Vince, GRS offers 4 machines: GraverMax, GraverMate, GraverMeister and
System 3. The GraverMax offers a greatest range of strokes per minute,
400 to 4,000, and can be set at an infinite, desired strokes/minute
setting. The GraverMate is preset at 2,300 strokes/minute. The
GraverMax has two impact handpiece ports versus one impact handpiece
port for the GraverMate. Both have air-driven, rotary handpiece ports.
The GraverMeister, a third machine, has a self-contained air system so
you don’t have the compressor requirement (GraverMax and GraverMate).
You can vary the strokes per minute by moving a lever on the front.
The range is 1600 to 2400 in perhaps 5 presets. I believe you can
attach only one impact piece and there is no rotary handpiece port.
The System 3 is basically a regulator, handpiece and footpedal that
has to be attached to a compressor. The regulator and footpedal
provide its control. I tried it and did not care for it as it does not
approach any of the above three machines.
Basically, you’re paying for greater, more subtle control (slower,
harder strokes to faster, lighter strokes) and the convenience of the
second impact port when you buy a GraverMax. The single impact port on
the GraverMate can be compensated for by putting on quick connect
adapters to make switching handpieces relatively easy. But, given the
GraverMate is preset, I don’t think you can get as much out of the
large impact handpiece accessory which you would tend to run at speeds
slower than 2,300 spm. The GraverMeister is expensive and not as
flexible as the GraverMax so you would only buy it if you didn’t want
to buy a compressor or if you wanted a compact, portable system (since
doesn’t need compressor) and didn’t need the rotary port or infinite
setting control. The System 3 is not for the serious/production
engraver or stone setter and it does still require a compressor.
Personally, I like the being to adjust the strokes per minute because
some applications require slow, heavy strokes (hogging metal) while
others require lighter, faster strokes (delicate texturing, some
plannishing). Here are prices out of catalog #45 Gesswein, the most
GraverMax w/ small impact handpiece $875.15
GraverMax w/ #710 quick change handpiece $967.00
GraverMate w/ small impact handpiece $518.75
GraverMeister w/#712* quick change handpiece $964.29
GraverMeister w/#812* small quick change handpiece $936.00
*uses handpieces different from those for Max and Mate so if you
upgrade to a Max in the future, I don’t think you can use your Meister
System 3/quick change handpiece $298.00
As you can see, the Max and Meister are comparable in price so if you
have the compressor and don’t require easy portability, buy the
GraverMax. If you’re serious about engraving or stonesetting, don’t
buy the System 3. If you want economic price, but without variable
control, there is the GraverMate.
I have a GraverMax. It’s great. With the exception of the System 3,
I’ve liked just about everything put out by GRS.
Hope this helps you.