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Welcome to our review of the Grizzly 1023S table saw. We have a Powermatic Model 66 (PM66) table saw that serves us very well, but I wanted a "second" saw for those times when the PM66 is "setup" for a specific operation. I decided to buy a used contractor's saw. However, I never found one so I decided to buy a new Grizzly contractor's saw. However, after mulling it over I figured I would be disappointed with a contractor's saw, so I purchased the G1023S. I have been very delighted with the purchase.
||$800.00 plus shipping
Click here for G1023S Features and Specifications
Click here for pictures of our G1023S
- The saw arrived lying on its side in the Consolidated Freight truck. Its carton was completely torn
open. The two extension wings and various parts were lying here and there in the back of the trailer.
- The saw had tipped over in shipment, bending the Arbor Tilt shaft and the shaft of the Arbor locking knob.
Grizzly immediately shipped all required parts, no questions asked.
- The black appearance tape applied to the base of the saw was scuffed and ripped.
- The powdercoat finish, inside and out, was exceptional with no visible scratches.
- The mechanical controls (Arbor Tilt and Elevation) operated smoothly.
- The main table top and left extension wing were ground reasonably smooth. The right wing was ground
to a coarser finish than the main top and left wing.
- I removed the Cosmolene in less than an hour using mineral spirits and shop paper towels. As a machinist
apprentice many years ago we always used kerosene to remove Cosmolene, but the mineral spirits worked fine.
- All parts including a 5/16" drill bit and 3/8" tap were present.
- The G1023S and Shop Fox Classic manuals are very good.
- The fence measuring tape was okay, but I ordered a Starrett tape to replace it. Order 25U02.01 (3/4" x 72")
from Lee Valley Tools. I ordered 25U02.02 (1/2" x 48") and was somewhat disappointed
by the narrow width. Purchase the longer tape, which is 3/4" wide.
- Click here to read about Grizzly's policy regarding products damaged in shipment.
- The extension wings mounted easily and all holes matched perfectly.
- Width of the wings matched the width of the main table perfectly.
- I followed Grizzly's instructions in regards to using masking tape between the wing and main table
surfaces to level the wings with the main table. Worked fine.
- It was impossible to align the miter gauge slots with the blade to better than .010". Consequently, as per Grizzly, I removed the table from the saw and adjusted the trunnions so that the blade
was ballpark parallel with the left-hand table mounting holes in the base cabinet.
- With the top off, I tightened a variety of Allen screws and bolts. I also noticed that the Delta-style trunnion design is inferior to the PowerMatic design.
- I replaced the table and was able to align the miter slot to the blade to +/- .001 in less than 5 minutes.
- I adjusted the Arbor Tilt stop to allow the blade to reach 0°/90°.
- I attached the fence rails and leveled them without difficulty. All holes aligned perfectly. I suggest that prior to mounting the rails, you
drill two holes in each rail to support an extension table. Since the fence rides on the table top, the extension table is required.
- I installed the front fence tube without difficulty. All holes aligned perfectly.
- I adjusted the fence to be exactly parallel with the blade, + .010" at the rear. The adjustment is made exactly like a Biesemeyer fence, using two Allen screws (right and left of the fence) that push nylon pads contacting the front fence tube.
A perfect adjustment method: fast, easy, reliable, accurate!
- The fence faces were not square with the table top. Also, the fence faces were +/- .005 out of flat across their entire length. I removed the fence faces and noticed that someone had shimmed them with small pieces of paper in the upper front and back corners. Whoever shimmed them had the right idea, but poor implementation. I shimmed them using several long pieces of masking tape that reached across the entire length of the fence (not just at the front and back as Grizzly had done.) Unlike my Biesemeyer, the screws that hold
the faces to the fence are easily accessible and are machine screws not PK, self-tapping sheet metal screws.
- I installed the Starrett measuring tape. The fence hairline is adjustable, but I did not need the adjustment.
- I attached the electrical box without difficulty. All holes aligned perfectly. I wired the input AC cord to a standard Nema 220 VAC plug.
- I mounted a dust collection port to the cabinet's access door. The door latch hardware is a much better design than that used on our PM66.
- I powered the saw on. Noise and vibration were what you would expect for a cabinet style table saw, pretty much nil.
- Test cuts were smooth and accurate. Using the Starrett tape, rip cuts were within .005" of what I set using the fence hairline.
- I recently added my own splitter and blade guard. Click here to read all about it.
- How can Grizzly sell this saw for only $840 delivered to my door?
- I rate all castings as good to very good. I am very impressed with the finish of the interior
- I rate the finish and design of the sheet metal to be better than our PowerMatic Model 66 (PM66). For instance, our
10 year old PM66 does not have the angled dust chute bottom that closes off the base. (Newer PM66s have the angled chute.)
Also, the Grizzly cabinet door latch is better than the PM66 latch.
- I rate the finish of the Grizzly table top as good. The PM66 I would classify as excellent. It is hard to put into words, but the quality of the PM66 cast iron (it seems finer) and its finish is better than any saw I have seen. Those of you who say the Grizzly's top is smooth as glass would appreciate the even smoother PM66 table. With that said, I "honed" the Grizzly top by hand to a very smooth and acceptable finish.
- The mechanical controls of the Grizzly are smooth and match the smoothness of Delta Unisaws that I have used. Neither match the PM66. The Grizzly handwheels are great and their locking knobs are superior to any I've used, including those of our PM66.
