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15 Best Wood Lathes for Woodworking (2023 Review)

Updated: Aug 22, 2023


It’s not all about horsepower when it comes to wood lathes. There is a finesse in a quality lathe, for example having a tool rest that slides and adjusts smoothly, it just makes the entire turning experience more enjoyable. However, price is almost always a consideration and often the ultimate factor when deciding on a machine.


If you are curious about turning, start off small with a mini or mid-sized lathe. If you are an experienced turner, you may have already4 justified making a big investment because you’ve counted how many bowls you’ll need to sell to pay for the dream machine.



Currently, I’m in the latter stage, I’ve been using other people's lathes at schools and with friends for the last 20 years. The only lathe, I’ve ever owned was a JET midi lathe which was a sweet machine however it had its limitations in size and power.


In my new home/shop, I don’t plan on ever moving so now I’m ready to invest in a lathe that will last forever and an extremely well-designed machine. The Oneway lathe is a lot of fun and is a precision machine, it is the Ferrari of lathes.


I will give you the best wood lathes according to their respective categories. This article will begin with mini and midi lathes and the last five will be large-size industrial lathes


Mini Wood Lathes


JET Wood Lathe

Specs

  • Motor: 0.5 HP

  • Variations of Spindle Speeds: 6

  • Number of Handles: 2

  • Weight: 77 pounds

  • $599.99

Does Not Fly But its Features Are Skyrocketing!

Jet is a brand that focuses on the quality of its products and services. They produce machines that are exceptional in design and features. The JET JWL-1015, 10" x 15" Wood Lathe has a great build and boasts a decent performance, particularly with smaller projects. People who are just starting with woodworking projects do love the results that they are getting from this Jet JWL-1015.


It is relatively cheap but never compromises the quality of a functional mini lathe. The overall mechanisms of the machine are very easy to understand. Some of the most notable features are the six spindle speeds, 24-position indexing, enhanced tensioning system, ergonomic gripping, and excellent rigidity.


Aside from those magnificent features, the manufacturer also offers a “JET Red Assurance Guarantee”. This means that the product offers a 5-year warranty out-of-the-box in case you encounter manufacturing defects.


Having said so, this mini lathe is perfect for newbies who are just starting off with their woodworking projects.


Pros:

  • Installation is easy

  • Movements and adjustments are smooth

  • User-friendly operation

  • Better than its predecessors in terms of quality and power

  • Variable speed options are responsive

Cons:

  • On/off switch is a bit brittle



Grizzly Benchtop Wood Lathes

Specs

  • Motor: 0.75 HP

  • Variations of Spindle Speeds: 6

  • Number of Handles: 2

  • Weight: 80 pounds

  • $566.95

Great For All-Around Projects

From the name of the brand itself “Grizzly”, their products promise power and stability. When it comes to wood lathes, the Grizzly Industrial T25920-12 gained a lot of positive attention because of its remarkable performance. Woodturners of various skill levels recommend this as their main lathe for their projects.


This wood lathe was made in a 9001 ISO factory making every component of it as reliable as possible. There are 3 speeds that you can choose from which is 650 to 3800 RPMs. I was actually surprised with the quality and accuracy that it can offer despite its affordable price point. I can actually compare this to the more premium models and will surely not disappoint.


The size and weight are also proportioned to its power. This makes this lathe easy to use for turning even for the ones that needed some complex maneuvers. An overall lathe that has a reasonable price and at the same time gives decent power. This is definitely perfect not only for personal use but for small woodworking shops that want to make it big in the industry.


Pros:

  • Good torque

  • Affordable price

  • The mechanisms including the bed are all sturdy

  • Assembling and usage is very easy

Cons:

  • Not that portable


Rikon wood lathe

Specs

  • Motor: 1 HP

  • Variations of Spindle Speeds: 3

  • RPM: 3200

  • Weight: 95 pounds

  • $699

Heavy Yet Comfy To Use

For a more modern lathe, Rikon has something to offer. The RIK-70-150VSR has top-of-the-line features such as digital RPM readout. It has a 1 HP DC motor that is capable of producing ample power for various tasks.


Users also noticed how smoothly this power tool performs on every turn. This is due to the ball-bearing construction that assures a more precise spindle operation. It also has a pivoting belt cover that gives hassle-free access when altering belt speeds


So if you want to experience a lathe with utmost precision and handling you must definitely go for this. Aside from that, you will be amazed at how you can move the controls freely. Although this is a bit heavier compared to its counterparts, the ample power and ergonomic grip that it gives will make you not notice its weight at all.


