Grizzly G8688 Mini Metal Lathe Review

If you’re not too familiar with lathes, there’s a fair chance that you may not be too familiar with the Grizzly name.

If you want to find out more about the G8688 but don’t have too much time to do so, I’ve put together a quick overview of the Grizzly G8688 mini metal lathe. You can find this below: 

  • Made of high-quality components, the G8688 is one of the most durable mini metal lathes within the class
  • Variable speed function, that also works in both forward and reverse directions
  • Threading dial indicator included, with a standard thread range of 12 to 52 TPI
  • Includes a four-position turret post to hold multiple tools at the one time, increasing convenience when turning
  • Perfect for small to medium-sized jobs within your workshop – where it works best

Grizzly Industrial have been players within the power tool industry since their inception in 1983, and they have quite a good history in producing reliable and high-quality lathes, something enforced by the raving reviews from satisfied customers. 

This model in particular includes a raft of qualities to please most experience levels, without going overboard with unnecessary elements.

Specifications & Features

To start, it’s best to look into both the specifications and features of the Grizzly G8688 model.

We’ll start with the specifications, followed by three features which are important to consider when you’re looking to purchase a new, mini metal lathe.

Specifications

  • Total weight of 74 lbs, with dimensions of 13” x 30.2” x 13”
  • Includes a 110 volt, single phase ¾ motor
  • Variable speeds of 0-1100 RPM low range, and 0-2500 RPM high range
  • 7” swing over bed, 12” distance between centers
  • 2-1/” tailstock travel, 2-¾” cross slide travel
  • 20mm spindle bore
  • Maximum tool bit size 5/16”
  • 18 standard and 10 metric thread pitches
  • Bore size of chuck included is 16mm

Motor

As the G8688 is a smaller model, it can be fair of you to assume that many tasks would be difficult to accomplish.

This isn’t true, as the lathe is perfect for the hobbyist, and jobs which are smaller than professional or industrial standard.
To achieve effective performance in your workshop, the G8688 is powered by a single phase motor.

The motor on this mini metal lathe has a HP of ¾ , with 110 volts. It isn’t the most powerful within the metal lathe category, however it’s definitely amongst the top of the class within the mini-metal lathe group.

It’ll be able to tackle most home and workshop projects you’re looking to complete.

Capacity & Dimensions

This mini metal lathe weighs 89 lbs, with dimensions of 13” x 30.2” x 13”, and will fit into any home workshop quite comfortably.

So, the big question you’re probably wondering – how much space do you get to work with on the G8688?

A 7” swing over the bed, combined with a 12” distance between the centers – will see you turn small to medium sized projects.

As well as the swing and center distance, the G8688 houses a 20 mm spindle bore, as well as a 2-¾” cross slide travel and 2’½” tailstock travel.

A standard, 12-52 TPI thread range is found on this model, as well as a threading dial indicator and handwheel graduations. These are both in imperial and metric format, too – so no one is left out, regardless of where you live.

What’s In The Box?

As well as the Grizzly G8688 mini metal lathe, there are some additional accessories included upon purchase.

What are they, exactly? Read on below:

  • 1 x Grizzly G8688 mini metal lathe
  • 1 x Chip Pan
  • 1 x Backsplash guard
  • 1 x 3” 3-jaw chuck with external jaws
  • 1 x 6-¼” face plate
  • 1 x Steady rest
  • 1 x 4-way turned post
  • 1 x MT#2 dead center

What Makes The Grizzly G8688 Better Than Most?

We’ve reviewed the core aspects of the G8688, but what about the features that make it stand out from the rest of the mini-metal lathes on the market? 

If you don’t agree with these – or think another should be added in place, let me know your thoughts down in the comment section.

Firstly – we’ll look at the design itself.

Longevity & Design

I’ve spoken at length about Grizzly’s quality when it comes to the components used to manufacture this model.

The quality of the build also reduces vibration through the spindle, allowing for precise and accurate turning without errors occurring due to shakiness. 

Due to the compact design of the G8688, it can easily fit into the majority of tight spaces you have in your workshop. It’s this location where the mini metal lathe thrives – in the workshop.

That’s not to say that you’re unable to use it for other applications, yet it’s most likely not the ideal lathe to use for industrial applications, due to limitations in power when compared to these high performing professional models.

Variable Speed

Turning metal is a task that requires complete concentration in order to turn pieces with accuracy. Accuracy comes in the form of changing speeds, and luckily for you – Grizzly Industrial included this function on the G8688

The variable speed on this model is split into two ranges, low and high. Low range settings will see you attain a speed of 0-1100 RPM, and 0-2500 RPM for the high range. This is perfect for working with different metals, allowing more control over prices.

As well as the variable speed function, you can also turn in both forward and reverse directions. This is found on both the low and high range speed settings.

How great does that sound?

Value For Money

Lastly, I’ll run through the last aspect that really sets the Grizzly G8688 from the rest of the pack – which is the value for money. 

At an affordable cost under $1000, you’ll not only receive a mini metal lathe that’s able to handle most small and medium jobs you can throw at it, but one that’s designed to last a very long time.

Reliable and also durable, this means you won’t have to worry about replacing the G8688 in the future. This is a bonus for both your wallet and self, as you won’t have to adjust to a new mini metal lathe after overcoming the learning curve of this model.

You also receive a list of included accessories, which we discussed at length earlier in this review.

Doesn’t sound too bad, does it?

The Final Say

So, what are your thoughts on the Grizzly G8688 mini metal lathe?

There are certainly many aspects of this model to enjoy, and it can tackle an array of jobs for its size. This model, in particular, includes a raft of qualities to please most experience levels, without going overboard with unnecessary elements.

If you’re starting off your turning journey, there’s a chance you may find this model a little tricky at first – yet that’s all part of the learning curve, so it shouldn’t be something you should be put off by – as we’ve all begun with our first lathe at some point in time.

I’d definitely recommend the Grizzly G8688 – especially if you’re looking for a mini metal lathe that’ll provide you with many years of service at an affordable cost. Those are my thoughts on the Grizzly G8688, and I’d like to hear yours. 

Do you have a question you’d like to ask, or maybe there’s a feature you think I missed?

Let me know in the comments below.

James Thomas

James Thomas

Tool Enthusiast

2 thoughts on “Grizzly G8688 Mini Metal Lathe Review”

  1. I was looking at the smaller grizzly lathe. Do you have a review on it? Also, do these lathes come with the actual cutting tools?
    Thanks,
    John

    1. Hi John,

      Unfortunately, I haven’t reviewed the smaller Grizzly yet. Generally speaking, they don’t come with tools and are sold as accessories. It all depends on the model however.

      Cheers,
      James

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