The Best Grizzly Thickness Planer Machines for Woodworking

grizzly thickness planers

Last updated on March 19th, 2023 at 12:45 am

Grizzly is one of the several power tool companies that still manufacture thickness planers today.

Although, it all started as a hobby, the green-colored power tool and machinery brand Grizzly has been around for quite some time, that today they make some of the best woodworking and metalworking tools available today.

If you’re thinking about getting a Grizzly thickness planer, one question that will surely cross your mind is that, are they still worth it for a woodworker? Can they be compared with planer machines from similar brands such as Powermatic, Jet, and so on?

Well, to answer that question, let’s look at some of their units and the features each has to offer. Going through these features can help you compare them to similar brands, so you can make an informed decision when making your choice.

Grizzly produces both portable or benchtop thickness planers, and cabinet style units. The 2 main benchtop units they manufacture are the G0505 and the G0940.

Here’s what you should know about them and their other cabinet style units.

Grizzly G0505 vs G0940 Benchtop Thickness Planers

Grizzly G0940 benchtop thickness planer
Grizzly G0940

The Grizzly G0505 benchtop unit is far more common and popular than the G0940. That’s because the G0940 is almost twice the price of the G0505 even though they’re both portable planing machines.

A few important features however, differentiates one from the other. First, while the G0505 comes with a 2 knife cutterhead, the G0940 features a helical cutterhead with 30 inserts arranged in two rows, which helps the planer produce a smoother surface on the wood, while also making it run more quietly.

Secondly, the G0940 has a slightly higher width capacity of 13 inches. On the other hand, the width capacity of the G0505 is 12-1/2 inches.

The additional ½ inch width of the G0940 may not seem like much, but it comes in handy when you have to carry out some projects that requires wider boards, without resorting to sawing your board in half and gluing them up later.

Both planers however are powered with a 2 HP, 15A single-phase motor, which spins the cutterhead, ensuring it cuts and plane any type of wood passed through it.

grizzly G0505 thickness planer
Grizzly G0505

The cutterhead speed of the Grizzly G0940 is 8500 RPM at a feed rate of 25 FPM. That of the Grizzly G0505 is 10,000 RPM at a feed rate of 32 FPM (feet per minute).

It may seem that the G0505 is much better in this aspect because it has a higher cutterhead speed and a faster feed rate. On the contrary, it’s not necessarily so. The faster a straight knife cutterhead spins, the smoother the surface it produces. The downside however is that it becomes noisier as well.

For a helical cutterhead like the one in the Grizzly G0940 thickness planer, the rotational speed and feed rate are lower because it doesn’t have to be high to produce a smooth surface on the board you’re planing.

The way the inserts are arranged on the cutterhead ensures that it shears through the board/wood, leaving a smoother surface to work with. This low speed and feed rate also results in low noise production when operating the machine.

Both planers have a handwheel depth adjustment at the top for increasing or reducing cutting depth, and there is a depth scale on each unit so the user can read depth settings easily.

However, a third difference between the two units is that the G0940 has an adjustable depth stop, allowing the user to repeat the same depth settings on several boards without overplaning or cutting the board thinner than it should be. On the other hand, the G0505 does not have that feature.

One more key difference between the Grizzly G0940 and the G0505 which is probably one of the most important is that, the G0940 comes equipped with a dust port where you can attach a suitable dust collector or shop vac to collect all the dust produced during operation.

On the other hand, the G0505 does not feature such a dust port. This means all the dust produced when using the machine spills all over the place, leaving the user with lot of cleanups to do.

This single drawback is what makes the G0505 not very desirable to me. Don’t get me wrong. When it comes to performance, it works very good producing really smooth surfaces on boards. However, the lack of a dedicated dust port makes it unsuitable to use indoors or in the workshop. If you work outside, then it’s okay.

The much lower price of the Grizzly G0505 also makes it difficult to ignore when choosing between the two.

Grizzly G1033Z 20 inch 5 Horsepower Thickness Planer

Grizzly G1033Z

This is an industrial size thickness planer with up to 20 inch width capacity to plane the widest of materials, and a 5 Horsepower 230 volts single-phase motor to back it up.

Grizzly Industrial produces many cabinet size thickness planers, but this one is one of the best and most affordable ones.

It comes equipped with a 4 knife cutterheard, with a triple V-belt drive and a 2 feed rates you can switch to depending on the amount of material you’re removing from your stock.

One at 16 FPM and the other at 20 FPM. The cutterhead spins at 5000 rpm, allowing you to achieve the best finish when you plane boards with it.

The infeed and outfeed tables as well as the main table are made of precision-ground cast iron for stability and durability.

As far as safety is concerned, the Grizzly G1033Z comes equipped with all the features you need to safely operate the machine. Anti-kickback fingers allow you to rest of mind, knowing that you can safely operate the machine without any injury due to kickbacks.

It also features a magnetic switch and thermal overload protection to keep the machine working at optimal conditions.

The maximum cutting height is 8 inches, the minimum is ¼ inches, while the maximum cutting depth is 1/8 inches.

It comes with a heavy duty cast iron elevation wheel right at the top of the planer for increasing and reducing the cutting height or thickness.

