Faceting machines are the primary tool of choice for the gem-cutting profession. Anyone launching a lapidary hobby or looking to expand an existing business may want to consider purchasing this type of equipment as an addition or upgrade.
What is a faceting machine?
These machines consist of a broad category of devices used to place facets onto any mineral specimen and polish it. They are generally used to produce cut precious gemstones from unrefined gems, but they can be used to add facets to any crystalline mineral. The types of machines available for cutting gemstones can be divided into a couple different categories. There are machines intended for commercial purposes that are designed to produce large numbers of accurately cut gems, and they are consumer machines marketing to hobbyists. Another distinction is whether or not a machine can cut diamonds.
How do you choose the right machine?
Lapidary machines are fairly simple devices with only a couple variations in design, but there are a few things to consider when shopping for one.
- New or pre-owned: Pre-owned machines that have been well-maintained may be more affordable than new machines.
- Mast or platform: Most machines use the mast and lap design that holds a gem on a mast and lower it against a spinning wheel. There are also platform machines, which use a separate handpiece, that is used by skilled gem-cutters.
- Diamond cutting: Cutting diamonds requires special equipment because of their hardness. If you plan to handle this gemstone, make sure the machine you buy can cut it.
What accessories are available for these machines?
Many lapidary machines are custom built from standard parts, so there is plenty of opportunity to upgrade or modify them with aftermarket components and accessories.
- Indexing gears: These gears control the distance the gemstone is rotated for each facet cut, which ensures that the exact symmetry desired is obtained for the finished gemstone.
- Cutting dials: These tools can help with calibrating and measuring the angle at which the machine is set to cut a facet.
- Lap sets: The lap is the spinning disk that a gemstone is cut against. They come in several different materials suited to polishing or cutting minerals of different hardness ratings.
- Dops: These are holders that a rough gemstone is attached to when it is cut. Dops come in many shapes and are made of aluminium, steel, and brass.
Cabochon cutting machines
If you can dabble in cabochon cutting this can help get you started in gem cutting. These Hi Tech Diamond machines are available in the USA for around $500, but more than the gem faceting models below. You can get a 10% discount from Hi Tech Diamond by using our exclusive coupon code “GOLDHUNTER“, and this should save some money however please note that this discount excludes machines, extended warranties and gift cards.
Amateur Gemstone Faceting Volume 1: The Essentials
1800RPM Gem Faceting Machine
The polishing machine is made of high-quality metal and is durable. The speed is up to 1800 rpm. The manipulator can be operated at multiple angles and can be adjusted up and down; the operation is flexible and convenient. The gem cutting machine is equipped with lamps and buckets for natural polishing, suitable for cutting, engraving, drilling, grinding, polishing, and so on. Shipped from Sydney, NSW. Available on eBay Australia.
- Excellent Quality
- Variable Speed & Low Noise
- Manipulator & Lifting Design
- Light & Bucket Design
*Infinitely variable speed
*Stainless steel, precision and durable
*Installed water tank
*Full copper motor
*The handle can be parallel to the grinding disc
*Voltage: AC 110-240V
*Speed: 0-1800RPM (adjustable)
*Grinding disc size: diameter 150mm/5.91”
Workbench size: 200400mm/7.88*15.76”
*Machine size: 200400200mm/7.8815.767.88”
Browse a range of gem faceting tools on ebay here from Australia and then cheaper models from overseas: