Ammco Brake Lathe Review: Bits & Adaptors: New and Used for Sale

Brakes, yes. All drivers and children above 5 years old know what these are for. We use them in bikes, cars, trains, and even roller blades and skates, but brake lathes?

What is a Brake Lathe?

First of all a brake lathe is a rather large piece of equipment that helps you prevent brake accidents. It is used by mechanics and repair shops to improve brake performance. There are 2 kinds of brake lathe machines:

  1. Off the Car Brake Lathe
  2. On the Car Brake Lathe

Both types of brake lathe have the same purpose and this is to turn the rotors and brake drums so the brakes work. The brake lathe, which is made of metal, puts pressure on the brake parts to keep them smooth and round.  When using the brake lathe, minute shavings naturally come away from the brake lathe.  The debris from the brake parts is normal and can be likened to filing something hard so it’s expected to happen. It is important that this is done so that when you slow down, your brake rotor and drums respond easily. It’s important for these two brake parts to stay round so that as you slow down, the stop is smooth and easy while also being strong and dependable.

Without getting even more technical, a driver must be worried when the brakes start to malfunction or the driver has to press down deeper on the brake pedal to get the vehicle to slow down and stop. This is an obvious sign that the brakes need a maintenance check.

Most people who will come in with brake complaints will end up with work having to be done using the brake lathe. It’s a simple process, but can be quite lengthy. Fortunately, if you use a brake lathe that has been consistently performing well, then the job should be done properly and without too much hassle. Most experts will recommend the Ammco brake lathe.

Who Is Ammco?

Ammco brake lathes have been around since 1922 and over the span of their operations, they have sold more than 250,000 units and still counting. It may not seem like a terribly large figure but that’s a good sign with equipment. It means basically that it’s a quality brand and not something you have to replace often.

Ammco brake lathes are made by Hennessy Industries. Their focal business products are wheel service equipment. They design, build and market anything that has to do with the workings of a wheel. Their other two brands are BADA and COATS.

Being a huge corporation with offices in the U.S. and Canada, Hennessy is smart enough to know that it’s the consumers who matter and their customer relations office is one of the finest in the industry. The Ammco brake lathe and the Ammco brake lathe adapters and benches are outstanding in two ways. One, the products are reliable, and two, they aren’t difficult to use. The company encourages DIY and new entrepreneurs to use Ammco products because it’s profitable, has an excellent reputation, and the Ammco brake lathe manual makes the equipment user-friendly.

The Features of the Ammco Brake Lathe

  • Use of forged alloy steel arbor which means it can handle extremely heavy weights of up to 200 pounds
  • Long term use
  • Precision and rigid spindle weighing 44 pounds which decreases the vibration one feels when stepping on the brakes
  • Patented design for longer wear and tear
  • Self-lubricating and in anything mechanical, you must know that lubrication is vital to the performance and longevity
  • Cost efficient because you spend less often on replacing the Ammco brake lathe
  • With the micrometer settings and design, Amcco brake lathe are easy to reset and come within a tenth of an mm in fittings
  • Replacement or spare parts are easy to find

Should You Buy Used Ammco Products?

Now this is not as controversial a topic as you may imagine. It is possible to get a used Ammco brake lathe for sale and not have any problems with it once it’s up and running. However, and this rule applies to everything that’s second-hand, one must know how to determine the condition of a used Ammco brake lathe and whether it is good enough for another 5 to 10 years.  In addition, it would also be ideal if you can use it long enough not to inconvenience you soon after and you are able to get your money’s worth.

To select a good used Ammco brake lathe for sale, you must consider the following factors:

  • What kind of cut do I need since a brake lathe can cut in different ways? Some brake lathes are only applicable for rotor brakes while others can resurface drums and rotors
  • What’s my budget?
  • What’s the condition of the unit?
  • Is it easy to find?
  • Are there spare parts?
  • What’s the best model I can afford with my budget and what would those features be?
  • Is there an Amcco brake lathe model that I should avoid buying?

Most designs for brake lathe have an arbor and this makes it possible to work on the rotor and the drum. There are some that can also do flywheel work. The arbor is an important feature to check when buying used equipment. It must be constant in terms of speed because you could damage the brake parts otherwise.  The other feature to focus on is the cutting tool. How wide is the spread in terms of adjusting in increments? Is the brake lathe equipped with an aluminum head? This is another significant question because aluminum heads tend to wear down faster and this affects your accuracy. With an Amcco, you won’t have to worry about aluminum heads, crossfeed locks, chain drives, or inferior main drive nuts.

Ammco is not the only brand in the market for brake lathe but it is the most respected and your customers are likely to recognize the brand. There is just something about finding some level of comfort with a shop that uses only the best in equipment. On your part, used or new, you can depend on Ammco to help you out with questions or repair issues anytime, all the time.

Jeremy D

Jeremy is the editor at TopToolTips.com where we're passionate about providing you with the best tips about a DIY and the tools to get it done. There are a lot of questions out there asked about all aspects of this topic and that's where we come in, to answer them quickly and helpfully.

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