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View Full Version : Buyer beware. (Enco)



Highpower
03-11-2011, 03:34 PM
Just a heads-up for anyone that might be considering purchasing a Morse taper reamer from Enco. In a word.... don't.

I thought I would take a chance and picked up 2 of their import MT reamers on "clearance". I tried to clean up the tail-stock quill on my lathe, and the reamer wouldn't even scratch the surface. Also tried using a lot of pressure pushing it - nothing happened.

Since then I had ordered a reamer from McMaster (made in USA) and received it today. It cut through the quill socket like it was butter. Very little effort required, and a smooth clean cut. Yes, it cost more - but it worked.

The only good thing I suppose is that I now have a couple of taper cleaners for wiping out any crud from my spindles. I know they will rub the taper clean without fear of doing any cutting. :rolleyes:

Just another one of those instances where trying to save a buck costs you more in the end. Don't make the same mistake I did.
(This has been a public service announcement.) ;)

DICKEYBIRD
03-11-2011, 03:53 PM
Send 'em back. They'll happily give you a refund or credit towards the real thing if they have it. They responded in a customer-driven manner the one time I wasn't happy with an item I received from them.

Told me not to worry about sending the old one back and the replacement they sent had a slip of paper in the box indicating a human being had checked the item as being good...and it was.:)

squirrel
03-11-2011, 04:02 PM
I agree with the previous post about sending it back, Enco is the el cheapo unit of MSC. I don't buy alot from MSC/Enco anymore because of they are focusing on price point buyers that do not care about quality. The only place I shop is Mcmaster unless they do not carry it.

Rosco-P
03-11-2011, 04:13 PM
Were the reamers sharp? Did they come from China or (worse) india? I'd send them both back for a refund.

john11668
03-11-2011, 04:25 PM
I thought it would be a given !
If you buy it and it don't work then send it back for a full refund including carriage.
THE intermediate step is to email them and declare your dissatisfaction and your intention to return the goods for full refund. That should prompt a FOC replacement which works. If it does then "great"
If it doesn't than you carry out your initial threat!

One of the great things about the interweb is the facility to post reviews and feedback to a worldwide audience.;)

JoeLee
03-11-2011, 04:37 PM
Enco is like HF. Cheap stuff with few brand names. I think we have all been that route at one time or another. A long time ago I bought a set of slotted angle plates for my mill. When they arrived in the wax coated burlap lined box with all the funny numbers printed on the side I became leary of what might be inside. When I set them on the table of my mill they rocked from corner to corner. The holes were supposed to be for 1/2" bolts but could easily accomodate 5/8" bolts. The inside surfaces were just a mound of ratty looking cast iron with thousands of pin holes. The went back in a hurry.

JL.................

Highpower
03-11-2011, 05:21 PM
Enco reamers on top - McMaster reamer on the bottom.
Enco: Made in Bosnia.
McMaster: Made in Massachusetts, USA

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v82/Highpwr/Temp%20A/MT_Reamers.jpg
The Enco reamers are sharp, but - the angles of the flutes are all wrong. They are ground at 90į with zero rake what-so-ever. :confused:

I cannot return them to Enco. Why? Because I bought them in Dec 09 and haven't tried using them until now... *** My fault ***
I bought these around the same time I purchased my semi-universal indexing head. That turned out to be a disaster as well as I recently discovered a problem with that as well. Again -- my fault for not closely inspecting the items back when I received them.

I have purchased a lot of usable tooling from Enco without problems in the past. It's not ALL bad. But I have now learned to dissect, inspect, test, and scrutinize ANYTHING I get in the future, the instant it arrives instead of putting it on the shelf for later use. :(

I only wanted to warn folks not to waste their time and money on these particular reamers that's all. I'll still buy from them, but anything not up to snuff will go back instantly from now on.

