Best Wood Lathe 2021

Lathe machines are quite pricey, so when you decide to get one, it’s better you get the best. We know this, that is why we made this post to review the best wood lathe machines out there. If you are interested in knowing the best wood lathe machines out there, you should read through this post.

BUYER’S GUIDE

This buying guide has all of the important factors and aspects related to wood lathes that should be considered before buying a wood. Hence, make sure to go through this buying guide till the end:

Motor Power

Almost all of the wood lathe options out there are powered by an electric motor for rotating a given wood piece at high speed.

This wooden piece needs to rotate fast even under load to ensure that any given operation is performed properly. Therefore, you should get a wood lathe that comes with a powerful electric motor.

Thankfully, just like any other electric power tool, the motor power rating of different wood lathe models out there is given in HP. This includes options like 1 HP or 1.5 HP wood lathes.

When compared with each other, the higher 1.5 HP power rating results in better performance for the user while working on a given wood piece. Although a more powerful motor also results in higher power consumption, and that is something you should keep in mind.

Dimensions

Usually, wood lathes get used to perform all kinds of operations on large-sized wood pieces. But to properly work using a wood lathe, you should buy a model that can fit even large-sized pieces.

Therefore, you should check the supported dimensions or the capacity of a given wood lathe before buying one. Generally, this dimension rating is given in inches and includes options like 16-inch x 24 inch or 18-inch x 26 inch.

While the first size is for the diameter of the wooden piece, the other one is the maximum length of the wood piece that you can work on.

As you would expect, a larger dimension size is more ideal for industrial usage. Although, if you want to use one in your garage, you should get one with a lower supported dimension for a smaller physical form factor.

Ease of Use

Whether you are new to wood lathes or a lathe expert, the model you are buying should be easy to use. This mainly serves two uses to the user, including ease for new users as well as saving time for those who are used to working with wood lathes.

You should look out for easy and straight forward control schemes, multiple adjustment systems, simple designs, and other things. All of these things result in a simple to use wood lathe for the user.

Build Quality and Warranty

A wood lathe is a machine that gets used for all kinds of heavy-duty applications while performing different operations on wood pieces. Since these wood pieces can be quite hard as well, your wood lathe machine can face a lot of wear and tear over time.

Therefore, you should get a model that is built well and can withstand any wear and tear. Similarly, the warranty period offered by your wood lathe should be long. While some options come with a 2-year long warranty, better and more reliable options even offer a 5-year long warranty for peace of mind.

Available Space

Then consider your workshop. Do you have a corner with enough space to place a full-size lathe with legs and the funds to do so? Or would you rather save space and invest in a benchtop wood lathe that you can bring out and use and put back if your work space is more limited.

Cost

Finally, there’s the question of price. Wood lathes, especially those made by the more well-known manufacturers, can run in the hundreds of dollars. Consider how much you can spend on a new lathe and if it is worth it.

Wood lathes are relatively simple machines, and a good one will last you for years or even decades.

If it is something that you will be using for projects that you plan to sell, or if you can see yourself doing woodturning as a long-term hobby, then you should consider investing into a wood lathe and lathe tools that will last longer and hold up to regular use.

BEST WOOD LATHES

  1. RIKON Power Tools 70-220VSR Midi Wood Lathe
  2. Jet JWL-1440VSK Wood Lathe
  3. Delta Industrial 46-460 Midi Wood Lathe
  4. JET JWL-1221VS Wood Lathe
  5. Laguna Tools MLAREVO 1836 Wood Lathe
  6. NOVA 46300 Comet II Wood Lathe
  7. PSI Woodworking KWL-1218VS Wood Lathe
  8. Grizzly Industrial G0462 Wood Lathe
  9. WEN 3424 Wood Lathe
  10. Mophorn Wood Lathe
NAMES FEATURES WHERE TO BUY
RIKON Power Tools 70-220VSR Midi Wood Lathe

B00SOR476O

12-1/2″ Swing / 20″ Between Centers

24 Position Index Head

Easy Access Speed Change

Nylon Face Plate Washer

Self Ejecting Tail Stock

Ability To Add Multiple Extensions

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Jet JWL-1440VSK Wood Lathe

B00OC6WP4W

Headstock slides for maximum versatility

Variable speed from 400-3000 RPM

Positive locking tool rest with redesigned clamping

Acme thread in tailstock

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Delta Industrial 46-460 Midi Wood Lathe

B00309ZZRQ

Tailstock Handwheel: The tailstock handwheel is very easy to operate and made from a polished metal alloy.

Tailstock Lock: The tailstock can be firmly secured with a tailstock lock.

Tool Rest: The tool rest can be guided in any direction and will provide constant support.

