Tool Test: Grizzly 12 1/2″ Benchtop Planer
by Megan Fitzpatrick
I admit to some skepticism as I unboxed the Grizzly G0790. This benchtop planer has only two knives, and at just $285 (plus $49 for shipping), I wasn’t expecting to be impressed. And while I’m not completely blown away by the machine’s performance, I have to admit that for the price, it performs surprisingly well.
According to the manufacturer, this one-speed, 65-pound, 2-horsepower, 110-volt planer takes 60 cuts per inch, has a feed rate of 26 feet per minute, a cutterhead speed of 8,750 revolutions per minute and makes 17,500 cuts per minute. The maximum cut width is 121⁄2″; the maximum stock thickness the planer will handle is 41⁄2″.
In other words, it will handle surfacing most of your rough-sawn stock needs. But here’s the catch – the most stock I could remove in any one pass on 8″-wide boards was just a hair over 1⁄32″ in white pine. With maple, red and white oak, I was able to remove no more than 1⁄32″, the maximum amount recommended by Grizzly.
On the flip side, I experienced only about .002″ in snipe at the outfeed end of 4′-long workpieces (and almost none on 2′ pieces) and the overall surface quality was decent enough to hit it with a smooth plane or sander and be ready to finish. (To be fair, though, I wouldn’t expect a finish-ready surface from any powered planer.)
Assembly was fairly simple and intuitive (with easy-to-follow directions, if you’re so inclined). The top-mounted cutterhead elevation crank is conveniently located, and one full turn equals 1⁄16″ movement.
While the machine comes with reversible knives installed, I inserted a new pair to test how easy it was – and it was simple, if a little laborious.
Read the full review here.
Web site: grizzly.com
Blog: See the inside of a straight-knife planer and a helical-head version.
Blog: Get the skinny on spiral cutterheads.
From the December 2015 issue