We are in the same boat....planning on a CMC soon and it is between the two you mentioned.
One of our key decision factors will be the best finance/warranty options. We don't want to have to stress about the number of corners we're cutting and add to the bottom dollar; if we buy it outright, I want to know they will continue to care for it.....not put us at the bottom of their list because it's paid for. Also, I will want something in writing about the company's plans for supporting the CMC owner, should they back out of production for any reason. I'm thinken' that should be in their business plan.
I had a Wizard for many years, I got tired of making payments every month and not owning anything. I got rid of it and purchased a Fletcher 6100. The machine is one heck of a good cutter, however, Fletcher was a big let down when they discontinued it.
Wizard is an ethical company, as far as my dealings with them. They went to great pains and expense to make sure my machine was always running and working properly.
You do not have to worry about Wizard, they stand behind their product. I do not know about Eclipse, I can not imagine them even remotely screwing around with a customers satisfaction.
There really are only two games in town, and that is Wizard and Eclipse, both those companies are well aware of each other, they will look after you, no doubt about that. Sure Gunnar (spelling?) is out there and a few others, but the major players in the USA are Wizard and Eclipse.
Fletcher had a great shot at it, but lacked the strength in their management team to pull it off. It's a shame, because they had the best machine at the time.
Yes, I received it. It was not really an upgrade, it was fixing some of the bugs in the last upgrade.
Fletcher agreed that they would provide full support for the 6100 for seven years from their discontinued date. That was fair of them, I also think it was prudent, at least from a legal standpoint. We now have less than six years left of this support. Support would include fixing the known bugs in the software. I am not expecting any more "upgrades" in their software other than "fixes", if it needs them.
The only reason I am bitter is that the main reason I selected Fletcher as my CMC provider was that they are a long established company, I figured they would be around for a while. I was correct on that score, I just never considered that they would just dump the whole program with their CMC.
I guess I am more mad at myself for not considering the management of the company. What really bugs me is I am a player in the stock market, I should have looked at their management, and I didn't, I just assumed, stupid, stupid, stupid.
Had I been buying stock, I would have definitely looked at their management team. Yet I was spending a heck of a lot more than I would have tied up in stock, stupid, stupid, stupid, I don't know what I was thinking.
I did learn from this experience though, and that is a good thing, when buying from any company, look at their management track record, do they look for solutions, or the easy way out?
Like John Baker I opted to pay the premium price for the Fletcher because I figured the company made good tools and had plenty of staying power. Sure shocked me when they announced they were getting out of the CMC business. It's a great machine, but the company clearly underestimated what it needed to do to compete. I won't say I'll never buy another fletcher product, but I sure will hesitate.
Ron, I have enough challenges in my life! I can say my 6100 does everything I ask it to do--consistently and without coaxing. So, I don't have any regrets. Fletcher is supporting the product. If we did a swap I'd be taking so much fun away from you that there would be this great void you would have to fill. Ooops, I forgot you already are signed up for a plumbing course! Can I interest you in a composting toilet?
Ron, no one is disputing that the Fletcher 6100 is on of the best CMCs ever produced at an affordable price. I don't even argue about the seven years of support. I am just disappointed that Fletcher chose to discontinue a great product without even experimenting with rental programs, you know, the kind that made Wizard what it is today. I am also disappointed in myself for ignoring what I normally do when purchasing stock, looking at the management team and their track record.
As far as purchasing Fletcher products, they have always made the best there is. They will pour many dollars into research and development, then let it fall apart at the marketing level.
I would avoid new introductions from that company if I think it will require parts many years from now. Only products I would purchase are their long standing items that have been in the marketplace for many years. If nothing else, old machines can be purchased for there parts.
They did tell me that most parts for the 6100 are common, off the shelf, industrial parts, so even after they discontinue support, I should be able to keep the 6100 operating. Time will answer that one.