Grizzly Industrial - 1-hp Mortiser G8620 - Fine Woodworking Tool Review
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1-hp Mortiser G8620

Grizzly Industrial - 1-hp Mortiser G8620

Grizzly no longer offers a 1-hp mortiser. It does sell a high-end 2-hp model.

$895 (As of 12/1/2002)

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Editor's Review: Tool Test: 1-hp Mortisers

by Roland Johnson

review date: December 1, 2002

Large stand-alone mortisers have been around for nearly a century, but now several manufacturers offer more affordable stand-alone models with features that make them practical for serious hobbyists and small commercial shops. Compared with the drill-press add-ons and benchtop mortisers currently on the market, these mortisers feature lots of cast-iron tables that move, sturdy hold-downs, 1-hp motors, and extralong lever handles. Curious to find out just how well these machines work, I tested seven of them.

All things considered, I was pleased to find that all seven were well made and did a decent job cutting accurate mortises, even when running a 3/4-in. bit. That puts them head and shoulders above any of the drill-press add-ons or benchtop mortisers I've used. So it wasn't easy to choose a favorite.

The Grizzly, Bridgewood, Geetech, and Woodtek machines look very much alike, except for paint color. Even the owner's manuals are identical. They use a large handwheel on the front to move the table side to side and forward and backward. The mortising head is raised with a long lever, which is pinned in place on these machines (I prefer an adjustable lever). All these machines did an adequate job boring any size mortise up to 3/4 in. Their hold-down systems worked great, the tables moved smoothly, and the stops for the table and mortise head worked satisfactorily. Bit changes were relatively easy. The Grizzly has a 110-volt motor, but you need a 240-volt circuit for the Bridgewood, Geetech, and Woodtek machines.

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Editor Test Results:

Manufacturer Specifications

Manufacturer Grizzly Industrial
Manufacturer's Web Site
Manufacturer's Phone Number 570-546-9663
Cutting Capacity Chisel: 1 in. (softwood), 3/4 in. (hardwood)
Table Travel (front to back, side to side): 3-1/2 in, 16 in.
Vertical Spindle Travel 5 in.
Table Size 6-1/2 in. x 20 in.
Amps 14 amps
Volts 110v
Speed 3,600 rpm

My machine runs on 110 or 220 which is now wired for 220. Good: This machine runs excellent as a mortiser and the 220 volt setup using a 1" mortise chisel ran well in solid oak without bogging the motor. The only trouble I had was with burning in the oak which was caused by a worn chisel. When it was replaced with a good chisel I had no problems. Bad: Chips fly into the tool storage area, not a big deal and I think the newer machines are all enclosed. I don't like the bit changing and feel they could improve on this. Be sure and place scrap wood on the table below the chuck when changing bits as the drill often has a tendency to fall out of the chisel when changing bits. Sharp chisels and drills are essential for these machines when using larger mortise 3/4";1", it worth the extra money to get the high end bits if you do a lot of larger mortises. Overall: I think its the best one available for the money. very well built with dovetail ways and cast iron. The table mechanism moves well with no slop and you can make fine adjutments to the chisel location easily with this table. Im a one handed wood worker, (no it didnt get cut off while wood working) and I find that my one handed operation was eaily manageable for this machine. My only wish is that the chuck had easier access, new machines maybe different then mine which is 15 or 20 years old.

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