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Forum topic by zindel posted 04-07-2011 11:01 PM 2057 views 0 times favorited 31 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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257 posts in 3259 days

04-07-2011 11:01 PM

Okay so i know this topic has pretty much been hammered over and over again, and trust me i have read many many form topics about it. However i must ask as a new up to date question…Grizzly seems to be getting better with the quality of their tools. And from what i have heard, powermatic is now owned by the same company as jet? From my understanding it seems to me that powermatic is becoming lower in standards and grizzly is getting higher? Anyways main question is, money aside (i can always save) would it be better to invest in powermatic still or should i go with my second choice grizzly, or am i wrong on grizzly being second best? I am pretty set on a powermatic table saw but im talking planer/jointer, shaper, and bandsaw.

-- If you can't fix it with a hammer, You've got an electrical problem.

31 replies so far

View reggiek's profile


2240 posts in 3879 days

#1 posted 04-07-2011 11:15 PM

I was talking to the guy that owns a lumberyard near me and he recently had a real problem with powermatic…he said the customer support was still good….but the tech and quality control is very deficient. The tool he had the trouble with was the industrial planer….they shipped it with non matched old parts (supposed to be a new machine)....then when some of them failed…they couldn’t get replacements for 4 months….it was a horror story right out of the Laguna book.

This is the first time I have heard a story this bad about Powermatic…so I am watching to see if more crop up. My understanding is that the new tools are becoming low quality…but so far the customer support is holding up….It will be sad to see another formerly quality company go to the dogs…it costs alot of money to start up a manufacturing business of this sort so we will not see alot of new entrants into the market….everytime one goes bad…we consumers lose.

-- Woodworking.....My small slice of heaven!

View cabmaker's profile


1745 posts in 3418 days

#2 posted 04-07-2011 11:20 PM

Your analagy is pretty acurate. Powermatic is not what it once was and grizzly is much more than it once was. Each have thier own shining stars and thier dogs. I really have to sympathise with those that are just now trying to out fit shops and such. Quality across the board is not like it was 30 yrs ago. In some instances it may be better but when it comes to castiron,and other sheetmetals use in making equip. its just not there. Pretty much goes for handtools as well. I walk through the tool isles and have to hang my head seeing the junk that peaple have to choose from. What is now called industrial used to be standard often times. On the grizzly thing, I beleve what makes them what they are today is thier catalog. It is the best layed out rendering of tools and equip. I have ever seen. I personally think Most of their equip. will rival most others out there that youll find in the same catagory. I would of coarse have to exclude their slider saws along with a few otheritems. Good luck !

View dbhost's profile


5777 posts in 3841 days

#3 posted 04-07-2011 11:50 PM

If you were talking about mint condition, or very good condition easily restored 20 year old Powermatic machines versus new grizzly, not a hard choice to make, go with the PMs… The new stuff however is for the most part all made in the same Chinese and Taiwanese factories albeit with different feature sets. Grizzly has chosen some very attractive features for the $$ for sure!

Now say for example, if I had say $50K to spend on tools, building, and materials to get a new small wood shop up and going, I wouldn’t even look at Powermatic, but would be spending LOTS of quality time in the Grizzly catalog…

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View zindel's profile


257 posts in 3259 days

#4 posted 04-07-2011 11:56 PM

Yeah i am talking about all new, i know Powermatic from even 10 years ago was top of the line better than anything out there then and now…but those days have come and gone sadly. I watch Craigs like crazy wishing for a great deal on PM but in my area there just isn’t anything.

-- If you can't fix it with a hammer, You've got an electrical problem.

View tenontim's profile


2131 posts in 4353 days

#5 posted 04-08-2011 12:58 AM

I think the only thing that might weed them out would be comparing features. I’ve had a Grizzly 15” plane for over 5 years, and it has performed great. I’ve never looked back in regard to this purchase. I’ve had a PM 6” jointer for almost 10 years, been very happy with it, but the main reason I bought it was the longer tables. No one else offer the longer tables on a 6” jointer. If the Grizzly tools have the features you want, I’m sure you’ll be happy with them, and the left over money you’ll have.

View bunkie's profile


415 posts in 3756 days

#6 posted 04-08-2011 01:02 AM

In the past two years, I bought a 1023SL cabinet saw and a G0555P bandsaw and both are fine (and very inexpensive) machines. There are a lot of things I wouldn’t buy from Grizzley but their mainstream woodworking machines are off the chart when it comes to what you get for your money.

Case in point: I spent $395 on the G0555P and another $59 for the riser block and about $60 for the mobile base. Yes, the stock blades were junk. But the tool itself is nicely finished, powerful and it has a first-rate manual. So for about $600 (after I bought quality blades from Highland) I have a killer setup.

I do love fine things. The problem is that there are no more really fine woodworking machines. There is slightly better for a lot more money. I can’t justify it.

-- Altruism is, ultimately, self-serving

View knotscott's profile


8364 posts in 3984 days

#7 posted 04-08-2011 01:24 AM

It’s hard to compare all PM with all Grizzly….best to compare each tool in question…. it turns into a Chevy/Ford argument without good research. Since Grizzly is a direct importer, and PM uses retailers, there are some significant savings going the direct route if you’re willing to be your own middle man. If you prefer to pay a premium for dealer support, definitely go PM (or Jet, Shop Fox, Delta, Steel City, Rikon, Minimax, Laguna, etc.) PM does not always offer better quality than Griz, but are generally very well regarded….much of that reputation was earned when they were manufacturing in the US. Both companies offer some good tools IMO…it’s hard to beat some of the Grizzly values for hobby work IMO.

