New products

Frequently asked questions



  1. Prices, warranty & payments
  2. Delivery
  3. Viewing machines
  4. Choosing machines
  5. Comparing machines
  6. Specification of machines
  7. Used machines
  8. Lifting machines
  9. Order received, help needed
  10. Everything else


1. Prices & the Warco guarantee

Do your prices include or exclude VAT?

Good news, the prices shown include UK VAT at 20%. Looking for ex-VAT prices? Products in your shopping basket and on invoices will have a full breakdown. Alternatively we're always happy to send quotations to suit your particular requirements.


What sort of guarantee is included with your products?

All of our products have a warranty for 12 months from the point of delivery. You can find more information about your warranty on the Terms & Conditions page.


What sort of payments do accept?

You have a choice of major credits cards, bank transfer, Paypal and more. Find full details on the Payments page.


I placed an order, when will my payment be taken?

For online orders, payment is automatically taken when you place your order. In person transactions such as those in our showroom are usually processed there and then on a card machine. In other cases, for example orders placed over the phone, we process payment prior to despatch. Find full details on the Payments page.



2. Delivery

How much is delivery? How long will delivery take?

Delivery to UK mainland addresses is free for the majority* of orders over £50. Find details about costs and delivery times on the Delivery page.

*Our free delivery service excludes machines weighing more than 500kg, stands, spare parts and used machines.


I'm located overseas, how much will postage be?

We'd be happy to quote you a shipping price to anywhere in the world - just contact us with your delivery address and what you would like to order and we'll get back to you as soon as possible with the price.


How will my machine be delivered?

This varies according to the size of the machine - for more information see the Delivery page.


I ordered a machine, will I get prior notice about the scheduled day of delivery?

Yes. For carrier deliveries, once the machine has been despatched, the delivery company will contact you to arrange a suitable date prior to delivery taking place. For delivery using our own transport, the date will have been pre-arranged. Either way you will have plenty of notice before the machine arrives. Find more details on the Delivery page.



3. Viewing Warco machines in person

Do you have a showroom?

Yes - we pride ourselves in being much more than just a faceless internet company. We've always had a showroom where our customers can see our products in the flesh and can ask any questions. It's open throughout the year, you're welcome to visit. Find more details on the Showroom page.


Will the lathe or milling machine delivered be of the same high standard displayed at a show or in the showroom?

Display machines never receive any special preparation, they are standard stock just like you would receive if ordering one. Delivered machine tools are of exactly the same quality and finish.



4. Choosing the right machine

What's the difference between a metric or imperial lathe?

The leadscrews and dials will be configured towards either metric or imperial. All Warco variable speed lathes from the WM 180 upwards can be used for both metric and imperial thread cutting - so a metric machine will be able to cut imperial threads and vice versa. The New Super Mini Lathe also now has the ability for both types of threading (previous versions required an additional conversion kit). The regular Mini Lathe can be used to cut both types of threads with the additional threading kit.


How do I decide between a metric or imperial lathe / milling machine?

Most customers have a preference and are familiar with one system, in which case we recommend to stay with whichever is most familiar to you. 

For example, if you think in pre-decimalisation terms and prefer working in inches, imperial would probably suit you best. If you're more used to centimetres and millimetres, or are using the machine for education or training, metric would be the logical choice.

If you have a machine with a digital readout system, it will be fully geared up for either, so DRO has the advantage of being able to switch between the two types of measurement. On variable speed lathes, thread cutting in both metric and imperial denominations is possible as standard. The only exceptions to this from our current range is the Warco Mini Lathe (above answer has a few more details on the threading kit solution to overcome this on Mini Lathes).


How do I choose between a variable speed, belt drive or gear head lathe / milling machine?

This really is a matter of personal choice. The key difference between the three groups of machines is the way in which the their speed is controlled.

Variable speed machines are very straightforward for changing speeds. Variable speed lathes will often have high and low speed ranges to maximise torque within a given range. Switching between these two settings involves a single belt change. Once one of the speed ranges is set, the speeds are infinitely controllable with an ultra convenient dial. The majority of small to medium sized machines we supply have this type of speed control.

