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  • Looking at buying a new lathe

    Okay guys, I am looking at buying a new lathe. This will be my first lathe. I have had a 10 x 54 mill for a wile now. Looking at something like a 13 x 40. Have been looking at the Enco, and Turn Pro stuff. This is not for production, but would like somthing good. Is the Turn Pro beter than Enco? Should I get the lathe with a DRO? I know I could not live without the DRO on my mill. Any other sugjestions would be great. Thanks.

  • #2
    Grizzly is another purveyor of fine lathes. And there's that new South Bend HSM lathe...

    Pretty soon the 'Buy Olde American Iron!' contingency will be arriving. Are you dead set on a new lathe?

    What's your budget? What are you building?

    Comment


    • #3
      Also, as was just mentioned in another thread, don't be misled by brand names-if it is Chinese it is still Chinese no matter who is selling it! I am not sure about Turn Pro but I know from hands on that Enco and Harbor Freight sell the exact same machines in some models, most of the large ones in fact. The myth that HF just sells what Enco and some others reject is just that-a myth! My point is that IF you are going to buy a Chinese import don't buy the exact same machine from Enco expecting better quality than the one HF sells for a lot less money because they are the same thing, I own a HF 14x40 lathe and compared to a friend's Enco 14x40 they are the exact same machine except for the color there is no difference at all in quality. I am sure, having access to both, about the Enco vs HF and the Birmingham YCL14x40 also appears to be the same thing and indeed some others that have seen/used them agree. My buddy's Enco 14x40 is what sold me on that particular model and after owning mine, and running it almost daily, for the last two years both he and I agree there simply is no difference at all. The same thing was true with a 9x20 Jet I owned that everyone said was a top-of-the-line import, well it turned out to be the EXACT same lathe that HF had for nearly half the cost, how do I know this? I had both of them! The same thing has turned out to be true for the tool grinder, etc. The 12x36 that Enco sells also appears to be the same and although I have not owned one the guys at the Yahoo group on these things will tell you that they are the same as the HF 12x36, the differences are color and price so don't shun HF if you are going to buy one of these Chinese imports.


      I guess most of you guys are getting more than a little bit tired of me harping on this subject so much but this question gets asked a lot and I still get kind of PO'ed about being talked into spending well over an extra $500 for that POS Chinese 9x20 Jet when I could have just bought the same thing at HF! After trading some other stuff for the HF version I know there was no difference in quality and now after several other machines I know for SURE that the "HF sells rejects" story is just a myth and I am simply trying to prevent someone else from making the same mistake I did. The story about HF only selling machines that other outfits reject seems to only come from people who do not own one and those that do seem to always say just the opposite, that certainly has been my experience-more than once!

      Comment


      • #4
        It may be true that the 9x20's are all the same.

        But no way are you going to convince me that this-
        http://www.amazon.com/engine-Lathe-G.../dp/B003K2SSEK

        is the same as this-
        http://www.harborfreight.com/14-inch...the-66665.html

        the harbor freight lathe weighs 1500 lbs. they dont seem to want to tell you the HP, but I would be amazed if it was even 3hp.
        the Jet weighs 5700, and is 7 1/2 hp.

        (I own a bigger Jet ZX, for about ten years now- and it is not, in any way, the "same" as anything Harbor freight sells)

        Not all "chinese" lathes are the same.
        And, in many cases, you do indeed get what you pay for.

        That said, If I was going to buy a low priced lathe, such as the Harbor Freight or Enco, I would take a serious look at the stuff that Matt, at Precision Matthews, imports. He actually goes to China, and buys from various factories, then stands behind the stuff. I have heard a bunch of good stories about him, from disinterested customers.

        http://precisionmatthews.com/PMLatheIndex.html

        Comment


        • #5
          He actually goes to China, and buys from various factories, then stands behind the stuff.
          I too am a victim of the "more money, more quality" scam. In the process of trying to get what I paid for, I had an interesting conversation with their service mechanic who also is the one making inspections in China.
          He told, when we were talking about the terrible scraping, that they do have 20 scrapers. "For three of them, I'd put my hand into the fire ... as long as I am at site".
          That's no joke, it is the truth.

