HobbyKing 6 in 1 Machine Tool, Any Owners? - RC Groups
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May 15, 2012, 08:00 AM
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.Joel's Avatar

HobbyKing 6 in 1 Machine Tool, Any Owners?


Anyone here own the HobbyKing 6 in 1 Machine Tool? I'm thinking of pulling the trigger on this one and just want to hear people's feedback. It looks perfect for working with delrin and plastics for the new frame I am designing.

Any feedback really appreciated.


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May 15, 2012, 08:59 AM
Registered User
rcav8r2's Avatar
Looks very interesting.... Hay their site says it's of high quality

Hopefully someone will have experience with it as it would be nice to have if the quality was halfway decent.
May 15, 2012, 12:34 PM
Former B52H Crew Chief
aerofly0610's Avatar
That looks really cool. I would be worried about low tolerance in the bearings and cheap windings in the motor.
May 16, 2012, 06:52 AM
Registered User
Looks like a toy with a purpose.

Want one, but dont know if i want one to play with more than i need one.
May 16, 2012, 09:18 AM
Registered User
I dont know about delrin on that thing. I cant see plastic holding any kind of tolerance. Maybe for soft stuff, prototyping wax. When I was researching for my machine tools, every single person told me to avoid the 3 in 1 tools. A buddy has one and hates it. He used it for go kart racing.
Last edited by edwin1; May 23, 2012 at 07:47 AM.
May 22, 2012, 11:29 PM
Fly fast, turn left
A little bit of math gives it's weight at 8 pounds plus. Materials used not specified, nor is the size that I could see, which means they sell it without any specifications to judge by. I suspect it is similar to one a friend of mine bought years ago, tiny little lathe, suitable for making doll house parts only. Too small, motor too small, even the tool rest was pretty cheap.

My experience with the multi machines has not been good. Yes, they are a lathe, no they are not good lathes. Yes, they will mill, no not well. Drill, yeah, okay, they will, but any of the cheapest Harbor Freight drills will too, probably a little better. For tiny woodworking it may be okay, metal of any kind, no. Some plastics maybe, accuracy unknown. Weight should always be the criteria for metal, mass is not the enemy.
May 24, 2012, 03:33 PM
B for Bruce
BMatthews's Avatar
You need to be realistic about what you want to use it for. For smaller parts made from plastic, wood or even VERY small parts made of aluminium or steel it would likely do OK if you do not require tight tolerances down to a thou or less. Although it may work even for that if you take your time and work with the machine's built in tendencies.

Two things bother me about this little toy tool.

On small table top style hobby machines there often isn't any room or table space to allow for clamping the work pieces into place. This little "toy" appears to fall into that category. Basically if your work piece does not fit into the rather cheezy looking vise or if it won't fit onto the small table of the cross slide along with whatever you find to clamp the piece down then you're sunk.

I also see only a single speed motor head. Any machine tool worth anything needs to be able to alter the speed in order to match the cutting to the diameter of the cutter or work piece in order to get the proper surface feet per second at the cutting edge. This tool does not appear to have that ability. On regular machines where the motor runs at one single speed and you use belts or gearing to alter the speed you gain torque as you give up RPM. This aids you in having the power to do the cuts as the diameter of the workpiece or cutter gets larger. And note that the motor is enclosed in the "power head" and that it's a low voltage motor running off a fairly small looking power supply. Again this strongly suggests a low torque level which will cause lots of troubles as soon as you want to do anything bigger than about an inch in diameter even if the work piece is only plastic.

All of this makes me thing that this toy tool will be marginal even for working with plastics if you plan on doing anything bigger than up to one inch in diameter with it.

Other more suitable options for serious machines will easily run you ten times the cost. But for that increase you'll get machines that will easily last you for your lifetime of hobby use. Something to consider instead of blowing $100 or more dollars on this toy stuff only to end up selling it for half at some yard sale later on.
Jul 31, 2012, 10:33 AM
Fly now crash later
davecrash's Avatar
I can't find anything on this unit. I'm looking for some thing to use for things like flats on shafts, Grooves for steering legs etc.
Jul 31, 2012, 10:53 AM
Rust: The poor man's Loctite.
TomM's Avatar
As much as I love little tools and gadgets....meh.
I would buy one just to look at and play with because it's tiny and cool, but for usefulness, I'd rather spend the $100 on some good files and a few Dremel bits.
Jul 31, 2012, 11:36 AM
Hope to get out of life alive
kenh3497's Avatar
I have one of these http://www.taigtools.com/mlathe.html Had it for nearly 30 years and it's still in production. Says something about the quality. I do wish it were a bit larger, but I won't give it up for anything.

Jul 31, 2012, 12:18 PM
Fly now crash later
davecrash's Avatar
Originally Posted by kenh3497
I have one of these http://www.taigtools.com/mlathe.html Had it for nearly 30 years and it's still in production. Says something about the quality. I do wish it were a bit larger, but I won't give it up for anything.

That's a great size for what I'm looking to do. That and a mill or a combo unit.
Jul 31, 2012, 07:05 PM
low tech high tech
vtdiy's Avatar
No chuck or faceplate, obviously meant only for wood as a lathe. Dubious longevity of the base and connections if you crank even moderately on the drill press. Chatter should make things interesting.

The primary requirement of a stationary power tool is to be stationary, that is not deflect, meaning, adequate stiffness for the task. The proof of the pudding is freedom from chatter. You can improve accuracy of most machines by machining new parts for them, grinding, etc, but I'm not sure how you could improve the stiffness of a base and housings made out of plastic.

Unless you replaced those with say, another machine made of metal.
Jul 31, 2012, 11:49 PM
Fly now crash later
davecrash's Avatar
I found another one here. Still about the same quality I think.
Aug 01, 2012, 09:34 AM
low tech high tech
vtdiy's Avatar
Looks like the same machine. The scale of this is important to understand. It's got a 2" sanding disk. the saw table is 3-1/2" square, for instance. The spindle speed is listed as 2000 RPM.

I think it might be more useful to simply strap a variable speed hand drill to the workbench on top of a shaped block, using hose clamps. Or a Dremel --either would have greater capacity and be more useful. You could buy both for the same $80 if you don't already own one or the other.

To drill accurate 90 degree holes with a bench strapped drill, just make an angle block and slide it along the bench surface with work clamped, and/or make homemade drill guides if you use it handheld. Another possibility is to buy an inexpensive drill press or milling vice, and slide that along the bench top.

A bench mount hand drill can take a much bigger sanding disk. You can make a bench mounted tailstock and tool rest for turning rather easily with some imagination. A graver for turning metal can be made from an allen wrench, straightened by heating the bend, and a diamond shaped cutting point added by grinding the end at an angle. Make a handle for it out of wood and you can cut steel with it, provided the rest of your rig is stiff enough.

Or build your own lathe from scratch using homemade sand castings using the great books by David Gingery available from Lindsay Books online.
Aug 10, 2012, 10:14 PM
Registered User
Stay far,far away. I bought one and it's horrible. gonna return it soonest. In fact the only reason i signed up for this Board is to tell you to stay far far away. I will be happy to post detailed review if any one is interested. Dave

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