Which 15" Planer to buy? - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 17 Old 12-07-2019, 08:33 AM Thread Starter
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Which 15" Planer to buy?

I need to buy a heavy duty planer before year-end for a cooperative wood shop with 50 members with varying abilities, including the ability to take proper care of our tools. I need to select a reliable, durable, long-lasting planer that can be moved away from the wall for use. We have a budget between $1,500 to… possibly $1,800 including taxes, etc.

There are, I believe, only 5 choices: Jet’s JWP-15B ($1660) and Grizzly’s G0815 ($1,450), G0890 ($1,480), G0453 ($1,600) and G1021Z ($1,635). I am leaning toward either Grizzly’s little G0815, with the Jet in close second, primarily because the G0815 is $200 cheaper but am lured by Jet’s 5 year warranty vs Griz’s 1 year. Any advice??

I have searched for used planers near NYC without luck and members are wary of buying used equipment. We considered a jointer/planer (we have no jointer) but decided that their complexity and learning curve would lead to headaches.

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post #2 of 17 Old 12-07-2019, 10:11 AM
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I think you will be OK with either a Jet or Grizzly. I would suggest you get a spiral cutter head in the one you select. For that environment it will save a ton of time when the "blades" get nicked.
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post #3 of 17 Old 12-07-2019, 05:19 PM
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I would go with Grizzly, I bought their 1033 20 inch planer in 1986 maybe 87, but it has never given any problems, I installed a Shelix head a few years ago, it was tough to pay more for a carbide head then I did for the whole machine, but it does a wonderful job of planing even does end grain cutting boards with no or very little tearout, and much quieter, with the dust collector running with standard knives the noise was deafening

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post #4 of 17 Old 12-11-2019, 12:08 PM
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I second the suggestion of a machine with a spiral cutter head, but a group with varying degrees of experience learning to maintain the knives in their machine sounds good too. Your tools are useless if they break and you can't fix em.
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post #5 of 17 Old 12-11-2019, 04:37 PM
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I dunno. In your environment that 5 year warranty says something to me. You're looking at a tool that will be used by a varied group of individuals, who may or may not decide to use the tools properly. Is the machine being cooperatively paid for? What incentive individually do they have to care for the equipment, rather than toss bricks and rubber balls in the machine, like a high school kid in shop class? It may not be one of the woodworkers themselves, but one of their kids they brought along who happens to find a machine interesting.

Also, will there be official training on the machinery? What happens if someone gets hurt (a shaving to the eyeball, or a nip off the finger)? Warnings and "don't be stupid" disclaimers?

Can you tell I've worked in a school setting? :P
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post #6 of 17 Old 12-11-2019, 05:44 PM
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Originally Posted by AwesomeOpossum74 View Post
I dunno. In your environment that 5 year warranty says something to me. You're looking at a tool that will be used by a varied group of individuals, who may or may not decide to use the tools properly. Is the machine being cooperatively paid for? What incentive individually do they have to care for the equipment, rather than toss bricks and rubber balls in the machine, like a high school kid in shop class? It may not be one of the woodworkers themselves, but one of their kids they brought along who happens to find a machine interesting.

Also, will there be official training on the machinery? What happens if someone gets hurt (a shaving to the eyeball, or a nip off the finger)? Warnings and "don't be stupid" disclaimers?

Can you tell I've worked in a school setting? :P



I doubt they would warranty machine abuse, the electrical is the main worry about warranty, and if it has run hard for 90 days and survived it would probably run until it was worn out, that is how the extended warranty people figure it

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post #7 of 17 Old 12-13-2019, 09:45 AM
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there is much technique involved for good jointer results, less for planers for sure. but, the jointer may be the more useful piece of equipment. the jointer can straighten the edge and face of a board. however i do not know the projects your group will be looking to make.

a thickness planer is just that.

watch for woodworking shows, they often have sales for show models, and esp with helix or spiral heads. good luck!
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post #8 of 17 Old 12-13-2019, 10:03 PM
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I am a fan of Jet. Jet is actually manufactured by Powermatic. The only difference is infeed/outfeed are rollers vs cast iron bed. Setting the knives from above, regardless of the machine you choose is a huge plus. I set my knives with a dial indicator and magnetic base versus a gauge. More accurate and more consistent.
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post #9 of 17 Old 12-17-2019, 09:52 AM
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I am a fan of Jet. Jet is actually manufactured by Powermatic. The only difference is infeed/outfeed are rollers vs cast iron bed. Setting the knives from above, regardless of the machine you choose is a huge plus. I set my knives with a dial indicator and magnetic base versus a gauge. More accurate and more consistent.

