January 20, 2021

Rikon 70-150VSR Midi Lathe Review [UPDATED]

The Rikon 70-150VSR midi lathe is popular for amateur woodcarvers and model makers. It is a high-quality lathe from a reputable manufacturer. And it is affordable by hobbyist standards. The Rikon 70-150VSR Midi Lathe is an excellent choice for hobbyists of all skill levels and is one of our top choices for the best wood lathe.

The Rikon 70-150VSR midi lathe is a powerful machine that can turn shells and cut threads. It is powerful enough for the professional and, simultaneously, so easy to use that even a beginner can work with this lathe in no time.

One of the most overlooked aspects of choosing a workstation is how easily you can get your work done. Whether you are sitting or standing, if you are uncomfortable at work for hours on end, there’s no point in working effectively because too much discomfort can cause muscle tension and leave you unable to focus on anything but what’s hurting you.

All the controls are easy to reach, so you do not have to diligently try to set the best conditions for your work. They are also very safe since they are carefully removed from the spindle on which you will turn your workpiece.

The safety of this machine is not just a nice extra we add; it was designed with these features in mind and considered during production.

It has three-speed ranges that can handle any cornering. The speed ranges are 250-850, 430-1450 and 950-3200 rpm, which you can easily switch using the electronic speed control, which is very accurate.

A little extra comfort is needed when working on long, strenuous projects. Rikon has considered all that and added a digital RPM display that shows your real-time speed. These features are easy to change thanks to the easy-access swivelling strap.

Reverse speed is crucial in design work, and Rikon was sure to include it in this midrange lathe. Its diameter and spindle length were carefully chosen to accommodate everyone with the ability to turn bowls. The lathe is made of cast iron, which is excellent for durability and so heavy that it damps the vibrations caused by the motor as it runs. It can make long sessions unbearable, and one gets fatigued without much work.

The fact that vibrations are less intense on this lathe means you can take turns more than you otherwise would on any other lathe. To make working even smoother, the lathe has a ball-bearing construction. The control box is corded and has a magnetic back that lets you move it along the front of the cast iron bed into the position with the best access while using the lathe in an emergency stop.

Model Number70-150VSR
RPM250-850, 430-1450, 950-3200 (three-speed)
Motor6  Amps, 120V
Facelift Size3 inch
Weight43 kg
Dimensions36 × 13.38 × 15.63 inches
WarrantyFive years


  • Reverse and forward drives 
  • Digital RPM readout 
  • Cast iron bed reduces vibrations
  • 24 indexing positions


  • The lowest speed of 250


If there were a beauty contest for workshop machinery, this lathe would be among the best looking in the top 3. It takes a less rugged look which is a great feature for beginners who don’t need any intimidation about the trade. An easy-looking lathe like this one is what you can easily mount to a bench in your garage or home workshop if you like taking your work home.

Performance Review

Various features impressed us with this lathe’s performance, and its indexing positions are incredibly accurate at 15-degree intervals. It does not only have three convenient speed ranges, but they are easy to change, courtesy of the easy-access pivoting belt. It is among the smoothest runners you will ever come across in this price range, courtesy of the ball bearings. Another feature that significantly adds to the lathe’s performance is the magnetic control box, which allows positioning anywhere along the lathe bed. 


Worry not for your safety. I don’t know if it was part of the plan to make this piece so safe or just a coincidence, but the bottom line is it’s among the safest in the market. All the controls are well away from the spindle, which would otherwise hurt you if you dwell too close, unaware. The emergency stop is among the headline safety features of this piece. 

Who is the Rikon 70-150vsr product ideal for?

This is a one size fits all lathe. As a midi lathe, it accommodates all sides. It is a tremendous first lathe for any beginner looking to turn some wood in their spare time, and it is a significant upgrade from a small lathe. You won’t regret making this purchase for professionals as it has all the features the high-end industry requires. 

Our Verdict

The Rikon 70-150VSR midi lathe is an excellent lathe for everyone, from beginners to professional woodturners. We advise those looking for their first lathe not to be tempted by the price tag of smaller lathes and to consider this lathe as it has more to offer.

David D. Hughes

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