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Thread: Acra or Grizzly mill?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
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    Ct
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    Default Acra or Grizzly mill?

    Both are 9x49 with box ways on the knee.
    Both 3 hp.
    Acra is variable speed, Grizzly is belt. (Belt is fine with me)
    Both Meehanite.
    Both angular contact bearing spindles.
    Acra has Turcite on the ways Grizz no but for the 4-5 times per week I use it...

    Grizzly has DRO and table feed.
    Acra does not.
    Reviews I find for both are decent for what they are.

    Grizzly is less $ but the Acra isn't bad...

    Well, here, take a look...
    http://www.grizzly.com/products/9-X-...ce=grizzly.com
    https://www.elitemetaltools.com/tool...-am2v?sku=AM2V

    NOT considering an old machine I have enough projects now to last my days.
    Len

  2. #2
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    Dec 2007
    Location
    Seattle, WA
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    Default

    Acra. No question. Better quality build, made in Taiwan. Worth the extra $$$.

    The Grizzly is made in China.

    Also, the extra money for the Acra is getting you a variable speed head instead of a pulley speed reduction. Way more convenient. Since you are "fine with belt drive", then to compare Apples to Apples, you should look at the AM2S (pulley speed reduction) for $6625, which narrows the price gap a bit.

    https://www.elitemetaltools.com/tool...-am2s?sku=AM2S
    Last edited by tmarks11; 12-07-2017 at 12:18 AM.

  3. #3
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    Default

    While I too believe the Acra is probably the better machine, there is a lot of value in the Grizzly. For typical usage, I am confident either would work quite well. Note however, in addition to saving the $1k, the power feed and DRO, unless you already have a means to produce 3 phase, that adds yet more cost (the Griz is single~).

    I too, am not terribly put out having to make speed changes via belts on a mill, which is a bigger deal to me on a lathe. I see that the Grizzly has one-shot lubrication, not sure about the Acra, but IT has a base set up for coolant. FWIW, the Grizzly is a few hundred pounds heavier, and the ACRA has considerably higher spindle speed (4,200 as opposed to 2,720).
    As delivery is included in the price, the difference between the belt drive models is $255. The belt drive Acra doesn't say 3~, but I presume it is - in which case you could add a VFD and kill 2 birds - adding to the ease of use and to the cost. It also has a higher spindle speed - 5,440.

    So, it depends on what is more important to you...
    Last edited by Joel; 12-07-2017 at 03:00 AM.

  4. #4
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    I would get the ACRA belt drive and add a VFD. Best of both worlds. I have run a lot of BPs over the years and the VS drives get rackety after a while. The belt drives run smooth & quiet forever.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Toolguy View Post
    I would get the ACRA belt drive and add a VFD. Best of both worlds. I have run a lot of BPs over the years and the VS drives get rackety after a while. The belt drives run smooth & quiet forever.
    The VS 2J-head robs a lot of power from the motor. The step-pulley J-heads are much more efficient and are great with a VFD.
    When in doubt, doubt your doubt.
    www.metalillness.com

  6. #6
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    Jan 2014
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    Or look at Precsion Mathews. Its another Chinese import, but so far I've been pretty impressed with my PM 1440 lathe, and Matt is excellent for follow up if you have a question or an issue. Even if you caused the issue yourself.

    http://www.precisionmatthews.com/pro...machines/knee/

    I'm not sure if Matt goes to China to spec and correct periodically, but the machines he sells tend to just be better than the average Chinese import. A buddy of mine recently bought a gear head bed mill from him and I was there when he first powered up the spindle and ran it in all gears. It was smooth and quiet compared to the similar type ZX/RF gear head mill I had. People complain that gear heads can be noisy, but his was quite pleasant sounding. Not as quiet as a belt drive, but pretty quite. I'm not trying to push you towards a bed mill or a gear head. Just pointing out that the PM mill my buddy bought is immediately apparent that its better built than other Chinese imports I have seen or owned.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by 3 Phase Lightbulb View Post
    The VS 2J-head robs a lot of power from the motor. The step-pulley J-heads are much more efficient and are great with a VFD.
    Are you sure about the variable robbing power. I have a Taiwanese Webb 4VH variable with a 3 hp motor and it sure has a lot of power. If power does get lost, I'm not sure where that extra power you mention went to. I think that's a wives tale, told around the camp fire, but mainly on the east coast.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by tmarks11 View Post
    Acra. No question. Better quality build, made in Taiwan. Worth the extra $$$.

    The Grizzly is made in China.

    Also, the extra money for the Acra is getting you a variable speed head instead of a pulley speed reduction. Way more convenient. Since you are "fine with belt drive", then to compare Apples to Apples, you should look at the AM2S (pulley speed reduction) for $6625, which narrows the price gap a bit.

    https://www.elitemetaltools.com/tool...-am2s?sku=AM2S
    For some reason I think that 2S is not a Taiwan machine, though Acra does show a Taiwan 2S.
    Maybe Elite doesn't want to carry it.
    I'll call.
    Sure would be nice to have a DRO!
    Len

  9. #9
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    Put a DRO on the ACRA one. In reality, it's a high probability that either mill will do what you want to do for as long as you want to do it.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by GNM109 View Post
    Are you sure about the variable robbing power. I have a Taiwanese Webb 4VH variable with a 3 hp motor and it sure has a lot of power. If power does get lost, I'm not sure where that extra power you mention went to. I think that's a wives tale, told around the camp fire, but mainly on the east coast.
    Oh yea, the Bridgeport j-head step-pulley comes with 1HP or 1.5HP and the BP VS 2J-head comes with 2HP due to the power robbing VS drive.
    When in doubt, doubt your doubt.
    www.metalillness.com

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