Top 10 Best Wood Lathe for The Money in 2021 (Reviewed)

Wood lathe is one of the most important machines for a wood craftsman or a carpenter.

The craftsmen use it to cut and carve wood-pieces to create different shapes and designs.

The history of lathe goes back to more than 30 centuries to the land of Egypt.

Since then wood lathe machines witnessed tremendous change in its designs and features.

top Wood Lathe machines

These changes include more and more user-friendly designs, more features to provide carpenters do a variety of jobs with precision and at high speeds.

In short, the new machines have far better performance, efficiency, capacity coupled with high quality and finishing.

using a wood lathe machine

With so much improvement in the modern wood-lathe, their applications have also diversified into many new fields. Wood lathe finds its applications in manufacturing small decorative items to making flooring and all types of wooden furniture products.

An increase in their applications led to increasing in wood-lathe demand. This, in turn, attracted many companies to enter the field of manufacturing wood-lathe machines.

Today there are many more companies offering many different types of a wood lathe machine with varying features and at different price points providing ample opportunities to the craftsmen to select the machine of their choice.

However, so-many-options have also led to a lot of confusion in the minds of the buyers. With each seller claiming their machines to be the best, buyers often find themselves unable to decide on the best option that suits their needs.

To help you in taking the right decision in buying the most suitable machine, we have shortlisted the 10 best wood lathe machines available in the market today. 

We have also included a buyer’s guide to help you assess your exact need and finalize on one out of these ten machines.

Let's get started.

Top 10 Best Wood Lathe Machines for The Money in 2020

Lathe Model

Features

Price

WEN 3424T

WEN 3424T
  • 3-1/8 inch Faceplate for turning of non-spindle workpieces
  • Fits 18X12” workpieces
  • 4.5A motor

Delta Industrial 46-460

Delta Industrial 46-460
  • Patented belt tensioning system
  • The powerful motor of 1 HP
  • Large 12-1/2-inch swing capacity

Mophorn 8 x 12-Inch

Mophorn 8 x 12-Inch Mini Wood Lathe
  • Cast Iron construction
  • 1/3 HP motor
  • Smooth speed control

Nova 71118 Comet II

Nova 71118 Comet II
  • It has a Distance of 16.5” between centers
  • Speed range of 250-4000 RPM
  • Forward and reverse switch
  • 1 year motor replacement warranty

Jet JWL-1015

Jet JWL-1015
  • Integrated 24 position indexing
  • Six spindle speeds
  • 15-1/2" between centers

WEN 3421

WEN 3421 Mini Benchtop Wood Lathe
  • Fits 12X8’ workpieces
  • 50% more powerful
  • Adjustable RPM speed from 750 to 3200

RIKON Power Tools 70-105

RIKON Power Tools 70-105
  • 5-speed range control
  • Half HP motor
  • Strong and robust

Mophorn 10 x 18

Mophorn 10 x 18 Inch Heavy Duty Wood Lathe
  • 18" distance between centers
  • 5-speed control from 500 to 3200 RPM
  • Sophisticated Workmanship

MicroLux 8 X 12

MicroLux 8 X 12 Wood Turner's Lathe
  • High in power and durability
  • Compact size, high capacity
  • Weighs 41 lbs

Jet JWL-1015VS

Jet JWL-1015VS
  • Integrated 24 position indexing
  • The distance of 15-1/2" between centers
  • 3-speed ranges: 200-1050, 300-1750 and 600-3600

Best Overall

1. WEN 3424T Benchtop Wood Lathe

WEN 3424T

3424T form WEN with its 4.5 A powerful motor provides it a trouble-free experience. It is designed for 18” X 12” work-pieces.

5 different speeds of 500, 900, 1400, 2150 and 3400 RPM make it suitable for a range of job works. These features provide a high degree of versatility to the carpenters and allow them to perform many tasks on a single lathe.

Apart from being feature-rich WEN 3424T is also very robust making it very stable and vibration-free.

It also includes MT2 tailstock and headstock tapers. Headstock spur center, tailstock live center and tool rest are some of the accessories included with the machine.

For turning small non-spindle workpieces, the lathe comes with a 3⅛” faceplate. This can help to turn kitchen items like bowls or cups, and items like knobs, etc - making it one of the worthy contenders of the best wood lathe for turrning bowls title.

