Pros: Price to Quality Ratio, Customer Service, Overall Great Value
Cons: Blade Guard, Saw Accessory Storage
After researching contractor/table saws on the Internet for 2 weeks I decided on the Grizzly G1022ZFX and G7314 adjustable mobile base. Although not many reviews existed for this particular saw there were plenty of reviews on other Grizzly products. All were favorable and figured it was worth a shot.
I make custom cabinets, bookcases and other built-ins as a hobby. For four years I had been using a Delta Bench Saw (36-540 Type 2). For the $140 I spent it was worth it but not performing for more meticulous work.
My saw arrived via truck (the saw weights close to 300 pounds). Although I heard that the freight carrier does not unload boxes from the truck, this was not the case for me. In fact the driver put the boxes in my garage. Good thing since I was alone at the house when the delivery was made.
Many of the boxes were in bad shape. Judging from other reviews this is very common. Luckily the contents were not damaged. The mobile base was in the worst shape. It wasnt really in a box. All the sides had collapsed and corners were torn open. No parts were missing though.
The mobile base is junk. This was a surprise since another reviewer loved it. I think Grizzly may have changed vendors. Once assembled, it wouldnt sit square to the floor and stray holes were drilled into the wheel mounting plates. I sent it back.
The saw was easy to assemble. Directions were clear but one step was missing for installing the dust port. I was able to back track later without much effort. Take the time to square the base. There are many carriage bolts to coordinate. It just takes time. Plan on taking an entire day to assemble the saw. I could have used help for many of the steps.
Mounting hardware was missing for the power switch (two bolts and two washers). This was not a big deal. Im guessing since the saw comes with the upgraded shop fox fence (G4722) instead of the classic shop fox fence, the switch gets mounted to the fence rails and not the saws base. I got what I needed from the hardware store.
You will need metric wrenches. I had the sockets but open-end and box wrenches are helpful. Adjustable wrenches can be too fat for some of the spaces under the saw.
From the start I was concerned about calibrating such a saw. I had never done it. Again, the directions make it easy and no special tools are needed. There is a coating on the table for protection while stored in a warehouse. I used paint thinner to remove it.
The saw makes beautiful cuts (Freud Diablo blade). I am extremely pleased with the work it turns out. No cut marks, smooth operation and much quieter than my old bench saw. I do have plans to upgrade the power to 220. The saw bogged down on a cedar 4x4. The fence is terrific. It locks in true every time. Dont bother measuring twice.
Immediately I noticed there isnt a place to store the various tools and accessories that accompany the saw. For example, the miter square could use a storage slot on the side, the arbor wrench could be hung from the other side and the two allen wrenches for fine adjustment need a home when not in use.
The blade guard is annoying. All the reviews of all the saws I read have frustrating guards. One exception was a split guard made for the PowerMatic (I think). Grizzly should invest the R & D, get a guard people will keep installed and stand out with a feature that is otherwise neglected industry wide.
My Own Mistakes
I ordered an extra cast iron extension wing thinking I could get the extra width for ripping. Dont bother unless you like the added support. I should have just ordered the long rails (G4725) for the shop fox fence and not the extension wing.
Grizzly Customer Service
They are very courteous and helpful. The phone number is not toll free but should be. I only called them to return the mobile base. I was annoyed to be kept in the hold queue for 15 minutes just to return worthless merchandise. All that was dispelled once I talked to a support person. They are hiring more people but in the mean time call after 6:30p Eastern Time if you can.
The website is excellent (www.grizzly.com). Its easy to navigate and the order process is simple. Get the catalog. Its full color and packed with great stuff. Check out the Grizzly Outlet store for even better savings. I noticed an older-style mobile base I may try.
For the price Grizzly is definitely worth it. The quality is very good; they use solid parts and stand behind their product. I may have done better buying a PowerMatic but I found the reviews hot and cold, DeWalt got the best reviews but has plastic parts, Jet has quality control issues and I wanted to get away from Delta if only to try another manufacturer.