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JET JWL-1221VS Wood Lathe

B00BGBVJCU

Exceptionally wide range of spindle speeds, 60-3,600rpm

Innovative ratchet style belt tensioning system, perfect every time

Conveniently located motor controls and speed DRO

24 integrated indexing positions and spring loaded spindle lock

Smooth transition between forward and reverse for easy control

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Laguna Tools MLAREVO 1836 Wood Lathe

B00YX8162Q

Motor: 2HP, 1Ph (3 Ph output), 220 V, 1725 RPM, TEFC

Drive: Delta S1 Variable Frequency Drive

Belt: Poly-Groove Drive Belt with EZ Access

Speed: High:135-3500 RPM; Low: 50-1300 RPM

Spindle Taper: MT #2

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NOVA 46300 Comet II Wood Lathe

B00C2ASVNY

Quality materials – Solid Cast Iron throughout.

Strong 2MT spindles

NOVA smart accessories

Lathe accessories are common between the models

Precision Machining

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PSI Woodworking KWL-1218VS Wood Lathe

B01M21LKOG

Tool storage rack keeps chisels and other tools close at hand

Designed for easy belt access and removal

Weight: 106 pounds

4″ Faceplate

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Grizzly Industrial G0462 Wood Lathe

B0017IDWT0

Motor: 2 HP, 110V, single-phase

Swing over bed: 16″

Swing over tool rest: 13″

Distance between centers: 46″

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WEN 3424 Wood Lathe

B07PYFC81K

Attack workpieces up to 18 inches long and 12 inches wide

Switch between five different speeds: 520, 900, 1400, 2150, or 3400 RPM

Includes 3-1/8 inch faceplate for turning bowls, cups and other non-spindle workpieces

MT2 tailstock and headstock tapers allow for compatibility with a wide variety of lathe accessories

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Mophorn Wood Lathe

B07JMQZJ63

Power 550W

Swing over bend: 10 inches

Material Cast Iron

Weight: 88 lbs

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RIKON Power Tools 70-220VSR Midi Wood Lathe

B00SOR476O

12-1/2” x 20” Variable Speed Midi Lathe #70-220VSR is basically a scaled down, portable version of larger, free-standing lathes using tools rests with 1” diameter posts.

Designed and constructed heavier than the mini lathe for added stability, this newly designed machine has features requested by professionals – a more powerful 1HP motor, electronic variable speed controls, wider range of operating speeds, digital RPM readout, forward/reverse drive, index settings, and larger diameter and spindle length turning capacity. Includes spur center, live center, 3” faceplate, tool rest, knock-out bar, wrenches and tool holder

PROS CONS
Decent Swing Size  The price. It is a tough investment.
Beginner-Friendly
Good build quality made from quality materials. Durable and should last a long time.
Heavy-duty motor of 1 HP is able to handle woodturning of heavy materials. Furthermore, it is also a very quiet power tool.

Jet JWL-1440VSK Wood Lathe

B00OC6WP4W

Do you want a lathe that’s as versatile as your turning? The 1440 lathe from JET can be tailored to accomplish a wide range of projects. With a sliding and pivoting headstock, variable speed, and many other great features this lathe meets the needs of woodturners. Experience the 1440 lathe and see how Versatility Takes Shape.

PROS CONS
CSA certified One of the most expensive wood lathes on our list and is suitable only for experts
5-year limited warranty backs it
Features an easy-to-read RPM display, which enables you to monitor the speed easily
Redesigned clamping system of its tool rest ensures secure locking

Delta Industrial 46-460 Midi Wood Lathe

B00309ZZRQ

The Delta 46-460 has a generous swing over bed size of 12.5 inches. This is a surprising size for this class of “midi lathe” and it will allow you to turn fairly large materials in diameter. Midi lathes are generally compact benchtop lathes that have a swing size of 9.25 inches.

Power is very important in a wood lathe. The headstock spindle needs all the torque it can get to turn heavy materials with a smooth and consistent rotation speed. When the motor lacks power under heavy load, your belt can skip or even break causing a general stall. The 1.0 HP motor in this model will make this problem history.

PROS CONS
Patented system for belt tension ensures quick speed changes It has a 16.5-inch distance between centers, so you would have to get an extension for larger projects
Features a sturdy cast-iron construction
You can rotate the turned piece in forward as well as reverse directions
5-year warranty

JET JWL-1221VS Wood Lathe

B00BGBVJCU

The Jet JWL1221VS is different to every other lathe in the Jet range. The whole lathe has been designed to make the woodturning experience better by focusing on control. As with all other JET lathes, this one is made from cast iron, but the bed width is much wider than is usually found on machines of this size. This gives great support to the tool rest holder, which also stays exactly where you clamp it even under the heaviest loads. The spindle is supported by heavy duty bearings and is quietly driven by a 745W DC variable speed motor via a three step, multi V belt system. All of the motor controls are very conveniently located together; the speed control, spindle speed digital readout and forward/reverse selector all come naturally to hand.

