Most helpful positive review
71 of 72 people found the following review helpful
Is it good for you?
on June 3, 2010
I bought my GO452 years ago. After my usual over-analyzing it seemed to be the best jointer for my use and budget. It is considerably less expensive than what appear to be similar machines.
I have to use mobile bases in my workspace and they ain't cheap, so it was a big bonus that one was included. It works well and doesn't add any instability. Great feature.
The controls mounted high on the extension is an important feature, easier and safer than ducking your head down try to locate switches under the bed. I suggest that you should look for this feature on any jointer you get.
Now, is a 6" jointer big enough for you? I have made tons of furniture with this machine as part of the process, dining room tables, big beds, cabinets of various sorts, desks, side tables, dressers, all sorts of stuff.
What about not being able to use 8" lumber? What I found is that I ended up with 6" boards most of the time anyway. It is easier to work with, cups less than wide boards and it is easier to find flawless narrower boards in the first place. My work is mostly maple with a clear finish, and I like the look, don't feel limited by it.
If you are going to be making 12' mahogany entrance doors out of huge old-growth planks, you had better tool up accordingly.
Of course, it doesn't matter how wide the boards are if you are just jointing the edges for a nice glue joint.
Can't you just get a good blade and carefully rip the edge on a table saw? Yes, but I find that jointers do it better and more easily. Heck, you can get perfect joints with just a long jointing hand plane. It was done perfectly for hundreds and thousands of years that way. I'll bet those woodworkers could do it fast as well as perfectly, but that isn't a style for everyone, especially if you can afford a modern machine.
The motor has never bogged down or become a limitation. I make a lot of shallow passes rather than trying to be brutal and slam out a board in one pass, and I think that is the best way to work anyway. Everything is adjustable and while perfect set-ups are a bit of a chore on almost any machine, the GO452 can be set up just right.
The bed is flat. My fairly good straight edge shows it to not have any noticeable twists or high spots. I did not try to use dial gauges or anything too trick. Big iron castings can warp and actually can do so after a period of time, especially if the machining is done too soon after the casting process. Mine is years old and is still good, so hopefully they all are.
I confess to putting some pretty rough stuff through the jointer, not exactly the knotless kiln-dried stuff TV woodworkers use, but the original blades lasted a long time and are good quality.
You can get carbide blades and if you do a lot of rough and knotty wood, that would make sense. Grizzly also markets a quick-change blade system. In a high-volume shop that would save a lot of time. There are also expensive spiral cutting assemblies that use interchangeable carbide inserts. If you are working at that level, I would probably suggest a bigger, more expensive commercial jointer anyway.
It comes with a device to help you set the blades. It works fine, but you have to be patient, measure twice, get it all done and check your work. It is the nature of machines in this price range at least.
It is easy to maintain. The motor and belt are accessible and the various adjusting bolts and stops are also straightforward and easy to work with. Mine has been totally reliable. Nothing has worked loose or broken. I like the paint scheme. That is unimportant, but at least someone with good taste selected the colors. I wouldn't buy a tool with a cartoon paint job, probably...
My work got better when I got this machine and I recommend it for any normal woodworking project. Obviously, huge commercial machines are better. Doh! One of the TV woodworking guys suggested 12" models, like his! Well, I could suggest buying an Aston Martin instead of a Ford Fiesta! It is also clearly a better machine, but...!
Five stars because I really don't think it could be much better for the very reasonable price. It would be nicer if it was heavier and the beds were longer, but then it would be big and expensive and the UPS man wouldn't deliver it (It does come in two cartons and you have to assemble it. It was easy to do).