          That importer also stood behind his product: "You can return it if you are not happy". No talk about fixing the issues.


          Nick

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Ries
            It may be true that the 9x20's are all the same.

            But no way are you going to convince me that this-
            http://www.amazon.com/engine-Lathe-G.../dp/B003K2SSEK

            is the same as this-
            http://www.harborfreight.com/14-inch...the-66665.html
            It's obvious the lathes are not the same.... I don't think you got the point about the "same"(identical) machine selling at different prices.
            John M...your (un)usual basement dweller

            Comment


            • #7
              It's obvious the lathes are not the same.... I don't think you got the point about the "same"(identical) machine selling at different prices.
              Not only that, but the context is HSM tools here. That Jet lathe is $11,500. That's not HSM in my world.

              Haha check this from the Harbor Freight lathe page:
              and 39 Whitworth threads
              According to the manual, it's just under 2000# best case.
              MACHINE NET WEIGHT 1540 lb. 1650 lb. 700 kg 750 kg
              CROSS WEIGHT 1810 lb. 1936 lb. 820 kg 880 kg
              Last edited by Tony Ennis; 09-24-2010, 03:55 PM.

              Comment


              • #8
                My point is that while there may indeed be the "same" lathe at different price points, there are different lathes from different manufacturers, and "chinese is still chinese no matter who is selling it" is just not true.

                You do get what you pay for- and when shopping for a lathe, I look for weight, horsepower, and, yes, the reputation of the company.

                I have absolutely zero faith in Harbor Freight, and have never bought anything from them.

                When I buy from Grizzly or Jet, I am not fooling myself into thinking it is somehow equivalent to Monarch or Schaublin- but I know from experience that the quality and fit and finish is better than no name chinese stuff that looks the same.
                I have bought several Jet tools that were made in Taiwan, and have run, reliably, in my 3 man shop for ten years or more.
                I did not buy 9x20 lathes, or their cheap toy bottom of the line stuff- I paid more for the best stuff they sell, and it has all worked right out of the box.
                And when I have had problems, I have had pretty decent customer service from both Jet and Grizzly. In some cases, free replacement parts shipped at their expense.

                So, my experience has been that you DO get what you pay for.
                You mileage may vary, of course- thats always true.
                But if I was going to buy a new lathe, I wouldnt even bother with Harbor Freight, or other bottom feeder companies.
                I use my tools to make money, and its worth more to me to have them run, and not need rebuilding when I get them, than to save a bit.

                As for the price of HSM equipment- its all relative.
                I know a several home shop guys who have spent well over one hundred grand, and others who have spent almost nothing. The new cost of any given machine doesnt determine whether its home shop or not.
                The new cost of a Monarch 10EE is now somewhere around $65,000, yet there are a lot of home shops out there with them- bought used, of course.
                So the idea of buying, used, a Taiwan lathe that sold new for $10,000 to $20,000, as at least a dozen home shops that I know have done, does not seem out of the realm of possibility.
                I know a bunch of home shop guys who have Mori Seiki or Korean Mori clones- lathes which now run well over $30,000, new.
                They are still home shop guys, no matter how much their machines cost when new.

                Comment


                • #9
                  I own one of the Enco Turn-Pro 13 X 40 lathes. It is a Taiwan made Lux Matter lathe that is sold by many other importers including Matt at Precision Matthews. Here is a link to the lathe,
                  http://www.combitech.com.tw/luxmatter/lux1340g.htm

                  My lathe was purchased new in 1996 and has been great.
                  Mark Hockett

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    The Kent labeled lathes are also pretty good machines for the price. I have a friend that bought new Kent KLS 1340S several years back, it has worked out quite nicely for making gun and motorcylcle parts and such for the last 3 years or so.

                    http://www.machinetools4sale.com/sho...asp?itemid=335

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I have a friend that bought new Kent KLS 1340S several years back
                      That one looks exactly like the POS I have, same technical data. Just a different paint.


