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Thread: powermatic vs one way

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Summit, NJ

    powermatic vs one way

    I was set on the powermatic lath but I used a one way and to make a long story short was impressed. I have never had a oppertunity to use the powermatic.

  2. #2
    Yes, the Oneways are impressive, but so are the PM 3520Bs. To me, without being awed at the Oneway, I was hard pressed to spend much moe money for not much more lathe (if any at all.)
    I ain't going to knock them, but I ain't going to buy one of their lathes either. But do own 3 of their chucks and misc tools.
    Rich s.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Mesa, Arizona

    Find a Powermatic and try it


    The Oneway lathes are wonderful. So, too, are the Robust lathes (and a few other premium brands). For a lot less money, the Powermatic is nearly as nice a lathe. (Some might argue that it is as nice a lathe, I don't want to debate that point.) Only you can say whether the difference in quality and features make any real difference in the way you will use and enjoy your lathe -- and how much you are willing to pay for the difference.

    The Powermatic is stable, powerful, and smooth. With an extension bed (or two), you could turn a telephone pole on the thing. With the sliding headstock (assuming the smaller of the two Powermatic lathes), you could turn a bowl that would reach to the floor. Capacity should not be an issue. Nor should reliability. Instead, it'll be the intangibles. Some cars, for certain drivers, just feel better to drive than others. The same is true with lathes and turners. So, find a Powermatic and take it for a spin.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Myrtle Beach, SC
    Chevy vs Mercedes as I see it. Of course, I consider my Stubby a Ferrari.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Sitting in front of my PC
    Blog Entries
    I was lucky and got invited to turn on the BIG Oneway lathe with all the bells and whistles accessories for it. It cost well over $6,000.00.
    They are Nice lathes and if money was NO object I might have bought one.
    But I'm a Lefty and wanted a sliding headstock to be more comfortable while turning, you do not need to be a lefty to take advantage of that comfort of not having to lean way over the bed while turning bowls either.

    I looked at the Oneways, Stubby's , the Robust 25" American Beauty, and the Powermatic 3520B

    Keep in mind I have SEVERAL Oneway accessories and like them ALOT, but the lathe was too big for my shop and turning style and costly.
    Stubby was small but also costly even a used one was at $4,800.00 and i'd have had to drive across the country to buy it.

    The Robust are Nice, Made in the U.S. but the 25" American Beauty Starts at $5,595.00.

    I ended up buying the Powermatic 3520B plus a bunch of it's accessories for just under $3,000.00.

    I am VERY pleased with my choice. I believe I bought the BEST bang for the buck.

    Again IF money was NO object I would have had a hard time picking between the Robust, or the Stubby.( I COULD have spent the money, but looking over the Powermatic, I just could'nt justify it.)

    With the 18" bed accessory I can turn up to 38", I can slide the head down for any type of turning and not need to lean over the bed saving my back. I could get the outboard turning stand that's MASSIVE and outboard turn to the floor IF I wanted too.

    My style of turning will not include alot of long spindle work so that eliminated the Oneway pretty quick, for me.

    Lets face it in this price range there all pretty darn nice lathes .

    For me I just felt the 3520B was the Best choice for ME.
    Alot will depend on your style of turning and what you want to turn and or be turning in the future.

    Good luck with which ever lathe you choose I hope it brings you MANY hours of pure enjoyment.
    Remember, you are NOT your post count.
    American & Proud
    ~Powermatic 3520B~
    "The GOLDStandard since 1921"
    Graphtec CE5000-60, FlexiSIGN PRO 8.6v2, Refine MH871,
    Photoshop CS5 Extended, Illustrator CS5, CorelDRAW X4, Wacom Intuos3 6x11, Wacom Cintiq, Dual 24" LCD's on MoView Stand, GraphixCALC Pro 2.0.4, QuickBooks 2010, Grain Fraim.

  6. #6

    Thoughts on the PM, Oneway, etc.

    I agree with David and Brian, I consider the PM 3520B is the "Ford" of it's class. The Oneway, Robust, etc. are better machined, better geared. The Oneway will turn at 8 rpm-the PM at makes a difference. The "fit and finish" are nicer on the Oneway, Robust, etc. . All that costs money, though, and I chose the PM3520B. For $2400-$2500 or so (just recieved my rebate for $100.00!!)I don't feel you can beat it. I just couldn't afford the extra thousand. The moveable headstock is fantastic. You'll be twisted all over that Oneway!

