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used Powermatic vs Grizzly table saw?

ajkelly's picture

I can buy a used (but in like-new condition) Powermatic 66-TA 3 hp with an extension table for ~$2,000.  Is it worth it for a hobbyist furniture-maker like myself, or should I just get a Grizzly?  I see that they have the new 10" 3 hp 220v left-tilt saw with the riving knife and table for about $1,300.  Or I could get one of their 2 hp 110v hybrids for ~$900.  And I see that Grizzly is now scoring in the top 3 consistently in tool reviews.

Knotscott's picture

(post #102506, reply #1 of 25)

Which one to get always boils down to your preferences and your circumstances. $2k for a used PM66 seems quite high to me. There's not going to be much argument that the PM is the better made saw overall...especially if you do heavy commercial work with it, but many have an easier time justifying the cost and performance of the Grizzly and have been very pleased with their choice....especially true for hobbyists. A riving knife if a nice feature to have.

JMartinsky's picture

(post #102506, reply #2 of 25)

Dear AJ,
I have had PM 66 for several years now and can attest to their quality. I use mine for what I consider to be light commercial use. It may sit idle for six months and then I might be using it six hours a day for a month straight. My shop is heated via wood stove so temps can range quite a bit and my saw has been flawless. I set the fence once when I bought the saw and that has been all that it ever needed. If you have the 2K it is worth it as that saw lists for over 3K on Amazon.

Best,

John

roqqytop's picture

(post #102506, reply #3 of 25)

I have the left tilt Grizzly 3HP.
have SET the fence only ONCE and could never justify more MONEY for any table saw, unless it would be HEAVY production work.
Invest in some Forrest blades and pocket the change - in this case about 4-500 clams.

Use that to by other needed equipment or tools.

JMartinsky's picture

(post #102506, reply #5 of 25)

Dear R,
I am certain that Grizzly makes a fine saw, as many here really like them. I simply have no experience with them. I will differ with you on blade choice, however. I have used Forrest blades and Freud blades and can't justify the extra expense for the Forrest....... go figure! I use Freud blades exclusively.

Best,

John

roqqytop's picture

(post #102506, reply #9 of 25)

Grizzlys show room is 20 minutes from my door.
When they opened in Williamsport, PA about 20 odd years ago, some of their machines were PRETTY poor pieces of crap.

That is far from true now and MOST are pretty darn good.

They HAVE, without a DOUBT, the best:
tablesaws
bandsaws
jointers
plainers

for the MONEY.

Not the absolute very best money can by, but the best for the MONEY.

ANT hobbiest that isnt satisfied with their machines has too MUCH money to spend.

TYhey dont get all those machine awards for BEST by accident.

AND I am NOT a HOBBYIST, and still wont PAY 2K for ANY table saw when the 10" left tilt 3HP does everything and anything I want it to do.

Try sawing 2" Hickory planks on a hybrid, the Grizzly MOWS them down with EASE.

JMartinsky's picture

(post #102506, reply #22 of 25)

Dear R,
Gee, what do you really think?................;-)

Hey that's great to know. That is the advantage of having a "brick & mortar" store to look things over at. I have been considering a Grizzly planer for years, in particular since Wilke changed businesses. I know that a lot of people like Grizzly, but some knock them as well. I wouldn't be afraid of buying a Grizzly product.

Best,

John

Tinkerer3's picture

(post #102506, reply #4 of 25)

I have had the PM 66 for probably ten years and like it very much.  It is the workhorse of the ages.  If the Grizzly were ten years old I would definitely suggest the PM but according to what I understand, the Grizzly has improved their line greatly in that time span.  I also like the idea of a riving knife.  That feature could prevent a severe accident.  If I were to buy a saw now, it would undoubtedly be the Saw Stop, but in your price range, it would probably be the Grizzly.

forestgirl's picture

(post #102506, reply #6 of 25)

I'd say first of all, scratch the hybrid off the list completely.  Near as I can tell, it has table-mounted trunions like an old-fashioned contractor saw, and the same-ol' same-ol' worthless, PITA blade guard.  If it runs only on 110, another reason to dump it off the list.  The one I referenced at the web site was either/or and could be wired to 220V. 


I wouldn't pay $2,000 for an old style Powermatic when you can get the new one for $2600 or so and have a riving knife and mobile base included.


 


forestgirl -- you can take the girl out of the forest, but you can't take the forest out of the girl ;-) 

forestgirl -- you can take the girl out of the forest, but you can't take the forest out of the girl ;-) 

ajkelly's picture

(post #102506, reply #7 of 25)

OK, I wondered about the trunnions.  I'll scratch the hybrid off of the list. 


Thank you to all of you that contributed advice.


I'll probably get the true cabinet Grizzly TS - I'd like the left-tilt blade and the riving knife.  And I can get that saw for $1300, instead of $2700 or more. 


