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Again someone asks: Grizzly tools?

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  • Again someone asks: Grizzly tools?

    Sorry folks - but I checked recent archives about this before I posted (back a year), and didn't find it...

    Last week, I was outbid on eBay for some old iron I wanted - specifically a fairly heavy duty bending brake and a shear. Pexto and DiAcro stuff. Solid. I just wasn't fast enough in the end, and I lost out.

    I realized that I was nearly to the price of import stuff at Grizzly. Then the wife (bless her heart!!) got her yearly bonus and decided to cut me in for a share. So I'm shopping. (Yeah, I know I'm lucky.)

    So the least expensive "non-HF" stuff I've found is at Grizzly. The prices seem pretty good, but the shadow of "you get what you pay for" has been cast on my head. So here's what I'm thinking:

    I know it's import stuff, probably Chinese. I also suspect that the "ratings" may be a little optimistic. So if it says it's rated for, say, 14 gauge mild steel (.075"), what should I really expect it to do? I'm hoping it can actually do at least 80% of that, but I don't really know.

    So once again, here's a call to all those with experience with Grizzly stuff, especially sheet metal machines. Thanks in advance for all of your help.


  • #2
    I have not had the oportunity to work with grizzly sheet metal machines. I have thought it would be nice to have one of there small combo units.(my shop and budget are both small) I have had training and experiece with bigger sheet metal tools.
    IMO Grizzly is fairly high on the food chain at the SEIG factory. JET claims to get first pick of the best built machines in the factory. I think grizzly is not far behind. I have a Micromark mini mill that has Grizzly green paint peeking through the Micromark red. This may indicate that the machine was not up to Grizzly standards?? I know grizzly has QC reps at the over seas factories.
    I have had a grizzly 7x10 lathe 9" band saw and a Z-series 6x48 and 9"disk combo sander. They have served me well for over 5 years with no major problems. They are a good value for the money.
    If you have the cash and floor space you are probably better with single purpose machines rather than a combo unit.The combos tend to have limitations. For example you can only do a 90 degree bend with a press break . A regular break will do 180 degees
    Jim :]
    Ad maiorem dei gloriam - Ad vitam paramus


    • #3
      I owned one of the HF combination sheet metal machines, the 30" model.

      It was useless for the most part.
      I forget the shear rating, but it had a tough time slicing even small pieces of 18 gage aluminum.

      The slip roller part worked ok.

      The bending section shoves the sheet metal into a "V" and a sharp anvil completes the bend.
      Many times the aluminum would rupture at the corners due to the excessively sharp bend.
      Both aluminum and metal sheet would exhibit sliding marks on the outside of the bend.

      I've heard that some guys get them to work ok for bending if the anvil and V are rounded off a bit.

      In any event, I sold the tool for less than half and was happy to see it go.


      • #4
        I have a 36" HF brake and it works fine. You can bend to 120 degrees and adjust the radius of bend easily. On top of that, it's actually fairly flat (and adjustable for flatness) along the length of the bed. I've been using it on 18 gauge mild steel in short lengths. Now, if I were using this thing more than just occasionally, I’d think hard about getting something a little better quality.

        I got screwed on a HF combo machine before (small combo mill/lathe for little parts) and finally decided that if you buy simple tools from HF that do one thing and you're only going to be using them occasionally, they work fine. If you want high precision, (OK, any kind of precision) or you're going to be putting the beast through its paces every day, go somewhere else. But, for a bending brake that's 36" wide, $189 is hard to beat. Add in a $10 off coupon...


        • #5

          I thought Jet was Taiwanese, but I guess that wouldn't prevent them from having Chinese manufacturing. ??

          Yeah, based on what I've heard and read here, I'm staying away from HF - it's just too risky, and going to a showroom to see before buying is not convenient to me.

          Grizzly, OTOH, is starting to look pretty good. Paging through their catalog on the web, though - it seems they might be a little more into (gasp!) woodworking tools. Well, I haven't heard anything really bad about Grizzly, anyway...


          • #6
            OK, then....

            I bought two items from Griz..... they have both back now.

            First was a precision level. Wouldn't consistently give a reading.... checked it on a granite flat, touched only on 3 corners, not flat all over.... it was a twisted banana...

            Other was a height gage. Looked like it had been chewed out of the raw stock by a blind possum with bad dentures. Some parts didn't fit.

            If they can't get simple $100 items consistently right, I don't trust them to get $2500 items right.

            That said, they paid return shipping, and credited me for every dime.

            Not like Enco, who stuck me both ways... cost $30 to return a $60 item.....

            Griz may suck, but others suck worse.
            CNC machines only go through the motions.

            Ideas expressed may be mine, or from anyone else in the universe.
            Not responsible for clerical errors. Or those made by lay people either.
            Number formats and units may be chosen at random depending on what day it is.
            I reserve the right to use a number system with any integer base without prior notice.
            Generalizations are understood to be "often" true, but not true in every case.


            • #7
              I have bought several Grizzly tools, including their 3 In 1 Sheet Metal Machine and am happy. They are not perfect but, IMHO, you do get your money's worth.

              Search the arcives, I and others have made more comments before.

              Also, I have been to both the Grizzly and HF showrooms. There is no comparison. HF s***s. Grizzly stuff looks good. I would have little hesitation in buying from them.

