JET 1221VS Wood Lathe Reviews | Better Features And Design

JET 1221VS Wood Lathe Review

Woodworking isn’t easy.

And it becomes more difficult when you don’t have a quality wood lathe.

That’s because a below-average lathe will be unable to hold the workpiece properly and will fail to give you the necessary speed.

For this reason, today, we’re going to introduce you to a top-quality lathe; JET JWL-1221VS.

In this, JET 1221VS Wood Lathe review, we’ll tell you about its features, advantages, problems, and many more.

Keep reading.

JET 1221VS Wood Lathe Review

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

The product is from Jet, a brand that any woodworker will be extremely familiar with. Because when it comes to woodworking tools, the jet is a reliable manufacturer. And you should expect nothing less than from this one as well.

Now, the JWL-1221VS has a powerful motor meaning it can rotate the workpiece with sufficient speed. No matter how big the task is, you’ll find it up to the standard. You’ll be pleased to learn that this one has variable speeds up to 3600 RPM.

There’s also a reverse option that allows you to make the workpiece turn in reverse mode. That mode will come in handy in several situations.

The ratchet-style belt tension system is a unique one and makes operation easier for you. As it helps to change the belts quickly, you’ll be able to save up a lot of time. 

The lathe weighs about 136 pounds, which is quite heavy. But that’s a good thing as the heavy weight means the device has been built sturdily.

Regarding the dimensions, it’s 32.8 x 14.6 x 21.2 inches, which means the machine won’t take up much space of yours. And when it comes to durability, I’ll say that it’s sufficient and will easily last years.

The length of its cord is 4 feet, which could have been a bit longer. And the lathe runs on 115 volts.

Key Features

Variable Speed Control:

When you open the lathe, you’ll see 3 speeds etched on the device. The low speed is 900 RPM, the medium speed is 1800 RPM, and the high speed is 3600 RPM.

Now, most of the time, you should use the medium speed, which 1800 RPM. However, if you need the device to turn really fast, then you can employ the high-speed option. The good thing is that unlike some cheaper lathes, the high and low-speed options on this one work really well.

To change the speed, there’s speed knob on display. If you turn it right, the speed will increase, and when turned left, the speed will get decreased.

Thanks to the variable speed system, limitations on the projects you can do get removed. As a result, you can shape the workpiece according to your needs without any hassle.

Set Up:

The tool doesn’t come pre-installed. So, you’ll have to do the set up by yourself. However, it’s really easy and shouldn’t take more than a few minutes. If you follow the manual properly, you should be just fine.

Ratchet Style Belt Tension System:

The USP of this lathe is this ratchet style belt tension system. This one makes it super easy to change the belts so that you can cut down on your downtime. Though the system isn’t patented yet. But Jet is hoping that they will get patent soon.


Vibration is a huge problem while working with lathes.

You are working fine, and the project is shaping really, and suddenly due to some vibration, the workpiece gets ruined. This has happened with almost every woodworker out there.

But you won’t that to happen with you. And this one will allow you to do that. The lathe has minimal vibration, ensuring that your workpiece doesn’t get ruined due to some sudden movement of the machine.

The Display:

There’s a digital display on the machine to show the also shows an error if something is wrong with the device. That can be a huge help and prevent accidents by letting you know about the problems beforehand.

However, it would have been better if they made the display a bit larger.


The engine is powerful, and you find it appropriate for any task. So, I didn’t find any complaints with the engine of the machine.

Tool Rest:

The tool rest of the machine is of good quality. Could it have been better? Yes. But it’s certainly not the worst.

Reverse Option:

Another great advantage of this device is that it allows you to get the workpiece turned in reverse. That’s a necessary step for a lot of woodworking projects. So, it was thoughtful of the manufacturers to add this feature.


Like any other product from Jet, this one is durable as well. The materials used in this are of top-notch quality. You won’t face any durability-related issues with this one.


If you look at the performance it provides and the features it comes with, I think the price is okay. It’s certainly not a budget option but it isn’t very expensive either.


  • Dimension is 32.8 x 14.6 x 21.2 inches
  • Brand is Jet
  • Weighs 136.7 pounds
  • The style is Variable Speed Wood Lathe
  • Max speed 3600 RPM
  •  Has 6 handles


  • Able to make the workpiece rotate in reverse mode
  • Has variable speed option to allow you to work with a wide range of projects
  • Built sturdily and won’t cause durability issues
  • Features a digital display for easy reading
  • Comes with a ratchet-style belt tension system
  • Has minimum vibration during operation
  • Installation is pretty easy


  • The digital display is a bit small

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Is it required to move the belt to change the speed?

Ans: No, there’s a speed knob for that.

2. Can you tell me the head spindle thread size?

Ans: It’s 1″ diameter, with 8 TPI.

3. Does this one have an indexing head? 

Ans: Yes, it does.


I don’t think you need to know anything else after reading this JET 1221VS Wood Lathe review. So, let us know your opinion regarding the device below in the comments section.

About Sam Maxi

Hi, this is Sam Maxi. I love talking about woodwork tools and my reviews are mostly based on the experience I have from my work. Apart from reviewing, I am a huge fan of surfing. Also, I love watching horror genre movies.

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