Help me decide which jointer I want?


alindsey
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Finally I have the funds to make the leap to a larger jointer. I'm leaning towards 8" but there is a 12" that is in consideration as well, mainly because it has a somewhat shorter bed and would be easier to shoehorn into my teeny shop.

Basics of what I want:

  • Helical head (do not EVER want to have to align jointer knives again)
  • At least 8" in capacity
  • I don't want a combo unit, really, because I'm not 100% confident in the aluminum fences they all have but I'm willing to consider it for the smaller footprint. I'm in a two car garage, but it's one car wide and two cars long and I'm already cramped for space. Currently I have a Rigid 6" jointer which has served me well for several years, but I'm tired of having to rip edges off boards on the bandsaw so I can fit them to face joint.
  • An integral mobile base would be nice, but it's not a deal breaker. I can add a mobile base if need be.

So here are the four I've narrowed it down to. Disregard prices, bc I can get employee discount pricing on the Jet stuff. Just looking for input/opinions and the merits and faults of the machines and manufacturers from anyone who may have had experiences with them. My biggest areas of concern are quality of the Grizzly machines vs. the Jet (I'm pretty familiar with Jet's machinery and have used the 8# helical before) and service after sale. We have a Walter Meier rep that we deal with at the store and they've always been great about helping out with warranty and service issues. I don't know all that much about service on machinery with Grizzly.

Grizzly 8" spiral cutterhead "Polar Bear Series"

Grizzly 12" spiral cutterhead with shorter 60" bed

Jet 8" Helical Head

Also in consideration

Grizzly 12" combo unit

Jet 12" combo unit

And the dark-horse candidate:

Powermatic 8" parallelogram with Byrd Shelix Head this is mainly only in consideration because, well, ya know - Powermatic. Plus we have one in the store which means I could satisfy my "gotta have it RIGHT NOW" impulses instead of waiting for it to be shipped.

Leaning really hard towards the 12" Grizzly with the short bed. Yeah, I could get the combo unit for a few dollars more but I know my lazy self and know that I would likely keep using my 13" thickness planer to not have to fiddle with switching a combo unit between modes and I'd rather have the cast-iron fence on the 12" jointer than the aluminum fence on the combo.

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I've said it before and I'll say it again: go with a parallelogram jointer. The are FAR easier to adjust for coplanarity than a standard dovetailed way jointer. I have the Powermatic 8" parallelogram straight knife jointer and love it. The G0490X is Grizzly's 8" parallelogram and gets consistantly good reviews at almost half the cost of the Powermatic. Another thing worth noting is that you can buy the helical cutter head directly from Byrd for less than the Powermatic will charge you.

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Totally agree with Konkers. I've had my eye on this baby for a while.http://www.grizzly.com/products/8-Jointer-with-Parallelogram-Beds/G0490. You can buy the helical head separately from Grizzly.

But, if budget and space aren't a problem I'd go with a 12" jointer. I've never heard anyone complain that they wish they had bought a smaller jointer.

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I agree parallelogram jointers are the way to go. I have had my 8 inch delta for awhile but would not complain one bit about having a 12inch. I also have a smaller shop and the long tables are a blessing and a curse. It is no nice for really long boards but constantly get in your way. I hope this helps. Good luck with the new family member!

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The Griz it iz!

The order will be going in Monday or Tuesday. Since I work in a place that has a loading dock I can avoid the extra money for lift gate service. The big question is getting it home and unloaded. The shipping weight on that sucker is 800 lbs. I can get it into the bed of my truck easily enough with a pallet jack or the forklift, but getting it out when I get home... yeesh.

Right now I'm considering renting the smallest UHaul I can get that still has a ramp and taking the pallet jack home with me long enough to be able to get it unloaded into my shop.

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The Griz it iz!

The order will be going in Monday or Tuesday. Since I work in a place that has a loading dock I can avoid the extra money for lift gate service. The big question is getting it home and unloaded. The shipping weight on that sucker is 800 lbs. I can get it into the bed of my truck easily enough with a pallet jack or the forklift, but getting it out when I get home... yeesh.

Right now I'm considering renting the smallest UHaul I can get that still has a ramp and taking the pallet jack home with me long enough to be able to get it unloaded into my shop.

You can get a two ton chain hoist from Harbor Freight or any other junk tool store for pretty cheap...think I paid about $30 for it. I use it to change the blades and clean the decks on my mowers, but it comes in real handy to lift heavy equipment out of the trailer, too. Might not work from the bed of a truck if you can't back it into the garage because the machine makes it too tall. Anyway, something to consider. It's a one time cost for all your future equipment purchases.

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Um, how much is the lift gate service compared to the U-Haul rental and the extra hassle?

-- Russ

Lift gate service would be about the same as the U-Haul rental. As far as the extra hassle, it's worth it to me to be sure when this thing is delivered someone will be there to sign for it. If I'm home, well that's dandy, but I'm only here 2 weekdays out of 5. Having it shipped to the store I know it will be signed for and by someone used to receiving power tools and will have some idea of what to look for on the crate in terms of any signs of damage in shipment.

I'm going to do a quick couple of measurements when I get there today. If the larger of our skid loaders will fit in the bed of my truck with the jointer in there as well I can skip the U-Haul part of the equation. Just take the tailgate off so I don't snap it under the weight when I unload and get the jack on the ground and I'll be good.

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The Griz it iz!

The order will be going in Monday or Tuesday. Since I work in a place that has a loading dock I can avoid the extra money for lift gate service. The big question is getting it home and unloaded. The shipping weight on that sucker is 800 lbs. I can get it into the bed of my truck easily enough with a pallet jack or the forklift, but getting it out when I get home... yeesh.

Right now I'm considering renting the smallest UHaul I can get that still has a ramp and taking the pallet jack home with me long enough to be able to get it unloaded into my shop.

I would recommend the Powermatic Paralellogram, without the shelix cutters. If you do order the Grizzly, pay for the liftgate service up front. If you have any trouble and don't pay for it the first time, its up to you to get it back on the freight truck. If you pay for lift gate service, Grizz will authorize lift gate pickup if it has to be returned. I went thru 4 and finally went with the Powermatic. Grizz Customer Service was great, but we both agreed in the end I should choose a different jointer with the difficulties I was experiencing with the jointers at the time ( three years ago).

My advice, if you purchase the Grizzly Jointer pay for the liftgate service. It is cheap insurance.

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