I used to have one and found it fine. I only disposed of it because it didn`t fit my new lathe. I think it has been discussed on here before. Some felt that the low price was linked to iffy quality control, so the possibility of getting a rogue one is perhaps a llittle higher than average.
There are a number of vicmarc look alike clones around at the moment from Rutlands, Poolewood and where I got mine from, Warco (£75 delivered).
Not sure if they are all the same or from the same source but I suspect so. They all look exactly the same and come with the same accessories set.
My one that I received last week seems fine and functional. Comparing it to the original vicmarc model I have there are differences though in things like the jaw carriers which have a lot of side to side movement on the look alike version but are quite close tolerances on the vicmarc, and the scroll mechanism which seems noticably graunchy and a bit imprecise on the look alike, again compared to the original vicmarc.
Having said all that, it seems to tighten up fine and run true (as far as I can tell without taking any engineering accuracy measurements!), so may not matter much in practice. Seems fine for my use as an occasional chuck permanently fitted out with vicmarc cole jaws for quick and easy reversing of bowls and the like.
Whether it is nickel plated and the important moving parts case hardened or not, and therefore will have a long life or not I don't know, but may well be fine in normal use for years.
I think at the price it's worth it would be my own personal conclusion, even though you can get higher standards of engineering if you pay more, I'm not sure the average hobbyist woodturner really needs that and not sure it would make any difference to us in practice ?
I have had a Dakota which I think this is, for some time as a back up and as Paul says it is a bit slack compared to my Supanova but to be honest it works fine and does what I want. For the price I also thi k it's a decent buy. We can't all afford vicmarcs and Supanovas all the time LOL.
This is the very chuck I use.
Been using it for just under a year now, and so far the only problem I've had with it is it doesn't make my finishing any better!! :roll:
The screwchuck attachment that comes with it can be a wee bit fiddly to get centred & true, but once you get the knack of it then it's not an issue any more.
The screw is also a little longer than I personally like, so I have it permanently screwed through a 10mm spacing plate, which I also utilise as a sacrificial guard at the chuck end of any work.
Sturdy, easy to maintain & a good, tight hold on any work I use it with.
I'd recommend it any day.