Are spiral cutters really worth the price?

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I've been eyeing the spiral cutter heads on some of grizzly's jointers and planers. At first glance, I really like the idea. But they're so much more expensive. Does anyone have one of these machines and would you say that it was worth the extra expense?
brian
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I have a twenty inch shop Fox planer with conventional blades and a friend just bought the same machine with the spiral cutter head and it's far superior. No tear out on curly grain and a cut that needs finish sanding only. I think I can do a lot of sanding for the extra thousand dollars it cost though.
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On 25 Jun 2004 09:44:21 -0700, brian_and snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com (brian lanning) wrote:

if you do a lot of figured woods or work a lot of tropicals they can be. tropicals plane better then domestic woos but they dull the blades faster.
" Eagles may soar, but weasels don't get sucked into jet engines"
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Steve Knight wrote:

My son uses one in the shop where he works. The little cutter heads are 4 sided and when they get dull, they get a couple of technicians to come in and rotate all the cutters 1/4 turn. It takes hours to do it right and hours=dollars.
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Gerald Ross, Cochran, GA
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On Sat, 26 Jun 2004 09:43:59 -0500, Gerald Ross

Hours? How big is the jointer?
I've seen some 12" rotary cutter head jointers that the cutters locked into each slot. The whole process is simply loosening a screw turning the cutter and retightening it, no skill involved. One of the selling points for the rotary head is that unskilled people can fix a knicked blade.
Are you sure the outside tech's aren't doing other things to the machine, like a full tune / lube / belt replacement service?
Barry
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What kind of machine? If you are comparing a big industrial unit against the Grizzly, this would be misleading. I just don't think Grizzly has a team of technicians wandering around your town to adjust cutter heads.
OTOH, the planer/jointer where I buy my wood I can believe it. Motor is about 35 hp and will take 24" wide stock easily removing 1/2" or more at a pass and doing both sides at the same time. It has a series of helical cutters. Ed
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wrote:

come
Looking at the Grizzly website it says "indexable carbide inserts". To me it sounds like there is a detente that would allow them to be easily aligned. Seems a whole lot easier than changing 4 traditional knives and getting them all aligned (something I still haven't attempted on my G0500 even though it is probably time.)
Montyhp

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Yeah, I've seen the Grizzly spiral cutterhead, and those blades aren't difficult to rotate. Though I doubt they can be sharpened, which to me, is a downside. So, you get 4 rotations and then discard. I prefer the standard knives that can be sharpened. And, if you desire, you can always by a set of carbide jointer knives.
I just bought the G0500 myself. Gave some serious thought to the spiral cutterhead version beforehand, but in the end opted for the knives.
Brian.
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snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com (Brian) writes:

They're only $2 each. That's $0.50 per nick, or 60 nicks per resharpening trip. TOSS THEM. Life is too short.
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Thanks everyone for you input. It's a hard decision when the 12" jointer can be had for the same price as the 8" with the spiral cutter head. Sounds like it's worth it though.
brian
(brian lanning) wrote:

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What is zero tearout worth to you? Edge jointing curly maple with *no* tearout. I had a chance for the first time a few weeks ago to use a General (CDN Made) 8" jointer with a helical carbide insert head and it blew me away. When I get the money, I will be putting a helical cutterhead on my DJ-30.
David.
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Dave
Gotta ask, WHO makes a drop in replacement spiral cutter head for the DJ30???
John
On Sat, 26 Jun 2004 19:54:06 GMT, "David F. Eisan"

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http://www.byrdtool.com /
" Eagles may soar, but weasels don't get sucked into jet engines"
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I have a 18in Woodmaster planer, and noticed that they want MORE for the spiral head for the WoodMaster than I paid for the entire WoodMaster package (planer, sander, molding head, etc.) Better be one HECK of an improvement for $2000+ to move to spiral cutter head
John
On Sun, 27 Jun 2004 01:28:40 GMT, Steve Knight

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If the price for the DJ30 head is comparable to what they want for a head for my WoodMaster, that turns the DJ30 into a $5000+ jointer
John
On Sun, 27 Jun 2004 01:28:40 GMT, Steve Knight

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Ok, I checked these folks out. Since the cutters aren't square to the axis, they can't make a flat surface (the cutter corners are slightly futher away from the center of rotation than the center of the faces; they should make shallow beads and leave lines on the wood). Can anyone explain what they were thinking, and/or how this really works?
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http://www.byrdtool.com/Difference.gif
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snipped-for-privacy@thanks.com writes:

I saw that, but missed the "radius ground on knives" note. Still, it says "reduces lines" - not eliminate them. The question is, do they grind such that the entire cutting edge is equidistant from the axis? They don't say.
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Good illustration but wrong terminology. Spiral does not apply to either. They are both helixes.
writes:

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Rotate it a bit and look again (if you can visualize this). They cut smooth.
writes:

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