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Ever heard of Kent lathes?

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  • Ever heard of Kent lathes?

    I know they are imports but the company seems to be more then just a dealer. They have an economy line and a precision line. Which one would you get? Assuming the price difference wasn't way out of line.

  • #2
    This is one of those what comes first the Chicken or the egg things the whole question is just what type of turning are you going to be doing. If it were me in an industrial or job shop setting I'd most likely go with the presion 14x40 over the economy size of the same machine. Larger chucks and more spindle speed potential. For home or hobbiest use they all seem a little overboard to me.
    Forty plus years and I still have ten toes, ten fingers and both eyes. I must be doing something right.


    • #3
      I think a better buy is the following:

      I have had a 20x40 since '96. very good machine for the money
      take care
      ps No affiliation, just pleased with what I got.
      please visit my webpage:


      • #4
        Kent machinesa are made in Taiwan. I have worked on some of their grinders. Willis Machinery in Toledo Ohio sells the exact same machines under their name for a bit less. Willis also has a better repair parts service than Kent. I don't work for either company, I just have had better service from Willis.


        • #5
          Hmmmmn.....Lion is a couple of hours from me. The smallest they appear to have is a 16 by 40. It might be worth a trip to check them out. Does yours have hardened ways motorworks? Thanks for the info.


          • #6
            I don't have any first hand knowledge of Kent machines.

            I did check their website. In scanning through the varius pages I noticed a gramatical error in one of the machine descriptions. Almost like they didn't proof read the stuff before it was published. So what, you say. Maybe you're thinking I'm your high school english teacher. I'm not.

            But, when I see a company with spelling or grammatical errors in sales literature that's designed to convince me to purchase it says to me they don't pay attention to details. It's been my experience that companies who don't pay attention to details prior to the sale don't do very well after the sale either, so I tend to pass on their products.

            A side note on this...a while back I was checking a full page, color, magazine ad for Fadal CNC mills. Three misspelled words in the ad. How can that happen with a large company who has an agency prepare their ads? Then I look at the bottom of the page and find Fadal had been bought out. Hmmmm, makes you wonder.


            • #7
              Mike W,

              Looking at picturs of them the Kent RML-1440V and the Acra 1400TVS appear identical and the specs also appear to be the same. It's apparent that the manufacturer is private labeling their production for different distributors.

              Since I'm going to be in the market for a new lath soon something like these two are near the top of may A list. The real question for me is where do they stand in the pecking order of quality.


              Thanks for the link. I was unaware of this brand. Their website seems to be a bit sparse in information, specs only. Can you tell us a bit more about yours and the process of choosing it over others? What is their history and where do you place them in the price/performance/quality arena. Any information would be much appreciated.



              • #8
                I know a guy that bought several Acra lathes and didn't have anything bad to say about them. Stay in touch on what you find out.


                • #9
                  I just looked again at the Lion 16 M-40 and it has a 2 3/32" spindle bore. That is pretty impressive.


                  • #10
                    Kent's are ok, but I prefer Kools or Camels...well actually I prefer Partagas Maduros but being a cheapskate what I actually buy is JR Original *copy* of Partagas Maduros

                    Oh, you mean Kent machines..sorry. Same old, same of the better Tawainse nametags, like Acer, Supermax and Chevelier...i.e. better than the fuzzy bear or Jet stuff, but not by much.


                    • #11
                      I bought a Kent KLS-1440 from "Cutting Tool Mall" for about $3600.
                      This was about a year ago.
                      No affiliation.
                      The shipping was a bit spendy in my opinion.
                      I can't be any happier with the machine, had none of the usual out of the Asian crate problems. Replaced the Halogen Bulb, didn't care for the carriage stop. Runs smooth and quiet. All parts of the machine appear to have been made to quality standards. I did like the ISO 9001 certification. (Not that it really matters a whole lot)
                      I checked many of the Specifications against the paper certification that came with the machine and was surprised to come up with the same numbers. This leads me to believe that the certificate was real and not just a copy.
                      I did some major electrical rewire. This is do to the VFD drive I installed to run the 3-Phase motor. Wanted to prevent any possible circuits from opening on the Load side of the VFD. Converted everything to low voltage control to the VFD. The electrical panel ended up nearly empty after removing all those relays and contactors.
                      The machine runs great, I can hog big cuts or do really fine work with good results.
                      I wish that the gear changing dials had some sort of indent, finding the center of the gear takes some getting used to.
                      The base is cast, nice and heavy and was easy to level with the built in levelers.
                      One of the keys to any machine is not to skimp on the quality of tooling.

                      Tom M.


                      • #12

                        <font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2"> I wish that the gear changing dials had some sort of indent, finding the center of the gear takes some getting used to. </font>
                        Maybe this will help you: Scribe a "zero" mark on the front panel near the gear changing dial. Then put a mark on the side of the dial to mark where each gear change lines up to that mark when engaged. You can make sure the gear is in line by taking off the top of the gear box cover and observe it. This way you will know for sure when they line up or are getting off during use.

                        If you want nice lines you can mark the dial side lightly with a scribe, remove dial, and then use your lathe to deepen the marks with a 60* tool bit placed on its side in a boring bar. Keep the line as fine as possible and use the carriage to pull back the mark. To aid in visibility - fill the mark with black or red paint.

                        This will look nice and give you some peace of mind.

                        In addition to the above (when you have lots of free time) you can put small indentions in the shaft with a 1/4" ball end mill. Then install a 1/4" ball bearing with a spring - this will be a positive detent.

                        (Sorry for getting off the main topic.)


                        [This message has been edited by Mike Burdick (edited 05-03-2004).]


                        • #13
                          I called Lion today. There is a 50% off on the 16 by 40. It will only be....choke....$12,450. That is with the discount.


                          • #14
                            Mike W,

                            I, too, called today to get more information on the Lion. The 50% off sounds like a gimick to me but the offered package was pretty complete. They said it included two chucks (3 and 4 Jaw), steady and follow rests and taper attachment. The 16 x 40 weighs 4000 lbs, which is more than most in that size range. Should be pretty rigid. "Made in Bulgaria" they said and also offered the 20 x 40 at the 50% off price of $15,800.

                            Does anyone have any input on the Clausing/Metosa series of lathes? I'm serious about getting a new lathe before summer is over and the more I learn the harder it gets to choose.



                            • #15
                              My 20x40 came with a taper,steady,follow,4 jaw, 3 jaw, coolant system,light,rapid x and z.
                              I had a DRO installed. It has a 3.250" bore that goes in 13" from the chuck and 2.4375" all the way through.Used every day in A full time machine shop.Holding up very well.
                              I would buy another.
                              take care
                              please visit my webpage: