I received delivery of a PM 1440 GT a week ago and am impressed with the fit and finishes, unbelievably fine. Specs are very close and compared to China products, a world of difference. I have yet to find any rough finishes or sharp edges as is so often the case with China products.
I too debated on China vs. Taiwan and am glad I made the decision on the more expensive but better machine. It is an cost that seems expensive, but once made, you will be amazed by the quality coming from Taiwan.
The 1440GT (in comparison to the 1340GT which I own and love) has a larger spindle bore of 2" (1-9/16 on 1340), a fully enclosed lever-shift gearbox (Norton style on 1340), a D1-5 Camlock spindle (D1-4 on 1340), the 3-phase motor is 3HP (2HP on 1340), weighs 1800 pounds (1350 pounds with equivalent steel stand) and has a foot brake. There are probably other differences, but those are the big ones.
Specs on the 1440 GT weight from the PM Web Site is 1,750 pounds net weight but my machine arrived last week at 1,660 Gross Weight which included both 3 and 4 jaw Chucks, QCTP and 6 Tool Holders, VFD, Keyless Drill Chuck, Faceplate. Seems they are being manufactured lighter than original machines.
David got it. Larger bearings in the spindle cost more, some more iron in the machine, foot brake, coolant system, plus what David said, it adds up. Plus we have a $50 skid under the 1440 when we ship, the crate costs more because it comes assembled, it all adds up.
As far as the weight, if you are looking at the shipping docs, ignore that. The shippers play games with us with reclassing, reweight when the forklift driver has half the weight of the forklift on the scale, etc, so we play games with them. (Have had them come in at 2300 + as a reweigh on the rare occasion they do weigh it, then we have to deal with that). So it averages out.
Pretty much its this: If you need the spindle bore, like a factory lower lowest speed, and like the foot brake, the 1440GT is the choice. If you are going to put a VFD on and don’t need the larger bore, get the 1340GT, its the same quality, same factory, but different as described above.
I run a 1340GT almost daily, and after we move in the next few months, Ill have a 1440GT in there and the other guys will get my 1340GT. (Don’t worry, only going 10 minutes up the road but needed a lot more space than we have now, its been cramped in for a long time)