Customer reviews: (4.5 / 5)
If you would love to try your hand at wood turning, a mini-lathe proves the perfect solution. Rikon has now taken the standard mini-lathe to a whole new level with a higher capacity. Nikon 70-100 does a lot more with little space. Although they are great for turning pens, mini-lathes also excel at other tasks. With them, you can turn hollow vessels, platters, bowls, drawer pulls, bottle stoppers, table legs and chair spindles.
Rikon is one of the top manufacturers in the industry of lathe and have a very good reputation for manufacturing high quality and standard equipment. The Mini-Lathe is firm evidence of the obligation to quality. Simply put, Rikon’s mini-lathe is a small lathe with big features, which includes a 12-inch swing and the power to turn up to 16-inch between centers and an 8-inch tool rest.
Rikon 70-100 is pretty much at the peak of its retail bracket with a street price ranging from $300 – $500 (at the time this article was written). Small lathes are available for way less and are egregious turkeys at the moment. Wood working is not always fun when you have metal parts flying around the room.
Should You Buy Rikon 70-100 – Who is it for?
While the mini-lathe would no doubt impress woodworking professionals, occasional craftsmen and weekend warriors seem to see it as the perfect lathe as well. If you want to work hassle free, then this smooth-running, powerful lathe offers exclusive features which include a twelve-position index head for more accurate pattern work, the ability to include different extensions, a tool holder that is more convenient, and easy access for fast speed changes. Also, chucks and faceplates mount easily onto the spindle due to the chamfered threads and it handles heavy cuts without vibrating.
The 70-100 is the only lathe worth considering especially if you enjoy turning pieces of wood into chips more than you love trying to tweak low-end machinery into behaving itself. Rikon does a fine job easily and effectively. It works in a smooth and accurate manner and the extra-large features make it nearly comparable to floor-standing lathes. It has the ability to include multiple bed extensions and its 8 inch tool rest is superior to the standard 6 inch rest on most mini-lathes. With 2 speeds below 1000 rpm, it provides lots of torque in the range that is needed for roughing out stock.
1) Adjustable Spindle Speeds
To change spindle speeds, you need to open the access cover then loosen the locking arm. Then raise the lever to reduce tension on motor pulley and stiffen/tighten locking arm. Check belt and speed position chart inside access cover to determine the required spindle speed.
Move drive belt to your preferred pulley combination. Lower lever, loosen locking arm, and the motor will provide proper tension on the drive belt. Tighten/stiffen locking arm and close the access cover. The lathe features a 6-step motor and spindle pulleys to deliver diverse spindle speeds.
2) Dual Purpose Spindle/Indexing Lock
The dual purpose indexing lock is located on top of the headstock so that it can be easy to use. The headstock indexing feature contains twelve equally spaced positions. The spring loaded locking pin assembly can be used by turning the knob a half turn letting it to drop into the preferred position. To disengage, you need to lift the lock knob up then turn a half turn whichever way.
The twelve position indexing feature provides accurate pattern work on tasks such as grooving, straight fluting, lay out, drilling, and more. This feature also gives the user the ability to lock the spindle for removing chucks, face plates, and other accessories without needing 2 tools.
To make use of the spindle lock, lift up and rotate a half turn to disengage the locking pin. The pin will then engage in the nearest/closest pin available. Once it is locked, the face plate can be detached with the wrench provided.
Features and Specifications
- Ability to include/add multiple extensions
- Easy to access speed change – this makes it easy to change speeds fast
- Laser inbuilt ram with two and half inch travel
- 1/2HP motor
- Self ejecting tail shock – you don’t need to make use of your knock-out bar in order to do away with the center
1) It is the Largest/Biggest Mini Lathe present in the Industry
The essential conclusion to draw from this witty description is that though small, this device makes no compromise on functionality. This lets you work with much larger pieces and allows you to do more while occupying less space. The 12″ Swing and 16-inch between centers gives you enough space to perform your work while keeping a low profile when using your workbench.
2) Allows you to Alter Speeds Easily and Quickly
The Rikon mini-lathe comes with easy to access speed change which provides ample room for changing speeds quickly. Switching speeds is very quick, simple and safe with the mini-lathe. Unlike other low-priced lathes, It does not make use of lamp dimmer as a speed control, this makes the 70-100 easy to deliver maximum power at every speed you dial in.
3) It Comes with User-Friendly Features for Convenience
Some of the features that make it easy to use include a nylon-face plate washer which stops accessories from getting stock on the spindle, it has a flip-up handle which is used for mobility as well as a tool holder which makes it easy to access the knockout bars and centers.
4) Saves Time
You can reduce frustration and save a lot of time with its self-ejecting tail stock because you would not need to make use of the knock-out bar for removing the center.
5) It is Versatile
The Rikon 70-100 comes with several accessories for easy customization. This makes it easy to tailor the machine to meet your needs. Some accessory options include the ability to mount it to a stand so that you can easily adjust to your preferred working height. You can also use face plates and differently sized rests to meet your desired needs.
- The tailstock is a little weak – but you can contact their service center for a replacement if you notice this on time
- It can be difficult to transport since the machine is heavy
Some parts may be screwed together either too loose or too tight but this is no big deal because you can either loosen or tighten it depending on how it was delivered to you. Also, upon delivery some parts may be occasionally broken off – though the manufacturer usually replaces them for free.
Customer Reviews and Scores
Generally, the reviews on Rikon 70-100 are positive with more customers saying that it is easy to assemble and operate. Also, with over 20 reviews and an average rating of 4.5 out of 5 stars on a site like Amazon, one would agree that the 70-100 Rikon is one of the best mini-lathes in the market anyone could buy.
Apart from Amazon, other reputable sites have also received great positive feedbacks from buyers who prefer Rikon 70-100 to small lathes which are usually less user friendly and more difficult to use. If you are looking for what is purportedly the biggest mini lathe, then this is right for you especially if you perform various woodwork operations on small and medium sized stock.
Woodworking experts and professionals have concluded that Rikon 70-100 is currently the best mini-lathe on the market. With a very economic use of space, it is ideal for smaller workshops. Also, all the great features (user-friendliness, versatility, a huge time safer, ease of use and being the largest mini-lathe on the market) make it a very compelling buy.
Even the price is an absolute bargain because the Rikon 70-100 12-inch by 16-inch Mini Lathe comes with a manufacturer’s 2-year limited warranty. Don’t fall for cheap knock-off with no guarantee and no social proof from real buyers. Make up your mind today and make sure you get yours now before it’s too late (before the price goes up) because if you delay, you may end up kicking yourself.
We have found the best discounts and prices for the RIKON 70-100 12-by-16-Inch Mini Lathe on Amazon. Click here to check it out.
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