Professional review on Shop Fox m1018

Last Updated: 15.11.19

 

Main advantage

 

For a lathe that is designed for entry-level enthusiasts and hobbyists, this device offers enough versatility. Thanks to the fact that it’s a combo between a lathe and a mill, you will be able to accomplish numerous tasks with it. It will help you improve your expertise level.

One great thing about this versatility is the fact that you won’t need to buy a separate vice as is often the case with lathes. The machine has an in-built one that will work just well. This will help you save some money but most importantly it will reduce the time you need to tackle different jobs. You will thus find convenience and affordability in a machine that can do many things.

This lathe will help you no matter the task at hand, be it cutting threads, drilling or milling small objects, or simple turnings. Apart from the rotating vise you also get some neat add-ons. A useful aspect is a 9-1/2-inch faceplate which will allow you to further customize the machine and get more things out of it.

We should also mention the 4-way turret tool post to hold everything in place and the 4-inch 3-jaw chuck for those round or hexagonal works that you might want to do.

 

Main disadvantage

 

The machine feels cheaply made in some parts, especially the gears. Unfortunately, most of the gears are made of materials that aren’t made to last for a long time – plastic or nylon in some cases. Furthermore, finding gears to replace the ones in there can be a challenging aspect.

Buy from Amazon.com for ($1864.24)

 

 

Main features explained

 

Two in one

When browsing the internet and looking for lathes and mills you will find it really hard to find a review or anything similar that speaks well of any type of combo between a mill and a lathe. For good reasons, most people say that you should save your money and instead buy two separate machines. That is usually correct.

However, for the average hobbyist, a person that likes to do a bit of both, but doesn’t expect the most glorifying performances ever, that is not necessary. You will find it pleasing that this machine is more than capable of doing a good job. The device won’t need you to move pieces too much, which is always something positive.

The machine has plenty of clearance to accommodate different situations. With this device, you won’t have to disassemble it when you want to change its function. The mill simply moves out of the way, unlike the mill of older models that you had to take apart. Furthermore, there is enough distance between the mill and the chuck, so you don’t have to take that apart either.

Furthermore, the lathe/mill is adjustable, as you can always raise and lower the height as you see fit. Taking all of these aspects into account, it’s nice how tight the machine is. You won’t feel it wobbling while you work on it, although it has many moving parts. That is also thanks to its increased weight of 500 pounds, which is surprising for something this small.

 

 

Manual controls

The machine will provide you with the opportunity to control everything manually. Amongst the manual controls, the hand crank will let you move the carriage as you would use the power feed, along the lead screw. There is also a graded dial on the hand crankshaft that will not move alongside the hand crank and that means it gives you the possibility to keep track of the tool.

This will let you have a better understanding of the tool’s movement and location, with the possibility of zeroing in the dimensions. There is also a cross-slide handwheel that also has a graduated dial, but it also comes with a compound slide.

You can manually adjust the angle of this slide and then move the tool linearly on that angle. These features will help greatly in reducing the guesswork that you often have to make with conventional lathes or mills. Furthermore, this will improve the safety of the machine and will make it more economical in the end.

The dial will always provide measurements so that you can produce the finest work possible knowing where to cut more. You might expect the manual components of this device to be heavy to touch, but that is not the case with this lathe/mill machine. The effort you have to put in to get the machine to do what you want is minimal.

You could say that it cuts like a hot knife through butter, and that is a good thing when it comes to wear and tear.

 

Power and size

At first sight, you might think that the small engine that only delivers ¾ HP is not capable of doing much, but wait till you start it. Once you start playing with the machine, you soon realize that it is made for the serious hobbyist. One of the main aspects that make it so strong is its actual mass, as it weighs 478 pounds.

This will give it the possibility to stay well-put in place. It will vibrate less and as a result, will give you the means to create precise works. Weight also speaks about the longevity of the machine, as it means the pieces the device is made of are created of durable materials – different types of metals.

A small machine generally, this one is not exactly a mini one, as it still measures 41 inches in length, about 37 in height, and about 23 in width. These dimensions mean that it can accommodate a large variety of works.

One thing that isn’t so obvious is the fact that with smaller power comes the possibility to execute more precise works. Delicate tasks will be easier to accomplish thanks to the engine, the sturdy base, and the manually-adjustable carriage controls. For this reason, some advanced users will also find this tool helpful – because it lets you do many delicate things.

The turret tool post will serve you good here, as it will save you time when you have multiple tools installed on it. You just have to rotate it to the next tool.

 

Buy from Amazon.com for ($1864.24)

 

 

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