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View Full Version : HF 13 x 40 vs Grizzly



radkins
09-19-2008, 07:07 PM
Hi new here, first post and I hope not a question you guys are already getting tired of. I am going to buy a new lathe and I had been considering the Grizzly G4003 and the G4003G but after researching this some I find that the G40016 13 1/2 x 40 is so close in price that it may be the best deal. To complicate matters I see that Harbor Freight has their version of the 13 x 40 on special for $1899 and that is a whopping big difference in price! I already have the Jet 9 x 20 that I have used for a few years but I have outgrown it and need something with at least a 12" swing, bigger would be better. I am aware of the difference in support after the sale, or total lack of in the case of HF, but I guess my question boils down to what is the real difference between the HF and Grizzly machines? I would assume the Grizzly QC would be better and the after sale support would be MUCH better but this is around $1000 difference in price which would buy a lot of tooling. What do you guys think, is the Grizzly machine worth that much more?

Richard-TX
09-19-2008, 07:45 PM
I would get the 4003G.

SGW
09-19-2008, 08:03 PM
All value is not necessarily visible in the specifications.

Back in 1985, when I was looking for a milling machine, it became known that certain import manufacturers put used bearings in their machines. That was quite a while ago and the practice may no longer occur, but it gives an idea of the myriad of reasons one machine "that looks just the same in the pictures" may cost significantly less than another.

Mark Hockett
09-19-2008, 08:16 PM
Here are two other options in that size range,
http://www.use-enco.com/CGI/INPAGE?PMPAGE=/specials/308-0233
This one has free shipping,
http://www.machinetoolonline.com/PM1340new.html

The HF is a bench lathe mounted on a sheet metal stand. The Enco and PM lathes are true engine lathes with cast iron bases (the motor is mounted in the base). The Grizzly lathe is kind of in between with a cast iron base but the motor is mounted on the back of the lathe like a bench model and it is much lighter than the Enco. At 1800 lbs the Enco is the heaviest which means better vibration dampening and more rigidity. All four lathes will cut metal so which ever fits the budget will probably work but if it were me I would go for the Enco, PM or the Grizzly.

radkins
09-19-2008, 08:26 PM
All value is not necessarily visible in the specifications.

Back in 1985, when I was looking for a milling machine, it became known that certain import manufacturers put used bearings in their machines. That was quite a while ago and the practice may no longer occur, but it gives an idea of the myriad of reasons one machine "that looks just the same in the pictures" may cost significantly less than another.


That is exactly the kind of thing I am concerned about with the HF machine and I was kinda hoping maybe someone here has some experience with them. I was more than a little disappointed to find that about the only difference between my Jet and the HF 9 x 20 was the color and the price (I have since used both machines) but it is my understanding that is not usually the case on the larger machines with Grizzly, Jet, etc having much better QC, or so I have been told. That little Jet represents 100% of my experience as a lathe owner but I have had the opportunity to use larger lathes at work before I retired. This lathe is to be a retirement gift from my wife and children so it will be the only shot I will have at it and I must choose the right one the first time. The HF lathe would save $1000 that would buy a lot of other goodies, BUT the extra tooling would be useless if the lathe is no good.

smiller6912
09-19-2008, 08:35 PM
I would get the 4003G.
Ditto......................!
I've been looking at this one myself.

Just Bob Again
09-19-2008, 10:02 PM
I have a PM. Support is better than Grizzly by a wide margin. Quality is better. HF rates a zero in both regards. Had a problem with a Grizzly mill. They tried to sell me an overpriced replacement part with an 8 week lead time. Had a problem with my PM lathe and Quality MAchine sent me a replacement part in a week at no charge. Never bought an Enco machine so I don't know about them.

radkins
09-19-2008, 10:30 PM
I really like the thoughts of the extra capacity of the G4016 but then I look at the G4003G and, well maybe it's all the bells and whistles but dang that thing sure looks nice.

Fellows please pardon my ignorance but I had never even heard of the PM machines until I came here. I will definitely check them out before I make the finial decision.

radkins
09-19-2008, 10:51 PM
OK, I just went to the PM website and they do have some interesting equipment but for whatever reason no prices on anything except accessories.:confused:

rolland
09-20-2008, 12:12 AM
radkins
I have the G4003 and like it, I got it before the gunsmith lathe version came on the scene would rather have had the other lathe as most of my work is on guns. I have had no problems other than the motor which was replaced right away. I would recommend the Grizzly over the HF.
A friend has a HF lathe that is the same size and its junk as far as I am concerned poor fit just about every where. I don't know if that is the same for all of them but this one is sure a poor example.

MTNGUN
09-20-2008, 12:13 AM
Something to consider on the HF is that shipping is usually subsidized. Not as much as they used to. but still pretty reasonable.

Sometimes HF has 10% off coupons if you buy at a local store. Do some googling. Even if the store doesn't stock your lathe, they should be able to order it at the sale price.

Nearly each month Enco has a special on one of their machine tools that usually includes free shipping.

Sometimes Enco and Grizzly will spec a better quality motor than the HF. HF motors are sometimes, but not always, wimpy.

