Grizzly G0844 14″ x 20″ Variable-Speed Benchtop Wood Lathe Review

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I have significant experience working with a variety of wood lathes, all of which claim to offer top-notch performance and accuracy. My most recent exploration brought me to the Grizzly G0844, a 14″ x 20″ Variable-Speed Benchtop Wood Lathe that has caught the attention of many in the woodworking community.

Having dedicated ample time to using this machine, I am now prepared to offer a detailed review of its capabilities and features. My goal is to provide useful information to other woodworking enthusiasts to help them make a well-informed choice.

Grizzly G0844 wood lathe with digital displayGrizzly G0844 wood lathe with digital display

Grizzly G0844 Overview

The Grizzly G0844 is a high-performance, variable-speed benchtop wood lathe designed for precision woodworking. It features a powerful 3/4 HP motor that offers a wide speed range from 250 to 4000 RPM, accommodating a variety of woodturning projects from intricate pieces to larger bowls. Constructed predominantly from cast iron, the G0844 provides a stable and vibration-resistant base, crucial for achieving precise results.

Grizzly G0844 wood lathe in use with a piece mounted and shavings visibleGrizzly G0844 wood lathe in use with a piece mounted and shavings visible

It includes a digital RPM readout for accurate speed adjustments and a forward/reverse switch to enhance the finish of workpieces. Despite its robust features, the lathe requires some initial setup learning, but its comprehensive manual aids in overcoming this hurdle. Designed with both durability and user experience in mind, the Grizzly G0844 stands out as a reliable tool for serious woodturners seeking quality and versatility in their woodworking endeavors.

Features

  1. Easy access door: Simplifies belt changes for efficient maintenance.
  2. Variable, three-speed ranges: Provides flexibility in selecting the best speed for various projects.
  3. Reverse spindle rotation: Offers the ability to achieve finer finishes with reverse turning capabilities.
  4. Digital RPM tachometer: Allows for precise speed monitoring with a clear digital display.
  5. Rubber vibration-dampening feet: Minimize vibrations for smoother operation and stability.
  6. Carrying handles/tool holders: Serve dual purposes for easy transport and tool storage.
  7. 4″ faceplate: Enables the mounting of larger workpieces for expanded project possibilities.
  8. Live and spur centers: Support and drive the workpiece for effective turning.

Specifications

  • Motor: 3/4 HP, 110V/120V, single-phase, 8A/5.6A
  • Swing Over Bed: 14″
  • Swing Over Tool Rest: 10″
  • Distance Between Centers: 20″
  • Spindle: 1″ x 8 TPI RH
  • Spindle Speed: Variable, 250–3550 RPM
  • Spindle Taper: MT#2
  • Spindle Bore: 0.40″
  • Indexing Spindle: 15°
  • Footprint: 35-1/2″ W x 9″ D
  • Overall Dimensions: 41-1/2″ W x 17-1/2″ D x 18″ H
  • Item Weight: 137 lbs.

Grizzly G0844 Performance and Precision

The Grizzly G0844 wood lathe distinguishes itself in the realm of woodworking tools with its exceptional variable speed control, spanning a wide range from 250 to 4000 RPM. This capability is not just a feature but a fundamental tool that sets it apart from its competitors, offering woodworkers unparalleled mastery over their craft.

Hands sanding a wooden piece on a Grizzly G0844 latheHands sanding a wooden piece on a Grizzly G0844 lathe

With such versatility, the lathe caters to a broad spectrum of projects, from turning delicate, intricate pieces that demand precise control, to shaping larger, more robust bowls where higher speeds might be required.

A notable aspect of the G0844 is its ability to maintain consistent torque across the entire speed range, including the lower end, which is crucial for delicate work and speaks volumes about the lathe’s robust motor and the engineering behind its design.

