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Is A Jet JWL_1221VS Midi Lathe Worth $215 More Than A Rikon 70-220 VDR Midi Lathe

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Forum topic by Targa posted 10-27-2014 07:55 PM 10381 views 0 times favorited 28 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Targa

117 posts in 1203 days


10-27-2014 07:55 PM

I’m planning to purchase a variable speed midi lathe with a 12” swing during the next few weeks and I’m trying to decide which one to buy and could use some input.

Two of the leading choices are the Rikon 70-220 VDR and the Jet JWL-1221VS.

Based on current availability and pricing the Jet is about $215 more than the Rikon delivered to my door. Both have 5 year manufacturer warranties and almost identical specifications.

The question I’m struggling with is whether the Jet is really worth $215 more than the Rikon.

I would appreciate any opinions on whether the difference in build quality or customer service of the Jet justifies the price difference.

Thank you

-- Dom


28 replies so far

View Wildwood's profile

Wildwood

1882 posts in 1597 days


#1 posted 10-27-2014 09:44 PM

Specs little different Rikon told me everything wanted to know on their spec sheet had to go to Jet manual for specs.

http://rikontools.com/productpage_70-220VSR.html

http://content.jettools.com/assets/manuals/719200_man_EN.pdf

I am partial to the Jet because of weight & speed range, but am not buying a midi. I think either the Jet or Rikon will serve you well. Obliviously the Rikon has a better price on lathe and bed extension if decide to get one.

Both lathes have been reviewed here think Rikon was bought on sale, do not know the normal price, cannot find it online.
http://lumberjocks.com/reviews/product/3892

If were buying one of these lathes would like to see what am buying so would visit a store that has them in stock vice paying to have it shipped from the factory to me!

-- Bill

View dlgWoodWork's profile

dlgWoodWork

159 posts in 3217 days


#2 posted 10-28-2014 12:35 AM

I used to own a Jet 1014 (non-variable speed) and now own the Rikon 70-050VS. Not exactly the lathes you are looking at but good enough to compare Jet to Rikon. IMO save your money and buy the Rikon. The small Jet lathes get good reviews but I honestly wasn’t impressed. I don’t think they are as well made anymore.

Other than the name, I really see no reason to spend more to get the Jet. Based on my experience, I’m voting for the Rikon.

-- Check out my projects and videos http://dlgwoodwork.com

View Rick M's profile

Rick M

7913 posts in 1843 days


#3 posted 10-28-2014 06:18 AM

Where can you buy the Rikon? In Don’s review he mentioned it was $620 w/ tax.

I can’t see myself spending $800 for a 12” lathe. Out of those two choices I would buy the Rikon but that is only based on price and similar specs; I don’t own nor have I used either one.

-- http://thewoodknack.blogspot.com/

View emart's profile

emart

422 posts in 2091 days


#4 posted 10-28-2014 07:48 AM



Where can you buy the Rikon? In Don s review he mentioned it was $620 w/ tax.

I can t see myself spending $800 for a 12” lathe. Out of those two choices I would buy the Rikon but that is only based on price and similar specs; I don t own nor have I used either one.

- Rick M.

that model is more money because it is variable speed. That being said I wouldnt bother paying that much for a variable speed lathe since at that size there really isn’t enough of a advantage over a step pulley unless you are doing pens or some other ultra precise work.

-- tools are only as good as the hands that hold them https://www.custommade.com/by/emeraldcrafts/

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Wildwood

1882 posts in 1597 days


#5 posted 10-28-2014 11:24 AM

Almost wood lathes are variable speed if think about it. How you change speeds only difference. Moving the belts along set of pulleys to change speeds about the simplest. Reeves drive motor must be running to change speeds. Electronic variable speed still require some moving belt from high to low range although you can adjust speeds with a knob, pressing a button, or computer command. Only except to EVS lathes is Nova DVR which has no belts or pulleys, but still has a control panel for changing speeds.

I could not see all of Rikon manual and not sure why could only go to page 10. Read Jet manual online so another reason more impressed with that lathe than the Rikon. I am not buying either lathe and guess you get a full manual when you buy a Rikon lathe.

Mini and midi lathes excel in portability and do not need a large space to operate even with a optional bed extension. Whether mini or midi lathe only two ways to change speeds on these lathes. You either buy less expensive move the belt along the pulleys or more expensive EVS model. Is having EVS verus moving belt along the pulleys to change speeds better? Depends upon your budget both style lathes will turn the same things.

-- Bill

View Targa's profile

Targa

117 posts in 1203 days


#6 posted 10-28-2014 12:51 PM

Rick M. askedWhere can you buy the Rikon? In Don’s review he mentioned it was $620 w/ tax

Woodcraft has it on sale for $549. So with shipping ($50) and 8% sales tax it totals $647 to my door.

I’m also considering Nova’s 46300 midi and PSI’s Turncrafter Commander 12” midi. Both are electronic variable speed and priced at least $100 less than the Rikon but both are out of stock until the end of November. They were originally out of stock until the end of October but the date keeps moving out.

What’s driving my decision to spend more for a 12” midi with electronic variable speed is the low rpm range they all have which is 60 rpm for the Jet and about 250 rpm for the others. The lowest rpm for a non-electronic 12” midi that I could find is 430 on the Rikon model 70-100.

