Shelix vs Grizzly Spiral Cutterhead 2016

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Forum topic by Rayne posted 08-21-2016 02:40 AM 10522 views 0 times favorited 10 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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1319 posts in 2786 days

08-21-2016 02:40 AM

Topic tags/keywords: question jointer

Hey fellow LJ’s, I got that 10% Grizzly coupon many got and have been debating on getting a spiral cutterhead for my 6” jointer. What’s everyone’s opinion between the Shelix vs Grizzly’s now? I know this topic has been beaten to death in the past, but how about now? I can get the Shelix one for about $260 after discount, which seems reasonable to me to lower the noise and make it easier to fit nix issues. I’d appreciate your opinions as I decide. Being dormant during the summer sucks, so I’m glad fall/winter is close so I can get back into my shop without dying from humidity/heat.


10 replies so far

View Kelly's profile


3805 posts in 4191 days

#1 posted 08-21-2016 04:16 AM

I can not speak to a Shelix, since I don’t have both heads in my shop, but I can speak to the Grizzly – it eats would like a well behaved guest.

As my review of my eight inch, long bed Grizzly jointer indicates, all the wood I ran over my jointer was highly figured, but came out the other side with little or no tear out.

View JAAune's profile


2038 posts in 3563 days

#2 posted 08-21-2016 04:22 AM

I’ve got the Shelix but not the Grizzly. Based upon what others have said, the shelix cuts better but the difference is pretty insignificant. What may matter however, is that Byrd uses industry standard inserts while Grizzly uses proprietary inserts. So the Grizzly head will be cheaper to purchase but replacement cutters for the Byrd will be cheaper. That’s not a major issue for most hobbyists who will probably never use all 4 edges of the original inserts.

-- See my work at

View Rayne's profile


1319 posts in 2786 days

#3 posted 08-21-2016 01:35 PM

Thanks for the feedback guys. You think a $260 upgrade is worth it? I feel like it is when it comes to figured wood. The shelix is actually cheaper in this case because the 6” Grizzly comes with the bearing blocks and pulley wheel while the shelix is just the cutterhead using your existing bearing blocks and pulley. I have no issues with using the existing as I refurbished my jointer from the ground up and know how to take it apart and put it back together.

View HillbillyShooter's profile


5811 posts in 3539 days

#4 posted 08-21-2016 02:17 PM

Buy the Shelix! I have both an 8” on my joiner and a 15” on my planer. As I understand it, Grizzly inserts are square and Shelix are radial—the joiner and planer heads are round, not square. But, in reality it makes very little difference. My main reason for choosing Shelix is that it is made in America and Grizzly is made in the European rim (or some other foreign country if cheaper).

-- John C. -- "Firearms are second only to the Constitution in importance; they are the peoples' liberty's teeth." George Washington

View JBrow's profile


1368 posts in 2167 days

#5 posted 08-21-2016 02:24 PM


The different cutter heads can have a differing number of inserts or insert rows. I am not sure whether that is the case for the Grizzly and Shelix comparison at hand. By my way of thinking if one cutter head offers more rows of cutters it would seem to me that one perform better and stay sharp longer. With n more rows, it would seem each cutter would work a little less and produce a few more cuts per rotation than on a cutter head with fewer rows.

I really cannot say whether the $260 upgrade is worth it. However, I recently made the switch from straight knives to spiral cutter heads. In addition to reduced tear out and less noise, advantages frequently touted, I found that it seems to require less force to feed the stock. This is handy at the jointer when face jointing a board. The push pads seem to slip far less and require a little less downward pressure, making for better results than with straight knives.

The surface off the jointer and planer after using the spiral cutter head is slightly rippled. A little light sanding gets the stock ready to finish. This was a concern of mine when I made the switch but turned out to be a non-issue. The sanding required on stock milled with the spiral cutter head actually seems to be less than with straight knives. The straight knives seem to develop micro nicks which leave the stock a little rougher than with the spiral cutter head.

The last advantage of the spiral cutter head is that the cutters are carbide and thus should stay sharper longer than HHS straight knives. Thus, more bf can be milled before a cutter change is required. I personally hated to replace and thus reset the straight knives. It also seemed to take me a long time fiddling with the straight knives to get them perfectly set. However, I suspect that replacing/rotating all the cutters on the spiral cutter head is not as easy as it is made out to be. But if done properly, setting the height of the cutters is a no brainer.

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

7236 posts in 3740 days

#6 posted 08-21-2016 03:13 PM

I have the Shelix in both my jointer and the planer, so I can’t compare them to the Griz. But everything I’ve read and heard (from owners) makes me think performance wise there isn’t much difference. I do think the points made about the Shelix (USA, radius edge, etc.) are worth something….to me it would be worth more. Is putting one on worth $260? To me it is, just the noise reduction is worth it, not having to screw around adjusting knives (especially on a jointer) is another big reason.

-- Our village hasn't lost it's idiot, he was elected to congress.

View verdesardog's profile


171 posts in 3858 days

#7 posted 08-21-2016 04:00 PM

I put a shelix head on my dewalt, it was the best investment I have made in woodworking machinery ever!

-- .. heyoka ..

View Mike_D_S's profile


798 posts in 3461 days

#8 posted 08-21-2016 05:10 PM

Not to derail the OP, but I had a couple of questions along the same line of questioning:

1. How do I get a 10% coupon for Grizzly? Mailing list, catalog, make an order?

2. I’ve got a Delta 37-190 and have kicked around the spiral cutterhead. It’s not super difficult to set the knives or shift them for a nick, but I use it a lot and indexing cutterheads sound like a plus for me. Does anybody know if the 6” shelix on Grizzly’s site fit the 37-190? I did a bit of searching and while I know that a lot of these jointers are essentially clones, I can’t seem to find anything that would give me confidence the 37-190 matches any of the jointers on the supported list for the Shelix (or Grizzly) spiral cutterhead.

-- No honey, that's not new, I've had that forever......

View Kirk650's profile


741 posts in 1995 days

#9 posted 08-22-2016 01:26 AM

I have the Grizzly cutter head on my 6 inch Ridgid jointer. It was surprisingly easy to install, which made me very happy. It cuts great. I have rotated the square cutters one 90 degree turn in the past couple of years. The cutters hold up great.

Grizzly has good info on what heads fit your jointer.

View Rayne's profile


1319 posts in 2786 days

#10 posted 08-22-2016 06:05 AM

Thanks for all the feedback everyone. I pulled the trigger on the Shelix. I look forward to getting it installed and see some awesome results. :)

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