By continuing to use this site, you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more
Forum sponsored by:
Forum sponsored by Forum House Ad Zone

warco lathes.

warco lathes.

All Topics | Latest Posts

Search for:  in Thread Title in  
Gareth Johnston04/04/2015 21:46:45
27 forum posts

Hi everyone , hope im posting this in the right place . I was looking to know what the general opinion is on warco lathes. Id like to hear all opinions before looking any further into purchasing anything. Many thanks Gareth

Nick_G05/04/2015 09:42:20
1808 forum posts
744 photos


I have never owned one. But from reading the views of others on this forum they are a reputable company that sells machines that are of good value for the money.

They need installing and final 'setting up' with care (not just plonked down and plugged in) to get the best from them. But that can be said for any machine tool of this type.

As a newbie myself I still have the fresh memory (and pain) of don't blow your entire budget on the machine it's self. Be realistically prepared to spend half as much again on tooling to go with your lathe.


JasonB05/04/2015 10:19:06
22560 forum posts
2634 photos
1 articles

Mine seems to work quite well after I plonkled it onto a level floor straight out of the crate.wink 2

Had my WM280-VF for about 6 years and it does the job for me with few issues.

richardandtracy05/04/2015 10:38:32
943 forum posts
10 photos

I have a Warco WMT 300/1, which is a re-badged version of the current Clarke CL500M, and got it in 2002. It is well finished for the price - though there are a number of linitations. I have used it for a great deal of pen making in odd materials, and have yet to reach the point where my skill level needs a better machine. The current Warco lathes have a considerably better spec and fewer limitations as far as I can see.

As for plonking it down and starting - well, my one was sufficiently well set up by the factory for this to work without worries.. After a year I realised I should set it up properly and did the checks I should have done immediately, and found they were redundant. Having said that, I am usually content to machine to the nearest 0.05mm, as it's concentricity that's important in pen making. With an ER32 collet chuck from China I get a runout of <0.01mm (I can see that dial gauge move as I turn the machine over, but it's a good deal less than 1 segment on the gauge (0.01mm)) - so that makes me a happy bunny.



Alan Rawlins05/04/2015 10:43:09
74 forum posts

Consider making your own bench for it too. In hind site I would have spent less money making one out of 50mm angle iron with a 40mm top made from two pieces of 20mm marine plywood glued and screwed together. Make your bench before you buy your lathe or arrange for your lathe to be delivered at your convenience. Bare in mind also that to buy a one similar to the WARCO 250 it is not a two people lift. You will have to make some arrangement to get it from the box and onto the lathe. This consideration may may have an influence on the design of your bench stand.

i managed to get mine onto the bench using pieces 1.2m of 150mm x 20mm scrap wood placed alternatively across each other and and a good hydraulic car jack. it was a bit scary but safe as it turned out.

I had to do this two times as the first one I received had to be returned for another one due to a problem with the fist one. On this I must say WARCO were exceptional with the help I received they are very good with their after sales service. I did take some photographs of my lathe being lifted onto its bench but I would be a it embarrassed about showing them on here, even if I knew how to.blush

mechman4805/04/2015 11:58:03
2947 forum posts
468 photos

Hi Gareth

You're in the right place for your question. I have a Warco WM250V-F ( power X feed ) & a WM 16 mill, both bought at the 2012 Harrogate exhib' & both worked straight out of the box so to speak, I did return the 1st lathe to Warco as they had sent me the wrong machine initially & it had a manufacturing fault as well so in that respect they are good in after sales service. I initially set it up on a self levelling pad that I had laid previously, same with the mill, & once set up both have worked fine to date ( hope am not tempting fate.. thinking ).

If you get from Warco check the machine runs before you lift it out of the box/ off the pallet...remove one end & the front panel from the box as these machines have been known to have their interlocks incorrectly set up, i.e. the cover on the headstock end could have its tab bent & not contact the motor interlock that is at the back & bottom of the headstock, the emergency stop mushroom button may be loose & want properly was on these sort of anomalies need to be looked for ( not just on Warco's models, Chester & Amadeal have had similar issues from what I have read on MEW forums ).

It is a heavy machine, not a two man job, I used a engine hoist that I had bought earlier to lift my Clarke C500 that was sold so unless you have a few local beefy rugby type pals I would assess your lifting methods. The cabinets I got in the package are ok but on the flimsy side, they hold the machine ok but you might consider making yourself a sturdy beefed up wooden/ angle iron framed bench .. for further help & info see...


All in all a decent machine once you've sorted out any niggles... If I can be of further help drop me a pm..


