Quick Summary:


SKU number: JT321891

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  1. Precision: Extremely accurate measurements.
  2. Versatility: Includes a taper attachment for a variety of turning operations.
  3. Powerful: High horsepower motor suitable for heavy-duty tasks.
  4. Durability: Robust construction ensures longevity and sustained performance.
  5. Ease of Use: User-friendly controls and an ergonomic layout.


  1. Cost: Higher price point, which may be prohibitive for hobbyists or small shops.
  2. Size: Larger footprint requires more space, which might not be ideal for smaller workshops.

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Personal Experience with JET 321891 GH-26120ZH with ACU-RITE 300S DRO

As someone who has spent considerable time with the JET 321891 GH-26120ZH Lathe in a busy workshop setting, I’ve come to appreciate its nuances and capabilities firsthand. From the unassuming yet sturdy construction to the sophisticated features that simplify complex jobs, this lathe has been a reliable partner in our machining processes.

Operating this lathe, the first thing that stands out is the smoothness of the controls. The clutch-operated headstock, for instance, offers a reassuring level of control that enhances safety and precision. Switching between different speeds and feeds doesn’t disrupt the workflow, which is a testament to the machine’s thoughtful design.

The ACU-RITE 300S DRO has been indispensable. Accuracy is critical in our line of work, where even a millimeter can make a difference between a successful part and a costly mistake. The DRO provides clear and precise readings that have made our measurements more reliable, reducing errors and increasing our overall shop efficiency.

Day-to-Day Utility

On a day-to-day basis, the various threading capabilities of the lathe prove incredibly useful. Whether we are working on small custom pieces that require fine metric threads or larger parts needing robust inch threads, the GH-26120ZH adapts seamlessly. This versatility is crucial for our shop, which handles a diverse range of projects.

The rapid power traverse to the cross slide and carriage is another feature that speeds up our operations significantly. When you are working under tight deadlines, these time savings add up and help keep projects on track without compromising on quality.

Durability and Maintenance

In terms of durability, I’ve been impressed by how well the lathe holds up under continuous use. The ground bed ways have maintained their precision, and the overall construction has withstood the everyday knocks and stresses of a high-output environment. Regular maintenance is straightforward, which is a relief. Keeping the lathe in top condition is less about fixing problems and more about preventing them, thanks to its robust build and accessible design.

Long-Term Reliability

Over the months, I’ve noticed how the construction of the GH-26120ZH has stood up to continuous use. The hardened and ground bed ways are particularly impressive. Despite the heavy loads and frequent operations, there is minimal sign of wear. This durability is critical not just for maintaining the machine’s longevity but also for ensuring that every part we produce meets stringent quality standards.

Moreover, the lathe’s heavy-duty tailstock and quill have proven their worth during operations requiring high levels of stability and precision. For example, when working on long, slender parts, the robust tailstock supports the workpiece effectively, preventing any unwanted flex or vibration. This stability is essential for achieving precision finishes and maintaining dimensional accuracy across the length of the part.

Practicality in Workflow Integration

Integrating this lathe into our existing workflow was smoother than anticipated. Its universal gearbox and the ease of switching between feeds and threads without interrupting the workflow have made it an invaluable part of our operations. The machine’s intuitive design minimizes the learning curve for new operators, which is a significant advantage in a busy shop where time equals money.

Safety and Ergonomics

From a safety perspective, the features like the traveling splash guard and the halogen work lamp not only make the machine safer but also more comfortable to use. The lamp ensures that we always have a clear view of our workpiece, which is crucial for both quality control and safety.

Purchasing Experience from Beaver Industrial Supply

Purchasing Jet 321891 GH-26120ZH with ACU-RITE 300S DRO from Beaver Industrial Supply added to the overall positive experience. Their knowledgeable staff and exceptional customer service ensured that the machine was delivered promptly and in perfect condition, making the transaction smooth and leaving me confident in the support available for future needs.

