Ask a dozen faceters, get a dozen different opinions. Just about any of the machines currently being produced will do a good job. What have you looked at so far? How much do you want to invest?
It’s a good idea to get familiar with the hobby first. I don’t know where you’re located (please fill out as much of the profile form as you’re comfortable with), but there may be a club or another faceter in your area.
rockinvet and alan you right alan when you said how much is a person willing to spend. i’ve been cutting since 1965 and demo’ed machines for the makers at gem shows. i’ve cut on nerely every machine out there. i began on an o’brien (a controlled jampeg, then a M.D.R., then an ultra tec., and demo’ed others. you have to be seriously interested in faceting to jump into it but it is a very satisfying hobby and you can make money with it. i teach faceting and do so for free and i only recommend two machines. first i consider the ULTR TEC the best built and refined. i have one built in the mid 70’s and still using it, its held its accuracy for 42 yrs. but new machines are pricey but worth it for the long run. the other is the RAYTECH and when teaching has some desirable flex-abilities and lower in price. i just bought another ultra tec new unit with digital read out for angle and use it too to teach. i personally have 2 ultr tec’c, 2 lee faceters, 1 MDR master, 1 korean made., 1 raytech, 1 o’brin portable, and a B&I gemmaker with a faceting head unit with it 32 index head.
i’ve got to add now i have 4 ultra tecs, 4 raytech-shaws, 3 MDR masters, several versions of the lee machine, 2 o’briens and more that my students can try and see what they like but most still like the ultra tec and raytech-shaw. and your not likely to go wrong if you can find a complete used machine in good condition. i would suggest if your right handed get a left handed machine and visa versa you’ll have less stress on your arm and shoulder. firstname.lastname@example.org