The Jet JWL 1220 will turn a 12" in diameter project up to 20 inches long. There is also an available bed extension to make even long projects if you need to. It is powered by a 3/4 horse motor and is belt driven. In order to change speeds on this model you need to move the belt manually from one pulley to another. But, Jet makes changing belt positions fast and easy, and I don't mind doing it at all. Jet does make a variable speed model, but I didn't want to fork over the extra money at the time. I have no regrets about not buying the variable speed version. This one works fine for me.
The construction is nearly all cast iron. I really like that in a lathe. Plastic doesn't really cut it for me, and this lathe has very little of that going on. It comes with 2 tools rests, a live center, a spur drive, and a small face plate. It also comes with an attached bendable light, however the light is less than impressive. It is not long enough to look inside a bowl while you are turning it and the light does not want to stay in place at times.
But you can forget about everything I have told you so far, because this next feature blew me away.....
It's a feature called "customer service". After using this lathe for a few hundred hours, it broke. I can't really say I blame it. Any tool put through the paces like I have done with this one is bound to give up sooner or later. It wasn't a major breakdown though. It was just a capacitor on the side of the motor that failed. No big deal. But here is the amazing part. When I called Jet Customer Service, I had the pleasure of getting through right away. I was not put on hold. I talked to a real live person who was familiar with the product. The person spoke in a language that I could understand, and get this..............
I made the call on a Thursday afternoon at 2pm and the replacement part was on my doorstep the next morning by 10am! The fix took 5 minutes and I was back in project mode immediately. Jaw-dropping customer service. I was stunned.
I don't know about everyone else, but to me service and product support is a huge deal.
I highly recommend the Jet JWL 1220 Lathe and give it 5 pink hardhats out of a possible 5.
Gotta love it!
I am looking for contributing writers who can write product reviews like this one. If you would like to be a part of the Tools Are For Women Too Team, you can email me for details.