One Big Bad Affordable Cabinet Saw
Jan 1, 2002 (Updated Sep 19, 2002)
Review by kentium
Rated a Very Helpful Review
Pros:Accurate, Powerful, Affordable, mirror like table top, fence is excellent, easy to assemble
Cons:Cleaning the protectant off of the top took a while, but a minor complaint really.
The Bottom Line: I highly recommend this saw. It is powerful, accurate, heavy, nicely finished, and the Shop Fox fence is great.
Update: I have been using the saw for about 8 months now and am very happy with the saw. The saw guard leaves something to be desired, but every saw on the market uses the same lame blade guard. I have made my own overhead design which eliminates most of the short comings of the one that comes with the saw. Knowing what I know now, I would make the same choice in saws. You get a very good cabinet saw for the price of a contractors saw.
Recommend this product?
Grizzly G1023S 3HP, This is one great cabinet saw.
Ordering: Ordering from Grizzly on-line is very easy, one of the better sites I have used on the net. And you get a free gift with each purchase. Don't buy the G1023Z, it is the same saw with a different shop fox fence, a motor cover, and a vacuum adapter and saw blade. The difference in price between the two is $200, but the fence is only a $100 dollar upgrade, the motor cover is $30, and the vacuum port is worth $10, and who wants to use a generic saw blade that is free for $60, if you know what I mean. I ordered the motor cover, and I would recommend that to anyone buying this saw.
Shipping: It was shipped to the local shipping company dock where I and a friend picked it up. It is a heavy saw, over 400 pounds shipping weight, so have a strong couple of friends with you when you go to pick it up. It arrived with the box a little beat up (which I dutifully noted on the shipping order) but the saw itself was not harmed at all.
Unpacking and Assembly: The unpacking was easy and everything was very well packaged. The assembly was easy and the instructions included were very easy to follow. I also purchased the Shop Fox mobile base which I highly recommend for this saw. The cord that comes with the saw is very short, so unless you have a receptacle in the floor you will need to replace this with a much longer cord. The cord is pigtailed out of the magnetic starter since they don't know what type of plug and receptacle you will be using.
Setup: Using a dial indicator the table groove to the saw blade was only 0.0025" out of alignment. Naturally I left that setting alone. The Shop Fox fence was very easy to set up and was easily set up with a 0.015 taper away from the blade. Update: Some experts recommend not tapering the fence away from the blade. I have tried both ways and am now setting the fence parallel with the blade. Using a dial indicator it is very hard to get the fence exactly parallel so I let the fence move slightly away from the blade.
Usage: The saw is so easy and fun to use, the fence glides into place and locks down tight. I bought the 3HP G1023S model, and pushing the stock through the saw feels as if there is no resistance at all. The big heavy handwheels make setting angles and blade height a breeze, and the center locking knobs work very well indeed. I have used a Freud and a Forestt blade in the saw and they both perform very well. On oak and plywood the cut feels as if the edge has been jointed.
Cleanup: The saw has a built in slanted internal dust chute, so the dust goes straight to the vacuum opening. I don't have a vacuum source, so it is simple enough to open the door and pull the dust out onto a dust pan.
Other comments: The paint on the saw is simply gorgeous, a powder coated pearl green. I set a nickel on edge (safely away from the blade) and started the saw. The nickel didn't budge, you cannot feel any vibration on the table while this baby is running. The miter guage is a heavy duty model with adjustments for movement in the groove. It is adequate, but will need to be replaced with a nice Incra model when money is available.
Other Saws I considered: I looked at all the obvious choices, which included the new DeWalt hybrid saw, the Delta contractor saw, the Rigid contractor saw, and the Powermatic contractor saw. The DeWalt was interesting, but it comes with a wooden wing table, I didn't care for the fence, and the table top was crudely machined, and the price is $899.99. The Delta contractor saws had stamped metal wings, a motor that hangs out the back, and the price is $899.00. The PowerMatic would have been a good saw, but again for the price I get to have a heavy duty cabinet saw. The Rigid saw was not even considered once I had a close look at it. The only redeeming value in the Rigid is the very well designed mobile base. I also looked at the Grizzly contractor saw, and the only reason I didn't get it was the open table wings and the motor configuration. The Delta Cabinet saws are $1400, and the PowerMatic is closer to $2000. I looked them all over very closely at the different dealers here in town, and I can honestly say that the Grizzly is machined as well, or better than these two.
Who should buy this saw?: This is a big, heavy duty saw, so anyone wanting a more portable saw should consider the contractor saws. With the mobile base this saw is as easy as any other saw to move around inside your shop or garage, but you won't be throwing this in the pickup to take to a job site.
The table is chamferred at the front edge making it easier to use the miter guage. One minor complaint is that the wing tables aren't chamferred as well, so the table doesn't look as good as it could. The only other minor complaint I have is that the on/off switch buttons are very small, so shutting the saw off while holding the stock is a little precarious. On the plus side, the table is machined to an almost mirror like finish and the wings are finished the same.
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