Grizzly 8" jointer comparisions

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Review by tooldad posted 09-30-2008 06:18 AM 25577 views 4 times favorited 21 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Grizzly 8" jointer comparisions Grizzly 8" jointer comparisions Grizzly 8" jointer comparisions Click the pictures to enlarge them

It is not too often someone other than a writer from a woodworking magazine gets to buy 2 different models of the same tool and compare them. I looked through the Grizzly catalog and website and did some paper comparision. I chose the G0586 for the school shop. It was $100 cheaper and had handwheel adjustments for both the tables and the fence.

Once I got down to Springfield to pickup the tools, I went shopping for myself (this was planned) My first intention was to get the same jointer that I was getting for the school shop, for myself also. I haven’t been a big fan of the lever table adjustments. Honestly because the one that the shop had before (delta) the kids abused. However some of that is the previous instructor’s attitude, unfortunately. I got to try the levers, and they work great. I like the bigger base cabinet. I only wish they would have incorporated a storage compartment for the wrenches and manual since is mostly dead space inside except for the starter switch box and the dust shoot. I just put the wrenches in a heavy duty ziplock and duct taped them inside. Won’t need them until a blade change.

The fence is taller and longer on the 490. Often time students forget to lock the fence and the handwheel adjustment basically locks itself therefore not needing to worry about that lever getting lost as it did on our delta. The 586 is the one with the smaller handwheel fence.

Both jointers have a control box that is up above and easier to access. I like that feature. The 586 has a 3 system switch, a stop button, power light, and start button. The 490 has just a stop button (with light built in) and a start button (with green light). I like the 586 control box better for one simple reason. When the jointer is locked off, there is no red light on. When the jointer is in what I call neutral, where the stop button has been unlocked, the red light comes on, then you press the green button to start, red button to stop as normal. When you hit the stop button, the red light goes off.

On the 490 when the tool is in the locked off position, the red light is on, as you can see in the pics. When the tool is in “neutral” there are no lights on. When the tool is running, the green light is lit. Not a big deal but my preference is for the switch on the 586.

490 = 3hp motor, 586 = 2 hp motor, bigger motor is usually better, however requires more amperage. The 586 can be wired 110v, where the 490 is 220 only. That may be a consideration for some.

490 has built in mobile base, great in my home shop (24×24). I could have seen all kinds of teenage ingeniuty with a roller base at a high school shop. However it would have been nice for end of year cleaning when we move most of the tools and sweep and vac everywhere.

Fence took a little bit of setup on the 490, fence and table came all as one on the 586, however it was heavier to lift. Either way, you will need a helper or 2 to get the table and fence on top of the base cabinet.

Much easier to work on installing belts, mounting table to cabinet on the 490. The front and back covers came off exposing inside of cabinet. 586 you had to reach inside the dust shoot practically. The electrical box on the 586 is outside the cabinet, where it is inside on the 490. it is outside on the 586 to allow for handwheel room.

The 586 is $100 cheaper in the regular blade model at $695. The 490 is $795. Shipping is same
However with the spiral head, the 586 is 1095, where the 490 is 1075. a wash there.

I would go with the 490 again with the spiral head. I do a lot of face jointing when making cabinet doors. That sprial head is worth the $400. Also changing blades, may take a little longer if you were to do all, but there is no indexing with a knife guide. Already indexed for you.

The 490 is simply a twin to the delta DJ20. That is the older one we have at school. The only upgrades are the top mounted switch pedastal, and the roller base, both nice add ons.

Here are pics of the 586 at school:
grizzly 586 jointer
grizzly 586 jointer table adjustment
grizzly 586 jointer fence

View tooldad's profile


665 posts in 4868 days

21 comments so far

View RDS1's profile


24 posts in 4765 days

#1 posted 09-30-2008 06:25 AM

I think that I have the same jointer, i got it with the spiral head which is sweet. I still like the handwheels, guess I’m old school. I do like the higher fence, but I use a power feed & the taller fence can get in the way. Good luck.

-- Bob Schilke

View John Gray's profile

John Gray

2370 posts in 5038 days

#2 posted 09-30-2008 03:24 PM

Very nice review. THANKS!!!

-- Only the Shadow knows....................

View GaryK's profile


10262 posts in 5141 days

#3 posted 09-30-2008 03:49 PM

Great review!

How good of a job does it do?

-- Gary - Never pass up the opportunity to make a mistake look like you planned it that way - Tyler, TX

View Jeff Kochosky's profile

Jeff Kochosky

8 posts in 4684 days

#4 posted 09-30-2008 04:00 PM

I’m starting to look at putting together a small workshop at home, and Grizzly is one of the companies that I’m taking a serious look at for their equipment. Thank you for the excellent review!

-- Jeff Kochosky, Professional Novice Woodworker...

View DaveH's profile


400 posts in 4931 days

#5 posted 09-30-2008 05:14 PM

I bought the Grizzly G0565 awhile back and have had no problems.

Thanks for the review!

-- DaveH - Boise, Idaho - “How hard can it be? It's only wood!”

View Chris 's profile


1880 posts in 5144 days

#6 posted 09-30-2008 11:55 PM

I have wondered about the Grizzly jointer’s for a while now as that will be my next power tool purchase. How are they in use? Especially as compared to the DJ20 yo mentioned earlier….