Grizzly G0844 lathe turning a wooden spindle with wood shavings aroundGrizzly G0844 lathe turning a wooden spindle with wood shavings around

This consistency ensures that woodturners can rely on the machine to deliver precise results, regardless of the task complexity or the material being worked on, making it an indispensable tool for those seeking precision and flexibility in their woodworking endeavors.

Grizzly G0844 Build Quality and Durability

Right from the moment of unboxing the Grizzly G0844, its superior build quality is immediately apparent, signaling a tool designed for longevity and steady performance. The lathe’s construction, dominated by cast iron, provides a solid, vibration-resistant base that is essential for any form of precision woodworking.

Active Grizzly G0844 lathe with visible RPM chart and wood shavingsActive Grizzly G0844 lathe with visible RPM chart and wood shavings

The significance of such a foundation cannot be overstated, as even the slightest movement or vibration during operation can compromise the quality of the work. This solidity is especially critical when working on projects that require meticulous detail and finesse. Over the course of my usage, the G0844 has exhibited remarkable resilience, showing no signs of wear or degradation.

Close-up of a hand adjusting the spindle on a Grizzly G0844 latheClose-up of a hand adjusting the spindle on a Grizzly G0844 lathe

This durability is a testament to the quality of materials and craftsmanship involved in its manufacturing, underscoring its suitability for serious woodturners who demand reliability and stability from their equipment. The Grizzly G0844’s ability to stand up to the rigors of frequent use without faltering makes it a wise investment for professionals and enthusiasts alike who prioritize build quality and durability in their selection of woodworking tools.

Grizzly G0844 Ease of Use and Features

In designing the Grizzly G0844, it’s evident that thoughtful consideration was given to enhancing the user experience. The inclusion of a digital RPM readout is a standout feature, offering woodturners the ability to make precise and easy adjustments to the spindle speed, thereby enabling a level of control that can significantly affect the quality of the finished piece.

Wood turning in progress on a Grizzly G0844 lathe with chisel and shavingsWood turning in progress on a Grizzly G0844 lathe with chisel and shavings

Additionally, the lathe’s forward and reverse switch opens up new possibilities for achieving exceptional finishes, allowing for techniques that require changing the direction of the spindle rotation. However, it’s worth noting that the initial setup process may present some challenges, especially for those new to woodturning.

Person adjusting the Grizzly G0844 wood lathe next to woodworking toolsPerson adjusting the Grizzly G0844 wood lathe next to woodworking tools

While the comprehensive manual provides detailed instructions, there is a learning curve associated with familiarizing oneself with the lathe’s extensive features and making the necessary adjustments to optimize its performance. This aspect, though a minor hurdle, underscores the importance of patience and practice in mastering the G0844’s capabilities, ultimately contributing to a more rewarding and efficient woodworking experience.

Performance Assessment

The Grizzly G0844 Wood Lathe boasts a 14″ x 20″ capacity, providing the largest swing among benchtop models for a wide range of projects. It features a 15° indexing spindle for veining and fluting, an 8″ tool rest, and built-in carry handles for tool storage.

The lathe is constructed from cast iron with adjustable rubber feet for stability. Specifications include a 3/4 HP motor, variable spindle speed from 250–3550 RPM, and a 1-year warranty. It’s designed for precision and stability in woodworking tasks​​.

Ratings Summary:

  • Performance: 5/5 – Exceptional capacity and variable speed for diverse projects.
  • Durability: 4.5/5 – Solid cast iron construction ensures long-term reliability.
  • Value for Money: 4/5 – Given its features and build quality, it presents good value, especially for serious hobbyists and professionals.

Comparable and Considerations

In comparing the Grizzly G0844 to other benchtop lathes in the market, such as the Jet JWL-1221VS, there are several factors to consider.

The Jet models also offer variable speeds and comparable build quality, but the Grizzly’s higher maximum RPM and larger swing capacity give it an edge for those looking to tackle a broader range of projects.

However, price and size are important considerations. The G0844 is an investment, both financially and in terms of workspace required.

