Upgrading my lathe, but how far?!?

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Forum topic by UwpEngineer posted 12-22-2014 02:11 PM 2367 views 0 times favorited 13 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View UwpEngineer's profile


5 posts in 1326 days

12-22-2014 02:11 PM

Topic tags/keywords: lathe upgrade powermatic power matic grizzly bowl

Hi, My name is Dan and I have been turning for about 2 years now. I am currently on my 2nd lathe, and now know that i really like turning and am ready for the next step.

I started on the small lathe from harbor freight and stepped up to the large wood lathe from harbor freight about 9 months ago. Needless to say, I have found it’s limitations and have an inheritance coming in soon that will allow me to upgrade to a larger unit.

Currently I do mostly bowl turning and just finished a dozen of them this last weekend for Christmas presents.

like many, I drool over the Powermatic 3520B, but i don’t know if it is worth 2-3 times as much as some of the other larger lathes. I am looking at the Grizzly G0733 as a mid prices alternative that will still do as large of turnings as i see myself doing (18” capacity). and for about $1800 it is coming in at half price.

My delima is how far do I need to go to get to a lathe that should keep me happy for the next 20 years? 1800 for the Grizzly, 2400 for a comparable Jet, 4000 for a PM3520, 6000 for a Robust sweet 16, 7500 for a PM 4224, 8000 for a Robust American Beauty, etc. you get the idea.

My wife likes what I make and the fact that it keeps me busy, I have her blessing to buy my next upgrade, but dont think she will want to hear it come up again in 5 years!

please help!

on a side note,

in reading through countless reviews and forums, I continue to get the advise to talk to someone who has used the lathe, if not both of them and or try a turning on one. anyone on the Forum in the Appleton Wisconsin area, send me a message!

13 replies so far

View Minorhero's profile


373 posts in 2568 days

#1 posted 12-22-2014 03:01 PM

Another one to consider is a Oneway lathe. Personally I I had money to burn I would get one of those. I have briefly used one at a shop I go to and its rock solo. You can probably demo one and maybe a powermatic at a local woodcraft store, and maybe a rockler store.

Personally I think once you reach a certain level the only thing that functionally changes between these machines is the paint color. The real question is if the grizzly will make you happy. If yes then your done.

View TheDane's profile


5399 posts in 3626 days

#2 posted 12-22-2014 03:03 PM

FYI … Kerry Harrison (Harrison Specialities) has a video dealing with the G0733 … you can catch it here:

-- Gerry -- "I don't plan to ever really grow up ... I'm just going to learn how to act in public!"

View waho6o9's profile


8162 posts in 2540 days

#3 posted 12-22-2014 03:50 PM

How about a dedicated bowl making lathe?

View mpax356's profile


72 posts in 2455 days

#4 posted 12-22-2014 06:55 PM

This kind of post occurs frequently. There is no easy answer of one size fits all. I suspect that you are discovering there is not much resale value in a used HF lathe. I don’t think you will find many folks that ever upgrade from a PM3520b. Most of what I turn could certainly be done on a smaller lathe. Every time I turn on my PM I smile. I upgraded from a used Jet mini 1014 to a new PM3520b after a few months. Seven years later, I consider it one of the best investments I ever made. Because better lathes hold their value, I suspect I could almost sell it used for what I paid for it new as there have been several price increases over the years.

-- MPax, Atlanta

View Wildwood's profile


2297 posts in 2097 days

#5 posted 12-22-2014 10:25 PM

Difference between Grizzly and Laguna 18×47 wood lathes?

Both made by Alibaba Group in China and this one is for the European market.

Grizzly had an earlier model totally green not sure of the number but has more reviews than newer model think it got better reviews than the Laguna..

Lot of woodturners that used the big Rikon lathes at trade shows or symposiums not impressed. Had no problem with Rikon mini lathes but did not like the big ones. Rikon 1642 manual almost the same as my Jet 1642, my headstock does not swivel. Not ure would want a swiveling headstock on a 20” lathe. once had prices on all Rikon lathes but looks like have call local store for prices.

If going big would seriously look at Jet 1642 or PM3520.

-- Bill

View AandCstyle's profile


3023 posts in 2220 days

#6 posted 12-23-2014 01:36 AM

Have you considered a used lathe? Here is one. I used to look at quality brands in your locale.

-- Art

View Ron Ford's profile

Ron Ford

208 posts in 1695 days

#7 posted 12-29-2014 03:40 AM

For what it’s worth, I upgraded to my Jet 1642 EVS2 two years ago and it has worked like a dream. There are certainly heavier duty (and heavier priced!) units out there, but this one has met and exceeded all of my expectations. According to a recent flyer I received, Woodcraft (and probably other dealers) will be offering 15% off all Jet products on January 10 and 11.


-- Once in awhile I make something really great. Most days I just make sawdust.

View MrRon's profile


4710 posts in 3206 days

#8 posted 03-23-2015 06:49 PM

Depending on the amount of your inheritance, I would go with the Robust Sweet 16. It is the only lathe that is American made. That is a premium worth paying for. The PM is a great lathe, but it’s not American made. Your other option is to find a used one, like an Oliver, Delta or PM (American made ones).

View Woodknack's profile


11475 posts in 2343 days

#9 posted 03-24-2015 05:54 AM

This guy hasn’t posted since December.

-- Rick M,

View TimberMagic's profile


114 posts in 1142 days

#10 posted 03-24-2015 06:42 AM

Maybe his inheritance didn’t materialize … or it was huge, and he’s preoccupied spending it on fast cars, yachts, motorcycles, and airplanes.

-- Lee

View MrUnix's profile


6580 posts in 2162 days

#11 posted 03-24-2015 06:50 AM

This guy hasn t posted since December.

Yeah.. the just finishing of some bowls for christmas presents sort of gave it away… unless he likes to get his gifts done WAY in advance :)


PS: And he never responded to any of the posts made after his question either…

-- Brad in FL - In Dog I trust... everything else is questionable

View UwpEngineer's profile


5 posts in 1326 days

#12 posted 03-24-2015 11:45 AM

I appreciate all of the input, I did get the inheritance and decided to wait for the new grizzly g0766 to come out. I haven’t ordered one yet, I am waiting for at least one person to say they got it and it is what they expected.

A sweet 16 may be in the long term future, but the g0766 seems like a great place to start as long as it is what it is advertised.

Thanks for the input


View Wildwood's profile


2297 posts in 2097 days

#13 posted 03-24-2015 07:38 PM

Dan, good luck with that G0766!

-- Bill

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