Rik Shaw05/04/2015 12:40:58
1480 forum posts
398 photos

On rather a sad note I'm afraid. My WM250 V-F has gone completely belly up electrically and is being collected by Mr Warco this coming Wednesday for repairs at their HQ workshop. Eighteen months old is all it is and with very light use in that time so I am not a particularly happy Easter bunny.

Rik sad

Gray6205/04/2015 13:36:00
1057 forum posts
16 photos

I've had a number of machines from Warco, a WMT 300/2 which gave sterling service and is now sold, current machines are a GH1330 and a recently purchased WM250V. I have to say I am extremely pleased with both machines. The GH1330 sits on its own cabinet and is a very sturdy and reliable machine, originally single phase but recently converted to 3 phase+inverter ( a very worthwhile upgrade) and fitted with 3 axis DRO, it is a heavy workhorse. The WM250V now comes as standard with 3 phase motor and inverter which I think is a big improvement over the earlier model with the DC motor/speed controller setup. It was 'plonked' onto a reasonably solid bench, no faffing around with 'levelling' and it turns true and parallel. Motor has more than enough power for the size of machine. If I had a criticism of the 250V, it would be that some of the VFD parameters could do with a bit of tweaking, out of the box the run up and run down parameters are a bit on the slow side, but these are easy to adjust and the supplied manual gives all the info needed. A bonus with the Delta inverters they use is that, with a cheap and readily available extension cable, the inverter control panel can be removed and placed remotely so that parameters can easily be adjusted without having to get to the back of the machine.

I have no affiliation with Warco other than being a very happy customer, Roger and all of his staff are a pleasure to deal with, I have always received excellent support and after sales from them

Alan Rawlins05/04/2015 13:54:08
74 forum posts

Hi Coalburner, are you sure that the 250V comes with a 3 phase motor as mine and the one on their website says it is an AC inverter drive motor or is this the same?

Neil Wyatt05/04/2015 14:12:26
18990 forum posts
734 photos
80 articles

> being collected by Mr Warco this coming Wednesday for repairs at their HQ workshop.

This is a good reason for buying off Warco or one of the other established suppliers to the hobby - it may cost a little more - but as well as customer service they hold large stocks of spares and provide comprehensive after sales support.


Michael Topping05/04/2015 14:15:14
74 forum posts
5 photos


I have a WM290 which I have had for about a year, it has been totally reliable and is surprisingly accurate. I come from an engineering background so have used all types of lathes over the years and I prefer the Warco to a Myford which I find too lightweight. The only negative is you have to set the change wheels for screwcutting, if I was buying now I would go for a machine with a gearbox. I bought the package with a stand and a DRO, which I prefer as it is easy to change from imperial to metric.


SillyOldDuffer05/04/2015 14:17:12
8469 forum posts
1885 photos

My experiences with Warco have all been positive. I have a Warco mini-lathe and WM18 mill. Both arrived in good alignment and worked straight 'out of the box'. Although both benefited from some minor fettling I encountered nothing like the horror stories told on the web about Chinese lathes . I also have a small Warco bandsaw. Although rather rough it is fit for my purpose. I'm very satisfied with my purchases which are are a good match to my skills, interests and requirements.

Your expectations of the lathe are worth thinking through before spending your money:~ they may not be the same as mine! The class of equipment we're talking about here is competitively priced for hobby or other light use. It is not meant to provide tool-room precision or support continuous production work. If that's what you want you will either need a much bigger budget or a bit of luck and/or good advice buying a surplus industrial or educational machine.

I've found Warco to be responsive and helpful when dealing with after sales issues and also with a lost-in-transit problem.

Good luck

Bazyle05/04/2015 14:39:14
6295 forum posts
222 photos

When comparing imported machines check carefully and by email which 'extras' are included as some are not very clear on their websites and may be cutting a corner to knock off £50. Also check that delivery is included. Warco tick the boxes here though I don't understand why they put such tiny low res stock pictures on their website instead of using modern tech to its full capability.

My experience with 3 machines spread over a period of 20 years has been good and as above there are seldom problems that cannot be sorted.

Edited By Neil Wyatt on 08/04/2015 12:52:23

Oompa Lumpa05/04/2015 14:54:49
888 forum posts
36 photos
Posted by Alan Rawlins on 05/04/2015 13:54:08:

Hi Coalburner, are you sure that the 250V comes with a 3 phase motor as mine and the one on their website says it is an AC inverter drive motor or is this the same?

They are indeed the same thing.