Table of Comparisons vs. Competitor

Here’s a comparison table for the Grizzly G0844 and the Jet JWL-1221VS wood lathes to highlight their main features and differences:

Feature Grizzly G0844 Jet JWL-1221VS
Motor 3/4 HP, 110V/120V, single-phase, 8A/5.6A 1 HP, 115V, single-phase, 6A
Speed Range 250 – 4000 RPM (Variable) 60 – 3600 RPM (Variable)
Swing Over Bed 14″ 12.5″
Distance Between Centers 20″ 20.5″
Spindle Thread 1″ x 8 TPI RH 1″ x 8 TPI RH
Spindle Taper MT#2 MT#2
Spindle Bore 0.40″ 0.38″
Indexing Positions 15 24
Construction Material Predominantly cast iron Cast iron and steel
Digital RPM Readout Yes Yes
Reverse Function Yes Yes
Weight Approx. 137 lbs Approx. 121 lbs
Overall Dimensions 41-1/2″ W x 17-1/2″ D x 18″ H 33-3/5″ W x 11″ D x 17-7/10″ H
Additional Features Forward/reverse switch, digital RPM tachometer Easy-access belt tension system, integrated spring-loaded spindle lock

This table provides a side-by-side overview of both lathes, showcasing their technical specifications and key features. The Grizzly G0844 offers a wider speed range and a slightly larger swing over bed, catering to those who need a bit more versatility and capacity in their projects.

In contrast, the Jet JWL-1221VS, with its integrated features and slightly more powerful motor, is designed for precision and ease of use, particularly highlighted by its unique belt tension system and indexing positions for detailed work. Both models offer robust construction and are equipped with features like digital RPM readouts and reverse functions, making them suitable for a wide range of woodturning tasks.

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Variable speed with a wide range, allowing for versatile project capabilities.
  • High-quality build and materials ensure durability and stability.
  • Digital RPM readout and reversible motor function enhance user control.

Cons

  • The price point may be prohibitive for hobbyists or beginners.
  • Its size and weight, while beneficial for stability, may not suit smaller workshops.
  • The learning curve for fully utilizing its features and capabilities.

Guidelines for Maintenance and Care

  1. Regular Inspection: Periodically inspect your lathe for any signs of wear or damage, particularly focusing on moving parts and electrical components. Ensure that all parts are in good working condition.
  2. Lubrication: Apply lubricant to the spindle bearings, tailstock, and quill as per the manufacturer’s recommendations to ensure smooth operation and prevent wear.
  3. Belt Tension: Check the belt tension regularly to ensure it is not too tight or too loose. Adjust as necessary to maintain optimal performance and prevent belt wear.
  4. Cleanliness: Keep the lathe clean from wood dust and debris. Use a brush or vacuum to clear the work area and air vents to maintain proper airflow and prevent overheating.
  5. Rust Prevention: Wipe all metal surfaces with a light oil regularly to prevent rust, especially if you are in a humid environment. This is crucial for preserving the lathe’s precision surfaces.
  6. Sharp Tools: Always use sharp tools when working on the lathe. Dull tools can put unnecessary stress on the lathe’s motor and bearings.
  7. Variable Speed Control: Regularly check the variable speed control mechanism for proper operation. Ensure that it adjusts smoothly without any sticking or resistance.
  8. Electrical Connections: Ensure all electrical connections remain tight and free from corrosion. Loose or corroded connections can lead to poor performance or safety hazards.
  9. Spindle Alignment: Periodically check the alignment of the spindle to ensure that it is true. Misalignment can lead to inaccuracies in your work and undue wear on the lathe.
  10. Storage: If the lathe will not be used for an extended period, cover it to protect it from dust and moisture. Store it in a dry, temperature-controlled environment to prevent rust and degradation of components.