I have two HF 12x36 lathes and am pretty happy with them. No, there is no support, but I'm the DIY type. If you need parts, the grizzly parts will usually fit HF machines. The weakness on these lathes is the motor and the contactors. The more expensive brands may have better motors, but they all appear to use the same contactors.

My recommendation is to get the HF, give it a good once over to fine tune all the things that HF doesn't necessarily fine tune for you, and if you ever fry a motor or a contactor, consider it a good excuse to upgrade to a 3 phase motor and VFD. For that matter, you may save enough on the HF to pay for a 3 phase and VFD.

Another temptation would be to use the money you save at HF to go with the 14" lathe instead. The 14 is quite a bit beefier.

But that's just me. If you are the type who expects it to be perfect as delivered, and who needs help when there is a problem, then HF is not for you.

Just Bob Again
09-20-2008, 06:55 AM
OK, I just went to the PM website and they do have some interesting equipment but for whatever reason no prices on anything except accessories.:confused:

They have prices on some machinery. Not all. If you just want to type in your credit card and have a machine show up on your doorstep shrink-wrapped with no contact with an actual human being, go with the bigger outfits. If you call Quality Machine, you'll talk with an actual person and they'll ask what you need and what you want to spend and tell you the pros and cons of the different machines. Not a point-and-click kinda place.

dave5605
09-20-2008, 09:35 PM
The ENCO lathe in one of the previous entries is only a 8 speed lathe UNLESS you get the 3 phase model.

I sent emails to ENCO originally about the 800# weight on the 13x40 single phase machine and then questioned the 45-1800 speed range since another catalog entry says it started at 70 RPM. SOmewhere else (maybe their main catalog) had the speed ranges as 8 instead of 16.

Quite frankly I'm not sure what you would get if you ordered the single phase model(s).

What ENCO told me is that they didn't update the catalog when they added the single phase models.

Mark Hockett
09-21-2008, 02:13 AM
The ENCO lathe in one of the previous entries is only a 8 speed lathe UNLESS you get the 3 phase model.

I sent emails to ENCO originally about the 800# weight on the 13x40 single phase machine and then questioned the 45-1800 speed range since another catalog entry says it started at 70 RPM. SOmewhere else (maybe their main catalog) had the speed ranges as 8 instead of 16.

Quite frankly I'm not sure what you would get if you ordered the single phase model(s).

What ENCO told me is that they didn't update the catalog when they added the single phase models.


I think the weight in the ad is a typo, probably should read 1800#.
I don't know why anyone would want to order that lathe in single phase anyway. Buy it with a 3ph motor, hang a VFD on it and have speeds from 1 to well over 1800 rpm.

gnm109
09-21-2008, 03:28 AM
Here are two other options in that size range,
http://www.use-enco.com/CGI/INPAGE?PMPAGE=/specials/308-0233
This one has free shipping,
http://www.machinetoolonline.com/PM1340new.html

The HF is a bench lathe mounted on a sheet metal stand. The Enco and PM lathes are true engine lathes with cast iron bases (the motor is mounted in the base). The Grizzly lathe is kind of in between with a cast iron base but the motor is mounted on the back of the lathe like a bench model and it is much lighter than the Enco. At 1800 lbs the Enco is the heaviest which means better vibration dampening and more rigidity. All four lathes will cut metal so which ever fits the budget will probably work but if it were me I would go for the Enco, PM or the Grizzly.


Not trying to start anything but I'm curious as to your definition of a bench lathe versus a "true engine lathe". I have a 1994 model 13 X 40 Enco geared head/gap bed lathe. It weighs 1,350 pounds not counting its heavy sheet metal stand. Does that mean that I have a bench lathe? That would be some bench, wouldn't it? It has a 2 hp motor that hangs down below the back of the gear case on a mount that is attached to the bed rather than being in the base somewhere.

I don't remember what they called it when bought it but I've never thought of it as a "bench lathe." I always thought of a bench lathe as being somewhat lighter and sitting on a "bench".

By the way, my Enco is single phase with 8 speeds from 70 to 2000. The specifications are identical to the 13 X 40 PM shown in the link you supplied.

It's not critical, just curious. :)

Mark Hockett
09-21-2008, 02:27 PM
I bench lathe is a lathe that can be removed from whatever stand it is on and placed on another stand. The motor is either connected to the lathe or mounted to the top of the bench/stand. An engine lathe has the motor and possibly other components mounted in the base so you can not separate the two, many engine lathes the base is cast as part of the entire lathe.
I'm sure there are those who will argue this definition as it has changed over the years, in the days of line shaft machines it was a much different definition, but today you can look through machine catalogs and the way I described it is pretty much the way they define it today.

Spin Doctor
09-21-2008, 04:11 PM
OK, I just went to the PM website and they do have some interesting equipment but for whatever reason no prices on anything except accessories.:confused:

Matt's PM branded machines do have list prices. The other stuff may not due I suspect for reasons beyond his control plus he might have to constanly update the web site for them to be listed. Give him a cal. He's easy to talk too and deal with.

riceone
09-21-2008, 04:55 PM
I bought a large air-compressor from HF some time ago and found it was a single stage and I wanted a double stage. HF would not take it back, had to send it to the factory. Won't ever buy from them again. With Enco and Grizzly you deal with them, much better people. riceone