- The electrical controls (on/off buttons) of the Grizzly do not provide the tactile feel I am accustomed to, however
I have grown to not only accept them but like them.
- The throat plates of the Grizzly are better than my warped PM66 plates. I like the spring-loaded clips and retainer pin
of the Grizzly plates.
- The blade guard of the Grizzly is pretty chintzy but I might use it until I install an overhead model. The PM66 blade guard is extremely well made, but has never been used in our shop.
- The Grizzly arbor shaft appears to be an equal to the Delta Unisaw but is looks weak in comparision to the PM66 shaft. Its threads just are not as beefy!
- With that said, I can fit a larger dado blade width on the Grizzly arbor than I can on the Powermatic, if I use the standard Powermatic nut and arbor washer. The standard Powermatic nut and washer are much thicker than the Grizzly's. Consequently, I run out of arbor threads at about 1/2" of dado width.
- It is hard to get accustomed to the left mounted, right tilting blade. I don't know how a right-hander can claim that this is the correct way to mount the arbor. Being a right-hander, I much prefer mounting the blade from the right and angling the blade to the left. But to each his/her own.
- With that said, I do appreciate the right tilt arbor when using dado blades. On the Powermatic, the dado width extends
towards the right-mounted fence, thus you cannot take a direct reading of the fence measuring tape--it's off by the width of the dado. On the Grizzly, the dado extends to the left, so the fence measuring tape remains accurate.
- The Grizzly Shop Fox Classic (a Biesemeyer clone) fence is excellent other than the out-of-square fence faces. The locking control is stiffer and rougher than the PM66 Biesemeyer.
I replaced the fence measuring tape with one from Starrett. The Grizzly tape is not accurate and its lines were too thick for my liking. Using the Starrett tape, I can reliably set the fence to less than .005" of an inch of its setting. I tested this using a dial caliper! I prefer the laminated Baltic-birch faces of the Biesemeyer to the plastic Jet/Grizzly faces. However, I cannot remove the PM66 faces whereas the Grizzly faces are easily removed. I am pleasantly surprised that Grizzly used machine screws rather than sheet metal screws to mount the faces. (The new PM66 saws come with a Biesemeyer clone with easily removable faces.)
- The fence rails are not pre-drilled for a required extension table. I made an extension table that doubles as a router table. I plan to attach a fence cradle to the bottom of the extension table. The large fence needs a place to live when not being used!
- The fence deflects at the rear if you pound it with your hand, but then so does my PM66 Biesemeyer.
- I found that the left fence face was not flat--it varied about .20" from front to back. I have since made a replacement fence face using 1/2" birch-faced MDF which works great. Click here to view.
- The width of the Grizzly miter slots match the PM66 slots almost perfectly. The machining of the Grizzly slots appear to be ever so slightly better than the PM66. The slots of the Grizzly are closer to the blade than the PM66. Some see this as an advantage.
- Arbor runout on the Grizzly is +/- .001". Runout on our PM66 is .002".
- The Grizzly miter gauge is better than the PM66 gauge. Probably won't use it (we have both JDS Accu-Miter and Incra miter gauges as well as various crosscut sleds.)
- Grizzly has added a machined piece of aluminum to prevent the Tilting Arbor gears from tweaking if you firmly hit the Arbor angle stop. The absence of this part was mentioned in a Wood Magazine article. However, like Jet, the bracket is there but was not adjusted correctly.
- I ran into a problem I had not noticed when I first installed the machine. When tilting the blade to 45° for a bevel cut, I notice that the blade heeled towards the left miter slot (front to back). I checked it with my dial indicator and a set/sand disk and sure enough, the blade heeled .030 (30 thousandths) of an inch. Grizzly Technical Service quickly replied to my inquiries and suggested the following fix:
1st Response..."The problem that you are encountering is not normal but it can be easily fixed. Basically you will
need to place shims between the trunions and the cabinet base. Placing the shim between the front trunion
and the base will kick the heel of the blade to the right. Placing the shim between the rear trunion
and the base will kick the heel of the blade to the left. The blade will move 1/2 the thickness of the shim.
Since you are out .030" you will want to use a shim .060" thick which will be about the thickness of
a standard washer. Please let me know if you have any questions and also let me know how you make out."
Ahh!! Now I know why those washers were there........
2nd Response..."This changes the geometry of the swing of the carriage assembly so that when it is
cranked over to 45° it will keep the blade parallel. I know it sounds strange but it does work, I
have done it in the past to correct the same type of problem. It will not affect the blade when it is
at 0°, it only changes it when it is set to an angle."
And click here for even more pictures.
I am very satisfied with the finish and performance of the G1023S. It is not the equal of our PM66, but I venture to guess
that any woodworker, myself included, would be very satisfied with this saw. The PM66 table casting and finish, motor, mechanicals, trunnions, and electricals are
superior to those of the G1023S. The PM66 is a delight to use and is a superior saw in just about every way. Of course I spent close to $2000.00 for the PM66 and you
can buy the Grizzly for $825 (including freight). The bottom line though is the woodworking performance of the two saws appears
to be equal. I doubt very seriously that anyone can do better woodworking on the PM66 than on the Grizzly G1023S. Will the Grizzly out live the PM66? Who knows?
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