January 7, 2021

Rikon Mini Lathe Model 70-100 Review | To Buy Or Not To

If you consider purchasing the Rikon Model 70-100 Mini Lathe, read on. Finding the right equipment for a particular task has never been easy; woodturning can be no exception, no matter the task. It’s not easy to find a sturdy lathe with all the features you need at a reasonable price. Even when you find one that seems to be just right, there are a few things you need to check, such as the power of the motor, the weight of the lathe, how much space the lathe takes up, and how much it can swing. We are here to make your life easy by finding jailbroken products with a good reputation and performance that live up to that reputation.

Any woodturner will enjoy working with the Rikon 70-100 mini lathe. It has features that seem too good to be accurate on paper, but they are and more. It’s tiny, measuring 32 inches long, but that compact size seems to give it the drive to perform unimaginable feats. It has the same design as a standard-size lathe, making it seem like a shrink-wizard. Its motor offers better power distribution and speed than its predecessors. The motor has a power rating of ½ hp, allowing you to tackle any project. It has a six-speed pulley system with 430, 810, 1230, 1810, 2670 and 3900 rpm; this slow speed is excellent for a lathe of this size.

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 lathe 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 joint 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 headstock’s top and is 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 of this lathe is the 12-positioning indexing head. It helps to lock in place 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 close. 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.
  • You can add bed extensions. 
  • Tool rest.


  • Heavy for a mini-lathe.


The Rikon 70 100 is easy on the eyes.

Performance Review

When a change in speed is required, you do not 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 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. The on/off switch is designed with safety in mind. It is well concealed by a lever which you flip up to reach the switch. This is especially useful when you leave the rikon mini wood lathe connected to the power supply so 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 malfunctions, you have somewhere to turn to.

Who is this Rikon mini lathe 70-100 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 size fits. Even 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 it before use. 

Our Verdict Rikon 70-100 wood lathe

Where do you stand after reading our Rikon 70-100 review? After all, is said and done, the big question is: Is it a good buy? It is the best buy, especially as the first woodturning lathe for amateur wood spinners. While it offers 16 inches between centres, it leaves room for an extension table.

David D. Hughes

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