Jet JWL-1221VS Wood Lathe Review

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In Brief: Jet JWL-1221VS Lathe Review

The Jet JWL-1221VS Wood Lathe brings efficiency and precision in a small package. The 115-volt motor, delivering 10-amps of power in a compact size. The 20” distance between centers allows for small to intermediate woodworking projects to be handled with precision and accuracy.

Jet Tools has been around for more than 30 years with the aim of providing a better quality of tool than ever before. More importantly, they aim for innovation and a greater depth with each of their tools.

Jet’s line of lathes in particular has become one of the most trusted and recognizable in the North American market.

Jet Tools has over 750 authorized service centers, giving it the reach that it needs to provide nothing but the utmost in customer service and quality across the board.

Key Specifications of the Jet JWL-1221VS

JET 12' x 21' Variable-Speed Woodworking Lathe, 1 HP, 1Ph 115V (Model JWL-1221VS)

One of the most important features on the Jet JWL-1221VS Wood Lathe is the unrivalled speed control that it offers.

Users can choose between various speed ratings starting at 60 RPM and ranging all the way up to 3600 RPM. Precision is the name of the game with Jet JWL-1221VS Wood Lathe.

Smooth transitions are the name of the game with Jet JWL-1221VS Wood Lathe. It has a forward to reverse transition so that users can move through the operation seamlessly without having to reset the lathe.

Its compact size allows for a greater versatility in smaller settings. Whether it is a small shop or a garage space, the Jet JWL-1221VS Wood Lathe is small enough that it can be moved around relatively easily for optimal use of space.

Read the long list of Jet JWL-1221VS specs here :

Model Number/ Name1221VS
Ideal ForWood
Current (amps)10
Speed (rpm)60-3600
Distance between centers (in)20.5
Spindle thread (in)1”-8
Overall dimensions33 x 11 x 17
Weight (lbs)136
Other FeaturesRachet Style Belt Tension System

Top Features to Look For

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

The Jet JWL-1221VS Wood Lathe has 24 integrated indexing positions for optimal control and precision.

The spring-loaded spindle lock makes it easy to transition woodworking pieces without having to struggle with changing the setup.

Unrivalled Variable Speed Control

The Jet JWL-1221VS Wood Lathe delivers the ultimate in speed control.

The speed ranges have been optimally crafted for superior accuracy and reliability, allowing users to choose speeds starting at 60 RPM and maxing out at 3600 RPM.

This puts total control in the hands of the user.

Forward to Reverse

Some other lathes have difficulty transitioning to reverse while others don’t offer the feature at all.

The Jet JWL-1221VS Wood Lathe makes for a smooth transition from forward to reverse to allow for easier transition and to take away the need for resetting the workpiece.

This can save a ton of time in the long run.

Digital Readout

With outdated lathes, getting precision readings can be difficult. The Jet JWL-1221VS Wood Lathe has digital readouts that make it easy to get precise readings.

The dial control allows users to get a more accurate reading in a shorter period of time.


Power and Performance

Though it is a compact lathe, the Jet JWL-1221VS Wood Lathe delivers more than enough power thanks to the 115-volt, 10-amp motor.

This is what powers the wide array of variable speeds that helps this lathe stand out from others in the industry.

Ease of Use

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

This is a great lathe for users of all experiences and settings.

It is compact enough to get woodworking operations done in a professional shop setting or get hobby user in a garage or small-time shop.

The Jet JWL-1221VS Wood Lathe is the type of lathe that can make for a valuable tool for those still learning the nuances of woodworking and turning operations.


Ease of Maintenance, Repairs, and Warranty

Maintaining the Jet JWL-1221VS Wood Lathe is quite easy.

Because of its relatively small surface area, a quick shop vac and wiping down the components should be enough to keep it free and clear of debris build ups.

It is also recommended that the cutting tool be replaced on a fairly regular basis.

Replacing the cutting tool allows for the prevention of over dulling or damage to the material or components of the lathe itself. The durable construction of the Jet JWL-1221VS Wood Lathe will allow it to hold up for a long time to come.


Jet Tools offers a limited five-year warranty on each of their commercial and industrial products.

The warranty is meant to protect against material and craftsmanship defects that can ultimately limit the effectiveness of the product altogether.

If you have any further questions, check out the Jet warranty page for more information.

Price of the Jet JWL-1221VS

At under $1,000, the Jet JWL-1221VS Wood Lathe is a fairly affordable compact lathe that can go in a machine shop or a garage depending on the need.

With its superior speed control and the smooth transition system, it delivers accuracy and control over power.

Users were happy with the price of the Jet JWL-1221VS Wood Lathe, feeling that it makes for a reasonably affordable option even for amateur woodworkers.


Pros and cons of the Jet JWL-1221VS

Here are some of the pros and cons of the Jet JWL-1221VS Wood Lathe :


  • Excellent Speed Control
  • Forward to Reverse System
  • 24 Indexing Positions
  • Sliding Headstock


  • Lower Power
  • Small


Who Should Buy the Jet JWL-1221VS ?

The Jet JWL-1221VS Wood Lathe is perfect for multiple settings.

It would work well in smaller woodworking shops that focus on precision and accuracy over quantity.

It could also fit right in with a smaller, amateur setup where the user is still learning on the job.

Our Recommendation

There are certainly larger and more powerful options on the market, but the Jet JWL-1221VS Wood

Lathe allows for improved accuracy and ease of use. No matter what the setting, it will fit in seamlessly.


Last update on 2024-04-21 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

About Ryan Henderson

Ryan has more than ten years of experience of writing on power tools - use, reviews, and more. During his free time, he loves cooking and spending time with his dog.

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