You are quite correct. I offered the for those
individuals who could not or perhaps did not want to afford the
quality of a Fordome at this point. (eg: jewelry class
students, people tinkering and on a budget, etc…). And as you
mentioned, the price is perfect for a backup unit.
Companies like HF have some very good deals, if you don’t mind
taking a gamble on the Asian version. HF makes it even easier
with their 30 day satisfaction guarantee. You don’t like it,
they pay for you to send it back, no questions asked. Heck, I
just bought a 7x10 mini lathe from them. It arrived on friday.
Sure it was covered in cosmoline; sure it has rough edges and
needs a bit of work, but damn, it was $329. I also discovered
that there is a user e-group specifically geared for this lathe,
so with so much support how could you go wrong.
Perhaps there are similar egroups of other products they carry.
Who knows, but hey a new flexshaft for $50 is worth a look if
you are in the market for one.