GarryC05/04/2015 14:59:26
740 forum posts
1043 photos

Hi Gareth

I've recently bought a Warco 250V Lathe and am very pleased with it, and the service I have received from Warco has been very good and pleasant. Their communication has been top class. I should say that I am a total beginner with ME.

In case you are also a beginner you may want to take note of a mistake that I made when I received mine. I believe that Warco do a certain amount of testing / adjusting before shipping - the 'setting marks' on my tailstock appeared out of alignment and one of the first things I did was to move it back to the 'zero offset' mark - big mistake for me that was as the 'zero' setting was obviously wrong when I did some test turning! I now wonder if they had possibly already set it correctly before shipping, having nothing to use to set it back correctly was a problem and eventually used the 'ruler between centres' method (and managed to damage the locking screw in the process giving an intermittent problem - I've now replaced with a capscrew and all is well), yes in case you are wondering I didn't even make a note of the setting before moving it, very silly I know.. Not being sure how accurate the ruler method was I recently forked out for a test bar, and discovered it was only out by 2 thou! Could have maybe avoided the hassle though with a new machine if I hadn't jumped in without thinking and testing first.... Its good to have the test bar now though and have it bang on - and I have some taper turning to do shortly.. The offset marks on the tailstock definitely do not line up as expected when it is correctly set - on mine anyway.

Mine came with lots of extra's included in the price and was I think a very good deal - although I did pay for it to be shipped with Warco's own QCTP, that was a good decision - I find it to be excellent quality and nice to use, not cheap though..

I think the lathe is great and will eventually upgrade with them again.

All the best with it if you go ahead.



Edited By Allan. on 05/04/2015 15:04:39

Edited By Allan. on 05/04/2015 15:07:20

Alastair05/04/2015 16:24:04
9 forum posts

Hi Gareth,

I can only echo everything that has been said about Warco. I have a GH1236 lathe and a WM18 Mill both bought within a year of each other. I have found Warco to be more than helpful and always return calls if not immediately.

I would add to the comments about considerations of weight. The lathe was around 600kg and manouvering this within a workshop the size of a large single garage proved to be very challenging. I decided to build a very substantial bench for the lathe as I needed the lathe at a height that was comfortable for me and have not had any issues with this. Noise and vibration have not been a problem and so far it has handled all the jobs required although some of the smaller jobs proved a little difficult, patience proved to be an asset here.

I have read some of the horror stories associated with buying Asian machines but I have not experienced any of these and with some minor fettling, the machines worked out of the box.


Mark P.05/04/2015 16:51:37
625 forum posts
8 photos
Had my WM250 for about 6 years and can't really fault it. It does what I ask of it and doesn't complain when worked hard. The only fault I have found is soft motor brushes, not the lathes fault though.

Mark P.
Gareth Johnston05/04/2015 16:54:11
27 forum posts

Hi everyone , thanks for your replys . Good to hear what everyone has to say about these lathes , I definitely thought they looked worth the money and good money at that , which is when I actually got slightly worried for id sooner pay more for quality. But hearing what people say it all sounds good , if I was machining my own 3" or bigger TE parts what exact model in the range would be suitable?. Many thanks Gareth

JasonB05/04/2015 17:14:12
22560 forum posts
2634 photos
1 articles

To be able to swing the flywheel and final drive gears on a 3" engine you will need something with a gap bed as you will be turning 14" dia parts so the 1236 or 1330 would be the smallest. If you had access to a big lathe for these parts then the rest could be done on a 280/290

Edited By JasonB on 05/04/2015 17:15:19

Gareth Johnston05/04/2015 17:19:02
27 forum posts

Okay thanks very much Jason. Ill take a look on the warco site.

All Topics | Latest Posts

Please login to post a reply.

Magazine Locator

Want the latest issue of Model Engineer or Model Engineers' Workshop? Use our magazine locator links to find your nearest stockist!

Find Model Engineer & Model Engineers' Workshop

Latest Forum Posts
Support Our Partners
Eccentric Engineering
Rapid RC
Eccentric July 5 2018
Subscription Offer

Latest "For Sale" Ads
Latest "Wanted" Ads
Get In Touch!

Do you want to contact the Model Engineer and Model Engineers' Workshop team?

You can contact us by phone, mail or email about the magazines including becoming a contributor, submitting reader's letters or making queries about articles. You can also get in touch about this website, advertising or other general issues.

Click THIS LINK for full contact details.

For subscription issues please see THIS LINK.

Digital Back Issues

Social Media online

'Like' us on Facebook
Follow us on Facebook

Follow us on Twitter
 Twitter Logo

Pin us on Pinterest