 oak, cherry, hard maple, and walnut. I have also cut through a lot of 3/4 plywood. I have even done some re-sawing. Could I get more performance from it by upgrading to a 30Amp 110V service or 220V service? Yes, I could probably increase the performance of this saw by upgrading the electrical service in my house, but at this point it is completely unnecessary. It has done everything I have asked of it efficiently and without compromise. I really enjoy using it. The Grizzly G0478 Cabinet Saw easily outperforms my former contractor-style table saw.

Conclusion – The Grizzly G0478 2HP Hybrid Cabinet Saw is the backbone of my workshop. It meets all my priorities, including quality components, dust collection, performance, accuracy of cut, space efficiency, and price. I purchased this saw for $695 plus shipping. I am not sure how Grizzly can sell a saw of this caliber for that price. I highly recommend it. This is a great saw for the amateur woodworker.

-- Tim from Iowa City, IA

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218 posts in 4453 days

17 comments so far

View SawdustMill's profile


58 posts in 4585 days

#1 posted 07-18-2008 05:57 PM

I’ve had the same saw for about 7 months now. To give a second data point, here’s how I rate it:

To begin with, I love this saw, but Grizzly’s shipping methods are absolutely abismal. When my saw first arrived one of the box sides was a little dislodged, I looked in and one of the nails from the box was misplaced and had gouged the table surface, but I went ahead and accepted it. After pulling the box apart it turns out that they had dropped the whole thing on its side, very hard. The motor was smashed in, the body was bent in, and the surface was gouged horribly (again by the errant nail, presumably when the things dropped on the side, it reached the top of the box, scary). It took nearly two weeks, several pictures emailed, and a dozen calls before they “approved” a total replace. I got my new one the next week and it was just fine. The delivery guy said that Grizzly’s packaging is very sub par. So I recommend always completely unpackaging the product while the delivery guy is there before you accept it.

WIcked easy. I was able to move and install it without help. It was pretty easy to get the wings nice and straight and was nearly perfectly level right out of the box.

I fully agree about the quality of the materials. The turning wheels, the tabletop, the body, all quality stuff. It feels very solid. Very little vibration, even sitting on a mobile base, on a wood floor. I love turning it on just to hear it. The body paint has held up perfectly this past 6 months, no signs of wear at all.

I also agree about the throat insert. It’s flimsy, and nearly impossible to get flush with the table across the entire surface. This is particularly notable with the dado insert that comes with it. The problem is that Grizzly made the depth of the insert about half of normal. This has a couple drawbacks, it limits your selection of after market inserts, and makes them less rigid.

The miter is cast iron and very sturdy, in fact it might even be a bit too bulky, it can be a bit unwieldly sometimes.

Dust Collection
No particular opinion on this. The 4” port fits great. There is a pile of sawdust at the bottom of the cabinet, but I expect that’s the same for similar saws.

When the machine or somebody put the little plastic insert into the T part of the body, it was just slightly off and crushed half of the pin. Fortunately it was pretty easy to clean up and still held itself in place sufficiently.

Once tuned, the fence locked down nice and tight, rigid and straight. However it looks like it puts a lot of pressure on the guide bar. It glides along very smoothly. The fence feels a little flimsy in materials though, and seems to curve juuuuust a hair right in the middle. However it’s rigid enough that I haven’t had any problems with deflection. In comparison, I played with a comparable Steel City saw and liked that fence much better. But overall the fence performs as expected. Nothing spectacular, nothing terribly wrong, just average.

I have a 10’ x 12’ shop, so space is tight. Having the motor on the inside is awesome and saves me lots of space. It makes it possible to have an outfeed table that can collapse down the back of the saw when not in use. Love it.

I also use the 110v option. I have ripped and crosscut 8/4 hard maple, 4/4 white oak, 6/4 brazillian cherry, and a variety of other hardwoords and plywood. I use a Amano combo blade and it cuts them all without any noticeable dip in rpm. The motor never seems to work hard to do the job. There is no lack of power for my needs.

Here’s a section that didn’t get touched on, and to me might have been a deal breaker if I had known more about it. I had actually emailed grizzly about it pre-purchase, but never got a response. The blade guard design feels like it was intended to be thrown away. You have to set three hex nuts in order to attach the fence guard to the body, one of which is inside the throat and is nearly impossible to screw in by hand. It’s also a pain to line it up with the blade, and keep it straight while tightening up the bolts. I’ve been trying to come up with a way to make it quicker and easier to take off and replace, but because of the design inside the throat, it’s really tricky. After fighting with this fence I looked at the comparable Steel City “tool-less” setup and liked it a whole lot better. For people that throw their fences away this won’t be a big deal, but I like to keep my fence on as much as possible, and this makes it very inconvenient.

Ease of Tuning
The motor is attached to the top of the table. In order to align the blade you have to loosen 6 bolts inside the cabinet. Getting to the front bolts is a pain as you have to reach in through the motor door and around the saw blade container to get to the far bolt. Mine didn’t come square to the miter (not entirely unexpected), but it has been difficult to get the blade to line up square with the miter slot. Even after loosening all 6 bolts, I couldn’t get enough play to fully line up the blade, I was very unhappy about that. I was able to get it “close enough” to get the job done, but it’s not something I’d show off to my buddies.

I upgraded from a dewalt portable saw, and love my grizzly. Overall I’m quite happy with my 478, it’s got great power, is very sturdy, it’s at a very affordable price, and I expect it will last a long time. That said, if I had known about the non standard throat depth, the miserable safety design, and the just average fence, I would most likely have saved for a little longer and gotten the Steel City instead.

Now that the sawstop contractor has been released, I might save my pennies, and eventually upgrade to that.

View Timber4fun's profile


218 posts in 4453 days

#2 posted 07-18-2008 06:45 PM

Great follow-up! Tell me about your saw blade. I am not familiar with that one. I was looking at picking up a Woodworker II.

-- Tim from Iowa City, IA

View SawdustMill's profile


58 posts in 4585 days

#3 posted 07-18-2008 06:49 PM

It’s this one:

I bought it after an article in WOOD magazine. The blade is fantastic and only cost about $60. Both rip and crosscut cut smoothly and have a fantastic finish. That said, I’ve never tried one of the really expensive blades to compare it to, but I’m very happy with the results.

View Timber4fun's profile


218 posts in 4453 days

#4 posted 07-18-2008 06:53 PM

Thanks. I will definitely check that out. We are on the same page regarding the more expensive blades. I’ve never purchased any of the higher end blades, but I’ve heard a lot of raves about them. I’ll take a look at the Amana. That might be more in my price range.

-- Tim from Iowa City, IA

View Don Newton's profile

Don Newton

732 posts in 4471 days

#5 posted 07-18-2008 08:21 PM

Why do the ship tools without the plug? Possibly to be universal for the Euro market?

-- Don, Pittsburgh

View SawdustMill's profile


58 posts in 4585 days

#6 posted 07-18-2008 09:17 PM

A couple more thoughts that came to mind:

On/Off Switch
I have become quite accustomed to their magnetic lock switch. I like that it takes an extra step before you can turn on the saw. It gives me additional confidence that it won’t start on me unexpectedly. It’s also nice because my young (almost 2 yr old and almost 4 yr old) haven’t been able to figure out how to use it. I keep my shop locked up, but if they come and visit me, they can sometimes try buttons out while I’m not looking.

Quality (Take 2)
Despite my comments above, the overall quality of the saw far surpasses other saws that are just under the price. Originally I was looking to buy a ridgid contractor TS from a big box store. I decided to stretch a bit and get the grizzly. Now when I walk into the big box stores, the saws look low grade in comparison (I hope I don’t offend anyone that has one) So if you are just stretching to get up to the big box saws, I’d fully recommend stretching for this saw, you won’t be disappointed.

