December 19, 2020

Jet Variable Speed Mini Lathe Model 1015VS Review

Space is a rare luxury these days, and most of us can’t afford it, but that doesn’t mean we cannot fulfil our dreams. A mini wood lathe might be the best solution to see you through small woodturning projects like turning pens. There is a lot you can get up to with such equipment, things like turning bowls, bottle stoppers, sofa legs, chair spindles and hollow vessels to mention but a few. With that in mind, one begins to think long and hard about the perfect mono wood lathe they can get which will cut on the space they use without cutting the quality of the work they produce. 

The JWL-1015VS from Jet is one of the best mini-lathes on the market. The fact that it’s easy to use makes it perfect for beginners. It is very affordable that you can even get it for your backyard workshop and will also be a great addition to your big workshop without leaving a massive dent in your bank account. It is also great in the sense that you will use less power when working on something small that does not need a big lathe. 

BrandJet
Model Number1015VS
RPM (Rotation Per Minute)200-1050 / 300-1750 / 600-3600 (three speed)
Motor1 PH / 4 Amps / 115 Volts
Faceplate Size26 inches
Weight35.5 kg
Dimensions26×7×14 inches (L×W×H)
Horsepower1/2
Voltage115
Warranty5 years

Woodcarving can be fun even for the stay at home wife and all those people who think they can’t work with wood. You might visit a workshop and discover that you enjoy carving. The hustle then comes when you look to buy your first lathe. There is a lot to it than meets the eye. One needs to consider the size of their project and the horsepower they will need, not forgetting the power supply they have at their disposal. Considering all this you will lose a lot of your precious time searching for the lathe suitable for your needs. 

The JWL-1015VS is compatible with most needs. It weighs just about 35.5 kilograms making it lighter than most of its competitors. It gives you 15.5 inches between centres meaning you can easily fit a piece of 15 inches without any hustle. It comes with a cast-iron lathe bed for that improved durability most products in the field lack. The cast iron is not only durable but also reduces the vibration you get when working, resulting in smooth operation, which then translates to quality work. It also comes with a 10-inch swing over bed. 

Pros 

  • Lower RPM of 200
  • More significant speed range, from 200 to 3600
  • Cast iron bed for reduced vibration
  • Very durable 
  • 24 index positions 
  • Compatible with extensions

Cons

  • Doesn’t have reverse speed
  • Extensions bought separately

The improved VS version, which is this one without any modifications features three adjustable speed ranges. The adjustable speeds of 200-1050, 300-1750, 600-3600 make it very versatile to work on any project as long as it can fit between the ends. Vibration is a nuisance we don’t want when working but we can’t get rid of it completely. The JWL-1015VS does a great job in reducing it though its ½ horsepower motor which is enough to turn the wood piece without much vibration. Turning to science, less vibration means the machine is more efficient, so most of that power you pay for goes to fair use. In changing the speed of the lathe, you can easily access the belts and pulleys. If you have an older version of a lathe, this can be an upgrade as it comes with an improved tensioning system with easier access to belts. 

Aesthetic

Yes, this is work equipment, but one would want their workshop to look presentable to the point that anyone who visits quickly credits the products that out of it before even using them. Some lathes just look too serious, which is not the way of the modern world. This lathe seems simple enough that even someone who has never worked with wood can have the courage to try it out just because the equipment is inviting. It comes with two handles which do not only make it easy to move around but add to its looks as well.  

Performance Review 

It is well built with the best alignment you can find in this price range. If you are new to the trade, you might wonder why the manufacture had to go through the trouble of putting 24 index positions on this piece of machinery. Many index positions make it easy to cut fluting and veining; this is great for performance and makes the lathe very friendly to the not so experienced spinners.

Safety 

Worry not for your safety. I don’t know if it was part of the plan to make this piece so safe or it was just a coincidence, but the bottom line is it’s the safest in the market. All the moving parts are conveniently concealed apart from the ones you use. 

Who is the product ideal for?

Whether you are a professional, an amateur or even a beginner this lathe is a great choice, unlike most small lathes it can achieve a lower rpm of 200 which makes it a must-have for the professionals. Some parents like to teach their children their trade as they grow, you can easily teach your teenagers the trade on this efficient lathe with low chances of accidents.

Our Verdict

The JWL-1015VS is an improved version of the JWL-1015, you can see the numerous improvements as you look at this wood lathe, its only shortcoming is that it adds more weight than the JWL-1015. Compared to the rest of the lathes in the market the JWL-1015VS quickly tramples the competition, even the professionals are beginning to prefer it to the bigger lathes as the bigger lathes only have the advantage of size and fewer RPM which most projects do not require all that much. 

David D. Hughes

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