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P { margin-bottom: 0.08in; } Chuck comparisons


I am now the proud owner of another chuck. I know do I really need another one. If you have to ask then you aren't really a serious woodturner. :) I have a Vicmarc 100, The Mit-E Bulldog chuck from ChucksPlus, and the Grizzly H6267. I thought you might enjoy a comparison. Granted I have only turned one thing on the Mit-e but my experience with the other chucks tell me a lot about the pros and cons of this one.
All 3 chucks are approximately the same with the Mit-E and Grizzly being copies of the Vicmarc. The jaws and inserts can be swapped between them and the chuck bodies are the same size. The differences are interesting.
All 3 have back dust covers that have index marks. The Mit-e has really small holes on the edge marks which would make them hard to engage, but then I don't of anybody who uses these. I use my index wheel instead of the chuck index holes. The Grizzly dust cover doesn't keep out dust as well as the Vicmarc. Only time will tell on the Mit-e but all the tolerances seem to be as good as the Vicmarc so my bet would be that it will do a pretty good job.
Vicmarc has a setscrew to lock the insert onto the chuck body. The Mit-e does not but has large flats to tighten it up instead of the holes drilled in the Vicmarc and Grizzly. I have deformed the holes in both inserts over the years. This will never happen with the Mit-e. The Mit-e insert screws in cleaner than the others which is just another indication of the care that went into machining this chuck.
The Vicmar and Grizzly use screw that have a 3mm allen which can be stripped fairly easily. The Mit-e used 4mm. Only time will tell if they strip out but the larger size should help prevent this.
The Mit-e has gold jaws that are said to be corrosion resistant. I have owned the other chucks long enough to tell you that the Vicmarc does not rust as easily as the Grizzly.
The Mit-e has jaw numbers stamped on the body of the chuck as well as the ends of the scroll jaws. That makes it quick and easy to place the jaws back in the same slot. The Jaws on the Mit-e have the same “slop” as the Vicmarc jaws. The Grizzly is much looser. This hasn't seemed to affect the actual holding power of the chuck but it gives me an indication of the quality control that goes intop the chucks.
The pin that keeps you from over extending the jaws is a Roll pin on the vicmarc. Very hard to remove if you want to dissassemble the chuck for cleaning. The Grizzly pin was so cheap I bent it sideways somehow over the years so it's completely useless for stopping the jaws and you can't get it out either. The Mit-e uses a set screw. Easy to remove for cleaning and they are usually hardened and hard to break.
I also ordered some 4” jaws for the Mit-e. They are dovetails but came with tiny bead or raised rings on the outside. Don't know if this holds better than smooth jaws or not. It would only be useful in expansion mode of course.
All 3 chucks use 8 mm hex wrenches as the key and all tighten with a clockwise turn.

I guess I might as well put down cost but that is only accurate today 7/19/13. Obviously prices change. Currently the Vicmarc with 1 ¼ insert is $239, The Mit-e $179 and the Grizzly $119.

Left to right Vicmarc, Mit-e, Grizzlyl
 

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Thanks for doing this! It seems you out alot of time into it. I know I learned a few things and will refer back to this now and then.
 

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The Vicmar and Grizzly use screw that have a 3mm allen which can be stripped fairly easily. The Mit-e used 4mm. Only time will tell if they strip out but the larger size should help prevent this.
John can the Vicmar and the Grizzly be tapped out to the larger size ?
 

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Thanks John, very useful insights.

Are the lathe spindle adapters interchangeable between the chuck bodies? If so, when the Vicmarc and Grizzly adapters eventually become hard to use because the holes are deformed, it might be worth getting replacement pieces from Mit-e.

