I recently purchased the G9860 jointer and I am extremely satisfied with every aspect of the machine as well as the purchase. To begin with, Grizzly Tools have perfected the online purchase experience; from the quality of their website, the in-depth information available, through the telephone ordering, and to the delivery, everything was professional, efficient, and well done. Being a Canadian customer, I was nervous about potential charges and problems related to importing expensive machinery; there were none - no customs fees or hassles shipping to Canada.
As for the machine itself, I feel Grizzly is correct when they claim that it is the best 12" jointer on the market today. Of course it leaves silky smooth finish on all of the surfaces I've jointed so far, why wouldn't it? This is the identical jointer once sold by now defunct General International, and its a beautifully built machine. The 3hp motor has plenty of guts for the job, the beds are polished and dead flat, the crank is effortless; everything about it is good. I particularly like the low stance of this machine. It presents the operator with a large wide low surface to flatten and straighten small and large boards alike.
What motivated me to cough up the additional dollars to purchase this machine rather than one of the several other excellent 12" jointers on the market, was its narrow dimensions. This jointer is the narrowest 12" jointer out there; and in my shop, where every 1/16 of an inch counts, I was able to fit a 12" machine in the space my 8" jointer previously occupied. The G9860 is 32" wide (not including the crank handle knobs), yep, that's 2" less than the 34" shown in the specs. This is because it doesn't have a rabbitting shelf, or a rack and pinion tubular fence adjustment mechanism.
The set-up was simple, and cleaning the surface protector was easy. I had one issue with an otherwise perfect machine, and that was the return spring on the guard is way too strong. No matter how well I tried to position the guards spring cylinder, it slipped, and the guard slammed with a bang against the fence on its way back. To remedy this problem, I carefully drilled and tapped and added another grub screw on the opposite side of the spring cylinder, before removing the original grub screw that tensions the guard. This released the tension on the return spring by one half rotation, enabling the guard to return at a slower speed with much less force. It works great now.
I would highly recommend this product to any purchaser whether, hobbyist or professional.