              All the usual disclaimers.

              Paul A.
              Paul A.
              SE Texas

              And if you look REAL close at an analog signal,
              You will find that it has discrete steps.


              • #8

                Thanks, fellas. It sounds like Grizzly stuff is about what I would expect - a bit rough, but hey, it's cheap. With their return policy as good as it sounds, I think it may be worth a gamble. I'll verify that before I buy.

                When I take the plunge, I'll post a review here for everyone's benefit. Thanks again.



                • #9
                  <font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Wirecutter:
                  Last week, I was outbid on eBay for some old iron I wanted - specifically a fairly heavy duty bending brake and a shear. Pexto and DiAcro stuff. Solid. I just wasn't fast enough in the end, and I lost out. </font>

         The first two weeks is free and it gives you the same advantage as West Coast ebay'ers with their faster ping rates. You still have to put in a proper bid but speed of your connection won't be a factor. My bids are processed 4 seconds before the end of the auction. I win as many as I loose. It's not immoral, improper or illegal. I don't have to stay up till 4am to make a bid and I can use group bidding. That is, bid on a dozen bending brakes and the service will cancel all the other bids once you win one.

                  [This message has been edited by Your Old Dog (edited 07-26-2005).]
                  - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
                  Thank you to our families of soldiers, many of whom have given so much more then the rest of us for the Freedom we enjoy.

                  It is true, there is nothing free about freedom, don't be so quick to give it away.


                  • #10
                    YOD -
                    Yeah, I knew about the sniping programs, and by avoiding them, I guess I was trying to take some silly moral high road or something. Plus, the end of an auction can actually be kind of exciting. (I know - I need to get out more...) But I think you're probably right - I've been beat, now I need to join 'em. Thanks for the link.



                    • #11
                      Do a search for used sheetmetal equipment. There are a lot of Tinsmiths out there that are auctioned off fairly reasonably. I would hesitate to buy from a supplier such as Grizzly or HF for something that works on anything that has any kind of thickness. It may work for a little while, but when it breaks, you're out the money a good Tinsmith would have cost plus the money to buy another shear or brake.


                      • #12
                        I think he means "Tennsmith" which is the sheet metal tool company that was started by the guys who used to own Powermatic, before they sold Powermatic to the Swiss company that owns Jet.
                        Tennsmith is the lowest quality American made sheet metal tools- adequate, but certainly nowhere near as good as Di-Acro, Pexto, or Chicago D&K.
                        I have a set of Tennsmith 3' rolls I have had for about 10 years now, and I would say they are only a bit better than the bigger Grizzly stuff. I live near the Grizzly headquarters, and I have looked at their sheet metal tools, and they are OK, not great. Generally every part is about 75% of the size it would be on a real industrial, made in USA tool. And you might have to replace nuts and bolts- the chinese dont waste any money putting good fasteners on them.
                        But for the money, especially if you buy the biggest ones Grizzly sells, they are a good deal. My 12 GA D&K finger brake is a far superiour tool to the Grizzly G0542- but retail on the D&K is somewhere north of 6 grand, and the Grizzly is 1400 bucks.
                        My feeling about the chinese stuff is that it IS worth it to buy Grizzly or Jet, as opposed to Harbor Freight, Enco, or Rong Fu, as those two actually have a service and parts department. And they do get the better products from the chinese, with their own on site quality inspectors.
                        And it only makes sense to buy the absolute top of the line product Grizzly or Jet offers in each category- the cheapies are always crap, but at least with the biggest, baddest Grizzly, you have a halfway decent chance of getting a usuable machine. Not one you can love and respect, or one you will pass on to your kids, but one that will do a lot of work for the money.


                        • #13
                          Oh- and as far as Jet being from Taiwan- Jet actually started out as a metal scrapyard in Tacoma Washington in the 1960's, and the guy who owned it started importing japanese made come-alongs and chainfalls. He slowly expanded, and by the early 70's he was doing much more biz selling Japanese and korean, and later taiwanese tools, than he was as a junkyard.
                          As china became more industrialized, more and more of the Jet stuff came from china, but over the years you could buy a Jet lathe made in poland, and I think they still sell drill presses made in Spain for the high end stuff. Jet stuff comes from all over, mostly china, sure, but other countries as well. Since the late 80's it has been owned by the same swiss company that owns Wilton, Columbian vises, Powermatic, and Performax sanders. Some products made in the USA, some in europe, some in taiwan, most from china, for all of these lines except Powermatic, which still makes most of its tools in Tennesee, I believe.


                          • #14

                            I have the Grizzly 52" 16 guage jump sheer and I'm very happy with it. It cuts 16 guage cold rolled mild steel very cleanly but I really do have to jump on it more than I thought I would have. I would buy it again.



                            • #15
                              Ries -
                              Thanks for all that. I'm thinking of the G0578, which is 40" by 12ga. As promised, I'll post "results" here when I have any.

                              Whenever I get my hands on a machine, I've already got work lined up for it. I've got this silly notion to work with 304 stainless, since I have a bunch of it and it's so easy to weld that even I can do it. Well, we'll see.

                              Also, thanks for straightening me out about Jet - I would have never guessed it was Swiss-owned.