Rikon - 70-220 VSR (Rating: 5)

After a couple of weeks of near full time turning I think I can write a decent review of my new Midi Lathe. To date I've turned a couple of bowls, several pens and some Christmas ornaments
To tell the truth I stopped in my local Woodcraft store to look at the Jet 1221. I was very surprised to see a Rikon lathe with virtually identical specs.
The 70-220 VSR is an electronically controlled variable speed lathe, with reverse. It advertises a 12 1/2 inch swing over the bed, a 1 hp motor, electronic variable speed with 3 belt positions. It comes equipped with
a tool holder, spur drive, live end, knock out, a 3 inch face plate, 6 inch tool rest, open end and Allen Wrenches.
I've found it to be very smooth and quiet yet powerful in operation. Even with limited room on my bench mount belt position chances are a breeze and can be accomplished in seconds. Actual speed ranges on my unit are low, 225-735 rpm. middle position 490- 1600 rpm and high 1125-3750. In all speed ranges actual and advertised speeds vary. ymmv
Those of you who mount your lathe to a bench will find a convenient predrilled flange on both ends for fastening your lathe to the work surface. Assembly is straight forward. Prior to use I removed the light oil coating from the machine.
I do have two small griefs with the 70-220. I'm not crazy about the position of the off on switch, I've already turned the lathe off by butt pressing the switch while turning the inside of a bowl. Probably more to do with the way I mount my machine than with the lathe. Second I wish that the tail stock locking lever was 1/2 inch longer as I pinch my knuckle every time I release it.
All in all I'm a very happy with my purchase and would recommend this unit to anyone. I think you'll also be very happy with the price.