Rikon 70-220VSR vs Nova Comet II -- anyone want to weigh in?

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Forum topic by Sawdust2012 posted 12-27-2014 03:02 PM 4238 views 0 times favorited 3 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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121 posts in 1676 days

12-27-2014 03:02 PM

I always get great advice here. I am going to buy a midi lathe. I have $500 to spend. I could stretch it a little and get the Rikon with some encouragement from those of you with a lot more practicle knowlege than I have. I enjoy turning bowls, and the ubiquitous small stuff you see all over Craigslist. Planning to do some lamp bases, and want the capacity to do larger bowls, and maybe some hollow forms in the future.

What would you do?

3 replies so far

View LeeMills's profile


522 posts in 1265 days

#1 posted 12-27-2014 06:31 PM

I have the Comet2 and it has been just fine. I do think the Rikon is a bit better but at what price is up to you.
The Comet2 has 16.5 between centers vs 21 and the Comet is 3/4 hp vs 1 hp.
The bed length is important mainly when drilling but with the Nova live center (about $70) you can use a long drill bit through the tailstock, or you can buy the bed extension (abt $100)

I do not know what the Rikons are going for now but ToolsPlus has the Comet2 and a G3 chuck for $480 (or about $350 for the lathe itself assuming the chuck is typically about $130).
Since you will probably want a chuck soon that is a nice deal.

From my experience (and I have a Nova 1624 also) either is fairly small for hollow forms. For short hollow forms or enclosed forms they should be fine. I do some enclosed forms but my tries with hollow forms on my 1624 was just too much WORK and I turn to PLAY. I’ll do admire the work of others who enjoy doing hollow forms.

I’ve had no problems with 10” bowls/platters but assume the extra 1/4 HP on the Rikon would be nice.
Speed ranges are about the same for either.

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

View Woodknack's profile


11478 posts in 2343 days

#2 posted 12-28-2014 06:06 AM

Our woodworking club bought a bunch of those Comet II’s. I’ve never used them but there was a lot of grumbling and wishing they had never bought them but the only actual complaint was something about bolts stripping out. Knowing that some guys see every bolt as a test of their strength, I don’t give much credence to the complaints. As far as I know, they are perfectly fine when it comes to actually using them and they’ve had them for several years.

-- Rick M,

View Wildwood's profile


2297 posts in 2098 days

#3 posted 12-28-2014 09:55 PM

Buy what you can afford, but worth looking at specs side by side first. I know already posted Rikon has 1 HP vice ¾ HP. What is the distance between center, swing over the bed and tool rest base?
Rikon says 20” between centers Nova 16 ½”
Rikon says 12 ½” swing over the bed and 9 5/8” over the tool rest base.
Nova says 12’ swing over the bed nothing about over the tool rest.

I was around when both Delta & Nova left the mini market and left Jet the only mini worth having for years. No so many Jet 1014 clones out there cannot keep track. Would not surprise me to see Nova drop the Comet again!
Do not see Delta doing that with their midi.

-- Bill

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