What we like about it

  • Very large 20 inch width capacity.
  • High-quality build. Heavy cast iron construction.
  • Very powerful 5 HP motor.
  • Efficient dust collection.
  • Easy assembly.

Where it can be improved

  • It does not come with a helical cutterhead, although you can order one along with it.

Grizzly Industrial G1033X 20 Inch 5 HP Thickness Planer

Grizzly G1033X industrial thickness planer

This Grizzly G1033X industrial thickness planer is just like the G1033Z but instead of a 4 straight knife cutterhead, this one comes with a helical cutterhead with 98 indexable knifes.

A helical cutterhead like the one found in this Grizzly helps a lot for producing better finishes and also reduces the amount of noise produced when working with the planer.

Just like the G1033Z, this also comes with a 5 Horsepower 220 single-phase motor and has up to 20 inches of width capacity to accommodate really wide stocks.

The minimum cutting height is ¼ inches, the maximum is 8-5/8 inches, and has a minimum cutting depth of 1/8 inches.

Infeed and outfeed tables, including the main table are precision-ground cast iron. Instead of painting, the body is powder coated to ensure resistance to chemicals and prevent corrosion.

The G1033X also comes with a magnetic switch, thermal overload protection and anti-kickback fingers for safety and durability reasons.

A 5 inch dust port makes connecting your dust collection system to the planer very easy. Making table adjustments require very little effort, thanks to the large easily accessible wheel at the top of the machine.

What we like about it

  • The helical cutterhead makes it run quieter and produces better surface finishes.
  • Large 20 inch width capacity for big projects.
  • High quality build with an all cast iron body.
  • Maintenance is fairly straightforward.

Where it can be improved

  • Assembly manual is not straightforward

Grizzly G1021X2 15 Inch 3 Horsepower Thickness Planer

Grizzly G1021X2 thickness planer

If you need a sturdy and capable 15 inch planer you can use to tackle your daily wood thicknessing needs, then you should definitely check out this Grizzly G1021X2.

It comes with all the features you need as far as power, stability, capacity and ease of use is concerned.

The motor is a single-phase 3 Horsepower, 220 volts motor and produces up to 5000 rpm of cutterhead speed.

As for the cutterhead, it’s a helical cutterhead with 74 indexable knifes, which allows you to work at reduced noise levels compared to straight knife cutterheads, and also allows your stock to come out pretty smoother.

The planer has 2 feed rates. One at 16 FPM and the other at 28 FPM. The slower feed rate is ideal for finishing because there’s more cuts per inch of the material, while the faster feed rate is more aggressive and ideal for large stock removal.

With the Grizzly G1021X2, you get 14-7/8 inch of maximum cutting width, 6-1/8 inch minimum cutting height and a maximum cutting depth of 1/8 inches.

It has precision-ground cast iron infeed and outfeed tables, with a smooth and lightly serrated outfeed roller to ease removal of stock from the planer.

There’s a table a column lock to lock the table and prevent movement that may cause sniping of your stock, and there’s a 4 inch dust port for connecting your dust collection system.

Overall, this Grizzly G1021X2 thickness planer is excellent for planing and dimensioning rough lumber. With the helical cutterhead installed, any stock you plane with it comes out silky smooth.

What we like about it

  • Assembly is easy. It comes well adjusted right out of the box.
  • It’s build to last with high quality cast iron parts.
  • The helical cutterhead produces very smooth finishes on any wood planed with it.
  • It has plenty of power to plane any type of wood.
  • Considerably quieter than similar planers with straight knife cutterheads.

Where it can be improved

  • It doesn’t come with the oil for the gear box.

Grizzly Industrial G0890

Grizzly industrial G0890

The Grizzly industrial G0890 is another 15 inch thickness planer you might want to take a look at if you’re thinking about getting one of Grizzly’s cabinet styled wood planers.

It features a 3 Horepower motor and spins a 3 high speed steel knife cutterhead at a maximum speed of 5200 rpm.

Unlike other Grizzly thickness planers, a unique feature of this G0890 is that it comes with a fixed table height and a horizontal wheel at the top for adjusting the cutting height.

For this G0890, instead of the table moving up and down the 4 columns when you turn the height adjustment wheel, it’s the cutterhead that moves up and down the columns.

This style allows for greater efficiency as you only have to set up the infeed and outfeed tables ones and that’s it.

It has a maximum cutting width of 15 inches, a maximum cutting height of 6 inches, a minimum of 3/16 inches and a maximum cut depth of 1/8 inches.

Just like the rest, the main table and extensions are made of precision ground cast iron for maximum stability and durability.

An oil-bathed 2 speed gear box allows you operate the planer at a feed rate of 16 FPM or 28 FPM depending on the quality of finish you want or the rate at which you want to plane your stock.

It also features a magnetic switch and anti-kickback fingers for maximum safety under operation. A poly-V belt drive ensures the machine runs as smoothly as possible. All in all, this G0890 is definitely a strong option to look at if you’re thinking about getting a Grizzly thickness planer.

What we like about it

  • It powers through any wood thrown at it.
  • Produces very good finishes on the wood
  • It’s definitely built to last with every part made of cast iron, including extension wings.
  • Height adjustment is very easy to make with a simple hand wheel right at the top of the machine.

Where it can be improved

  • It doesn’t come with the oil for the gearbox.

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