10 Best Wood Lathe We Trust In 2023
A carpenter is not full without a wood lathe. Without this very machine, woodturning is very limited. Wood lathes have sorted the life of carpenters; now, they are more flexible in turning wood because it has become an easier and more fun process. However, since you are here, we are assuming you are looking forward to getting a good wood lathe for you.
If so, let’s have a few words! There are different types of wood lathes in the market, and they all are good in some ways.
Some are good in performance, and some are highly durable. And there are some which come at a very low price. We would suggest you ignore the price thing because, at a lower price, you cannot get something incredible.
You should only focus on the performance and durability of the machine, they might be expensive, but in the long run, they will be worth it. Here, we have aligned the 10 best wood lathes in the market, which have been performing tremendously. There are a few models which are expensive, but we assure you they deliver proper value for the money.
Let’s have a look.
OUR TOP 3 PICKS
|RIKON Power Tools 70-220VSR VSR MIDI Lathe |
Delta Industrial 46-460 Variable-Speed Midi Lathe
JET JWL-1221VS Variable Speed Wood Lathe
Top 10 Best Wood Lathe Reviews
Why should you trust us? How did we find the best? We know these kinds of questions might have hit you already. Let us tell you; we have expert teams who have been doing the picking work for quite a long. They conduct a couple of tests to know the strength, power, and durability of the products.
And they compare the overall performance with others. Lastly, they do reach some real users as well to be more sure about a specific product. Do you see? That’s how it is done!
1. JET JWL-1221VS Variable Speed Wood Lathe
Presenting a highly popular model among both professional and intermediate woodworkers, the JET JWL-1221VS Variable Speed Wood Lathe. Without a doubt, this is one of the best wood lather machines out there. The only thing that troubles the user is the price.
This machine is a little expensive, and they have a fair reason to be expensive. There is a bunch of features that this very machine offers that are really useful to the users.
It comes with a speed control system, and there are two types, discrete and continuous control. With the discrete control, you would have to set the speed at some fixed RPMs, which are 430, 810, 1810, 2670, and 3900.
And with the other one, continuous control, you can set any RPM according to your need. The center distance of this wood lathe is 21 inches. That means it only can accommodate wood pieces that are under 21 inches; you won’t be able to work with anything longer than that.
If you have the intention to work with longer wood pieces, this JET JWL-1221VS Variable Speed Wood Lathe is not suitable for you. You will need something that can provide you with a bigger range.
Moving, this machine is quite heavy; it weighs around 120 pounds. That makes it mandatory for you to have a strong workbench. This is a highly durable machine, and you are going to have a good time working with it.
- Adjustable speed in two modes.
- It comes with a 5-year warranty.
- Delivers smooth transition.
- Features digital RPM reader.
- Highly durable machine.
- Heavy machine.
2. Delta Industrial 46-460 Variable-Speed Midi Lathe
Looking for a top-notch mini lathe machine? Here it is, the Delta Industrial 46-460 Variable-Speed Midi Lathe. There are many features you get with this model, will go one by one!
It comes with continuous speed control, and it comes with only one mode, which is continuous speed control; you can set the RPM flexibly according to your need. From 250 to 750, 600 to 1800, and 1350 to 4000.
The 1221VS offers a better range when the RPM is low, 46 to 460 RPM, better for working on a large stock of wood. This machine also comes with a patented belt tension system, so shifting to different ranges won’t be a problem.
Having that said, we must tell you there is no digital readout for the 46 to 460 RPM. You have to guess the speed.
Moving on, the center-to-center distance of this very wood lathe machine is small, only 16.5 inches. So wood pieces longer than that won’t fit in this machine, and that is why it is a mini lathe. However, still, with a bed extension, you can work on larger wood pieces.
For people who are looking for a top-notch mini lathe machine but don’t have much budget, this Delta Industrial 46-460 Variable-Speed Midi Lathe would be a nice alternative for them. This is a highly durable machine and comes with a 5-year warranty.
- Features continuous speed control.
- Inexpensive for beginners.
- It comes with a 1HP motor.
- Delta’s patented belt tension system.
- Offers a 5-year warranty.
- There is no speed readout.
- Small center-to-center distance.
