View Full Version : Grizzly
06-08-2001, 10:41 AM
I am, as most of you regulars know a relative newcomer to the game so consequently I don't know a lot about different tool manufacturers. I received a Grizzly catalog and have been glancing through it and I wad surprized to see the size and capabilities of their tools; for a company to produce such serious looking machinery and of course high dollar as well. I am surprised at the number of posts I read that are anti-Grizzly. How can a company that appears to be deep into this size of tools have such a bad side. Is it just a few bad apples I'm listening to or are they really a bad company with a low QA Program or is it just the low end tools they are producing that doesn't stand up to the standards of Powermatic ,Delta and Jet. It seems to me that once a few posts are are aired that everyone else or a high number of folks jump on the band wagon and stomp their feet just to be heard.
I myself don't knock a tool until it has failed me personally.,being the compulsive individual that I am I jumped in with all four feet and bought $7000.00 dollars worth of Craftsman tools at one time. Naturally I did not do one minute of research into tools I just told my Bohemian that i was bored and was going to go buy some WW tools. I knew the the $ were going to be high so I didn't mention that. until after the fact. Things were kind of cool around here for a few days back in January. I have also purchased a Delta tenoning jig and a Freud and PC routers. I have not had a major problem or dislike of any of the tools in the last 5 months. I did do some aftermarket upgrades to the Miter guide on the TS and had to modify the tenoning jig to fit the craftsman TS.
I of course realise I could have done better on price and better on quality but what is done is done but it remains to be seen when the tools I have are going to fail or disapoint me. I am totally satisfied with what I have at the moment. They have given me all I have asked of them and I'm happy with that.
If Jet would have returned my phone call in a timely manner I probably would have all Jet tools but thy waited over a week after I explained I was setting up a new shop and was interested buying the complete setup,. I contacted Rigid and they would not even talk about a discount after $3000 where Sears gave me 12% straigh across the board with free delivery and off loading.
Thats my story and Im sticking to it,got to go the doctor now so will read about how dumb and stupid i was when I get back.
Shawn DuGay (Guest)
06-08-2001, 12:02 PM
I agree with you about a few bad apples. I am certain (because I did a TON of research) that for every make and model of TS, Jointer, Planer, etc. you will find at least one terrible review. The herd mentality seems to prevail on a lot of these forums. I don't mean that in a negative way, it's just that I had the opportunity to put my hands on the Grizzly and use it for about an hour and was great. My brother-in-law is the C.O.O. of a boat manufacturer and they have a bunch of the G1023's running three shifts six days a week without any real problems. My dealings with Grizzly have been exemplary, while the service I received from Jet was awful. I wouldn;t hesitate to consider Jet for a future purchase though. My point is, YOU have to make up your own mind and buy what seems to work for you, not everyone else on the planet.
My Two Cents
06-08-2001, 12:06 PM
I would not call you any names. I think that if you had joined the forum before you bought you might not have gone with Sears, but that is that.
On to Grizzly, They have good spots and bad. They don't make tools they buy them and import them as private lable tools. Like Sears. I own their 2 hp Dust collector and have for years and never had a problem with it. The only issue is that their quality control is not as high as some of the others, but you pay a lot less than the others. Most of the people tha buy the cabinet saws they sell are very happy, some have issues with setup and finish details.
I would not put my trust in any one brand. They all have strong points and weak points and each tool has the best brand for your use that may be different than for mine.
That is how I see it.
06-08-2001, 12:29 PM
You done just fine! Everybody has an opinion, just like they have a rectum.
If you like what you have, it's really nobodies concern. It's your shop to set up anyway you please!
Anybody elses preference don't matter a bit. It isn't THIS brand, or THIS model.
It's the man or woman using the tool that makes or breaks a personal project.
Some guys will only use hand tools, period. Galloots, they call themselves.
Others, like me, strive for various machinery ways.
What's in the shop is purely secondary to what the Craftsperson does with those tools.
And even Delta dumps some bad machinery on the market. I hated the four months of the Delta drum sander in my shop. Others like it, and appearently get acceptable results. I could as well, but 50 passes wasn't the way I wanted to spend my time. Only to find the end result wasn't close to the advertisement claims.
