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8-in-1 Power Tool

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I recently became aware of this 8-in-1 power tool that's now available in warehouses in the USA, offered by Hobby King. Like most of their products, it's probably made in China. But I am wondering if it might serve useful as a ship modeling tool, being 8-in-1. Right now, I do not own a lathe, and am curious if it might prove useful for the various times when I could use a lathe to fashion certain ship hardware and wooden parts. All the other functions would be icing on the cake for me.


Does anyone here have any first hand knowledge of the machine or otherwise have enough power tool knowledge to assess its usefulness by the given product specs? Sadly, I don't have enough knowledge or experience to give it a fair hearing just based on the specs.






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Few multi propose machines are worth the trouble it takes to make the conversion, they seldom do any of the advertised functions well. Some may find the tool useful but most would probably choose one function and leave it there. There are a lot of tools advertised that sound very good, but seldom get used, because they were intended for the unknowing gift buyer to purchase. This may be the exception, but I would be waiting to read several unbiased user comments before investing, especially if my budget was limited.

jud  :pirate41:

Edited by jud
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What Jud said.  Wait for reviews.   We've had several topics on some these over the years.  There was one, and I can't find it so it may have been lost in the Great Crash, but it was red and mostly plastic.  Underpowered, parts didn't quite fit, etc.    Unimat is the only one I've ever seen recommended and usualy the old, discontinued model.    


A caveat on reviews... there's been much about these in certain media sources that often the reviews are written by paid reviewers to extoll the virtues.  So be cautious about the raves and also about the extreme negatives as some of those are paid for by competitors.  

"The shipwright is slow, but the wood is patient." - me

Current Build:                                                                                             
Past Builds:
 La Belle Poule 1765 - French Frigate from ANCRE plans                             Triton Cross-Section   

                                                                                                                       USS Constellaton (kit bashed to 1854 Sloop of War  _(Gallery) Build Log

                                                                                Wasa (Gallery)

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Non-Ship Model:                                                                                         On hold, maybe forever:           

CH-53 Sikorsky - 1:48 - Revell - Completed                                                   Licorne - 1755 from Hahn Plans (Scratch) Version 2.0 (Abandoned)         



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Thanks guys. I will definitely wait until I read some reviews, first. 

A friend has a very good, old, high quality lathe he wants me to have, so I will go with that instead.

The "multi-tool" part of the subject tool would just be more of a novelty than actually practical from the way it sounds. If it is low quality on top of that, then it would be a total waste of money.




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Hi Craig

Looks like  maybe a copy of the original austrian Unimat http://www.thecooltool.com/produkte/unimat-metalline/unimat-ml-6in1/

I own the first red/black version of that machine, good for not so exactly things, but not really exact to work with.




Problems just mean: solutions not yet found


Models in progress





Baby Bootlegger 1/10



Swiss paddlesteamer RIGI 1848 1:50, after plans from the Verkehrshaus Zürich, rescaled to original length

Anchor tugboat BISON, 1:50, plans from VTH, scratch

Finished models

See-Ewer ELBE, Constructo kit 1:48

German fastboat after plans from german Reichskriegsmarine measure unknown (too ugly to show up!)

German traffic boat for battleships WW2, 1:50, after plans from Jürgen Eichardt, scratch

German Schnellboot TIGER P6141 VTH plans, scratch


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I got one of the unimats and find it quite useful for making straight lines for cannonball racks etc. They are a bit of a fiddle to set up, but that is part of the fun. I wish I had got the top of the range CNC controlled version looking back now, but the one I have is useful for the odd times you need it. I rigged up a little jig for cutting planks to length for decking etc. If you do buy one, make sure you get a set with the adjustable tables, which is the most useful part of the system...

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I have found like many others posting to this question that these multi purpose machines never do any one thing good but are a compromise striving for the ability to perform so many different operations.  I used the Unimat 3 when it first came out and it was very good at a combination of tasks but you still have to reset it for each different function.  As your hobby moves forward you will wish you had purchased the independent machines.  Very much the same as buying smaller tools when you can purchase a larger one for a few dollars more.  Most model work can be done by hand if funds are an issue and my recommendation would be to research the tool before buying and then make the decision buying the best you can afford, one at a time if necessary.  I can't remember how many small saws I purchased before the Byrnes saw was offered which is the best ever, almost comparable to my SawStop that I use for large work.


Good luck,





Current Build:

Kate Cory Scratch Built


Previous Builds:

Benjamin W. Latham Scratch Built

H A Parks Skipjack Scratch Built

Charles W. Morgan Model Shipways Kit

Rattlesnake Model Shipways Kit

Diligence Model Shipways Kit


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I've been researching these for awhile. This version is the higher power version which has a 60W motor instead of 20W.

There are several videos of it in action here, including cutting aluminium, hard wood and plastic.



There is also a *much* more expensive 3-axis or 4-axis CNC version.

I am very impressed with the build quality from the video, and will probably end up getting one soon. After that I intend to add the CNC functionality myself.


Not a bad kit for a few hundred dollars.


This website has a chart showing the different models available,



Excluding the newer CNC ones which can be found here (videos on youtube channel above):





Happy machining.


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Years ago I owned the Unimat SL, a very good and sturdy little metal lathe with cast iron bed, good headstock bearings, etc. This little machine could also be converted into table saw, scroll saw, drill press, milling machine etc, but was very time consuming to convert, and didn't prove very useful in other tasks than metal lathe. Therefore I didn't use the other possibilities very often.

So my advice is: Buy separate machines, and the ones made of sturdier materials than aluminium and plastics. There are a myriad of small machines available, try googling "mini lathe" and you find endless possibilities. Also good used machines can be found from ebay occasionally like Sherline, Myford, Hobbymat, Proxxon, etc.

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  • 3 weeks later...

So I splurged and ordered one. 

The main reasoning behind this is I do not have the space for the individual machines - yet. Being able to have the capability when required will allow me to transition to full scratch building.


This is the one I ordered, the version which is electroplated and higher power:



Once I get it, if anyone has any questions or would like detailed information let me know and i'll post it up here.


I will also probably order a 4 jaw chuck. Given the stock wood we get I'll assume this is pretty much essential.

Edited by Silkjc
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one thing I found useful was to blacken the scribe lines that indicate degrees etc on the handles...my eyesight is not what it was and this helps a lot. I also made up some jigs for the saw, so I could do multiple plank lengths for decking etc. I dont have a large work area, to get the larger tools in, so a little time fiddling about getting the relevant assembly made up is fine by me... You definitely need a small support board to pin the tool down, I made up one using some cheap angle brackets, its about a foot wide and two feet long and does the job.

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Apart from (longer-term) accuracy on which I cannot really comment, as I don't have one, the problem with these combination machines is the time that is needed to reconfigure them, particularly, when you work on complex parts that may need turning and milling as subsequent and iterative operations.



panta rhei - Everything is in flux



M-et-M-72.jpg  Banner-AKHS-72.jpg  Banner-AAMM-72.jpg  ImagoOrbis-72.jpg
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