After some initial evaluation, I am considering the Powermatic Model 15
(1791209) to be the best fit for my projects. This same machine is coming
in many different colors from multiple vendors. There could be some real
differences and I would like to learn the pros and cons in the following
- Powermatic 15S (1791210), this has the spiral head
- Shop Fox W1692
- Jet JWP-15CS (708529)
- Grizzly G1021Z
Grizzly price is around $1000, 15S is around $1500, and all the others are
PS. Is the Shop Fox W1724 cutter head same as used in PM 15S?
Just comparing the Powermatic and Grizzley, I see some obvious differences
3 hp vs. 2 hp
Cast iron wings vs. steel frame rollers
spiral cutters vs straight cutters
I don't know minimum thickness for Powermatic. Grizzley is 1/4" which is
kind of thick. Even my Delta benchtop will do 3/16" without a problem.
That's how close the cutters will go to the base. Not germane in
considering what you can actually plane with it on a sled, which you'd want
to stick thin stock to anyway for best results.
As you've probably noticed, all contestants share a pedigree. I've the
ancestor of all, the Rockwell 13, and though none are the machine it is,
I've used two of the four elsewhere, and seen the other. Spiral head, if
you've got the bucks, would be nice.
Additional differences between Powermatic and Grizzly:
Powermatic has fully enclosed stand with casters.
Grizzly has no stand.
At $695, the Grizzly looks like a very good buy, but you seemed more
interested in getting best power/quality. Otherwise, you wouldn't even
consider the Powermatic. Its really in a league by itself.
I don't think we are all looking at the same Grizzly.
The G0121Z (orignial post form Ollie) Does have an enclosed stand. It also
has a 3hp motor and a price of $995. Its little brother the G0121 is 2hp,
open stand at $695.
Since the ShopFox and Griz are very close cousins (both essentially Griz).
They should be close, but there are several small differences (controls,
outfeed, etc.). I would bet the guts are pretty close to identical. My
son-in-law has the Griz version and it is a good looking machine. Not
enought service on it to make other judgements.
From my original list of 5 planers (2 PM, 1 SF, 1 Jet, 1 Grz) I forgot the
Yorkcraft 15P from Wilke's. Based on the pictures, it seems to have the
same infeed and outfeed beds as PM 1791209. The SF, Jet, and Grz models
have the 3 rollers.
The YC-15P price ($799) was so attractive that I did order it today.
I did skip over the spiral head models based on some negative comments about
the blades. If it has been the indexed small square blades or the new
helical blades from Byrd, perhaps I had gone on that route.
Thanks for the comments, Ollie
PS. The Bridgewood BW-15P shares the same construction with the other 6
models, Its price ($1,049) is reasonable.
I did look the WM Model 718 ($1,600) planer and its accessories, such as
sander ($250), molder ($212), and rip saw (price ???). The web site with
its testimonials and the statements in the newsgroups were not able to
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