April 23, 2022

Jet Wood Lathe 1221vs Review

Overview of the Jet 1221vs

It is a lightweight machine that comes with a standard two-door cabinet. It focuses more on control. It is versatile as it comes with 24 integrated indexing positions. The control system is convenient, considering where it is. The transition is very smooth from the forward to the reverse. The style belt pressure system is innovative. 

The spindle has springs inside. It has speed variance that you control when working on different wood pieces. It is ideal for beginners as well as professionals. You can use it on wood pieces that are 12 inches in diameter. The speed varies from 60 to 3600 rotations per minute, depending on your preference. The motor power is a horse, and the power source required is 115 Volts. It weighs 137 pounds. 

A workbench will be ideal to use as a stand. The lathe is small, and it uses less space than your garage. You need to make sure that it does not shake. The three pulley settings make up the motor. The role of each pulley is to adjust the rotation speed and torque. Adjusting the torque gives different levels of power depending on the material.


  • Great build
  • Speed variance
  • No noise
  • Locks in good
  • Easy drive belt
  • Optional stand


  • Difficult to manoeuvre
  • Not affordable

Key features of the Jet wood lathe 1221vs

Mounting lathe to stand/table 

The lathe must be mounted to the optional stand or a work table for safe operation using the four threaded holes in its base.

Tool rest 

The tool rest assembly allows adjustment for height, position on the bed, and angle. Loosen the locking handle on the tool rest base to slide the base forward or back, and angle it to the bed. Tighten the locking handle firmly before operating the lathe. Loosen a small handle to raise or lower the tool rest and angle it to work. Tighten the handle before the operation of the lathe.


Loosen the locking lever and slide the tailstock into position. Retighten the locking lever. Do not position the edge of the tailstock off the end of the bed. That ends in less clamping surface and may increase the risk of injury. To remove the tailstock, loosen the lever and slide the tailstock off the end of the bed. Handle locks and unlocks tailstock quill. The handle is adjustable. T

To operate the handle, lift it, rotate it on the pin, then release it, making sure it seats itself on the pin. Push the quill toward the handwheel until it engages. Use the handwheel advances and retracts the quill. Sometimes the quill is well advanced and fails to respond to handwheel rotation. 

Lock the tailstock in position, remove it from the bed, and turn it over. Adjust the cam lock nut as needed. Adjusting the clamping system is done by the manufacturer.

Operating controls 

The lathe tool featured a speed dial. Rotate the dial to set the speed, shown as RPM (revolutions per minute). Start at the lowest speed within that range and gradually increase to full speed. Do not start the lathe at maximum speed with a workpiece mounted. 

The Fwd/Rev switch has the Forward control as a counterclockwise spindle rotation, as viewed from the tailstock end. It is the rotation for standard woodturning operations. The reverse is a clockwise rotation, and the spindle direction is changed without turning off the lathe. 

The On/off switch determines the start or end operation of the tool. Pull up to start the lathe, and push down to stop. Remove the safety key to prevent unauthorized use of a lathe. Reinsert the key to start the lathe. If a power outage should occur during operation, the lathe will not immediately restart when power is resumed. 

Flip paddle switch off and then back on to start the lathe. The Digital readout may display an error code if a malfunction occurs on the lathe. Also, an alarm signal is emitted until the issue has been resolved when an error code occurs.


Faceplates are the simplest, most reliable method of holding wood for turning, although you can still use chucks. There are dozens of chucks to choose from, but as a woodturner, consider all the types of turning that will be done and read reports or discuss with other turners who own chucks before making a decision. 

A chuck is handy when working on more than one piece. Rather than removing screws, you open the chuck and change workpieces. The popular ones are four-jaw scroll chucks with jaws to accommodate different size tenons. Most also come with a screw chuck.

Motor Brushes 

 Inspect the two carbon brushes located at each side of the motor. Heavily worn or damaged brush damages internal motor elements. If motor brushes need replacing, replace both at the same time. 



The spindle is 20.5 inches long. It is spring-loaded for clamps with a strong force. You will rip thick material with ease.

Safety features

Speed variance keeps you from danger. It helps you control speed depending on the material you are working with. It has the JET covering that you are safe during installation, operation, and storage. 

RPM Speed

The speed variance revolves around low, mid, and high ranges depending on the type of material you are working on. It runs at a speed of 60 to 900 rotations per minute on low, 110 to 1800 rotations per minute on mid-range and 220 to 3600 RPM on high speed. In short, it ranges from 60 to 3600 per month.

The lathe has three-speed ranges, controlled by the electronic variable speed dial and the belt position upon one of three pulley sets. When there is no torque, each lower setting has an RPM range.

Control panel

The control panel has a digital display of speed that controls speed. It makes the bowl blank go up quickly. The read-out panel makes it easy to return to the previous. The forward and reverse speed switch has an oval-shaped button. 

Powerful motor

The horsepower electric motor is a standard 115 Volt plugging into a power outlet. The lower pulley setting gives more torque by adjusting the torque. That takes place when turning a large and heavy bowl blank. Speed variance makes the machine. You use the knob to control it. 


The JET wood lathe can be a perfect pick if you are looking for a lightweight machine. It is versatile as it comes with 24 integrated indexing positions. The control system is convenient, and the transition is very smooth. The style belt pressure system is innovative, and the speed variance allows it to work on different wood pieces. It is ideal for beginners as well as professionals. Check your preferences and compare them with the given features of the Jet wood lathe.

David D. Hughes

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