Pros

  • High power 4.5 A motor
  • Five speed options
  • Suitable for up to 18’ X 12’ workpieces
  • Many accessories come complimentary with the machine

Cons

  • High power 4.5 A motor
  • Five speed options
  • Suitable for up to 18’ X 12’ workpieces
  • Many accessories come complimentary with the machine

Runner-Up

2. Delta Industrial 46-460 Midi Lathe

Delta Industrial 46-460

Delta Industrial 46-460 is one of the most likable lathes among the wood craftsmen. It enjoys an excellent rating of 4+ with very positive customer reviews.

Loaded with features, Delta 46-460 offers its customers with an electronic speed control option in three different ranges viz. 250 & 750 RPM, 600 & 1800 RPM and 1350 & 4000 RPM. Moreover, speed change does not require changing the belt position.

It has a highly powerful motor of 1 HP capacity. Besides, a large swing capacity of 12½” enhances the capacity of the wood lathe and takes it to a different level.

If you want to have a fine finish of your job, forward and reverse functions have been provided precisely for the purpose.

It does not have a particularly big center to center length. However, it has a patented belt tensioning system. It makes speed changes much easier and quicker. 

Moreover, it ensures maximum power transfer through the correct setting of the belt tension. This system also elongates the lifespan of the tool.

Pros

  • Powerful 1HP motor
  • Variable speed in three-speed ranges
  • Patented tension system saving time, improving efficiency and improving tool life
  • Speed change does not require changing belt position
  • Excellent for craftsmen who want super finish workpieces

Cons

  • Need an extension for over 12” workpiece
  • Quite expensive

Budget Pick

3. Mophorn 8 x 12-Inch Mini Wood Lathe

Mophorn 8 x 12-Inch Mini Wood Lathe

It is a mini wood lathe having variable speed between 500 to 3200 RPM controllable through a knob. 

A soft start motor provides required torque through a ⅓ HP motor designed keeping in mind the safety. It is an environment-friendly lathe and creates a very low level of noise during its operation.

This wood-lathe is made of cast iron, making it a robust, sturdy and rugged machine.

Moreover, cast-iron makes the machine stable and longer-lasting. Besides, it avoids wobbling and vibrations while operating.

A distance of 12” between centers swing over bed of 8” coupled with moving tailstock that facilitates adjusting distances for job-pieces makes it a high capacity wood-lathe.

Easily replaceable 150 and 300mm tool rests enhances its versatility. Tool rests can be set or changed or replaced by merely moving the lock lever.

Pros

  • Variable speed of 500 to 320 RPM
  • Cast iron construction making it stable
  • Easy replacement of tool rests
  • Affordable
  • Can be considered as the best wood lathe for beginners

Cons

  • Limited features

Popular Choice

4. Nova 71118 Comet II Midi Lathe

Nova 71118 Comet II

NOVA Comet II is a unique wood-lathe which has a rugged and high capacity machine that also has portability.

It has a 16.5” distance between centers with an available extension for up to 42”. 

With a variable speed range of 250 to 4500 RPM, NOVA makes a very flexible option from a range of wood craftsmen. The speed is controlled electronically and displayed digitally.

Besides, it includes a Lathe handwheel unit, Live tailstock center, 6” tool rest, knockout bar and spurs-drive-center. 3” face-plate facilitates easy working on non-spindle jobs.

Finer finishing of jobs is made easier by providing forward and reverse switch. It comes with 1-year full warranty and 5 years of parts replacement warranty.

Overall, Nova midi wood lathe machine provides a very comfortable experience to its users.

Pros

  • Compact and portable
  • Value for money with very good features
  • Good for beginners
  • Electronically controlled variable speed with digital display

Cons

  • Speed change is not as smooth

Easy-To-Use

5. Jet JWL-1015 Wood Working Lathe

Jet JWL-1015

Jet JWL-1015 is an equally wonderful lathe machine for a beginner as well as an experienced professional wood craftsman. The lathe is loaded with many easy to use, simplistic features.

It is a versatile lathe machine that allows your creativity to give any form or shape with its powerful motor. It provides the precision needed to make fine cuts and carvings on a wood piece - way more impressive than the dremel bits for wood.

Accessing belts is much easier through a much improved tensioning system.

Besides, it has integrated 24 positioning indexing and provides 6 spindle speeds from 500 to 3975 RPM. The wider bed way facilitates easy working.

Overall, Jet JWL 1015 is a robust and rugged machine with highly smooth functioning.

All these features make it a one of the best wood lathe machines for learners as well as advanced craftsmen.

