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Total cost + import for Tormach PCNC 440, and alternatives?

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Ross Lloyd 124/06/2019 16:02:07
153 forum posts
1 photos


I already own a manual mill and lathe (warco Wm18 and warco WM250V)

I am now looking into buying a home CNC and the one that springs to mind is the tormach PCNC 440.

However, I see there is no UK or europe dealer, and as a result must factor in import costs. I think this boils down to two questions then really:

1) Has anyone recently imported a PCNC 440, that can provide an all-in cost for purchase and import duty / VAT / shipping / other hidden fees?

2) Are there alternatives? I looked at the Sieg KX1 but note arc euro trade dropped them as they are too hard to support. Are any of the Wabecos comparable to the 440? I would say all of the Haas's are out of my price range (their quote and price list pages refuse to work for me), lets say max £7000.

I could convert my WM18, but I'm not convinced I will end up with something too great as a result.

Thanks for reading

Edited By Ross Lloyd 1 on 24/06/2019 16:15:51

JasonB24/06/2019 16:34:12
22747 forum posts
2653 photos
1 articles

You can still get KX1 and KX3 machines similar but not the same as the ones ARC sold from other suppliers and you may just get a Syil X4 at the top of your budget. Don't think a Tormach will be within budget.

Edited By JasonB on 24/06/2019 16:35:25

Andrew Evans24/06/2019 17:06:26
345 forum posts
8 photos

I think the Tormach machines are outside your budget - I think I have read more like £10000 by the time you have paid for shipping and import duty. There is at least 1 thread on here I think which talks about how to import one.

I have a KX3 which I am happy with - the Tormach does look better though, but it is twice the price.

The other option is a 2nd hand Denford Triac converted to Mach3, they are well built machines designed for schools / colleges with double nutted ball screws and you sometimes see them for sale - should be within your budget. Try the CNC UK forum or the Denford support forum as they sometimes are advertised there. They often come with tool changers as well.

Its not a cheap option whatever way you go - but with a 2nd hand machine you should get your money back if you find its not for you and decide to sell. 

Edited By Andrew Evans on 24/06/2019 17:09:53

Former Member24/06/2019 17:06:58

[This posting has been removed]

Andrew Evans24/06/2019 17:11:24
345 forum posts
8 photos

I am happy if you wanted to have a look at my Sieg KX3 - I am in York

Andrew Evans24/06/2019 17:13:30
345 forum posts
8 photos

Its not ideal having a 'brand ambassador' that isn't happy with the product. To be fair everything I have read about Tormach is positive.

Former Member24/06/2019 17:53:38

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geoff adams24/06/2019 18:45:01
211 forum posts
201 photos

i have both a tormach 1100 and a syil x4 with 4th axis brought from new i was lucky to get my tormach second hand in the uk for £3500 came with loads of tooling vice probe etc . my first mill was a warco vm18 converted to cnc ok but have to be conservative with depth of cut and feed rates the x4 is a lot more solid machine i tend to use this for the 4th axis work use the tormach on a daily basis the tormach is a step up from hobby use. A lot depends on what you want to make and material how much space you have for me it would be the tormach i have mine in a 8x6 garden shed

as Jason said you can get an x4 for £7000 second hand tormachs in the uk are very rare

hope this helps Geoff

Alan Wood 425/06/2019 09:17:26
233 forum posts
12 photos

Importing a Tormach to UK is straightforward using ACC Worldwide in Kent who are the preferred agent used by Tormach. They arrange everything and you can track your delivery all the way to your doorstep.

Tormach products are not CE approved but this is not an issue if you are going to use it for your own non commercial use.

The 440 is a 120V AC product and you will need a transformer which is not a problem with many potential suppliers. I use one from RS product.

Due to the US hike in import duties of products from China the prices have risen on the Tormach products. You can find my spreadsheet with the latest prices list costs of all the Tormach mills and accessories on my blog via this link.

The sheet gives you a full landed costing into UK and you can change the F/X to current market rate. There are quite a few other posts on the blog relating to the Tormach use. Note that as yet there is no 4th axis facility on the 440 but it is road mapped and there are other ways to address this should it be a requirement.

I bought and imported a 440 around 3 years ago and have not had any problems with it. The key aspects that swayed me were their PathPilot software which is excellent to use and the depth of support on my lack of CNC knowledge both direct from Tormach and from the many forums. PathPilot is addressed directly from Fusion 360 which in turn has integrated CAM and does not cost you anything as a private non commercial user.

I would be more than happy to demonstrate the machine to you or others on receipt of a PM request. I am in the Newbury area of UK.


Edited By Alan Wood 4 on 25/06/2019 09:19:34

John Haine25/06/2019 10:20:14
4673 forum posts
273 photos

+1 for Denford. Though long in the tooth now there are many ex-school machines around with little use, and they are easy to upgrade to modern electronics and controller. A better bet than converting a manual mill IMHO. My Novamill cost £660 for the mechanics and under £200 for the controller bits, or you can buy a ready built controller for a reasonable price.