I’m not opposed to changing the belt to change the speed, but am concerned that even at 430 rpm vs 250 rpm larger wood pieces may be harder to control and hand sand. But what do I know, I’ve never turned before. I’m just going by what my instincts tell me and some others have mentioned in a previous thread.

I would welcome additional comments.

-- Dom

View Rick M's profile

Rick M

7913 posts in 1843 days


#7 posted 10-28-2014 06:17 PM

Amazon has the Jet for $800 with free shipping. Brings the difference down to $153.

Low speed is always nice to have but even 250 is really slow on a 12” size lathe. The only thing I do at that speed is apply finish.

-- http://thewoodknack.blogspot.com/

View ncdon's profile

ncdon

214 posts in 2339 days


#8 posted 10-29-2014 11:23 AM

Guys, I stopped by Woodcraft yesterday to pick up some supplies. Surprised to find that the Rikon 70-220 was on sale for $549.99 but was pleased that they made good on that price for my purchase. I’ve been using the Beast on a daily basis as of late and am still very happy with it. If you are in the market for a smaller footprint lathe you’ll be hard pressed to find a better buy Than the 70-220.

-- Don, North Carolina,http://www.ncdon.com Working full time at retired.

View LeeMills's profile

LeeMills

271 posts in 764 days


#9 posted 11-02-2014 11:16 PM

Hi fellows, new here.

One thing I always check First is the amps with any tool.
They both state 1 HP however, the Rikon states 8 amps (so 1 HP is doable), Jet states 6 amps (impossible to achieve/run at 1 HP)

-- We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them. Albert Einstein

View Rick M's profile

Rick M

7913 posts in 1843 days


#10 posted 11-02-2014 11:32 PM

Trying to second guess the manufacturer’s HP rating is futile. There are a lot more variables than simply amps. Several years back one of the magazines did a comparison review on midi lathes and tested their power (I can’t remember how exactly but seems like it had something to do with chucking a heavy piece of wood and cutting into it). The actual power output didn’t match the HP ratings on the motors. For example, the Craftsman was way overrated (rated more powerful than it was); as was the Rikon. The more expensive the lathe, the more likely the motor was underrated (more powerful than the rating would suggest).

-- http://thewoodknack.blogspot.com/

View LeeMills's profile

LeeMills

271 posts in 764 days


#11 posted 11-03-2014 01:33 AM


Trying to second guess the manufacturer s HP rating is futile.

I agree up to a point. That point being 1 HP is always defined as 746 watts (amps X volts).
Yes factors I know nothing about, windings, phases, efficiency, etc. all come into play.
In general, from what I know, a good DC is 80-90% efficient; a good AC is 60-70% efficient.
The Rikon at 8 amp would fall in the doable range for DC. The Jet at 6 amp would have to be 108% efficient.

I think either the Jet or Rikon would do a good job. My mini is the Comet2 and at 3/4 hp does the job for me.

I agree about Craftsman, 6.5 HP on 120v and 12 amp? Yeah they do put in their “peak” disclaimer. :)
http://www.sears.com/shop-vac-6.5-peak-hp-shop-pac-174-back/p-00913412000P?prdNo=1&blockNo=1&blockType=G1

-- We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them. Albert Einstein

View Wildwood's profile

Wildwood

1882 posts in 1597 days


#12 posted 11-03-2014 07:43 PM

Went back to spec sheet for Rikon and manual for Jet both say 1 hp & 6 amps.

Major difference I see is speed range, weight, cost and your preference! If have the money get the Jet, if that is over budget get the Rikon.

-- Bill

View Keith Sonefelt's profile

Keith Sonefelt

18 posts in 814 days


#13 posted 12-02-2014 06:10 AM

Talked to the GM at our local Woodcraft last week. Was looking at the Rikon and the Jet. He told me that they were both excellent lathes for the money. He then took me back to the stock room and showed me 4 Rikon lathes that customers had returned.

He told me that Rikon has discovered some issues with the 12 inch lathe, something about the electronics and speed control. I wont go into specifics, so as to not start rumors or a bashing post. He did say that Rikon is aware of the problem, and is working on correcting it. He told me that If I wanted the Rikon, to wait a couple of months and they should be fine. I wen ahead with the Jet 1221, and was impressed to say the least. My first lathe was a Rikon, and I still use it today. The only Issue I have had with it is wits a little noisy when I use my pen mandrel and the mandrel saver. I think it puts pressure on the bearing and make a little noise.

Just my 2 cents worth!

-- "If it's worth doing, it's worth doing right"

View waho6o9's profile

waho6o9

7172 posts in 2040 days


#14 posted 12-02-2014 01:01 PM

http://lumberjocks.com/topics/65909

Here’s some food for thought

View LeeMills's profile

LeeMills

271 posts in 764 days


#15 posted 12-02-2014 02:43 PM


Went back to spec sheet for Rikon and manual for Jet both say 1 hp & 6 amps.

I went to your earlier post with a link to the Rikon specs and it does say 6 amp.
This spec sheet at Rikon states 8 amp.
http://www.rikontools.com/Product%20Sheets/70-220VSRproductsheet.pdf

I wonder which it really is? If someone can put a hands on and look at the plate on the motor it should clear it up.
Rikon is typically more conservative but if it really is 6 amp then both they and Jet are stretching things a bit.

-- We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them. Albert Einstein

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