LEM, Weston, Cabela's grinders

Wapiti406

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I currently have a LEM #8 grinder, which gets the job done for the few batches of burger and sausage I process a year. But, on big batches of elk it is a little slow. I’m thinking of upgrading to a 1hp model. I haven’t heard many bad things about LEM and Weston products, but the Cabela’s model is about $100 cheaper for a 1hp model, even more savings with $80 gift cards. Has anyone had experience with a Cabela’s, LEM and Weston? Or had a bad experience with any model?
 

gonhunting247

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I have a Cabela's 1 HP and it seems to be a great machine. I haven't used it a lot yet though, just got it for Christmas last year. The only thing I don't like so far is the plunger could be a little tighter in the feed tube and they don't supply a medium grind plate (just a fine and course), but that's pretty minor. It definitely will handle all you can cram in it. I've ground a deer, bear and a couple Javelina so far!
 

camping1601

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I have Cabelas #22 and I have really put it thru the paces without problem. My only regret is not buying the #32.
 

Titan

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I think at some point I heard that Weston makes the Cabelas grinders. I have had good luck with LEM equipment, but I'm really not too hard on any of it.

That being said, for $100, I would probably go with a Cabelas grinder if you have a local store for any issues.
 

5MilesBack

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I've been using the Cabela's 1hp now for over 10 years, but who knows who made it for them back then. They could be a totally different machine these days. The only problem I had was my grinding plates rusted after one time in the dishwasher. I called them up and they sent me new ones and even threw in the medium plate as a bonus. The new ones have been fine.
 

SLDMTN

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Weston makes the Cabelas grinders or did at least, I can’t speak for the brand new ones. Bought some new blades from Weston for the same reason as above, they’ll rust eventually.

We’ve had ours for 7 years now and have done roughly 12 caribou, 6 moose, 1 goat, 1 sheep and 1 buffalo. My only complaint is that the throat near the drive can get hot after continual use. They make ice packs that wrap around to help mitigate that issue. Having your meat frozen helps as well. It’s been a real workhorse for us.
 

KSP277

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I have a Cabela’s carnivore 1hp. It’s probably ground 30-40 deer and few hogs. Pretty sure you could use it for a wood chipper. It’s a giant leap up from a 1/4 hp or even a 1/2. With a grinder bigger is always better it seems but for the money once you get above the 1hp models I don’t know how much better your getting per dollar. Unless your grinding 500 lb at a time fairly often I don’t see the need to go over 1hp for home use. But If Price wasn’t factor I’d go as big as you can find. For my money I’m happy with the 1hp Carnivore.

Also the ice pack that comes with it is not a gimmick. Keeps the throat ice cold and helps immensely.
 

Trial153

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I have the 1hp cabelas, going on like 8 years. It's been excellent. The neck is a bit big for day to day use but I manage.
 
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Jsunkler

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I have been using Cabela's Deluxe Grinder, it is a 750 watt electric grinder. It has been perfect for my needs, this year alone I have made burger from a few Whitetails, 50 lbs of Elk Sausage, and 100 lbs of Goose snack sticks. I researched the larger grinders, but decided on this one due to a few reasons: Was on-sale for $110, I had $100 gift card for Cabela's from Christmas and Cabela's points (no cost out of pocket for me), simple on/off/reverse control switch, largest of the electric motor grinders, two grinding plates, #8 size neck. If I was going to consistently be processing large amounts of meat, I might consider stepping up to a larger model but for now this one has been perfect for my usage.
 

Wrench

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I've got the 1hp cabela's model from 10 years ago and it's been through about 25 elk, 20 deer and most impressive 5 bears. I've broke 3 cheap grinders on bear forearms. ...but this one doesn't even slow down. I surface ground my plates last year and it's good for another ton of meat. I'd buy it again without question.
 

jspradley

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I have an old Cabela's grinder (can't remember what size but its one of the heavy duty semi-commercial models) and it's a beast... I added the foot switch to it and it's a game changer, I really recommend that!
 
