Sorry for the double post here, if it ever shows up, but I accidently
hit the return key for the last one as I was still composing.
Note that the two models you cite are slightly different: one has a
more powerful motor. Also, note that neither has the base included (and
the one they sell for it is rather flimsy). This is an important part
of a lathe, you need to have it firmly attached to a solid base.
If you ever get into turning, you will get rid of those HF units pretty
soon. However, there is one they sell that you'll find among members of
turning clubs occasionally. The snobs look down on it of course, but I
don't see much difference between it and its cloned mother (Delta if
I'm not mistaken). Check out item #34706, which is regularly on sale
for $180. It has a solid base, variable speed (lever actuated, not
pulley-change dance), pivoting headstock, decent motor, and fairly
solid bed. At that price, it's still $400-500 cheaper than the models
So, if you can swing the extra $100, it may be a better entry model to