Help? Grizly or Jet lathe?

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Forum topic by Bob H. posted 04-28-2009 08:40 PM 12590 views 0 times favorited 13 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Bob H.

5 posts in 4350 days

04-28-2009 08:40 PM

Topic tags/keywords: lathe pen turning table legs


I’ve been a long time gone . . . Back for advice.

I have need of a new (or used) lathe of at least 12×36 capacity. I’m looking at the Jet 1642 and the Grizly 1642, OR the Jet 1236. My primary need is for turning table legs – hence the 36” min. I will probably never turn bowls – but you never can tell . . .

While looking around for a Mother’s Day gift for my wife (pen & pencil set), I stumbled on a number of pen turning sites , and my interest is piqued. I like to give it a try – so any lathe I buy should support this as well. Friends have told me that I need to think about EVS on the lathe, and a reversable motor (I’m left-handed).

Can anyone here suggest a lathe that would meet my need? Which of the 3 would you go with? Perhaps another (Delta?)?? Comments on Jet vs. Grizly?

Thanks for any and all suggestions/recommendations.

Cheers from Southern Maryland,

Bob Hendry

-- Bob, Waldorf, Md.

13 replies so far

View MauBow's profile


55 posts in 4414 days

#1 posted 04-28-2009 10:19 PM

Bob, I have read on other forums that Woodcraft will be offering 20% off Jet tools the first week of May…that would get the 1.5hp Jet 1642 down to the same price as the grizzly clone…pretty good deal if you ask me.

-- If it wasn't for misplacing things, my shop would never get cleaned up.

View midlevel's profile


1 post in 4299 days

#2 posted 04-29-2009 12:39 AM

I have read every review of lathes I can find or the last few months and the Jet series always comes out ranked at or near the top. In addition to those you mentioned the 1442 is also well liked and is a couple of hundred dollars cheaper. In that same vein of thought I have a question that maybe someone can help me with. The Rikon 70-100 Mini lathe is also at the top of its class but much smaller. What do those of you who use lathes regularly think of buying the smaller lathe that I can afford now Vs. saving up a couple of years for the larger one?

-- Hiding from housework in my shop every chance I get.

View Padre's profile


930 posts in 4457 days

#3 posted 04-29-2009 04:09 AM

Bob, I did a lot of research on lathes before I bought my Powermatic (made by Jet by the way).

If Grizzly and Jet are your two choices, Jet is far and away the better choice.

-- Chip ----------- 6:8

View mebert72's profile


1 post in 4283 days

#4 posted 04-29-2009 04:10 AM

Last year I was looking at lathes and finally decided on the Jet 1642. After using it for a little over a year now, I couldn’t be happier with my decision. I got the 1.5hp version (so I didn’t have to add another 220 circuit) and it has plenty of power. I’ve only turned bowls up to around 12” so far, but even when roughing these out and hogging the wood, it didn’t struggle. The fit and finish were great out of the crate, but for some reason the paint has been chipping easily on the headstock. No big deal about that though…

View Hrolfr's profile


174 posts in 4634 days

#5 posted 04-29-2009 04:46 AM

Jet all the way

-- Hrolfr

View trifern's profile


8135 posts in 4735 days

#6 posted 04-29-2009 05:45 AM

Hey Bob, I own the grizzly lathe. You can read my review here

I would go with the Jet.

-- My favorite piece is my last one, my best piece is my next one.

View Bob H.'s profile

Bob H.

5 posts in 4350 days

#7 posted 04-29-2009 09:40 PM

Thanks for all of the great input. My decision is made, and it’s final!. JET . . . I think!

The question is: the 1642, or the 1442?? Does anyone have experience with the 1442? Craigslist has a 1442 for $500 down in Richmond – about 1 1/2 hrs south of me. On the other hand, I finally got my Maryland income tax refund yesterday . . . And there is a Woodcraft store over in Springfield, VA – 35 min away. And there is the big 20% off sale comng up . . . Woe is me – whatever shall I do. ;-)

Again, I appreciate your help in this. Cheers!

-- Bob, Waldorf, Md.

View Chris Wright's profile

Chris Wright

541 posts in 4449 days

#8 posted 05-04-2009 04:15 PM

Well, if you’re sure you’re not ever going to do large bowls then the 1442 would probably do just fine, however, I say go with the 1642. The 1442 uses a Reeves drive for the variable speed and those have a tendency to wear out, plus the speed lever can end up in your way. If you’ve got the money, go with the lathe with EVS. As far as reversing goes, I’ve worked with several people in my shop who are left handed and they can use the lathe just fine running normally, where reversing is real nice is when it comes to sanding. As far as pen turning goes, just find out what type of taper is in the headstock spindle (usually a # 2 Morris Taper) and you just get the mandrel that fits. Anyway, good luck and I hope what you get is the best for you.

-- "At its best, life is completely unpredictable." - Christopher Walken

View a1Jim's profile


118153 posts in 4545 days

#9 posted 05-04-2009 05:37 PM

I’m a grizzly fan but for lathes I’d go with the jet


View Bob H.'s profile

Bob H.

5 posts in 4350 days

#10 posted 05-04-2009 06:26 PM

Thanks Jim – my sentiments exactly. I went over to Alexandria on Saturday, and talked at length with the staff about lathes. Fortunately for me, the fellow who teaches the woodturning workshops over there was in the store and spent nearly an hour coaching me. I’m getting ready to phone-in my order for the Jet 2-ho 1642 EVS.

Now the big question is which turning tools? Suggestions? I plan to turn mainly spindals to start out, and pens/pepper mills, etc. Do I really need regular and mini tools? I would like to buy high quality tools, but only the 2 or 3 that are really used.

Thanks again to all of you. Cheers!

Bob Hendry
“Southeren Murlland”

-- Bob, Waldorf, Md.

View Chris Wright's profile

Chris Wright

541 posts in 4449 days

#11 posted 05-05-2009 06:04 AM

Well, I did a review of the Benjamin’s Best 8 piece wood turning set. If you’ve got a good grinder set up to touch up the grinds, they are great and only $70.

-- "At its best, life is completely unpredictable." - Christopher Walken

View Schuyler Proctor's profile

Schuyler Proctor

1 post in 3320 days

#12 posted 12-18-2011 01:59 AM

I have the 1642 Jet 1.5 hp. The lathe ios great, however, now that I am turning larger objects, I wish I had purchased the 1642 2hp. And if I had the bucks I would purchase a 3hp lathe. You don’t realiize how nice it would be to have the extra power when you need it. I will most likely move up to a higher hp lathe in the near futuire. Good news is I heard the Jet 1642s have a great resale valuie.

Good Luck


View pvwoodcrafts's profile


244 posts in 4889 days

#13 posted 12-18-2011 02:18 AM

If I was just planning to turn legs I would go with old iron. Good heavy cast iron that will outlast all the new stuff. I personally have a shop full of Grizzlies but experiences friends have had past few years and my experiences ordering parts I’m shying away from any more Grizzly tools. Although they have been pretty good to me for the last 20 years their slipping bad.

-- mike & judy western md. www. [email protected]

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