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If you’re a hobbyist or your shop does some light machining or metal turning, the Erie Tools 7 x 14 Precision Bench Top Mini Metal Milling Lathe is perfect for you. It has a reverse switch, wide threading range, variable speed and a digital display – useful features to get your job done.
It has plastic gears, which tend to break and get damaged a lot easier than metal ones. There are also complaints from buyers saying that the item arrived with poor packaging which resulted in some minor damage, which probably happened during shipment.
Great machine if you’re looking for a budget buy. Gets the job done but might not impress professionals and might not be suitable for industry-scale fabrication. Its spindle precision is also a great plus.
While an industrial-sized metal lathe is powerful enough to handle all kinds of metal-manipulation tasks, it is quite impractical to purchase such a monster for hobbyists or shops that don’t really need shockingly expensive, commercial-grade machinery.
If you are shopping on a budget, the Erie Tools could be one of the best metal lathe
brands out there and is a good option to consider. It is one of the most accurate metal lathes on the market with spindle precision measuring just 0.0004 inches (0.01 mm). We’ve detailed its other features below as well as some of its cons to give you a better understanding of this product.
Perfectly-Sized for Hobbyists and Small Machine Shops
Hobbyists, modelers and small shop owners doing machining works don’t really need a very expensive machine. You know, the ones geared for industry-scale production. For these types of users, a smaller, affordable yet high-performance precision mini lathe such as the Erie Tools 7 x 14 Precision Bench Top Mini Metal Milling Lathe would be a perfect yet practical choice.
This product is compact enough to fit in your workshop at home. It has a 7-inch swing over capacity as well as a 14-inch between-centers distance, which should be enough to handle metal turning tasks you have in mind.
Its motor is likewise just the right size and best suited for the demands of hobbyists and modelers. It features a 0.53NP Single Phase, 60Hz 120V motor, giving the machine more than enough power for the size of workpieces this machine is designed for.
Cost Effective Yet Solid Performance
This machine is one of the most cost-effective options available on the market. It is currently offered on Amazon at just under $900 yet it is packed with all the features you need for precision metal turning.
Its motor can achieve speeds of up to 2500RPM. More importantly, spindle speed is adjustable and you can set it to as low as 50RPM or as high as 2500RPM. This is to say, the machine can give you just the perfect rotation speed you need to fabricate a high-quality product. Moreover, keeping track of spindle speed is a breeze with the machines easy-to-read digital readout.
You can change the direction of rotation at a flip of its reverse switch, which means it can handle left-hand threading. Speaking of threading, you can also adjust its number of threads per inch from 12 to 52TPI.
You can mount up to four cutting tools at the same time to its 5/16-inch capacity tool post, so switching to a different tool is a lot easier. Its multi-jaw chuck locks workpieces securely in place so you don’t have to worry about it getting loose in the middle of a job. This is a complete package and contains everything you need to start turning - this includes a 5-pc carbide tipped cutter kit, chuck key, 11 feed rate gears and both internal and external chuck jaws.
But I Just Wish…
As always, you can’t expect a product to be perfect for everyone and the Erie Tools 7 x 14 Precision Bench Top Mini Metal Milling Lathe has its share of complaints from those who’ve bought and used it. One common problem encountered is that it has plastic gears, which means its teeth tend to get broken quite easily. Fortunately, metal replacement gears can be purchased easily, which solves this issue.
Others also say this product has poor packaging, which could result in some damage. Asking for parts replacement can be a test of patience as they could take a while to arrive. Some folks complain of the belt being loose and needing some adjustment if you plan to run it in higher speed settings.
This product could be perfect for beginners and hobbyists, but it won’t probably make the cut for pro-level fabrications. Yes, it has its flaws but this is still a good metal tool for the budget shopper looking for a precision machine.