TGTool
03-11-2011, 05:39 PM
So, what I take away from your experience is don't buy those reamers from Enco in 2009. It's a little late for that. Who knows who their supplier is for the ones they stock today. I would be astonished if no one else had complained about an improper grinding job between then and now and the same defective tools were being supplied to buyers. I sympathise with your experience but a warning is no help now. :cool:

DICKEYBIRD
03-11-2011, 05:39 PM
If you've been a good customer (sounds like you have) and have the original packaging (or not) I'll bet you'll get some satisfaction from them if you ask.:) They look like they're still brand new.

Now if it was that Asian guy with the American 1st name that sells a lot of stuff to us HSM'rs....pffft, forget it. He lost a very good customer (me) in a somewhat similar situation.

Remember: "Customers Make Jobs, Not the Opposite."

Highpower
03-11-2011, 05:58 PM
So, what I take away from your experience is don't buy those reamers from Enco in 2009. It's a little late for that. Who knows who their supplier is for the ones they stock today. I would be astonished if no one else had complained about an improper grinding job between then and now and the same defective tools were being supplied to buyers. I sympathise with your experience but a warning is no help now. :cool:Point taken.
But considering that they were advertising one of their indexers (up until last month) as having a B&S #7 taper, when they haven't produced those without a MT since 2005. I would have thought that somebody would have noticed that before I did, and complained about it. :rolleyes:

You are probably correct about the reamers though. Most likely the reason they put the "defects" on clearance sale to sell to unsuspecting suckers... errrr, customers. :D

TGTool
03-11-2011, 06:05 PM
Yeah, we're probably just not suspicious enough when those sale flyers come around. I remember a friend telling me that when he was a boy they would spend some time each summer with one particular maiden aunt. She'd bake a sheet cake and that would be dessert for days. Towards the end of the week there might be some small flecks of mold here and there. And then on the following day dessert would be the same cake with lemon sauce. It sounds like we're in the grownup version of the same scheme. I never thought to ask where his aunt worked. Now I wonder .. :D

Rich Carlstedt
03-11-2011, 07:19 PM
On any toolbit, you should never see a reflection from the sharp edge.
If you do, the cutter is dull. A sharp edge cannot reflect light
In looking at your photo, I can see some dull spots (reflections).
on the McMaster reamer on the second flute from the bottom. about 3/4" and 1/2" from the right hand ends, you see reflections....those are dull spots
Look. Now look at the top reamer, the whole thing reflects..


This is an oldtimer trick when looking at tools.
Never accept reflected light
Even a .001 radius will give you reflection

Rich

tlfamm
03-11-2011, 08:52 PM
I've found a wide spectrum of product quality from every importer I've dealt with, Enco included.

The basic rule: immediately before you open the carton, prepare yourself for the potential hassle of obtaining an RMA and sending the contents back.
================================================== =

But here's an Enco product that (as of Dec, 2010) is especially nice, a 5C collet fixture:

http://www.use-enco.com/CGI/INSRIT?PMAKA=235-7050


It's made in Taiwan, works well, has good fit and finish - and for crying out loud, even the plastic case is nice (thick plastic, robust box, strong compression latch, etc).

Edit: I just noticed that the Enco catalog doesn't even mention that the product comes in a case - how silly is that?

Pete F
03-11-2011, 11:49 PM
I cannot return them to Enco. Why? Because I bought them in Dec 09 and haven't tried using them until now... *** My fault ***

Ask them. You never know. My wife got a garden fountain from Plow and Hearth about 6 years ago. The pump failed after a few months, and about 4 years ago we finally got around to asking them about a return. They said sure, and sent us a prepaid UPS label to return for store credit. We discovered the box, forgotten, already packed and ready to return, in the garage 2 weeks ago. UPS picked it up, and we received a gift certificate today for the full cost of the fountain. Sometimes bureaucracies don't care how long it has been.

-Pete

Highpower
03-12-2011, 12:42 AM
Sometimes bureaucracies don't care how long it has been.

