For beginners, entry-level lathes that don’t cost too much make an excellent choice. However, as your woodturning skills move up, you need to step up also when it comes to equipment – in this case, the lathes. Unfortunately, the number of lathes in the market is not what we can call a handful – there is a significant lot. So how do you pick the best wood lathe for the money among the many?
Well, for starters, never go for anything with a swing radius below 9 inches – if you are looking to do some serious turning. The following review looks into one of the best sellers to help you determine if it’s your kind of machine.
The good thing about this mini lathe is that it is an ideal choice for small woodturning tasks that you have a particular liking towards during your leisure time. The Jet JWL-1015 is also a perfect choice for those thinking of trying out. Its price is favorable and does not have any complicated controls – this is usually a put off many beginners.
But that does not imply they are not any good for pros. If anything, they make a perfect choice for professionals looking to add a full-featured mini-lathe into their collection of tools – a pro doesn’t only rely on pro tools. The product also comes with six spindle speeds which means that you get all the control you need.
- The mini lathe is 15-1/2″ between centers. This adequate for small projects and the novices – we all have to start somewhere, don’t you agree?
- The product boasts six spindle speeds that you can choose depending on the job and level of comfort – some of us are only comfortable with something that isn’t too fast.
- Its tailstock has a live center for effective woodturning.
- The lath’s tensioning system is improved, and access to belts is not hard – it’s one of the simple ones out there.
- It has a broader bed that provides a rigid base for easier and comfortable working – you know how woodturning can be with all the movement and all.
- At 77lbs, this wood lathe is quite portable and will not prove trouble when it comes to moving with it around.
- The lathe bed is cast iron for stability and protection from shock and vibration.
- The ½HP motor is not what we can call powerful, but it works just alright with smaller projects. It also produces minimal vibration for smooth functioning.
- Has a simplistic design and is easy to use – this saves you energy and waste of time trying to figure out what works and what doesn’t.
- The power tool has large feet stand for added stability – we can never be too careful when using these power tools.
- This is a compact size lathe, ideal when you only have minimal space.
- The lathe is quite fairly-priced and may not need to overreach into your budget.
- It is one of the best wood lathes for beginners – simple controls and simple to use machinery.
- If necessary, you can add an extension table for more turning space if you need to work on longer projects like table legs.
- The tailstock is removable if you need to add an attachment or take advantage of other options it presents.
Generally, this is one wood lathe machine that has a proper alignment and is well-designed. This only means that it is a safe tool to use. Its simplicity is another laudable quality that can also be said to contribute to its safety – an uncomplicated machine is associated with reduced instances of accidents.
A cast iron bed ensures stability when working – critical when turning wood. No one wants an overturning lathe when turning the pieces as it is a risk hazard.
The ½HP motor is enough for the basic woodturning tasks. It not loud and has low vibration ensuring a smooth working.
You will eventually realize that the speed control box restricts you to the user from reaching the bottom pulley – this one area that requires improvement.
This tool does not have a reverse speed like come of the other devices on the market. This indicates that you have to turn the move the pieces by yourself.
It may be too small for some people and some projects. It is quite limiting as you can only work on those small projects that don’t demand creativity.
This wood lathe tool is one of the user-friendly tools you will find out there especially if you are a novice. It is easy to use and is relatively lightweight for those that need to keep moving it from one location to the next.
It is a tool that beginners will find useful and kind to their deprived skill level. In essence, it is one tool designed with novices in mind – has simple controls, and simple design.
SHOP FOX W1704 1/3-Horsepower Benchtop Lathe
Hello! I’m Mike Maclennan and I live in Phoenix, Arizona. I work in the construction and home remodeling industry. Having used many tools over the years, I’ve decided to start this website and share my personal tools review. Thanks for reading my articles and I hope you’ll find the best tool for your needs.