Belt drive (in the pure sense, so non-variable speed) machines lack electronic speed control and instead required belt changes to alter the speed. This process can be a little more involved. Some customers prefer the idea of this type of belt drive machine on the basis that should the machine become overloaded for any reason, the belt will slip. Belt drive machines have fewer electrical components than their variable speed counterparts. This type of machine will often be familiar to those who have experience using traditional Myford lathes or Bridgeport type mills. Confusingly, some belt drive machines are also variable speed, but for the purposes of this section when we refer to belt drive we mean those that have manual speed control.

Gear head machines have a gearbox. Changing speeds on a fully enclosed gear headstock is easy, and just requires moving the appropriate levers. Gear headstock lathes are often most familiar to those coming from an industrial background, and this group of machines will often have the largest capacities.

Some example machines for each speed control type:


  • Variable speed - Mini Lathe, Super Mini Lathe, WM 180, 240, 250, 250V, 280V, 290V.
  • Belt drive - WM 240B.
  • Gear head - GH600, GH1230, GH1236, GH1322, GH1330, GH1440.


Milling machines

  • Variable speed (gear driven) - WM 12, WM 14, WM 16, WM 18, Super Major Vario.
  • Variable speed (belt driven) - WM 14B, WM 16B, WM 18B, VMC Vario, WM 20, 4VS, WM 40, HV, WM 50.
  • Belt drive - Major, VMC.
  • Gear head - GH 18, Major GH, GH Universal, Super Major.



5. Comparing different lathesmilling machines

What are the main differences between the Major GH and GH Universal Milling machine?

Both machines share the same base. The GH Universal mill has a dovetail column which ensures datum during elevation and descent. The GH Universal has power feed to the quill.


What's the difference between the GH Universal and Super Major Milling Machines?

The key difference is that Super Major is powered on the head for both elevation and descent. Both machines have power on the spindle; the Super Major has a motor on top of the spindle to elevate the head. The Super Major also includes the additional stand and power feed, with the GH Universal those are optional extras. The broad capacities of both machines are largely the same, with both machines based on the same head and table.


What's the difference between the Mini Lathe and Super Mini Lathe?

The key difference is that the Super Mini Lathe is slightly larger - with 350mm between centres vs 300mm on the basic machine. The Super Mini Lathe also has the addition of a digital rev counter. 


What's the difference between the New Super Mini Lathe and previous Super Mini Lathe?

To differentiate, the New Super Mini Lathe is the version sold from 2018 onwards, with item numbers 4900 / 4901 (metric / imperial respectively). The newer model is an improved and revamped machine with upgrades including metal gears throughout. The previous version - item numbers 4800-350 / 4820-350 - for its final revision sold from late 2016 onwards had metal headstock gears, but did use plastic change gears. The current machine has metal gears for both. 

The new machine has a larger 100mm chuck as standard, whereas its predecessor had a smaller 80mm chuck. The new version also benefits from a brushless motor, previously the motor was brushed. The latest Super Mini also has metal hand wheels throughout, and offers both metric and imperial thread cutting as standard. Overall capacity and dimensions of both versions are broadly the same. 


What's the difference between the WM 240 and WM 240B?

The WM 240 is variable speed control, whereas the WM 240B is belt drive. You can read more about the differences between these two types of speed control in section 4 above. Both machines are based on similar castings, so overall dimensions and capacities are largely the same.


What's the difference between the WM 250 and WM 250V?

The WM 250V is powered by an AC inverter drive motor, and the WM 250 uses a DC motor.  You can read about the advantages of this system on the WM 250V page. The WM 250V also has a powered cross feed, whereas the WM 250 has a manual cross feed (both machines have powered longitudinal feeds). Otherwise, overall dimensions and capacities of the two machines are broadly the same.


What was the difference between the WM 250V and WM 250VF (or WM 280V vs WM 280VF etc)?

The VF machines had a DC motor and were controlled by PCB. The V machines (WM 250V, WM 280V and WM 290V) are the new upgraded replacements and are powered by an AC motor, which eliminates dependency on a PCB for speed control. The AC motor system has advantages including improved performance, wider speed range and quieter running. The VF machines are now discontinued. You can find more details about the benefits of this change on the corresponding product pages in the lathes section.



