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[Looking4] Facetting machines

i am looking for a facetting machine, i have been facetting wood
pieces on a flat benchmounted disc, and i really like the results,
i want to try stone, what is the best simple one for a beginner,
and where do you get it??, dave

There are a lot of good ones for a beginning faceter. However they
are all pretty pricey new – $2000 to $4000 new. I use an UltraTech,
which I would unhesitatingly recommend for a beginner. It falls about
in the middle of that price range.

Likewise, I would strongly advise against getting a Graves. They are
one of the cheapest machines and they make faceting much harder than
it needs to be. I know. I learned on one.

However I would add one other piece of advice. Take a class or two.
I don’t care what they say, I don’t think you can learn to facet
successfully on your own.

Preferably take the class before you purchase your machine. There is
no substitute for hands-on experience with faceting.


Hi Dave,

i am looking for a facetting machine,, i have been facetting wood
pieces on a flat benchmounted disc, and i really like the
results,, i want to try stone,,, what is the best simple one for a
beginner, and where do you get it??, 

If I were you, I’d see if there were any rock/lapidary clubs in the
area. Many times these clubs have a number of faceters as members…
Beside a faceting machine, you’re going to need diamond coated laps
of different grits to produce a nice stone. You’ll also probably need
some help with finding the correct or easy way to use the new toys.

One company that has faceting machines is Kings key North
( in Norway MI. Just a satisfied customer.


try i myself have been interested but i have
after much searching and effort decided the only real economic
satisfaction comes frome the diamond repair portion of the the
industry so i am searching for a scaife set-up - goo

Rick, one thing about recommending faceting machines to beginners is
that one tends to let their own personal bias show. And faceters are
the worst in doing that. So, I must do exactly the same.

I would recommend a Graves machine as they have been on the market
with obnly modest change for well over 50 years now. Further, they
are simple and extremely durable and well made for the money. Witness
the fact the there are thousands out there and as many winning stones
have been cut on Graves as any other machine. Further, Graves now
produces an excellent, state of the art digital machine that few, if
any, can best.

I have cut on just about everything out there including the old
Saphire and American machines and have taught on most machines as
well. Graves is an easy machine to teach on, learn on and cut on.
Remember, a faceting machine is only a tool. The ability of the
artist is what matters when cutting. Check out the jamb peg process.

And they are only around $1500. Now, if you have $2-4000 to spend
before even learning to facet, buy one of the others.

Just a satisfied customer and former employee of Graves!!

Cheers from Don in SOFL

However I would add one other piece of advice. Take a class or
two. I don't care what they say, I don't think you can learn to
facet successfully on your own. 

A few years ago, I took a beginning faceting class at Wildacres (and subsequently bought a used Ultatech
for about $1000). The classes there are taught by very competent,
volunteer teachers. The retreat is on a mountaintop, and is like
summer camp for adults. The food is good, the atmosphere very
friendly-- and the cost is really low. When I went, it was under $300
for the week, including room, board and class. I don’t find time
these days to facet, I’m sorry to say, but I can promise you’ll never
be sorry you went to Wildacres. William Holland School of Lapidary is
similar, I understand, with less diversity of classes…


Rick I agree with you I also use an Ultra Tech and I love it. I did
learn from a Master faceter from the old country on a very bulky old
machine (that he left for me in his will) I moved this huge machine
into my devils room and every so often use it but I love my Ultra
Tech. Trying to learn faceting would be like a child learning to tie
his shoe lace from a video. You never quite know if you have done it

Learning to facet is two parts, cutting and polishing. Cutting is
fairly easy, polishing is not. My opinion is that if you are a
problem solver and very persistent and focused you might end up
enjoying faceting.

Understand that you cut all the facets with one grit, recut each
facet at at least 2 more times and then polish each facet. Standard
round brilliant has 58 facets, about 232 steps without one mistake
or you either make a new design from your mistake or start all over

If you think you are serious, as mentioned by someone else, taking a
class is a good idea. The quality and speed of cutting depends on the
quality of your equipment.

Are you planning on making money or just doing it for fun or as a
hobby? If you are thinking of doing it as a business, there is quite
a learning curve to learn to polish different types of material.
Once you learn how to do it, then there is the learning curve of
finding material worth cutting that you can afford. Most (all)
natural gem material you buy mail order will be crap.