Powermatic doesn't manufacture Jet tools. They are both part of JPW Industries which makes Powermatic, Jet and Wilton
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post #10 of 17 Old 12-17-2019, 10:29 AM
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Any of those planers will get the job done.


I would avoid any that have the motor on top I think you'll find it really gets in the way.


Depending on the amount of use, a helical head will pay off in a few years when you consider sharpening/buying knives + they do a better job.

Last edited by DrRobert; 12-17-2019 at 10:31 AM.
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post #11 of 17 Old 12-17-2019, 04:40 PM
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Powermatic doesn't manufacture Jet tools. They are both part of JPW Industries which makes Powermatic, Jet and Wilton

And they are made by Harvey machine in China


Harvey builds machines for over 100 importers, I am sure some of the Grizzly machines come from there, I have seen Powermatic and Jets in pictures of the Harvey showroom

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post #12 of 17 Old 12-18-2019, 09:15 AM
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And they are made by Harvey machine in China


Harvey builds machines for over 100 importers, I am sure some of the Grizzly machines come from there, I have seen Powermatic and Jets in pictures of the Harvey showroom
I had not hear of Harvey Industries. Checked their website and it says "until recently we operated as an OEM supplier to many of the well known US machinery brands."

Geetech which has been talked about on several of the ww forums for years makes Jet, Powermatic, Delta, Grizz and a bunch of others. Not sure what Harvey made and what Geetech made

http://www.geetech.com.tw/index.php/...-partenrship-e
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post #13 of 17 Old 12-18-2019, 04:36 PM
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Originally Posted by littleboss View Post
I had not hear of Harvey Industries. Checked their website and it says "until recently we operated as an OEM supplier to many of the well known US machinery brands."

Geetech which has been talked about on several of the ww forums for years makes Jet, Powermatic, Delta, Grizz and a bunch of others. Not sure what Harvey made and what Geetech made

http://www.geetech.com.tw/index.php/...-partenrship-e

It was a year or two, hell probably 5 since I read that it was Harvey (time flies when you are an old fart LOL)



I swear machine and tool makers switch owners more often then I switch underwear LOL

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post #14 of 17 Old 01-20-2020, 12:16 AM
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Grizzly has its 15" planer made in main land China. Geetech has a manufacturing plant in Southern China. Spiral cutterhead does make difference. Retrofitting old machines with spiral cutterhead is more economical. Old machines often have heavier castings and thicker beds and tables.
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post #15 of 17 Old 01-20-2020, 12:29 AM
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I would go where I can get the best tech help. With many users you might be on the phone a lot. Spiral cutter I don't know. With that many users I think i I would just buy an extra set of blades....Rebel
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post #16 of 17 Old 01-20-2020, 05:56 PM
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I would go where I can get the best tech help. With many users you might be on the phone a lot. Spiral cutter I don't know. With that many users I think i I would just buy an extra set of blades....Rebel



That is why I would want a spiral head, a lot easier to replace an insert then the knives, and it also makes it much quieter



When I had the dust collector running on mine with standard cutter blades damn it was noisy, now with the Shelix head I don't even need hearing protection, it just hums along

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post #17 of 17 Old 01-20-2020, 09:54 PM
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No need to buy extra set of carbide knives when you buy spiral cutterhead. The carbide knives have four edges. Not every edge become dull, break or get nicked at the same time. Only when the surface finish is not clean or there is marks, turn the knivies 90 degree to reveal a new edge. A set of carbide knives can work for months or years.
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