6. Product specifications

Do your lathes or milling machines have metal gears or plastic gears?

Every Warco lathe sold today that uses gears has metal gears throughout.

Every Warco milling machine that uses gears from the WM18 upwards has metal gears throughout.

The WM12, WM14 and WM16 use metal gears in conjunction with two fibre gears - which serve two important purposes:

1) There is a single helical fibre gear which acts as a failsafe. During normal use, this gear will last indefinitely, but if the machine is used beyond its limits and an operator has a dig in, the fibre gear is designed to give way. When the machine is misused to the point that a gear would break, the failsafe prevents all the other metal gears from being stripped at the same time. The failsafe gear is inexpensive to buy, straightforward to replace and readily available from Warco spares.

2) The second fibre gear works in tandem with the others to enable much quieter running compared to using all steel gears on these variable speed milling machines.


What does X, Y or Z axis mean (for example with power feeds or DRO)?

  • X = longitudinal (lengthways) travel
  • Y = cross (front to back) travel
  • Z = knee (vertical) travel


I've downloaded a product PDF or have a copy of your brochure, and have spotted a difference on the website product page. Which is correct?

The specification on the product page on the most up to date version. This is because the PDF or brochure reflects a moment in time - when the brochure was printed. Although product specifications can change from time to time, the product pages on are kept up to date to reflect any changes. 


Can I cut wood on a metal lathe?

While it's possible with the right tools, it's important to bear in mind that metalworking lathes are designed for cutting metal. Wood cutting requires a faster turning speed compared to working with metal. The dust and debris created by cutting wood can cause problems with mechanicals, for example if dust is sucked in by the fan, the motor can become clogged. If you are going down this route, dust extraction is highly recommended. The better solution is to use a dedicated lathe for woodturning; these machines are designed to deal with generated dust as standard.



7. Used machines

Do you have any second hand or ex-demo machines available?

From time to time we do have a selection of used machines for sale, if we have anything available at the moment it will be listed on the used machinery page.



8. Lifting machines

How do I lift a lathe or milling machine (for example onto a stand or bench)?

We recommend using an engine hoist for moving machinery. Here are the steps we suggest:

  • For milling machines: Sling hoist under throat of machine, where head bolts onto column (just behind the chuck). When taking the weight, the machine will tend to dip due to the weight at the front. To counteract this, use a length of rope secured to the casting behind the crossfeed hand wheel. Pass the rope through the lifting hook and pull on the hook to level the machine.
  • For lathes: Pass an endless sling under two points - the chuck and the tailstock casting, ensuring that the tailstock is locked into position.



9. Order received, assistance needed

Lathe or milling machine problems: How to solve either of the following issues?
(a) My recently delivered machine won't start. 

(b) My mill runs only when the start button is pressed - when the button is released, the machine stops. 

There is an open circuit on the machine preventing the contactors connecting, which is a result of an open switch to the chuck guard or belt / gear cover. As a safety feature, Warco machines are fitted with interlocked chuck guards and micro-switched belt / gear covers. This means that if you close the chuck guard and ensure all covers are closed, the machine will run normally. Remember to also check that emergency stop switch is disengaged.

Checklist summary:

  • Close the chuck guard.
  • Make sure the belt / gear cover is properly closed.
  • Disengage the emergency stop switch.

If you still have a problem contact us - we're here to help. All of our machines are run and thoroughly tested before they are despatched to ensure everything works 100%, so we will be able to quickly resolve any issue.


I bought a backplate and it will not fit my lathe collet chuck, what next?

Backplates are supplied machined to fit to the appropriate lathe spindle. We offer various types of lathe collet chucks or alternative lathe chucks, so the backplate needs to be machined in order to suit your particular application. To ensure absolute accuracy it is necessary to machine a suitable spigot on the backplate to match the register in the back of the chuck. Due to the various chuck PCDs it is also necessary to drill and possibly tap the backplate to accept whichever chuck is being mounted. So simply machine it to fit.


 Returns - what happens if I need to return something?

All you need to do is contact us and we'll arrange the rest. You can find more information about returns including return eligibility here.



10. Everything else

I have a question that isn't answered here, what now?

Please feel free to contact us - we're here to help.