7 Best Wood Lathe for Turning Bowls Review

It is never an easy task to find the best wood lathe for turning bowls. With all the new varieties releasing in the market for various purposes, who can blame you?

So what is this apparatus that many carpenters keep in their workshop? If you seek smooth perfection to a precise degree, we think this tool will give you just that. Any carpentry venture with tons of effort will become a stress-free operation with the mere use of the lathe. Now one should not purchase this machine with haste.

Whether you are a pro or a novice, following good advice to find the right product is one step closer to feeling triumphant. But how do you know what to follow?

Let us give you a small insight into seven lathes for turning bowls, which we have selected carefully, specifically for your benefit.

Table of Contents

7 Best Wood Lathe for Turning Bowls Review

Are you ready for the unique journey ahead? Any one of these machines below can be your choice, so read and find out more!

1. Delta Industrial 46-460 12-1/2-Inch Variable-Speed Midi Lathe

Delta Industrial 46-460 12-1/2-Inch Variable-Speed Midi Lathe

The first wood lathe machine is somewhat a professional level that many have found appealing. Its diverse functionalities with variable speed limits are the main attraction to the woodturners.

However, the sometimes intricate and complicated design might not be practical for a beginner wood lathe. It has a sturdy build and horsepower to ensure prolonged operations without a glitch.

The hefty weight and balanced stance provide perfect woodturning performance. Moreover, it has a large capacity to allow working with bigger bowls. With plenty of wiggle room in it, one can focus intently on bringing out the best in each project.

Of course, the flexible speed of 1725 rpm alongside makes it a more demanding product in the market. Another best feature about the item is the changing of speed. You can change it without resetting the apparatus’s belt. 

This product is pretty one of a kind that assures a sturdy base made from heavy-duty metals. Admittedly, it can surpass the regular budget, but the thing is all worth investing in.

It is due to the steep price tag the device is considered more of a business class than a thing one thoughtlessly purchases. So do not opt for it unless you are a serious woodturner with various projects in mind.

However, if you are looking for a pro-level wood lathe replacement, then nothing can beat the durability and strength of Delta Industrial 46-460.


  • Excellent quality
  • Offers reverse function
  • Powerful motor
  • Variable speed without needing to change the belt position
  • Patented belt-tensioning system
  • Heavy-duty cast-iron construction


  • Expensive

2. JET JWL-1015 10"x 15" Wood Lathe (719100)

JET JWL-1015 10"x 15" Wood Lathe (719100)

This wood lathe is all one can wish for when turning bowls has been a passionate aim for the person. It has a very precise design for any beginner to grasp. Thus, there is no need for squandering too much time learning the steps of using a wood lathe.

It might not be as hefty as the previous product, but it sure can carry out the perfect stance when switched on. The device can switch among six variable speeds. This allows the user to be more precise and focused.

What is more, the price will not be an issue here, after all. It is actually one of the reasons why the machine is different from the others. One can hardly acquire a premium-grade lathe for wood at this cost.

So it is good news for the novices! This unit will help you learn easily than with an intricate model. Plus, it will assist the person in creating various sized bowls without causing much fuss.

The only disadvantage of the instrument is the way you have to readjust the pressure belt. So, each time the device necessitates rate change, you will have to rearrange it and be patient with it.

It is the only way you can undertake many carpentry works at the primary level, all the while learning more out of it.  


  • Ideal for amateurs and intermediate learners
  • Ability to learn and work at the same time
  • Easy to maneuver
  • High-end building materials
  • It offers excellent functions
  • Reasonably priced


  • Not suitable for enormous projects

3. NOVA 1624 II 16 x 24" 8 Speed Wood Lathe, Black (SKU 24221)

NOVA 1624 II 16 x 24" 8 Speed Wood Lathe, Black (SKU 24221)

The NOVA 1624 II is the kind of wood lathe that accompanies incredible highlights. This is why a lot of the users have chosen the product for smooth turning ventures.

Why has it become a favorite among the woodturners? Well, if you've read our Nova Comet II midi lathe review, then you already know what's up.

For starters, there is no complexity to run the apparatus. Next, you will achieve the desired turning bowl design as you wish.

Most importantly, it has a sturdy build, something everybody looks forward to owning. So, whether you work a great deal or an infrequent user, the machine will not give out anytime soon.

It has a robust motor with eight velocities to select from. This allows you to get involved with speed from 215 up to 3600. It is much diverse than other similar units.

Furthermore, the 360-degree turn head delivers bigger, turning dishes. In short, you can go as large as you wish at a steady pace. Now, if we discuss the overall structure, it is another story.

The comfortable plan that combines the solid steel and cast iron stand simply express steadiness for any assignments. Such furnishing provides nothing but an excellent outcome in the long run.

