In-Depth Review: RIKON 70-100 Mini Lathe
The thing that I like about the Rikon Mini Lathe is that it claims to be the largest mini lathe (or one of the largest) available. That might sound as contradictory as getting the largest ant or the biggest microbe, but it does have its uses are far as my woodworking hobby is concerned.
The main point of a lathe is to be small so that it can cut, grind, or drill a smaller work piece that you can't do anything with bigger power tools. However, the advantage of having a big yet still small mini lathe is that it's big for its class of tool, allowing it to have more power than smaller, weaker lathes. I find that the Rikon Mini Lathe has been an excellent tool to work with, and with reasonable prices that I was able to find online, I'm not one to complain.
Here are your alternatives to the RIKON 70-100.
1) PSI Woodworking TCLC10VS Commander 10-Inch Variable Speed Mini Lathe
The PSI Woodworking TCLC10VS is favorably comparable to the RIKON 70-100 Mini Lathe in terms of size and dimensions (give or take an inch), weight (it's lighter at 89.5 pounds, but not by much compared to the 70-100's 91.4 pounds), and speed (the top speed of the TCLC10VS is at 91.4 pounds while the RIKON 70-100 can only go up to 3,900 RPM).
Then again, the TCLC10VS is more than twice the expensiveness of the mini lathe, so for all those slight discrepancies in size, weight, and speed, the PSI mini lathe should at least be twice as effective at its job as the RIKON mini lathe to justify its more-than-doubled price. It certainly does help that it has ¾ HP while the RIKON one is ½ HP (¾ is more than ½ or )
2) Nova 46301 Comet II Variable Speed Mini Lathe Bundle
As for the Nova 46301, it's also close in terms of specs to the RIKON 70-100 the way the PSI Woodworking TCLC10VS is. It's only slightly smaller by a few inches or so. It's way lighter at 81 pounds or about a 10.4-pound discrepancy. Its top speed is at 4,000 RPM, which is better than the RIKON 70-100 by 100 RPM but less than the PSI Woodworking TCLC10VS by also 100 RPM.
It checks out that the Nova 46301 is a little better than the RIKON 70-100 at everything, but not by huge margins. However, it has the same price as the TCLC10VS, so if you want more bang for your buck, the RIKON choice makes more sense.
3) Mophorn Metal Lathe Precision Mini Lathe Variable Speed
As for the Mophorn Metal Lathe Precision Mini Lathe, you have a mini lathe that's a bit smaller than the RIKON 70-100 Mini Lathe in terms of dimensions. Also, at 92 pounds of weight, the Mophorn mini lathe is about 0.6 heavier than the RIKON mini lathe. However, in terms of top speed, the Mophorn milling machine is at a low 2,500 RPM versus the much faster rotations of the RIKON at 3,900 RPM. Also, RIKON has a higher review rating to boot.
On the bright side, it has a ¾ HP motor just like the PSI TCLC10VS, but the TCLC10VS is still superior thanks to its 4,100 RPM top speed. Also, the Mophorn costs approximately $500 to $600, which means the RIKON mini lathe is superior to it in terms of top speed and pricing. However, both the RIKON and Mophorn lathes offer better pricing than the PSI Woodworking TCLC10VS and the Nova 46301 Comet II.
4) Signswise High Quality Motorized Mini Metal Working Lathe Machine
The Signswise Mini Metal Lathe is a curious case. It is way smaller than the self-proclaimed biggest mini lathe around, the RIKON 70-100 Mini Lathe (although the PSI Woodworking TCLC10VS is slightly bigger). Almost more than half the size as many of the mini lathes on this list. Furthermore, it has a whopping 20,000 RPM speed, which means it's designed specifically to work on the hardest metal work pieces.
It's easily five times faster with its top speed compared to all the heavier mini lathes on this list. It only gets a 3.5-star rating mostly because it compares itself to a different class of mini metal lathe and only four people reviewed it, so even just one negative review has more impact on its overall score compared to a unit that's been reviewed by tens or hundreds of people.
5) Grizzly G8688 Mini Metal Lathe
The Grizzly G8688 Mini Metal Lathe is also a metal lathe like the Signswise Mini Metal Lathe Machine, but it's more comparable to the Mophorn Metal Lathe Precision Mini Lathe with their shared speed of 2,500 RPM. Obviously, the Mophorn and Grizzly metal mini lathes belong to a slower and larger class of metal lathe. This is reflected also with its 89.2 pounds of weight.
The Grizzly indeed has a comparable size that's close to the sizes of the rest of the lathes on this list (the Signswise mini lathe is the exception because it's the smallest yet fastest lathe of them all). In terms of how the Grizzly G8688 compares to the RIKON 70-100 Mini Lathe, it's about the same as the Mophorn mini lathe. It has a lighter weight yet slower top speed than the 70-100.
Alternative Choices Comparison Table
PSI Woodworking TCLC10VS Commander 10-Inch Variable Speed Mini Lathe
Nova 46301 Comet II Variable Speed Mini Lathe Bundle
Mophorn Metal Lathe Precision Mini Lathe Variable Speed
Signswise High Quality Motorized Mini Metal Working Lathe Machine
Grizzly G8688 Mini Metal Lathe
The Final Cut
It's also capable of rotating the work piece on its axis with varying speeds of430 RPM, 810 RPM, 1,230 RPM, 1,810, 2,670 RPM, and 3,900 RPM. You can raise the speed depending on what sort of material you're working with (could be wood, metal, or plastic).
The RIKON 70-100 Mini Lathe is also a versatile kind of mini lathe filled with accessory options that enable you to get more out of your investment because every last accessory allows you to do more mini lathe applications, maintain the integrity of your power tool, and streamline your mini-lathe-related operations in ways that a bare-tool mini lathe unit cannot.