No mater what brand name, the bottom line is is it right for the individual? Is it going to get you where you want to be with your desires.
It needn't cost multiple thousands of dollars to cut a board. And one individuals idea of poor fit and finish is a point of complete triumph for another.
That's why I don't put much credence in reviews. I base my choices on my desires, how it feels to ME, and what else I can do with it beyond the immediate need.
Everybody bad mouths the Delta 6" jointer. To small, to this, too that. It fits me and what I want, so that's what I bought. The rest can go piss up a rope. My tool, my shop!
You choose what you wanted, got what you felt was a good deal (and it sounds like a great deal to me getting 12% off across the whole deal), and from what I've seen you do stunningly beautiful work with your shop!
I don't call any tools a POS. But if they aren't adiquate for MY shop, they don't stay.
Just the drum sander was a throw back so far. And it took me a third of a year to make that decision.
I have and use several Craftsman tools in my shop. John's cigar box was dovetailed on a Craftsman dovetail jig. It has invisable joint lines. Didn't cost an arm and a leg neither for the dovetail jig. And I used my 1 1/2 HP Craftsman router for the bit.
Nobody can tell you or I that Craftsman tools won't do the job. We have PROOF they will. Published proof.
I've yet to see anything from some of the loudest of doughting Thomas' out there.
Makes one wonder if the rectum is as large as the opinion?
I know folks who could break an anvil with a glass hammer. And folks who could make a glass hammer by chipping it out on an anvil.
You just enjoy your shop and ta hell with the BS.
I know you can do great work and enjoy the trip doing it.
If others think your tool choices aren't the best, well that makes YOU all the better of a Craftsman in my eye's.
And they can tamp sand up their opinion!
"Precision Firewood Specialist"
06-08-2001, 12:58 PM
The rest of us may just stand and hold our hats to our chests after that.
Sonny, you are one awesomely eloquent character. You have just summed up part and parcel of everything that drives all these forums that you & I visit so often. Beautifully said, no questions left, I may just pack up and go home now because there's nothing left to be said.
Everybody: Listen to this guy! He is GOOD!
-- Tim --
06-08-2001, 01:34 PM
Just tell it like I see it.
Now darn it my friend you tell it like you see it as well!
I'm an a**hole, I intend to continue to be as such.
If it bruses toes, well, so be it. Sorry.
But I do love to share on these forums.
And it's just this a'holes opinion. Not for everybody.
But I consider most to be real friends, therefore I will treat you like you're family.
Sometimes I tend to spank to get the point acrossed.
"Precision Firewood Specialist"
06-08-2001, 01:55 PM
Well ,I just read my own post hahaha .I started off with a question and ended up with my story of buying into the business.
You all must forgive me sounded like i was looking for sympathy. I wasn't and thanks for your remarks. I didn't think it would be any other way.
You are right of course all of you and Lou is right on Sears they got lucky and got my money. I probably would have gone another way had I stopped to take a breath.
I got rid of my practice wife too.......but these tools will probably will end up with my grandsons......The boat and fishing gear go to one..... the guns and hunting gear go to another and no one has shown an interest except the youngest grand daughter, maybe I'll put them up for grabs.
Time to stop venting..... have a good weekend
06-08-2001, 04:33 PM
Well, I tell you what - you see it damn good.
BTW - Dick and Sonny both - I gotta admit that I have my share of Craftsman tools, too. It's true that I'm not nearly as pleased with the Craftsman router than with my PC 690 - but I'm also not as pleased with my Skil plunge as with the PC. Got spoiled when I got that one.
On the other hand, I do own - and like very much - my Craftsman:
*Radial Arm Saw
*Bandsaw (also my old Walker-Turner)
*Table Saw (the little ancient one, not Craftsman but Sears)
Maybe some other brand name would be nicer to use, but I don't really have any problem with any of these tools. I can do anything with these that anybody can do with their more-expensive tools. It may take me a little more time and care, but like Sonny said - it ain't the Craftsmand tool in the hand, it's the tool in the hand of the Craftsman.
DL, use what you have until you become dissatisfied. Maybe that day will never come. Actually, I don't think I need to say that - you're doing that already.
