View Full Version : Grizzly and Jet saws
12-04-2000, 11:23 PM
I am wanting to buy a new or good used table saw and can't decide what to buy. I started out with a $200 Skil from Home Depo but soon found it was very limited (12" max rip). I then bought a early 1980's craftsman from a fellow at work and have found the fence to be a nightmare to set up. I'd like to buy only one more saw (HOPEFULLY!).
Having my wife's blessing (she's an angel), I could spend up to $2000 on one if that was really what I needed or liked. I should be reasonable though. From everything I've read and heard, the Powermatic 66 seems to be the standard in the industry, but do I need to buy such a saw? I LOVE quaility in anything I buy. Just how good are Grizzly and Jet saws? Or should I buy a Delta? The only thing I'm quite sure of is I do want a cabinet model.Since the next saw will be left in my will I want to get what I will be proud of owning and enjoy using. I had a Delta rep rip the Jet saws (saying the griz was better than the Jet). I could write on and on but I think you fellas out there who have been in the wood business awhile have been where I'm at and know the endless number of questions I could post. Any and all perspectives and feedback would be appreciated. HELP!!!
12-04-2000, 11:35 PM
I have a Grizzly saw dust system and it has been fine for years. You will find people here that will tell you to buy both Grizzly and Jet. The delta is a good saw, if you go that way get the bessimier (sp) fence it is worth what you will have to pay for it. I have had one for 10 years and it is as good today as the day I bought it.
But, I would go for the Powermatic 66. www.woodquip.com this is a used equipment web site. There are a couple on there for less than 1000.
With equipment like that It would have to be dropped off the back of a big truck to mess it up. As will any saw, new or used you will have to go through a complete alignment and setup when it is in your shop. You should be ok with any of the choices you make, but will you wonder if the PM would have been better?
No answer will suit everyone and I know you mentioned a budget that would get all of us drooling, but before you go overboard I sugestyou look at the Ryobi BT3000. Depending on the volume of work you plan to put the tool through, this machine is equal to many far more expensive systems. As always when this kind of question comes up, the correct answer will be "it depends on what you want to do with it" but I would suggest you give the BT3K a look as it would free up so much money for the other things, planner, jointer, dril press, etc. etc.
12-05-2000, 12:42 AM
You know if it's only the fence that is giving you fits on the Craftsman TS (I know, I had one) you can spend $400 and put an Incra TS-III or bessy fence on that puppy and it'll cut like a new saw!
As long as the blade spins true, the slots are square and the table is flat, the basic saw you have is probably ok. But the fence is a POS. You can unbolt the one you have in 5 minutes and install, say, an Incra. You'll get precision results that even a high end cabinet saw will have trouble rivaling. Additionally the *exact* repeatability of the Incra allows you to do tricks that other fences can't even get close to.
Check out mine. http://www.netexperts.cc/~lambertm/Wood/incra.html
My vote is for a Delta Unisaw. I have a pair of them and have found them to be very dependable and user friendly. Support from Grizzley and Delta both is excellent. The Grizzley is a good tool but it just isn't quite up to the Delta Standard. I also own several Grizzley tools but they require considerably more setup time (Initial Adjustment.) For the most used tool in your shop, go for the quality. Fence is personal preference.
12-05-2000, 01:05 AM
Mark and Paul,
come on guys, you can't be trying to tell this guy that a low end saw, or just adding a fence will give y ou what he would get with a true cabenet saw. Let get real here. I agree that you can get good results with a very good fence and a trued saw. But the top end saw has hother features that none of the contractor saws can come close to. The ability to remove saw dust, The ability to tilt with ease and real accuracy can't be touched with the chip stuff.
I have a 30 year old Sears with a Biesemeyer 52" fence, a beldon 2 hp motor, new balanced pullies, link belt, tuned adjusted lots of accessories that make it easy to do quality work. A custom cabinet that give me the ability to handle full sheets of plywood and custom outfeed supports to make rips of long 12/4 stock do able. Yes, it works, yes I have spent far more to make it work than it would have cost me if I would have just bought the right saw at first.
The cabinet Saws I have used just make me knw that even though I have mine set to within 1/1000 of an inch and the fence can be set with ease to within a 1/64 of an inch anywhere over the 7' range of my fence. I would still love to have the money I spent and to buy a Powermatic 66.
So if you have the money look for a used one or go for the new saw. You will have it as an item in your will.
When I first started learning, I started at a school shop with access to a General and to a Powermatic with a sliding table. Nothing I have used in the 12 years since then holds a candle to either of those saws. I have used a Sears and a Delta contractors saw since then, abhorring the fences on each of them, yet have produced acceptable (not great) work.
I am having a Unisaw delivered today, an older model that I got a good deal on. I am sure it will be a great saw, but I recommend that you go with a PM or a General or a Unisaw with the best fence you can get. You will never regret it. And do check out woodquip.com, where there are some good deals on quality used equipment. Just be careful about the sellers.
12-06-2000, 12:36 AM
I was reading a letter to Norm on the NYW (www.newyankee.com) concerning the purchase of a table saw. The author said that he couldn't afford a Delta Unisaw and was considering two specific models (Don't remember which ones) instead. He was requesting Norm's advice. Norm's response, using the least number of words possible, suggested looking for a used Unisaw. Norm not only has a way with wood but words also.
12-07-2000, 08:03 PM
I too started out with a small bench top saw. I bought a Grizzly contractors saw #1022z with extended rails at the begining of the year. Along with a few saw blades and adapters, I spent about 800 bucks total and they droped it off at my garage. I built a cabinet for it because I didn't like the legs on the extended rails just standing out there and also I needed it in wheels since I have a small shop.
After getting it all adjusted and set up, I have been very happy with my Grizzly. Maybe it's because it's a lot better than my old craftsman bench top, I don't know but for what I paid, I got a lot better deal than I could have with a Jet or delta. I am in my shop almost every night working on something and still enjoy the saw as if it was new. Would a expensive cabinet saw have been better? I don't know.
The question you have to ask is " what will YOU be happy with and what will fit YOUR needs". I took a long hard look at Jet and Delta along with Grizzly when deciding on which saw to buy.
Check out the different saws you are intersted in and look at some of the different magazines and see what they said in their side by side comparsions. In most of them you will find that Grizzly is right up there with the rest and there is not much difference between all of the upper model saws. Thats when it's back to what will fit your needs.
It's a hard decision I know because you what the best you can afford as well as the one with the most options. What ever you decide, I wish you success and happines with your new purchase.