Grizzly cabinet saw -- which one?

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I've just about decided to make a big leap and spring for a Grizzly cabinet saw. I haven't done any serious woodworking before but everything I read here says to go for the best table saw you can afford and this is at (probably over, really) the most I can spend. Grizzly's current sale catalog expires 1-September, so I want to make a decision before then as to which of 3 models and would appreciate advice. The 3 I'm considering are:
G1023S -- their base cabinet saw. $795 G1023SL -- left-tilting, and I think I understand the advantages of that. However, other than that, the specs seem to read the same as the G1023S except that the table is about 4" wider, it includes the dust port, and is 100 pounds heavier. $875 G1023Z -- tilting arbor, "deluxe" model (whatever that means). Has 'Shop Fox' fence, whereas the above 1023S and the 1023SL have the 'Shop Fox Classic' (Biesemeyer knockoff). Table size also 4" wider and 100 pounds heavier. $895
All cost another $75 for shipping.
Questions: 1. One of the differences in the catalog description is that the G1023SL says it has triple V-belt drive. However, the photo of the G1023 also shows three belts. Is there any difference? If so, how much difference would it make to me?
2. The extra 4" of cast-iron table can't totally explain why the SL and Z are 100 pounds heavier than the S. (If it were 100# per 4" of table, the table alone would weight 1000#, whereas the entire unit is 460#.) What else would account for the weight difference?
3. The Z says it has "tilting arbor". Does this really mean that the S and SL don't? If so, it is important? Why?
4. Any sound reasons to prefer the Shop Fox fence (on the Z) rather than the Biesemeyer clone on the S and SL?
5. Given the things I've read about the benefits of left-tilting, it seems to me the best options are the S and the SL. I would choose the SL because of the left-tilt. If I were to choose the S over the SL it would be because it's $100 cheaper. (I'm assuming the difference in fence on the Z is not compelling.) Does that thinking sound reasonable?
6. Any other advice and wisdom?
7. Would anyone try to argue me down to a contractor's saw since I'm a newbie? I.e., am I being foolish spending this much on a first purchase?
Many thanks.
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learned the hard way or couldn't afford the cabinet saw.
7. Would anyone try to argue me down to a contractor's saw since I'm a newbie? I.e., am I being foolish spending this much on a first purchase? Nope. Best move I've seen someone make here in a long time. Some of us learn to buy the best once-up front . Happy cutting!!!
PS- Order a Forrest WWII blade and a Bies splitter . The stock saw comes with a cheap piece of junk guard and splitter that are more hazard than safety feature.

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They have the same belt drive. No difference.

My only guess is that catalog is not always correct. The wings are about 30 or 40 lbs each so no way that 4 inches more would be 100 lbs. The motor cover thing can't be more than a five pounds or so. In any case the S model is heavy enough.

They ALL have a tilting arbor. Without it you can't rip at an angle.

The shop fox supposedly clamps on both ends. Maybe that is an advantage if you are hammering on the fence. I think it just makes things more complicated and fussy. There is nothing wrong with the "classic" fence that comes with the S and SL. It is very simple and sturdy. You can lift it off the table easily to get it out of the way. I haven't used it enough to notice any irritating qualities. It uses the same principle as the Biesemeyer and is constructed solidly so I can't imagine that it will be problematic unless a weld cracks. It was very easy to install.

That is what I did, however I considered the justification for the left tilt and found that the $ saved with the right tilt was compelling enough. I used that $ for a mobile base. Check the archive for Leon's posts about Right vs. Left tilt and see which advantages are important to you. I think that I posted my response to those items a few weeks ago so you can find out why I picked the right tilt despite the advantages of a left tilt.
Since then I have found that "Leon's Left Tilt List" has an additional item that needs correction. Where he talks about having to use your left hand to remove the arbor nut - well, actually if you stand on the outfeed side of the table not only do you get to use your right hand, you also are closer to the arbor so you don't need to reach as far. In this case the right tilt gets the nod.

