Difference between "Grizzly" and "Polar Bear" Planers? - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
 
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post #1 of 16 Old 02-24-2012, 12:20 AM Thread Starter
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Difference between "Grizzly" and "Polar Bear" Planers?

I currently have access to a 20" Grizzly Planer with a spiral cutter head; however, I have to drive a 1/2 hour each way to use it. I'm to the point where I want one of my own so I'm looking to pick one up soon. I'm thinking I might get the Grizzly G0453 15" Planer. But for the same price, Grizzly also offers the G0453P (Polar Bear). I'm assuming these planers are exactly the same except for color? Just wanting to get a 2nd opinion. I'm also open to any other suggestions on a 15" Planer. One thing I will say is I'm not interested in the small bench-top planers whatsoever. I know a lot of people here use them and like them but I want something with cast iron construction.
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post #2 of 16 Old 02-24-2012, 12:49 AM
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Just contact Grizzly customer support.

Usually the difference is one of nationality. (China vs. Taiwan) My experience is that Taiwan is better quality.

I have the new G0634XP and it is a fantastic machine.

Use the right tool for the job.

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post #3 of 16 Old 02-24-2012, 01:00 AM
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I've got the 15" grizzly, a couple of years old, but the equal of the GO453. It does not have the spiral cutter head but I like this tool. It's a great little workhorse. I've never used the spiral cutter head, how does it compare?

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post #4 of 16 Old 02-24-2012, 01:26 AM Thread Starter
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I really like the finish I get from the spiral cutter head...it's amazingly smooth. I honestly have only used a 3-knife type cutter head a few times so I can't really give a good comparison. I do remember the spiral cutter head was way more quieter. I'd like to get the spiral cutter head version on the 15" grizzly but the price really jumps. Are your knives hard to set up on your 15" and how long do they last? I plan on planing a lot of red oak and pine boards.

I just emailed grizzly and asked them if there's any differnece between the G0453 and the G0453p. I also asked if they were made in China or Taiwan. Hopefully I'll get an answer in the morning.
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post #5 of 16 Old 02-24-2012, 03:21 AM
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They are the same except for the paint and some other cosmetics like the handwheel and the switch gear. All of Grizzly's 4 post planers are made in China and they don't match the fit and finish of those machines made in Taiwan. If you want to know where a Grizzly machine is made just go to their website pull up the machine in question and look right under the price black and click on specification sheet and near the bottom it will list the country of origin. Also if you happen to have the 2012 catalog if the machine doesn't have a made in Taiwan (or another country for some rare machines) yellow and red bubble on the page it is made in China.
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post #6 of 16 Old 02-24-2012, 03:28 AM
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oops sorry about the double post
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post #7 of 16 Old 02-24-2012, 08:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NickSaw76 View Post
I really like the finish I get from the spiral cutter head...it's amazingly smooth. I honestly have only used a 3-knife type cutter head a few times so I can't really give a good comparison. I do remember the spiral cutter head was way more quieter. I'd like to get the spiral cutter head version on the 15" grizzly but the price really jumps. Are your knives hard to set up on your 15" and how long do they last? I plan on planing a lot of red oak and pine boards.

I just emailed grizzly and asked them if there's any differnece between the G0453 and the G0453p. I also asked if they were made in China or Taiwan. Hopefully I'll get an answer in the morning.
I don't find it difficult to change the blades, however, I have often thought having the spiral cutter might be worth it. It cuts pretty smoothly with fresh blades but can tear out difficult grain. Also it might leave feed roller marks if you don't remove enough material. My planer purchase was one of opportunity not deliberate selection. I'd compare.

Bret
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post #8 of 16 Old 02-24-2012, 08:40 AM
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All of the Polar Bear series are the exact same as another model they sell except the color is white vs. green. The exception is the G0715P which is only available as a Polar Bear. Personally, I like the white a lot better than the green but your kinda limited as to whats available in the white.

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post #9 of 16 Old 02-24-2012, 05:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lola Ranch View Post
I don't find it difficult to change the blades, however, I have often thought having the spiral cutter might be worth it. It cuts pretty smoothly with fresh blades but can tear out difficult grain. Also it might leave feed roller marks if you don't remove enough material. My planer purchase was one of opportunity not deliberate selection. I'd compare.

Bret
In general the helical head will give better results especially in reversing or other difficult grain, it will also save money in the long run especially if you do not sharpen your own knives. It is also produces much less noise. As an aside the Byrd and other shear cut heads will leave a slightly better finish than the straight cut heads like in the Grizzly but neither is finish ready.
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post #10 of 16 Old 02-24-2012, 05:47 PM
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Originally Posted by BassBlaster View Post
All of the Polar Bear series are the exact same as another model they sell except the color is white vs. green. .

As I said there are actually other minor mainly cosmetic differences, in the case of the 15" 4 post planers the handwheel and switch gear, but none of them make any functional difference.
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post #11 of 16 Old 02-24-2012, 06:07 PM
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Hello

Quote:
Originally Posted by Huxleywood View Post
As I said there are actually other minor mainly cosmetic differences, in the case of the 15" 4 post planers the handwheel and switch gear, but none of them make any functional difference.
You seem quite knowledgable in the world of Grizz. How so, if you don't mind? bill

The answer to your question will only be as detailed and specific as the question is detailed and specific. Good questions also include a sketch or a photo that illustrates your issue. (:< D)
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post #12 of 16 Old 02-24-2012, 08:41 PM Thread Starter
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Grizzly replied to my questions. They said the g0453 and g0453P are both made in China. Kinda disappointing...was hoping for taiwan. They also mentioned the switches on the machines are different (I could care less about that). You definitely know your grizzly planers Huxleywood.

I was looking at a 15" Jet but it looks identical to the Grizzly. Prob the same exact thing. Seems like it's just a matter of what name plate I want on it at this point I guess. I must admit, the polar bear edition looks really nice.
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post #13 of 16 Old 02-24-2012, 10:13 PM
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Originally Posted by woodnthings View Post
You seem quite knowledgable in the world of Grizz. How so, if you don't mind? bill
My wife says I am a machine junkie, my woodworking friends say I am the Rain Man of machine specs, heavy on the idiot, light on the savant. Whether it is the weight (crated or net) of a Oliver 166BD or the thrust bearing size on a PM 141 I just can't seem to forget it.

EDIT: until I reread it I didn't think that you might be asking if I was associated with Grizzly, I am not nor have I ever been, but I could pick Shiraz Balolia out of the crowd at IWF, but they don't come anymore, maybe this year. I do own a Grizzly gear puller, I think the only thing I have ever owned of theirs.


As for the Jet and Grizzly being the same, they are indeed based on the same generic 4 post planer design, however the Jet and PM are built in Taiwan which accounts for the larger than usual price differential and the better fit and finish particularly on the PM. The PM and Jet also use rubber outfeed rollers which are less likely to cause "tracks" when taking light finishing passes but could possibly increase the level of snipe. If you are looking at helical head planers the Jet and PM use shear cutting helical heads which generally produce better finish, the PM uses a US made Byrd head and the Jet an Asian produced copy, one other thing to look at is the cost of replacement carbide bits, the bits for the Grizzly 15" planers are over $5 each, the cost of the Byrd bits are around $3 each (never checked the Jet) so that adds up to about $150 more per full replacement on the Grizzly. The Jet and PM also have a warranty that is 5 times as long. There are a handful of other small differences as well.

Last edited by Huxleywood; 02-24-2012 at 10:19 PM.
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post #14 of 16 Old 02-24-2012, 10:25 PM
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Thanks for your reply and Welcome

It's really nice when a member shows up with a knowledge in a specific area. We have a few of those, notably knotscott who knows all there is to know about saw blades, chemmy who is a wealth of info on finishing and john lucas who can turn anything on a lathe, also bill wyko who's a wizard on a lathe, and so many others whose names will become familiar to you. Me? I'm good at joining 3 tablesaws in a row and working on a 3 RAS assembly. I'm a tool collector at heart and a woodworker just because... pick a reason, anyone will work. I get just as much satisfaction making things that makes things as making things.
See Ya around often, I hope. bill

The answer to your question will only be as detailed and specific as the question is detailed and specific. Good questions also include a sketch or a photo that illustrates your issue. (:< D)

Last edited by woodnthings; 02-24-2012 at 11:42 PM.
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post #15 of 16 Old 02-24-2012, 10:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by woodnthings View Post
It's really nice when a member show up with a knowledge in a specific area. WE have a few of those, notably knotscott who knows all there is to know about saw blades, chemmy who is a wealth of info on finishing and john lucas who can turn anything on a lathe, also bill wyko who's a wizard on a lathe, and so many others whose names will become familiar to you. Me? I'm good at joining 3 tablesaws in a row and working on a 3 RAS assembly. I'm a tool collector at heart and a woodworker just because... pick a reason, anyone will work. I get just as much satisfaction making things that makes things as making things.
See Ya around often, I hope. bill
I hope to hang around some, thanks Bill. I know Scott S. and Bill W. well and they probably know me, just not from here and not by this screen name.


Van
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post #16 of 16 Old 02-24-2012, 11:20 PM
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"I get just as much satisfaction making things that makes things as making things."



Same here, Bill.

That's a great quote, signature worthy!

Harrison, at your service!
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