Faceting is about as far from instant gratification as you can get,
but transforming a piece of unimpressive rock into a beautiful gem
has always been thrilling to me and provided a great sense of
accomplishment that I could focus enough to not make a mistake.

Richard Hart G.G.
Jewelers Gallery
Denver, Co.

Hi Dave,

If you are looking for a faceting machine, we use, recommend and
sell Ultra Tec faceting machines.

We have several links to pages of about faceting at the
bottom of the page that you should find quite useful.

I hope this helps,
Linda McMurray G.G., A.J.P. (GIA)
Best Cut Gems

I would recommend the Raytech machine. It uses 6" laps. It may be the
most simple machine made. Lots of lapidary supply houses carry it.
The hand piece which holds the stone rides on a table that elevates
or descends. It can be lifted off to inspect progress. Many machines
have bells and whistles which are not necessary. Digital readouts are
one; just my opinion. Check out ‘meet point’ faceting. I’m not
for an argument; these are all personal opinion. I’ve been using a
Raytech for about twenty years.

Unless you have very specific needs, i.e., O. M. F. look at the
Raytech. If you want to do “Munchsteiner” (sp) style work you’ll need
more and different.

But check out lapidary clubs and lapidary websites for good deals.
Many people lose their initial enthusiasm. Also be aware there are
lots of accessories needed which add up to quite a bit of money.

I’ve faceted everything but diamonds on my Raytech and use it almost
everyday for stone shaping. The machine comes with an instruction
booklet which I uses to teach myself. Faceting is easy; it’s mainly
patience. Cabbing is difficult. I did have experience cutting stone
before I began faceting.

Ideally, if you’re not comfortable with this venture getting help at
a rock club would be very helpful. Check the internet after you’ve
decided what machine suits your needs.


I am looking for a faceting machine, I have been faceting wood
pieces on a flat bench mounted disc, and I really like the
results, I want to try stone, what is the best simple one for a
beginner, and where do you get it? 

You should join the USFG (United States Faceters Guild )discussion
list. "USFG - List "

Send in the very same inquiry and you will get a multitude of
responses and probably some offers of used faceting machines to buy.

Also the old-timers will have a great deal of patience in helping
you and answering all of your questions about faceting and faceting
machines etc.

You should also go through the USFG list archives - there is a
wealth of there.

Best regards,
Robert P. Lowe Jr.
Lowe Associates - Brasil
Gemstones, Rough, Specimens
Tucson - Feb 4 - 9, 2009 - GJX booth # 205

To person looking for facetting machine.

I happen to have a used Ultra Tec V-2 with dial indicator,
beal/woolsey meter several laps, dops and some rough that I’m ready
to sell. Includes a couple introductopry books on faceting.

If you are interested the whole package, everything you will need is
only $2,200.00 I’ll professional pack and ship at that price to
anyplace in the lower 48. You can contact me off list. I have a
paypal account so you can pay that way if you like.

Any question again reach me off list.

John (Jack) Sexton

i have been facetting wood pieces on a flat benchmounted disc, and
i really like the results,, i want to try stone 

Dave, there has been much good advise on this thread. I’ll chime in
with Richard Hart, though. I used to run an inlay shop, and did
lapidary and carving for many years. Faceting never appealed to me at
all, though. To me it’s like knitting - lots of tiny, boring,
repetitive details and eventually you get the big picture. Many
people think that’s the perfect way to spend their time, and
thoroughly enjoy such things - I’m just not one of them. Faceting
stones that are worth faceting - quartzes and above in hardness, is
100 times more time consuming than wood, as I envision faceted wood.
I would suggest Noel’s advise - invest a hundred bucks in a class
before you invest $2-3,000 in machinery…

I’ll second that strongly. Take a class before you invest. Faceting
is time consuming and you’re doing the same thing over and over

I think the result is worth it and the process is interesting, if
repetitive. An awful lot of people don’t.

Take a class, find out what it’s like and perhaps get to try
different machines.

BTW: Around here $2200 is a good price for a used Ultra Tec in good