Reply by crank49

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Posted on Rikon vs. Central Machinery Mini Lathe

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4032 posts in 2992 days

#1 posted 06-07-2012 03:07 PM

I have the HF lathe you are considering.
I looked at the Rikon and others very closely before buying the HF.

My opinion of the HF was it is a much more cheaply made knockoff of the others.
The HF is in fact closest to the cheap model sold by Penn State.
In fact, parts and acessories purchased from Penn State exactly fit and work on the HF lathe.

I only got the HF because with my HF Inside Track membership, a sale, and a 20% off coupon I got the lathe for less than $150. And, I was not sure I wanted to get into turning bad enough to spend big bucks. I figured at $150 if I wanted to go up scale I would have the little HF as a backup.

I wish I had gotten the larger and more powerful HF model 34706 Bert refers to above.
My problem with the HF model 65345 is lack of power and not enough range of speed control for turning bowls. For pens and mini baseball bats the small machine is OK. Bowls and larger spindles are another matter.
You need slow speed and high torque for bowls.

By the way, the lathe is much less than half of the cost of turning. You need tools, sharpening equipment, chucks, etc.

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