-PeteMy! You are quite the optimist aren't you? ;)

Personally, I think customer service will get a big laugh out of it, but I sent an email anyway. :D

As I stated earlier, they will make good tools for cleaning out any stray "crud" from my machine spindles - so I'm not worried about keeping them. Got them cheap enough at the clearance price, so I got what I paid for I suppose. If I had paid full price for them I might feel differently. lol.

Forrest Addy
03-12-2011, 01:12 AM
What a joke. Find one worm in one apple and swear off fruit forever.

The problem with that reamer wasn't the rake but the edge clearance. Neutral rake is about right in form and taper cutting reamers.

The clearance for a taper reamer has to be closely controlled. If the clearance is excessive it will overcut and lobe. If the clearance is too small the reamer dulls quickly, runs hot if power driven, and be hard to feed. Zero clearance and the sucker won't feed at all. 3 to 5 degrees radial clearance is about right. Negative clearance and it won't cut at all. It will only burnish where it bears removing no stock.

mister honey
03-12-2011, 09:11 AM
I'd still contact Enco about the reamers, 2009 or not.

Junk is junk and they should make it right via a replacement or credit, period.

If you don't complain, companies NEVER know what's really going on.

Mike

fishfrnzy
03-12-2011, 09:43 AM
I got a bad one from them also. And like you waited a while to use it to try to fix TS. Unfortunately mine cut just fine (was from India) but taper not ground correctly so it made the problem worse. My inspection skills were lacking at the time so it took a long time to nail down the problem. Ended up
using it to cut taper in a piece of alum exactly 2.000" long then checked at both ends. I used the same fixture to check the replacement reamer before taking it t the lathe. Because it had been over 45 since purchase they pretty much said tough luck. That was my only real disappoinment from Enco though.

The lesson- inspect upon arrival and definitely before you use it on a part that would be difficult to replace.

glenn105
03-12-2011, 11:28 AM
I am not a fan of Enco, by any means. Along with Harbor Freight, and other importers of mostly Chinese tools. Admittedly, SOME Chinese made tools can do the job, but if you're going to buy a tool that you plan on using A LOT, then spend the money and buy a quality tool. It REALLY depends on what you're buying. One thing I will tell you FOR SURE is NEVER buy an ELECTRIC tool Made in China!!!! The electric motors that they use, and the components of the motors such as the BRUSHES, are absolute JUNK!!!!! You'll be lucky if the tool lasts 20 minutes before burning out the brushes.

If, however, you are looking for a MECHANICAL tool, sometimes you can get by with a Chinese made tool, but plan on having to tweak it a bit. (or in many cases, a LOT!)

Here's a prime example of what I'm talking about...
I wanted a decent DRILL PRESS VISE that I also would use quite often holding parts that I cut in a vertical band saw. I got an Enco flyer in the mail that had a "50% off sale" on drill press vises. I decided on their 3-1/2" jaw drill press vise, regular price $36.98, on sale for $18.49. I thought, that's a GREAT DEAL! (considering that a Palmgren or Wilton of similar size is $75.99)

Soooooooo... Against my better judgement, I went ahead a bought the vise and when I received it, I was HORRIFIED! What a piece of JUNK! Take a look at some of these pictures!!!

http://www.flickr.com/photos/36172061@N05/5519533925/in/set-72157626124829945/

http://www.flickr.com/photos/36172061@N05/5519533893/in/set-72157626124829945/

http://www.flickr.com/photos/36172061@N05/5520122488/in/set-72157626124829945/

http://www.flickr.com/photos/36172061@N05/5520122488/in/set-72157626124829945/

http://www.flickr.com/photos/36172061@N05/5519533485/in/photostream/

http://www.flickr.com/photos/36172061@N05/5519533203/in/photostream/

http://www.flickr.com/photos/36172061@N05/5519534129/in/photostream/

After seeing all of this, basically, what I feel that I bought is a RAW CASTING and an ACME LEAD SCREW that I would have to machine myself, in order to make it functional and useful!