Prescription For Optimal Uses

  1. Intricate Woodturning Projects: Leverage the variable speed control to precisely adjust the RPM for detailed and intricate projects such as pens, chess pieces, or small ornaments. The lower speed settings are ideal for handling delicate work where precision is key.
  2. Large Bowl Turning: Utilize the 14″ swing over bed to turn larger bowls or platters. The higher speed ranges can help in quickly removing material, while the lower speeds assist in fine-tuning the finish. The robust motor and stable construction ensure smooth operation even with larger workpieces.
  3. Skill Development and Education: Given its range of features and ease of use, the G0844 is perfect for woodturners looking to enhance their skills. Beginners can start with basic projects at lower speeds and gradually tackle more complex tasks as they become comfortable, making this lathe an excellent tool for educational purposes or personal skill development.

Final Verdict

After thoroughly testing the Grizzly G0844, I can confidently say it’s a top contender in its category. Its performance, build quality, and features make it an excellent choice for serious woodturners looking for a reliable, versatile benchtop lathe. While it may be a significant investment and require some learning, the payoff in the quality and range of projects you can tackle is well worth it. Whether you’re a seasoned professional or an ambitious beginner ready to take your woodworking to the next level, the G0844 is a formidable tool that won’t disappoint.

In conclusion, my experience with the Grizzly G0844 has been overwhelmingly positive. It stands as a testament to Grizzly’s commitment to quality and performance. If you’re in the market for a benchtop wood lathe, I highly recommend considering the G0844 for its robust capabilities and the potential to elevate your woodturning projects.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What is the motor power of the Grizzly G0844 Wood Lathe?
    The Grizzly G0844 is equipped with a 3/4 HP, 110V/120V, single-phase motor, offering ample power for various woodturning projects.
  2. What speed range does the Grizzly G0844 offer?
    This lathe provides a variable speed range from 250 to 4000 RPM, allowing for precise control over your workpiece.
  3. Can I turn bowls on the Grizzly G0844, and what is the maximum size?
    Yes, you can turn bowls on the G0844. With a 14″ swing over the bed, you can work on bowls up to approximately 14 inches in diameter.
  4. Does the Grizzly G0844 have a reverse function?
    Yes, it features a forward and reverse switch, enhancing the finishing capabilities for your projects.
  5. Is there a digital RPM readout on the Grizzly G0844?
    Yes, the lathe includes a digital RPM tachometer for precise speed monitoring and adjustments.
  6. What type of spindle does the Grizzly G0844 have?
    The lathe comes with a 1″ x 8 TPI RH spindle, which is a common size that accommodates a wide range of accessories.
  7. What is the distance between centers on the Grizzly G0844?
    The distance between centers is 20″, suitable for turning a variety of long workpieces.
  8. How does the Grizzly G0844 handle vibration and stability?
    Its construction predominantly of cast iron provides a sturdy, vibration-resistant foundation, and it’s also equipped with rubber feet to further dampen vibrations.
  9. What are the overall dimensions and weight of the Grizzly G0844?
    The lathe measures 41-1/2″ W x 17-1/2″ D x 18″ H and weighs approximately 137 lbs, indicating a solid and stable construction.
  10. Can I easily change speeds on the Grizzly G0844, and how?
    Yes, speed changes are facilitated by an easy-access door for belt changes, along with electronic variable speed control for precise adjustments.

We’d love to hear from you! Share your personal experiences and thoughts about the Grizzly G0844 – 14″ x 20″ Variable-Speed Benchtop Wood Lathe in the comments section below. Whether you’ve used it for intricate projects or larger pieces, your insights could greatly benefit fellow woodturners and enthusiasts in making informed decisions!

Edward SmithEdward Smith
Edward Smith

Forestry Author

Woodworking is about more than crafting; it’s a harmonious connection with nature, mastering tools, and preserving our environment. I’m here to share my knowledge and experiences with you, forging a future where we can embrace wood’s beauty and utility while safeguarding our forests’ health and diversity.



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