Very rarely are products truly innovative these days but the JET JWL 1221VS is a totally overhauled lathe that offers a remarkable experience combining unparalleled control and stunning results.
This cast iron lathe mini lathe is certainly no lightweight in terms of performance and although it might not seem particularly cheap, it offers exceptional value for money if you’re serious about woodturning.
A swift glance at the main features before we walk you through the JET mini lather in more detail…
Not everyone wants a full-sized monster of a lathe or even has the space to accommodate one. If you’re on the trail of a mini lathe that offers almost the capability of a midi, you’d be well advised to look into the JET JWL 1221VS.
The 1HP motor is more than fit for purpose and it kicks out a surprising amount of torque. This motor drives some rugged sealed bearings making use of a drive belt with 6 grooves.
Although it’s termed a mini lathe, the JET weighs in at a hefty 137 pounds so it gives you all the weight you need, an advantage rather than a handicap with wood lathes.
Speed control is first-rate. You can start as slowly as 60RPM and crank it right on through to 3600RPM when the application calls for it. All you need to do is turn a simple dial and there’s a digital readout to let you work without breaking your stride. If there’s any issue, you’ll get an error reading on the display so you can make the necessary tweaks to the speed.
Comfort needs to be uppermost when you’re woodturning. JET has placed all motor controls in one place in a handy panel. You’ll be able to access the on/off, spindle speed and forward/reverse without fiddling around.
Another time-saver is the ability to switch between forward and reverse without needing to turn the lathe off. Continual motion is key when you’re turning and this is a nifty feature.
You’ll be able to enjoy full customization thanks to the 24 positions on the indexing head.
The belt tensioning system features a pioneering ratchet for which JET has a patent pending. This comes into its own for belt changes meaning you can deal with this awkward task much more easily.
If you need to remove any threaded accessories, you’ll appreciate the indexing pin and spindle lock.
The scale on the tail stock comes with both imperial and metric measurements so you won’t need to undertake any tiresome mental arithmetic when you’re trying to focus on your work. The tail stock itself is extremely rigid and it slides over the bed like a dream.
The center aligns effectively which is one of the core needs if you want an efficient wood lathe.
Vibration is kept to a complete minimum. If you scour user reviews, you’ll find a handful of people complaining about the vibration but we have to disagree. It’s more than weighty enough and absolutely stable giving you a seamless woodturning experience.
The crowning glory with this fantastic mini wood lathe is a first-class 5-year limited warranty. This shows how JET stands behind this lathe and allows you to buy without a headache.