So does anybody have any warnings about getting a new Grizzly?  From what I can gather their quality has improved significantly in the past decade.  So for a hobbyist like myself, would anybody recommend that I NOT get the Grizzly?  (the G0690 10" 3HP 220V Cabinet Table Saw with Riving Knife ).  And look at the photo (http://www.grizzly.com/products/10-3HP-220V-Cabinet-Table-Saw-with-Riving-Knife/G0690) - it's not green!  Mostly white with a green stripe.


I'd love the Cabinet Saw-Stop saw as well, but I don't know if I can justify that expense (but I could argue to my wife that my fingers are worth a thousand or more each!  ;)  ).


Edited 1/19/2009 12:06 am ET by ajkelly


Edited 1/19/2009 12:07 am ET by ajkelly

Tinkerer3's picture

(post #102506, reply #8 of 25)

"but I could argue with my wife that my fingers are worth a thousand or more each!"


A very valid argument, I'd say.  Much, much more than a thousand each. 

AZMO's picture

(post #102506, reply #10 of 25)

I own 3 Griz tools, planer, jointer and drill press. I have a POS Delta Hybrid saw and grumble about it all the time. I have checked out that Griz table saw myself and would purchase it in a heart beat. I checked out the Griz QC department before I bought. Called in with some questions to the department and pretended to have some problems. Functional department and that convinced me. Functional tools that have good tolerances, and work as advertised.


2000 for a used PM is to much, Shop Craigs list for your area, you might find a used Griz on sale as well.


AZMO


                  


-----------_o


---------_'\-,>


-------(*)/ (*)   www.EarthArtLandscape.com

forestgirl's picture

(post #102506, reply #12 of 25)

You can always fine somebody to argue against any particular brand, LOL.  The main caveat about Grizzly, that applies to any shipped tool really, is to examine the package when it arrives and do not accept shipment if it looks mangled in such a way that stuff inside might have been damaged. 


If you can afford a SawStop, by all means get one!  Otherwise, look to Sarge (SargeGrinder57) and other ubersafe woodworkers for tips on keeping your fingers safe.


forestgirl -- you can take the girl out of the forest, but you can't take the forest out of the girl ;-) 

forestgirl -- you can take the girl out of the forest, but you can't take the forest out of the girl ;-) 

heartwould's picture

(post #102506, reply #16 of 25)

I've heard a lot of stories--here and elsewhere--about Grizzly tools arriving pretty banged up.  The other complaint is in trying to get all of the metal preserving gunk off and shining the machinery up before it is put to use.  Even so, there are also very consistent reports of how promptly parts have been replaced and how the machines seem to run well once they are properly assembled and cleaned up.

forestgirl's picture

(post #102506, reply #17 of 25)

Shipping damage can occur regardless of the comany -- Amazon comes to mind, LOL..  And the Cosmoline gunk is on most, if not all, big tools that come by boat to our fine land (anything with a flat expanse of cast iron).


forestgirl -- you can take the girl out of the forest, but you can't take the forest out of the girl ;-) 


Edited 1/19/2009 9:33 pm by forestgirl

forestgirl -- you can take the girl out of the forest, but you can't take the forest out of the girl ;-) 

heartwould's picture

(post #102506, reply #18 of 25)

Very true, FG.  It just seems that more incidents have either been reported or at least caught my eye involving Griz shipments.  That is not at all intended as a knock, just an observation.  Kind of like how the communities that have the more advanced emergency communication systems appear to have higher crime rates simply because of the better tracking.

mike4244's picture

(post #102506, reply #23 of 25)

My Grizzly cabinet saw is 14 years old. I am retired now but this saw was used 6 days a week for 10 years and now occasionally. I recall adjusting the fence one time after the initial setup.Only once did the saw not start. I removed the switch cover and blew out the sawdust,that was the extent of it. Saw performs flawlessly, I originally set the fence up so it only cuts to the right of the blade. This gives me 38" of rip capacity on the standard rail. In 46 years of woodworking I do not recall ever having to rip to the left of the blade.


I have also used the Powermatic saw, excellent saw. Personally even if money was no object I would go for the Grizzly. The difference between these two saws is negligible, but the price isn't.


mike

bones's picture

(post #102506, reply #24 of 25)

I'm glad to see your's is doing so well. I've had mine since 2002 (I think) and its been moved twice (once from east coast to midwest and now back to east coast and never a blip.  Once I put the 7' rails back on and line up the fence she never moves and thats the only adjustment.  I'm only a hobbyist, but I'd buy Griz again in a heart beat. 


Government's view of the economy could be summed up in a few short phrases:
If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it.
And if it stops moving, subsidize it.


Edited 1/21/2009 9:02 am by bones

...For that old machine lovers:  http://vintagemachinery.org/home.aspx

bones's picture

(post #102506, reply #11 of 25)

I've had the 1023slx,  for years and love it. The new model has a riving knive built in. I'd get that one.  I've also got their 12" jointer, and horizontal boring machine.  Great tools. 

Government's view of the economy could be summed up in a few short phrases:
If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it.
And if it stops moving, subsidize it.

