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Rikon 70-1218VS 12'' x 18'' Midi Lathe

A compact, powerful lathe with a convenient dial for speed changes, and a large, easy-to-read digital display!

Item #
94% of 100

Rikon's 12'' x 18'' Variable Speed Midi Lathe Model, model 70-1218VS, represents an excellent value in small- to mid-sized lathes. It features digital speed control with an easy-to-read display, a wide range of operating speeds accessible with both a simple knob and the easy-access belt system, anti-vibration rubber feet for extra stability, a robust 3/4HP DC motor, and ample capacities for its size. The lathe comes complete with a spur center, live center, 3'' faceplate, 8'' tool rest with 1'' diameter post, knock-out bar, wrenches and tool holder.


  • Digital speed control with large, easy-to-read DRO
  • Convenient, accessible on/off switches and variable speed dial
  • Pivoting belt cover provides quick access to the belt for easy speed range changes
  • Easy adjust handle allows up to 2'' of RAM travel
  • Powerful 3/4 HP DC motor provides ample power
  • Ball-bearing construction for smooth, precise spindle operation
  • Machined bed and matching components for precise alignment
  • Adjustable locking handles keep components positioned securely
  • Machined bed end lets you add an optional bed extension (#68892, sold separately) for turning longer workpieces
  • Note: Forward drive only

(1) Rikon 70-1218VS 12'' x 18'' Midi Lathe
(1) 8'' tool rest with 1'' diameter post
(1) Spur center
(1) Live center
(1) 3'' faceplate
(1) Knock-out bar
(1) Wrench set
(1) Tool holder

More Information
Brand Rikon
Manufacturer Part Number 70-1218VS
Weight 78.0000
Tech Spec
  • Brand: Rikon


  • Horsepower: 3/4 HP, DC, TEFC
  • Amps: 4.5
  • Volts: 120V, 60Hz
  • RPM: 2,500 RPM
  • Direction: Forward
  • Number of Speeds: 3
  • RPM Ranges: 450-1,100/ 960-2,400/ 1,400-3,500


  • Swing Over Bed: 12''
  • Swing Over Tool Rest: 9-1/16''
  • Working Distance Between Centers: 18''
  • Tool Rest Length: 8''
  • Tool Rest Post Diameter: 1''

Headstock / Tailstock:

  • Spindle Nose Inch x TPI: 1'' x 8
  • Headstock Taper: MT2
  • Tailstock Taper: MT2
  • Ram Travel: 2''


