Byrd head for Ridgid 6"Jointer - Worth it?

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Forum topic by gtbuzz posted 03-16-2014 09:58 PM 11279 views 1 time favorited 32 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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427 posts in 3414 days

03-16-2014 09:58 PM

Just noticed that Grizzly carries the Byrd H7764 6” helical head that’s compatible with my Ridgid JP0610 jointer. Normally, I’ve seen them sell for in the $300-$350 range but Grizzly has it for $280, plus theres the 10% sale coupon available. With shipping, it would bring the total price to right around $281. Probably the best price I’ve seen for that in a while. My question is, would it be a worthwhile upgrade? I paid $250 for the jointer itself secondhand so it’d would be doubling the cost.

The cut quality I get off it right now is decent enough, but I also have a Steel City planer with the segmented cutter head and that definitely does a better job with figured woods (its much closer if the jointer knives are sharp, but that doesn’t last long). Probably the biggest thing I don’t like about the jointer is having to set the knives. It seems that this would alleviate that by quite a bit. The grizzly 6” jointer with spiral cutter head is about $825 with the discount, so that’ll cost me more out of pocket and I don’t think it would be that big of an upgrade since its still a 6” head and dovetailed ways. Probably ideal situation would be to get a combo jointer/planer with the helical head, but that’s not really in the budget right now.

Any thoughts?

32 replies so far

View MT_Stringer's profile


3183 posts in 4204 days

#1 posted 03-16-2014 10:26 PM

I just put one on my Jet 6 incher and so far, I really like it.

-- Handcrafted by Mike Henderson - Channelview, Texas

View Shawn Masterson's profile

Shawn Masterson

1325 posts in 2921 days

#2 posted 03-16-2014 10:39 PM

The idea of a HH cutter is very appealing at that price. My only question to you is do you think this is the last jointer you will ever own? You know what I mean. I liked my 6” delta with the art deco stand, but I just went up to an older 8” grizzly and wow. I really don’t know how I went this long on a 6”. I guess my point is if you decide to upgrade is there a market where you will get a fair return on the sale of the Ridgid. just food for thought. I didn’t think I would ever buy a planer over 15”, but ended up with a 20”

Just be cautious on upgrade to you current machines so it will be easier to upgrade later.

View MT_Stringer's profile


3183 posts in 4204 days

#3 posted 03-16-2014 11:11 PM

In my case, it will be my last jointer I buy. Unless I win the lottery. :-)
I have a small workspace that shares space with a planer and drum sander.
At my age (65), this should be my last one.

-- Handcrafted by Mike Henderson - Channelview, Texas

View Ingjr's profile


144 posts in 3989 days

#4 posted 03-17-2014 12:30 AM

I have that exact set-up. Bought it new unused but from an individual that never got around to installing it. Paid $200 but having used one for a while now I wouldn’t be hesitant to spend $280 in an instant. It’s a worth while upgrade and I never have to set the knives again. Does seem to drag the jointer down a bit compared to the straight knives but just slow the feed rate down a bit.

-- The older I get the faster I was.

View distrbd's profile


2252 posts in 3419 days

#5 posted 03-17-2014 01:21 AM

I think it’s worth it if you use your jointer often ,I have a Ridgid jointer also and would consider the blades/cutterhead swap but my jointer gets used once in a while and the regular knives do an acceptable job .
Here’s a link from another WW site that might interest you.

-- Ken from Ontario, Canada

View SamuraiSaw's profile


513 posts in 2937 days

#6 posted 03-17-2014 01:38 AM

Helical heads are great, but you’re putting lipstick on a pig. Put the money towards a decent machine.

-- Artisan Woodworks of Texas....

View Aj2's profile


3595 posts in 2771 days

#7 posted 03-17-2014 01:59 AM

The samuri has it right ,execept it’s more like a pearl handle on a pick!

-- Aj

View distrbd's profile


2252 posts in 3419 days

#8 posted 03-17-2014 02:01 AM

Or a miniskirt on a monkey.

-- Ken from Ontario, Canada

View Shawn Masterson's profile

Shawn Masterson

1325 posts in 2921 days

#9 posted 03-17-2014 02:53 AM

samuri that is kind of where I was going. way to put it blunt.

