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Midi lathe reviews in the latest Wood Magazine

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Forum topic by Rick M posted 12-02-2014 05:17 AM 3903 views 0 times favorited 25 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Rick M

7935 posts in 1848 days


12-02-2014 05:17 AM

Pretty decent reviews, the Delta and Rikon came out on top, each getting A’s + one B. The General International did the poorest. Other lathes tested were Jet, Penn State, and Teknatool. The Jet did well except it had the most vibration of the group which they attributed to having a very narrow spindle shoulder. Jet says they will change the design in the future.

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


25 replies so far

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redryder

2394 posts in 2570 days


#1 posted 12-02-2014 06:00 AM

I always have to do a double take when I see the best is not the most expensive.
I also usually wish magazines would include more models to review….......................

-- mike...............

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MarkTheFiddler

2053 posts in 1656 days


#2 posted 12-02-2014 06:11 AM

Thank you Rick!

I have been thinking that the Jet was the best I could do. Glad to see I was wrong. It looks like I will save money.

-- Thanks for all the lessons!

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TravisH

452 posts in 1403 days


#3 posted 12-02-2014 12:11 PM

I would agree with their rankings after using them a Rikon and the Jet during a class. Only had about 2 hrs time on both but was enough for me to get a feel. I had bought the Delta a few months prior and after using the Rikon still favored the Delta but wasn’t by much.

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Wildwood

1887 posts in 1603 days


#4 posted 12-02-2014 12:25 PM

Do you really believe a subjective review from a magazine whose revenue is generated by advertizing is going to tell you the absolute best lathe buy?

Normally buying any size wood lathe about compromise, affordability, specs, and features you like, can do without, or must have.

The best lathe is the one you can afford and does what you want it to do without breaking down or falling apart every time you turn wood.

-- Bill

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Rick M

7935 posts in 1848 days


#5 posted 12-02-2014 02:59 PM

I was a little surprised by the Rikon. I know little about them other than a review from some years back where they were dinged for having an underpowered motor, guess they fixed that.

This is the Rikon they reviewed, $650 at Woodcraft
http://www.rikontools.com/productpage_70-220VSR.html

Difference between the Rikon and Delta
Rikon got a B on vibration
Delta got a B+ on changing speeds and accuracy of speed control
All other categories were A’s for both.

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

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Wildwood

1887 posts in 1603 days


#6 posted 12-02-2014 04:19 PM

Rick read Keith Sonefelt’s post and why he bought a Jet midi over Rikon!

http://lumberjocks.com/topics/65030

Cannot think of one Midi lathe that did not have issues besides shipping damage on initial roll out or shortly thereafter.

Got to take magazine tool reviews with a grain of salt!

-- Bill

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moke

862 posts in 2244 days


#7 posted 12-02-2014 06:26 PM

Rick,
I saw that review too. I still have reservations about recommending buying anything Delta…at least until The “all clear is sounded” for aquiring parts. I do have a 46-460 though and a I also have a Rikon 70-100. I turn a lot of pens and I have the rikon fitted with a Beall buff. I love the 46-460….a lot…but I always have it in the back of my mind, to be careful with it, for fear it will need parts. The Rikon is ok, the model I have is certainly not their top tier. Like I said I have a beall system mounted on it and it is awesome for that. I have turned on it some, and it is underpowered as advertised, especially for bowls. It is 1/2 hp and I think you really need at least 1 hp for much over pens. Also, I know a lot of people with Rikons and most have to be adjusted to be co-planar.

I have looked the Jet midi over a lot, and it really looks nice, I even turned with it at a demo. I would say it is commencorate to the 46-460 Delta. I have always thought if I can never get parts for my Delta, it would be a fine replacement. The older Jets had issues with the power switch over time…it remains to be seen if that has been addressed.

As Wildwood mentioned, I too, wonder as to the accuracy of these magazine comparisons….there are lots of stories/rumors about them….
Good post Rick!
Mike

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MrUnix

4247 posts in 1667 days


#8 posted 12-02-2014 06:57 PM


I still have reservations about recommending buying anything Delta…at least until The “all clear is sounded” for aquiring parts.

Curious as to what parts you think you may need.. Most everything on a lathe is standard stuff that can be obtained at your local hardware store or online supply houses (McMaster Carr, Graingers, etc..). Unless you break a spindle or something like that.. and if that’s the case, you probably shouldn’t be using a lathe!!

Cheers,
Brad

-- Brad in FL - To be old and wise, you must first be young and stupid

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Rick M

7935 posts in 1848 days


#9 posted 12-02-2014 07:38 PM

Normal and healthy to be skeptical of magazine reviews. I checked, Delta was the only company whose lathe was reviewed and also advertised in that issue. That’s not a big deal since the Delta midi has been out for a few years and getting rave reviews from owners the entire time.

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

View jfoobar's profile

jfoobar

39 posts in 798 days


#10 posted 12-02-2014 08:03 PM


That s not a big deal since the Delta midi has been out for a few years and getting rave reviews from owners the entire time.

Other than its substantial history of switch problems, yes. My first lathe was a 46-460 and I also had the problems that ended up costing me a couple hundred dollars in out-of-warranty work and about a month with no lathe. It was about three years old when this happened.

That said, I would still recommend it. It really is a fantastic lathe. However, it doesn’t appear to have much of anything feature wise on the Rikon VS.

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Rick M

7935 posts in 1848 days


#11 posted 12-03-2014 02:33 AM


history of switch problems
- jfoobar

This is what aggravates me about magazines, they spend a day or two with a machine and then evaluate it but I’ve never seen a magazine come out and take a manufacture to task over known issues like this. Probably part of the reason why people don’t trust magazine reviews.

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

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ElChe

630 posts in 804 days


#12 posted 12-03-2014 02:48 AM

I like magazine reviews for specs. Motor power. How many teeth in a blade. Height of a table on a bandsaw. Useful in comparing various tools based on objective data. As to subjective stuff I then narrow my search and find the machines to play with.

-- Tom - Measure twice cut once. Then measure again. Curse. Fudge.

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moke

862 posts in 2244 days


#13 posted 12-03-2014 06:34 PM

Mr Unix..
Thanks for the suggestion of going to the after market guys….for some reason I just never think of them….I always just go to the manufacturer sites…or in this case, lack of it. I have gotten wheels, cranks, and many other parts that way. If I can get that stuff “back door” I will feel much better.
mike

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doubleDD

5252 posts in 1511 days


#14 posted 12-04-2014 04:18 AM

I had the rikon mini a few years ago and that also got some great reviews. The only problem with it I felt was the thin belt on it would slip under any heavy turnings. I believe the midi has a wider belt to help that from happening.

-- Dave, Downers Grove, Il. -------- When you run out of ideas, start building your dreams.

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Roger

19886 posts in 2272 days


#15 posted 12-06-2014 12:49 PM

My 2nd lathe purchase was from Penn St. many years ago. I bought it because of such a deal, and it worked out to be a decent lathe for me. It is still spinning like crazy. The centers were perfect, and still are to this day. The only thing I have had to do was get a new variable speed switch. I guess I wore the other one out.

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Keep your dust collector fed. Kentuk55@yahoo.com

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