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Grizzly 7x12 vs. Grizzly 7x14

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  • Grizzly 7x12 vs. Grizzly 7x14

    Hello guys I am new to this forum. Been looking at the Grizzly 7x12 & 7x14 metal lathes for my home shop. Any reason to choose one over the other besides the small length difference?

  • #2
    The length difference is plenty. Try cutting a 13" piece on a 12" lathe.

    If you can afford it and you have the room get the bigger one.
    Guaranteed not to rust, bust, collect dust, bend, chip, crack or peel


    • #3
      Originally posted by KIMFAB View Post
      The length difference is plenty. Try cutting a 13" piece on a 12" lathe.

      If you can afford it and you have the room get the bigger one.
      Agreed. Plus, the second you decide to put a chuck and drill bit in the tailstock you'll have even less usable length.
      Location: Long Island, N.Y.


      • #4
        Agreed, bigger is better. But it all depends what do you want to do with the lathe. You have to understand that both machines are very limited, most real lathes start at 12 x 36 size and cost a lot more.
        Both lathes have 6206ZZ ball bearings on the spindle (meaning 30 mm spindle diameter under bearing), which does not help spindle rigidity. I think you will not be able to do cuts in steel more than a few thousands deep. Both machines have just one longitudinal feed - 0.040 in/rev, which is 10 times more than needed and is not usable on these machines in cutting any metal. Maximum tool bit size is 5/16" - this is way too low unless you are going to work with very small parts.

        I do not want to discourage you, but I would at least look at the Grizzly G4000 (9 x 19 lathe). It costs $995, but has way more capabilities and comes better equipped.


        • #5
          Those mini-lathes aren't even toys, they are a waste of cast iron


          • #6
            Originally posted by RB211 View Post
            Those mini-lathes aren't even toys, they are a waste of cast iron
            I understand most times bigger,faster, & stronger is better. In my case space is limited, I am not a pro, & this will not be used as a source of income.


            • #7
              Anyone who puts down the little lathes due to size or because they're Asian imports doesn't know what they're talking about.





              I could go on and on.

              Part of you decision depends upon whether or not you want a new lathe or a used lathe. New lathes can be very expensive unless you buy an import and used USA made lathes can be a formidable project for the beginner with lots of expenses along the way.

              I have a Grizzly 7" x 12" that I bought new and a Craftsman 6" x 18" that I'm pouring time and money into to get it into usable condition. The Grizzly is the better lathe and the Craftsman will never be better but it will be good enough.

              If you watch videos on youtube you can see some very nice work done on beat up old USA made lathes and newer Asian imported lathes.

              Another part of your decision depends upon what you want to make. Lots of stuff can be made on Sherlines, Taigs, and used Unimats. Unimats are becoming collectible so the prices are going up a lot.

              If you want to make small engines or get into models there's nothing wrong with a small machine. You'll still have to learn machining and you may be able to afford a matching milling machine with the money you save.
              Last edited by pgmrdan; 10-23-2015, 11:49 AM.


              • #8
                Varmint Al had quite a career (described towards bottom of link)



                • #9
                  I have a friend who makes good money creating unique pens on one of these little 7x12 lathes. They are many things, but useless is not one of them.


                  • #10
                    Quality not withstanding, small parts on small lathes and big parts on big lathes.

                    A watch makers lathe can be held in one hand and a clock makers lathe can be carried under your arm. If you want to make small parts, like small engines or O gauge trains etc, then a small lathe like the 7 x 12/14 is just fine, better actually because they usually have the high RPM's that you need for machine small parts. This is assuming that it is designed and built right.
                    The shortest distance between two points is a circle of infinite diameter.

                    Bluewater Model Engineering Society at

                    Southwestern Ontario. Canada


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by mikey553;1009642
                      I think you will not be able to do cuts in steel more than a few thousands deep.[/I]

                      Have you actually used one, or are you just repeating what you have heard? I had a generic 7x12 here in the UK and it would happily take cuts of 50 thou off EN1A steel. I used it for small work and pattern making because it would go up to 2000rpm and my main lathe at the time only went to 850rpm. Granted it was no use on 4" dia iron castings, because theres not much torque at low speed, but it was fine for what I bought it for, didn't take up much room and could be moved around, even brought into the house when the shed was too cold in winter. I finally sold it when I bought a newer main lathe that goes up to 1700rpm, and found I wasn't using the 7x12 any more. I sold it for what I had paid for it new 7 years earlier, so not everyone thinks they are rubbish.
                      To answer another question, go for the 7x14, because there are many times in life when an extra 2" makes all the difference----.
                      'It may not always be the best policy to do what is best technically, but those responsible for policy can never form a right judgement without knowledge of what is right technically' - 'Dutch' Kindelberger


                      • #12
                        I have had a Sieg C3 (i.e., a 7 x 14) for many years, and I am constantly amazed at what I can do on it. Of course it has its limitations of size and horsepower, but it's what I can afford and have room for.
                        As for the forty thou carriage advance per spindle rev stated above, sorry Mikey, but that's just crap. The Imperial leadscrew at 16TPI with the standard supplied 20/80+20/80 gear reduction gives you 3.9 thou carriage advance per spindle rev, not 40.
                        The rabid xenophobia so often exhibited on this forum is tiresome, and I've had a gutsful of it. Patriotism is one thing, but denigrating the rest of the world just because it isn't America is both sick and insulting.
                        So go ahead, my friend, and buy a 7 x 14 (the 7 x 12 will prove too short once you have fitted a four-jaw chuck on a backing plate at one end and a tailstock chuck and 1/2" drill at the other).
                        Last edited by Mike Burch; 10-23-2015, 07:45 PM.


                        • #13
                          I have the original 7x10. I have done a bunch of work with it, it is great on small diameters and frustrating on larger diameters, but I knew that going in. It has made a lot of parts that would have been easier on a larger machine, but at the time I could not afford a larger machine.

                          The longer lathe will have some advantages over a shorter one. I also bought a 4 jaw chuck.

                          I still use it for second operations and small stuff, but use my 12x36 for most stuf,, and will probably come aacross something that makes me with I could have bought the South Bend 16 that was down at the port a couple years ago...


                          • #14
                            Most lathes I see have all the wear in the first 6", even big old buggers, the next bit of wear is in the first 8", not so bad at 12", and none for the rest of the bed.
                            Sort of tells me the story, don't get me wrong but the fact that you have a nice long bed is so nice, but you can manage with a smaller length to be honest, if it's only a small difference in price then go for the long one,
                            Depends what you're making I suppose, if you anticipate any tube work then long as possible btw,
                            Either way if you've got a choice you're in a good place to be!
                            Have fun


                            • #15
                              If you've never used a metal lathe and don't want to jump into a major investment with a bigger machine, maybe you want to take an adult school or vocational machine shop class? Try before you buy, see what works and what doesn't, learn from experience instead of trial and error.