-- "Everything that is great and inspiring is created by the individual who labors in freedom" -- Albert Einstein

View CedarFreakCarl's profile


594 posts in 5207 days

#7 posted 10-01-2008 12:13 AM

That’s a great comparison/review. I just ordered the GX490 w/spiral cutter head last Friday and picked it up today at UPS. I can’t believe how fast it got here. It’s on my trailer outside the shop even as we speak and I’ve got to go round up some Egyptians to help me unload it. I’ll let you know how it goes. Thanks!

-- Carl Rast, Pelion, SC

View tooldad's profile


665 posts in 4868 days

#8 posted 10-01-2008 03:45 AM

I am impressed with the bang for the buck that grizzly provides. All in all, I still prefer a powermatic or delta. But on a teacher’s salary, you either can get one powermatic tool, or several grizzly tool.

My previous jointer was the grizzly 6”, not sure of the model number, but I found the recipt and gave it to another teacher when he bought it from me. I paid $350 back in 2002. Never even changed the blades. I face jointed several bd ft of oak for cabinet doors, and just about every project I put together, I used the jointer. I did end up with a knick or two, but could work around them by moving the fence or just planing both sides once I had a flat surface.

My only regret back in 2002 was not getting the 8” model. However I did sell the 6” for $250, not too bad.

I love the sprial head. We ordered 2 planers, one last year 20” and one this year 15” both with sprials. We had the 3ph 20” for 12 years and instead of replacing the head for about a grand, I convinced administration to let me get the newer planer and sold the old on ebay for $500 to help pay for some of it.

My next review will be on the spiral head planers both 15” and 20”.

View Huckleberry's profile


218 posts in 5006 days

#9 posted 10-02-2008 03:31 PM

We have the 10” version of this one in our shop and I really like it. Thanks for the review.

-- I cut it twice and the damn thing is still too [email protected]#$%

View jaxx's profile


66 posts in 4670 days

#10 posted 10-09-2008 12:23 AM

amazing prices, in spain this would cost 3 times the price.

View matt garcia's profile

matt garcia

1932 posts in 4825 days

#11 posted 10-09-2008 05:31 AM

I own a Grizzly G0586, and purchased the spiral carbide cutterhead also. I love mine!! What a workhorse it is, and man what a great price!! Sure does make a bunch of chips!!

-- Matt Garcia Wannabe Period Furniture Maker, Houston TX

View James Lango's profile

James Lango

186 posts in 4687 days

#12 posted 10-13-2008 07:05 AM

I love Grizzly’s woodworking tools. I highly recommend them to anyone who is looking for serious equipment. Something to look at> My cheap little Grizzly 12” planer is made in China, whereas all their better equipment is made in Taiwan (my Tablesaw). IMO China is the “new” Taiwan. Taiwan industrialized in the late 70’s, and since have much improved their machining qualities to a very high standard. Makes you wonder about the whole marketing concept behind it.
Grizzly puts their name on the cheaper/lesser quality tools and has them manufactored in China. When it comes to the larger machines and equipment they make no sacrifices and build in Taiwan. When I or someone I know is thinking about a new machine, I highly recommend Grizzly tools.

Seems not many people know about Grizzly because they spend less on advertising compared to Delta, Jet, Ridgid, and Dewalt. Their woodworking tools are much less expensive and just as good-or better then the “big guys”.

I would also place PowerMatic in the same category(although i own none). Same goes for hand tools such as SnapOn. The better quality tool manufactors spend less on advertising and more on development, compensation, and employee benifits.

Just my 2cents from a happy Grizzly owner.

-- [email protected]

View JimE's profile


4 posts in 4599 days

#13 posted 12-18-2008 07:25 PM

Hi. I just joined the forum as I was researching for jointer comparisions. I am also interested in the Grizzly G0490 with a spiral head. Can you tell how me well you can get your boards flat and square? How is the initial set up with a parallelogram table? I currently (and unfortunately) own a Rikon 6” that needs a good home in the nearest dumpster. I have purchased a mortising machine from Grizzly earlier this year and had to return it when it arrived because the base was cracked in two. They sent a new one without any problems and it works just fine. So I think their customer service it good. I’m thinking about making the 8 hour drive over the holidays and pick one up in Springfield. However, I want to be sure its a good machine. I already made one costly mistake on the Rikon. Are you still satisfied after using it for a while now?

Thanks. Jim in Indiana.

-- Jim

View Loucarb's profile


2388 posts in 4598 days

#14 posted 12-20-2008 12:34 AM

I am new to the forum also and own an older 6” jet that I was never happy with. I have been looking at 490X also. Your review is great and may have tipped the scale and I would also like to know if you are still happy with your choice?? Thanks, Lou

View HybridIndie's profile


8 posts in 5133 days

#15 posted 02-17-2009 05:14 PM

I just bought the 490X and have had it for about 2 weeks. Aside of having to run a new 220 line from my box, I love it. I work with a lot of highly figured wood and experience none of the tearout / gashing for standard blades. The parallelogram beds truly rock. It makes the adjustments beautifully easy, and setting up to just “skim” the surface at a 16th or even a 32nd, with accuracy, is really nice. I do a lot of restoration on antiques and you have to be a precise as you can, and quite frankly I just wouldn’t make any money if i sanded these dimensions off. When I talked with the Grizzly sales guy, he was telling me that the parallelogram beds are the direction everyone is going and resale (cause inevitably you will just want a bigger unit =D ) is much higher on these types of units, and that’s always good to know. This Jointer is truly an investment, but a well worth one.

-- Such a Beautiful Place When You See It From Space

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