View Brad_Nailor's profile


2545 posts in 4810 days

#7 posted 07-18-2008 11:31 PM

Wow..2 good reviews on this saw..hmm..there is a guy on Craigslist that got one of these for his birthday from his wife but he wants a Powermatic. It’s supposedly brand new never used…and he wants $500 or B/O for it….I’m thinking of giving him a call!


View motthunter's profile


2141 posts in 4652 days

#8 posted 07-19-2008 03:34 AM

I am also a grizz fan. Good luck with your new saw.

-- making sawdust....

View USCJeff's profile


1065 posts in 4921 days

#9 posted 07-19-2008 09:41 PM

Almost bought this one. Decided against the hybrid and opted for the 1023 at the last minute. I wasn’t too sure of the hybrids, and the price was close enough that I would’ve kicked myself if it didn’t live up to what I felt it should. That said, I’ve heard great things. I love the 1023, but it sounds like the hybrid is still a decent step up from a true contractor’s saw. I like the fence, but having played with the Bisenmeyer (spelled?) Shop Fox has cloned, it isn’t quite as nice. It locks and stays parallel, and guides with moderate force, but it wasn’t quite the ice skating feeling I got sliding the real thing. The table top has been fairly easy to maintain as well. The sealent came off with a citrus degreaser and the occasional application of TopCoat or something like it has kept it reflective over about 2 years now.

-- Jeff, South Carolina

View steveosshop's profile


230 posts in 4479 days

#10 posted 07-20-2008 01:07 AM

Thanx for the reviews. I have been looking at this saw along with a couple other hybrids for a while now. Good to see some reviews from people with working experience on them.

-- Steve-o

View Callum Kendall's profile

Callum Kendall

1918 posts in 4556 days

#11 posted 07-20-2008 01:19 AM

Thanks for the review!


-- For wood working podcasts with a twist check out

View Timber4fun's profile


218 posts in 4453 days

#12 posted 07-21-2008 01:05 AM

Don – to follow-up on your question, I am not exactly sure. If I were to speculate, I think Grizzly would like the end user to think about the type of electrical circuit we plan to use. I don’t think they want to see us hook it up to a regular 15 AMP 120V service. If we plan to stay with 120V service, they recommend a 30 AMP circuit, as the saw will perform at a much higher level. I currently have mine connected to a 20 AMP circuit and it runs very well. I do agree that connecting it to a 15 AMP circuit would not due it justice. I know the 20 AMP electrical recepticles are a little bit different. I suspect the 30 AMP are as well. The plug I purchased and installed is configured specifically for a 20 AMP receptible. Not sure if I made sense with all that or not. Again, I am just speculating. I just ran down to the hardware store and grabbed the correct plug for my setup.

-- Tim from Iowa City, IA

View Woodshopfreak's profile


389 posts in 4595 days

#13 posted 07-24-2008 05:22 AM

I have heard that Grizzly makes great saws.

-- Tyler, Illinois

View woodspar's profile


710 posts in 4952 days

#14 posted 07-24-2008 06:02 AM

A motor tends to draw a lot of current when it first starts up. A 15 amp circuit would probably trip when starting the saw.

Technically 20 amp plugs and 30 amp plugs are designed differently from 15 amp plugs. The 20 amp plugs have one of the pins “sideways” so that you cannot plug it into a 15 amp circuit. The thirty amp plug is completely different – the pins/ slots are slanted, and I beliieve it is called a “twist lock” plug.

-- John

View Dustin's profile


393 posts in 4303 days

#15 posted 12-17-2008 09:43 AM

Keep in mind men that it doesn’t really matter how many amps your circuit is capable of handling. As long as it can handle enough for the machine. In the end if whatever you have is sufficient they will end up drawing the same number of amps. Preparing for 20 amps for this machine should be plenty. I would never recommend running your machines over 14/2 romex or 15 amp outlets. It’s just cutting it too close.

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