Both LEM Products and Weston Supply make excellent heavy duty meat grinders. While both LEM and Weston also make a smaller grinder, we’ll be discussing their heavy duty stainless steel model. Both companies’ heavy duty line are fully stainless steel grinders and come with stainless steel attachments. Both have metal gears and permanently lubricated motors. The Stainless Steel Big Bite is LEM’s heavy duty line of grinder and comes in sizes 5, 8, 12, 22, and 32. Weston has its Pro Series Commercial grinders and comes in size 8, 12, 22, and 32.
Comparing Grinder by Size
While Weston does have a #5 electric meat grinder, only LEM offers a heavy duty size 5 grinder. Although small the #5 grinder is a workhorse and can grind whatever you put in it. Of course, being a small grinder, it has a small feeding tube, so you’ll have to cut your meats into small chunks or strips. The LEM #5 can grind 4lbs/min and up to 240lbs/hr. It has a .25 HP and 180 watts motor.
The Weston #8 grinder has a stronger motor with .50 HP motor and 350 watts versus LEM’s .35 HP and 250 watts. However, the extra horsepower and watts is going to cost you a bit more, anywhere from about $30-$80.
The Weston #8 grinds approximately 4-6lb/min while the LEM grinds about 6lbs/min.
The biggest difference between the LEM and Weston is that the Weston has a wider feeding throat than the LEM. The diameter of the feeding tube on the Weston #12 is 2.5 inches while the LEM #12 measures only 2 inches.
Both have a .75HP and 550 watts motor. The Weston grinds 7-9lbs/hr while the LEM grinds 10lbs/min.
While the LEM does not offer a reverse function on any of its Big Bite model, the Weston #22 and Weston #32 grinders do have reverse function as well as a tray guard. The throat on the LEM is 2 1/4 inch while the throat on the Weston is 2.85 inches.
Power-wise, the #22 grinder has a 1HP and 750 watts motor. The LEM grinds 13lbs/min and the Weston grinds 9-12lbs/min.
Like the #22 grinder, the Weston #32 has a reverse while the LEM doesn’t. The feeding tube on the Weston is close to 3 inches while the LEM is about an inch smaller.
The LEM grinds 17lbs/min while the Weston grinds 12-18lbs/min. Both have a 1.5HP motor. LEM lists 1100 watts for their grinder while Weston list 1047 watts, so both are pretty darn close in wattage.
If you are not sure which size grinder is right for you, the meat grinder buying guide can help you decide. Or if you want more detailed information, you can read the in-depth meat grinder review for the specific brand.
Feeding Tube Diameter
The Weston Pro Series grinders have a wider feeding tube than the LEM Big Bite grinders, which is great when you are preparing your meat to be grind. The less I have to cut the meat up, the better. I can get to the grinding part faster. I would say Weston wins in this category.
Weston offers the reverse functions on its two larger grinders while LEM does not have a reverse function for any of its Big Bite grinders. Maybe it’s because the feeding tube is wider on the Weston than the LEM. Since a bigger chunk of meat can be stuff down a Weston than an LEM, there’s a possibility that it can get stuck or clog the grinder? This is all speculation of course. Hardly anyone one using either really mentioned needing to use the reverse function.
LEM approves sizes 12, 22 and 32 grinders to grind bones, while Weston will warranty their size 22 and 32 grinders to grind soft bones like rabbit, chicken and other birds. That’s not to say that their smaller sized grinders aren’t capable of grinding bones. It’s just not warranty to do so. There are plenty of users who are able to grind soft bones on the smaller grinders without any problems. Neither company will warranty grinding dense bones like beef or pork bones.
Both companies have excellent customer service and users have reported that the customer service and technical staff were very helpful and knowledgeable.
LEM Products offers a 2 year factory warranty on their grinders and a 30 day money back guarantee.
Weston Supply recently changed their warranty (as of 04/25/2014) and now offers a 2 year limited warranty on their grinders.
At this point, if you are considering either of these grinders then you probably already made up your mind on which grinder you want. No matter which grinder you are leaning towards, you can’t go wrong with either brand. Both are excellent grinders made from reputable companies.