Pros

  • Highly user-friendly and easy to understand
  • 6 Spindle speeds
  • Easy access to belts through an improved tensioning system

Cons

  • Comparatively a little expensive
  • Speed change needs a machine stop for belt setting
  • Requires bed extension for 15”+ pieces

Affordable

6. WEN 3421 Mini Benchtop Wood Lathe

WEN 3421 Mini Benchtop Wood Lathe

This wood lathe is a boon for craftsmen of small and finer workpieces.

It has various features that make it highly useful for beginners as well as experienced carpenters. An affordable price gives you value for your money.

WEN 3421 is a 15” lathe made of cast iron. This helps avoid vibrations while working on wood jobs. It can work on a range of products with its powerful motor providing RPM speed between 750 and 3200.

Lathe provides a firm gripping through MT1 spindle and tailstock taper. The tool rest and tailstock adjustment are accurately done through the lever clamping system without any complications.

It offers a knock-out rod and a 2.3” faceplate to machine non-spindle objects.

For an easy carving experience, you have a positive indexing feature. It is apart from the many indexing positions that machine offers. Jobs measuring up to 12X8” can fit in for machining.

It provides 50% more power with its 3.2 A motor making it more powerful than many in the category of 8” lathe. Therefore, this the only tool you'll need in your arsenal, apart from the shop vacs for woodworking for the final clean-up.

Pros

  • Affordable price range
  • Powerful motor making it more powerful compared to other lathes in 8” category
  • Excellent for small & finer work-pieces
  • Variable RPM speed between 750 and 3200
  • Features supporting non-spindle work
  • Firm grip through MT1 spindle and tailstock taper

Cons

  • Not much suitable for bigger jobs

Pen Turner’s Top Choice

7. RIKON Power Tools 70-105 Mini Lathe

RIKON Power Tools 70-105

With a ½ HP motor, RIKON 70-105 provides enough power for varied wood projects. For small wood-pieces, this Rikon mini lathe is particularly pretty simple to control.

The cast iron construction ensures the machine's sturdiness. It specifically caters to the need for pen turners. They can make the best through their turning skills.

The durability of the machine is all taken care of by the cast iron construction. Besides, it makes the machine more stable and vibration-free.

The lathe has a distance of 18: between centers and has a swing of 10”. It has a 5-speed range making it suitable for a variety of pen turning work-pieces as well as regular or less intricate designs.

This wood lathe also has a tailstock which is auto ejecting and provides easy access to the change in speed.

Pros

  • A pen turner’s joy
  • 5-speed range
  • Cast iron construction making it sturdy
  • 5 years warranty

Cons

  • Speed changing is not smooth and fast

Professionally Built

8. Mophorn 10 x 18 Inch Heavy Duty Wood Lathe

Mophorn 10 x 18 Inch Heavy Duty Wood Lathe

The Mophorn 10 X 18” is a heavy duty wood lathe that has an 18” distance between centers. The swing over the bed is 10”.

It has a smoothly controllable variable speed of 500 to 3200 RPM which can be monitored through a digital display.

The wood lathe is equipped with a 550W motor. Besides, a 3” faceplate and a 6” tool rest provide much-needed flexibility to the machine.

The lathe has been built with high sophistication and precision. Very minute attention has been machining of each & every component of this wood lathe.

It can find its application in varied segments and jobs be it industries, laboratories or educational institutions.

Durability and stability of the machine are ensured through cast iron construction and rubber feet. This, besides, provides vibration-free operation.

Pros

  • Variable speed of 500 to 3200 RPM with a digital display
  • Cast iron construction and rubber feet make machine durable & stable
  • Minute attention given to machine parts while manufacturing the machine
  • Noise-free and vibration-free operation
  • Fairly affordable

Cons

  • For more than 18” requires bed extension
  • Difficult to work on small jobs at 500 RPM min speed

Portable Pick

9. MicroLux 8 X 12 Wood Turner's Lathe

MicroLux 8 X 12 Wood Turner's Lathe

Weighing 41 pounds. Microlux 8 X 12 is a portable, compact, high capacity machine. Its dimensions are 28” X 10” X 13”. 

It has a ⅓ HP motor. The center to center distance is 12” with the swing over bed of 8”. 

It has a variable speed between 750-3200 RPM. It includes a 5¾” faceplate and 7” tool rest. The MicroLux wood lathe has a cast iron base giving this low weight machine good support.