...and if somebody gives you a hard time about buying Craftsman, maybe they're trying to justify their own purchase to themselves... ya think? Hell, maybe in saying what I'm saying I'm trying to justify my purchases... :) ...oboy - now I've gone into the Twilight Zone. I better clip this off and go home.
Everybody - have a superb weekend! They don't come around often enough.
-- Tim --
06-09-2001, 12:47 AM
On the Craftsman tools: As long as they work for you, it's all that matters.
On Grizley: I've never ever even seen one. I've only seen love hate opinions. It's strange that we never see the middle ground like, 'Yeah, it's fairly good wiget, it's not a <fill in the blank> but it's still fairly good.' I don't know why Grizley is like that. Could it be that Grizley is the ultimate <again fill in the blank> depending upon the luck of the shipment? (I don't think so, but you never know.)
ENOUGH! Go make sawdust.
Dave Frattaroli (Guest)
06-11-2001, 08:18 AM
I own the Grizzly Jig-Saw (Bosch Clone). It didn't come with a case or any blades but I threw some Bosch blades on it and it easily cut through my DIY Router Table when I needed to rough cut the opening for the insert. The cut was super smooth too. It looks and feels exactly the same as the Bosch. It's just green.
For $59, it's a tremendous value.
06-12-2001, 08:00 AM
I hear a lot beeing said about "being happy with what ever you have" or "what feels good to you" and "its not the tool , but the one behind the tool". That's all good, but isn't that like not knowing any better. You learn to use a tool . Do OK work, untill by chance you stumble across a tool that helps you do REAL NICE work.I my self like to hear what others have to say about the tools they have expeirences with. There's no way I could get my hands on all the tools used out there. I'm sure alot of you guys have said " If I could go back , I would get this tool or that tool INSTEAD". I want to know what tool you would like to have NOW. If I buy something, I'm more than likely not going to replace it . I've already spent the money , it's in the shop, I'v learned to use it. But could I have spent a little more money or waited a little longer for it to come in the mail and had a chance to do a LITTLE nicer work or made it a LITTLE easier on my self with something else? That kind of info could save me from lots of frustration or spending more money replaceing something I've already bought instead of something I don't have yet.
Hope I haven't offended anyone. Just my two cents. :-)
LAST EDITED ON Jun-12-01 AT 10:25AM (CDT)[p]Lance,
You have a good point about selecting tools and asking advice, but you should also understand that there are many opinions about tools and if you don't care about the particular posting skip it and go on to the next one. Most all of us would like to buy the best, if we could afford it. Having the best tools doesn't make the craftsman though. Knowing how to use them is what transforms it into a work of art. You know there's always going to be a better something out there.
Having a great table saw that cuts like butter with bells and whisles and micro adjustments is great, but Dad's old saw with a new fence and a good setup works just as well as the new one. Look at the UNISAW, it's construction hasen't changed in 50 years, same arbor, same table top.
Having a feel for your tools is what comes with time. I do a lot of sign work and I use my 15 year old craftsman router for most of the work. It's comfortable and I know what to expect from it. I have newer ones on the bench but I always seem to reach for that one. I'm sure there are a lot of us that do the same. I picked up an HATACHI 3 1/4 hp plunge router a few months ago and used it once on a sign and realized it was too much for me. It now works great in the router table. So ask away about tools but also let us know what your experience level is and what you intend to do with it. There are a lot of great folks at this site that will spend a lot of time explaining just about everything and anything you ask about.
A Connecticut Yankee
Too much coffee this morning.
06-12-2001, 10:30 AM
You haven't even begun to offend anybody. This is exactly what we're here for - to talk things out, hear everybody's viewpoint, maybe adjust our own outlooks a little here & there.
I, for one, can appreciate your point - and I can see the potential for frustration.
I suppose that, in a sense, I am in favor of turning a blind eye to the machines we don't have. After all, once we have a machine - any machine - there's always going to be something a little nicer or more powerful or more versatile out there... but it costs more money than we already spent on what we have, or it doesn't have some feature that we like on our existing machine.
For example, maybe we currently own a contractor-grade 10" table saw with a 120V motor. If we don't turn a blind eye, we'll really want that White Edition Unisaw with the 3HP 240V motor and the "Big B" 50" fence - at four times the price we paid for the saw we have... and now it isn't portable (and we couldn't plug it in if it was). Hell, we can't even move it around in the shop!
