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Why the differential?

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John McCallum 117/02/2020 13:52:58
17 forum posts
8 photos

I have just bought an Axminster Seig SC4 lathe. As an afterthought I realised that I need a 100mm 4 jaw independent chuck for a project I’m about to embark on.

The one from Axminster is £132.50 and yet the one from Arc is £48

There is no evidence of gold plating or, indeed inset diamonds to mark the positioning of the jaws on the Axminster so, as I’m keen to preserve my Pensioner pounds can anyone give me a valid reason to buy it ?


Worried and confused of Alfreton

Bill Chugg17/02/2020 14:09:35
1300 forum posts
8 photos

Hello worried and confused.

The sc4 from Axminster comes in at something like £500 more than Arc - for this extra you get 3 years warranty from Axminster as opposed to 1 year from Arc.

The are essentially the same lathe with different colour schemes.

Axminster chucks come from a differesnt supplier than Arc. You pay a premium for buying from Axminster as a much larger company, more outlets so larger overheads.

My SC3 has all Arc supplied chucks, 3 and 4 jaw - absolutely no problems with any of them

If you buy from Arc, I am sure you will be well pleased.



Edited By Bill Chugg on 17/02/2020 14:11:28

Howard Lewis17/02/2020 15:41:27
2932 forum posts
2 photos

The concentricity that you get from the cheaper chuck will, not depend on the price paid, more on the operator.

As hobbyists, many of us are likely wear out before our machines.


Ketan Swali17/02/2020 16:59:27
1185 forum posts
103 photos

Lathe chucks from China (or from anywhere else in the world) are a very delicate subject, based on supply and demand, quantity purchased, and ability to negotiate from breakfast to dinner over alcohol.

Up until early last year, ARC was unable to find a clear direction for procurement of Chinese origin lathe chucks. This applies to most importers. At one point last year, our price for the chuck you are enquiring about reached £96.00 inc.vat. It did not mean that we or Axminster or any other importer were making excess profit. It is just not possible to make excess profits on lathe chucks. Prices for lathe chucks are dictated by what was possible for the importer/or his Chinese agent to negotiate with the chuck factory, at time of purchase.

Chuck makers - where ever they are in the world, are very difficult people to negotiate with.

All importers faced similar difficulties, and left the negotiating to people who could commanded big volume purchases, based on the parameters mentioned in the first paragraph.

Due to certain adverse events which took place in the Chinese chuck manufacturing industry, ARC got an opportunity to work with a particular chuck manufacturer, provided we were able to meet certain purchase volumes which were dictated. This resulted in our moving all our chuck purchases to a known source, resulting in an improvement on price.

Once the stocks we have are exhausted, I am keeping my figures crossed that we can continue with the same manufacturer of the chucks.

This is just another factor you may need to consider, in addition to what has been said earlier by Bill.

Ketan at ARC.

John McCallum 117/02/2020 18:46:19
17 forum posts
8 photos


Thank you for your observations and my crash course in Chuck commerce. Very interesting indeed.

I’m going to call in at Arc for the chuck and some other items.

Regards to all


Chris Evans 617/02/2020 21:33:05
1592 forum posts

I bought a 160mm three jaw from ARC a few years ago. (Zither ?) It was cheaper than new jaws for my Pratt/Burnerd chuck. I must say it is good and runs better than any three jaw I have used the only downside is the action is not very smooth but is getting better with use of around 6/8 hours a week.

Mike Poole17/02/2020 21:53:18
2446 forum posts
53 photos

A new chuck from the east will benefit from a strip, clean and light tidy up with a fine needle file. Relube and assemble and you will likely find it rather smoother and lighter in action. Worked for me. Fine fetteling by hand costs money so is often neglected to get the best price but the basic machining will be accurate and probably done by high quality CNC machines. A bit of TLC can be a pleasurable activity with a satisfying result.


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