Jet 321891 GH-26120ZH with ACU-RITE 300S DRO Overview

In the world of precision machining, the equipment you choose is as crucial as your skills. The JET 321891 GH-26120ZH Lathe, featuring the ACU-RITE 300S Digital Read Out (DRO), is a formidable contender in the market, promising robust performance and exceptional precision. This review delves into the various aspects of this machine, evaluating its features, performance, and overall value.

Design and Construction

The JET GH-26120ZH is robustly built, a testament to JET’s commitment to durability and quality. The lathe features a 4-1/8” spindle bore and a clutch-operated headstock, both designed to handle heavy-duty operations with ease. The headstock gears are hardened and ground, enhancing their durability and performance. The heavy-duty tailstock and quill further contribute to the machine’s sturdy construction, capable of withstanding the rigors of high-output production environments.

One of the standout features is the rapid power traverse to the cross slide and carriage, facilitating swift movements and reducing cycle times significantly. Additionally, the traveling splash guard is a thoughtful inclusion, enhancing operational safety and maintaining cleanliness.

Performance and Features

The JET GH-26120ZH shines in its performance. It offers a wide range of 12 spindle speeds from 36 to 1600 RPM, allowing machinists to select the optimal speed for various materials and applications. The headstock gearbox is intuitively designed for easy selection of inch and metric threading, a feature that greatly enhances its versatility.

Precision is where the ACU-RITE 300S DRO comes into play, providing highly accurate readings that ensure precision in machining tasks. This digital readout is essential for tasks requiring meticulous measurements and significantly reduces errors and rework.

The induction-hardened and ground bed ways ensure longevity and maintain alignment over the life of the machine, even under heavy use. This is crucial for maintaining the accuracy and finish of machined parts.

Capacity and Capabilities

The lathe boasts an impressive swing over bed of 26 inches and a distance between centers of 120 inches, accommodating large and long workpieces. The gap swing of 34 inches and the inclusion of both a 12” 3-jaw and a 16” 4-jaw chuck provide flexibility in handling various sizes and shapes of materials. These features make the JET GH-26120ZH ideal for a wide range of applications, from small, intricate pieces to large, heavy parts.

Accessories and Inclusions

JET does not skimp on accessories. The standard equipment includes a 4-way tool post, face plate, two steady rests, a follow rest, coolant system, and a halogen work lamp. These accessories not only enhance the machine’s capabilities but also offer significant savings as they are often sold separately in similar machines from other brands.

Ease of Use

Despite its robust capabilities, the JET GH-26120ZH is user-friendly. The controls are intuitive, and the machine includes features that facilitate ease of operation, such as the rapid traverse and easy threading gearbox. The ACU-RITE 300S DRO is straightforward to read and operate, making precise operations less cumbersome.

Energy Efficiency and Operational Cost

Another aspect worth discussing is the JET GH-26120ZH’s energy efficiency. Equipped with a 10 HP motor that can be wired for 230 or 460 volts, this machine is designed to deliver maximum power and efficiency without excessive energy consumption. For shops focusing on reducing operational costs and environmental impact, this energy-efficient design is a significant advantage.

Safety Features

Safety is paramount in any machining environment, and the JET GH-26120ZH includes several features to ensure operator safety. The clutch-operated headstock prevents accidental starts, while the traveling splash guard not only keeps the work area clean but also protects operators from flying debris. The halogen work lamp provides excellent illumination, reducing the risk of accidents due to poor visibility.

Pros and Cons of JET 321891 GH-26120ZH Lathe with ACU-RITE 300S DRO


  • 4-1/8″ Spindle Bore: Allows for handling larger workpieces.
  • Clutch Operated Headstock: Enhances safety and precision.
  • Rapid Power Traverse: Quick adjustments to the cross slide and carriage, improving cycle times.
  • ACU-RITE 300S Digital Read Out (DRO): Provides high accuracy for precision machining tasks.
  • 12 Speeds Range (36-1600 RPM): Versatile speed options for various materials and applications.
  • Heavy-duty Tailstock and Quill: Robust support for stable and precise operations.
  • Induction Hardened and Ground Bed Ways: Offers durability and maintains accuracy over time.
  • Comprehensive Accessory Package: Includes multiple chucks, toolposts, steady and follow rests, a coolant system, and a halogen work lamp.
  • Swing Over Bed (26 inches) and Between Centers (120 inches): Accommodates large and diverse workpieces.
  • Universal Gearbox: Easy selection between inch and metric threading.


