Well I tried, and the manager said "it's been done before" and he called
their purchasing dept.. They said no, that they weren't going to do that
anymore because it involves lotsa paper work and takes lotsa time. So any
other Canadians thinking of trying that route can forget it. Muncy, PA here
One of the main benefits of Grizzly is that they stock parts for their
machines, even years after you've purchased it. What's the availability
of parts for General? Can you call their customer service and get
detailed answers about disassembling the machines?
Michael Daly wrote:
General has been around forever, and has an excellent reputation. The
real reason to look at Grizzly is that they're far cheaper than General,
and even cheaper than General International.
Heck, they're cheaper than King Industrial...
I wouldn't worry about parts too much. There are a lot of these
chinese copies floating around. There are also plenty of examples of
people using, for example, a grizzly riser block on a harbor freight
band saw. The bearings, motors, pullies, and other parts are also
generic enough that they could be replaced or upgraded from sources
other than grizzly. Just look at how many people are able to replace
bearings on 40 year old tools they find on ebay.
Bearings are not a good example of that. Most every bearing in the world
comes from a relatively few manufacturers and there are strict
internationally agreed upon standards. Been this way for a long, long time.
Grizzly is cheaper than General, General International, and even King
Here's an 8" jointer comparison:
GI 80-200M1: $1900CAD
shortest bed (but has roller extensions to make it longest)
4" fence height instead of 5"
King KC-80FX: $1200CAD
Grizzly G0490: $750USD = $862CAD
only one drive belt
built-in mobile base
Even after duty, that's still a significant difference.
As a couple of people have mentioned already, it is the cost of decent
machinery up here. The G0490 8" Grizzly jointer will end up costing me $1130
CDN after PA tax, GST, PST, exchange and duties. The General 8" will cost a
total of $2195. Double the money for less machine. The King Industrial will
cost me $1385...still $250 more for less machine.
Anyhow...I managed to use a friends cottage address to get myself on the
backorder list at Grizzly so I am at least guaranteed to have one waiting
for me when I drive down. Now for the eternity of waiting.....
And what happens if you do need service or parts? Getting them up from the
US is certainly going to be more time consuming and costly that getting them
from a local supplier.
I've talked to General reps a woodworking shows up here in Canada and to a
person, they all are prepared to put time and effort into satisfying a
I'm definately not worried about having to take the occasional trip down
to pick up the odd part now and again. I only do this for fun, and if it's
going to take a little longer for a part to get to me...oh well.
As far as the General "customer service" you mention, my local wood
supplier had a horror story about his experience with them which cost them a
lot of down time and they lost a customer because of it. In fact...I believe
this was a large industrial planer they had ordered and they had a couple of
problems with it. They had given up on the General, ordered one from another
company, received it, needed a part replaced which also showed up two days
before the part they needed for the General showed up. Needless to say they
sent back the General and won't do business with them again.
Although this might be a one in a thousand incident, anything can happen
and I really don't think any amount of customer service is worth paying
double for the machine.
Please guys, I was only offering up some info regarding the problems
with getting a Grizzly product up here and while I appreciate the points and
advice being offered, I have done my research on what is available locally
and the pros simply don't outweigh the cons.
That's one of the downsides to being in business. It's physically impossible
to completely satisfy all customers all the time. You can make the effort,
but there's always going to be a few that are not going to be satisfied no
matter what you do. Reminds me of the guy that developed a penchant for
attacking Lee Valley Tools and their pricing differences between Canada and
the US. And, I don't know of any company that provides better service than
Last time I went down to Bellingham I asked why Canadians can't get
products shipped to them and why they won't even ship a catalog to us
Canucks. They have a non-compete clause in their contract with each
other. Turns out that the owner of Grizzly is the brother of BBT's.
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