So I went ahead and spent a little time in front of my milling machine and my surface grinder to fix this thing and I now have a MADE IN USA, high-precision, high quality vise that is very usable, very functional, and a pleasure to work with. Thinking about it, I guess $18.49 for a raw casting and a decent acme lead screw isn't that bad... Raw steel would have cost me more here at a local steel supply house, and with this, I got a rough casting of the right shape which saved me a lot of time.

As mentioned, I could have bought a Wilton or Palmgren for $75.99, but I'm cheap! (and I actually got a lot of satisfaction out of this project after all is said and done!)

Unfortunately, I haven't gotten a chance to photograph my "FINISHED PRODUCT," but I will do that soon and post photos for you all to see!

LESSON LEARNED!!!

-Glenn

glenn105
03-12-2011, 12:44 PM
But here's an Enco product that (as of Dec, 2010) is especially nice, a 5C collet fixture:

It's made in Taiwan, works well, has good fit and finish - and for crying out loud, even the plastic case is nice (thick plastic, robust box, strong compression latch, etc).


You said it right there... MADE IN TAIWAN. Taiwan makes EXCELLENT QUALITY products. I would best describe Taiwan as approaching Japanese quality selling at just above China prices. You get the best of both worlds!

Enco, like most other suppliers, does sell SOME quality products. Look for BRAND NAMES like Wilton, Hertel, M.A. Ford, Starrett, etc. Just DON'T EVER buy a product Branded "ENCO" and expect to receive a Quality item. 85% of ENCO branded items come from CHINA and are NOT made to precision dimensions or tolerances. 10% come from decent countries such as Taiwan, South Africa, Korea, etc. The remaining 5% come from other questionable countries such as India, Bosnia, etc.

Same goes for Harbor Freight Tools!

-Glenn

J Tiers
03-12-2011, 01:55 PM
The Enco stuff can be bad. I've pretty much got "done" with them.

I am OK with the odd item being bad, but I could not get Enco to stand behind the products correctly.

Their policy, to me at least, was "we'll credit you the price, but shipping is your problem, pal....." Not so bad FROM them, they get a good deal. But from MY end, it was more than double their shipping cost.

I could not get them to take on the shipping, they just stonewalled it with a "we don't credit shipping.... we don't credit shipping....." mantra. The end result was that the product cost me almost half it's price even though I didn't keep it, because shipping one piece as a "civilian" is extremely expensive compared to the deal they get.

OTHER highly questionable companies DO fully credit shipping, send call tags, etc.

Apparently Enco does not. Or they DID not, anyway.

As for source countries, we could only WISH china was as bad as people say........ they are improving, and even their own engineers complain about chinese electric motors.

The BAD places include India, Vietnam, and a host of other small corners of the world. Also the USA...... a lot of crappy goods come out of there, but they tend not to export much, perhaps "their act has been described".

Places like Turkey, Brazil, Poland (of course), and others can and do produce very good stuff.

gwilson
03-12-2011, 02:00 PM
Wilton stuff is Asian,in case you didn't know.

squirrel
03-12-2011, 02:51 PM
Wilton stuff is Asian,in case you didn't know.
Some of it is not that good, India is another place they buy from. Their $1500 bench vise is still USA made and its excellent, they really tarnished the brand with the inport stuff.

glenn105
03-13-2011, 04:41 PM
Wilton stuff is Asian,in case you didn't know.

Yes, I know... The difference is that if a company in the USA has their parts manufactured in China or any other country and gives them TOLERANCES to abide by, the products can be good. However, most of the Enco / Harbor Freight stuff is NOT produced for them by any drawings or specs. Most of the tools are GENERIC, Chinese-made parts that are bought "as is" and how they're made. Only when parts are held to dimensions and tolerances, inspected by quality control, and approved can they be considered quality goods, regardless of where they are being made.

