JET JWL-1221VS 12-Inch by 21-Inch Variable Speed Wood Lathe

The excellently reviewed JET JWL wood lathe is one of the highest rated within it’s niche. And taking a look at the JET website, even they state “the JET 1221VS is different from anything we’ve made before”, and the truth being that they’re claiming it’s better than anything anyone has ever made before: and that’s a bold statement to make!

JET started out life as a small company, coming from Washington, USA, who dealt in chain hoists and trolleys, whilst in the 80’s they began manufacturing industrial power tools which brought them into the metal and woodwork industries, and into the lathe market.
JET JWL-1221VS 12-Inch by 21-Inch Variable Speed Wood Lathe machine
This product is ideal for an experienced woodturner, someone who is looking to buy a dependable product that will last them a while. The multiple features – forward and reverse spinning, fantastic speed control and a high level of RPM makes for a really great lathe.

Customer feedback on this lathe is remarkably high. One of the most common pieces of praise for the product is that the components and parts are of a really high quality, something which gives absolute peace of mind when buying a product of such price and complexity. Another main feature of this JET product is the ease of use and the way a lot of customers describe it as a smooth, easy to use product, a feature to the lathe that will please beginners and skilled turners alike.


ITEM WEIGHT137 pounds
PRODUCT DIMENSIONS 32.8 x 14.6 x 21.2 inches
POWER SOURCEcorded-electric

What’s Great?

  • One of the best in the business: JET are clearly one of the most renowned brands within both the tooling industry but also the lathe market, be that wooden or metal. With a reputation for innovation, creativity and quality, the continued development of their products is a hit with customers.
  • Varying speeds: The option of varying speeds whilst lathing will help you in multiple ways, depending on the size of the wood you’re using, your skill and how good the wood actually is. The multiple speed settings here will help you work better to your surroundings.
  • Only small amounts of vibration: Because of the heavy and powerful level of energy that goes through a lathe, some of the other products on the market give of strong vibrations that could seriously affect the quality of the work you’re doing. This lathe offers little by the way of extra vibrations. You will always get some slight movement on the lathe, but all feedback states that this is a smooth ride.
  • Excellent cost: The price in relation to the awesome quality of this lathe is great, widely considered some of the best value for money woodworking equipment on the market, and whilst it still comes in at near $800 – although can be found cheaper – the sheer quality or turning and the parts should enthuse you to buy this product.
  • Simple to set up: Products that are this mechanical are often a little bit of a pain to set up, but this piece is fairly standard.

What’s Not So Great?

  • Some cases of defective products: Although we haven’t quite dealt with this problem, there have been multiple cases of previous customers unpacking their lathe and it not working, or a few weeks later needing to deal with customer service because something has gone wrong with the product. This obviously isn’t ideal, and whilst this totally a huge minority of customers, there seems to be an element of risk with the purchase.
  • Unsupportive customer service: The customer service team within JET have been put under scrutiny with some of the customers we have heard from. They have had trouble both contacting, and getting help from, the CS team. There’s been some misdiagnosis and some difficulty working out problems that have gone wrong with the products.
  • The bare essentials: You only get the exact essentials that are needed – namely the machine itself – and nothing more. In addition to this cost, you will need to buy the tools for the job, safety wear and possibly other add-ons including chucks. Once the cost of all of these add up, it may end up costing you a pretty penny.
JET JWL-1221VS 12-Inch by 21-Inch Variable Speed Wood Lathe
JET JWL-1221VS 12-Inch by 21-Inch Variable Speed Wood Lathe

Product Name: JET JWL-1221VS 12-Inch by 21-Inch Variable Speed Wood Lathe

Product Description: Please see the above product specification.

Price: Check the latest price from Amazon

Currency: $

Availability: InStock


  • 8.0/10
    Overall Rating by Author - 8.0/10


The conclusion of this review is a resounding success. This product does not fall down on the technical spec of the review, and even though there have been some problems with technical aspects from some customers, most have been hugely happy, both in the quality of the product and the parts mixed with how easy it is to use this product whatever your skill level.

The cost is competitive within the industry, and whilst the lack of extras within the package is noticeable, it isn’t a huge problem. I would advise this product for anyone looking to be keeping a wood-turning lathe for a long period of time but also wants to be able to reply on quality.

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