I have both the Delta Midi and Jet Mini in my shop. Delta weak link is the
plastic handles - but with proper care and not over tightening will last as
long as any other handles. On/Off switch location is major difference -
Delta on left, Jet lathe on right. I like the Jet because of the switch
location. Minor distinction - and that is the case of the difference
between them: minor. Whatever 'feels' good, I'd say.
Also this question has been asked before and by doing a search on the
newsgroup, you may find more responses to help you decide.
Either one: enjoy turning - make chips!
We have the Jet, Delta and General at the school where I teach. I like the
General and Jet more than the Delta. Other than replacing the switch the Jet
have required no repairs. The General needs a fewadjustments out of the box
but runs fine after that. The Delta has had the plastic handles replaced
Well, to throw another lathe into the fray, how about looking at the Vicmarc
VL100. You have to get your own motor for it, but motors aren't that
expensive, unless you go for variable speed. And in my impression, as many
claim the Jet being far superior to the Delta, the Vicmarc is clearly
superior to the Jet in terms of quality machining.
That may have been your limit on the Jet Mini but it's not THE limit of a
Jet Mini. I've gone a bit further (I don't dare say it's THE limit as
others have probably done more) and turned a 9.75" diameter x 13.5" length
piece of elm into a mushroom piece (I know Chuck has done the same ... where
do you think I get my ideas from? ) and am working on a hollow vessel
from walnut that is 9.5" diameter and 11" deep. The Jet Mini isn't tied
(bolted) down either. Very smooth and stable with the out of balance
I like my Jet Mini. Never tried the Delta. Looked at it but chose the Jet.
We need some Delta mini lathe defenders.
This is one of the main reasons I bought the Delta over the Jet and
General. The other reason was a significantly lower price for the
Delta. I guess changing speeds on the lathe is somewhat more
important to me than others. I also prefer having the on/off switch
in the Delta position. I've used the Jet mini lathe too. In use both
lathes are pretty much the same.
If changing speeds is unimportant to you, then buy on price.
I did have a Delta midi lathe. I was happy with it's performance
but.... I burn out the motor and the main switch. Finally, the head
stock was not line-up with the tail.... So quality control is not very
good with delta.