For the first time in my life, I finally have a dedicated space to call my workshop. I looked and compared saws for about a year now. Knowing that this would be the workhouse, I wanted one that would be built to last. Initially, I decided to purchase the hybrid G0715 primarily because that seemed like the best saw for my budget but I really wanted a true cabinet saw. Then the 715 was discontinued before I could purchase it. Next step up the G1023RL, a true cabinet saw and much more than my budget so I was going wait a little longer before purchasing so that I could pay off some other bills. Here's a sentimental note. My father, getting up in years and an avid woodworker, wanted me to have something that I would enjoy and always remind me of him so he surprised me by purchasing it for me. So far it is a joy to use and it does make think of my father. Grizzly, this saw better last me a lifetime.
Ok that aside, here is my experience. For the last 12 years I finished a lot of projects using a Craftsman job site saw. Being a perfectionist wasn't easy with that saw. With the 1023, no problem; ease of use, precision and power there is no comparison. The 3hp motor is very powerful, quiet, smooth and very little (if any) vibration. Excellent cuts even with the standard blade provided. The blade guard is designed well, works well on the saw and easy to remove however like all blade guards, still kind of a nuisance. The saw was actually delivered 3 weeks earlier than expected and the delivery guy rolled it right into my garage which was a relief since I'm a 1 man operation. It was package well and on a small pallet so I think I could have rolled it up to my garage using my hand truck. Set up would've been easier with 2 people but was certainly manageable for this 54 year old. The wings bolted on very straight and true with little adjustment and no shims. No imperfections in the table or wings that I can see. Clean up was fairly easy with WD40 and took maybe 45 minutes (you'll need plenty of paper towels). Blade angles were set perfectly. I love the big burly hand wheels and the smooth action on the height and angle wheels. Also like the way you can lock in the wheel adjustments so consistency is not a problem. Dust collection works perfectly and is well contained. Very little dust appears on the table top and inside the cabinet and I think there will be even less once I set up a dust collector. The Shop Fox fence provided tracks up and down the rails smoothly and parallel to the blade and it locks down tight and sturdy after final adjustments. The rails were a bit of pain to install and required shims. I just used the washers provided as shims. I used 1 shim per bolt but I had to bolt and unbolt several times until I was satisfied with it. Save yourself some time and start with one shim.
Here's my complaints.
1. Out of the box there was 2 big scratches on the cabinet. One at the base of the cabinet and another long one that had obviously been retouched. Purely cosmetic so I can live with that but still...
2. The Shop Fox fence is smooth and seems to track well but it is heavy and cumbersome. I've tested some fences that easily moves up and down the rail with one hand. Not so with the Shop Fox. I don't yet trust the parallelism every time I move the fence and also the tape measure display can be misleading. The tape measure is just a piece of tape that has to be applied carefully so as not to stretch the numbers out of true. Over your cut mark, there is a chintzy plastic magnifying glass over the tape that is supposed to make reading it easier. Problem is the magnifying glass distorts the reading and you have to be real careful so that you are looking directly down on your your mark while viewing it. If you glance at from the right or left side you will see a different mark. Point being, when accuracy is important, always measure between the blade and fence.
3. The miter gauge was accurate right out the box and seems like a quality accessory but there is no slots or holes drilled into it to attach an auxiliary fence. Unless, I can figure out a way to attach a fence, I will end up replacing this someday.
4. The riving knife is fairly simple to remove but to do so you must access the release through an awkward side panel under the table to get to it. For me it means, getting down on my hands and knees and reaching into a dark cabinet to find the release. I'll admit it, the older I get the more I complain about inconvenience.
5. My biggest complaint was the height adjustment. Up and down movement was smooth and easy cranking as long as the blade was 2 inches above the table top but to lower it below 2 inches was a 2 handed job. I had at least 6 calls into tech support and spent a day and half correcting the problem. Each time I called in, I got a different tech with various levels of experience on these units. Each call I had to start from the beginning to explain my issue, then go through an escalating troubleshooting process. Eventually, a tech explained to me how adjust the 4 gibb screws which was supposed to be set properly in the factory. After several adjustments, I was finally able to fully raise and lower the blade with ease. Unfortunately, before I adjusted the gibb screws, the tech suggested I remove the gas piston that assists with the raising and lowering. That piston is heavy duty and once off the machine it fully extends with no way to compress it without putting a clamp on it. Problem was, it had to be compressed to be reinstalled and could not be installed with a clamp on it. The tech should have known this before he suggested I remove it. I could not find any compression tools that I could buy. After many attempts, I was able to compress it in a clamp and with vice grips and utility wire keep the piston compressed while bolting it back to the machine. At some point, I noticed some oil was discharged from the piston so I know the piston is partially damaged. Needless to say, an extremely frustrating process. I believe Grizzly owes me at least a new piston replacement but that replacement should come with a compression tool so I can re-install it properly.
With that aside, and several hours of use with it, I am very happy with it and expect it to last me a lifetime. I like the industrial look of this machine and yes it will always remind me of my father. Thanks, Dad
PS - One recommendation I would make to those who are considering this purchase. For another $50 you may want to consider the G1023RLW. Same unit but with a router table extension. To purchase the extension after delivery is going to cost $275 plus delivery. Seems like it would be a huge convenience especially when your limited on space.