Which Midi Lathe to Buy ?

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vfauto

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Feb 27, 2012
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Ma
I am looking to buy a Midi lathe to set up on a rolling tool box to take with me in my Toy Hauler Motor Home so I have something to do while camping. Can you all tell me what your thoughts are on the best Midi lathes out there today? It seems like the Jet 1221vs, the PSI TCLC12VS,and the Rikon 70-220vsr are the most popular.
 
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ez Ed

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My wife brought home the Jet 1221vs for me. I'm loving it. Smooth, quiet and heavy. Upgraded from a M Power and the difference was like going from a Yugo to a Mercedes. No complaints to date, but might be more than one needs if only turning pens. It is always nice to keep options open.
 

JohnU

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Ottawa, Illinois
I don't have any experience on high end stuff but I went from a mini $89 Menards special to a midi Delta 46-460 and have no complaints with it. I'm only making pens and bracelets at the moment but it's quiet and heavy, with a reverse gear and variable speed. Works great for my needs.
 

KenV

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Juneau, Alaska.
If you have to lug it out and put it away, the weight will be important

Home Depot just offered to sell me a Nova Comet with a G3 Chuck delivered to my local Home Depot Store. The delivered cost was $516. I did not note the weight.
 

alaskagypsy

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Feb 11, 2008
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Fairbanks, AK, USA.
Love my Jet 1221 vs

The Jet 1221 vs is great - but heavy. For pen turning I never have to move the belt to a different pulley. I have all the adjustment with the variable speed I need. But still have adjustment when I turn something else.
 

TonyL

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Mar 9, 2014
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Alpharetta, GA 30004
I do not know what the best is. I own a 1221 vs and a 1015 vs, both handle my pen turning just fine. However, I do like the added HP of the 1221 even though I just make pens.

I do like (and I wouldn't buy another one without the vs and digital readout - but that is just me) the variable speed and I do use reverse on the 1221 for sanding - but one doesn't have to. I don't have much experience with other lathes.

I have also seen beautiful pens, and pens that I still aspire to turn with less expensive lathes (and with less options). Enjoy the research and if you can, wait for a sale :).
 

TonyL

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As Ken noted...the weight is going to be a top consideration. There are no shortages of good pen making lathes. I don't even like to think about moving my 1221. The 1015 is much lighter and therefore mobile.
 

Old Codger

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Oct 27, 2013
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Bellingham, WA
You can't go wrong with a Jet 1221VS for what you described. It is HEAVY, but since you're going to pull it on a special trailer, not an issue. The 1221VS is (I believe...) the heaviest and most versatile and well built midi lathe on the market! Jet's customer service is exceptional as well as their 5 yr. warranty. I've had mine now for almost 3 years and have never had a complaint, plenty of power to turn 12" bowls and everything in between there and pens! VS mtr has plenty of power and low to high speeds are the best of all mini's although I've never had to change mine from the lowest speed due to it's speed/power range. Buy the largest, heaviest and best made lathe you can buy and you won't be disappointed!
 
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