15" Planer Options


I'm zeroing in on a choice for a 15" planer and have narrowed it down to the Jet 708529 or the new Grizzly G1021Z. They are both roughly in my price range. I've found a little information in the archives on both models but not much (especially the Grizzly machine). Does anyone have any experience with this particular model?
I've seen the recent Popular Woodworking review, but its on an older model. I have a couple other Grizzly tools in the shop (8" jointer, dust collector and 14" bandsaw) and have been pretty happy with them all, but I'm always a little leary about making a leap (especially a $1200-1300 one) without more real world feedback.
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Well, not the "new," but the old had a couple of cheapnesses that were upsetting. The bed rollers were best described as tin on pins, but they were quick enough to replace when one collapsed. The cutterhead locks were also of the cheapest sort, but if you don't have HS kids who can't figure out Leftie Lucy or counterclockwise (damn digital watches), you probably won't break the cheap plastic knobs or lose the wedges.
Planed wood well, though. Only one of the Grizz tools that turned out to be worth the money.
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I got the G0551 planer. My dad has the discontinued version, can't remember the model number. They are both great planers. You will see what appears to be the exact same planer as the G1021Z offered by several other vendors, all charging quite a bit more for theirs.
I recently finished the 2-year construction of my humble 20x20 woodshop and outfitted it all at once with Grizzly tools. Planer, jointer, table saw, bandsaw, drill press, and combo sander. The planer and jointer blades were near perfectly set from the factory. I doubt that I will be able to set them as close myself when the time comes. And I checked them with a dial indicator. All arrived without damage or any serious flaws or problems. The drill press had a wobbly chuck and a replacement was at my door in a day-and-a-half.
I am extremely pleased with my Grizzly machines and with the money saved I can buy lots of other goodies now that the money pit is officially open :)
I would recommend Grizzly in a heartbeat.
I wanted the G1021Z, by the way, but I was not willing to spend the bucks.
Best of luck whichever way you go.
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Sorry I don't have a recommendation for a 15", but 12 to 13-inch planers seem to be more common. I have a Makita 12-1/2" which is lightweight and has done the job well for many years. If I had to replace it, I'd consider the DeWalt 735 because it has three blades that can be resharpened and engineered to almost eliminate snipe.. I would not use a planer without a DC.
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