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Thread: lathe comparison article.

  1. #1
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    lathe comparison article.

    Very interesting. Not completely objective but still full of good information. He overlooked the Grizzly G0632 which is almost identical to the Jet 16-42. And, I have to wonder why he calls the Jet 16-42 a "sibling" to the Powermatic. Are they made by the same company? Missing in his assessment is 'value'. A comparison of features to dollars is always helpful. Of course, that comparison ultimately lies with the customer.

    http://www.teknatool.com/products/La...April%2007.pdf
    "Folks is funny critters."

    Think for yourselves and let others enjoy the privilege to do so, too. ~Voltaire

  2. #2
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    Actually, Jet and Powermatic are both owned by the WMH Tool Group.

    Great article! Thanks for posting.
    I may be lost but I'm making good time!
    Three Seasons Woodturnings

  3. #3
    hmmm according to them, the General was not powerful enough in the spindle? I've maxed out the capacity and hogged stuff out, no stalling or no noticeable flexing of the spindle. I wonder what they were doing to make 1" diameter steel bar flex?????

  4. #4
    I sure like what he had to say about the PM3520B that I hope is hiding in the large box on pallets in my shop.....waiting for over 4 weeks now to see the light of day or the lights in my shop thats almost finished.....


    I'm holding tough Nancy!

  5. #5
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    All in all a fairly good test, but I know they took a beating in the next issue's "Letters from the readers" section.

    Seems like they "Cherry Picked" a lot of the lathes, you are correct Frank, why did they pick the Grizzly lathe that they did, and why was a middle weight Oneway not included etc etc. They gave their answers, but they were fairly lame, it really seemed to me that they were dead set on having the Mustard be the top dog, no matter what, and I think they were surprised at how well the Nova lathes did.

    They set their prices at $1200 to $3200, just high enough to exclude the Grizzly clone of the Jet, and low enough to exclude anything near the Mustard, but, what about the Oneway 1224, or the Vicmarc VL200, both easily in the range and top drawer lathes, why where they not included?

    I'm sorry but while the info etc is very good, and the method of testing is very fair, the selection of the lathes they picked was not.

    Some other things, one hit against the Rikon is the handle for tightening up the tool rest, OK, it is a bit flimsy looking, but for a few bucks, you can get a much better one, so instead of pointing out this is a negative, why not tell the readers to just replace this one bad thing? I do respect Fine Wood Working, but sometimes their tests seem designed to push a certain product, might very well be an unfair accusation, but it is meant more as an observation.
    The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.
    William Arthur Ward

  6. #6
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    Stu, unfortunately, that is common with magazines that review products. In the 1970's, I owned a Sears Roebuck franchise store. One of my best selling appliances was a $99.00 clothes dryer. I also subscribed to Consumers Report and depended on it for many of my buying decisions. Then, one issue, they did a 'comparison' of clothes dryers. All but the $99.00 Sears model were in the $150.00 to $200.00 price range. My affordable model was essentially the same as higher priced Sears (Lady Kenmore) models but without all the bells and whistles. CR panned the Sears and gave it lousy rating. My sales dropped considerably and I was [expletive deleted] with them. Had they reviewed only dryers in the $100.00 range, I'm sure the Sears would have shined. Oh, well. That's why I love forums like this and the ability to read product specs on many-many comparable items on the Internet. Oh, BTW, CR lost a loyal subscriber.
    "Folks is funny critters."

    Think for yourselves and let others enjoy the privilege to do so, too. ~Voltaire

  7. #7
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    I think one thing to keep in mind is that there are a lot more Jets, Novas, and PM's out there. Personally, I wouldn't buy a Oneway 1224 for $2100 while I could spend the same money and get a competant 16" swing lathe. I don't mean to ruffle the feathers of the Oneway fans, I just can't see the value in one for mid size lathe. If I was touring the symposium circuit and wanted to have my own demo lathe then one might be a consideration.
    I think they compared the lathes that most newer turners/ hobbyists are buying.
    >>Enter witty saying here<<

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by TYLER WOOD View Post
    hmmm according to them, the General was not powerful enough in the spindle? I've maxed out the capacity and hogged stuff out, no stalling or no noticeable flexing of the spindle. I wonder what they were doing to make 1" diameter steel bar flex?????
    You'd be surprised what can happen with a soaking wet 16" blank cantilevered off a faceplate

    I owned a 25-650. I agree with pretty much everything in the article. It's underpowered for its HP rating, very unstable on its base and the toolrest extension is downright dangerous.

    As for the small spindle, remember that also means smaller bearings. I had the front bearing on my spindle go bad after only 7 months of light hobbyist use. When I took the spindle apart I found teeny little unsealed bearings. I was told that bearings are not a warranty item.

    To their credit, they offered to replace it anyway. To their discredit, they sent me incorrect bearings twice, I finally went out and bought and installed my own bearings and it took 9 months to get a refund check from General.

    It does have a ton of nice features for the money, but IMHO the bad outweighs the good here.

    -Joe

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