Anyone Using Bigger Rikon Lathes?

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Forum topic by Shaun posted 06-14-2017 05:48 PM 3386 views 1 time favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Shaun's profile


39 posts in 1203 days

06-14-2017 05:48 PM

Topic tags/keywords: lathe turning rikon 220v 110v outboard

Hi everyone

I’m currently using a lathe that was given to me – a Mastercraft 37” lathe with a bar rather than a bed. It’s working but I’m hitting the limits quickly. I’d like to have a bigger swing or be able to do outboard turning to make, say, 18” to 24” bowls.

Being in Canada, I don’t have access to a plethora of brands for buying new.

  • Busy Bee/Craftex is definitely out due to my own personal quality concerns (whether real or imagined)
  • Jet, Grizzly and Nova aren’t available to me.
  • General was bought and seems to be disappearing from the market place.
  • OneWay is WAY out of my price range.

That pretty much leaves Laguna and Rikon.

I’ve been taking courses at various Lee Valley Tools locations and used the following benchtop lathes:

  • General 10” lathe
  • Rikon 70-100
  • Rikon 70-200 VSR

Even the General lathe has some very big pros over my Mastercraft. Both of the Rikons were a pleasure to use. An absolute pleasure.

There are piles of reviews on the Rikon benchtop lathes but I’m not seeing very many serious reviews on the bigger Rikons. I’ve tried googling the following:

  • Rikon 70-305 Review
  • Rikon 70-306 Review
  • Rikon 70-450 Review

But I haven’t really found any reviews. My questions would be:

  • Is anyone in the LumberJocks community using one of these lathes (or an older similar Rikon)?
  • If so, what do you think of it?
  • The 70-305 and 70-306 offer outboard turning. With enough weight on the bottom shelf, could I realistically turn an 18” to 24” bowl on one of these?
  • The 70-305 is 220v and the 70-306 is 110v, both 1.5hp. Any practical difference in how the lathe will behave?

Basically, I really like the 70-220 VSR (and even the 70-100) I’ve used at various classes. I’d like the same pleasure I get from those lathes in a bigger, free-standing model.

Any thoughts?

Of course, I’m keeping my eyes open on the used market as well. I won’t be looking to buy for several months but I’m the kind of guy that likes to do research well in advance.

Thanks, everyone

-- Shaun, Ontario, Total n00b at wood turning

6 replies so far

View Spinnerbug's profile


17 posts in 1123 days

#1 posted 06-14-2017 07:01 PM

Shaun, i just got a new Laguna 18/36 and love it.
Big enough to allow me larger turns if I want. Seems very well made and works very well.
Just my opinion

-- Harry, Pennsylvania

View LeeMills's profile


702 posts in 2075 days

#2 posted 06-14-2017 09:35 PM

I used the small Rikons and they were great but I have no experience with their full size.
For the specs on the two (305 and 306) you would have to compare. In general I would prefer the 220 if you have a line available. My lathe is 1.5hp but I ran a separate 120V 20 amp line for it to insure I would not be tripping the breaker.
The Nova XP it is listed at 1.75 hp on 110 and 2 hp on 220.
I do not know where you are but here are the dealers Nova list for Canada. They may be a long way off from you.
Looks like KSM is in nine cities.

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

View Andre's profile


3567 posts in 2580 days

#3 posted 06-15-2017 05:57 AM

I was going to buy the Rikon 70-200 VSR but picked up the King 12-18 from KMS tools which by the way has Nova Lathes, at least the one here in Edmonton has them. So far with limited use have been very happy with the King.

-- Lifting one end of the plank.

View Wildwood's profile


2865 posts in 2908 days

#4 posted 06-15-2017 10:31 AM

Fit & finish seems to be one concern many turners have. Guess Rikon cloned old reliable Woodfast Aussie lathe that”s not got on well with old woodturners. Here is only review on bigger Rikon lathes aware of. Might be able to contact man now that lathe couple years old and see if still likes it.

-- Bill

View alittleoff's profile


548 posts in 2050 days

#5 posted 06-15-2017 02:09 PM

I’ve been kicking around the idea of buying a lathe. That 18-36 laguna really looks right for me.

View Shaun's profile


39 posts in 1203 days

#6 posted 06-16-2017 01:40 AM

The 18-36 Laguna looks really attractive. I watched the promo video. I love that the headstock slides all the way to the end of the bed for outboard turning rather than swiveling. It looks like such a great lathe. The only alarm bell that went off is the 1 year warranty. To me, that doesn’t bode well. If a machine is built to last a lifetime, a 5 year warranty should be nothing for the company to offer. Even a 3 year would be acceptable.

-- Shaun, Ontario, Total n00b at wood turning

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