Pros:

  • Low noise and vibration

  • All of the mechanisms are adjustable

  • The price point is budget-friendly

  • Outboard turning is a breeze

Cons:

  • The stop button is brittle



Shop Fox wood lathe

Specs

  • Motor: 0.25 HP

  • Variations of Spindle Speeds: 3

  • RPM: 3200

  • Weight: ‎49.5 pounds

  • $419.99

Durability At Its Finest

Shop Fox has become very serious in their motto of “Built to Last”. If we will talk about their products, they are actually true to their promise. Most especially with their W1704 ⅓ HP Benchtop Lathe. A mini lathe that will never go wrong in terms of quality and features.


It has full variable speeds without the need to change belts. There is also not much complexity when it comes to its functionalities, everything was pretty basic. The feel, while you are using this thing, is actually solid. It can penetrate through very hard woods without flinching with the help of its reliable ⅓ HP 2 amp motor.


Moreover, the cast iron construction provides peace of mind that this splendor of a machine will not break down easily. What amazed me more is the child-lock safety feature that it has on its switch. This makes the thing very safe to use even in your personal spaces. You can expect an average of 700 to 3200 RPMs from this machine depending on your chosen speed.


Pros:

  • Quality is the same as the more expensive mini lathes

  • Easy to use

  • Decent power

  • Parts are well-centered

  • Adjustable mechanisms

  • Compact and hassle-free to transport

Cons:

  • Not made for extremely solid objects


Delta Industrial wood lathe

Specs

  • Motor: 0.25 HP

  • Variations of Spindle Speeds: 3

  • RPM: 1725

  • Weight: 97 pounds

  • $1073.22

User-Friendliness Is The Key

If you want to go the extra mile with your woodturning tasks, Delta has something that you should not miss. The Delta Industrial 46-560 has an efficient 1 HP motor that is capable of producing 1725 RPMs and can be lowered down to 250 RPMs if needed. It perfectly compensates for the 12 ½ inch swing capacity. For woodturners who work on projects of various sizes then the expandable attribute of this machine will be a definite advantage to you.


When it comes to the exterior and mechanisms, everything was well-built. Changing out attachments is also a breeze to do. Apparently, there are reports that some of the units did last for 7 years, considering that this tool is usually used as a daily worker, it can be considered as a true value for money. The only downside is the heavy weight that comes with this beauty.


Pros:

  • Superb versatility due to its expandable base

  • Maintenance will not be a problem

  • Quiet operation

  • The motor provides plenty of power

  • Accuracy at its finest

Cons:

  • Levers and switches are a bit fragile


Midi Wood Lathes

Jet Midi Lathe

Specs

  • Motor: 1 HP

  • Variations of Spindle Speeds: 3

  • RPM: 3600

  • Number of Handles: 6

  • Weight: 121 pounds

  • $999.99

Safety Features On Your Way

Innovation comes from within. This is what Jet applies to whatever product they manufacture. Customers are loving the results from those products just as this midi lathe from Jet. This JWL-1221VS Wood Lathe is packed with features and quality that will be a big help for woodworking projects.


A midi lathe that allows you to choose among 3-speed modes and a ratchet-style belt tension system that both provides higher efficiency on every turn. All the controls are easy to reach and have a digital readout for much better awareness.


The safety feature is also right there to give owners the peace of mind that the chances of accidents will be completely minimized. There is a removable on/off safety key so that there will be no chance that the machine will not turn on without it.


It does not matter whether you would use the machine to make unevenly-shaped objects, it works well almost for anything. The only downside is the housing of the on/off switch as it easily gets cracked but nevertheless does not affect the performance in any way.


Pros:

  • Requires little effort to setup

  • Stability is great

  • Runs smoothly and quiet

  • Easy to use

  • Reasonably priced

  • Professional-quality exterior

Cons:

  • Could have been better if the tool rest was smoother



Grizzly Industrial Benchtop Wood Lathe

Specs

  • Motor: 0.75 HP

  • Variations of Spindle Speeds: 3

  • RPM: 3600

  • Number of Handles: 4

  • Weight: 137 pounds

  • $1100

Immensely Huge And Powerful

Grizzly is offering its largest benchtop lathe in the name of the G0844 14” x 20”. It has a powerful ¾ HP motor that is capable of producing ample power for almost any task. Combined with the various features such as the 3 variable speed options and carrying handles on each end for better handling.


There are also extra features that will make turning much more exciting. Some of those are the digital RPM tachometer for higher efficiency and easy access to its door for the easier changing of belts.


The brand also offers peace of mind to its buyers. Since Grizzly is one of the most sought brands when it comes to woodworking tools, your hard-earned money is surely in the right hands.


Pros:

  • Efficiency is top-notch

  • Belt changing requires little to no effort

  • Easy operation

  • Power is excellent

  • Perfect handling

Cons:

  • There are no known disadvantages for this product


Jet Woodworking Lathe

Specs

  • Motor: 0.75 HP

  • Variations of Spindle Speeds: 3

  • RPM: 3000

  • Number of Handles: 4

  • Weight: 220 pounds

  • $1100

Motion Limitations Waived

If you want to make it big in the woodworking industry, the tools that you are using must be reliable. Particularly in turning, the best results happen if you have a decent lathe that you can use. One example is the JWL-1440VS from Jet. It has a sleek design that enthusiasts will love.


With this turner, you can utilize 360 degrees of motion for better handling. On top of that, there are 7 positive locking positions that will make things easier for the user. The quiet operation also provides a massive convenience especially if the person is working in a residential area.


The only downside is its heavy weight which is reasonable due to its sturdy build that it has. Other than that, you will just notice how well it performs. It does not matter whether you use it ruggedly as it will surely not deteriorate easily.


Pros:

  • Performs quietly when in use

  • Durability is guaranteed

  • Highly-efficient

  • Motor performs well

  • Easy to assemble

Cons:

  • Extremely heavy


Delta Lathe

Specs

  • Motor: 0.75 HP

  • Variations of Spindle Speeds: 10

  • RPM: 600

  • Number of Handles: 4

  • Weight: 338 pounds

  • $2395

Unbelievably 10 Available Speeds

An emerging brand in the industry, Delta never fails to impress. Its woodworking lathe, particularly the 46-716 is powered by a 9.8 amp motor. The price point is also very budget-friendly which is why this is perfect for people who are just starting out in turning. Setting this up is also a breeze and will not take too much of your time.


Also, the spare parts can be easily purchased everywhere without shortages. Just like the switch, over time it might break down but replacements are readily available and at a low cost. Aside from that, the vibrations are also tolerable and combined with its other advantages, this makes it a real bang for the buck.


Pros:

  • Incredible price

  • Durability is topnotch

  • Spare parts are readily available

  • There are no complex mechanisms

  • Compact design

Cons:

  • Little vibration



Powermatic Wood Lathes

Specs

  • Motor: 0.75 HP

  • Variations of Spindle Speeds: 10

  • RPM: 600

  • Weight: 338 pounds

  • $2395

Inverter Motor Rocks

Powermatic knows how passionate people are in woodworking so producing high-quality machines is what they do. The same goes with their woodworking lathe, the PM2014 is a one-of-a-kind lathe that has a combination of sleek looks and functionalities.


The brand has a century of reputation in the woodworking industry which is very evident in this product alone. This particular model is well-loved by professionals due to its performance. It has a strong 115v inverter motor under its belt


When it comes to convenience, this will not let you down as well. It has a magnetic control box with a digital display for better efficiency of work. The indexing process also becomes more manageable with the help of the 24 positive locking indexing positions.


Organizing stuff becomes easy as well because of the tool caddy that is attached to this machine. You can put your wrenches, centers, accessories, and other stuff.


Pros:

  • Heavy-duty build

  • Power efficiency at all times due to the inverter motor

  • Highly-reliable

  • Undoubtedly durable

Cons:

  • Pretty heavy


Large Wood Lathes

Oneway Wood Lathe

Specs

  • Motor: 2 HP

  • Variations of Spindle Speeds: 10

  • RPM: 2585

  • Weight: 700 pounds

  • $4887.50

Best For Experienced Woodworkers

Features are very important if we are talking about wood lathes. For large lathes, Oneway 1640 has a lot in store for you. It is loaded with features that will make woodturning more fun and exciting. With a 2 HP AC variable inverter motor, you can do almost anything by having a combination of power and efficiency all at once.


Weighing 700 pounds, you’ll definitely get the idea that it is made for professional use. It got 16” swing over the bed and 40” between centres. With 8 positions spindle locking mechanism plus a hardened spindle and 48-position indexing, you’ll have lots of options.


Woodworking professionals will also be amazed at the build of this 1640 lathe. You can hardly find any flaws in the machine as all the mechanisms are in the right places. Despite its big size, the sense of portability is still present. The legs are adjustable which can make the transport of the machine easier than usual. Furthermore, combined with all the other features and advantages, this lathe is truly something you should not miss.


Pros:

  • Energy efficient

  • Powerful motor

  • Great for commercial use

  • Various options available

  • Adjustable mechanisms

Cons:

  • Pricey


Powermatic wood lathe

Specs

  • Motor: 2 HP

  • RPM: 2585

  • Weight: 726 pounds

  • $5699.99

An Intelligent Wood Lathe

Innovation and quality are both vital factors when it comes to wood lathes. The best results would be achieved if your wood lathe has them. One example is the Powermatic 3520C. A 2 HP 220v motor is integrated inside it that guarantees an ample amount of power for whatever task you are trying to accomplish.


On top of that, there are tons of features that are very useful to your projects. Just like its moveable control box for more versatility. There is also a self-locating ergonomic spindle lock for better handling and making one-handed operation possible. You will also notice the upgraded banjo features by looking at its pinch-type clamp.


