What we enjoy is taking a look at a particular niche and finding different, interesting and useful variants of the same tool. We feel it gives the customer a lot more to think about, and allows for people to develop a personal preference for different types of styles within that particular range of products. This review is no different. This review we’re looking at the JET 708360. A lathe with another difference.
This lathe is big, beefy, steady and tall. Unlike the others we’ve looked at, this comes on it’s own tall stand as opposed to a smaller stand or benchtop tool. Fairly simple and straightforward in its creation, the JET 708360 is a stable machine built to last.
JET first began their business in Seattle, Washington, USA. Initially selling air hoists and trolleys, they have spread their wings across a number of industries, including snowmobiles and nylon stockings (seriously!). Priding themselves of quality and excellence, today JET manufacture superb woodworking tools for a wide range of skill levels and needs.
Take a look below for my review of the JET 708360.
|ITEM WEIGHT||1 pounds|
|PRODUCT DIMENSIONS||64 x 20 x 50 inches|
|ITEM MODEL NUMBER||708360|
What Is Great?
- This lathe is made from heavy duty cast iron metal, made with both immovable strength and impenetrable, vibration-free operation. The sheer strength of the material used to make up this tool means that it is set up for larger projects as well as smaller work you may have planned. The sturdy legs that hold this turner up are large, long and wide-spaced, to always hold a steady stance when you’re working.
- The impressive two-horsepower, three-phase, 230-volt motor is super powerful, and with an additional fan cooler to keep your motor working in top condition against heat and dust contamination, giving this tool the best chance of a longer life under proper conditions.
- The five year warranty of this turner give you a two-fold guarantee. You of course get the chance to send the lathe back if there’s a malfunction within the first five years, but you can also sit safe in the knowledge that JET wouldn’t offer this if the quality of the product wasn’t excellent. It just wouldn’t be sustainable!
- The adjustable and lockable tailstock mechanism – assisted by the hand-wheel towards the end of the tool, allow you to change where the tailstock is placed and then re-lock it back into position again safely and sound.
- This JET product is a really competitive price and falls in at a happy medium between some of the other products we have reviewed.
What’s Not Great?
- Some customers amongst our online feedback stated that their had found this product to be a little less robust that they needed. For example, there have been complains about electrical faults and malfunctions with the product that meant they needed to be replaced. With the 5 year warranty, this is only a small hindrance, but depending on how much you need to lathe and how much trouble you’ll go through to get a working version back, I understand people’s frustrations.
- This tool is a heavy-duty product. If you’re looking for something with a little more movability and a tad more lightweight, you’re probably looking in the wrong place. JET have made something solid, rigid and clunky, which for some is fine. As a standalone lathe it’s a good product, but if you’re looking for something to load onto your bench, you’re barking up the wrong tree.
- Although this has a varied speed setting, it doesn’t offer as many different levels as some of the other lathes on the market. This is something that could affect you if you’re at a lower skill level and are looking for something a little slower to build up your experience.
Jet 708360 JWL-1642EVS-2 2HP 230-Volt 1-Phase Electronic Variable Speed Woodworking Lathe, 16-Inch x 42-Inch
To draw my conclusion I look at all aspects of the kit. The price of this kit is fair, it is around mid-range for the type of tool in this niche, yet doesn’t break the bank as much as some others I have looked at may do. There’s really almost nothing to complain about, as this is probably one of the best lathes I’ve looked at, in terms of usability, functionality and cost. It really is difficult to find anything that may dissuade you.
Having said this, there’s a few things that come to mind as more of a matter or personal preference than quality. Some people are looking for a smaller lathe - something mini, something more lightweight. This lathe isn’t either or those things and does pack a punch for you in terms of size and weight. This makes it durable, but it also makes it fairly permanent in where you put it.
As I said earlier, though, there’s very little that I can say as a negative for this product. It really is a very solid, very worthwhile tool. I would certainly advise anybody to go for this as it will be a fantastic investment, and the 5 year warranty is a lovely additional bonus.