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#2383997 - 08/22/08 Cabelas or LEM meat grinder?
SuperCub Offline
Campfire Tracker

Registered: 06/27/02
Posts: 5426
Loc: NB / Canada
I need a meat grinder for doing game in the fall and other duties through the year. I was a retail meat cutter for over 20yrs, but never did get a grinder. I'm now on to other things to pay the bills, but would like to get a grinder to play with. I don't cut for money, just free stuff for the hunting partners.

Now that Cabelas is officially in Canada, we now have easier access to their lineup. They carry both the Cabelas and LEM grinders. I'm thinking 1HP should do the trick.

Question ...... Which one do you recommend? Any experiences and/or comments?

.
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#2384034 - 08/22/08 Re: Cabelas or LEM meat grinder? [Re: SuperCub]
UtahLefty Offline
Campfire Kahuna

Registered: 03/18/06
Posts: 22178
Loc: O town UT
I'll give you a bump BTT.

I'm looking at the 2 hp myself. I have a "manual" one but am looking for all SS.

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#2384048 - 08/22/08 Re: Cabelas or LEM meat grinder? [Re: UtahLefty]
highridge1 Offline
Campfire Tracker

Registered: 06/19/06
Posts: 5469
Loc: NW Montana
We have a cabelas 1 hp and it does great.We used it for 1 elk and 5 deer last year.They appear to be excellent quality so far
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#2384071 - 08/22/08 Re: Cabelas or LEM meat grinder? [Re: SuperCub]
Bulletbutt Offline
Campfire 'Bwana

Registered: 03/03/06
Posts: 10262
Loc: Between Seafire and Scott F
Let me tell you my experiences with finally getting a grinder that worked right.
LEM is run by very nice people who did pay to and fro shipping to exchange a new grinder I'd bought from them... 1 1/2 hp models.
However, the second one was just as loud and ran even hotter than the first (200 degrees on the exterior case of the second one), and they asked me what I wanted to do, as the ones they carried at that time were "that way". I told them I'd like to return the second one and get my money back. They cheerfully refunded my money and paid return shipping on the grinder.
Very nice people to deal with and I still have some of their products that I am happy with.
I then bought a 1 1/2 hp model from Cabela's, and it runs as quiet as it should, plus it does not get hot at all. I love it.
You probably will never wish for one any larger than the 1 hp model. I went in for overkill, but I really think I'd be just as happy with the 1 hp model, too.
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#2384077 - 08/22/08 Re: Cabelas or LEM meat grinder? [Re: Bulletbutt]
UtahLefty Offline
Campfire Kahuna

Registered: 03/18/06
Posts: 22178
Loc: O town UT
how much are you grinding at a time with the 1.5 ?

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#2384084 - 08/22/08 Re: Cabelas or LEM meat grinder? [Re: UtahLefty]
Bulletbutt Offline
Campfire 'Bwana

Registered: 03/03/06
Posts: 10262
Loc: Between Seafire and Scott F
 Originally Posted By: UtahLefty
I'll give you a bump BTT.

I'm looking at the 2 hp myself. I have a "manual" one but am looking for all SS.


Just make sure you can get plates and cutters, as well as stuffing tubes to fit one that big. A friend of mine got Cabela's 1 3/4 hp model with the #42 grinder on it, and he can't find stuffing tubes to fit it. My 1 1/2 hp model with a #32 grinder is easier to get things for.
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#2384090 - 08/22/08 Re: Cabelas or LEM meat grinder? [Re: UtahLefty]
Bulletbutt Offline
Campfire 'Bwana

Registered: 03/03/06
Posts: 10262
Loc: Between Seafire and Scott F
 Originally Posted By: UtahLefty
how much are you grinding at a time with the 1.5 ?


Last fall we butchered two elk and ran all the burger meat through it, with no heating up or any other, problems.

We've done one elk or one to two deer at a time, also. Plus we have ground and mixed and stuffed maybe 100 pounds of meat into sausage at a time.


