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Thread: Rikon 70-050VS or Excelsior Mini Lathe

  1. #1

    Rikon 70-050VS or Excelsior Mini Lathe

    Anyone have experience with these two lathes? The Excelsior is sold by Rocklear and is a 5 speed for $280 regular price. The Rikon I have found on sale also for about $280. With shipping they are within about $5 of each other. Both have thre option of adding an extension so that is good, I saw the Ricon 1216 in another thread but it doesn't have that capability so I ruled it out. This will be my first wood lathe and either looks like it will be fine for me to start with. Thanks, Jim.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    The Gorge Area, Oregon
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    4,698
    Haven't personally used either.. but I'd put a small premium on variable speed having had it it would now be annoying to do without. If you've never had it you probably wouldn't miss it the same way

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Oceanside, So. Calif. 5 mi. to the ocean
    Posts
    4,944
    Jim

    When I purchased my first lathe it was a good Delta/Rockwell. It was used, but like new. A very short time went by before I purchased a new lathe. I purchased the new one for two reasons: 1) To get variable speed and 2) to get standard drive threads. Not having either one of those things would make me buy a new lathe. I, VERY STRONGLY, recommend that you get the variable speed and don't get any drive threads other than 1 x 8 (or larger if a standard thread). Odd threads extremely limit the accessories you can purchase---and they will be more expensive.

    Remember, I sold a perfectly good lathe that I liked, except for those two reasons. I took a beating money wise on the sale of the first lathe. I am so very glad that I did sell it however. I just wish I had been smart enough to purchase the second lathe first and not wasted a couple hundred dollars because I did not know how important those two items are.

    If my lathe had a slower, slow speed I would really like it. However, that alone is not enough to push me into another lathe. For your reference I have a Delta 46-460. I have the bed extension and I am glad that I have it. However, I could survive without it.

    I hope this helped you.

    Enjoy,

    JimB

    The Excelsior does not have standard threads---Or it did not have them when I purchased my first lathe. The man at Rockler advised me to not purchase the Excelsior. I don't know if I got a "favoritism" treatment or if that information would have been passed on to any customer. I was expanding my shop at that time and was buying tools (hand, power, and major) at Rockler several times a month. I am sure Rockler was looking forward to a lot of future business from me.
    Last edited by Jim C Bradley; 11-26-2012 at 05:19 AM. Reason: Add comment
    First of all you have to be smarter than the machine.
    VOTING MEMBER

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    ABQ NM
    Posts
    30,008
    I'd take the Rikon over the Excelsior. Rikon sells tools they make. Rockler sells whatever they can import. I'll also echo the suggestion to get a lathe with electronic variable speed.
    When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson
    When the weird get going, they start their own forum. - Vaughn McMillan

    workingwoods.com

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Amherst, New Hampshire
    Posts
    10,600
    I have the Rockler lathe. Bought it about 2 years ago. Rockler has it on sale quite often.

    I'm far from a big lathe user but for me it works great. Never had a problem with it.
    Faith, Hope & Charity

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