I'm a bit confused (nothing new about that :laughing:) -- if the jaws are interchangeable, and the Mit-e fasteners are 4mm compared to 3mm on the other chucks ... does that mean the screws seat differently in the jaws? Or are the screws physically the same dimensions/threads/etc, but they have a different sized hex hole in the top?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I'm not sure what the maximum size inserts these chucks take. I will have to do some digging to find out. Chucksplus and vicamarc both make larger chucks that I'm sure would take larger inserts if they make them.
I now use a pin wrench to remove the inserts instead of the round rod that came with the chucks. This wrench doesn't deform the holes however your idea of buying the inserts from chucksplus is a good one.
The 4mm screws are the same size as the 3mm on the bottom side so they seat exactly the same. Only the top side is different.
 

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Thanks for the thread John, good idea and useful information. :thumbsup:

How about we add to this so it is a more comprehensive list of chucks.

I have two Talon chucks.

The Talon has 3 potential holes for the jaws. My friend has a NOVA chuck and it only has 2 holes. Not sure about John's chucks.

The 3 hole is useful e.g., the spigot jaw uses the middle screw hole. This puts the screw closer to the jaw. My friends NOVA spigot jaw mounts via the outer screw and this can result in some flexing. I have not observed flexing in my Talon spigot jaws.

The jaws are number in the chuck, but the screw on jaws.

Jaw #2 or #4 can be used with the one jaw which contains the safety pin to prevent the jaws being opened too much. I bent the pin on the No. 2 jaw set, and like John's Vicmark, this is not easy to remove.

Auto part Wheel Metal

The back of the Talon is open. This chuck uses a large geared key like a big Jacobs chuck key. I forgot to include in the picture. I happen to prefer this, but some folks prefer hex keys.

The insert screws in place, but there are 3 small hex headed screws which are then screwed in to lock the insert in place. I can make them out in the picture. I like this design. With the screws in place, I would not expect the insert to ever come loose, and it should be easy to remove if needed. I do not remove.

Product Auto part Cylinder Machine Metal

The chucks have a plating which does a good job to resist rust. These chucks have walnut dust for recent turnings, the brown colour is not rust.
 

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I'm not sure what the maximum size inserts these chucks take. I will have to do some digging to find out. Chucksplus and vicamarc both make larger chucks that I'm sure would take larger inserts if they make them.
I now use a pin wrench to remove the inserts instead of the round rod that came with the chucks. This wrench doesn't deform the holes however your idea of buying the inserts from chucksplus is a good one.
The 4mm screws are the same size as the 3mm on the bottom side so they seat exactly the same. Only the top side is different.
John , when you say inserts , are you referring to the slides that the jaws attach to , or the spindle chuck inserts ?
 

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The pin that keeps you from over extending the jaws is a Roll pin on the vicmarc. Very hard to remove if you want to dissassemble the chuck for cleaning. The Grizzly pin was so cheap I bent it sideways somehow over the years so it's completely useless for stopping the jaws and you can't get it out either.
My Nova Titan had a similar issue with the stopscrew , which as I recall , was a grubsrew.
I replaced it with a small hex head screw out of a computer that accepts a 6mm socket and Phillips and slotted screwdrivers.
Its lasted 6 years so far.
 

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The insert screws in place, but there are 3 small hex headed screws which are then screwed in to lock the insert in place. I can make them out in the picture. I like this design. With the screws in place, I would not expect the insert to ever come loose, and it should be easy to remove if needed. I do not remove.

One correction: the insert tapers into the chuck body, not screws. It comes out easily and goes in easily.
 

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The Talon has 3 potential holes for the jaws. My friend has a NOVA chuck and it only has 2 holes. Not sure about John's chucks.

The 3 hole is useful e.g., the spigot jaw uses the middle screw hole. This puts the screw closer to the jaw. My friends NOVA spigot jaw mounts via the outer screw and this can result in some flexing. I have not observed flexing in my Talon spigot jaws.
Dave ,
the number of screw holes depends upon the size of that particular jaw set , and the chuck and slide range that it is made to attach to .

Talon makes jaws that have one hole , and Nova makes ones that have two ..... and three.

And the Nova jaws , the ones with the single hole are intended for use with small work .
Not surprisingly they may flex when overtightened on oversized work .
The one screw Talon jaws may well be the same .


Jock
 
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