It is the kind of unit that will not disappoint you when attempting long bowl turning experiments, as well. If you are ready to spend a little more than intended, this wood lathe will deliver an extraordinary amount of torque.


  • Variable speed limits
  • Powerful and quiet motor
  • Armed with heavy-duty construction
  • Large swing capacity
  • Ability to 360-degree swivel
  • Affordable for such high quality


  • Manual speed changing is difficult for some

4. Laguna Tools Revo Lathe 220v 2HP 18"/36" - Model MLAREVO 1836, Black

Laguna Tools Revo Lathe 220v 2HP 1836

If you want us to be honest, we think this model is quite a catch at this price range. We do not usually find a large wood lathe at this cost, but people get lucky at times!

This is one powerhouse in the market that offers supreme quality motor. The three horsepower of the machine is definitely something to make efforts for. It is a heavyweight turner, though, not as hefty as the others.

If you intend on making large bowls, say a 24-inch, Laguna Tools Revo Lathe is the right answer. Just imagine working with a 60-lb huge blank of wood on this machine.

That is right; you can put many heavy loads like this one for fashioning stunning bowls. The apparatus will not even budge, let alone wobble. This is exactly what the users seek in a quality wood lathe.

However, that does not mean all the users focus their energy on large projects, is that not right?

Therefore, this unit is for serious consumers who have a business to run. The ergonomic finish alongside superb performance is the main attraction of the device.

It is something of a beast that will finish any task you put your mind to. We highly recommend it for the woodturners out there. If you want to boom your beautiful collection to business, Laguna 1836 is the way to go.  


  • Best for unconditional workflow
  • Excellent torque and quiet operation
  • Offers variable speeds
  • Premium quality build
  • Known to perform for a prolonged period
  • Ergonomic control panel


  • It is pricey for some users

5. WEN 3420T 2-Amp 8 in. x 12 in. Variable Speed Benchtop Mini Wood Lathe

WEN 3420T 2-Amp 8 in. x 12 in. Variable Speed Benchtop Mini Wood Lathe

The main factor we always look for in a wood lathe is how flexible the speed limit is. Similarly, that is what we have checked in this product as well. One cannot regret spending the buck on the WEN 3420T wood lathe; this much is true.

It has a digital control panel, making it easier for the user to keep an eye on the numbers. Even if you are busy maintaining the shape, you can always keep the speed rate in check.

Not all products, big or small, has this benefit. So if you are a novice, this can aid you with balance and pace a lot. Now how far can you go with the rotations? As far as it goes, the carpenter can adjust the speed from 500 to 2500RPM.

It might seem less than some products, but it holds a lot of potentials when operating. That is why the variability here is much significant than the rest of the models.

As for the motor, it will turn on gradually. It is to ensure no sudden damage is caused due to the maximization of the rate. This means the machine can run longer than estimated.

Overall, it is a great product for all sorts of woodturning users. Whether you wish to replace an old model or, beginning to form an interest in various bowls design, it will hold up outstandingly.


  • Includes digital control panel
  • Variable speed operation
  • Well-constructed body by sturdy materials
  • Slow starting motor to prevent damage
  • Comes with varieties of accessories
  • Best for long-running tasks


  • Possibility of thread damage in the spindle

6. Shop Fox W1758 Wood Lathe with Cast Iron Legs and Digital Readout

Shop Fox W1758 Wood Lathe with Cast Iron Legs and Digital Readout

If you are willing to spend good money on a wood lathe, why not spend it wisely on a unit like this one? The all black-and-white design is something you cannot ignore. It is appealing as well as competent at performance too.

The midi lathe provides the user advantages of both large and best mini lathes without any hassle. As a result, it can be an ideal instrument for a professional. What we loved the most is the groundbreaking motor engine the machine accompanies.

Thankfully, it is powerful enough to work at the top speed of 2400RPM. It is much quicker than many other similar midi lathes. So next time you need a lathe that has no complex functions, this could be the one.

Another best feature besides top-notch performance is the overall quality. All the highlights will be of no use if the machine does not have a sturdy base. This is why Shop Fox ensures the W1758 unit receives all the attention it deserves.

It has a bed and legs made from heavy-duty cast-iron for greater stability. The material also prevents maximum vibration and wobbling. You will get about ten-speed variables as well.

We did expect it to have a reverse option, given the nature of the cost. However, you will have to make do without it here, after all.