I guess what I'm saying here is that you can't have it all.
There's also the undeniable fact that there have always been some people who could turn out magnificent work with very little for tools and resources. It brings to mind some woodworking shops in Mexico where the table saw is shopbuilt from wooden planks and the arbor is just a Sears work arbor with no height adjustment (maximum all the time) and no possibility of tilting the arbor. Some of these shops can and do turn out beautiful furniture. What are we doing with all our fancy gear?
So - pick out something that you think you'll like to use. Spend what you must to get it, learn to use it, get accustomed to it, and if it turns out to be just plain impractical and unsatisfactory - get rid of it eventually and get something else. Chalk it up to one in the million learning experiences that woodworking gives you. If it IS practical and does what you need it to do without too much muss & fuss, if it doesn't cost you an arm and a leg and several fingers to operate, if it doesn't make you avoid your shop - keep it. Work around its quirks. My favorite table saw (I have three, the giant one is for sale) is an old Sears-by-King-Seeley saw with a 1/2" arbor and a half-horse motor, a tiny 20"x12" iron table, and a shopbuilt wooden fence. I like the damn thing, and I've used Unisaws before.
Wha? Uh, I think I've gone rambling, and it's time for me to shut my yap now and let somebody else have the "talk stick".
06-12-2001, 07:37 PM
You didn't have to hit me in the head with that stick!
Well, I guess its my turn. I have lots of tools and a few regrets. In general, I started with a sears contractors saw right after I got married. Before I got out of college and before I had anything to put it in. I have since spent 3 times the cost of that saw making it into a tool I can use to make nice pieces. 33 years now and counting. New fence, a bessy, new motor, 2 hp 220 volt, new miter gage, hold downs, pullies, belts, cabinet and estensions in all directions, shop made sawdust system. But it has a threaded rod for adjustment, a sheet metal case and if I had it all to do over I would have saved a lot of money time and effort if I had bought a cabinet saw in the first place.
Now understand I would not have had a saw for about 10 years, I couldn't afford the sears when I bought it. We all make compromizes and adjustments. I have dumped a few tools and found that if it is not a professional quality tool I won't waste my money on it. I don't have a brand that I will say is the best. For one class of one tool there are a couple of brands that have better tools. But, no one company makes the best of everything.
The whole issue is very subjective. You will see a guy posting pictures of his work. David from Carnes. He has some of the best work you will ever see. He uses a BT3000 as his saw.
James Krenov does not use a table saw. He has a large bandsaw and a bench with hand tools. You won't find better quality work anywhere in the world.
What do you want to do, how much are you going to do, how much space do you have, how much money can you spend? Give me the answers to all of the above questions and I will give you my opinion as to what you should buy and you might hate them all. I don't think you would. For one thing all the tools I would pick for you would be resellable for almost what you paid.
OK who is next? Sunny what do you have to say on this one, I thought his original post was pointed at you for some reason...
06-12-2001, 11:35 PM
I think that what Lou is trying to say is that tools are like shoes. You have to buy what is right for you because what is right for me probably won't fit you.
Chris Michels (Guest)
06-13-2001, 12:30 AM
I am confused as to why you even care about the quality of grizzly. Considering the $7000 worth of Craftsman tools at one shot. But if you must know...
The front line of my shop is a Grizzly 6" jointer and 12" planer. When I decided that I needed these two tools I researched tons of companies and prices. I checked the tools spec for spec, # for #, and of course, $ for $. I like to make sure that I am comparing apples to apples when I make comparisons. I wanted a 6" jointer so I did not take soem other companies 8"er into consideration. Point?! Grizzly won spec for spec on these two machines and to top it off they had the best price. I would not have made any sense for me to buy any other machine.
The intangibles... Grizzly was excellent in there customer service. That fact is I did not need to use them much because they did what they said they would do. They used truck frieght which is a large savings over what Rockler would have done with UPS. The machines were a few minor adjustments away from perfect once assembled. The planer needed no assembly. I have since then ordered from them and the service is always extrodinary.
