JET 1221VS Review: In 2021 – Rock For The Money

Jet 1221VS variable speed lathe comes out to fill up the gaps between the mini wood lathe for beginners and the full-size expensive large wood lathe for bowl turning. This lathe is ideal for beginners to expert professionals, and you’ll find the in-depth Jet 1221VS review right here.

It’s hard not to be encouraged by the serious woodturning machine because whether it may be out of your reach or maybe it will be a wastage of your time and money. JET’s innovative variable speed wood lathe is a game-changer in carpentry designs. As a hobbyist, I tried it out for myself and found no major troubles at all.

Here’s the review of the best budget wood lathe on the market, the JET JWL-1221VS.

JET JWL-1221VS: A Professional Wood Lathe From A Reputed Brand 

JET JWL-1221VS 12-Inch Wood LatheJET JWL-1221VS 12-Inch Wood Lathe

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What makes it powerful?

Sturdy frame, powerful motor, indexing positions and super speed control system makes it the best lathe ever.

Unequaled Speed Control System

Variable speed up to 60-3600 RPM

Designed with optimal performance

An integrated & Spring-loaded locking system

Easy access controls and DRO.

JET 12×21 Variable Speed Lathe

Forward to reverse is an advanced option 

Ratchet style belt is an innovation 

In the tailstock, acme thread works great 

24 integrated indexing positions 

If you are a professional woodturner and familiar with the wood lathes, you’ve certainly heard of the JET brand. Compared to other brand names like Laguna Tools, PSI Woodworking or Shop Fox, JET earns the highest rank.

JET produces high-quality and seriously impressive lathes. A powerful motor reaching up to 3600 rpm, variable speed control, easy-to-use, and no obstacle comes with the name JET.

Extremely popular Jet JWL-1221VS is for the professional carpenters. Better ever, the model comes with most of the JET features, which are found in most of JET’s high-end lathes.

However, it’s a bit pricy and may be unfit for the most novices.

What Makes The JET JWL-1221VS Lathe Stand Out

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

The truth is that the JWL-1221VS is a unique model superior to any models have ever made. The lathe itself is a heavy, powerful, and professional look model for high-end carpentry jobs. This lathe stands ahead and superior for its speed control system, and it focuses on the one and unique concept – speed control. It is innovative, and a rock for the money and the ratchet-style belt changing system makes it a great companion in the workshop.

Controlling the latheReverse Transition System

It has a variable speed control system that lets you control the speed level of the spindle ranging from 60 to its maximum level of 3600 rpm. In the beginning, you might need a little bit of practice to master over the handling of the speedometer. However, the variable speed control system allows you to tackle it as quickly as possible.

The JET 1221VS comes with a transition system that allows forward to reverse woodturning process. It means you do no longer need to open the wood pieces and reset for smooth finishing. Besides, it includes some other useful features with the pack that allows smooth operation.

A wood lathe is typically a rolling machine which rolls out wood stock sticking with spindle lock from both sides. The JWL 1221VS comes with a spring-loaded and integrated spindle lock allowing wood piece clink in the center of the bed so that you can turn it quickly and smoothly.

It is a thoughtful design no one will disagree. The users will find that the quick controls are conveniently located near hands. So, it is convenient and ready to operate without missing any opportunity. Expert hands will find it easy and comfortable.

If you carefully observe a lathe machine, you’ll find some additional parts that play a vital role in ensuring accuracy. You’ll find there’s a headstock and the spindle is set there with bearing. Inside the headstock, there’s indexing plate.

The plate consists of 24 integrated indexing positions, and a button is available to lock it in place. It means- the equal integrated parts will ensure pinch point accuracy.

In the tailstock, it allows pushing back and forth, and the cam-lock is active to mount the chuck to the spindle.

A standard size banjo is also attached with the lathe, and make sure the switches are accessible. The most woodshop is dark, and you’ll see them all clear since it has good lighting.

