Shars long nose live center feedback

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Anyone have any +/- feedback on this brand of (3MT shank) live centers? I'm specifically after the longer more slender nose profile. High thrust rating isn't really a factor, it will be light duty but trying to avoid an issue like junk bearings or wishful thinking overstated TIR.
Spefically models 202-3565 202-3529

If you have any recs let me know. I've come across some eastern euro & USA models but so far seem many times more expensive.


I have bought three items from Shars. Two of them were poor but fixable quality, the other was marginally acceptable. That is about the same as I find from other sellers of Chinese tooling, which is near everything what Shars sells. I have no idea why Shars seems to have achieved an aura of acceptability, maybe just the mistaken notion that the more you pay, the better it must be...

P. T. Barnum was correct: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/P._T._Barnum
I often use an extended point CNC type live center for smaller diameter work, in particular with wide inserts like CCMT.

I purchased this one, it is OK but felt a bit gritty/stiff. I worked it with oil in/out the back a few times, it is still stiff. It runs true, but is not silky smooth like some of my better live centers. My other criticism is the large diameter, it can interfere with the QCTP in some situations. I would not recommend this model based on my experience with it.
They have a newer model that I would have chosen had it been available, the body is 1.85" in diameter vs. 2.32" for the one above. It is out of stock at the moment.

Z-Live seems to carry the same live centers so another source, I have a feeling they are all sourced from the same manufacturers other than the logo is vendor specific. You may also look on eBay, I picked up a full Skoda set with interchangeable tips for around the same cost, a few other higher end ones come up.

Skoda has an extended nose/point for not much more, but it is not a CNC extended point which has a smaller tip. Skode body diamter is 1.85". I like the Skoda from a performance/price perspective if you want to buy once and the nose profile fits your needs.
Skoda Extended Point New Live Center .jpg
Skoda Live Center Extended Point.jpg
They all work and should last a long time in a light duty environment.
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I bought the one like the shars 202-3520 off e-bay for about $25.00 and it's been working fine so far the only thing I don't like about it is it's diameter it gets in the way of the tool post and that's what I was hoping to avoid .
My one & only live center is Skoda, conventional nose. Its very nice. Maybe I should just pony up the bucks rather than throw the dice. I hate buying tools twice. Skoda is spendy but I think less so on USA sites than KBC Canada loonie converted.


Good point about the diameter, I was wondering about that aspect too. That's why I was leaning towards the Shars 202-3565 which has 1.85 bearing housing OD. Skoda is same.

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I have no idea why Shars seems to have achieved an aura of acceptability, maybe just the mistaken notion that the more you pay, the better it must be...
More likely, it's because a lot of their stuff it perfectly fine for what you're paying for it.
If an extended point is what you're after the Skoda pictured is not what you want. I have one and have been frustrated several times by not being able turn small diameters with that center.
The Shar's 202-3565 should work decently, it looks to be a copy of other mainstream extended point centers and has a high load capacity. The live center head diameter is a problem on smaller lathes, so I recommend a body diameter under 2". Riten also makes nice live center's (RITEN 48103, 51103) which are less expensive than Royal, but the body diameters tend to be over 2". As far a Shar's, some of their item's are pretty decent, but it varies and cheaper tooling is just that. I try to buy less and buy once these days.
The extended point type with the smaller cylindrical section ending with a smaller point is what is needed to get onto the end of small diameter work. It is less rigid, however, so may need a more sturdy type (short and fat) for heavier work.
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