Mini Lathe Versions

3-in-1 Combination Machines

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Versions:   3-in-1 Tools    9x20 Class Lathes    Busy Bee 7x10    CH-350    Chester Conquest 7x12   
Clarke 7x12
   Cummins 7x12    Enco 7x10   Grizzly 7x12   Harbor Freight   Homier 7x12    
Lathemaster 8x14    Micro-Mark 7x14    Northern Tool 7x12    Other Options


3-in-1 Multipurpose Lathe/Mill/Drills

HF 3in1.jpg (13882 bytes) Harbor Freight ITEM 5980-2VGA

Note that this model uses belts and pulleys to change speeds and appears to lack power feed and thread cutting capability.

Several vendors sell multipurpose Lathe-Mill-Drill 3-in-1 machines.  At first glance, these seem intriguing since the multiple machines share common parts, leading to cost efficiencies and space efficiencies since all three machines are combined. In practice, these machines are always a compromise and less convenient than individual machines.

Here's a short summary of why:

Even so, I have heard feedback from some owners of larger, more expensive 3-in-1 machines such as those sold by Grizzly and Smithy (see review), who are very satisfied with them. One model that I have heard good reports on is the Shoptask, which you can see at Bill Cotton's web site. But I would stay away from the cheap (under $800), low-end models unless you are limited by both funds and work space.

Back around 1974, I bought a high-quality Austrian 3-in-1 Emco Maximat 7 - my first lathe and mill.

maximat1.jpg (14416 bytes) Setting up the Maximat

The quality was fine, but I found it very frustrating to change between modes due to the set up time when switching between operations. With separate machines you can just move the workpiece to the machine you need without having to remove the lathe toolpost, install the milling vise, etc.  Additionally, the range of table movement for milling was very limited compared to a dedicated milling machine.


Mini-Lathe    Mini-Mill    Bandsaw   Grinder  Anodizing   Lapping    Links   Projects   Safety     Premium Content

Mini-lathe:  Accessories   Adjustments   Capabilities    Chucks    Dial Indicators   Features   Getting Started   Glossary     Introduction   Materials    Modifications   My Shop   Operation    Reviews    Sieg Factory    Tool Grinding    Troubleshooting   Tuning     Versions

Versions:   3-in-1 Tools    9x20 Class Lathes    Busy Bee 7x10    CH-350    Chester Conquest 7x12   
Clarke 7x12
   Cummins 7x12    Enco 7x10   Grizzly 7x12   Harbor Freight   Homier 7x12    
Lathemaster 8x14    Micro-Mark 7x14    Northern Tool 7x12    Other Options