Edited by Bulletbutt (08/22/08)
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#2384098 - 08/22/08 Re: Cabelas or LEM meat grinder? [Re: Bulletbutt]
rob p Offline
Campfire Tracker

Registered: 11/15/05
Posts: 5731
Loc: rhode island
I sent back two small Cabela's grinders because they got hot enough for the heat shield to burn you. We have a Cabela's near us and the bargain cave has stacks of refurbished grinders. I'd say stay away from them. LEM is selling through Bass Pro Shops and I have seen them but have no experience with them. I use the Kitchen Aid grinding attachment on my mixer. If I needed a bigger grinder, I'd probably buy a small Univex commercial unit.

http://www.cometsupply.com/pm/UEXMG0012/r/gg/
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#2384115 - 08/22/08 Re: Cabelas or LEM meat grinder? [Re: rob p]
Bulletbutt Offline
Campfire 'Bwana

Registered: 03/03/06
Posts: 10262
Loc: Between Seafire and Scott F
If you get to googling meat grinders you get the feeling they look familiar, but just have different names. The two 1 1/2 hp grinders I had from LEM were from different manufacturers, but they both had the same problems. I'm really happy with the one I've got now from Cabela's, but that's not to say other models they carry would be as good.

http://www.pleasanthillgrain.com has some good stuff to look at.


Edited by Bulletbutt (08/22/08)
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#2384131 - 08/22/08 Re: Cabelas or LEM meat grinder? [Re: Bulletbutt]
Stan V Offline
Campfire 'Bwana

Registered: 07/28/05
Posts: 10080
Loc: Texas
Y'all must grind a hail of a lot more meat than I do, cause my 1/2hp Cabela's is a hoss and no way can I put so much in that it slows down, stalls, or heats up.....it's awesome! Weighs about 35#'s.
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#2384268 - 08/22/08 Re: Cabelas or LEM meat grinder? [Re: Stan V]
Whttail_in_MT Offline
Campfire Guide

Registered: 02/17/04
Posts: 3722
Well it appears grinders other than commercial quality are a crapshoot. I had the 1 hp Cabela's and the auger got so hot after <5 min. grinding that the meat would sizzle. Smelled good but I wasn't exactly looking for a one-step grind/cook/stuff machine. I tried the recommended fix of Cabela's supplier, which was to replace the grease in the gear box, but it didn't work. So back it went. I have a buddy with the same model that was having the same problem. I got the .75 hp LEM to replace it. LEM had some issues with the auger bushings but once that was solved I've had no complaints.

That said, if I'm only grinding a small batch I'll use the Kitchen-Aid grinder attachment. Mainly because it's much easier to clean than the big grinder. The down side to it is the small hopper as I've never gotten around to buying the large hopper.

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#2384363 - 08/22/08 Re: Cabelas or LEM meat grinder? [Re: Whttail_in_MT]
30338 Offline
Campfire Tracker

Registered: 08/31/05
Posts: 7165
Loc: Denver
I have the LEM .35 horsepower unit. I cut up 4 antelope and deer sized animals last year and it worked great. It is going to get a much better workout this year, but I have no concerns that it will do fine again.

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#2384673 - 08/22/08 Re: Cabelas or LEM meat grinder? [Re: Stan V]
northern_dave Offline
Campfire Oracle

Registered: 09/29/04
Posts: 30983
Loc: Minnesota
 Originally Posted By: Stan V
Y'all must grind a hail of a lot more meat than I do, cause my 1/2hp Cabela's is a hoss and no way can I put so much in that it slows down, stalls, or heats up.....it's awesome! Weighs about 35#'s.


+1

I too have the baby of the comercial grade cabelas grinders, the 1/2hp.

Picked it up on the way back from a CO elk hunt one year, we ground burger for 3 elk in it that first year plus probably a half a dozen white tail later in the same year, since then it has seen one other batch of elk (I can't go every year \:\( )

and it processes on average a half a dozen deer every fall.

If I bought a bigger one I know I'd be happy with it but I can tell you for sure that I am very happy that I decided to chance the 1/2hp because I really can't keep up with this thing so I know anything bigger would just be overkill above what I already can't keep up with.
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#2384680 - 08/22/08 Re: Cabelas or LEM meat grinder? [Re: northern_dave]
rob p Offline
Campfire Tracker

Registered: 11/15/05
Posts: 5731
Loc: rhode island
I sent two back and the Cabela's in Hartford has piles of refurbs. When Sportsman's Guide started offering Simmons .44 mag scopes refurbished, I bought one. When the reticle moved around from shot to shot and I couldn't group with it and sent it back, I vowed to stay away from any product that I knew was wearing out and being offered as a refurb somewhere.
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#2384714 - 08/22/08 Re: Cabelas or LEM meat grinder? [Re: rob p]
gophergunner Online   content
Campfire Outfitter

Registered: 02/12/06
Posts: 9979
Loc: North Central U.S.
Good info here guys, as I'm looking to buy one too. The only experience I can talk about has been with a small unit from Cabela's that I borrow off my buddy each year. It tore up a nylon gear one time, but he\we learned to just slow donw a bit and not feed it big chunks of meat and it works just fine. It does warm up a bit, but nothing like what you folks are talking about, but we're not doing high procuction grinding-usually just one deer at a time, and we cut in cheap ground beef with the deer, so that's all ready ground. Thanks for the good info though.