As the JET JWL-1221VS is a heavyweight lathe, it works really excellent indoor. Before installing, just ensure to fix it on a heavy-duty workbench to carry the load. It has an added value for being heavyweight is that it doesn’t produce much noise in the workshop. Moreover, you can control over everything with ease.

Overall, I love the JET 1221VS lathe and got a lot of fun experiencing how to make a beautiful bowl and other excellent things of wood. It is recommended if you really want to work with woods bringing them in a shape of the roller to give the rolling shape of any furniture.

Tips To Contemplate Before Using A Wood Lathe 

Woodworking is sometimes considered difficult crafting projects because there might not have the endpoint of woodworking skills. Traditional lathe idea was a bit harder since it was crafted manually in ancient times. A piece of sturdy rope was then used alternative to a motor and operated by hands.

Today, the motor generated lathe makes wood-crafting easy! But it requires some precautionary safety rules and tips to contemplate when using it. Find here some tips and techniques what you might need for finding proper tools.

  • Center-to-center bed length is crucial because the short bed will be unfit for a longer piece of wood. For example, the JET 1221VS is 21.2 inches large, and it will be unfit for a wood piece of 30 inches.
  • The swing capacity is to carry the load of large stock.
  • Horsepower indicates the torque a motor generates, and RPM is the revolution of a motor per minute. These two things are essential to consider in a wood lathe.
  • The weight is another major concern. A heavyweight lathe is better for the toughest woodworking projects. But it is arduous to push around when required.
  • Some inhouse safety measurement is also to be considered. When you leave and start working, you should keep eyes on the lathe to ensure fittings are secure and tight. Necessary tools should be kept clean and sharp. Sufficient lighting is required, and in the most wood lathes, a light on the top is attached.
  • Woodworking on a lathe machine requires you some sharp chisels like a skew chisel. Proper safety precautions will always save you from any accident in the Jobsite.

Think Before You Pick The JET 1221VS Wood Lathe

If you have already decided to pick a lathe machine, I’d say, “Stop! and think before you pick.” Whatever you want to do with the lathe, some common features must be checked out. These are the following-

  • Powerful: Powerful machine always performs better. Make sure the lathe is powerful and sturdy to perform heavy-duty operations.
  • RPM & Horsepower: Horsepower indicates the development of torque produced from the motor, RPM is the measurement of revolution per minute. Both RPM and horsepower are essential for a standard lathe machine.
  • Control: The most significant part of any wood lathe is its controlling system. The most popular lathe machines possess a variable speed control system for convenient and smooth operation. Make sure you haven’t missed it.
  • Storage Capacity: Compact size midi lathe may be installed on a benchtop, but full-size bowl turning lathe won’t be fit there. Be clever to make the right choice for you. Also, think about the storage capacity at your home before you finalize your decision.


  • Versatile and superior speed control system: Versatility and innovative characteristics of this lathe machine allow it for a variety of projects working with larger wood pieces. The superior control system allows variable speed control ranging from 60 – 3600 rpm.
  • Comfortable belt system: Jet JWL-1221vs comes with a ratchet-style belt tension for quick release. It ultimately saves your time, and you’ll feel convenient working with it.
  • Reverse rolling: It comes with a reverse mechanism that allows a reverse setting to clean up the opposite side of wood pieces.


  • Limited bed width: The lathe is not for a big deal because center-to-center bed width is not so large to accommodate larger wood pieces.
  • Heavyweight: Its heavyweight is a burden to move and push around. Not only does it, but it requires a heavy-duty workbench.

Final Verdict

So, you see that the journey of picking the right thing is harder. We did our best to cut the path short. In our journey of web research, we find that most people agree with Jet 1221VS for its super performance.

The variable speed control system, reverse mechanism, heavyweight and moderate bed width make this lathe a pioneer in its region. If you buy this JET product, you’ll invest your money in the right place. And you’ll never be worried about its outstanding results.

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