on March 7, 2001
I own both the Delta and Jet. I use both for turning pens, small bowls, tool handles, etc. The weight, construction, fit, finish, power, and noise are very close. I don't feel that either has an advantage over the other in those categories. The differences are in the convenience of speed change. The Delta has front access to the upper spindle; whereas the Jet has a, somewhat awkward, rear access. Also, the Jet has an annoying spring-loaded side door for the lower spindle. It is so difficult to operate,that I modified mine to a more conventional snap type which is found on the Delta. The power switch is located on the lower right on the Jet and above the upper spindle on the Delta. I think the preference is the Delta because, I am right handed and can manipulate it with my left hand while holding a chisel with my right. The Delta makes provision for adding an accessory extension bed for turning longer stock. It is approximately $50.00 and easily bolts up to the lathe. I use both lathes and enjoy them equally. I don't hesitate to recommend either machine as both are quality products. If I could only have one, I would choose the Delta based upon the convenience of speed changes, power switch, and the ability to add the bed extension.
on October 14, 2001
After carefully studying both the Jet JML 1014 Mini Lathe and the Delta 46-250 Midi Lathe, I decided to purchase the Delta. I'm glad I did. Both machines are well designed and very well made, but the Delta simply offers the best value for a quality lathe in this class. It is slightly larger and heavier than the Jet, which helps dampen vibration and enhances stability, especially when roughing out spindles and bowl blanks at slower speeds. Other advantages include more convenient belt access than the Jet for quicker and easier speed changes, and an available cast iron bed extension that increases the spindle capacity of this machine to 37 inches. The fit and finish on the Delta is excellent in spite of its Chinese origins (the Jet is made in Taiwan) and the layout of the machine indicates a greater attention to ergonomics than the Jet. None of this is meant to suggest that the Jet is an inferior machine. Quite the contrary, the Jet JML 1014 is a superbly made machine and a first-rate performer. It certainly will not disappoint anyone who purchases one. But at a price that is at least $30 higher than the Delta in most places, and with fewer conveniences, it simply doesn't offer the same value as the Delta. I do have one small beef with the Delta, however. For all the care and workmanship that obviously went into the design and manufacture of this machine, I'm disappointed that Delta chose to use plastic handles for the tool rest and motor tension adjustment bolts. These handles have a cheaper and flimsier feel than the cast metal handles that come with the Jet lathe, and they have the added disadvantage of being in places where they will receive plenty of wear and tear. Also, the headstock belt pulley cover on the Delta lathe, while more conveniently located than the one on the Jet, is made of a flimsy plastic and sports a large protruding knob that some turners might find annoying. I pay attention to small details like this when looking at Delta machines because my experience with Delta customer service in recent years has shown that replacement parts for their machines, even such small items as plastic knobs, are usually outrageously overpriced and at times difficult to obtain without lengthy delays due to backordering. If these parts break prematurely (as they are very apt to do), replacing them could be something of a nuisance. Still, with a two year product warranty, excellent fit and finish, superb performance, easy expandability and a price that beats their toughest competitor, this machine is simply the best value you're likely to find in a mid-size lathe.
on August 29, 2002
I've had the Midi for two years now and can't count the number of items I've turned! Ranging from pens/pencils to the maximunm size wood bowls it would take. Never a problem with power while turning bowls or platters. Obviously your tools must be SHARP, no matter what lathe you use.
For an entry level lathe I feel it can't be beat. When I upgrade to a larger more sophisticated unit, the Midi will still have a place in my shop.
on January 2, 2002
I have used this lathe for nearly a year turning pens, bowls and
other small turnings without any real problems. The only complaint I have is that the tool rest nicks very easily and does not adjust to the large diameter (10 inch) turnings to give
proper spacing and support for the turning tool. My shops equipment is all Delta, including a 9" table saw/4" jointer that
the owners manual is dated 1958, which I can still get parts for.
That is one of the reasons that I buy Delta products. I would reccommend Delta products to anyone that is in the process of
buying new woodworking machines.
on January 10, 2001
this person who wrote the last review must work for delta i have the jet lathe and have used the delta midi lathe there is no comparison. the delta is not close to being as good as the jet mini-lathe. the delta has a plastic door over the belt that is junk ,thats the best i can say about it.also the deltas motor seems to be a little weaker with more vibration. i would not take two deltas for my jet.