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#2384726 - 08/22/08 Re: Cabelas or LEM meat grinder? [Re: rob p]
Pete E Offline
Campfire 'Bwana

Registered: 04/11/01
Posts: 12247
Loc: North Wales, UK
I was in the same boat as you guys untill somebody recommend this Meat Grinder from Norther Tools.

Pay particular attention to the user reviews, as they are what swayed it for me...

Other than grinding up a couple of pounds of beef, I've not really used it in anger yet, but I am more than happy with the unit up to now..It is noisy, and the on'off switch on the British version is a momentary job (ie dead mans type switch) so you have to hold it down while you grind, but thats no big deal..

I search high and low for a grinder, and did a lot of research, but I thingk you'd have to pay 3 times the money to find a better unit...
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#2384779 - 08/22/08 Re: Cabelas or LEM meat grinder? [Re: Pete E]
Stan V Offline
Campfire 'Bwana

Registered: 07/28/05
Posts: 10080
Loc: Texas
Northern Tool and Harbor Freight do not see my business.....I avoid made in China whenever I can.

My Cabela's grinder is made in Italy, or Poland...I forget.
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#2384832 - 08/22/08 Re: Cabelas or LEM meat grinder? [Re: Stan V]
Sakoluvr Offline
Campfire Tracker

Registered: 01/08/05
Posts: 6870
Loc: Where the wild things are.
My Cabela's grinder (1 HP)is about 4 years old. It kicks ass. I could probably use it around the yard to chip brush in the off season.
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#2384919 - 08/22/08 Re: Cabelas or LEM meat grinder? [Re: northern_dave]
Twistedone Offline
Member

Registered: 12/28/07
Posts: 58
Whooahhh there ND. You gonna break the bank with all these early mornings. Back to the subject, I have used ND's 1/2hp Cabelas grinder & was very impressed. I bought a "cheaper more powerful" one the next year & it works well but very loud. Guide series or something I think.

Twisted.

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#2385659 - 08/22/08 Re: Cabelas or LEM meat grinder? [Re: rob p]
SuperCub Offline
Campfire Tracker

Registered: 06/27/02
Posts: 5426
Loc: NB / Canada
 Originally Posted By: rob p
I sent back two small Cabela's grinders because they got hot enough for the heat shield to burn you.

What size? I'd rather get something too big than not big enough.

thx
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#2385681 - 08/22/08 Re: Cabelas or LEM meat grinder? [Re: SuperCub]
RupertBear Offline
Campfire Regular

Registered: 06/21/05
Posts: 313
Loc: British Columbia
I use the Cabela's 1 horse and do about 400 or so pounds a year with no problems. It has a #22 auger and feed. It came with 2 plates and a single knife. I bought another plate so I've got 1/8" 1/4" and something bigger, maybe 3/8", and knives for each of them. Keep the right knife with the plate and you'll eliminate the binding problem that you get if you swap knives and plates around.
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#2385725 - 08/22/08 Re: Cabelas or LEM meat grinder? [Re: RupertBear]
SuperCub Offline
Campfire Tracker

Registered: 06/27/02
Posts: 5426
Loc: NB / Canada
 Originally Posted By: RupertBear
Keep the right knife with the plate and you'll eliminate the binding problem that you get if you swap knives and plates around.

Grinding tendons will bind up a grinder pretty fast as well.

Also, meat that is slightly frozen grinds alot better than warm meat.


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#2386206 - 08/23/08 Re: Cabelas or LEM meat grinder? [Re: Stan V]
rob p Offline
Campfire Tracker

Registered: 11/15/05
Posts: 5731
Loc: rhode island
Your Cabela's grinder is made by Thunderbird in Italy, if it's the one in their catalog with the round heat shield.
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