Choosing your Ideal Faceting Machine

By Justin K Prim

Choosing a faceting machine is a highly personal and possibly location dependent choice that every new faceter has to make. There are a lot of factors that need looked into, with possibly the main one being ease of learning. If you only have mast cutters around to teach you then a mast machine might be your best choice.  If you can learn the handpiece machine from a teacher, then the handpiece becomes a very nice option.  If you are desiring to enter a long apprenticeship and learn cutting in the style of the old masters, then a jamb peg is probably what you would learn. Once you’ve decided on the style of the machine you want, the next task is to assess the various qualities of different faceting machines available and then decide which factors are most important for your faceting experience. Let us define each of these qualities before looking at machines; Repeatability, Reliability, Speed, Accuracy, Cost, and Availability.

Repeatability

This means that every time you cut a stone you can go through the same actions to produce the same effect. You don’t have to reinvent the wheel every time you want to cut a round brilliant. This also means there is some sort of reference point to help guide you towards cutting

Reliability

This means that if you buy a new machine, you will still have a working machine 1 year, 5 years, 10 years, and hopefully 20 years and beyond. Most faceting machines have a long life if you take care of them. Reliability also includes long term accuracy and life of the accessories that are included with the machine.

Speed

This means how fast you can cut a stone. When we compare faceting machines we are going to see that the biggest challenge is compromising speed with accuracy.

Accuracy

This means how well the machine helps you to cut a perfect stone. The reason we use a faceting machine is because creating perfectly straight faces on a rock while holding it in our hand is very hard, so we need a machine to help us. Accuracy tells us how well the machine helps us.

Cost

Aside from Speed and Accuracy, cost will probably be one of your main deciding factors. Cost tells us how much money we have to budget for a new machine including shipping, import taxes, and accessories.

Availability

Some of the best machines ever invented can no longer be purchased because they are no longer made. This will be a factor in your decision because buying a used machine is a completely different game with a different set of risk factors than buying a new machine. In nearly all examples, this article will assume you are buying a brand-new machine from the manufacturer because any other type of comparison would be unfair.