Rikon 70-220VSR vs Jet 1221VS Wood Lathe (2024 Buying Guide)

Rikon 70-220VSR vs Jet 1221VS Wood Lathe

One of the most common questions that woodturners ask themselves is “which lathe should I buy?” This question can be difficult to answer because there are many factors that need to be considered. 

Woodworking tools can be a daunting investment, and it’s important to know what you want before buying. The Rikon 70-220vsr vs Jet 1221VS wood lathe comparison will help you decide which one is the best fit for your needs!

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Image Product Details   Price
backpac Rikon 70-220VSR 12-1/2″ swing and 20″ between centers
1HP motor
3850 max RPM
Check Price
backpac JET JWL-1221VS 1HP motor
12″ x 21″ turning capacity
3600 max RPM
Check Price

Rikon 70-220VSR (Overview)

The Rikon Power Tools 70-220VSR 12-1/2″ x 20″ VSR MIDI Lathe is equipped with a powerful 1HP motor to take on all of your turning jobs.

The 12-1/2″ swing and 20″ between centers will allow you to turn pieces ranging from spindles to large bowls or platters.

RIKON Power Tools 70-220VSR

A 24 position index head allows for an accurate pattern or design work while the electronic variable speeds and LED display ensures easy speed changes and reverse operations.

The Rikon Power Tools 70-220VSR 12-1/2″ x 20″ VSR MIDI Lathe is perfect for creating small or medium-size pieces of art. With its wide turning capacity and robust 1HP motor, the Rikon lathes turn easily with little chance of bogging down.

Its electronic variable speeds provide a range from 250 to 3850 RPM all controlled by an easy-to-read LED display that also features forward and reverse functions.

Read More Rikon Reviews:
Rikon 70-105 Mini Wood Lathe
Rikon 70-150VSR

JET JWL-1221VS (Overview)

Experience limitless possibilities with this powerful JET Lathe. Powered by three-speed ranges, the 60-900, 110-1,800, and 220-3,600 ensure your projects will be successful no matter what your skill level is. The variable speeds are easily adjusted by just twisting a knob, perfect for beginners or experts alike. 

JET JWL-1221VS Wood Lathe

The amazing ratchet belt strap system creates even tension throughout the entire drive for consistent performance over time.

It includes an efficient storage caddy on each end of the machine that’s perfect for locksmiths and other tradespeople who need one step closer access to their tools while working.

Whether you’re a woodworker or looking for your first lathe, the JET JWL-1221VS is packed with features and ready to serve in any shop. And this powerful variable-speed machine has tons of power when tackling anything from turning pens to large bowls. Couple that comfortable tilting bed with an impressive range of accessories and there’s no reason to go with another lathe.

Included in the box of this lathe are: ‎

  • Lathe
  • Tools
  • Hardware
  • Tool Supports (6″ and 10″)
  • Tool Caddy (x2)
  • Knockout Rod

Get the power and precision of a larger machine with this 12″x21″ variable-speed woodworking lathe from Jet JWL-1221VS.

Rikon 70-220VSR vs Jet 1221VS (Comparison)

Let’s compare the Rikon 70-220Vsr vs Jet 1221vs.


When it comes to design, both lathes are made with the same type of steel and cast iron construction to ensure years of reliable performance. The Jet 1221vs seems to be a little more pleasing to the eye due to its white color and sleek design.

The two tool storage caddies on both ends of the Jet lathe are a nice touch and something that isn’t always found on a wood lathe. Many people will find this feature very useful. The safety features are also quite nice on this lathe.


Both wood lathes feature a 1HP motor. So both can handle small to medium size projects with ease.

Variable Speeds

Rikon has a maximum RPM of 3850 RPM while the Jet can go up to 3600 RPM. When it comes to the lowest speed the Jet JWL1221VS has the lowest speed of 60 RPM while Rikon can only reach 250.


The Rikon weighs in at 124 pounds and the jet is 121 pounds, so relatively similar weight but Rikon’s heavier by 3 pounds.

Both lathes have a sturdy cast iron construction that should stand up to years of use. This also reduces vibrations.

Turning capacity

When it comes to turning capacity both lathes are quite similar. The Rikon can turn a piece between centers that is less than 20″ while Jet has one extra inch to work with.

For the swing over bed, it is a similar situation. The Rikon 70-220VSR gets an extra half an inch.

The Verdict

Both lathes have great features, but if your budget allows it we highly recommend going with Jet 1221VS Wood Lathe. The difference in price is not huge but you get some extra features that might come in handy.

Overall the Jet JWL-1221VS looks and feels a bit more refined with its innovative design, easy-to-reach controls, and added safety features.

JET JWL-1221VS Wood Lathe

If those things are not important to you and you want to save some money then go with the Rikon 70-220VSR. It is quite similar to the Jet.

When it comes to popularity the Jet 1221vs is the clear winner.

Both machines work great for beginners and experts alike. It all comes down to your personal preference and what you want out of a lathe.

These wood lathes are perfect for projects like pens, bottle stoppers, and other small projects. They are also great for learning how to use a wood lathe without breaking the bank in case you don’t find it as enjoyable an experience as anticipated.

Final Thoughts

So, which wood lathe do you buy? The Rikon 70-220vsr or the Jet 1221VS?

If you’re on a budget and need to save some money, then go with the Rikon.

Otherwise, if you have more of an investment in mind for your new hobby, I would recommend going with the Jet. It includes features that are not found on most other models at this price point.

Thank you for reading our Rikon 70-220VSR vs Jet 1221VS Wood Lathe blog post.