I don't think I will offer any theories of tool purchasing. I didn't use theories I just used science to the best of my ability. I didn't pay attention to who has more ads or the larger presence at the WW shows. Since I know color theory I didn't pay any attention to the warmth of the yellow guys or the comfort of the blue guys or the other blue guys or the draw of the orange/red ones. Just happened to get the green ones.
You can always be happy with a decision if you make it for the right reasons. Science and cold hard facts are two good ones.
Opinion is not your best guide the facts are.
06-13-2001, 05:49 AM
Chris...............Its not that i care about the quality of Grizzly tools one way or the other, as I stated I was surprised to see the line of heavy duty tools in the catalog I received.I heard a number of negative reports and was just curious. I myself would not hesitate to buy one of their products if I liked it after looking at it..........once again just curious.
06-13-2001, 08:31 AM
LAST EDITED ON Jun-13-01 AT 08:38AM (CDT)[p]LAST EDITED ON Jun-13-01 AT 08:36*AM (CDT)
Please forgive me if that's the way you took it. Not my intentions at all. Wasn't trying to flame anyone, especially
Sonny. His wisdon means a great deal to me. Besides, I've seen him when he gets riled up. I don't want no part of that :-)
Dick said he didn't do one minute of research before going out and filing his shop with machinery. Then it seemed every one was saying it was ok. Guess I just took it wrong. All I heard when I first came to this site was "buy the best you can afford". I took that info to heart and have been saving my penniis to do just that. I have been reading all I can about the stuff I'm thinking about buying. Some times there's a battle between two or three opinions. But I figure If someone is going to defend something that hole hartedly. Can't go wrong with eather one of them.
To all : wasn't trying to stir things up.....to much......:D
Just putting in my $.02
06-13-2001, 12:11 PM
I must say my friend, this is an interesting topic. There are only 2 total mysteries in life...(1) Where do elephants go to die and (2) What makes us buy the tools that we buy. If you could figure out the first one, all'd you have is a bunch of stinky elephant parts...if you could figure out the 2nd one, you'd be rich beyond your wildest expectations. Why do people who have no intention of going to war or even off-road buy a Hummer? Why would a novice woodworker buy a production Kreg jig or edge-bander or any of the other tools that you see marketed to woodworkers that you KNOW they don't need? ...really. Buying a tool is as individual as any other purchase. Every time I've bought a tool it's been a seperate purchase. I have no, or very little, brand loyalty. I have considered Grizzly on each purchase decision I have made and have never bought a single grizzly product. Why?...I have no idea! There's just something about Grizzly and Jet that keeps me from buying them. I think (just guessing) that I'm afraid to be stuck with something that's going to change or go out of business or be sold to a different company or...or...??? If I knew the answer I'd only have to find them elephant bodies to say my life's search is complete :) Right now, I have quite a few Delta products. I've had/have Sears stuff, and they worked fine too. I have a 21 year old Craftsman router that is the biggest P.O.S I have ever used, but the stupid thing wont break so I can't get a new one!
It's more than a purchase...you know that...it's a feeling. It feels great to get a new tool. For me, it feels nearly as good to modify one so that it works better. I just recently built a new chop saw table, and you can't buy anything that sturdy anywhere...did my old crappy table work?...yea...sorta...I bought another Unisaw fairly recently (had one BD - Before Divorce)...I have been using a Ryobi BT3000...did the Ryobi quit? Nope...but a new Unisaw sure made me feel good!
We all buy different tools for as many reasons as there are stars in the sky. You should feel GREAT about your tools...to equip a shop like that in one fell swoop is something I don't think I'll ever be able to do...enjoy it!
One thing I do know...don't buy a Hamilton Beach coffee maker...no matter how slow or fast you pour it dribbles all over the place. Don't they test these things???...but that's another story...
06-13-2001, 02:18 PM
I understand the issue of Grizzly over the long term. They don't manufacture tools. They spec them and have them built. Just like Sears. But, they have been in business a long time and have stood behind their tools. I have bought and will buy again if it is the right tool for me. On that I agree with you.
Jet is a manufacture, and at this point may be a much better bet than Delta. I don't think I will buy another delta product, The quality I have seen on everyting other than the Unisaw has dropped too far. Jet, I have one tool of there. And it has done what I wanted when I needed it.
