In-Depth Review: Nova 46301 Comet II Variable Speed Mini Lathe Bundle
The Nova 46301 Comet II Mini Lathe compares favorably to many of its competitors, with specs comparable to those that are cheaper or slightly more expensive than this machine. The unit is only smaller by a few inches compared to other min lathes and it can even be lighter than some of them. Most importantly, it really performs at peak 4,000 RPM or even its low 250 RPM for big work pieces or stock, lending credence to its versatility when all is said and done.
From the results, reliability and the joy I got from using this, I highly recommend purchasing it (check here for the lowest price) if you are planning your next woodworking project.
Here are the alternatives you have to the Nova 46301 Comet II Mini Lathe.
1) PSI Woodworking TCLC10VS Commander 10-Inch Variable Speed Mini Lathe
The RIKON 70-100 Mini Lathe is a few inches bigger than the Nova 46301 Comet II, but it's definitely outdone in terms of top speed (3,900 RPM versus 4,000 RPM), being lightweight (91.4 pounds versus 81 pounds), which implies more people were satisfied by the Nova 46301 and had fewer returns of purchase due to quality control faults.
What's more, the 70-100 has a weaker ½-HP motor so you have less torque to go with the slower 3,900 RPM. However, when all is said and done, there are still people who are willing to buy the RIKON 70-100 over the Nova 46301 Comet II because of the price.
2) RIKON 70-100 12-by-16-Inch Mini Lathe
Regarding the PSI Woodworking TCLC10VS Mini Lathe, it's many inches bigger than the Nova 46301 Mini Lathe dimension-wise (40 inches versus 33 inches, for example). The PSI Woodworking TCLC10VS also outdoes its Nova counterpart in terms of its top speed of 4,100 RPM (but not by much, since the Comet II has a 4,000 RPM top speed). However, the TCLC10VS has a wider speed range than the 46301 and even has its own guide light to boot.
To be more specific, the Comet II goes from 250 RPM to 4,000 RPM while the PSI Woodworking Mini Lathe goes from 150 RPM to 4,100 RPM. The point goes to the PSI lathe in that regard. Even in terms of pricing, the TCLC10VS comes out as the winner versus Nova 46301 Mini Lathe. Why spend more on the Nova when you can get so much more with the PSI?
3) Mophorn Metal Lathe Precision Mini Lathe Variable Speed
The Mophorn Metal Lathe Precision Mini Lathe has less-than-impressive specs compared to the previous two. It has a comparable size to the Nova 46301 Mini Lathe but its heavier than the Nova at 92 pounds (it's slightly heavier than the Rikon lathe too). It falls behind in terms of top speed as well, mustering only 2,500 RPM as a maximum setting (same as the Grizzly G8688).
However, the Mophorn shares the same rating as the Nova 46301 Comet II, but with one caveat. Only five people have reviewed this lathe, so take their opinions with a grain of salt and be aware that overenthusiastic reviews by a small group of people don't reveal as much as a high or low rating from at least dozens of customers. The sampling in this case is too small.
4) Signswise High Quality Motorized Mini Metal Working Lathe Machine
The Signswise Mini Lathe Machine is an unusual lathe that's on a different class of lathe as the Nova 46301 Comet II. While the Nova and even the PSI mini lathes are probably capable of turning metal work pieces, the Signswise Mini Lathe is more up to the task because it's specifically made to deal with metals, as evidenced by its significantly high 20,000 RPM.
On the other hand, the Signwise unit is also significantly smaller and lighter than the Nova 46301 Mini Lathe or any of the other alternative lathe machines on this list. It only weighs 7.2 pounds and has literally less than half the size of the other, bigger mini lathes. It might be more prone to shaking and instability thanks to this fact, but it's affordably priced.
5) Grizzly G8688 Mini Metal Lathe, 7 x 12-Inch
Last but not least is the Grizzly G8688 Mini Metal Lathe. It's honestly more of a Teddy Bear than a Grizzly Bear with its 2,500 RPM top speed (which is comparable to the Mophorn Metal Lathe Precision Mini Lathe). Its size is more or less the same as all the rest of the mini lathes on this list with the exception of the Signswise Mini Metal Working Lathe (which is the smallest mini lathe of the alternative lathes in discussion but offers the fastest rotational speed of 20,000 RPM).
The unit weighs about 89.2 pounds, which is also about average for the rest of the mini lathes on this list save again for the Signswise Metal Lathe, which appears to be in a different class of lathe altogether.
Alternative Choices Comparison Table
PSI Woodworking TCLC10VS Commander 10-Inch Variable Speed Mini Lathe
RIKON 70-100 12-by-16-Inch Mini Lathe
Mophorn Metal Lathe Precision Mini Lathe Variable Speed
Signswise High Quality Motorized Mini Metal Working Lathe Machine
Grizzly G8688 Mini Metal Lathe, 7 x 12-Inch
The Final Cut
The Comet II 46300 from Nova is an updated version of a previous best-seller of a mini lathe that improves upon all of its major selling points. It's a relatively affordable lathe for its size and anything less affordable than its price tend to have inferior specs, a lower speed cap, 10 pounds or so heavier, and the like. The extra payment guarantees you have a better product when all is said and done. Essentially, it's like the Nova Comet II is what you get when you combine the PSI's top specs and the lower specs of RIKON 70-100. It's like the medium Coke to their small and large Coke, in other words.