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IndustryArena Forum > MetalWorking Machines > Tormach Personal CNC Mill > Is TORMACH in danger of pricing themselves out?
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  1. #1
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    Is TORMACH in danger of pricing themselves out?

    Is TORMACH in danger of pricing themselves out of their niche market?

    "Bare-Bones" Slant 15 lathe (3 HP) for $18,700? ... Yikes!

    Sheesh... There are PLENTY of Quality, used CNC lathes out there for less than $15k.

  2. #2
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    Re: Is TORMACH in danger of pricing themselves out?

    1. Their "niche" market has always had three pillars: hobbyists, schools, and small businesses. The only ones that will complain on forums are hobbyists, so that pillar may be eroding (intentionally or not), but that gives no sign of how well the other two groups are doing. If Tormach is intentionally moving away from the hobbyist market and more towards education and B2B, good for them. They have a crapload of stuff they need to sort out, yes, but hobbyists of any market are always first to demand and first to complain.

    2. Container prices have tripled since last year. No business can sustain cost increases forever without raising prices eventually. The chip shortage is a problem for everyone as well, even Haas is having issues shipping machines (the lauded TM0 is 6 months delivery, I've heard).

    3. The 15L specifically doesn't have much competition for a NEW single phase CNC lathe, if they made it faster and gave it live tools they'd wipe the market entirely. Used machines are an entirely different conversation, the minute you ask "how much is a phase convertor?" you aren't Tormach's market any more.

  3. #3
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    Re: Is TORMACH in danger of pricing themselves out?

    In answer to the post title, I would say yes. They would be great for educational purposes where you could leverage buying power to reduce cost. Buy 10 machines on on PO, etc. Then you could really get some valuable teaching time. Turn the students loose after some classes, and let them crash the hell out of them. Cheap to repair, not enough horsepower to do any real damage. They could also learn repair after they crash it.

    My Son went to college in industrial engineering and took all the hands on machining classes only to find out the wouldn't let students run the HAAS machines. They were only allowed to run Manual lathes on very simple operations. They had to give their CNC files to the machinists to run while they students watched from a distance. Needless to say, he was pretty furious and felt he got robbed.

  4. #4
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    Re: Is TORMACH in danger of pricing themselves out?

    I'm confident at least one person at Tormach has been to business school. They sell direct, so they know what demand is and from what kind of customer.

    I'd guess they saw the cost of the 15L going up (plus inflation, plus shipping, plus tariffs) and brought on the 8N as a lower-cost option for the hobby end.

    It's the same old "You can get a used Ford F250 for the cost of a new Ranger, Why would anyone buy a new Ranger?"

  5. #5
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    Re: Is TORMACH in danger of pricing themselves out?

    Quote Originally Posted by RussMachine View Post
    Is TORMACH in danger of pricing themselves out of their niche market?

    "Bare-Bones" Slant 15 lathe (3 HP) for $18,700? ... Yikes!

    Sheesh... There are PLENTY of Quality, used CNC lathes out there for less than $15k.
    Yes, but purchasers of used industrial machines have never been a mainstream Tormach customer. Consider:
    Most Tormach purchasers want something that just WORKS. They are not comfortable learning on used machine with possible issues; it is hard enough to be a beginner with a reliable machine. They are not comfortable worrying about 550 volt three phase power, They don't have room in their garage for an industrial machine. They want a machine with a well supported post for their chosen CAM. And, frankly, a large and powerful industrial machine is scary!

  6. #6

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    Re: Is TORMACH in danger of pricing themselves out?

    If someone wants a used industrial machine, have at it. It someone wants a tormach, have at it. The "should I buy a tormach/syil/haas/used something" debate here and in the facebook groups is the same tired fight as the "what oil should I use" debate on every motorcycle/car/truck forum ever created. If there was a perfect solution that fit every need for everybody, there would only be one option and everyone would use it. There is no perfect answer, there is no perfect machine, and everyone's needs and desires are different. Tormach is running their business the way they feel they should/need to. If they fail, I will be sad because I really like the machine and the people I've dealt with. If they stick around, I will continue to recommend them to anyone who wants an easy to approach machine that makes good parts without a gigantic learning curve.

  7. #7
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    Re: Is TORMACH in danger of pricing themselves out?

