Justin has a great reputation in the faceting community and I would think anything he says is pretty reliable. I looked at the Sri Lankan machine and the concept is pretty similar to the Raytech…the Sri Lankan machine has an angle vernier which permits angle setting to a tenth of a degree and I cannot find a photo of the Raytech handpiece that allows me to tell whether that is possible on the Raytech, and the Raytech website is no help on that…I also see a cheater on the Sri Lankan machine and I’m not sure how the Ratech handles that. I suppose it has one, but IDK how accurate.
The main difference I can see between the Raytech and typical mast machine is that unless you can figure out how to attach an ohmmeter to the Raytech, the accuracy is limited by cut-and-look. The advantage of a mast machine with a very accurate depth gauge (retrofitted 0.0001" gauge) or a digital angle gauge accurate to 0.01 degrees is that a lot of the cut-and-look is eliminated. On my XS3 (custom machine no longer available), I can cut to the angle reading and then do one or two cut-and-look steps to refine the meet point. The same would be true for the UltraTec with DAD. On the Raytech, you can pick up and examine a little quicker and easier than on a mast machine, but you will have to do so much more often. If you develop a very good sense of how much to cut without looking, you can get very fast with the Raytech, and I assume there is some ease of cheating by varying your hand pressure that allows you to cheat pretty easily. As I said, those who get used to them love them and evidently are very fast with them. As I also remarked, the Nigerian cutter I work with has a machine that looks like that Sri Lankan one and his work is very good. I guess in the end it depends on what turns your crank. However, you have to bear in mind that very few people have ever made any comparisons…they just start with a machine and then that is what they recommend.
If I were you, I would look into putting an ohmmeter on your machine and then I would get some practice under my belt, as that is the only way to decide whether faceting is for you in the long term and whether you are going to like your machine and prosper with it. Joining a club or getting some hands on lessons with a mentor are the only ways of trying out other machines if you have any interest in that. The Midwest Faceters’ Guild does workshops, and the Middle Tennessee Gem and Mineral Society has a couple of locations where faceting is taught and where you would find machines to try…IDK whether they do any weekend workshops presently or not. There are summer weeklong faceting workshops at the William Holland lapidary school and also at the Wild Acres school…all of these are in the East, and IDK where you are situated. I am sure there are some other possible opportunities out towards the West Coast. Best of luck! -royjohn