  • Length: 37-3/4''
  • Width: 9-3/4''
  • Height: 16-1/4''
  • Base Size: 30'' x 7-3/8''
  • Net Weight: 70.5 lbs.
  • Shipping Weight: 77 lbs.
  • Shipping Carton: 33-1/4'' x 18-3/4'' x 13''
4.7 / 5.0
20 Reviews
5 Stars
4 Stars
3 Stars
2 Stars
1 Star
Great lathe!
This is a great lathe. There are cheaper but this is in my opinion well worth the extra money.
April 30, 2020
Woodworking Experience:
Fantastic machine for the newbie.
I'm very new to turning and have very little experience with other lathes, but this one is very user friendly. Their is virtually no noise and no vibration during turning. I am currently practicing with it so that I can start turning pieces to incorporate with my small metals jewelry work and sculpture work.
12 inch x 2 inch poplar
12 inch x 2 inch poplar
October 31, 2019
11 months ago
Woodworking Experience:
Rikon 70-1218VS
Runs smooth and true right out of the box. Variable speed feature is nice.
September 16, 2019
11 months ago
Woodworking Experience:
Compact enough to fit... large enough to be versatile
I was looking at the Jet lathes, one was smaller than this, and the other larger... this seemed like a great compromise. I had some troble with the speed control module, as mine was one of the first ones made and they apparently had issues., Rikon had a new component to me within 48 hours. Great service... and my Rockler team in S. Portland, Maine... would have always been there had Rikon been anything other than stellar in their service. A nice lathe... for my small shop... an ideal size for both bowls, boxes & pens. For peppermills you'd need something larger.
September 5, 2019
Woodworking Experience:
Super Smooth Running Machine
Very surprised when I set this up and turned it on: Absolutely No Vibration! Just Super Smooth and Quiet. So glad I traded up to the 70-1218VS from the 70-105.
August 26, 2019
10 months ago
Woodworking Experience:
Very happy with my lathe
Very sturdy and well built. Easy to operate. I really am glad I went with this over lower priced models to get the variable speed control.
August 21, 2019
11 months ago
Woodworking Experience:
Quiet and powerful quality finished lathe.
I did a lot of looking and when this went on sale made the decision....previously had a big Delta 700 but downsized house and now shop went from 900 sq ft to half of a 2 car garage....still enjoyed lathe work and at age 80 knew no more big projects were in my future.....this shipped without damage and biggest problem with setup was getting it out of the foam formed box! Have used it THE variable speed feature and am impressed with the 3/4 up motor quiet and efficient the frequency meter as 70 lbs it is a very Stable unit...and looks great as well....Will see how it performs over time but endorse this unit.....
July 28, 2019
Woodworking Experience:
A great replacement for my other lathe
My shop was downsized because we downsized to a smaller home.This lathe is great because it is half the length of my old lathe. I am able to turn the same things I did on my old Craftsman. But the one thing I especially like with this Rikon is that the motor is very quiet!
June 26, 2019
1 year ago
Rikon 70-1218VS 12 x 18 Midi Lathe
It took me 15 minutes to set up. Centers matched perfect right out of the box. Been turning on a half horse power for the past five years and now I am enjoying the 3/4 hp and the variable speed. The twelve inch swing is a plus that everyone needs to try. Was waiting for this lathe to go on sale at Rockler, when it did, I grabbed one. Very happy with it and recommend this lathe.
June 21, 2019
1 year ago
Love my Rikon
Love this lathe! Super quality, great design. Couldn’t be happier.
Rikon lathe from Rockler
Rikon lathe from Rockler
June 16, 2019
1 year ago
Woodworking Experience:
Start typing your question and we'll check if it was already asked and answered. Learn More
Browse 9 questions Browse 9 questions and 23 answers
Why did you choose this?
Rockler Store
Digital readout of variable speed
Gerrad Y on Dec 26, 2019
price and size
Lawrie on Jul 7, 2019
Digital readout of variable speed
Gerrad Y on Dec 26, 2019
Variable speed, value, and replacing my Rikon 70-105
Nancy R S on Jul 31, 2019
price and size
Lawrie on Jul 7, 2019
Good price for a “starter” lathe.
carter w on Jul 3, 2019
Already own rikon lathe. Good product good price
107 Stillwater L on Jun 28, 2019
I did a lot of research before I chose to purchase this lathe. I wanted one that would allow me to work on jewelry, pens, small plates and bowls. As a newbie to using a wood lathe, I saw that a lot of other newbie and veteran wood turners recommended this piece of technology. I'm really looking forward to expanding my creativity.
Maya K on Jun 26, 2019
good time to upgrade at a good price.
Stephen T on May 30, 2019
RIkon is a GREAT brand and I am beginning Lathe Turning.
William L on May 26, 2019
Reviews and price
Jon P on May 23, 2019
Reviews were good and I have a small shop.
Virgil F on May 4, 2019
The best specifications for any unit of what I assume is a good quality machine in the price range I was trying to stay at.t
B D on Apr 14, 2019
The Rikon 70-1218 is an upgrade from a Rikon 70-100. The multi speed control is why I decided to do an upgrade. It makes turning much easier.
JAMES B. on Feb 27, 2019
I was going to get the 70-100 but after getting to your site from Rikon and seeing the sale. It became a no brainer.
James V on Feb 20, 2019
Rikon is a well respected manufacturer of woodworking tools and this lathe was the size I was looking for. It also had the options I needed and was on sale.
Dan H on Feb 16, 2019
Wanted midi size for my first lathe and this seems like a good fit for me ! I hope I don't want a bigger one down the road some time soon !!
Jim on Feb 8, 2019
I was going to choose a less expensive one but it did not get good reviews so pick this one for features and small size. I only plan to make fairly small items so this should work.
Charles B on Feb 5, 2019
Did a lot of research, and this one has all the features I wanted. Plus it's a quality brand, from a quality source, at a good price.
Brian B on Dec 9, 2018
My son wanted it
Sharon G on Nov 26, 2018
It was suggested to me by a professional woodworker. My husband has a decent starter lathe. However, it never centers properly. Yes, he has made adjustments, spoke to a lot of people about it. We believe it is the machine isn't machined properly. That and he deserves an upgrade.
Kim F on Nov 9, 2018
Variable speed, value, and replacing my Rikon 70-105
Nancy R S on Jul 31, 2019
Good price for a “starter” lathe.
carter w on Jul 3, 2019
Does this one have a bed extension option that you can buy extra?
Blair F on Feb 6, 2019
BEST ANSWER: Yes. I have it and it works very well.
What is warranty?
David H on Jan 22, 2019
BEST ANSWER: Has a 5 year limiter warranty
Can you get a lathe stand for this lathe and extension for the stand for the extension.?
Jack B on Jul 6, 2019
Yes you can get both, the extension and the stand. 70-920 is the Universal Midi Lathe Stand (adjustable)
Does the 70-1218VS have indexing?
Terry B on Nov 21, 2019
BEST ANSWER: No, it does not come equiped with indexing apparatus.
Will it turn a 12inch bowl?
Roger F on Jul 7, 2019
BEST ANSWER: I started with a circle that I thought was 12” round, but it was 12 1/8”+ and it rubbed on the frame in spots. I trimmed the places that were rubbing and it was fine. In response to your question, 12” is fine, but no more.
Can a person buy a bed extension for this lathe’and can I buy a face turning plate or church for it as well?
Roger A on Feb 27, 2019
BEST ANSWER: Comes with a 3" face plate. I purchased the bed extension and it works great. I also have purchased a chuck (PSI, if I remember right), and it has played well with my lathe as well.
What tools should I start out with? Are the pen turning tool package long enough, or should I get full size tools? I am thinking about doing a lot of plates, bowls, other stuff like that. Are there any specific tools I should get? Thanks.
Nick C on Apr 17, 2019
BEST ANSWER: I would go with a full size set, usually about seven gouges.
Will a Nova Precision Midi chuck fit the Rikon 70 12-18?
mark f on Oct 27, 2019
BEST ANSWER: I’m not sure, but I think so. As long as it has a 1” x 8 Tpi bire.
What tools would you recommend starting with to make things like bowls, cups, etc?
Nick C on Apr 18, 2019
BEST ANSWER: you would need a chuck, something in the 2 to 2 3/4 in range a 1/2 in bowl gouge and mabey a scraper and lots and lots of sandpaper all different grits there are a lot more tools out there that you could use but depending on what you are going to make determines what you will need
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