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I have a LEM #8 in the big bite model that I picked up at a huge discount. It will do a deer or antelope in a reasonable amount of time, but I would seriously consider a larger model if you were going to do elk or multiple deer in a single batch. I grew up with a grinder from a grocery store and later an LEM #22 (equivalent to the Cabelas 1 HP). Those will grind meat as fast as you can stuff it down the tube. The #8 is fine for the grinding, but I do use the grinder to stuff sausages and the smaller grinder is very slow compared to the larger grinder for this purpose.
 

Forest

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we have had a couple cabelas ones, a smaller one and then a big 1.5hp I think it is. Their commercial style is excellent. The small one was good for what it was for. Just depends on how much a guy wants to do
 

rayporter

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after burning up 2 half hp grinders I got a 3/4 hp for ohio deer. 25 to 30 deer later I got one to keep in Arkansas so I could do elk and deer here. no regrets at all. can feed them 4 deer in an evening and they never slow down.
 
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Wapiti406

Wapiti406

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Quick update…

I ended up going with the Cabela’s 1hp model last summer. Last month was the first time I used it. I had ~180lb for burger and sausage. The meat I had was still partially frozen. One thing I will say is that grinder can grind the meat about as fast as I could feed it. Really puts the meat out quick. For the amount I had I figured I’d be done in no time. On the first batch of sausage after maybe 25 lbs with the course grind plate on, I could smell something very delicious. I stopped feeding meat for a second and could see steam coming out of the feeding tube. When I looked down the tube the rear portion of the auger had a thin layer of cooked meat/fat caked on it. I was a little upset to say the least. I couldn’t understand why this was going on, the feeding tube was cold and frosty but the auger was extremely hot. So, I took the grinder apart, cleaned everything off, and threw the auger and feeding tube back in the freezer. Once everything was in the freezer I did some searching around about the auger getting hot. It looks like this isn’t unheard of. Some suggested making sure the ring nut was only “tight enough” and not too tight, and that lubing the silicone ring on the rear of the auger kept everything cool. Others say that the hot auger is just the way is it, and they’re content with it. I tried to adjust the ring nut just enough and lubed up the silicone ring with some food grade mineral oil and went back to grinding after the auger cooled off. Needless to say, I spent the rest of the day grinding 20-30 lbs at time, then cleaning and cooling the auger in the freezer. It took over 7 hours to grind 180 lbs, I hated life that day. Since others experienced the same issue I didn’t consider exchanging for another Carnivore model. I returned it to Cabela’s and I ‘m currently in the market for an LEM or Weston.
 

Wentworth6

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1 hp cabelas with foot pedal on off really helps when it’s just me. Never an issue. Chews thru it and is quieter than my older Lem.
 
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I also have an older model Cabelas 1HP grinder with foot pedal and meat mixer attachments. I have gone through around 30 whitetails with it grinding meat and stuffing sausage and couldn't be happier. It grinds meat as fast as I can feed it and does a good job. I never had any heating issues like mentioned above but my grinding sessions are usually much shorter. I have been using mine close to 10 years now.
 

Wentworth6

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E Bella’s like mine have a freezer pack that is made to fit around the feeder tube, I bought another from the store so I can swap it out. Keeps,it cold. But we also keep meet cold ,don’t let it sit out to long , gets greasy and makes sausage look like bologna.
 

5MilesBack

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When I looked down the tube the rear portion of the auger had a thin layer of cooked meat/fat caked on it. I was a little upset to say the least. I couldn’t understand why this was going on, the feeding tube was cold and frosty but the auger was extremely hot.
I've ground over 200lbs of elk meat in a single session several times with my Cabela's 1hp, and it has gone very fast. I grind it directly into freezer ziplock bags 3-5lbs at a time and then flatten them out and put them in the freezer and move onto the next bag. As soon as I'm done I take it all apart and clean it all up. I've never had a hot auger at all, but I do have to unwind the silver skin off of it when I'm done.
 
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