Most of my tools are made Europe. I have found the quality is still there with the stuff they build. A bit more costly but, good quality tools.
06-13-2001, 03:47 PM
I agree with you 100% about Delta...one point I want to make is that I bought each tool based on what the situation was at the time. I've never said to myself "I'm going to buy a (insert brand name here)" it's always been "I need a new (whatever)" I bought the Unisaw for $700 and added an upgrade to my Incra to a TS-III for $229 so for less than a grand I have a great set up...for me. I was going to get the Grizzly until I found the Unisaw deal. I'm pretty sure I would have been happy with it. The Delta planer was a one-time close out for $199, my 10" Delta bandsaw was another deal at $179...how could I pass that up eh?
The bandsaw has done what I asked of it for a long time now, and I bet I can get $150 for it when I need to upgrade. A million years ago (so it seems) I did pretty good work with my 20 years old Sears that I bolted a Beisemeyer to...
I think the whole point is to enjoy what you have until you're convinced that the tool is simply not doing the level you require of it. I think our friend "Dick" should be happy and not worry about what he has...just go make stuff!
06-13-2001, 05:27 PM
Well, it missed. So neaner-neaner.
The bottom line for me remains the same, I could make precision firewood with anything.
I could also make beautiful and interesting stuff with an axe. It would just take a little longer.
Lance was confused (IMHO) by it all, I can understand that. Buy the best YOU can afford. Then turn around and say whatever you have is fine.
Who the hell wouldn't get confused?
My responce was to DickLaxton about his impulse to buy an entire shop of Craftsman tools. And there is not a damn thing wrong with that decision.
Could he have bought different equipment, better equipment? Sure.
Did he make a mistake? I personally dought it.
Because I, as well as others, have seen what he can do with his equipment.
I bought some accessories for my shop through Rockler. Junk hardware. I shant buy again from them again. Why???
Because I can not belive the pictures I see. They don't tell me what I can find out when I have my big warm hands on something.
I belived what Wood magazine told me about the Delta drum sander.
I got burned. And ultimately Delta got it shoved up their corporate 'opinion'. After as much bad PR as I could pour into Wood onlines review area. I am sure I swayed more than a few away from Delta's drum sander, at least I sure hope I did. I tried damn hard to.
So why should I put any faith in any other of Wood Magazines reviews? I belive they are driven by advertizing dollars.
And I remember what Lou said about Fine woodworking loseing an account over an honest review.
And in spite of all the bad stuff about 6" joiners and in particular the Delta joiner, That's egg-zacary what I spent my bucks on when I finally decided it was time to get a joiner.
I DO NOT procrastinate about my shop equipment. I do a little research and go get the damn thing. Based on my decisions.
And I'm damn happy with it. What anybody else has or uses is fine by me. What they think is fine as well.
But step on something I know is good and you'll get what I'm going to give you as well. Hard and fast. No pulled punches. That is a fact.
I always try and have my info up for anybody to see as well. Sonny don't hide who he is anymore than to call it straight up.
So what somebody else uses or does is of little matter to me. Seeing what someone can do is of a great deal of importance to me.
What's best is what works for YOU. The advice I give is what has worked well for me. From the shop floor, with blood, sweat, and tears. What anybody does with it is of little concern to me.
And Woodmangler, bust that caraff and get a good one.
I like the Braun coffee makers myself. They seem to work fast and good.
Y'all have fun in your shops and please, Please work safe!
"Precision Firewood Specialist"
06-13-2001, 06:56 PM
We sure got a lot of miliage out of that post,thanks all for the comments, interesting and informative.
06-14-2001, 01:06 AM
I had a similar problem with my 30 year old Craftsman 7/8 HP router. (I wouldn't call it a POS, however.) I just went out and bought 2 routers. Then I listened to SWMBO offer here valuable opinion as to why I didn't need a new router, much less two. (And, yes, in that situation my brain is little more than an ear separator.) Then I gave the old Craftsman router to a just starting out wood worker. Just recently SWMBO told me that I do rather good wood work.
Get what you want.
Put up with the static.
Make a new woodworker happy.
Earn the eventual praise.
Kind of drawn out but it gets you there.