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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My eyes are gone after reading the reviews, but $200 is the max my budget will allow.
I don't grind chicken bones, or process deer [yet], but mostly make hamburger. My LEM died, and I wasn't imprssed with it much before that, altough I paid $10 for it at a garage sale 3 years ago, and used it for 2 years grinding 30 lbs meat every 3-4 months, so I got my money's worth out of it.
I can't find my hand grinder, which I use for grinding up to 10 lbs at a time.
Now that I have to pay for a new one, I still want my money's worth.
I am looking at

or this one without the air cooling

The reviews were mostly good, but I like to read all the one star ones to see what they say, and mostly they complain that it won't grind chicken bones.

Some other cheaper ones say you have to cut the meat into cubes first. I have always cut mine while just under frozen into 1" or so square strips, or logs depending on how you look at it. I sure as heck don't want to have to cube it up. That would take too long and all that meat would be thawing while I do it.

Anyone have thoughts on these or recomendations based on what you own/use?
 

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I have a cabelas commercial grinder and love it. I have the 1hp model. I'm sure the smaller grinders are good as well. Just get their commercial grade one. My dad has an old hobart grinder. It is a 1/4 hp and cast iron. Very heavy and has worked well for years. The cabelas grinders are on sale and are worth the price.
 

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most of the electric grinders on the market I have looked at are built extremely weak and cheaply, yet cost way too much. Not a fan of ss blades, plastic gears, underpowered motors, proprietary parts, etc. What I use is an older (but still available) #32 hand grinder. It comes with a pulley that allows you to add an electric motor. I used an old furnace blower motor stepped down with a jackshaft.

parts are commonly available almost anywhere, and even a 1/4hp motor will put out several horsepower at the grinder when properly geared. I can grind anything as fast as I can feed it. at $70 new, it is still a bargain.

http://www.northerntool.com/shop/to...i_sku=508316&gclid=CMilyMTX2cICFUQLMgodMyEAXA
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
gungatim, I thought of that one, but the reviews [on Amazon as well as NT] are horrible. Some reviews said the auger wasn't centered, and other had different fitting problems. The quality seems hit or miss.

I have a couple of hand grinders already, which I like to use when doing less than 10 lbs. Right now, I can't find my favorite one since we moved. The 2 I can find, aren't good for hamburger.

My old electric was a LEM #8 225 watt, so dern near anything is an upgrade.
 

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Prepaired
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My apologies up front. You said $200 is the limit but there isn't a grinder under $300 that I would recomend. You want to buy one built heavy duty enough that it will hopefully last a long time. The problem in the lower price range isn't just a small motor but cheap/weak internal gearing. They just won't last that long. There may be a good one out there but I'm not aware of it.

I needed a small grinder that would grind 100 lbs if needed but small enough to move around easily and stainless for easy cleanup. After a lot of research I narrowed it down to a #8 with a 1/2 hp motor. Weston and Cabella's appeared to be the best made and had good reviews. I went with the Cabella's based on their customer service if I had a problem and I just liked the way it was made.

Another thing to concider is attachments. Down the road you may want to add a cuber, jerky slicer, or patty maker. They are very grinder specific and don't interchange. The Cabella's cuber is my X-mas present this year. I'm buying pork loins for less than $2 a lb, cutting 1/2 inch thick steaks and cubeing them. We love it and I don't know how much I'll save versus paying for cubed beef.

I love this little grinder. I feed it 2 inch wide long strips of meat and the auger pulls it in the mill. I've ground 75 lbs continuous and never came close to overloading it. Its built like a tank. I'm going on 4 years using it regularly and it's still like new.

So I'm highly recommending saving for the Cabella's 1/2 horse.
http://www.cabelas.com/product/Home...browse/_/N-1101293&WTz_l=Unknown;cat104364180
 

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Never Give up
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I have used our LEMS for almost 18 years and we do probably 1000+ pounds a year. Never had one problem at all. But If I remember I think I paid 600.00 all those years ago.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
OK, so I became aware that the $200 ones aren't much better than a $100 one.
So I'll either get a less than $100 one, and know it will fail at some point, or get a Big Ol Thing. The problem there is when I've got 30 lbs of meat cut on the table, and it quits, leaving me with all that meat thawing out, like it did last time.
Hubby came home, and we looked at our dismantled [low end] #8 LEM, and saw the plastic gears are still good, and turn when we manually turn the fan, so likely the motor burnt out.
I told him we should get a 1/2 HP or better, and he said he'd put up $200 to match my birthday money from my Mom.
The #5 [$200] and #8 [$300] won't untilise all the possible attatchments LEM makes, that we may want later, plus the #8 is recommended for 2 deer a year, which is a little less than what I do, but I asked Hubby, how does the machine know when it's time to do another deer, and what if it isn't ready yet when I need it?

The #12 "Big Bite" is $450 at LEM, $400 on Amazon, and $420 at BassPro, plus there's a coupla mail in freebies. Granted I never liked that only 2 plates come with it, neither of which is ideal. The 10mm is too big and the 4.5 is too small, but LEM sells a 6mm which is close to what I used on my hand grinder. THAT should be the freebie, instead of the meat lug and 22lb scale.

So I am going to suck it up and drive to Bass Pro [at the m*ll] today to see if they have it. If they do, I can be eating fresh ground hamburgers later today!
 

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Clueless
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Best of luck with whatever you get.
Grinding your own is the only way to go as far as I'm concerned.

I've had a LEM for years and it hasn't let me down yet. It's tackled deer and beef & pork I've found on sale. It's next task will be turkey since it will soon be dirt cheap after the New Year.

If you don't get your grinder at Bass Pro check out LEM's second,s prices and availability. Mind was a reconditioned one and I think all that happened was that someone bought it, didn't want it and returned it. They checked it out and sold it at a discount. They seem to me to be a company that stands behind there product.

If you do get your grinder then enjoy your fresh burger. :thumb:
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I'm hoooooooooome. Killed it, and drug it home, temporaily doubling the value, and possibly the weight, of my car [until I had Hubby take it out].
Goodness sakes those things were HUGE in person! When I saw them, I almost freaked out and got the smaller one, but then remembered all the reasons for getting this one. ALL the extra attatchments work with this model. Just in case I want add-ons.
It was not advertised as being on sale, but upon showing the sale price on their website on my cell phone, they gave it to me.
 

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In Memory
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You think that ones BIG?
Below is an antique one I picked up at a garage sale a few years back for $100.
Weighs over 100 lbs & will grind a 1000 pound dressed out elk into burger as fast as you can feed it.
Came with 4 plates & 2 shafts. I was amazed all the parts were still with it.
Now set up at out BOL.







 
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We just bought a grinder the old one was so slow and finicky, the new one feels cheap but it's much faster I wish we had this a couple of years ago.

Much like you it's hard to see the difference between the $50 grinder and the $200 one so we took a chance, it's a bit on the loud side but I bet it's 4x as fast as the old one.

https://www.amazon.com/Ginatex-Grin...words=Meat+Grinder&refinements=p_36:4000-8000
 
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