3. RIKON Power Tools 70-220VSR VSR MIDI Lathe
Are you a professional woodworker? Looking for a lathe machine to tackle your tasks? You would want to have a look at the IKON Power Tools 70-220VSR VSR MIDI Lathe machine. It is a heavy machine.
Actually, the manufacturer did make it heavy intentionally to increase the stability of this machine. This machine comes with a 1 HP motor, and the motor offers variable speed control and a good range of speeds.
With this very model, you will get a digital RPM readout that will help you to keep track of the speed. You will also be able to drive forward and reverse with this lathe machine. Moreover, you get spindle length turning capacity as well.
The center-to-center distance is 20 inches which are pretty decent. And the swing bed is 12-1/2 inches. Features 24 position index head and speed changing effortless.
This is a wood lathe machine for professionals, and it is pretty expensive and might be out of reach for some beginners. If you are a beginner, you should not start with this; there are other models that are inexpensive and easy to use as well.
- The motor offers decent power.
- 20-inch center-to-center distance.
- Variable speed control.
- Features 24-position index head.
- Best for professionals.
- Expensive lathe machine.
4. Jet JWL 1440VSK Wood Lathe Machine
Have a look at the Jet JWL 1440VSK Wood Lathe Machine; this very model can take care of all your wood tasks pretty easily. The manufacturer has designed this machine for professionals, and it is way too expensive.
If you are looking for a budget, this is definitely not one you would want to sneak into. It comes with a sliding and pivoting headstock. It features a highly powerful motor that offers variable speed. With the 7 positive locking positions, the sliding headstock pivots 360 degrees, and the positions are 270, 180, 120, 90, 60, and 30 degrees.
You can adjust the speed from 400 to 3000 RPM, and setting the RPM according to the need is not difficult; pretty smooth to shift to a different speed.
This machine comes with an additional extension bed which can be mounted in three different positions. Features RPM readout, and it is easy to read from that. You won’t have to set up a workbench because this machine comes with a built-in stand which is highly stable.
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- It can tackle most kinds of woodwork.
- Highly stable machine.
- Heavily constructed for great durability.
- It comes with a variable speed adjustment.
- Features RPM readout.
- Way too expensive.
5. Laguna Tools MLAREVO 1836 Revo Lathe
Laguhna lathe machine comes with an amazing angled control panel which is constructed of anodized aluminum. The manufacturer has used steel in the bed construction, and this helps the cast iron headstock to travel pretty easily. It comes with electric variable speed, and the good part is even when the setting is set at low, you will get a good amount of torque.
Thanks to the VFD that converts 1-phase input into a 3-phase output.
This machine features a 2HP 220V motor, and the highest RPM that this very machine delivers is 3500. With this speed, this machine can tackle both heavy-duty and light-duty tasks effortlessly.
With this machine, you get a pretty accurate RPM readout. Features a quick-release handle that makes shifting from high to low setting effortless.
Moving on, the manufacturer has done a great job by placing the head and tailstock lock handle at the back; this prevents all kinds of interruptions to the work. One thing that makes people run away from this very model is the price. It comes with a very expensive price tag.
- It comes with a powerful motor.
- Easy to use.
- Heavy-duty construction.
- The highest RPM is 3500.
- Variable speed adjustment.
- Delivers good torque.
- Highly expensive.
6. PSI Woodworking KWL-1218VS Turn Crafter Commanded Midi Lathe
Need a midi that is super easy to use and delivers decent power as well? You got it! Take a look at the PSI Woodworking KWL-1218VS Turn Crafter Commande Midi Lathe machine. With this machine, you will be able to tackle most kinds of woodworking projects pretty easily.
It comes with a 1 pretty powerful hp motor. And the motor also features variable speed adjustment. You can set the speed to 500 to 1800 at low and 1950 to 3800 RPM at a higher speed. It comes with a monitor that gives you accurate speed reading.
The center-to-center distance is 18 inches, and obviously, you can extend the range with an extension bed. Despite being a professional wood lathe machine, this one comes at a reasonable price. And since this is easy to use, that makes it suitable for beginners as well.
- Reasonable price.
- Easy to use.
- Variable speed control.
- The motor delivers decent power.
