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Manual Speed Benchtop Lathes Come at Lower Price
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Rockler Excelsior Benchtop Lathe Benchtop lathes that require manual speed changes, like this Excelsior model from Rockler, aren't as versatile as variable speed lathes, but come in at a lower price.

If you’re willing to pass on electronic variable speed and trade a few features or inches of swing capacity for a lower sticker price, there are many mid-sized benchtop lathes from which to choose. A quick count uncovered at least 10 machines from leading manufacturers, including General International, Grizzly, JET, Steel City, Rikon and Rockler. Prices start at around $200, as of 2009. These lathes typically have 1/2 or 3/4 hp motors and offer five or six pulley speeds, but you’ll need to move the belt to switch between them. Distance between centers is comparable to the test group.

posted on October 1, 2009 by Chris Marshall
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