JET JWL-1221VS Wood Lathe Review

The JET JWL-1221VS Wood Lathe is known for its quality and performance. With an increased size compared with the mini lathe ones; this version is performing with big capabilities and special features, making it a powerful wood lathe amongst the others.

Hobbyists and DIYers like me know that the wood lathes are an important part of woodworking. This machine allows the user to have precise and accurate symmetrical pieces of wood. However, big wood lathes may be bothering for home users. That’s why a smaller version of wood lathe becomes the better fit.

If you’re planning to purchase one, this review will give you a detailed review of the JET JWL-1221VS Wood Lathe.

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Unrivaled Speed Control

The JET JWL-1221VS Wood Lathe prides itself with incomparable speed control. Its motor speed can be easily operated with just a turn simple turn of the dial. Its tachometer gives the access to exact speed you desired the lathe to run on. Aside from the speed, it also shows error codes, should you encounter any, to warn you about the motor.

It can run for up to 60-3600 revolutions per minute speed (RPM) and can also run in reverse without the need to run off the machine so you can build a sustained momentum while working. The lowest range is helpful in building an amazing quantity of torque. The range of speed of this machine is designed to deal with any types of wood work.

Ratchet Style Belt Tensioning System

The JWL 1221VS variable speed wood lathe features an innovative ratchet style belt tensioning system developed with patent pending. This design gives a swift switch of the belt from forward to reverse and also to save time in assembling and disassembling the lathe for another wood job. The quick change only gives a very minimal vibration for fewer disturbances.

JET JWL 1221-VS Feature & Specs

This wood lathe has a lot more to offer than the first two features stated above. For an in-depth review, here are more specifications you have to know about the JWL 1221 Variable Speed Wood Lathe:

  • Unlike the previous models, this device is bigger and heavier. Its head, tail stocks, and banjo are more muscular and firm. This adds stability while doing the wood work.
  • It has 24 indexing positions.
  • For an ensured efficient work of the machine, its centers are all properly aligned.
  • It has an undeniably smooth operation. It provides a perfect blend of power to produce less shake and vibration while working.
  • Higher pedestal for lessening the unnecessary chatter perfect for any wood projects.
  • Both doors in the lathe are large enough to fit the fingers.
  • Its spindle lock also has an indexing pin for easy removal of threaded accessories.
  • The bed contains the tool and cable storage fittings to keep the necessary tools within reach.

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JET JWL 1221-VS Reviews

The JET JWL 1221 variable speed wood lathe garnered an overall product rating of 4.5 out of 5 stars (at the time of this writing). The majority of its customer reviews are rated with five stars at Amazon, proving that majority of the customers have been satisfied with the product.  The main reason for this is the quality performance the device gives in every wood job.

According to one customer, the product was overall satisfying. It can perform according to its claims and purposes. The impressive thing is that it is quiet and not sturdy at all. Thus, the work can be done in the most peaceful way. It does have a smooth operation and is perfect for becoming anyone’s primary workhorse. Also, it works in great speed which is the main key to getting any job done faster. It is indeed top of its class.

Things to Improve

There is a minor drawback in this wood lathe. It does not have any safety goggles or even hex wrenches that would be good for added user safety. The hand wheels are also not chrome plated; they are just painted. Nonetheless, the machine still works great. The safety tools can just be easily bought separately if you want to.


In summary, the JET JWL 1221 Wood Lathe is such a great find for all your woodworking needs. It works in reliable speed that can also be controlled. It is also a little bigger compared to others, but it does perform in significant capabilities and endless possibilities. It is powerful and can perform a variety of wood-turning tasks.

With its five-year warranty, you are assured of quality customer service and product maintenance from JET. Not to mention the fact that they have multiple centers all over the United States to provide the quickest service possible. This long warranty gives every customer a guarantee that the machine will be prioritized even after the purchase. Check out other best wood lathe & take a look at the wood planer guide too.

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