To find cheap lapidary equipment, start by joining your local gem and mineral club and talking to more experienced members. They can help you identify the equipment you need and recommend stores with the best prices without sacrificing quality.
Make sure you know where to save money and where to buy high-end items. Cab machines and lapidary wheels come in a variety of price ranges, but buying a cheap one may cost you more in the long run if the parts need to be replaced frequently. A cheap one may also break or be impractical for daily use.
Spend some time comparison shopping, especially if you order online. Many retailers offer discount or wholesale prices, but confirm that they really are the cheapest before placing your order.
Consider buying used equipment. You can find it on auction sites, such as eBay.com. Other members of your local gem and mineral club may also offer old equipment for sale. They may also be willing to let you try the equipment before you buy it, which helps make sure you like it and can use it easily.
See if there are cheaper alternatives that may get you the same result. For example, a flat lap may be cheaper than the more popular wheel-style lapidary machine.