-Glenn

Mike Hunter
03-14-2011, 02:56 PM
Personally, Iím a fan of ENCO, especially like their 10 and 20% off codes. Iíll save my $$ and buy quality stuff for a bargain.

Twice have I had a shipping issue from ENCO; one time UPS delivered a package that was clearly damaged in transport, some of the contents were missing about Ĺ a dozen 6 ft brass rods. I called ENCO, they replaced my order completely, told me to keep whatever was useable out of the damaged order.

Another time, I had ordered a dial indicator, what I received was a case of dial indicators. Yup I called them (what can I say..Iím honest), ENCO gave me a couple of DIs for my troubles.

davidwdyer
03-14-2011, 06:12 PM
I see no point in Enco bashing. Maybe it lets off steam, but I can't see the benefit.

I have LOTS of tooling from Enco. Most of it has served me well. At least 70% of these items I would never have been able to afford if they weren't "on sale" or some kind of a deal.

It is understandable that those who have worked professionally in the trade and have used high quality equipment would find it frustrating to work with less.

However, for those who are hobbyist like myself, through companies like Enco we have the chance to own and use tools, make cool things and enjoy ourselves.

All this carping and complaining sometimes just takes a little of the joy out of it.

glenn105
03-14-2011, 07:57 PM
Hey, I'm the FIRST one in line for a great deal... its just that more often than not, Enco BRAND tools are not even worth the sale prices. if you want good quality tools, still imports but higher quality, try www.shars.com. they also sell on ebay under discountmachine, I think. I buy lots from them and NEVER was disappointed.

Did u look at the horrible photos of the Enco vise that I bought???

-Glenn

lbhsbz
03-14-2011, 08:12 PM
Hey, I'm the FIRST one in line for a great deal... its just that more often than not, Enco BRAND tools are not even worth the sale prices. if you want good quality tools, still imports but higher quality, try www.shars.com. they also sell on ebay under discountmachine, I think. I buy lots from them and NEVER was disappointed.


-Glenn

Agreed. I buy the majority of my stuff from Shars. Seems to be better quality than the bottom of the barrel stuff pedaled by a few other vendors.

J Tiers
03-14-2011, 10:33 PM
I see no point in Enco bashing. Maybe it lets off steam, but I can't see the benefit.

However, for those who are hobbyist like myself, through companies like Enco we have the chance to own and use tools, make cool things and enjoy ourselves.

All this carping and complaining sometimes just takes a little of the joy out of it.

Carping?

Complaining?

OK, we'll SHUT UP and let everyone else think they are getting a great deal, on the best quality, from a company that stands behind their stuff 100%. Let THEM find out the hard way, WE're all right, jack.

If you don't LIKE reading that your favorite store is not always the greatest thing on earth, that doing business with them can be awfully expensive, well, there is a cure for that, don't read it.

It won't change the facts..... Folks are not telling lies here, even if they may be messing up your Santa Claus story a bit.

if you like cheaper tools, and nothing wrong with that, you can buy them, from places that WILL 100% credit shipping on bad goods, etc, and have equal or better quality, at equal or less price.

I have sent back the trashy item to Enco, and bought a better one from, of all places, Grizzly, for LESS. And the one bad item they sent me on the same order cost me NOTHING, I returned it on their dime. Others have been just as good, including Victor Machinery.

But if you prefer Enco, only Enco, and nothing BUT Enco, OK, WE're not stopping you.

Black_Moons
03-15-2011, 12:05 AM
Some of it is not that good, India is another place they buy from. Their $1500 bench vise is still USA made and its excellent, they really tarnished the brand with the inport stuff.

... As a guy who owns a new kurt milling vise, Can't say id ever consider buying a $1500 bench vise unless its so big/strong it doubles as a makeshift car compactor.
$150 maybe....