    Quote Originally Posted by soofle616 View Post
    If someone wants a used industrial machine, have at it. It someone wants a tormach, have at it. The "should I buy a tormach/syil/haas/used something" debate here and in the facebook groups is the same tired fight as the "what oil should I use" debate on every motorcycle/car/truck forum ever created. If there was a perfect solution that fit every need for everybody, there would only be one option and everyone would use it. There is no perfect answer, there is no perfect machine, and everyone's needs and desires are different. Tormach is running their business the way they feel they should/need to. If they fail, I will be sad because I really like the machine and the people I've dealt with. If they stick around, I will continue to recommend them to anyone who wants an easy to approach machine that makes good parts without a gigantic learning curve.
    +1

  8. #8

    Re: Is TORMACH in danger of pricing themselves out?

    the price on everything has gone up .
    An x2 converted mill is over a couple thousand and a g0704 is much more . Basic stepper run tormach mills are fairly priced from the 440 to the 1100 . It's all the bells a whistles that cost so much extra .
    A tl1 was only 21k a few yrs back now they are 30k

  9. #9

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    Re: Is TORMACH in danger of pricing themselves out?

    It's funny you posted this. When I got into CNC, I taught myself Fusion 360 for about 18 months. In that time, I found there are TONS of YT videos for beginners that hand are hand with Tormach. I figured that would be the way I went. Fast forward a few years, Fusion pulled out the free for hobbyist, and yes, you could make the argument that $500 a year for powerful software like F360 is well worth it, but I have found there are MANY great things F360 can do, but you have to pay for that extension. 2 I felt I must have. They are an additional $1600 EACH a YEAR! Now, add to this Tormach maybe pricing themselves out of the hobbyist market? Dear Lord! This is my hobby and there is only so much of my income I can throw at this. Could I relearn ANOTHER free CAM/CAD? Probably not (old dog/new tricks) and that doesn't help m affordable CNC equipment. Big bummers here....

  10. #10
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    Re: Is TORMACH in danger of pricing themselves out?

    I must say tigster, i find the cad cam bullets the hardest to swallow. I have the cost of a decent machine tied up in a couple of usb thumb drives of software and updates. And only way I would even consider learning a new cad or cam program would be with more expensive software that would do even more with less of my time.

  11. #11

    Re: Is TORMACH in danger of pricing themselves out?

    Guys sell bobcad on ebay for reasonable prices . I've been using bobcad mill pro for yrs and my first seat was bought through ebay
    . I've updated numerous time since .
    I recently bought another version of v23 because it came with a dongle and had the lathe module which i wanted to play with . I got it for $100 plus shipping , it includes the mill 3d and lathe modules . They've done a lot to upgrade the software since , but , there isn't much that can't be reasonably done an old version . One lathe project will pay off the software cost and save me the time of hand coding it

  12. #12
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    Re: Is TORMACH in danger of pricing themselves out?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tigster View Post
    It's funny you posted this. When I got into CNC, I taught myself Fusion 360 for about 18 months. In that time, I found there are TONS of YT videos for beginners that hand are hand with Tormach. I figured that would be the way I went. Fast forward a few years, Fusion pulled out the free for hobbyist, and yes, you could make the argument that $500 a year for powerful software like F360 is well worth it, but I have found there are MANY great things F360 can do, but you have to pay for that extension. 2 I felt I must have. They are an additional $1600 EACH a YEAR! Now, add to this Tormach maybe pricing themselves out of the hobbyist market? Dear Lord! This is my hobby and there is only so much of my income I can throw at this. Could I relearn ANOTHER free CAM/CAD? Probably not (old dog/new tricks) and that doesn't help m affordable CNC equipment. Big bummers here....
    Autodesk is running one of their semi annual Fusion 360 sales right now through Oct 22. 1 year $396, 3 year $1068.

    I can make a guess which features you consider must have, but you aren't going to get them at this price with any other cad package either. Not full probing routines and not steep/shallow. Or you might mean the nesting features, but if you need COMPLEX nesting to save material cost you aren't really only hobbyist.

    At this point, they've made it fair. Not incredible, but fair. And the free version will still knock it out with individual files for each tool change. It was going to happen eventually. I'm coughing up about $350 a year on the legacy sub. So the current 3 year deal at about $322.33/yr is actually a bit cheaper than I'm paying. If you need it, this isn't a bad time. Current world economics aren't suggesting it's going to get cheaper so I'd consider locking in 3 years if you think you need to.

    https://www.autodesk.com/campaigns/fusion-360-promo

    AS FOR THE THREAD TOPIC:

    I'm still worried about Tormach's increasing pricing. I'll keep saying it. It is CRITICAL they keep the 770 class base machine in the price range it is in... $8k-ish. And they need to upgrade the base stepper motors at some point, as well bumping the spindle to 2hp or so... in the near future. But they need to keep selling the base machine that can be just bolted to a user supplied bench or stand and start making parts.

    I'm kind of also thinking that it may be time for them to replace the 770 and 440 spindle with a BT like on their other machines and make the whole lineup unified. To keep costs down for them and us more than anything and make their tooling truly universal across their line up. Yes, that would mess with me too if I needed a new spindle on my 770 S3, but it would still be worth it long term if the rigidity, runout and TTS issues could be put to bed forever.

