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Advice on lathe choice

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  • Advice on lathe choice

    Looking for comments or suggestions as to choice on new lathe-
    Choices are
    Grizzely 12 x 36 $ 1999
    Harbor 12 x 36 $ 1999
    Enco 12 x 40 $ 2295
    All come with the standard follow/steady rest, quick change tool post.
    Any advice as to which choice or experices with these vendors would be good.
    Going to be used for hobby work- wanted something big enough to work with some capacity if needed. Really don't want to purchase used.
    Tom Kaye

  • #2
    Grizzly is pretty good. they send a spec sheet with the machine telling you the run out and trueness of the machine.
    Harbor I would avoid slow to ship and usually junk that is fob Taiwan( at least grizzly inspects their stuff when it comes in)
    Enco is about the best fo low end machines
    spec sheets and and good customer service.

    But for the money I would buy a south bend off ebay you could find a nice heavy ten for $2000 easy and if you don't need 12" of swing maybe a 9X36 would be fine
    parts are easy to get ( loads of stuff on ebay) easy to fix and easy to run very good machines
    I have a 9" with a 1HP I had to replace the bearings, chuck and tool post but for $600 total in it so far. you can't beat it.
    Yeah I'd rathe have a geared head yeah I don't have a QC gear box but I can add the gear box latter and then when I'm ready to up grade to an accu turn I can easily sell the lathe for everthing I have into it and make some money off it to boot.
    oh did i mention it's over 70 years old.
    Rule #1 be 10% smarter then what you\'re working on.
    Rule #2 see Rule #1


    • #3
      I have an extra Jet full gear head lathe 13x40. 220vlt,fully enclosed quick change box, cast iron stand, foot brake, flood, and standard tooling that I would sell for $2295. It has been used about two hours and is in great shape. Bought it from a former Jet dealer that had it in his home shop that was heated and looks almost new. I think Jet sell about the same model for about $4900. The lathe just sat there unused for a number of years. Located in Portland Oregon. 503-572-3845
      Dan Lewis


      • #4
        I know two people with Grizzly 13.5" X 40"s, the model 4016. As far as I've seen of them, and from what the owners have said about them, they're very good lathes. If either of my Logans ever wear out, or I need more capacity, I'd probably get one myself.

        I've also had personal experience with the little Griz 9" X 19", and I'm just getting into a Griz vertical mill. The worst thing I know of is the motor pulley on my little 9" wasn't locked down, and it ate a belt in short order, Griz sent a replacement no charge (I purchased an additional two which I haven't yet needed) and now that I aligned the pulley and locked it down, it's been trouble-free ever since.

        I haven't dealt with heavy machinery from Harbor Freight, but from the minimal experience with the little stuff, I'd avoid 'em in favor of the Griz. ENCO has been very good and helpful with orders of tools and hardware, but again, I haven't used or seen their heavy equipment.

        Doc's Machine. (Probably not what you expect.)


        • #5
          I own a H.F. and like it fine. Free shipping brings the price down considerably.
          Had great luck with Enco, but why pay more.
          I suggest the Grizzly, they are a bit more customer oriented regarding replacement parts, and a bit more picky about fit and finish. Last time I looked, they also included a quick change toolpost standard. One of the best additions I have made to my lathe.
          Tom's Jet sounds like a good deal, also very worthy of consideration.
          Location: North Central Texas


          • #6
            Any one have any expierience with the turn pro 13X40 from enco?


            • #7
              I would lump Harbor Freight and ENCO together in the avoid category as quality is very variable with them.
              I think Grizzly is better in this respect.
              In buying any economy import, I recommend trying to see the actual machine you are purchasing as quality can vary greatly from machine to machine even from the same vendor and shipment.
              My feelings are still that a good used American lathe is the best value particularly when contemplating spending this amount of money. The imports will not hold up in the long run. Low grade steel in shafting, poor quality fasteners, overstressed gears and poor castings filled with Bondo are to be expected. The spec sheets of final inspection look suspicously similar. As someone stated a couple of days ago, Xerox inspection seems to be the norm.
              As far as value is concerned, the American lathe, if given normal care will sell for what you paid for it ten years from now, probably more. The import will depreciate.
              Jim H.


              • #8

                I bought a brand new car sight unseen from my dealer. The price was really low. Man, I love this car. It had a few problems at first, but after I rebuilt the engine and reworked the suspension it's great. The dealer wasn't any help with these problems, that's alright, I got lots of advice online.

                I'm glad I didn't take the advice of those who suggested spending a few more bucks. What a great learning experience. I know more about this car than my dealer.

                OOPS, sorry, posted to the wrong group. Substitute "lathe" for "car" to get back on topic.