- It can tackle most kinds of wood projects.
- Small center-to-center distance.
7. SHOP FOX W1704 Benchtop Lathe
Have a look at this SHOP FOX W1704 Benchtop Lathe. This can effortlessly complete all kinds of small cutting and shaping jobs. By saying that, we mean you can use this machine for most kinds of light and medium-duty jobs, but you got to be careful when you are thinking about loading this machine with heavy projects.
The manufacturer has constructed this with top-notch cast iron, which makes it highly durable. And the size this machine has would fit in most kinds of workbenches.
Features a 1/3 HP motor that delivers pretty good power, 700 to 3200 RPM per minute. It comes with both 4-1/2 and 7-inch tool rest, which helps when you have different kinds of turning works. The center-to-center distance is 13 inches, and the overbed swing is 8 inches; these much is enough for most kinds of small and medium wood jobs.
- Powerful motor.
- Features speed control.
- Heavily constructed with cast iron.
- Decent center space.
- The locking pad bolts can come to lose.
8. WEN 3420 Benchtop Wood Lathe
This is a benchtop wood lathe machine, and most benchtop wood lathe machines are designed for small and light-duty projects. And this is no different. If you are looking for a lathe machine for tackling small wood jobs, have a deep look at this WEN 3420 Benchtop Wood Lathe machine.
With this machine, you will get discrete speed control which will bring flexibility and comfort to the work. The speeds are 520, 900, 1400, to 3400 RPM.
It also comes with a 4A motor that delivers decent torque, which is enough to get most of the small and medium jobs done. The manufacturer has constructed this machine heavily so that it serves the user for a long period.
Plus, it comes with a 70-plus frame which makes this machine incredibly stable. The wood piece that is under 12 inches in length and 8 inches in width, you can easily work with them in this very machine. But do not try to go beyond.
- Best for medium and small jobs.
- Highly stable machine.
- Features discrete speed control.
- It offers good durability as well.
- Doesn’t come with any mounting holes.
How to Choose the Best Wood Lathe?
We know you are too excited to get your first wood lathe machine. But you do not want the excitement to be gone after purchasing one, right?
To ensure that, we urge you to go through the following parameters we have discussed. What are these? These are a bunch of features that you need to think about before you make a purchase decision so that you don’t end up with the wrong lathe machine.
Wood lathe machines come in different price ranges. There are machines that come under 400 dollars, and there are some which are over 1000 dollars. Now, in which direction should you swing?
That depends on you. If you are a beginner and have never purchased a lathe machine before, then we would suggest going with the affordable one. Do not invest big bucks at the beginner; take a little time to know things then you will be able to make the best decision for you.
On the other hand, if you are a professional woodworker and have worked on different lathe machines, then you don’t need our advice; you will know what is best for you. And professional woodworkers need top-notch powerful machines, which are pretty expensive.
There are different types of wood lathe machines; each is suitable for different needs. The two most common types of lathes are benchtop lathes and full-sized lathes. Now, which one you should choose depends on the nature of your work.
Benchtop wood lathe machines are designed for small and medium wood projects. They come in medium or low center-to-center and swing sizes. So, if you will be working on small wood projects, you can go with a benchtop wood lathe machine.
On the contrary, full-sized wood lathe machines are for professionals and workers who work on heavy wood projects. These lathe machines come with higher center-to-center distance and swing sizes. That being said, they are expensive as well.
The speed of the lathe has a lot to do with your work. For a perfectly finished wood project, you will be going to need appropriate speed. And which speed range you should choose also depends on your work project. But it would be ideal to choose a lathe machine that delivers a speed between 6000 to 9000 RPM.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
How do I choose a wood lathe?
There are a bunch of factors that make sure that you are picking the right wood lathe machine for yourself. We have designed an in-depth buying guide above; take a look!
What is the best wood lathe for turning bowls?
Delta Industrial 46-460 and Jet JWL-1015 are pretty good machines for turning bowls.
What is the best lathe for beginners?
The NOVA 46300 Comet is the best lathe for beginners, and this one is inexpensive as well.
We are done with the best wood lathe machine reviews. I hope you have picked the right one for you already. Don’t forget to let us know how that is going with you.
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