8" jointers - any thoughts? - Router Forums
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post #1 of 19 (permalink) Old 07-15-2015, 07:51 PM Thread Starter
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Default 8" jointers - any thoughts?

So, I am inching closer to pulling the trigger on buying a new 8" jointer. Hoping to get input from you guys. CL has been unhelpful for almost a year now so I've looked at Grizzly, Jet and Powermatic. I've decided to go straight to a spiral/helical head as I like to work highly figured wood. Either by buying one with the head already in it or upgrading the head myself - more on that in a second. Key issues for me are power, length of bed and reliability of the equipment and support of the company. OK, yeah, cost is also a factor...

Since installing a byrd shellix in my planer, I've come to really appreciate the helical approach. The slicing action is better than a straight cut of the spirals. A big plus is it's American made and actually costs less than the German and Chinese spirals out there, at least when you buy the head from Griz. Both Jet and PM have helix options, too.

So, it's down to the PM 60HH, Jet JJ-8HH, Grizzly G0656PX or Grizzly G0656P upgraded to a byrd shelix.

The Powermatic and Jet have 2 HP motors while the Grizzes have 3 HP. So +1 for grizzlies.

The Powermatic has 54 knives vs 36 for the Jet and 40 for Griz spiral or shelix. So +1 (or even more) for the Powermatic. Powermatic has a helix so +1 again. I can upgrade the non spiral griz (G0656P) to a byrd shelix so +1 to that option.

The Jet has a 66.5" bed vs 73 for the PM and 72 for the griz. Kind of a -1 for the Jet. Probably knocks them out of the running. The inch difference between griz and PM is a wash, IMO.

So, price. I'm going by prices I found on the internet. Shipping and delivery weren't factored in, yet anyway.
The PM seems to go for $2240,
The Jet - 1940,
The griz spiral G0656PX 1250.
If I upgrade the straight knife version of the griz (G0656P) to a byrd shelix, it works out to about 1180 (yeah, go figure, a better head for cheaper).

At this point, the Griz with the Byrd Shelix and the PM pretty much stand out as best options. So the real question to answer, is the PM really going to deliver twice the value of the Griz+Byrd shelix? The 54 knives on the PM will take significantly smaller bites than the 40 knife head (both are the same diameter and the PM head is going at 7000 rpm vs 4800 for the griz). Smaller bites should mean less tearout, right? The Yankee penny pincher in me says Griz but it's sure hard to ignore the potential of the high speed PM helix head.

Does anyone have the PM 60HH? Would love to hear your experiences. Anyone with a 8" griz spiral or helix planer?

Any other thoughts on this are definitely welcome.
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post #2 of 19 (permalink) Old 07-15-2015, 07:52 PM
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Grizzly is the best bang for your buck

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post #3 of 19 (permalink) Old 07-15-2015, 07:55 PM
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Phil, have you looked at General International tools? They are based in Canada with a US office in TN and have distributors everywhere like Woodcraft, Marsh Power tools, Performance line tools, etc..

General® International ? JOINTERS

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post #4 of 19 (permalink) Old 07-15-2015, 09:34 PM Thread Starter
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Having internet problems - I have tried to post this 3 times. arg...

John, I have a shop full of Griz tools so I get the BftB argument! Still, the specs on the PM look really tempting. Hate the price, though.

Mike, are those prices in USD? Makes PM look cheap.
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post #5 of 19 (permalink) Old 07-15-2015, 09:52 PM
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Yes, USD.
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post #6 of 19 (permalink) Old 07-15-2015, 10:44 PM
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My thoughts on an 8" is that if you watch you can find used ones for some pretty good prices. There was a 12-16" jointer the other day on one of other forums for $1500. I would take an older bigger one before I would buy a newer smaller one...having said that I saw a Delta Rockwell the other day 8" for $150.....couldn't move fast enough.....
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post #7 of 19 (permalink) Old 07-15-2015, 11:44 PM
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Something to consider.

Before making a final decision, carefully check the price of replacement carbide inserts, their size, and how readily available they are.

On another board there was a similar thread to this and one poster lamented that while the replacement knife head was cheaper than others, he later found that the replacement carbide inserts were not a standard size, were only available through the manufacturer/importer, and cost more than others.

As with all things, the devil is in the details....

Bryan Rocker: a Delta/Rockwell 8", I would be all over that and even with cost of Dispozable blades, would be a steal! For those not familiar with those blades: http://dispozablade.com/

I installed Disposables on my older JET 8" and have not looked back since. Double sided and easy to change -- last time I changed blades it was 'bout a 15-20 minute task.
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post #8 of 19 (permalink) Old 07-16-2015, 06:05 AM
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It's an easy call for me - I'm a PM guy. I like the faster speed of the cutterhead and more knives, also. I have the PM 54A 6" and have been looking for an 8" to upgrade in size a bit.
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post #9 of 19 (permalink) Old 07-16-2015, 07:52 AM
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Phil,
I was in the same boat as you a couple of years ago. I am big on old US made machines with most of my machinery being either old Delta/Rockwell or Powermatic, but couldn't find a decent 8" jointer to save my life. I ended up buying a PM882 8" jointer. I felt bad about buying my first Asian machine but it actually has been a very good performer. I got the straight knive head. I think that you said that the PM bed length was 73" but mine is 82" and that is what I like about it. That long bed has come in handy many times. Is the bed longer because I got the parallelogram style jointer?
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post #10 of 19 (permalink) Old 07-16-2015, 08:50 AM
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Default Upon further review......

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Originally Posted by Bricknhank View Post
Phil,
I was in the same boat as you a couple of years ago. I am big on old US made machines with most of my machinery being either old Delta/Rockwell or Powermatic, but couldn't find a decent 8" jointer to save my life. I ended up buying a PM882 8" jointer. I felt bad about buying my first Asian machine but it actually has been a very good performer. I got the straight knive head. I think that you said that the PM bed length was 73" but mine is 82" and that is what I like about it. That long bed has come in handy many times. Is the bed longer because I got the parallelogram style jointer?
Hank
Sorry Phil, after re-reading your post I see that you are looking at a PM model with dovetail ways. That would account for the 11" difference in length. After spending hours adjusting and shimming dovetail ways on other jointers in order to achieve perfect coplaner bed alignment, I really appreciate the parallelogram jointer for bed adjustment. Before others chime in to blast me let me say that a dovetail jointer doesn't make for a bad jointer in any way, I just found that adjusting a parallelogram jointer much easier.

Good luck with your decision.

Hank
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