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.