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BobInAustin

Helical Heads

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I have both a Shelix version in my DW735 planer and the Grizzly 8" Jointer with factory installed helix cutter.  The planer leaves a better surface than the jointer, but I tend to hog more off with the jointer too.  I do suspect the 90 degree cutter results in a bit of extra tear out, though for me it's not enough to warrant any changes.  

 

If the cost of the aftermarket is comparable (and keep labor in mind, because it's a job to swap out cutter heads) then I'd go after market. 

 

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Byrd Shelix heads are the industry standard. I've never heard anyone complain about them. Plus they're made in America :)  I plan to buy one soon to upgrade my jointer. 

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On 3/6/2017 at 1:13 PM, Chris H said:

If the cost of the aftermarket is comparable (and keep labor in mind, because it's a job to swap out cutter heads) then I'd go after market. 

 

That's the issue I guess. It is cheaper to buy it with the Grizzly spiral already installed than to buy the straight knife version and then install a Shelix.  Just was curious if there is much of a difference.

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22 minutes ago, Aj3 said:

It's better to have a planer with a insert head.Straight knives in your jointer.

Well I'm looking at a new planer so that's a good thing.  But really the difference I am referring to is how the Shelix blades are skewed vs. how the Grizzly blades are not.  As a result of that, is any noticeable cut quality difference between the two and if so, is it worth paying the extra cost for he Shelix version.

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@BobInAustin Ive owned two different types of HHead.They both had the cutter at a angle.The Byrd insert have a slight radius to the edge that leaves a rows of furrows that I don't like.Thats one compromise for have difficult wood tamed.

Helical heads have been around along time and they all have a angle to the cutters.So I'd stick to the proven design.

Helical heads are sure on the rise now.So many are buying jointers with them and it just unnecessary.Just trying to help.

Aj

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Thanks.  The price difference on the Grizzly 454 is $700 to go up to their spiral head.  All of those cutters are straight.  The Shelix cutters are at an angle and that one is $1170+ labor and any tool rental/purchases to swap the bearings.  

The Hermance would be $2500.  Wow!  That one is out.

Analysis paralysis. :) 

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I don't think you'll need much in the way of tools for the swap.  Rollie Johnson has a great video as does Marc.  As for swapping the bearings, if you don't feel comfortable doing it yourself, just drop by an auto shop with an arbor press and they will do it for a minimal charge.  Make SURE to wrap the cutters in blue tape or something similar to protect them!

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