January 7, 2021

Rikon Mini Lathe Model 70-100 Review

Getting just the right equipment for the job has never been easy generally, for whichever job, spinning cannot be an exception. It’s not easy to come across a robust lathe with all the necessary features for a reasonable price. Even when you find the one that seems just right, you need to check a couple of things like the motor’s power output, the lathe’s weight, how much space the lathe will take up, and how much it will swing. We are here to make your life easy by finding products jailor made for you with a good reputation and performance which lives up to that reputation. 

Any wood-turner is sure to enjoy working with the Rikon 70-100 mini lathe, it has features which on paper might seem too good to be accurate, but they are and more. It’s tiny with a length of 32 inches, but that compact size seems to give it the drive to perform at unimaginable capacities. It has the same design as a standard size lathe which makes it seem like shrinking magic of some sort. It adds to its motor improved power distribution and speed compared to its predecessors. Its engine is ½ horsepower which is more than enough to see you through any project. It comes with a six-speed pulley system of 430, 810, 1230, 1810, 2670 and 3900 rotations per minute, achieving this slow speed for a lathe of this size is excellent. 

Model Number70-100
RPM430, 810, 1230, 1810, 2670, 3900 (five-speed)
Motor½ HP
Facelift Size3 inch
Weight79 pounds
Dimensions32×10.5×19 inches
WarrantFive years

Though most of the work is done by the motor, the Rikon 70-100 has a spindle pulley recently added to this line of lathes. It helps provide different spindle speeds. When a need arises to change the speed, all one has to do is open the access flap and make the locking join loose. 

The variable speed is an excellent feature that professionals will better understand as it mainly comes in handy when making customised designs. The lathe features a spindle lock which might seem useless at first but has not one but two purposes. It is located at the top of the headstock and very easy for anyone to find, it offers pattern work to tasks like straight fluting, layout making, grooving, and frilling. 

Its second purpose is to allow the user to lock the spindle, faceplate, remove chucks and other accessories of that calibre that you can remove with just the spindle lock. One of the best features on this lathe is the 12 positioning indexing head. It helps to lock in place with different positions to customise whatever they might be working on quickly. Design and patterns in your crafting material cease to be a tough job when you have an indexing head like this at your disposal. 

Rikon outdid themselves in this field as most of this lathes competitors lack the feature. The Rikon 70-100 continues to lead the pack by sporting a self-ejecting tailstock, which saves time. Its ram can move up to 2.33 inches with the tailstock moving along the bed area, to move it quickly one needs to loosen the locking lever or tighten it for the opposite effect. It offers just 16 inches between its centres but leaves room for one or more bed extensions. It also has an 8-inch tool rest to keep all your tools in proximity. It ships with a nylon faceplate washer from Rikon which helps prevent stalking up the spindle. The flip-up handle can even be used as a tool holder.


  • Auto ejection of the tailstock.
  • Spindle lock.
  • Can add bed extensions. 
  • Tool rest.


  • Heavy for a mini-lathe.


Most people living in the 21st century have evolved to direct a lot of their energy to the looks. Before anyone makes a purchase be it a car or even a property, they first consider the looks before even looking at the specifications and to counter this. Manufacturers have also evolved to pay more attention to the looks department. Nowadays it is not surprising to find someone purchasing substandard machinery just because it looks good, well the Rikon 70-100 won’t victimise you like that. This lathe looks less severe and is sure to reduce tension if you use it in the workplace as it sets a somewhat lighter mood.

Performance Review

When there a change in speed is required, you have no need to switch between lathes as we have seen in some of the workshops, the five speeds are a great feature. They allow one to see a project from start to finish using only one lathe or less than they otherwise would if the Rikon 10-100 wasn’t at their disposal. These variable speeds are also responsible for facilitating customised designs.


Safety is the number one priority in any workshop before even thinking of quality work. All the moving parts which might be harmful are all concealed except for the ones you use. The machine is also fully insulated and earthed to prevent any electric shocks. It is advised to connect the lathe to a 10 Amp circuit. It’s on/off switch is designed with safety in mind, it is well concealed by a leaver which you flip up to reach the switch, this is especially useful when you leave the machine connected to the power supply no one will accidentally turn it on. Rikon also gives you a five years warranty for this machine so you can rest easy knowing if it happens to malfunction you have somewhere to turn to.

Who is this product ideal for?

Whether you are an armature or a professional turner, this lathe beats the competition from every angle in this price range. This lathe was designed to be a one size fits all. Even the beginners can enjoy working with it as it is very user-friendly. One can efficiently operate it without even reading the manual, but it is advised to read the manual before use. 

Our Verdict

After all, has been said and done the big question comes, is it a great buy? It is the best buy especially as a first lathe for the armature wood-spinners. It might offer you 16 inches between its centres but leaves room for an extension table.

David D. Hughes

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