Top 5 Best Wood Lathe Machine Review for Your Woodturning Projects

Top 5 Best Wood Lathe Machine Review for Your Woodturning Projects

Most times, words cannot describe the amount of joy and satisfaction that comes with woodworking, especially after creating a fine and attractive item for yourself or even another person. Wood is a fine material given to us by nature, and it has this unique elegance that comes with it when turned into a piece of art through woodworking. 

Have you ever wondered how wood gets turned into a bowl, pen, goblets, chess pieces, or even rings? I know you have. Well, the answer to your question is the wood lathe machine.

A wood lathe is a machine that has been engineered to rotate a workpiece within an axis of rotation. It is used to cut, carve, sand, face and turn wood. The parts of a wood lathe include a bed, a headstock, spindle(s), a motor, a tailstock, a carriage with a banjo, a tool post, and a tool rest.

When getting a wood lathe, there are some factors to consider. Considering these factors helps to reduce the amount of confusion you might experience. These factors include:

Your available workspace: You need to organize your workshop so that there will be enough space for the wood lathe to function effectively and still have enough space to move around it. 

The cost: When purchasing anything of any sort, you must have in mind your budget, that is, the amount of money you are willing to use to get that particular item.

Our Favorite Choice Of Wood Lathe Machine Summary:

Best Overall 

PSI WOODWORKING 12"

Best Budget 

WEN 3421

1st Alternative 

JET JWL-1015

2nd Alternative 

MOPHORN 12"

3rd Alternative 

SHOP FOX W1704

5 Best Wood Lathe Machine Review In Details:

1. PSI Woodworking KWL-1218VS Turn Crafter Commander 12” Wood Lathe Machine

1. PSI Woodworking KWL-1218VS Turn Crafter Commander 12”

First on our list of the top five best wood lathes is the PSI KWL-1218VS Midi Lathe. PSI Woodworking Products Company is known for the production of excellent wood lathes made with good quality materials. 

Among the many wood lathes produced by this product, the company is the PSI Midi Lathe model KWL-1218VS. It has been designed and engineered with features that ensure durability and productivity. 

It can easily be referred to as the most powerful, advanced, and easy to use wood lathe amongst its peers. Amongst its features is its one hp high-performance induction motor and SBC microprocessor, which powers the lathe. 

They are designed to provide and control precision as well ensuring lasting reliability. Its horsepower (hp) has a variable speed motor of 120 volts- 60HZ.

This woodturning lathe is made up of two belt positions powered by horsepower and moves at 500-1800 rounds per minute and 1950-3800 rpm. The varying speed of the belts allows for fine shaping and finishing of a workpiece, but this is made possible by a turn of a knob. 

The base of this woodturning lathe is made with cast iron which provides a sturdy and stable stance for the tool and the user. Coupled with the sturdy base is the heavy-duty ball-bearing tailstock center, which ensures a great grip and prevents splitting with little or no stress.

If you are looking for the best wood lathe with great power, good value for the money, and durability, then you should get the PSI KWL-1218VS wood lathe. Because of the cast iron, this tool is made with, it is guaranteed that it would take a long time to get damaged no matter the situation.

Features:

  • The PSI KWL-1218VS Midi Lathe has a three years warranty.
  • Weighs 106 pounds.
  • 110 volts.
  • Two belts move at 500-1800 rounds per hour and 1950- 3800 RPM.
  • Made with cast iron.
  • Work light with 18 inches flex cable.
  • 18 inches distance between centers.
  • Size 12 inches, 32 inches by 11″ by 10 inches dimension.
  • Comes with a tool storage rack, safety goggles.
  • Red in color.

Pros:

  • Durable and powerful.
  • Easy to use.
  • Two belt positions.

Cons: 

  • Used for small projects only.

2. WEN 3421 3.2 Amp 8″ by 12″ Variable Mini Benchtop Wood Lathe

WEN 3421 3.2 Amp 8" by 12" Variable Mini Benchtop Wood Lathe

Wen’s production of good power tools has led to a wide array of recognition and trust in the power tool industry. Its line of lathes has also widened the recognition of this company and is still attracting more recognition. 

The Wen 3421 benchtop wood lathe is one of the models amongst the line of lathes produced by Wen. This benchtop wood lathe has been reported to be the best wood lathe for a couple of reasons and because of its amazing but few features. 

It is an excellent choice for beginners or amateur woodworkers because it is very easy to use. With this benchtop wood lathe, learning to turn wood is made easy and a fun experience. 