...For that old machine lovers:  http://vintagemachinery.org/home.aspx

Zolton's picture

(post #102506, reply #13 of 25)

Hey Bones,


You mentioned that you have the Grizzly horizontal boring machine. Are you using it as a slot mortiser? If so, how do you like it for that?


Zolton


If you see a possum running around in here, kill it. It's not a pet. - Jackie Moon

If you see a possum running around in here, kill it. It's not a pet. - Jackie Moon

bones's picture

(post #102506, reply #14 of 25)

It does fine.  I don't use it that much any more I now use the Domino except should i need a wide mortice.  It worked well for slot mortice.  I made an mdf base to attach to the table that was 90 to the  bit.  At 3400 RPM you need to take it slow its not a speed demon.  I added four lockable casters from woodcraft so I could move it around.  The xy table was very smooth.  If memory serves, it was not that expensive.  I think around 275, but that was several years ago. 

Government's view of the economy could be summed up in a few short phrases:
If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it.
And if it stops moving, subsidize it.

...For that old machine lovers:  http://vintagemachinery.org/home.aspx

Zolton's picture

(post #102506, reply #19 of 25)

Bones,


 Thanks for the input about the Grizzly horizontal slot mortiser. I actually have one, but wanted to get your unvarnished opinion about it. I've used mine a bit, not too much, but almost wish now I hadn't purchased it. The table motion seems herky-jerky. Other than that though, it does cut a slot mortise.


I'm wondering if attaching it to my shop wall would keep it from shaking when I use it. The base seems flexible, and when the table is run over to a stop, the whole machine quivers a bit. And it takes up floor space that I can't spare.


Also, the stop arrangement is ridiculously hard to get to. I have to crouch on my hands and knees, poking an Allen wrench into a hole that has to line up with the screwhead in order to adjust the in-out stop. The back-forth stops are a little better, but still more difficult to adjust than they should be.


In all, I almost wish I had paid up for the Domino. Maybe when I get rich - or if someone takes the Grizzly off my hands. It sounds as though the Domino is the go-to mortiser in your shop now, and you only use the Grizzly for longer slots?


Zolton


 


If you see a possum running around in here, kill it. It's not a pet. - Jackie Moon

If you see a possum running around in here, kill it. It's not a pet. - Jackie Moon

bones's picture

(post #102506, reply #20 of 25)

Mine (HB), does not jerk, but I had to play for a while to get down, how to operate, but that was just me.  After a few scrap tries it was working fine.  I know what you mean about the allen wrench adjustment for lateral and in out being a pain, but comparing the cost of one like david marks at a grand, it was an inconvenience I could live with.  I still set the in/out, but for the latteral I set them at max swing and used an MDF table that I had and stop blocks to handle the situation.  It takes a few minutes to set up, but worked well.  Hey for the bucks it does the job.  Now the domino is the trick.  It's a floating mortiser with the ease of a biscuit jointer.  Draw a line hit it and slap the pieces together.  It's a favorite of mine now. 

Government's view of the economy could be summed up in a few short phrases:
If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it.
And if it stops moving, subsidize it.

...For that old machine lovers:  http://vintagemachinery.org/home.aspx

Zolton's picture

(post #102506, reply #21 of 25)

Bones,


Thanks for the feedback on the Grizzly unit. Mounting stops on top of the table makes sense. I'll try that next time I use it. And I'll keep wishing for a Domino..


Thanks again,  Zolton


If you see a possum running around in here, kill it. It's not a pet. - Jackie Moon

If you see a possum running around in here, kill it. It's not a pet. - Jackie Moon

BingoBoy's picture

(post #102506, reply #25 of 25)

Last year I bought a new Grizzly # G1023S right-tilt 3-HP 220-Volt cabinet saw (http://www.grizzly.com/products/g1023s) after reading a comparative review by someone who owned both the Grizzly and the Powermatic 66 (http://www.thewoodshop.20m.com/g1023s.htm). The riving knife option was not available then, but I didn't care since I have permanently removed both the Grizzly splitter and blade guard in place of my own zero clearance inserts, home-made splitter and cutoff sled. The riving knife is definitely better than a splitter if properly designed and used - see FWW's "Who's Got the Best Riving Knife?" (http://www.taunton.com/finewoodworking/FWNPDF/011202048.pdf).

I was also influenced by this FWW comparative review of cabinet saws http://www.taunton.com/finewoodworking/FWNPDF/011184046.pdf, which includes the Grizzly G1023SL, the left-tilt brother of the model I got.

The Grizzly cost me c. $ 1,000 + S&H. While I never considered a Powermatic, the difference in price in effect got me Grizzly's 8-inch jointer, the Grizzly # G0490 (http://www.grizzly.com/products/g0490).

I am happy with both Grizzly machines, and their customer service is very good too.

ulstadts's picture

(post #102506, reply #15 of 25)

You could pick up a Steel city saw with all the same features and a 50" fence for about the same if you include shipping on the Grizzly.  I think that you would be happy with the grizzly but I just like to deal locally when I can.  Steel city will also throw in a free forest blade and cleaner.  I just pick one up today.  Haven't even opened the box yet.