Tool Talk #1: Grizzly G0490X Jointer

Well over half of the emails sent to me are on the subject of tools. I have no objections to responding to them but I thought it would be beneficial to start a video library of sorts to briefly touch on what I think of a particular tool or set of tools. These won’t be in depth tool reviews as I know very few people are interested in that kind of thing and I really don’t want to go over all the details. Instead I’ll just focus on the things I like about the tool, things I don’t like about the tool, and would I buy it again. I have a huge list of “episodes” that can be made and plan on releasing one per week. Hopefully this will be helpful to some people.

Grizzly G0490X Jointer

Specifications found here: http://www.grizzly.com/products/8-Jointer-w-Spiral-Cutterhead/G0490X

I purchased mine in August 2015 for $1,509 including freight and liftgate service.

What I like:

  • Dialing in the beds was pretty easy. I followed the jointer setup video from The Wood Whisperer. It only took about 2 hours to get it darn near perfect. Adjustment is made by spinning eccentric bushings with a hammer and punch.g0490x  (2)
  • Large infeed support. The longest stock I’ve jointed was 60″ boards and the jointer infeed bed was more than long enough to handle them. g0490x  (3)
  • The spiral cutterhead. The fact that the carbide inserts are indexed resulting in potentially never having to adjust the outfeed table or adjust cutter knife height during install is something I really like. The knives are carbide so they should last longer than steel knives. And they have 4 cutting edges so when one side gets dull you can rotate it 90 degrees to use a fresh edge.g0490x  (4)
  • Plenty of power at full width. I took a somewhat aggressive cut on a full 8″ wide piece of walnut and it didn’t feel like it was bogging down the motor.
  • The parallelogram bed is not only pretty easy to dial in to parallel but it’s also really easy to move up and down. I have no experience with the traditional wedge style beds so I can’t speak for them but I’m really happy with the parallelogram movement. g0490x  (1)

What I don’t like:

  • The power on/off switch is mounted in a good location but the mounting bracket feels a little flimsy. With normal finger pressure of turning on the machine the switch mount flexes quite a bit. This is a cause for concern over time of the welded joint on the bracket coming lose.
  • Every time I move the fence in or out the fence is no longer square to the table. I have to square the fence every time I move it which is a slight annoyance.

Would I buy the Grizzly G0490X jointer again?

I probably wouldn’t use the full width of the larger 12″ model enough for it to be a wise decision. At that point it would just be a luxury purchase for me. The 6″ model is commonly seen as too small from the vast majority of the research I did. I have no experience with the more expensive brands out there with similar setups as this machine so I can’t speak for their quality or performance. This jointer does everything I’ve asked it to do and it does it quite well, it’s reasonably priced to similar models of other brands, and the things I don’t like are minor and don’t affect the performance of the machine. Yes, I would buy it again if I had to do it over.



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12 Comments

  1. Don Johnson

    Great video! I upgraded from a 6″ to a Grizzly 10″ jointer about 6 years ago and it’s probably my favorite tool in my shop- although I recently purchased a Festool Domino which I think is going to overtake the lead for favorite tool. Yo are correct that the fence migrates from 90 degrees- this is my biggest complaint with it. I’ve jointed 1000’s of feet of oak and black walnut, some very wide, taking the entire width of the spiral cutter head, and have never noticed the motor bogging down. The cutters offer great longevity, I have yet the need to rotate them and they still cut smooth as glass.
    I’m a huge fan of Grizzly tools- my next upgrade will be my Dewalt planer to the Grizzly 15″ with the spiral cutterhead.

  2. Andrew Grover

    I have same jointer minus the carbide spiral cutterhead. I have the exact same issues with the fence not staying square to the table. Have thought about making a wooden one that is dialed in to a perfect 90 degrees and fixed. I plan to upgrade the cutterhead someday. For a Delta DJ-20 clone at half the price it really can’t be beat. I’d buy it again.

  3. Todd Sparger

    I have the same jointer with the same issue of the fence staying square after it has been moved. Definitely annoying, but still a great tool at a good price.

  4. Dustin

    nice review, I have been looking for a jointer and I think you sold me. Can you review the Sawstop table saw next?

  5. Bernie Davis

    Tool talk was fun, tool talk was good, not everybody does it, not everybody should ! Seriously I enjoyed it, found it to be informative, not too long with boring details . Great job Jay ! And I love me some Grizzly !

  6. Michael Edwards

    Enjoyed the planner over view. Thank you. Can you do one on the makings of a wood vice. I’m trying to find some thread cutting and am having a time finding them reasonable cost. My shop is pretty small but it works for me.

  7. Peter Dunphy

    Enjoying the “Tool Talk” segments. I would like you to consider adding information about what prompted you to obtain that particular tool. I am a beginning wood worker and tool acquisitions need to be approved by the “director of finance, aka wife. I need help with this statement. I need a (insert tool name here) because I want to build a (insert project name here.

  8. Nick D

    Hey Jay,

    Just curious if you used the same aluminum straightedge the WW did or if you used something else similar and if so what did you use, I have the same jointer and love it but I found it out of flat along the front and I don’t have a straight edge long enough to span the distance to the back.

  9. Mark

    There an old saying “Buy the best, you only cry once.” I have never bought a quality product and wished I had bought something less down the road. Quality usually costs more but is usually well worth the investment if it is to get continued use. I have almost always ended up regretting the purchase of cheap tools. Bargains seldom are if they need to be replaced. 3 1/2 price items is never a savings in cost and usually a bigger hassle than the savings. To get what I want takes longer to save up etc. but in the end is usually worth the patience.

    Thanks for the review.

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