Nick Hughes25/06/2019 11:16:33
264 forum posts
144 photos

Based on my personal experience of a Syil X5 Plus, I would recommend that you keep away from them.

The factory QC was non existant as you can see here (The Saddle fitted to my X5)


This was replaced eventualy (took over 6 months), but I had to buy a precision granite square, to check and set the X-Y axis geometry and am now in the middle of stripping the Z axis, to correct the fore-aft lean in the column.

The final problem is the lack of support, not from the UK agent (they appear to have the same problems getting parts from China), but Syil in China. I am still waiting after 2 plus years for a replacement board, that was faulty from the start and even after trying to buy a replacement directly from China and getting a price off them, they stopped responding to my emails.

Former Member25/06/2019 11:21:10

[This posting has been removed]

Ross Lloyd 130/06/2019 15:42:00
153 forum posts
1 photos

Thank you for all the input gents

After much toing and froing and taking into account the advice here, I am now starting to lean back towards converting the WM18 again, based on the articles ran in Model Engineer.

Will probably make a new post to ask more!


Steve Dunthorne 106/01/2021 12:27:38
39 forum posts

Alan Wood (4), please may I pick your brains? I am looking to get a Tormach which will need step down transformer too. Do you know if there is any issue whether you use a isolating step down transformer (presumably centre tapped but not important) or whether you use an autotransformer? Autotransformers are cheaper and, I think, slightly more efficient, but come with slightly more risk to the equipment in the event of winding failure. Any advice gratefully received. I know Tormach do their own generic transformer, but it looks overkill. Thanks.

Alan Wood 406/01/2021 14:04:59
233 forum posts
12 photos

Hi Steve

I bought my transformer (which is an auto transformer) from RS some three years ago. Their part number is 347-6668. It is 2kVA rated. RS also offer a 3kVA version. Both are sealed units with a US socket ready to go on the side.

It makes a gentle background hum to remind you that you have left it switched on ..


Steve Dunthorne 106/01/2021 14:10:49
39 forum posts

Perfect. Thank you Alan.

Steve Dunthorne 107/01/2021 22:41:41
39 forum posts

Alan, sorry to be a pain. Did you run your machine through a mains supply protected by an RCCB circuit breaker? I know these can be tripped by the Variable speed drive of the spindle. Again, any advice gratefully received.

Alan Wood 408/01/2021 10:58:42
233 forum posts
12 photos

Good morning Steve

I have all the workshop machinery mains outlet sockets on a single RCD in a 60439-3 breaker panel. The particular breaker is a brown colour code which I guess is standard for a ring main.

The earth pin on the UK plug is connected through to the earth plug on the US socket on the autotransformer. I have not done any additional earth bonding. I haven't had any tingles while using the machine.

There was a Tormach support note about adding suppressor components at various points if there were EMI issues in use. This mainly related to the compressed air solenoid valve on the Fogbuster coolant not always responding. Subsequent to this I think Tormach began fitting a different component so it may no longer be an issue. I have just added a second Fogbuster nozzle to my machine to overcome swarf removal shadowing but I got this direct from Fogbuster direct as a retrofit. I have also fitted the baby Fogbuster to my Myford S7 and this arrived with a completely different air solenoid.

With the Brexit changes my spreadsheet (as referenced in this post) may not now reflect the duty payable on import but the VAT (the most painful aspect) will still be valid. ACC will sort out all the importation issues for you.


Additional note - I bought in from Amazon a US distribution board.   This is fed from the autotransformer.  All the Tormach devices (mill, controller etc) feed from this dis board which means all the 110V hardware retains its US plugs and is quite separate and cannot be accidentally plugged into 240V outlets.   (My buying choice of US dis board was not ideal being pretty poor quality which I had to rewire).


Edited By Alan Wood 4 on 08/01/2021 11:06:19

Ady108/01/2021 11:05:16
5089 forum posts
736 photos

I get the impression that there is quite a high threshold to be a successful CNC supplier because of the after sales support that is required and the technical expertise

So it all costs an arm and a leg unless you take the DIY road and become your own after sales support team

Alan Wood 408/01/2021 11:44:16
233 forum posts
12 photos

Yes and no to your comment Ady1 (if I understood it correctly),

I think it breaks down into those that want a machine that is fully integrated ready to go because they want to make things and those who take pleasure in making the machine to make things albeit with a propagation delay before they get to the production stage. There is the added complexity that you might need a CNC machine to be able to make a CNC machine.

Having seen what is involved in the Tormach construction I can fully appreciate the road that would have to be travelled to produce a working equivalent without any consideration of the investment in the control software. I have great respect for those who have achieved this route. I also have great sympathy and understanding for those individuals that embarked on the journey and didn't quite make it happen.

For me wanting to learn CNC and to make things it was the right choice and the F/X was very favourable at the time of my purchase.

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