PROS CONS
Features a spring-loaded, integrated spindle lock Its price considerably exceeds the standard bench-top lathe price
You can smoothly transition from forward to reverse turning action
Comes integrated with 24 indexing positions
Has an innovative and unique ratchet-style belt tension system
5-year warranty

Laguna Tools MLAREVO 1836 Wood Lathe

B00YX8162Q

One of the most noteworthy attributes of this tool is its power delivery: quiet, smooth running motor and variable speed control. This is a high quality, sophisticated system that accepts single phase 220V power in, and converts it to three phase power using a Variable Frequency Drive (VFD) before delivering it to the 2 HP motor.

How does this benefit the user? Three phase power provides a noticeably smoother running system across a range of speeds by controlling the power level at the motor itself, without requiring belt changes for each speed adjustment. On a lathe it is important to maintain smooth transitions from low to high speed, and steady operation with plenty of torque at any selected speed so that you can impart a chatter-free sheer on your work piece.

PROS CONS
Comes equipped with a digital readout that gives accurate RPM readings Pricey
Steel bed allows smooth movement of the cast iron headstock
Control panel has an ergonomic, angled design
Lock handles for its headstock and tailstock are situated on the back to ensure uninterrupted work time

NOVA 46300 Comet II Wood Lathe

B00C2ASVNY

Portable, space saving – yet delivers the capacity and the rugged stability of larger lathes. The NOVA Comet II DR Midi Lathe is perfect for a wide range of woodworking projects. The NOVA Comet II DR Midi Lathe takes the best selling mini lathe and gives a massive upgrade. The user now has a digital display with dial in speed control for maximum convenience and control of the user experience.

PROS CONS
Innovative three-step pulley system offers several speed ranges The tool rest does not feature the best build and can be improved
Has both forward and reverse turning actions
Comes equipped with a 0.75 hp motor
Features quick action cam controls
1-year limited warranty backs it

PSI Woodworking KWL-1218VS Wood Lathe

B01M21LKOG

The most advanced, powerful and easy to use lathe in its class. Powered by a 1hp high performance induction motor (our largest) & an SBC microprocessor developed for automotive applications delivering precision control and lasting reliability. And is now ETL listed and has been tested to nearly 200 safety and performance standards.

Includes a heavy duty live tailstock center and two toolrests (6″ and 12″), spare drive center and safety goggles. Optional extension bed increases turning length to over 40″.

PROS CONS
Has an 18-inch distance between centers  The flex shaft for the work light could be more durable
With a 12-inch swing capacity, this lathe can be used for a variety of projects
Features built-in handles that add a ton of convenience for the turner
Its digital readout feature enables you to monitor the speed precisely
Cast-iron base can be extended for turning up to 42-inch projects

Grizzly Industrial G0462 Wood Lathe

B0017IDWT0

This incredible machine can swing 16″ over the bed, comes with a 2 HP motor and sports a spindle tachometer with a digital readout. Changing speeds is easy with the shift-on-the-fly handle so there are no belts to mess with. Outboard turning is a snap too, just loosen the headstock and swivel it up to 360° for unmatched flexibility. Solid cast iron construction throughout ensures smooth operation.

PROS CONS
Ideal for large and industrial-scale applications Only a 1-year long warranty
Offers a highly powerful 2 HP electric motor
Best performing wood lathe mentioned in this article

WEN 3424 Wood Lathe

B07PYFC81K

The 4.5A motor provides maximum torque while the sturdy 70+ pound build prevents walking and wobbling during operation. This beast of a lathe features an MT2 spindle and tailstock taper to tightly hold your workpieces, along with a 7-7/8-inch tool rest for chisel and tool support during operation.

The easy-to-use lever clamping system makes adjustments to both the tool rest and the tailstock simple and precise. The WEN Wood Lathe also includes a headstock spur center, a tailstock cup center, a flat wrench, a knockout rod, 2 hex wrenches (3 mm and 5mm), an accessory holder, and a 3-1/8 inch faceplate for turning bowls, cups and other non-spindle workpieces.

PROS CONS
Perfect size for creating chess pieces, pens, and other small projects The machine does not tighten well on the headstock location
Offer a two-amp motor, two tool rests, and an MT1 spindle and tailstock taper
Features a variable speed motor that ranges from 750 to 3,200 RPM

Mophorn Wood Lathe

B07JMQZJ63

This 10” x 18” wood lathe features a powerful 550W motor that delivers speed and effectiveness. Its variable speed provides the versatility needed for a wide range of projects and speed is digitally displayed so you can set precise speeds for every project. With 18 inches between centers and a 10-inch swing over bed, this lathe provides adequate work capacity. It also has a 6-inch tool rest, 3-inch faceplate, and a top drive, all of which enhance work capacity. It has rubber feet that improve stability and reduce vibration for a smooth operation.

PROS CONS
  • Durable
  • No warranty
  • Good for labs and Education
  • Highly precise giving beautiful end results

CONCLUSION

After reviewing the best wood lathes in the market you ought to buy the best machine that will serve the purpose you bought them for. Following our buyer’s guide, you shouldn’t be misled in picking the beat lathe machine for you.