Enco Kurt vise copies
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  1. #1
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    I have read the posting of the critics, now I would like to know the opinions of those of you who own import Kurt copies. How well does it suit the home hobbiest for occasional use?

  2. #2
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    Surface grinders fix them pretty quick.

  3. #3
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    I guess what I really want to know is, should I get a new Enco Kurt clone or a used Ebay actual Kurt, assuming I can get it for $200 or less including shipping.

  4. #4
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    I think you should get a real Kurt, used. Occasionally a good deal comes up. Here is a smaller (5-inch) one on which I was outbid:
    http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...tem=3877557917
    With a final price of under $100, it would have been a really good deal.

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  6. #5
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    Without a doubt, go for the used Kurt! I've used both the 'clones' and real Kurts in 30 years of making chips; some of the clones are ok, some REALLY s**k! It's a crapshoot. I once worked in a shop that had two Enco clones,one was fairly decent, the other was a total POS. Don't scrimp on your tools, if you want to make good parts.

    RAS

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  8. #6
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    i have four vises, all kurt style.....
    1 is chinese
    and pretty well made and accurate . another is
    a Yuasa , (japan) and despite having seen tons
    of use is still dead on accurate(cost about the
    same as a kurt),a very well made tool.

    ....then there's the India-made crap. no bargain
    at any price(84.00 from enco). i bought these
    two vises thinking they'd be decent like the
    chinese one i bought first.... the jaws aren't
    flat on one...as in just eyeballing it . running
    an indicator along the fixed jaw reveals a .023
    dip (how do they grind that dip into the jaw?)
    the other vise's thrust bearing failed after
    about ten parts, sending a chunk of aluminum
    flying into the door of my haas.

    some taiwan vises i've used were well made,
    but cost nearly as much as a kurt($300)

    PTS had a closeout on some japanese kurt-type
    6 inchers for around $225 last time i looked.

  9. #7
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    I've got the 6" Enco, no complaints, but then again, I've never tried a Kurt so maybe my ignorance is bliss.

    The back face is pretty straight, maybe 0.0015" bow or less. At one point I reground the bottom surfaces.

    It came with the angle mount, but I never used it, so I set it aside and bolted the vise directly to the table.

    The biggest problem I have had is with rust forming between the vise and the table, lifting the vise up and screwing up the level. I use the no-rust coolants but still get a little rust anyway. About every two months I have to take the vice off the table and clean underneath.

  10. #8
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    I have used both the real Kurt and the Chinese
    copies. If you can find a deal on a used real Kurt, go for it. If you go import, as others have said, go over it with an indicator and see what you have before you start using it. One vise I have is within .0005 over the bed, on the swivel.
    The back jaw is within .0002". The other is out
    about .0015 on the bed and a little under .001 on
    the back jaw. If you know what you have, you can compensate for it on the "fussy" jobs, but it's still nice to have the best tools if you can afford them.
    As for rust under the vise, there is an old wood worker's trick that may help. Put a heat lamp on the bottom surface until it's hot, and rub
    some "Butcher's Wax" or similar hard paste wax into the iron. I've never tried it with coolant, but my table saw doesn't rust anymore, and I don't have to use oils on it that would get on the wood. It seems to seal up the pores in the iron and keep moisture from getting into the grain. I don't think it would help much on steel, but on cast iron it works well.-JM

  11. #9
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    I opted for a used Kurt and am not sorry. I bought it right with a swivel base. I did replace the jaws. A surface grinder will bring a Kurt back to spec real quick (although I did not have to). I would rather spend a little $$$ on a used made in America Kurt than an Asian anything. In my opinion, you could get you money out the Kurt, specially if is is clean and true) and would be lucky to get fifty cents on the dollar for the Asian, regardless of the condition.

    Grits

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    I've got a couple of Kurt vises, and never had to touch them. I've also got a few cheaper copies of various expensive vises, and spent many hours reworking parts to make them usable. One way or another, you pay

  13. #11
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    I have the Enco 6" with swivel base. This vise has worked very good, for anything that, I have made on my mill.

    I will admit that I have never used a Kurt.

    My .02.

  14. #12
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    They have one at work. It's not level side to side by .002". so far I've been shimming it but like lklb says it needs to be ground (don't have a grinder there). A used Kurt would be better but a Chicom with alittle work will get you by.

    Jon

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    kurt clones are fine for the home shop.

    I broke a kurt clone at work, the nut broke, I had to get it tight to line bore king pin holes in a semi truck front end.

    A kurt vice is much tougher.

    come to think of it, I have bad luck with bench vices, one day I broke 2.

  16. #14
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    A few recent posts have praised Gerardi vises, which are about $150 more than a low-end Kurt. Has anyone compared the two? I need a vise for my newly-acquired Tree.

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  18. #15
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    I purchased an Enco 4" Kurt clone vise about 4 years ago. It was not perfect, but for the type of service I used it for (HSM model engines) on my mill/drill it was ok. Later, I flycut the base and that improved it. I used it until about a year ago when I replaced it with another Enco vise. This one is a 5" model that is marked as an "Elephant" brand vise. It is a much better quality, I presume, Chinese made vise. It is quite accurate and I have had no problem with this vise. I didn't even bother to purchase the swivel base since I rarely ever used the one on the 4" model. For homeshop, occassional use, this vise is more than adequate especially for the $75 (and free shipping) that it cost. When I buy that Bridgeport I have always wanted, I will get a real Kurt.

  19. #16
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    Default enco vise

    Quote Originally Posted by mflywheel View Post
    I purchased an Enco 4" Kurt clone vise about 4 years ago. It was not perfect, but for the type of service I used it for (HSM model engines) on my mill/drill it was ok. Later, I flycut the base and that improved it. I used it until about a year ago when I replaced it with another Enco vise. This one is a 5" model that is marked as an "Elephant" brand vise. It is a much better quality, I presume, Chinese made vise. It is quite accurate and I have had no problem with this vise. I didn't even bother to purchase the swivel base since I rarely ever used the one on the 4" model. For homeshop, occassional use, this vise is more than adequate especially for the $75 (and free shipping) that it cost. When I buy that Bridgeport I have always wanted, I will get a real Kurt.
    the enco vise also gibraltar are bad we used them for 6 months they all blew out still trying to get a refund don"t buy them.


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