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Unimat Classic Answered

Hello there,

I am a new member to Instrucables although I have been looking through some of the wonderful creations on the site for some time now. 

I’ve noticed a few members have used a Unimat Classic to produce their creations.  I am thinking of investing in one.  I have had a look on Google for some decent reviews, but I haven't been able to find many.  It seems the feedback ranges from “it's the best thing in the world for hobbyists” to “it's nothing more than a glorified child’s toy”! 

I'm after some sensible feedback from members who own one or have had experience of using one.  I'm particularly interested in knowing how well the table saw handles metal and how well the lathes (both wood and metal) operate.  Any info would be greatly appreciated.  Thank you.



5 years ago

I've used a Unimat, Sherline lathe/mill and a Taig lathe/mill as well as one of the larger Harbor Freight import lathes. The Unimat machines are pretty expensive considering their accuracy and true working capability. The lathe chuck is pretty small compared to a Taig or Sherline. Sherline makes really nice equipment but the accessories are pretty expensive. The Harbor Freight lathes require a fair bit of work to make them work properly.

I ended up purchasing a Taig lathe with a milling attachment and it's great. They are very accurate and have a good work envelope for a small benchtop machine. Turning/milling aluminum and steel parts is not a problem- you would be surprised to see what you can make. Accessories are also very reasonably priced. For the price of a well equipped Unimat that is in excellent condition you can get a brand new Taig lathe and mill and the Taig equipment will outperform it tenfold.

Check out Carter Tools- there are lots of examples of setups and projects people have done with these machines. There is also a Taig user group than can help you out.


Hope this helps!

I do not have one but I think you have to know what you are planning to make before you consider the unimat. It is a "miniature" version of benchtop or even bigger shop tools. If you are into doing just jewelry or fabricating parts for r/c models or HO trains, this is perfect for working with thin brass, aluminum, balsa, softwoods or plastic. If you intend to chuck up a piece of walnut or something to turn a pen blank and maybe mill out the metal fittings, this may not be what you want in terms of power or workability.

I agree, if he is going to use if for things bigger then the size of his thumb, he may want to consider something like a ShopSmith or other version of the multitool.

Wow, yeah I can see why you'd want some reviews on it. I don't know anything about it, but my search brought up prices ranging from $1,299 to $3,594; rather steep IF it is only a "glorified toy".