Buying a lathe

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Richard Hed

Well-Known Member
Nov 23, 2018
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Since I have one of the crappiest lathes ever made, an Enco 9-20, and it is very sloppy and does not do left hand threads (which is a big reason I bought a lathe), I am looking to buy a better lathe in the 4-5000$ range. I would say the only thing good about an Enco of this size is that any lathe is better than nothing.

I have my eye on the Grizzly G4003G, however, I browsed the Chinese stuff in "Made in China" and Alibaba and have found numerous lathes that do the same as the Grizz. We all know that the Grizz stuff is just a way for Chinese stuff to sell more easily in the USA, and that Grizz has a pretty decent reputation for fixing bad equipment that gets to the customers, but the Chinese direct sales lathes are significantly lower price even after shipping, so I am wondering if anyone can suggest a decent lathe to buy. I am so suspicious of these companies that they will not support their products and that they might have generally poor quality stuff. One can never know what each company is like. There are SCORES of these companies in China making machine lathes and mills--which ones make good stuff?

In another year or so, I will likely be looking for a small mill also. Due to the corona virus (this years horror story to keep us entertained, or under control or believing in aliens or for some agency of the government to get more $$ out of the taxpayer or whatever), I thimk the price of everything just might drop a bit. Any suggestions?

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