I installed the Bryd Shelix cutter head on my Powermatic 12" planer and while the durability and quite cutting is very noticeable so is the "scalloped" surface texture which requires sanding with at least 100 grit paper.
I also have a 8" Poitras Jointer that I replaced the straight steel blades with solid carbide blades and over the past few decades I've only recently had to sharpen these blades and the cut surface quality is near perfect.
I have a one man shop and regularly cut exotics on my jointer since I buy all of my lumber in rough stock.
Anybody else want to share their experiences with spiral heads?
I don't get any "scalloped" surface on my Jet JJ-12 jointer with the Byrd Shelix spiral head. But I do on the Grizzly 20" surface planer with the Grizzly spiral head.
I have my Jointer set to take off 1/32" at a time. The surface is ready for 180 grit sandpaper with my figured big leaf maple. I jointed some doug fir a couple weeks ago and then used 220 grit sandpaper.
On the surface planer, I take off 1/16" until I get within 1/16" of the final thickness. Then I take off 1/32" with the next pass and the last two (2) passes are at 1/64". I get a lot of scalloped surface from the planer side that is not on the jointer side. I concluded that the Byrd Shelix spiral head is cutting better than the Grizzly spiral head.
I think that I will try to use four (4) passes of 1/64" before the final thickness and see if that helps. (I really don't want to spend another $1200 to upgrade the spiral head. It cost me $400 for a service call plus $800 for the spiral head.)
The original Grizzly spiral head, that came with the planer, was planing the figured big leaf maple just as good as the Byrd Shelix head on the jointer. Unfortunately, the original drive pulley worked itself loose on the spiral head shaft and ruined the shaft, which I then had to replace, which got me to this point.
I would love to hear some other experiences from woodworkers that are using spiral heads.