-- Happiness is like wetting your pants...everyone can see it, but only you can feel the warmth....

View drewnahant's profile


222 posts in 3698 days

#8 posted 04-08-2011 01:34 AM


I have a theory, because almost all my tools are grizzly, about 20 years old ( from my father) and they are excellent quality, I have never had an issue with any of them, and I have heard how good their quality is now. My theory is, because they went to Taiwan, China, etc. before everyone else, they were able to demand quality in an environment where manufacturing contracts were not flooding in as they are now. Since they set up good factories back then, they are able to maintain their quality today, while the late joiners to the outsourcing movement cannot.

This is just my observation, maybe someone with more history on grizzly can correct me, or confirm.

Anyway, I have a friend with a powermatic 6” jointer, and he has had to get half the castings replaced (fence, infeed table, bearing supports) , and still has stacks of shims in it to level the tables. I am amazed at the deficiency in quality, and their insinstance on repairing it instead of replacing it at this point, I guess I would say their customer service is on par with their quality.

View a1Jim's profile


117909 posts in 4186 days

#9 posted 04-08-2011 01:42 AM

I agree that Grizzly has improved over the years. I always tell my students if there is anyway they can swing a SAW Stop get one ,if not I would go grizzly. even though I own a Powermatic 66.


View zindel's profile


257 posts in 3259 days

#10 posted 04-08-2011 04:19 AM

wow thanks everyone for the posts! But Jim, I heard…and again this could be wrong, but i have heard that sawstop will be selling it’s information on their technology to other companies like griz and pm and stop producing the sawstop. However i found that hard to be true but it has kinda made me think that if it is true then people with a sawstop would be out of luck for replacement parts unless someone else picked it up.

-- If you can't fix it with a hammer, You've got an electrical problem.

View extremehobbiest's profile


42 posts in 3595 days

#11 posted 04-08-2011 02:05 PM

Based on my experiences with several Grizzly machines about 15 years ago, I will never again purchase a Grizz anything. I got what I paid for – CHEAP and very marginal to unacceptable machines and that is about it. I have since dumped those machines. If Grizz has improved their quality, that is great but they have struck out too many times to suit me and will never enter my shop period. I have not owned any Powermatic so cannot offer any comments on this brand. I did chuckle at the salivating comment, the thought that came to me was another rendition of the same product – spit.

View Tennwood's profile


112 posts in 3790 days

#12 posted 04-08-2011 02:40 PM

I got the PM2000 cabinet saw about 1-1/2 years ago and have not had any issues. It isn’t perfect in its design but overall it has been very reliable and functional, and customer service is very good. A relative also had the same saw for several years and his positive input helped sway me to the saw. I also debated about the Griz and saving some money. I ended up getting the PM as Woodcraft had them on sale. It was nice to be able to “touch and feel” the saw they had on the floor and compare it to the Saw Stop and Delta they had on display. Another big bonus was they not only delivered the saw to my house but helped me get it into the basement (all four of us). If I had the money, I probably would have gone with the Delta (only US built saw), but I have no regrets.

-- Jim, SE Tennessee, "Don't spare the kindling Dear, we have plenty"

View JWags's profile


64 posts in 3270 days

#13 posted 04-08-2011 02:46 PM

I studied for a long time before making my Grizzly purchases. For me – I got value – a whole lot of tool for a far more reasonable price. I was on the fence but then the annual issue of Fine Woodworking had Grizzly bandsaws as both best overall and best value. I think I ordered the next day. Table saw, bandsaw and drill press and as soon as I figure out the rest of the room I have remaining, probably a surface planer and jointer.

From experience I can also say that Grizzly customer service and technical support are truly excellent. They helped me through a setup issue on the GO690 saw, and sent replacements for some stuff damaged by the shipper immediately – no questions asked. Then surprised me with later followup calls to make sure all was well. I was very impressed with that.


-- James - I don't like jogging - the ice pops out of my glass...

View HorizontalMike's profile


7804 posts in 3523 days

#14 posted 04-08-2011 02:50 PM

My Grizzly experience is more recent. Last summer (2010) I bought a NEW G0690 TS and picked up a USED G0593 8” Jointer. I have been very pleased with both machines and with Grizzly Customer Service (during the initial purchase of the TS and accessories).

I guess it may be a matter of …how high on the food chain the WW’r is comfortable with that matters. IMO, the higher you go, the greater the chance of negativity sprouting up. The more I use the TS and Jointer, the happier I am about my purchasing decision. To me, buying these same type tools at a higher price would have been foolish and a waste of $$$. I am pleased with the fit, finish, and function of Grizzly products.

-- HorizontalMike -- "Woodpeckers understand..."

View extremehobbiest's profile


42 posts in 3595 days

#15 posted 04-08-2011 03:22 PM

“I guess it may be a matter of …how high on the food chain the WW’r is comfortable with that matters. IMO, the higher you go, the greater the chance of negativity sprouting up. ” – HUH???

This statement makes no sense and I have no earthly idea what you mean by “high on the food chain”. I would surmize that the greater the sales volume and the crappier the machine, the greater chance of negativity sprouting up.

The value aspect is highly subjective and user dependent. The folks who purchased my used Grizz seemed to be quite pleased where I was totally disappointed with the same machinery.

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