  7. #7
    An advantage of the Oneway is the many accessories, at added cost of course, which allow you to set it up in so many different configurations. The spindle is the same RH size and thread inboard and outboard so you can turn on both sides. There are numerous outboard setups with swings up to 44 inches and of course you could turn a piece to the floor if you want. With this inboard/outboard turning equality there is no need for a sliding headstock which allows the drive to be located underneath leaving the headstock small and easy to work around on both sides. If most of your turning is big outboard stuff get the 16 inch center shorty - still has 24 inches over the ways.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Western Michigan


    Lathes are the same as anything else. You get great returns up to a certain point, then the law of diminishing returns starts to kick in and you have to pay the big bucks for small gains.

    It seems to me that Powermatic hit the sweet spot when it comes to cost vs benefit for the 3520b. You want more? You're going to pay a lot for it. For ~$2500 you can the 3520b. If you double that and buy a OneWay or Robust are you getting twice the lathe? No. Are you getting stronger bearings, higher quality machining, more weight, & etc? Sure thing. But you're only getting a fraction of the value for your second (or third!) $2500 increment that you did for the first.


  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    East of the Mississippi
    Talk about a can of worms ! The PM is a great machine and works really well. I have turned on them and know they are good and would never badmouth it. I have turned on a Stubby and didn't care for it at all. It was uncomfortable for me. I have a 3HP Oneway 2436 and all I can say is when I walk into my shop and see it setting there, shinning like a bright star and turn it on, a bigger smile you will never see.
    941.44 miles South of Steve Schlumph


  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Rogers, AR

    PM v Oneway

    You've brought up a good point. It isn't necessarily about the money. If walking into your shop and spotting the 2436 brings a smile to your face, then buy it! If walking in and seeing a PM3520B does the same, is it worth an additional $1200 to $1500 to get that grin from the 2436 - only you can answer that for yourself: if the grin gets bigger, maybe it is worth it.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Benton Falls, Maine
    Blog Entries
    So much for détente.

    Long live Mayo.
    Only the Blue Roads

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Myrtle Beach, SC
    Keith brings up a good point. Can you imagine plopping down 5 grand for a lathe because you think you will like it, but never really turned on one like it? Then the truck shows up to deliver it and you get it all setup to use and after the first 15 minutes you realize that it's not what you thought it would be. It is so important when you get ready to buy a lathe to actually try it out. Try everything you can in your price range The Vicmarc hardly gets mentioned but it is also a great lathe to turn on and not quite as expensive as the Oneway, Stubby, VB, and Robust. I put more time into deciding which lathe I wanted than I did with my Harley.

  13. #13
    I've turned on a few different Powermatic lathes and the 3520's are nice lathe's. However, I like a smaller headstock to work around, enjoy the flexability of 24" swing inboard and outboard with a lathe configured to be a longbed and shortbed at the same time (multi extension mounted outboard on a Oneway 2436). Strangely I also enjoy riding the lathe when necessary. So for my tastes the Oneway 2436 has fit the bill perfectly. The extra money hasn't been missed and I have no desire or need to upgrade to something else. It's a lot of little things that are very well executed on the Oneway that brought out my checkbook over the Powermatic, Stubby, Poolwood, and Vicmark lathes that I was looking at, at the time. I even like having the builtin tool storage on the Oneway.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Lewiston, Idaho
    Quote Originally Posted by Andy Hoyt View Post
    So much for détente.

    Long live Mayo.

    I'll up it with some Mustard ....Thank you!

    If it wasn't for you and your Moxified ideas I wouldn't be able to spell lathe.

    It's comparing Hondas to Cadillacs IMHO.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Childress, Texas, USA
    My friend, Bill C., told me, "Life's too short to go through it wishing you hadn't settled for second choice,Al. Sell that RV, sell the truck... sell your firstborn son... get the lathe you want. Then make some of those beautiful yellow bowls, and sell them, and buy back your firstborn son, and buy a new truck and RV."
    I took his advice... well... just about not settling for my second choice. Never a regret for getting my 2 hp Oneway 1640.

    Edited to add: I also have the 17" extension mounted outboard of the headstock, which lets me turn up to 24" dia bowls. I've turned only one 24", but I turn a lot of 16-20" bowls outboard. I can use the tailstock on the outboard side also, if needed. Or I can remove the extension, and basically turn one 49" in diameter. Fat chance of me doing that, but it gives me the option, just the same as the sliding headstock of the Mustard Monster. I turn from both sides, and the end, of the lathe, and a few times I've even been astraddle of it.
    Last edited by Allen Neighbors; 03-29-2008 at 3:44 PM.
    The good Lord didn't create anything without a purpose, but mosquitoes come close.
    And.... I'm located just 1,075 miles SW of Steve Schlumpf.

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