  • Includes a powerful motor
  • Durable construction to last many years
  • Quick-release/lock levers
  • Offers ten variable speeds
  • Eliminates maximum vibration
  • Tool rest is adjustable three ways 


  • Expensive

7. PSI Woodworking KWL-1218VS Turn Crafter Commander 12" Variable Speed Midi Lathe

PSI Woodworking KWL-1218VS Turn Crafter Commander 12" Variable Speed Midi Lathe

Our final winner is yet another midi wood lathe that we know as the most advanced machine in the market. It is the kind of instrument that the user can utilize for intense tasks.

This also means the bowl turning unit is one magnificent selection for the workplace. Here, the engine is highly regarded as being one of the best. As an outcome, the motor is more reliable with lasting control and precision.

Besides, it has a digital readout, which allows the user to go beyond variable limits. Whatever speed you desire, you can attain it by mere control.

This tool is a very dependable one. Not many items tend to last this long and still provide seamless operation like this one. As you can see, it is the unwavering value that the users have most pointed at.

Thus, despite the turning bowl size, one can devise the best out of any woodblocks. It does not matter if you plan to sell them or keep them as a collection; this machine will help you carve out many beautiful designs.

The user will love the flexible control of the speed as he/she works on the project. It has two belt positions, giving one 500 to 1800RPM and another 1950-3800RPM.

Our suggestion is to start from the 10-inch diameter wood blank since the swing is of the same length.


  • Offers excellent precision
  • Includes computerized readout of a given speed
  • Stunning performance for most errands
  • Robust and powerful structure
  • Ideal for intermediate users
  • Convenient usage 


  • Lighting is not well-placed

Things to Consider Before Buying

This is the kind of machine where jumping to conclusions might be a disappointment later. So let us give you some factors to ponder on before you buy the wood lathe.


The power of the wood lathe does not mean how fast it can turn. Here the capacity is often known as the pull. So the sign is not about the number of pulls or turns a machine can handle.

Wood Lathe

It is more about the capability of dealing with difficult woods. Pecan or maple, for instance, are very hard woods that require ultra-care.

Obviously, a machine will have a high rate, but it is the all-round strength to pull off one has to consider.


It is another significant feature to think about. Any high-grade wood lathe will have the variable speed option to undertake whatever project you decide on making.

The machine must meet such speed changes, five at best, to highlight any smooth modification. A commercial wood lathe, at times, even has limitless speed changes.


While you focus on the performing features, the majority of the users overlook the general construction. The production material quality also plays a crucial role. And you will have to consider it to avoid any uncalled ramifications in the future.

Our best recommendation is the cast iron wood lathe for long-lasting performance. If price plays a part here, then you can always go with the aluminum.

Wood Lathe for Turning Bowls

It is not about the rapid breakdown of the lathe we are worried about; it is rather about the insane vibration and babble that follows. So, make sure everything is aligned accordingly, as well.


This is barely an important factor to worry about unless you decide to transport it someplace else. However, our advice still is to go with the heavyweight.

Believe it or not, the weight is essential to carry out a steadier operation. A lightweight wood lathe will never be able to perform at such dexterity. Therefore, let the machine settle in your workplace.

The bulkiness of the lathe will ensure prominent accuracy when dealing with sensitive tasks. If the feet are elastic, all the better!   


Many carpenters have to work with more than one sized projects. Such versatile work can put them in a predicament about how to determine the size of the machine.

The smaller ones usually have shafts about 18-inch long with a 10-inch swing. Although, a full-sized wood lathe might be ideal for larger undertakings.

Oh ! And don't forget to take the wood lathe quiz to know the suitable lathe for you.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Does the brand name have any impact on the wood lathe quality?

Not necessarily; it is more about what company you have utilized and had better experience. If a certain name has given you satisfaction before, the chances of buying from the same company are high.

It could also depend on the vest value and quality of each model. So focus more on them. For example, if you're eyeing for a mini lathe, you can trust a mini lathe from Rikon.

2. What is the right speed for my wood lathe?

The speed may vary depending on the size of the bowl. Larger bowls might require low speed, whereas the smaller it gets, the faster the bowl requires spinning.

3. Is it safe to wear gloves when I am using the wood lathe?

No, the user must never wear gloves when working with power tools like a wood lathe. The high rotational speed is a dangerous thing that could accidentally tug at the gloves.

4. How fast does a wood lathe typically go?

It varies on what sort of product you have purchased. The speed usually ranges from 500rpm to 4000rpm.

5. What size of a wood lathe is ideal for me?

The answer relies on the type of projects you will be needing. You will have to decide whether it is for commercial, semi-commercial, or home use.

This choice will help you determine if the wood lathe size should be small, medium, or large. 

Final Words

So this is about as much as one can gather to attain the best wood lathe for turning bowls. Remember that there are other additional parts the user might need to achieve the best results.

Therefore, before you get all skeptical, plan thoroughly to match your budget. We hope you make plenty of small and big bowls with much content. Good luck!

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