The spindle nose was also extended to give the user more access thus making the process more efficient for the woodworker. Turning is also made much more comfortable with the help of the adjustable riser blocks with up to 6 inches of adjustment. Overall, this is a large wood lathe that fits woodworkers who want to take their woodturning game to the next level.


Pros:

  • User-friendly despite its modern features

  • Ergonomic spindle

  • One-handed operation is possible

  • Great looks

  • Durability is guaranteed

Cons:

  • Installation is a bit complicated



Jet Wood Lathe with legs

Specs

  • Motor: 2 HP

  • RPM: 3000

  • Weight: 400 pounds

  • $2429.99

Quiet Operation Even At High Speeds

Using the Jet JWL-19440 is such a breeze because it provides all the necessary functionalities and added features. I can say that it was built like a rock, every mechanism is in its right place. This lathe does not also discriminate the skill level of the woodturner. It is perfect both for the experienced and the ones who are just starting out with their journey in the industry.


It is easy to make adjustments on this machine and runs really quietly even at high speeds. It does not go low below 400 RPMs which is a good thing. This gets the job done really fast compared to its counterparts. The only downside is the immense vibration that you will feel while using the lathe which is just pretty normal.


Pros:

  • Safe to use

  • Fun to use due to its modern features

  • Best for all skill levels

  • Power is more than sufficient

  • Easy to use

  • Smooth operation

Cons:

  • The exterior is prone to dings


Laguna Tools Revo Lathe

Specs

  • Motor: 2 HP

  • Variations of Spindle Speeds: 10

  • RPM: 1725

  • Weight: 441 pounds

  • $3524.99

A Promising Brand You Should Not Miss

One of the most promising brands in the industry is Laguna. They have a passion in building useful tools for various tasks such as woodworking. One of the lathes that you can consider buying is the MLAREVO 1836 made by Laguna. It is beautiful inside and out. The drop has a blue hue which is combined with an attractive knurled control knob enclosed in rubber grip signals.


This is a lathe that can be considered as premium than the usual lathes that we are seeing in the market. The materials used in this lathe are built to last meaning they are not substandard in any way. To give you an idea, the bed is crafted from high-quality steel that gives room for the cast iron headstock to move as flawlessly as possible.


Moreover, it is guaranteed that the accuracy of this lathe is top-notch. You will be aware of the RPMs through the display. In this way, you will know if there are adjustments to be made. Using it comfortably is also expected due to the ergonomic handles that it has. Having said so, this lathe is surely a product that is worthy of checking out.


Pros:

  • Top-notch accuracy

  • Reliable and powerful

  • Will not deteriorate easily

  • Comfy to use due to ergonomic handles

  • Smooth operation

  • Unquestionable stability

Cons:

  • Digital readout is sensitive


Grizzly G0766 22" x 42" Variable-Speed Wood Lathe

Specs

  • Motor: 3 HP

  • Variations of Spindle Speeds: 10

  • RPM: 3200

  • Weight: 584 pounds

  • $3390

Powerful 3 HP Motor Is A Plus

Are you planning to create large bowls and other large-diameter projects? Then you will need a reliable wood lathe that you can use. One option is to try out the Grizzly G0766. It is jam-packed with all the features and functionalities that you’ll need for your projects.


With a 3 HP 3-phase motor, you can do almost anything with it. There is a heavy-duty cast iron bed to handle tons of load without issues. Utmost stability is what you can expect from this beast. You can also reposition the headstock anywhere you need to which adds up a lot of flexibility to your projects.


Moreover, there is plenty of torque to make use of as well as clearance which is why professionals recommend this as a must-have. The support from Grizzly is also topnotch which is why customers do not have any problems when they need to reach out if they have concerns with the machine.


Pros:

  • Ample power for large projects

  • Always stable

  • Design is exceptional

  • Competitive price point

Cons:

  • Legs are somehow high



What's Next?

Choosing a wood lathe might be a daunting task to do. However, with the help of the list above, you will be able to choose the one that is perfect for your needs. You just need to have your respective criteria such as what objects you wish to create, whether is it for commercial use or personal and etc.


Disclaimer: I only recommend products that I have used myself or have in my workshop. All opinions expressed here are my own. This post may contain affiliate links that may earn a small commission, at no extra cost to you.

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게스트
2023년 11월 13일

Embarking on the journey of woodturning is a thrilling venture, marked by the creation of art from raw timber.


Whether you're a novice craftsman or a seasoned enthusiast, the choice of a wood lathe can significantly influence the trajectory of your woodworking endeavors.


Recognizing the importance of a reliable, cost-effective machine that evolves with your skill set, I present to you the "5 Best Beginner Wood Lathes of 2024: Great For The Money."


https://robiulislamrijon360.blogspot.com/2023/11/top-5-best-beginner-wood-lathes-of-2024.html

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