Review

The Turncrafter is heavily underpowered—compared to the six other 12" VS lathes I tested—for turning anything over a few inches in diameter.
The belt slips easily, preventing making any heavy cuts. Still, if you can nurse your cuts, this lathe will accomplish about any size turning. The belt is cumbersome to change because there is a still tension on the belt while the motor is raised. I also experienced moderate vibration with or without securing it to the bench. The toolrest lock, banjo and tailstock all adjusted easily and locked securely. The 12” toolrest with a 5/8” toolpost flexed near the ends, but the 6” toolrest was stable and acceptable for most projects. While adjusting the quill and drilling, I appreciated the rotating handle and stopped keyway that prevents overextension. However, the quill does have a short stroke at 1-9/16”, and the mm/1/20” scale isn’t very useful for those of us who work in sixteenths. The standard cone live center is more likely to split spindles than a cup live center. The indexing system is easy to use with numbered reference lines to make layouts less than 24 spaces a breeze. The centers can be aligned, but with 0.009” play between the tailstock and bed along its entire length, it’s difficult to know if the points are in alignment each time. The speed ranges are misrepresented by 100s of rpms, but the digital read-out does display the correct speed while rotating, though it is difficult to read clearly without stepping back from the lathe a bit. The switch is easy to reach, below the tailstock, but the small toggle can be difficult to operate and the speed dial is easy to bump while hollowing bowls. The 3” faceplate is acceptable, but will only accommodate #10 or smaller screws. The lathe does come with a lot of extra accessories, including carrying handles, cord wrap, replacement drive belt and safety glasses. The accessory storage rack holds a few accessories, and the attached work light is nice for small turnings, but its location renders it useless when hollowing bowls and working on long spindles. —Tested by Brian Simmons, WOOD turning expert

Product

Performance

3
Average: 3 (1 vote)

Features

4
Average: 4 (1 vote)

Ease of Use

3
Average: 3 (1 vote)

Value

4
Average: 4 (1 vote)
3.5
out of 5