It is also designed with a couple of accessories which help to provide convenience for the turner when in use. Powered by an amp of 3.2 and 120 volts, the spindles of this wood lathe move at a variable speed ranging from 750 rotations per minute up to 3200 rotations per minute. 

This provides great precision and accuracy at a good speed rate. When switched on, the motor starts with a soft start providing comfort and a slow build-up. 

This soft start feature allows the user some time to adjust to the wood lathe. This wood lathe has been engineered to deliver 50 percent more power than the other lathes despite its compact size. 

It does not only perform accurately but also with the perfect amount of power. Amongst the features that make Wen 3421 wood lathe easy to use is the interchangeable tool rests. 

These two tool rests of sizes 4-1/2 inches, and 7 inches are used as support for chisels and other tools while in use. Between its centers is a distance of 12 inches, and it also comes with a faceplate of 2.3 inches. 

Due to the small size of this wood lathe, it is easy to maintain and repair. The weight of this woodturning machine which is 44.8 pounds, makes it the least heavy wood lathe amongst its class, and it can easily be referred to as such.

Features: 

  • The Wen 3421 Mini Benchtop Wood lathe has a limited 2 years warranty.
  • Weighs 44.8 pounds.
  • Variable speed of 700 to 3500 Rpm.
  • 3.2 amps and 120 volts.
  • Accepts work items 12 inches long and 8 inches wide.
  • 12 inches between centers.
  • Two tool rests that can be interchanged.
  • A tailstock taper.
  • A faceplate of about 2.3 inches.
  • 28.15 inches by 13.4 inches by 8.1 inches dimension.
  • It comes with a flat wrench and a knockout rod.

Pros: 

  • Easy to use.
  • Powerful and stable.
  • Easy to maintain.
  • Affordable and great value for the money.
  • Compact.

Cons: 

  • Not so durable.

3. JET JWL-1015 10 “×15” Woodturning Lathe (719100) 

JET JWL-1015 10 "×15" Woodturning Lathe (719100)

Jet tools have always aimed at producing quality tools for woodworkers, and they have always tried to be at their best. They are not only well recognized but also well trusted. 

They also provide very good customer service. Amongst the lathes produced by this company is the Jet JWL-1015 wood lathe. 

This lathe is very suitable for every woodworker, especially beginners. It is ergonomic, advanced, and also affordable.

The Jet JWL-1015 is made up of a blended 24 position indexing, which provides comfort and easy access. All thanks to its improved tension system, the user can easily access the belts and also allows him/her to change the belt faster. 

Its spindle thread is about 1 -8 inches long, and it provides six spindle speeds of 500 rpm, 840 rpm, 1240 rpm,1800 rpm, 2630 rpm, and 3975 rounds per minute. These spindle speeds allow for high precision and versatility. 

These variable speeds are one of the best features of the Jet JWL-1015 wood lathe. It runs with a power of 5 amps and 115 volts. 

This woodturning machine is designed with a compact size which allows the tool to be used even in confined spaces. Between its centers is a 15.5 inches distance, making it most suitable for performing small workpiece applications though users can also use it for some medium-sized applications. 

To provide rigidity and stability while in use, the bed ways are made wide. This woodturning machine comes with a warranty of five years. That is pretty much a long-lasting warranty and a good one at that. 

Though this wood lathe machine does not come with a work lamp, it has a compact size and is powerful and accurate enough to deliver seamless carving. All you need to do is fix a working bulb in your workshop to help illuminate your workspace.

Features: 

  • The JET JWL-1015 Wood Lathe gives 5 years warranty.
  • Weighs 77 pounds.
  • Voltage of 115, 5 amps and ½ horsepower.
  • 15.5 inches between centers.
  • Live center tailstock.
  • 24 indexing positions.
  • Made with cast iron.
  • Off white in color.
  • Moves at 500 rpm, 840, 1,240, 1800, 2630 and 3975; six speed range 500-3975.
  • 35 inches by 18.1″ by 14.56 inches dimension.

Pros: 

  • Five years warranty, long-lasting.
  • Easy to use.
  • Good performance and Powerful.
  • Good value for the money.
  • Easy to maintain.
  • Six variable speed.
  • Control tension is improved.

Cons: 

  • Can be used for light-duty applications only. 

4. Mophorn Heavy Duty Benchtop Wood Lathe 12 x 18 Inch

Mophorn Heavy Duty Benchtop Wood Lathe 12 x 18 Inch

With a powerful motor of 550 watts and a voltage of 120 volts, the Mophorn wood lathe delivers a variable speed range of 500 Rounds Per Minute up to 3800 Rounds Per Minute. 

This variable speed comes with a digital reading with allows the user to work with accurate and precise speed. It is designed with a soft motor start which ensures safety and makes very little noise. 