It also has a head spur drive and live-tailstock center.

Pros

  • Compact and portable
  • Variable speed from 750 to 3200 RPM
  • 5¾” faceplate and 7” tool rest
  • Very affordable

Cons

  • Limited features

Most Durable Wood Lathe

10. Jet JWL-1015VS Wood Working Lathe

Jet JWL-1015VS

Jet JWL-1015VS has a variable speed from 200 to 3600 RPM with 3-speed ranges viz. 200- 1050; 300-1750 and 600-3600 RPM.

The motor has the power of ½ HP. The distance between the centers is 15½-inches.

The wood lathe has more rigidity owing to the wider bed ways. In addition, it has integrated 24 position indexing. The machine has an improved tension system and easier access to the belts facilitating easy speed change.

The cast iron construction makes it pretty sturdy and ensures its stability and durability. Moreover, it makes the operations stable, smooth and vibration-free.

15o indexing makes it easy to set. Overall, it is easy to operate the machine due to its user-friendly control system.

Pros

  • 3 Speed ranges from 200 to 3600 RPM
  • Cast iron construction
  • Indexing every 15o
  • Improved tension system and easy access to belts
  • Wider bed ways

Cons

  • Highly Expensive

Buying Guide - How To Choose The Best Wood Lathe Machine for You

With so many options provided to you for choosing the best wood lathe for the money, the question that is likely to arise is “which wood lathe will be the best especially for me?

Therefore, it becomes very important to systematically arrange your needs and the factors that will influence your choice the most to find a wood lathe that exactly matches your utility.

So, here is a buying guide along with some very important features that will help you make the best buy for yourself.

1. Affordability

One of the most influential criteria that play a major role in your purchase is your budget. Wood lathes are present at a quite varied price range in the market.

The affordable wood lathe range from $200-$400 and will suit you best if you want to learn the basics of woodturning or do not spend a lot of time working on them.

In case you intend to use your wooden lathe for a sufficient amount of time, a mid-ranged wood lathe available at $400-$800 will be a perfect choice for you.

High-cost and expensive wood lathe exceeding $1000 are also present in the market but they are meant exclusively only for high-end projects and professionals purposes.

2. Size & Weight

Wood lathes can also be categorized based on their weight and the space they acquire. The choice that you make depends on the availability of space in your work area and also the portability that you want from your wood lathe. 

If you want high portability and a lightweight wood lathe, benchtop lathe might suit you well. But if weight is not an important factor for you, then a full-sized lathe that provides better swing should be your preference.

While considering the space that you want your wood lathe to take, it is recommended to measure the dimensions of the available space.

Moreover, you should take into consideration sufficient clearance around the machine to ensure easy access to & around the machine.

3. Nature of Work

The speed offered by wood lathe is one of the most important criteria that should certainly be kept in mind for making the right choice.

The range of the speed of the wood length depends on the project you are going to handle. But you should be very accurate while considering your requirement as the range must exactly match up with your utility.

This is because the wood-lathe with less than required speed would limit your woodturning projects, while a high range of speed that exceeds your utility would disturb your budget.

Remember the thumb rule to evaluate the right speed of the lathe.

(RPM of the Wood-lathe X Stock Thickness= 6000 to 9000)

4. Usability

While buying a perfectly suitable wood lathe you must categorize yourself as a learner/newcomer; experienced woodturner; or a professional/advanced one.

Depending on this, choose a wood lathe that is most useful for you and your projects.

While considering your requirements for all the above-mentioned parameters, search for the wood lathe that matches up with your needs the most.

Final Words

With the market flooded with a variety of wood lathe at different price ranges and with different features, it has become very difficult for customers to assess their requirements and go for the right one.

Therefore, we have shortlisted for you, the Top 10 Best Wood Lathe Machines that provides you with plenty of features at a highly reasonable cost. Few of them have received excellent customer reviews on online shopping websites.

In case you still find yourself confused with the varying features and costs of different wood lathe we recommended you to go for WEN 3424T being our top-pick due to its powerful features at an affordable cost

Features of our runner-up Delta Industrial 46-460 are also highly appealing and it can also be a perfect buy for you based on your requirements.

Mophorn 8 x 12 inches is our budget pick as it brings in plenty of handy features at a highly affordable cost.

We hope that we could help you in choosing the perfect wood lathe for you as per your requirements. 

For any queries, do not hesitate to ask in the comment section below.

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