When you buy it have a razor scraper handy. It takes off the bulk of the cosmoline so you only need a quick wipe with some mineral spirits.
I got the 240v model. It took me an hour or so to put in a new 240v circuit and outlet, but it seems worth it. If you don't do that, you probably want a dedicated 20A 120v circuit anyway, so why bother? As for plugs and the like, ebay was the cheapest place. Grainger charges something like $18 for a Hubbell L6-20 plug which I got on ebay for $4. I also picked up a length of 10GA cord so I can move the saw out of the garage if I want to work outside. The cord on the saw is a bit short.
Don't forget to buy a blade. You can't cut without one and the saw does not come with one.

If you are a newbie and will get over your infatuation soon - leaving your tools alone in a darkened garage forever, then save your money for a year until you are over it. If you want something that is mobile (ie: you can load it in a truck) then get the contractor saw. Other than that, I'd say go ahead and get a tool which will allow you to do good work. It takes more skill to get good work using poor tools.
-Jack
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If something is called a "contractor's saw", it's a poor tool? <G>
Since "contractor saw" can cover anything selling new for $100 to over $900, that's a pretty ridiculous assertation.
I have a 10" Jet contractor's saw, and it is NOT a "poor" tool. I've used plenty of cabinet saws and my cs gives up only a small amount of table size and some horsepower. The only time I've missed the horsies is when I'm ripping 8/4 or thicker hardwoods.
Spend the time properly aligning a good contractors saw, put a high-end blade and a good miter gauge on it, as I have, and I'll bet you a keg of micro brew that I can cut just as accurately on my saw as you can with your cabinet saw.
FWIW, I can afford a cabinet saw, and I have the room for one. I'm happy enough with my saw that I can't make myself write the check for a new cabinet saw. This is regardless of the free routers, $500 in free accessories, etc... offered over the last year or two by several manufacturers.
If I found a $700 PM66 in good shape, would I buy it? Heck yeah! Would I spend $2300 for one? Heck no! <G>
Barry
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in message

Barry,
I didn't say that a contractor saw is a poor tool did I? Maybe I didn't write as precisely as I should have. Since you detail the importance of a good blade, good alignment, a good miter gauge I can only assume that you agree with me that poor tools make it hard to get good results. That is independent of the type of tool or sometimes even the cost of the tool.

One that I did not make... at least not intentionally.

Sure, but then again the Grizzly is only a hundred$ more than Amazon wants for the Jet JWTS-10CW2-JF so we aren't talking a big difference.

No you can't. Please send me the microbrew immediately. Thanks.

I'm sure if I had bought one I'd be happy with it too. I'm also too cheap to buy something that I already have. So until this thing breaks it is it for me.

Me neither. But we weren't talking $2300 saws. You could almost get three saws for that price.
-Jack
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Right-o!
Many folks seem to think of contractor's saws as more towards the low end, so I was making the point in general. Some contractor's saws ARE poor tools, like the direct drive models with 12x12 tables. <G>

Right. However another issue comes up. I don't have any Grizzly tools, so I'm going by what I get here about them. I understand the general consensus as Grizzly is very good about correcting problems and shipping damage, but this damage seems to reach the end user more than tools purchased through normal retail channels. My guess is that it happens to all brands, but the retailer weeds them out on the others.
As a newbie he is unlikely to have the alignment tools we discussed above, nor is he likely to know how the saw *should* work. I usually don't recommend used tools to newbies for this same reason.
If he's going for the Grizzly, I'd jump on the Grizzly $400 contractor's saw, which I'll bet would easily fetch $275-300 used if he decided he really wanted a cabinet saw a few years down the road.
Also, the saw, good miter gauge, and some good alignment tools, would come in at about the same price as the cabinet saw. He's going to need the miter gauge and alignment stuff no matter what is chosen.