  • Size and Weight: At over 9,000 pounds and large dimensions, it requires significant workshop space and setup.
  • Complexity: May require a steep learning curve for less experienced machinists due to its advanced features.
  • Energy Consumption: While efficient, its 10 HP motor and gear-driven head may lead to higher energy use compared to smaller machines.
  • Initial Investment: The high level of sophistication and included accessories make it a more costly upfront investment.
  • Maintenance: While designed for easy maintenance, the complexity and heavy-duty nature of the machine might necessitate regular professional servicing to maintain optimal performance.

Maintenance and Longevity

Maintenance is a crucial factor in the lifespan and efficiency of heavy machinery. The JET GH-26120ZH is designed for easy maintenance, ensuring long-term reliability. The induction-hardened and ground bed ways are not only durable but also resist wear and deformation, maintaining precision over many years of use. Regular maintenance is streamlined thanks to easily accessible components and a comprehensive manual that guides through routine checks and servicing.

JET 321891 GH-26120ZH Lathe with ACU-RITE 300S DRO Specifications

Model NumberGH-26120ZH
Size26 x 120
Digital ReadoutNewall DP700
Swing Over Bed26 inches
Swing Over Cross Slide16-1/2 inches
Swing Through Gap34 inches
Length of Gap8 inches
Distance Between Centers120 inches
Spindle Bore4-1/8 inches
Spindle MountD1-8
Spindle Taper with SleeveMT-5
Number of Spindle Speeds12
Range of Spindle Speeds (RPM)36 – 1,600
Number of Longitudinal and Cross Feed Rates65
Range of Longitudinal Feeds (IPR)0.0023 – 0.0937
Range of Cross Feeds (IPR)0.0040 – 0.0404
Number of Inch Threads48
Range of Inch Threads (TPI)2-30
Number of Metric Threads22
Range of Metric Threads1 – 14
Max Tool Size1-1/4 x 1-1/4 inches
Compound Slide Travel5-1/2 inches
Cross Slide Travel12-3/32 inches
Carriage Travel108-1/4 inches
Tailstock Spindle Travel6 inches
Taper in Tailstock SpindleMT-5
Follow Rest Capacity25/32 – 3-15/16 inches
Steady Rest Capacity (Small)25/32 – 4-29/32 inches
Steady Rest Capacity (Large)3-15/16 – 9-7/16 inches
Width of Bed16 inches
Motor10 HP, 230/460V, 3 Ph
Prewired Voltage230V
Weight9,362 pounds
Overall Dimensions (L x W x H)178 x 43 x 57 inches
Drive TypeGeared Head
WarrantyRed Assurance 2-year Warranty

Customer and Technical Support

JET’s commitment to customer satisfaction extends beyond the sale with excellent customer and technical support. The included 2-year warranty underscores their confidence in the machine’s quality and durability. Moreover, JET’s network of authorized service centers ensures that expert help is readily available, providing peace of mind for businesses that rely on their machinery for continuous operation.

Durability and Warranty

Durability is a hallmark of this lathe, with its heavy-duty construction and ground bed ways. The inclusion of the JET Red Assurance 2-year warranty provides additional peace of mind, ensuring that any service needs or repairs are readily addressed through JET’s extensive network of Authorized Service Centers.


The JET 321891 GH-26120ZH Lathe with ACU-RITE 300S DRO is an exceptional machine that stands out for its robust construction, versatile capabilities, and precision. It is designed to cater to professionals who need a reliable, high-performing machine for high-output production environments.

The thoughtful inclusion of various accessories and the comprehensive warranty make it a worthwhile investment for any serious machinist or manufacturing facility. With its blend of performance, durability, and ease of use, the JET GH-26120ZH is a top-tier tool that will undoubtedly enhance the productivity and capabilities of any workshop.

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