View gtbuzz's profile


427 posts in 3414 days

#10 posted 03-17-2014 06:25 PM

Thanks for the replies, really enjoyed some of them.

In my research, I seem to have found two camps – those that did purchase it and love it and those that say just get a bigger machine. I was in the latter camp at first, the lipstick on a pig camp, but I’ve started to come around since posting this, thinking more about my specific situation

  • Everyone that did do it seems quite happy
  • An 8” jointer is out of the question in the current shop. I’ve only wanted to joint something > 6” wide once and I basically made a 6” rabbet, stuck it on a flat board and then sent it through the planer that way. Maybe if I had an 8” jointer the opportunity would have presented itself more often, but I think it’s been partially mitigated via stock selection
  • Only real upgrade path for me right now is a combo machine. It’s out of the budget right now. The one I had my eye on originally was the Baileigh at around $1800, but since they jacked up the price $1k overnight inexplicably, that’s no longer in the running. Next “affordable” choice would be the new Rikon with HH or the Grizzly, but that’s $2400. So if I sold the jointer, planer and added on what I’m gonna spend for this head, I’m at about $900-$1000. Still need another $1500 in the swear jar
  • These Ridgid jointers are pretty darn expensive on CL around here (seen crappy ones sell for the $350 range, with rust and all). I think I can come pretty close to breaking even on the whole setup at the end of the day

Even then though, I think I’m only mildly leaning towards it. As I’ve said, I get pretty decent results with the knives if they’re sharp. I just despise setting them. Got another few days to change my mind another 50 times :)

View Loren's profile


10936 posts in 4621 days

#11 posted 03-17-2014 06:48 PM

My view on helical jointer heads is that you’ll be doing all the
finish planing with a planer, so the investment in cut
quality on the jointer in questionable.

The other issue is resale value and difficulty of resale because
pricier machines are harder to unload unless you sell
them cheap. If we were talking about a 12” or larger
jointer and you were unlikely to ever want to upgrade
to a larger one, then why not splurge on a cutterhead?
but in terms of a machine class (6”) that many woodworkers
consider to be a stepping-stone to a larger machine,
I question the wisdom of the spiral cutterhead from a
financial point of view.

I am not saying you should want to get a larger jointer.
Large jointers are suitable for larger work and larger
work spaces and it’s simply a matter of the sort of
woodworking you intend to do.

View WorksInTheory's profile


224 posts in 2575 days

#12 posted 03-17-2014 08:00 PM

My experience is very junior compared to those around here but I think I heard someone say it best but regarding a table saw.

In the end the machine is pretty simple, it turns something at a quick speed. So I say it doesn’t matter if it’s a Ridgid or a Grizzly or a Powermatic – it’s what you have. And if the features or downfalls of the Ridgid don’t get in the way of the realizing the benefits of the helical cutters, then I don’t see an issue and it’s worth it. The only time something is not worth it is if the machine itself will get in the way of realizing the very thing that you paid $280 to get!

View NiteWalker's profile


2741 posts in 3550 days

#13 posted 03-17-2014 08:39 PM

Go for it.
My jointer will be one with a helical head and when I can afford it I’ll put one in my dw734 planer too.

You get longer blade life, no knife setting jig necessary works better with figured woods, etc.
IMHO no reason not to.

The ridgid jointer is a nice machine.
Not everyone has the need, want or space for a 12” behemoth.

-- He who dies with the most tools... dies with the emptiest wallet.

View rrww's profile


263 posts in 3086 days

#14 posted 03-17-2014 09:21 PM

They are nice, but do you need it?

If you ever play with reclaimed materials
If you deal with (a bunch) knotty material
If you deal with (a bunch) figured material
If you do this for a living (time = money)

Then yes the helical head is worth it.

If you don’t- then keeping a good set of really sharp knives, and getting a setup jig for knife changes is all you need.

View marvinlee's profile


37 posts in 3162 days

#15 posted 03-13-2016 03:03 AM

In my case, it will be my last jointer I buy. Unless I win the lottery. :-)
I have a small workspace that shares space with a planer and drum sander.
At my age (65), this should be my last one.

- MT_Stringer

Dear Stringer, I am much older than you and still find that I crave new and better tools. Be advised!

-- Marvin, Kiger Island

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