Yes, I can. <G> I've used PM66's, Unisaws, a General, and a Jet. If I couldn't, In 10 seconds I would have one of those saws in my shop, as I'm pretty anal about my results.
The only differences I've noticed in 6 years of owning my saw, are the size limits imposed by my 30" fence and ripping hardwoods over 8/4.
The latter is easily overcome cutting oversize, and jointing and planing the part. I don't do it often, so I keep my saw.
Barry
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snip
I think you are on the right track. I was in your position when I started and spent the $600 for a contractor saw. While it is a good saw, I wish now I would have spent another $300 and got the grizzly SL plus a mobile base.
BTW, don't forget to budget for a good blade. I recommend the Forrest WWII (It's around $115 now I think and worth every penny)
Frank
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My penny's worth:
As a newbie, I would probably reccomend you buy the contractors saw. You can always sell it and get the cabinet saw later. I have four contractors saws and have used them well for over 25 years plus. Yes, there are some nuances, but the money difference was well applied to other well needed tools. A cabinet saw is great if you get into that much cabinet or carcass work. Most table saws are used for ripping anyway. I use my radial arm saw or miter saw for cross cutting. I have the other table saws set up for different cuts with different blades, comes in real handy in a large project.
I have to differ with the Shop Fox fence opinions. I have the 1023Z where the fence locks front and back. Nothing better, the blade cannot "force" the back of the fence to move. Any fence that locks front and back is obviously twice as good as one that only locks in front.
BTW, the 3 hp motor is a bonus also. It makes up a lot of the weight difference! I think on the end wings, the 1023 is metal and the 1023z they are cast, more weight. Used contractors saws are all over the place for $100-$125. Try e-bay or pawn shops, but check the bearings and trundle alignment.
The Woodworker II blade is good advice.
E-mail Grizzly, they will get into vast detail on differences for you. Their website even has a link to compare all their saws. Regards, Lewis
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Lewis Dodd wrote:

back and although they worked some of the time, almost everyone with the means to do so has upgraded to a Beis type fence. If you can push the Bies type fence enough to move the back of it while cutting then you are not using the saw right, or you have the fence set up wrong.

Nope, they are cast iron. The left tilt has wider extensions.

base. More of the power of the motor goes into cutting with a cabinet saw, they are more stable, there are a lot of attachments that work with them such as sliding tables and roller extensions, they hold the sawdust better, and $300.00 is not that much to pay for all these advantages.
I have a contractors saw, a 12/14 table saw, 6 Unisaws and 1 left tilt Grizzly and I like it as well as any of the others. Jamie

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Lewis, Many thanks for your thoughts and advice. I've been looking for a good used contractor's saw for 6-8 months to no avail, so am surprised when you say they are abundant and can be had for $100-$125. I must be looking in the wrong place, so I'd appreciate any advice you have as to how to find such a deal. I live in Savannah, GA. I've frequently checked eBay, but anything that is half-way across the country costs so much to freight that I could just as well buy new. I also watch (via the Web) the classified ads for papers north to Charleston, west to Atlanta, and south to northern Florida, even down to Tampa and Savannah. The only place I've found a couple that were interesting was in Sarasota (there seem to be more ads for saws there -- perhaps more older retired woodworkers giving up the hobby), but by the time I get a truck and cover fuel and food it's again a marginal proposition. I did find a very old Grizzly locally, but it was $200 with non-solid wings and a totally worthless fence. After I'd upgrade to a good fence, I'm back in the $500 range again but with a very old saw. If I could find a good contractor's saw for $100-$125, as you suggest, I'd snap it up. I could even afford to replace the fence and still come out ahead verus buying new. So, I would appreciate any thoughts you may have on how I might find such a thing.
Thanks .... Bob

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HELL NO ! Honestly I would never (and that is a statement I do not normally make) ever go back to using a fence that locked front and back...NEVER ! And I do enough cutting of sheet goods on my tablesaw to tell you right off that my "real" Biesmeyer fence has never flexed during a cut...NEVER!

posts on blades you will see I generally use Frued blades...90 percent as good as the Forrest but half the price... but even saying that a WW11 is on both my Table saws at this moment..
I do not own a Grizzley...BUT my other comment to the original poster would to stick to his guns and buy once rather then dropping down to a contractors saw then having to upgrade in 5 or 10 years...IF the original poster gives up on woodworking I bet he could place an ad in the newspaper and have the saw sold BEFORE the paper even hits the street...
Bob Griffiths

