Jet JWL 1220
Welcome to the Jet JWL 1220 lathe review
To see reviews of other models click the links below.
To see our overview on wood lathes click Wood Lathe Reviews
If you only need the best place to buy, Amazon has the best prices and usually includes free shipping and no sales tax on their tools.
Who should buy this lathe- This lathe is perfect for beginners to experienced turners. It is perfect for a first lathe or as a second lathe for a more experienced turner.
What you can turn with this lathe- As with any mini lathe is is designed to turn small items like pens and small bowls and hobby projects. You can also turn objects like bowls up to 12 inches in diameter.
Jet JWL 1220
At first glance, Jet model number can sometimes look rather random, but they actually are very descriptive.
Here’s an example. JET 1220VS Mini Lathe
The first number (in this example 12) is the maximum diameter of the wood you can mount, the second number (20) is the length that will fit in the lathe. In this review I’ll discuss the JetjJWL 1220. But just realize all Jet mini lathes are similar in operation. Just verify the model numbers to the diameter and width that you prefer.
Most mini lathes start out with about 1/3 hp motors. The 1220 has a full sized 3/4. What you’re getting is a full sized lathe motor in a small and easy to use package.
There’s enough power to turn what you need without overtaxing the machine. The full sized motor means a smoother turn and safer operation.
The other advantage of this lathe is weight. It weighs 99 pounds. This means it’s heavy enough to not have vibration, but light enough to move when necessary.
Almost No Vibration
The heavy duty cast iron body eliminates almost all vibration. So turning here is really smooth.
If you can, I would suggest you add the stand. It will also help dampen vibration and probably be at the correct height to turn. However is budget or space is a concern, your workbench can be used if you have absolutely no wobble and the lathe is secured well.
Another big benefit of low vibration is a quiet operation. Jet saws produce very little noise. Not a make or break feature, but you’ll appreciated this after you’ve been turning awhile.
Is it easy to use?
The controls are pretty easy to use. All are within easy access on the headstock. The variable speed is I think a necessary feature for any quality lathe. It’s safer, too. to change speed, simply slip the belt to the next rotor. Works a lot like your drill press when changing speeds.
If you really want oohs and ahhs from your friends and family take a look at indexing. An index feature allows you to carve flutes or veins in your work. You probably won’t use this much, but once you do, you’ll be glad you have it.
This model also has a live tail center that is actually well made and easy to use. I think this is a must have feature but surprisingly, some lathes still don’t have this feature.
To learn more, I would encourage you to watch this video on the Jet JWL 1220. It does a good job of showing the lathes features.
As with any tool price can be an issue. No different here. But if you get a lesser quality lathe you’ll regret it and eventually end up spending more in the long run after you come back and buy a lathe like this, anyway.
Certain tools you can get away with spending less, but precision tools like lathes aren’t one of them.
I have been a fan of Jet tools for awhile now. They are a solid well known company. I feel very comfortable that you will like your Jet Lathe.
I hope this review has been helpful. If you would like to read more reviews or purchase a Jet JWL 1220 lathe click the link to Amazon. I have found their prices are the lowest on lathes and usually include no shipping or sales taxes.
Good luck and enjoy your new lathe.
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