                      Nick

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Ries
                        It may be true that the 9x20's are all the same.

                        But no way are you going to convince me that this-
                        http://www.amazon.com/engine-Lathe-G.../dp/B003K2SSEK

                        is the same as this-
                        http://www.harborfreight.com/14-inch...the-66665.html

                        the harbor freight lathe weighs 1500 lbs. they dont seem to want to tell you the HP, but I would be amazed if it was even 3hp.
                        the Jet weighs 5700, and is 7 1/2 hp.

                        (I own a bigger Jet ZX, for about ten years now- and it is not, in any way, the "same" as anything Harbor freight sells)

                        Not all "chinese" lathes are the same.
                        And, in many cases, you do indeed get what you pay for.

                        That said, If I was going to buy a low priced lathe, such as the Harbor Freight or Enco, I would take a serious look at the stuff that Matt, at Precision Matthews, imports. He actually goes to China, and buys from various factories, then stands behind the stuff. I have heard a bunch of good stories about him, from disinterested customers.

                        http://precisionmatthews.com/PMLatheIndex.html

                        I agree. There are different levels of Chinese machinery and then there is Taiwan, followed by Japanese. It's impossible to generalize.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Another perspective

                          I won't get into the same-or-different fray, but I will say this:

                          Getting parts for my 8x36 knee mill from Enco has been a NIGHTMARE, but unless I were 100% sure the parts were interchangable then I'm stuck going through them.

                          I've bought parts for this same machine from Jet and not only was the process a lot less painful, JET PARTS RUN ABOUT 2/3 WHAT ENCO CHARGES!

                          Grizzly and HF are supposed to be half way decent when it comes to parts, I have no experience with them though. But I wouldn't buy another Enco machine.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Ries
                            It may be true that the 9x20's are all the same.

                            But no way are you going to convince me that this-
                            http://www.amazon.com/engine-Lathe-G.../dp/B003K2SSEK

                            is the same as this-
                            http://www.harborfreight.com/14-inch...the-66665.html

                            the harbor freight lathe weighs 1500 lbs. they dont seem to want to tell you the HP, but I would be amazed if it was even 3hp.
                            the Jet weighs 5700, and is 7 1/2 hp.

                            (I own a bigger Jet ZX, for about ten years now- and it is not, in any way, the "same" as anything Harbor freight sells)

                            Not all "chinese" lathes are the same.
                            And, in many cases, you do indeed get what you pay for.

                            That said, If I was going to buy a low priced lathe, such as the Harbor Freight or Enco, I would take a serious look at the stuff that Matt, at Precision Matthews, imports. He actually goes to China, and buys from various factories, then stands behind the stuff. I have heard a bunch of good stories about him, from disinterested customers.

                            http://precisionmatthews.com/PMLatheIndex.html

                            I knew it was bound to happen, posts to links of two DIFFERENT machines and then ask me to tell you they are the same! Of course they are not the same that is comparing Apples to Oranges and I repeatedly said different brands of the SAME MACHINE!


                            If you are going to do comparisons then be fair about it

                            http://www.harborfreight.com/14-inch...the-66665.html


                            vs

                            http://www.use-enco.com/CGI/INPDFF?P...MITEM=308-0232


                            or


                            www.billstoolcrib.com/LATHYCL1440.htm


                            That is just a couple of examples and I never compared the HF 14x40 to the Jet 14x40 in the first place. Once again I said different brands of the SAME MODEL! Just change the colors on any of these machines and see if you can tell them apart, I have found from actual "hands on" experience that at least the Enco vs HF machines in these links have a heck of a lot more in common than just appearance and although I was not able to get to operate the thing after examining the Birmingham I have no reason not to doubt it is any better than either of the other two, looking at it up close it certainly didn't seem any different and if it was any better built none of it showed!
                            Last edited by radkins; 09-24-2010, 11:53 PM.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I still like my Shoptask. It has served me well. And is easy to CNC both mill and lathe. Yes, there were a few minor glitches with the machine, but they worked out.
                              John M...your (un)usual basement dweller

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