    The 8L needs a V2 to fix all the initial issues, and it needs a huge marketing push.

    It would also help if they would continue to refine the Rapidturn system. It's good, but it needs a bigger brother that mill-turns... and a better tailstock and linear rail kit that can be bolted to the mill bed or fixture plate.

    These would really flesh out their "inexpensive" lineup.

  13. #13
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    Re: Is TORMACH in danger of pricing themselves out?

    Quote Originally Posted by Advil View Post

    The 8L needs a V2 to fix all the initial issues, and it needs a huge marketing push.


    What issues do they need to fix? What am I missing?
    I have one and only issue i have run into is x axis is reversed from sbl15.
    But I can make my cam do about anything I want, so I dont even notice that. I started a custom post but shelved it because I did not want to isolate my code or machine. Figured it would be better to use as is with sbl15 post.

  14. #14
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    Re: Is TORMACH in danger of pricing themselves out?

    I don't own one but have been watching videos. Yes, the x axis really should be consistent with their other lathe and also some kind of design change to keep chips out of the limit switch... saw a pretty good video on how easy it is for them to get in there and stop programs randomly.

  15. #15
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    Re: Is TORMACH in danger of pricing themselves out?

    Quote Originally Posted by Advil View Post
    I don't own one but have been watching videos. Yes, the x axis really should be consistent with their other lathe and also some kind of design change to keep chips out of the limit switch... saw a pretty good video on how easy it is for them to get in there and stop programs randomly.
    Witch axis?
    Edit. After thinking about it. if your using tail stock the chips would be going in areas where the z axis limit would be. I never looked to see what type they are. Guessing they are Hal type limits like router has. Not roller like mill has. And metal chip would throw that. Oops didn't think of this and have not experienced the fault yet.


    I will have to look.
    I do tend to clean the machine very well when finished with it. Mostly because it can set for a couple days between uses
    I do same with mill and router. Old habit to keep my tools and machines in good shape.

  16. #16

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    Re: Is TORMACH in danger of pricing themselves out?

    @Mountaindew Yeah, and I particularly hate that you never own F360. Get a truly full version like I had prior to the whole debacle a year ago...it would literally be 4-5k a year! To make bird house etc in my garage for my wife??! I would love to switch to free CAD, but I can't go through that again. They have me by the plums and they know it.

  17. #17

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    Re: Is TORMACH in danger of pricing themselves out?

    I guess all this begs the question, when I'm ready to upgrade (soon) do I go new 1100 or an entry level used Haas or??? As someone else said, with shipping from China and that whole mess right now and computer chips being on such a shortage that there are new car shortages...it's the perfect storm.

  18. #18
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    Re: Is TORMACH in danger of pricing themselves out?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tigster View Post
    @Mountaindew Yeah, and I particularly hate that you never own F360. Get a truly full version like I had prior to the whole debacle a year ago...it would literally be 4-5k a year! To make bird house etc in my garage for my wife??! I would love to switch to free CAD, but I can't go through that again. They have me by the plums and they know it.
    I was asked to join the beta for f360 long ago. I didn't jump on that train and a few years later I was blown away by how powerful that software become and it was still free. It was costing me around $350 a year for each cad and cam just for updates. Plus the couple thousand it cost to buy the first version. From the start I decided if im going to pay this. I'm going to learn and use this tool at a very high level to get a payback on the cost. It took years but now I have few regrets. I can draw complex assemblies and models in hours that took days before. And I can cam up parts in minutes complete with fixtures and stock using any number of offsets and sides of part all in one program for a mill, router or lathe.
    It still costs to keep with current versions and I will be updating sprutcam in a week or two. My only justification is without these tools the machines would mostly set collecting dust.
    When I purchased mill I did not even think about how much it was going to cost to drive it.
    And for a long time I was looking at people driving $60k+ machines using a free program and wondered how this was possible. And if I was making the right choice.

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    Re: Is TORMACH in danger of pricing themselves out?

    Forgot to mention both cad and cam programs imho require an expensive workstation class computer or you will be stuck in the mud.
    Year ago I had to build a new core i9 system just to keep those 2 programs happy and working barely. I had to use older quatro gfx cards because to this day new gfx cards are on backorder and fully n+1 priced. So software is not the only cost on the backend you need high performance computer or they just drag on or crash

  20. #20
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    Re: Is TORMACH in danger of pricing themselves out?

    Quote Originally Posted by mountaindew View Post
    Forgot to mention both cad and cam programs imho require an expensive workstation class computer or you will be stuck in the mud.
    Year ago I had to build a new core i9 system just to keep those 2 programs happy and working barely. I had to use older quatro gfx cards because to this day new gfx cards are on backorder and fully n+1 priced. So software is not the only cost on the backend you need high performance computer or they just drag on or crash
    MD - have you switched from SprutCAM to F360?

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