It also has a long-lasting operating life as well as a high torque. This wood lathe features rubber feet which provides sturdiness and stability and prevents the lathe from shaking or making jerky movements when in use. 

It also enhances a smooth turning operation. It also includes a tool rest of about 6 inches, an MT2 headstock, a tailstock taper, and a faceplate of 3 inches. Between its centers is a distance of 18 inches. 

The headstocks are gears and shafts that have been tightly fixed and grounded to carry out a long-lasting service. This wood lathe can be used for varieties of woodwork applications; in labs, workshops, engineering, and education. It operates smoothly with high speed.

Features: 

  • The Mophorn wood lathe weighs 83 pounds.
  • Made of metal.
  • 500 to 3800 rotations per minute variable speed range.
  • 3 inches faceplate and 6 inches tool rest.
  • 18 inches distance between centers.
  • 12 inches swing over bed.
  • Tool rest of 6 inches.
  • 550 watts power motor, 120 volts, and 60Hz.
  • 34 inches by 19 inches by 12 inches.
  • Digital reading for accurate and easy reading.

Pros: 

  • Engineered with 550 watts.
  • Digital readout.
  • Easy to use.

Cons: 

  • No customer/seller support. 

5. SHOP FOX W1704 1/3 Horsepower Benchtop Wood Lathe Machine

SHOP FOX W1704 1/3 Horsepower Benchtop Wood Lathe Machine

You might be searching for a wood lathe machine that is portable and can be kept on a desk or bench; search no more and check out the W1704 wood lathe made by Shop Fox. 

Shop Fox, just like their motto reads, “Built to last,” has for years produced tools that are trouble-free and provide a strong quality program that ensures reliability and safe service. The W1704 wood lathe is suitable for making pens, bowls, rings, and other small wood items.

Amongst the features designed in this wood lathe machine is its variable speed motor, which with a power of 2 amps, a voltage of 110 moves at a speed of 700 to 3200 rotations per minute. It is also packed with a horsepower of 1/3. 

Its durability is made with cast iron, and there is a safety paddle switch on this tool. Thanks to its 5-3/4 faceplate, items that the tailstock cannot support can still be made. 

The faceplate is threaded onto the headstock spindle to allow non-spindle turning. It comes with two tool rests of 4-1/4 inches and 7 inches, respectively. Between the centers of the tool is a distance of 13 inches and a swing of 8 inches over the bed. 

Features: 

  • A two years limited warranty backs up the Shop Fox W1704.
  • Weighs 48.5 Pounds.
  • Spindle speed of 700 to 3200 RPM, 2 amps.
  • 12″ distance between spaces.
  • Depth 7.1 inches, 27.9 inches wide, and 13.7 inches long.
  • 23-3/8 by 5-1/2 inches footprint.
  • Horsepower 1/3, the voltage of 110 and 60 Hz.
  • 8 inches swing over the bed.
  • Made with cast iron.
  • White in color.
  • Includes two tool rests and a 5-3/4 inches Faceplate is included.

Pros: 

  • Durable.
  • Sturdy and stable.
  • Very affordable.
  • Variable speed controls.

Cons: 

  • Hard to find spare parts
  • No work lamp included

Safety First!! 

Before using any of these wood lathes, it is advisable that you check for loose parts. This is to ensure a trouble and accident-free work period with the lathe. 

It is also necessary that you go through the manual to learn more about the parts of the tool and how to use the tool. For the lathes that use a corded electric source, you should make sure that the cord is properly plugged and arranged such that no one trips over it. 

Most of these wood lathes are oiled to prevent friction and enhance safety. According to Wikipedia, a good way to check a wood lathe for safety is “SAFER,” that is the:  

  • Speed: It should be slower for big and faster for smaller workpieces. 
  • Aside: Stand by the side of the firing line, not in front of the wood.
  • Fixings: Make sure all parts are fixed securely and tightly.
  • Eye and Ear:  Protect your eyes and ears from debris. 
  • Revolve: Make sure the wood can freely rotate. 

Also, handling your tools properly and taking care of them ensures longevity and enhances durability. You cannot rely on the stable features the lathe is made with; it also needs your assistance to last long. 

Now that you know the top 5 best wood lathes, I hope your next search for a wood lathe will be easy and less confusing. Cheers to an awesome woodwork experience with your new wood lathe. 

Best Overall 

PSI WOODWORKING 12"

Best Budget 

WEN 3421

1st Alternative 

JET JWL-1015

2nd Alternative 

MOPHORN 12"

3rd Alternative 

SHOP FOX W1704

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