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I have the 1023Z with the Shop Fox fence. It is smooth and works perfectly. It is ALWAY true. That said, I do not have enough room for an outfeed table and make due with the roller supports. IF, I ever get that separate shop built, I'll switch to a Bessie style fence.
Until then, I can see no advantage to the Bessie or a clone.
My SIL just bought one of those Craftsman saws that folds up and rolls everywhere. Since he is in the midst of remodeling his house, room by room, the portability was a major consideration.
If the poster intends on doing carpenter-style work, buy a decent contractor's saw, and Craftsman WILL DO. (It may not impress anyone here, but you can set up and do acceptable cuts.) If the poster intends on going for cabinet-making, where percision is paramont, spring for the cabinet saw.
James...
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Snip
A cabinet saw is great if you get into that much cabinet or carcass

OK your newbyness is really showing here... ;~) A cabinet saw was not named for the type work it is used for. You can build cabinets with any TS. A cabinet saw's name describes the CABINET that surrounds the guts of the saw.

A little more lack of experience here. 95% of the time a front lock only fence is going to be the most accurate. Most front and rear lock fences will not lock down parallel to the blade every time. If you are having a problem with the blade forcing the fence to move, your saw is not set up correctly. Yours may be the only exception if you are getting shiney smooth cuts using the front and back lock style fence.
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I don't think fence deflection is a problem in either case.
However, *my* Shop Fox Fence locks down perfectly parallel every time. What's your source for the astonding assertion that "most front and rear lock fences will not"?
James...
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It's a prejudiced and elitist opinion of the "front only locking fence" group. The fact that front only locking fences have the majority of the market only amplifies that elitist opinion. It's just like Microsoft; they may or may not have a better product, but they do have a superior marketing machine.
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BUT when it comes to Fences...I have my opinions that have been formed over quite a few years and those opinions put me into the FRONT Lock group...
All I can say on this subject is that I personally have had way too many problems with Fences that locked down both front and back...
This is not saying that "some ..or even most" do not lock down correctly every time... All I am saying is that I have ran into that problem way too many times, with too many brands of these fences...
Since I can avoid the problem entirely by using a Front Lock fence thats what I use...
Left Tilt, Right Tilt, front lock down, dual lock down, Forrest vs Freud Delta vs Jet..Powermatic vs General... WE ALL HAVE OUR PERSONAL opinions on each subjsct...
Bob Griffiths
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Actually you are going to have a rear rail with a Bies fence. A Bies fence needs a smooth right table to support the fence and almost always a rear rail is needed to help support the weight of the right table and fence. This is especially true with the wider 50" capacity fences. That said, the rear rail falls below the table surface and cannot be seen from the front of the saw and the fence does not ride on the real rail.
As far as out feed tables go, there should be no problems with a Bies style rear rail. I personally have the Jet version of the Bies fence and it too has the rear rail but is a non-issue for the out feed.
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No, most Craftsman TS's have a front and back lock fence and there are probably more Craftsman TS's out there than any thing else. Their double lock fences are notorious for not locking down parallel to the blade.
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But Leon, people are much more likely to complain about a product than promote its merits. It's obvious that there's going to be many, more complaints than praises. They have to be taken with a big grain of salt. The fact that the front mount type is so popular doesn't mean that it's better. It might mean that, but it could just as easily mean that is what the manufactures have decided to advertise. ala ~ Microsoft. Front clamping only fences require less material to construct and simpler, cheaper technology to design.
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better.

Last reply to this thread. I don't agree with that last line. Assume that someone is not feeding a piece of wood through a bies style fence with front only locking. The inherent weakness is that if there's too much sideways pressure against the wood, the fence is going to skew. Ok, the massiveness of these rails and fences usually precludes that, but it's still a weakness and entirely possible. Misaligned blade, stock feed not parallel to the fence, pressure against the tail end of the bies style fence and it's there happening right in front of you. Front and rear locking fences would be less prone to that kind of skewing. It's an added safety or control mechanism if you will.
I'll admit to you that for me anyway, all of this is hypothetical in the sense that I've never owned any type of tablesaw that didn't have front and back locking mechanism. I might change my mind at some point, but it's mostly logic and specific example that drives me, not rhetoric such as "notorious" accounts.
Good discussion. Apologies if I came off too strong at some point.
Dave
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