Tool Review - Grizzly Industrial G1023SLX Tablesaw
10" Left Tilting Cabinet-Style Tablesaw with 7' Rails and Extension Table
Back to the Rolling "M" Workshop
In my opinion, the tablesaw is the heart of the workshop. In most cases, its the largest tool in the shop and it gets used for almost every project. The tablesaw is used for ripping, cross-cutting, and even shaping. Being one of the most important (and expensive) tools in your arsenal, you'll want to think long and hard on this purchase. There are three major types of tablesaws to choose from: benchtop, contractor-style, and cabinet-style. The bench-top models are generally very inexpensive; but, you get what you pay for. They're also generally underpowered, inaccurate, and cheaply made. The contractor-style models are definitely a step up in accuracy, quality, and price from the bench-top saws. Contractor's saws almost always sit on an open stamped steel base. They come with a motor capable of handling most cutting jobs and a table capable of handling most materials. The idea is to have a full size tablesaw that is portable to and from the job site. The cabinet-style models are the big boys of the tablesaw world. They are definitely the best choice for a standalone "permanent" tablesaw. They come with a heavy fully enclosed cabinet base, a large powerful motor, and a large heavy top. But, as I said before, you get what you pay for. Cabinet saws are generally quite expensive.
When I first started woodworking, I used a small benchtop saw. I soon graduated to a contractor's saw. After four years of faithful service, I sent the contractor's saw home with it's real owner and graduated again, this time, to a cabinet saw. While building a pergola for my sister-in-law last summer, I was attempting to rip several 14' long sopping wet pressure treated 2x4's in half. The motor in the contractor's saw sounded like it was screaming for help. So, I called for reinforcements. My friend Chris had been bragging, just a couple days before, about the power of his Grizzly cabinet saw. I loaded the 2x4's in the truck and headed for Chris' place. Chris' saw, a Grizzly G1023S (right-tilt), tore through the drippy PT pine like a hot knife through melted butter. That sealed the deal! I was ready to pony up for a bigger gutsier tablesaw. I had to wait a few months; but, early the year, I finally got enough time and money together to make the pilgrimage to Grizzly Industrial's Springfield, MO showroom to pickup a new tablesaw. Based on my experience with the right-tilt contractor's saw and Chris' experience with the right-tilt Grizzly, I decided to move to a left-tilt model. And, since I do a lot of work with sheet goods, I decided to go all out an buy a saw prepackaged with 7' fence rails. The Grizzly G1023SLX fit the bill exactly.
The Grizzly G1023SLX is a 220V, 3HP, left-tilt cabinet saw equipped with a Shop Fox Classic fence (Biesemeyer Look-a-like), 7' rails, a full length extension table, and support legs. This is one BIG saw! The 7' rails give you a cutting capacity of 8" to the left of the blade and 54" to the right of the blade. The saw comes standard with a triple belt drive, built-in dust collection port, magnetic safety power switch, and a durable powder coat paint job. The G1023SLX is heavy too. As far as I can figure, it weighs in around 500 lbs. Grizzly will delivery it via common carrier for around $75; but, you'll need access to a loading dock and fork lift to get it off the truck. If you're lucky enough to be within driving distance of one of the Grizzly showrooms, like I am, they load it in your pickup for free. Plus, visiting the Grizzly showroom is worth the drive all by itself.
When Chris and I arrived home from our road trip, we unpacked the saw still in the back of the truck. That allowed us to unloaded the saw in pieces. The heaviest component was, of course, the cabinet/motor/table assembly. It was a chore for two men to unload this assembly into the barn; but, it was manageable. Once this main assembly was moved into place, we began setting up the saw. The first order of business was to attach the left table wing and level it with the main table. The wing is heavy, but with an extra set of hands, the job was easy. Next, we assembled and attached the fence rails to the main table. Again, the extra set of hands was very helpful. Once we attached the extension support legs to take the weight off of the rails, we called it a night. The next day, I was working on my own. The rest of the setup process turned out to be quite manageable with just one person. Right out of the box, the blade was 90 degrees to the top. The 90 degree and 45 degree stops needed no adjustment. The fence was also dead accurate right from the factory. The only adjustment that needed attention was the blade to fence parallelism. This is easily adjusted by loosing the table mounting bolts and giving the table a little nudge. It's a little bit fussy, but easy enough. The toughest part of the setup was mounting and leveling the extension table on the right side of the saw. The extension is attached to the fence rails and supported by the extension legs. If the fence rails aren't exactly parallel to the serface of the main table top, it's almost impossible to get the extension flat to the table. I ended up loosening the mounting bolts for the front and back rails; leveling the extension with the rails; then leveling the rails, extension, and support legs as one large assembly. It took some time; but, once again, it was easy enough. With the saw completely assembled, I installed a blade, connected the electricity and hit the power button. The saw purred like a very happy kitten. There was very little noise or vibration. This outfit is rock solid. My only complaint about the assembly is the lousy instructions. Because this saw is packaged with several optional accessories, it comes with a right side cast iron wing that gets replaced by the extension table, an extra set of extension support legs, LOTS of extra hardware, and two sets of instructions (one for the saw and one for the fence. What was missing was instructions for attaching the extension to the fence rails and attaching the support legs to the extension table. A quick phone call to Grizzly's technical support line cleared up my confusion; but, it would've been nice to see this detail in the documentation. It's always a little unnerving to have parts left over when a machine is assembled. But, then again, it's better to have too much hardware than not enough.
Wow! That's all I can say... Compared to my old bench-top table saw and the contractor's saw that I've been using for the past few years, this thing's a horse. I haven't done much real work with it yet; but, I did make a few test cuts. I sized a peice or cabinet grade plywood, trimmed some solid oak for a face frame and ripped through some twisted construction grade pine. All of these cuts would have been quite a challenge for the old 1.5HP contractor's saw; but, the Grizzly didn't even break a sweat. The top is smooth, the fence is rock solid, and the motor has juice to spare.
I definitely made the right choice. The Grizzly G1023SLX is a monster of a saw at a very reasonable price. At just $1125.00, it costs about half of a comparable Delta or Powermatic. And, I can't say enough for the fit, finish, and construction. The cast iron table top is dead flat and shines like a mirror. Everything fits perfectly without force or modification. Grizzly builds tablesaws by the pound. All of the G1023 series saws are sturdy, stable, and powerful. The G1023SLX package is a great combination of a powerful left-tilt tablesaw, a strong rip fence, and lots of table surface area. Now, if Grizzly would just include an out-feed table with this kit, I'd have it made! I had to add my own laminated out-feed table; but, that was no great chore.
Rating: (scale from 1 to 10)
- Features: 9
- Performance: 10
- Construction: 10
- Fit and Finish: 9
- Ease of assembly: 6
- Documentation: 4
- Overall Product Rating: 8
My Grizzly 1023SLX
My Grizzly 1023SLX
My Grizzly 1023SLX
Disclaimer: I do not claim to be a machinist or an expert on woodworking tools. I'm a woodworker and a hobbyist at that. I don't have the tools to measure, nor do I fuss over a 1/1000 of an inch here or there. I'm more concered with functionality and usability. This review only reflects my impressions from setting up and using this tool. I'm no expert. I'm just a guy who appreciates the value of a good tool at a reasonable price.