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Old 03-13-2019, 03:05 PM
PANTHER PANTHER is offline
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Default New vs used

(I intended to put this in the general discussion section of "CNC Machines". Or maybe there is a better sub-forum if mods could move this. Thank you.)

I'm considering a Panther purchase and was wondering what users here think about buying used machines. I see used machines available in the for sale section of this forum and wanted to see about the pros and cons of going used.

1. If purchasing used, are there certain years to stay away from? Or is there a certain number of years you would not go past (3 years old, 5 years old etc)?

2. How much of a savings would you need to go the used route? The Panther I'm looking at is $50k. Is $10K off worth the risk of going used?

3. Is there much repair or things that could go wrong in the first year? The Panther has a 1-year warranty. In my experience, things break after the 1-year warranty expires. LOL

4. If buying used, what things should I look for? This would most likely be out of state, so are buyers typically flying in to examine the machine? Or are close-up pictures of certain parts enough?

Thanks!

Last edited by PANTHER; 03-13-2019 at 04:13 PM.
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  #2  
Old 03-13-2019, 06:17 PM
Ken Rychlik Ken Rychlik is offline
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I'm on my 6th machine. They have all been used. I am a retired mechanic, so your concerns may be different than mine. I have had very good luck on used and have made money on a several of them.

The new panther with the steel gantry is fairly new and the used ones will not be the same.

I prefer a machine with motors on both sides of the long Y axis. Some have that and some don't.
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Old 03-13-2019, 07:40 PM
Doug S Doug S is offline
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There are many machines out there where people bought them and ended up needing more. It takes a few years to convince yourself you should have gotten the bigger one.
I purchased mine used and 4 years old. Previous owner did not run a production shop with it, just stuff for his movie prop business.
He listed out the items he had replaced like one of the drive motors.

Currently I have over 700 sheets thru it and have had a power supply failure, and one drive gear. Other than that, it has been a workhorse. These machines are built very well and will last a long time if you don't beat them up.

Mine is the Aluminum gantry and people talk about how stiff the new steel ones are but honestly, I think I am near the limits of what the table can hold down and still get a nice cut. It is very rigid and cant imagine being any stronger.

Good luck with your search.

P.S.
Mine was about 50% off including the vacuum pump as compared to a new unit.
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  #4  
Old 03-13-2019, 08:24 PM
Terry Williams Terry Williams is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Naples, FL
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As far as the steel gantry goes, could someone show me the difference in part quality that can be attributed to using steel over aluminum. I'm not sure what the claimed repeatable accuracy is for Panther versus the Cobra, but I bet they're close.

If the aluminum is stiff enough to keep tolerances then what difference does it make.

I wonder what the weight difference is between steel and aluminum gantries - if steel is heavier, then that will increase momentum and inertia which could possibly introduce other issues.

I have never had any issues with my Cobra that could be attributed to gantry stiffness and somehow, I cannot imagine that the guys at Camaster would have overlooked that little piece of engineering - My Camaster Cobra 510 has been one of the best pieces of machinery I have ever owned!
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Old 03-13-2019, 08:37 PM
PANTHER PANTHER is offline
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In my quote, it shows the Panther with steel gantry. I believe from reading this forum, this is new to the Panther series starting last year.
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  #6  
Old 03-14-2019, 09:02 AM
guitarwes guitarwes is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PANTHER View Post
In my quote, it shows the Panther with steel gantry. I believe from reading this forum, this is new to the Panther series starting last year.
That's correct. As of last Sept/Oct, they no longer build the Panthers or Cobras with the aluminum gantry or offer standard router motors with these machines. While I do have a new steel Panther, I would not hesitate to buy a good used one with the aluminum gantry if found cheap enough. I definitely would not hesitate to buy a good used (<5 year old) Cobra with an aluminum gantry if a great deal presented itself.
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