LumberJocks Woodworking Forum banner
  • Please post in our Community Feedback thread for help with the new forum software! If you are having trouble logging in, please Contact Us for assistance.
1 - 20 of 26 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
13,731 Posts
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.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
817 Posts
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.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,004 Posts
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.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
13,731 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
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.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
4,108 Posts
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
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,170 Posts
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
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
13,731 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
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.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
44 Posts
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.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
13,731 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
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.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
650 Posts
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.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
4,108 Posts
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
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11,525 Posts
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.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
21,115 Posts
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.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,262 Posts
Not being a subscriber I wasn't able to read the review. I have a General 25-200 MI. Seems to work pretty fair. Fit and finish outta the box was excellent. I've been using it for about a year+ with no issues.
While magazine articles may or may not be biased or incomplete they still provide a good starting point for a tool search. JMTCW.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
706 Posts
Unless they have changed the following still holds true as far as I know.
"General is a Canadian company that makes wood lathes. They are based out of Drummonville Quebec, where their factory has been producing lathes and other machine tools and accessories since 1946. They are well known for their very high quality, attention to detail, workmanship and materials."

General International is a division of General and their tools are made in Asia.

Maybe that is why General International had a poor rating in the article and General lathes are typically rated in the tops.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,156 Posts
Just to correct the record, General ceased manufacturing operations in Canada over 2 years ago. The following is from Fine Woodworking's website, posted June 22, 2012

The number of woodworking machines made in North America is about to get even smaller. General Mfg., the Canadian woodworking machinery manufacturer that has been in business since 1946, will be closing its main factory in Drummondville, Quebec, this fall, essentially ending North American production of its tools.

According to the company, the plant closing will allow the company "to increase efficiency by combining all Canadian operations under one roof and by eliminating non-profitable SKUs from our product mix." The closing means General will focus its business resources on the General International, General CNC, and Excalibur lines of woodworking machines, currently made overseas. It's not clear at this time if any machines from General Mfg. will be appear under any of these umbrellas. The company says warranty service and replacement parts for General Mfg. tools will be available through General International.

http://www.finewoodworking.com/item/47791/general-consolidates-operations-closes-its-canadian-factory
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
706 Posts
Thanks for correcting that.
The web site still shows the two logos but the product line was not broken down as before. It's a shame another one bites the dust. It had been 4-5 years since I last went to their site.
 
1 - 20 of 26 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top