Nova Comet Lathe Review – Plus FAQ’s, Pros & Cons

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Hello and many thanks for taking the time to visit and welcome to our Nova Comet Lathe Review which you should definitely take a quick look through if you are thinking about buying one in the coming days or weeks.

Our review will focus on the Nova Comet II 12'' / 16-1/2'' Midi Lathe with the chuck and 5 piece turning set but we will also take a quick look at the main features available from 2 other options namely the Nova Comet II 1 Midi Lathe (without the extra tools) and the Nova 1624 II Wood Lathe so at least you have more than just one choice when it comes to making a final decision.

Our review will present the main functions, features and capabilities that it has to offer to the general public along with the main pros and cons that we came across that you should know before you make any buying decisions. In addition, we will outline a brief FAQ’s session that should answer some of the queries that you may have along with comparisons that are worth noting which are outlined at the end of this page. For easier navigation, this review will be split into 6 small parts so feel free to skip to whatever part interests you the most.

Nova Comet Lathe Review Content:

  1. Part 1: Brief Overview and Brief FAQ Session
  2. Part 2: Technical Specification Information
  3. Part 3: Nova Comet Lathe Review – Main Features and Functions
  4. Part 4: Nova Comet Lathe Review – Pros and Cons
  5. Part 5: Alternative Options to Consider
  6. Part 6: Conclusion & Feedback

Before you start, please note that guide prices can only be outlined at the time of this review, so please make sure to view the price checkers provided below to ensure you have the most up to date price information.

Part 1: Brief Overview and Brief FAQ Session

Brief Overview

Brand:Nova Comet
Product: Nova Comet II 12''|16-1/2'' Midi Lathe (+Chuck and 5-Piece Turning Set)
Best Place to Buy:Rockler Woodwork & Hardware – View Stock Availability Here
Protection Plans:Yes, 1-year and 2-year protection plan options are available
Warranty:24 months (12 months on motors / electronics)
Price Guide:$600 to $700 – View Today’s Price Here
Support:Rockler Support @ 1-8oo-260-9663 or email @ customercare@rockler.com

Frequently Asked Questions about the Nova Comet II Midi Lathe:

Q. What is the distance between the Centers?
A. The distance between the Centers is 16-1/2'' (419mm)
Q. How much are the protection plans?
A. The protection plans can range from approx. $100 to $170 depending on which one you choose
Q. Are there any shipping charges added to this Lathe?
A. Yes, it is seller dependant and we have seen additional shipping charges of approx. $40 being applied
Q. How many steps are in the Pulley system?
A. There are 3 steps available in the Pulley system
Q. Are bed extensions available?
A. Yes, bed extensions are available
Q. Can it be used for other materials other than just wood?
A. No, it is designed only for wood
Q. What is the length of this Lathe?
A. The length of this Lathe is 36 inches total
Q. What are the speed ranges?
A. The variable speed range available is 250 to 4000 RPM
Q. What is the Inboard bowl turning capacity?
A. The Inboard bowl turning capacity is 12''/300mm

View also while you are here:

Part 2: Technical Specification Information

Nova Comet II Technical Spec Information 
Chuck:
Maximum Bowl Diameter with 50mm/2''
Jaws = Up to 350mm/14''
Maximum Spigot length with 50mm/2''
Jaws =Up to 50mm/2''
Full packaged weight = 1.4 kgs/3.1 lbs.
Threading = 1'' 8-TPI RH/LH
Swing capacity = Up to 400mm/16'' diameter

Turning Tools:
Shaft material = HSS
Shaft length = Approx 4''
Overall length = Approx 10''
Handle material = Wood
Handle length = Approx 6''
Lathe:
Motor: = 3/4HP, 120v Single phase
Variable Speed Range = 250 – 4000 RPM
Spindle Thread = 1'' x 8 TPI RH
Tailstock = 2MT hollow, quill travel 1.6''/40.60mm
Inboard Bowl Turning Capacity = 12''/300mm
Distance Between Centers = 16-1/2''/419mm

Technical Documents
Nova Comet II Manual

Weight
89.95

Part 3: Nova Comet Lathe Review – Main Features and Functions

Nova Comet II 12'' | 16-1/2'' Midi Lathe

Main Features in Summary:

Includes solid chuck
Includes 5-Piece Turning Set
Motor 3/4HP, 120V Single phase
Speed Range of 250 to 4k RPM
3-Step pulley system
Forward / reverse switch
Versaturn accessories
Self-centering scroll chuck

Main Features in Detail:

  • This Lathe from Nova Comet has proven to be a very popular option across the industry as it would be considered a value-added combo package which combines a reliable lathe with a chuck and also the 5-piece set of mini turning tools – it’s a full-service lathe package
  • Included in the pack when you buy is the Nova Comet II 12" x 16-1/2" Midi Lathe, 2MT spur center, 2MT live center, Hand wheel, Knock out bar, 1/4'' round-nose scraper, 1/4'' skew chisel, 1/4'' spindle gouge, 3"/80mm faceplate, 6"/152mm tool-rest, 1/8'' spindle gouge, 1/8'' parting tool, Nova G3 Comet II Reversible Chuck, Set of 50mm/2'' jaws, Safe Lock Woodworm screw, T-bar chuck key and the Manual plus fastenings
  • It operates from a variable speed with a wide RPM range which starts from 250 up to 4000 RPM and there is the optional Versaturn accessories which lets you use it as a belt sander, wet stone, grinding wheel, wire brush or a sanding disc
  • Included is the 4-jaw, self-centering scroll chuck with a highly reliable and powerful TuffLock grip for incredibly solid, vibration free performance and the HSS for easy sharpening and good edge retention
  • There is a minimal 1.79 inch body length which maximizes the distance between centers and in turn reduces the stress on the spindle and it is a single-handed operation for simple setting up.
  • There is the forward and reverse switch for further flexibility and a better finishing and the turning tools are 10 inches long which are perfect for bottle stoppers, small bowls and pens to mention just a few.
  • Included also is a set of 2 inch jaws and it comes with a 2 year warranty (1 year on the motor and electronic parts)

Price Guide:

  • In terms of cost, the price when last seen at the time of this review ranged from $600 to $700 at Rockler Wood and Hardware which can be double checked below for a more up to date price tag.

Further images of the Nova II Comet Lathe and the Nova 1624 II Wood Lathe are outlined below (10)

Part 4: Nova Comet Lathe Review – Pros and Cons

Pros for the Nova Comet II Midi Lathe:

  • This option includes the chuck and 5-piece turning set which means less work sourcing suitable tools elsewhere which in turn saves you time
  • There is also the option of buying the Lathe on its own with the chuck / turning set (outlined further below) so you are not forced into buying them if you have a set already
  • The price level for the quality of the machine you are getting is very competitive when compared against other brands in the industry
  • For added security, you have the option of getting the 1 or 2 year protection plans which can add further security and peace of mind
  • It operates a 3-step pulley system for different speed ranges and the middle one normally works best for all projects (less changing needed)
  • In terms of safety, it has the auto safety stop where jaw slides can't go past the chuck body and the safe lock Woodworm screw for fast mounting of rough timbers

Cons for the Nova Comet II Midi Lathe:

  • Additional shipping charges is seller dependant but a fee of $40 to $50 can apply when shipping this particular item.
  • Costs of the protections plans are not all that bad but you can expect to pay a further approx. $100 to $170 if you wish to go down this route
  • You need to be aware that the larger accessory jaws in the Nova line are not recommended for use on the Nova G3 Comet II Chuck.
  • Some of the mini tools are a little small and it takes time to get used to them – they could have been somewhat larger in our opinion
  • As the mini turning tools are so small, you may need to go down the road of buying more larger ones separately
  • You will need to follow the instructions especially when it comes to breaking in the brushes without a load for 40 mins.
  • Some minor issues have been reported on the certain parts and the Lathe not working properly upon delivery which tend to get looked after all the same at Rockler

Part 5: Alternative Options to Consider

If you are not fully convinced on the model outlined below, then take a quick look also at 2 other options under the Nova Comet Brand as follows that are worth a closer look also…

1, Nova Comet II 12''|16-1/2'' Midi Lathe (no tools)

Main Features / Functions:

Electronic variable speed motor
RPM range is 250 to 4000 RPM
Forward and reverse switch
Versaturn Adaptable Technology
3 Step pulley system
Precision Machining
Quick-action cam controls
Protection plans available (1 & 2 years)
Warranty of 24 Months
12 months on Electronics / Motors
Price Guide: $500 to $600 @ Rockler

2, Nova 1624 II Wood Lathe

Main Features / Functions:

Swivel headstock rotates a full 360
More powerful 1.5 HP belt-drive motor
8 speeds with a range of 215 to 3600 RPM
Low vibration levels / For larger projects
Quality solid cast iron construction
Rugged 2MT spindles included
Quick-action cam levers
Protection plans available (1 and 2 years)
Warranty is 12 Months
Includes cast iron steel stand
Price Guide: $1000 - $1300 @ Rockler

Part 6: Conclusion & Feedback

Conclusion:

Does it work as expected? Yes, certainly it does and the one thing that is great is the fact that is a good option for beginners as well as people who are at a higher skill level. The set up out of the box is very easy to get done and it is very easy to get working straight away. The only thing that is annoying is the size of the tools where they could have been a whole lot bigger and many will have to buy additional larger turning tools in addition to this.

Feedback Submission

Have you used or tried a Nova Comet II Lathe yourself in the recent past? Did it perform as expected or did you come across any problems that we should know about?

If possible – please share your own feedback (good or bad) with the wider community by leaving a comment in the comment section provided below…

 

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2 Comments

  1. Hello! This has been a great and helpful review of the Nova Comet Lathe. In reading and looking at the price range, I noticed the price says $500-$600, is there always a change in price for this product? I am asking because if there is, I would want to watch out for when it’s cheapest, right?

    • Hi, as prices can change from month to month, we are only in a position to present price guides at present. The price for this Lathe is fairly consistent though and doesn’t change all that much, Regards,Paul

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