Bench Top Wood Lathe
If you need solid wood lathe information and some advice on what is the best wood lathe to buy, then you’ve come to the right place.
Wood lathes are an excellent crafting tool that can help you add elegance to your woodworking projects.
The best woodturning lathes are those which offer variable features and allow you to work with the least amount of frustration.
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We’ll look at five of the best bench top lathes on the market and give you some help in choosing the one that’s right for you.
This bench-top lathe is an affordable product with enough of the best features to get you up and running on smaller projects and pen turning.
It’s durable and works well for a novice on a budget.
This lathe features:
• 4 ½ an 7 in tool rests
• Infinite variable speed from 700-3200 rpm
• 13” between centers
• swing is 8”
• Constructed of cast iron
• Safety paddle switch
• Adequate for pen turning and smaller bowls
• Good quality for an affordable price
• Combination of weight and quiet motor keeps vibration low
• Headstock might need adjusting out of the box
• 1/3 horse power is a little light for some applications
Though it’s hard to determine if this is the best wood lathe for beginners, its affordability make it a good place to start.
The infinite variable speed control is a nice feature as well.
Tackle a variety of wood turning projects with the five adjustable speeds of this bench-top wood lathe.
This lathe includes:
• 10″ swing
• 18″ long
• pull-out switch to prevent unwanted or unsupervised operation.
• speeds: 750, 1100, 1600, 2200, 3200 RPM
• cast iron construction
• 3″ and 7″ tool rest
• Nonslip rubber feet
• 18” length and 10” swing allows for greater variety of projects
• ½ hp motor prevents it from getting bogged down when turning is tough
• Rubber feet help prevent vibration while working
• Speed control is limited to the five settings
• Plastic levers to lock the post height into place
This is another bench top wood lathe which is both affordable and easy to use.
Its higher horsepower and larger capacity allows for more project flexibility, but its limited speed options might be frustrating during some uses.
This General International 12” swing lathe has variable speeds that are controlled electronically and includes a pivoting head for outboard turning.
It’s viable option for those looking for a high quality bench top lathe for precision turning.
• cast-iron frame
• variable speed ranges – 300-900, 600-1800 and 1200-3600-RPM
• Headstock pivots 360-degrees with 180-degree solid stop outboard
• 12” swing and 17” capacity
• Digital speed display
• ¾ hp motor
• Large diameter swivel is the only one in its class of bench-top lathes
• Digital variable speed control is a great feature
• Silent operation with smooth speed changes
• Belt has to be moved for speed variations
• A little more lathe than your average beginner needs
This may not be the best wood lathe for beginners, especially due to its being much higher priced than the average bench-top lathe, but its features do allow those with more experience to take on a wide variety of jobs.
General International 25-200M1 Variable
Turning Lathe 14×40 In
Some who use lathes will tell you to go big or don’t go at all.
This giant bench-top lathe certainly meets that standard, but it’s also affordable.
Here are the features included:
• 14″ swing
• 40″ maximum between centers.
• Four speed, V belts
• Spindle Speeds: 810 RPM to 3400 RPM
• ½ hp motor
• Allows you to do longer pens up to a pretty significant diameter
• Very affordable
• Great for first time users
• No outboard turning
• No bells and whistles if you need those sorts of things
The best woodturning lathes come with the features that the user needs.
In the case of this model, those features are somewhat limited, but if you are wanting to turn longer pieces, then this is probably the best lathe for the money.
The cast iron construction and 1/2 HP motor provide plenty of power and stability to turn bowls up to 10-inch wide and spindles up to 15-1/2-inch long.
This combination makes this one of the best woodturning lathes that you can buy.
• Quick access speed changes
• 10-Inch swing
• Tailstock travel: 3-1/4-Inch
• Tool rest length: 6-1/4-Inch
• live rolling center, spur center and 3-Inch face plate
• 38” extended bed option
• Midrange price allows for a variety of features without being too pricey
• The extended bed option allows you to work on longer pieces
• Rubber feet to reduce vibration
• Safety switch to keep you safe
• Some complaints about the drive spur being a little bit oblong
• Might be some shipping or packaging issues
The negative comments on this lathe seem to be centered around shipping and packaging, which can be a headache.
However these are all issues that can be solved through customer service and the end result is a lathe that can help you do the work you need to get done at a decent price.
Wood lathe Information – Conclusion
What is the best wood lathe to buy?
That depends upon how you’re going to use it and what your budget limit is.
After reviewing these five options, we hope that you have enough wood lathe information to help you make an informed decision before making an investment in a tool that is sure to provide great returns in your wood working.