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Grizzly G1018HW 8" Jointer (2005)

Background, aka "why did I choose the G1018HW":
I've been very satisfied with my 6" Jet jointer, and it's provided me many years of trouble-free reliable service. But I've been keeping an eye out for a good deal on a used or new 8" jointer. The Delta DJ-20 has always been my preferred 8" jointer, but after seeing the new price stay well over $1300 for a non-X5 model, and after seeing several used DJ-20's sell in the $1000 neighborhood, I started watching the more traditional dovetailed jointers. When Grizzly introduced the G0586 for $625 and marked down their G1018's for $595 I couldn't resist any longer. I applied my birthday and fathers day gifts and the proceeds from the sale of my 6" Jet to a G1018HW, and got a great bargain on a solid 8" jointer.

I knew I wanted handwheels (I like the fine adjustment they provide, especially on the outfeed table) so that ruled out the level-operated G1018. There are a few things about the G0586 that are very attractive to me (75" table, nice switch location), but it also had a few things that I disliked (4 knife cutterhead, the space needed for those long tables, and it was backordered for several months). Complicating matters further, Wilke reduced the 8" Yorkie to $549, but the loooooong fence tube on that model presented some space problems in my shop. So the G1018HW won out in the end.

I'd actually rather have a 3 knife cutterhead than a 4. It's one less blade to wrestle with when setting the height, it's one less blade I have to buy & sharpen for a spare set, and I finish all machined surfaces with hand planes anyway so the higher cuts per minute is a moot point for me. And if you want the finer surface finish like a 4-knife cutterhead just slow down your feed rate on the final pass.

While the 75" table length of the G0586 would be nice, the G1018HW's table is still 65" long (a significant step up from my 6" jointer with 47" tables) and will easily handle a full 10' board. Since my shop is only 20' long I don't have more than 10' for infeed and outfeed space anyway, and how often does one need to joint boards longer than 10' (......never!).

Delivery & Setup:
The jointer was in stock with Grizzly in Missouri, so it got to Michigan in just a few days. I chose to pick it up at the terminal to avoid lift gate fees. It was fairly easy getting it out of my pickup bed, but getting the cast iron top down to my basement shop required the help of a big burly weightlifter friend. Setup went fine, with the only minor issues being getting access to the belt tensioning and motor alignment fasteners in the bottom of the stand, but that was a one-time event that was really no big deal. The knives were set perfectly at the factory, but the outfeed table did need to be lowered just a tad (again, no big deal). One pet peeve of mine is that Grizzly should throw in a lousy dust collector adapter. It's a $7.95 accessory for Pete's sake - just include it with the machine.

How does it work? Fine, thank you. It makes crooked boards straight. It makes twisted boards straight. It makes bowed boards straight. And it'll handle up to an 8" wide board. What more could I ask from a jointer?? The 1.5 Hp motor has no problem face-jointing a full width board, the handwheels operate smoothly, and the magnetic switch position is not as awkward as I feared.

I rarely (if ever) use my jointer for anything other than straightening lumber. So features like the rabbetting ledge, beveling edges with the fence tilted, and cutting tapers really don't get used on my jointer. For purposes of this review, I did test them out and found that the rabbetting ledge worked fine, the fence tilt is typical of all center-mounted jointer fences (IOW it's a pain in the butt to ensure precise angle settings), and tapering works fine. After those exercises I re-installed the guard, reset the fence to 90 degrees, and I expect to keep it like that for most (if not all) of my work.

In Summary:
I'm happy with the jointer. The price was right, Grizzly treated me well, setup was easy, it performs well, and I expect it will meet my needs for a long long time.

Copyright 2006 Chris Billman