Grizzly is one of the most famous names in the production of machinery. It was established in the United States in the year 1983, and has since been running successfully. Grizzly offers a huge collection of machines that are meant to cover the requirements of all of their customers. One of the quality products that they have produced for metal work is the Grizzly G8688 Mini Metal Lathe, 7″ x 12″.

This mini metal lathe is a small unit that is friendly to the pocket, and has specifically been designed for those that don’t want to buy a bulky machine at a high cost, while they only need a metal lathe for light tasks. Considering that requirement, then there is no other metal lathe that can easily outsmart the Grizzly G8688. We tested quite a number of units that fall in this range, but none was as impressive. It is simply the best metal lathe that can give you value for the amount it will cost you.

Its small size and lower price tag however do not mean that it compromises on quality. Actually, it offers the same quality as its big brother, the Grizzly G9972z, only in a smaller form factor. It’s packaged in a sturdy, high-quality casing that is made of high-quality materials and also features a great design. Its weight and dimensions are also ideal, if you are looking for a metal lathe that maximizes the little space you have, and especially if you are not looking for an industrial-sized metal lathe. More of this amazing Grizzly product is discussed below.

FEATURES

The size of this metal lathe and the work that it can do are pretty much a contrast. This mini lathe gets all machinery running smoothly and work done. It’s usually powered by a ¾ HP motor, which offers a great amount of energy.

Capacity

It as a 7-inch swing over bed, a feature not easily found with other metal lathes. It also features a 2.75 cross slide travel, a tailstock travel and a spindle bore that measures 20 mm. It’s able to make thread pitches as long as 10 meters and also has a thread dial meter that has standard graduations.
It has threading capabilities that include a thread range of 12-52 TPI, and 18 standard & 10 metric thread pitches. It also has a standard and metric hand wheel graduations and a threading dial indicator.

Speeds

The Grizzly G8688 Mini Metal Lathe has a variable speed. For low range, it operates from 0 to 1100 RPM while for high range, it operates with a speed of 0 to 2500 RPM. Both forward and reverse are possible in all speeds. It includes a 16-TPI reversible lead screw.

Standard Equipment

These include a chip pan, a backsplash guard, 3-inch, 3-jaw chuck with external jaws, a 6-1/4-inch face plate, a steady rest, a 4-way turret post, an MT#2 dead center and service tools, making it a perfect machine for hobby and other small tasks.

 Specifications

Variable Speed

Forward and reverse in all speeds

16 TPI reversible lead screw

Chip tray and backsplash guard

Standard and metric graduation

Threading dial indicator

Made in an ISO 9001 factory

Distance between centers: 12 inches

Swing over bed: 7 inches

Bore Size of Included Chuck: 16mm

Spindle nose taper: MT #3

Spindle bore: 20mm

Tailstock taper: MT #2

Cross-slide travel: 2-3/4 inches

Tailstock travel: 2-1/2 inches

Number of thread pitches: 18 inch & 10 metric

Maximum tool bit size: 5/16-inch

Range of threads: 12 to 52 TPI

Speed range: Low Range: 0-1100 RPM, High Range: 0-2500 RPM

Motor: 3/4 HP, 110-volt, single-phase

Net weight: 74 pounds

Shipping weight approximate: 90 pounds

This mini lathe is usually paired with ergonomically manufactured drill and tool bits, still from Grizzly. These are meant to make adjustments for a wide range of metals easy. The manufacturing of this product was designed to make metal working as easy as possible, with great considerations to user needs. The manufacturer ensures that the drill chucks and accessories are tight enough, in order offer accurate machining and ultimate safety all round. There is also an ergonomically designed face plate that offers four-position turret post.

CONS

Can’t be used for heavy duties

The threading gears & head housing gears are made of plastic. It would be better were they made of alloy.

It’s not appropriate for professional project

PROS

Relatively Cheap

Small size with quality work

Easy to use

This is a great, powerful and versatile machine that can craft and shape various metals into great pieces of art work, tools, housewares etc. It is an excellent addition to your workshop or garage if you enjoy working with metals for your hobby or to accomplish a certain task. It’s also a great investment if you want to get involved with advanced metal working.

However, every machine must be used with precautions for safety purposes and maintained appropriately in order to maximize it, for quality and long term effective performance. You should make sure you clean your metal lathe every time after usage, and store it in a cool and dry place in order to prevent damages caused by weather.  You should also unplug all chords when the machine is not in use and then store them. Regularly, check the machine for any broken parts and if any, make plans for repairs, immediately.

The Grizzly G8688 Mini Metal Lethe will help you produce high-quality work, while at the same time saving you money and time. You will find the product comfortable and reliable and almost forget it’s a mini equipment you are using! It surely is the ultimate product for your metal work.

However, though this product is excellent for some commercial applications like gunsmithing, it is not recommended for professional projects.

Melissa

Editor, Industrial Expert

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