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Thread: Grizzly Lathes

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    120

    Default Grizzly Lathes

    Does anyone own a Grizzly lathe? They look nice and are priced right. But for the money, I could also look for used. Looking at several models, but most interested in the quality in general. For the sake of keeping the thread focused, I'm most interested in hearing of first hand knowledge, not assumptions of quality based on the country of orign.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Posts
    11

    Default

    I bought a Grizzly lathe and I won't make that mistake twice. Thank goodness I have my southbend to make parts for the Grizzly 0554Z. Grizzly is great about sending out replacement parts but, some of the problems I encountered were from improper design not a defective part.

    Shawn

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Cleveland
    Posts
    214

    Default Import Lathes

    The first Lathe I bought was a Jet DB 920. It was a pretty nice little lathe on the whole I didn't have a lot of complaints about it. I did have the motor fail after a few months but the people from whom I purchased it were excellent in replacing it promptly without charge. As it happens I was reading an old issue of Strictly I.C. magazine (I absolutely highly recommend this magazine. They have stopped publication but are still selling the reprints and I consider them one of my most treasured things). At any rate the publisher worked for Jet for a number of years and swears by the quality control they had (have?) in place with their vendors in terms of quality. I honestly don't know whether the many lathes that seem to share everything but the nameplate are actually made to the same quality standard or not. One thing that came up through my connection with a friend who knew a lot more than I did was that on his machine (which was similar but a different nameplate) was that he was not getting a cosistent thread pitch when he cut threads. It turned out that the hub of the gears were just slightly eccentric so the lead screw would "speed up" and "slow down" as it turned. His soultion was to rebore them on center and sleeve them to work. But that was 10 years ago. My impression is that the quality standard have improved quite a bit on the machines. Stay tuned with me as I provide some feedback on my new lathe as I get it set up and dialed in.

    I'll be posting "tweaks", accesories and feedback on the quality of the lathe as I get it up and running over the next few weeks (I'm building a bench, adding wiring to the basement and a "dust collection system" to try to keep things cleaner.

    Feel free to drop me an email and stay in touch.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Cleveland
    Posts
    214

    Default P.s.

    As an afterthought (which in hindsight it shouldn't be) my impression is that Grizzly works pretty hard to protect their reputation and based on what I see (Comparing a mill that I'm interested in to another that appears to be the same but another nameplate) they have enough volume that they are able to offer a pretty significant better value for the machine (i.e. about 1,700 as compared to 2,100 for the same machine?). My understanding is that they are also stocking parts which will make for much better customer support than you might find with other brands that are "no name" comparitively. That said, as I mentioned before the Jet brand is also very well supported.

    My new lathe is a Shop Fox, I've been in touch with the company that imports them here in the U.S. They seem to be pretty good about being helpful and communicating well (which if you've ever had a bad vendor you know what a pain that can be).

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    Pass Christian, MS
    Posts
    978

    Default

    I have several Grizzly products, lathe, mill, saw, slip rolls and have had other pieces of their equipment in the past. If you are purchasing new today, the equipment made in Twain is pretty good, the equipment made in China should be considered a kit that needs work. The China produced equipment can be made to function well and accurately with some work. On my 14 x 40 lathe all of the gear boxes have been removed to debur and get the running clearances right. Other parts of the machine needed minor repair and modification to make it reliable. The electrics are substandard and don't have proper ventilation.

    Some of the equipment, especially the horizontal band saws all need work and they keep changing the manufacturer resulting in parts being long delivery items.

    The Mill, made in Twain has been a very good machine, no complaints at all.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Edison Washington
    Posts
    1,080

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Clevelander
    As an afterthought (which in hindsight it shouldn't be) my impression is that Grizzly works pretty hard to protect their reputation and based on what I see (Comparing a mill that I'm interested in to another that appears to be the same but another nameplate) they have enough volume that they are able to offer a pretty significant better value for the machine (i.e. about 1,700 as compared to 2,100 for the same machine?). My understanding is that they are also stocking parts which will make for much better customer support than you might find with other brands that are "no name" comparitively. That said, as I mentioned before the Jet brand is also very well supported.

    My new lathe is a Shop Fox, I've been in touch with the company that imports them here in the U.S. They seem to be pretty good about being helpful and communicating well (which if you've ever had a bad vendor you know what a pain that can be).

    Shop Fox is owned by the same guy who owns Grizzly, and is stocked in the same warehouses, shipped by the same clerks, and is generally made in the same factories.

    As I understand it, Grizzly is only sold by Grizzly. Paint the same lathe white instead of green, and it can be bought wholesale by a dealer, and sold at retail as Shop Fox.
    In the Grizzly showroom, they have some of each, side by side.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    Sacramento, CA
    Posts
    198

    Default

    I have a Grizzly 1642. Have had problems with noisy lead screw gear train, and poor workmanship in the apron. Grizzly could not provide me with a new cross slide nut, so I had to manually make one on that lathe, while the cross slide screw was removed so I could fit it. Quite a challenge!
    If ignorance is bliss, why aren't there more happy people?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Houston TX
    Posts
    200

    Default

    I have a Grizzly G0602 lathe as well as a G0619 Mill, a bench shear, and other stuff. I have Harbor Freight MIG, Spot, and TIG welders, sheet metal brake, 3 in 1 shear, English Wheel, and air compressors.

    I have a theory that is likely pure fiction, but is functionally equivalent to how it shakes out. I get the impression that the factory in China makes a particular model of lathe and then the QC people separate them in to "quality" groups. First tier companies like Grizzly get the first pick, the better ones branded as Shop Fox, and the "seconds" get the regular Grizzly brand. Second tier companies like Harbor Freight, Busy Bee, and others get their choice of the remainder. The dregs go to the companies that hold parking lot sales and are out of town before you can get it plugged in.

    Obviously it doesn't work exactly like that, as the different badges have different paint, included accessories, motors, etc.

    In my particular case, the latest Grizzly equipment was slightly lower quality than some of the Harbor Freight stuff that I also own. All of the problems were not noticeable on a pure visual inspection. The difference comes down to customer service. The Grizzly people are INSANELY helpful in solving any problems you might have. (Actually will more than likely have.) They have people who actually understand the equipment, and can help you fix issues that may be more adjustments than failures.

    Getting problems solved with HF is kinda like trying to make a living on the Roulette table in Vegas! The only remedy seems to be to take the item back to the store and get a replacement. In my experience, ordering parts has ranged from tolerable to arcane. When the parts will arrive needs the entrails of a sacrificial goat. I NEVER buy any equipment from HF without the additional warranty.

    After this long winded novel, it really comes down to this... I won't hesitate to buy from Grizzly again. I already have some floorspace earmarked for a notcher.

    Neil

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Indianapolis
    Posts
    166

    Default

    I bought a Grizzly G9972Z 11 x 26 lathe in October 2009. The quality is acceptable. It has worked well for me. If I had had the money when buying a lathe, I would like to have had a South Bend heavy 10, but that wasn't the situation.
    Gary

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Northwest Missouri USA
    Posts
    930

    Default

    I bought a Grizzly G4003 12 X 36 several years ago and have made several barrels of chips with no breakdowns. It works fine. Haven't ever used anything else so can't compare. Several members here have bought and been satisfied with them. Use GOOGLE ADVANCED SEARCH for G4003 of this site. The search function on this site misses sometimes. Good Luck.

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