Best Wood Lathe For Beginners [Review]

by | Feb 22, 2021

Our Top Picks 

Best Value

Laguna Tools Revo 18” 36” Lathe

Laguna Tools Revo 18” 36” Lathe

Top Choice

JET JWL-1440VSK Woodturning lathe with legs

Jet JWL-1440VSK Wood Lathe

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Powermatic 1352001 Wood Lathe

Powermatic 1352001 Wood Lathe

Written by Douglas Smith

I have been a woodturner since a very young age, My Father taught me everything I know and I enjoy taking on new and quirky projects.

Beginning a very new journey in a different field can be very hard sometimes, and it can take considerable time to get a grasp on it. Not only that, but if that industry includes complicated machinery like wood lathes, it can be even more challenging. But, well, there is a solution to everything that can ease your pain and make it easy for you to go on your journey. If you have finally made your mind that you will gain experience in the woodturning field, then you must know that the lathes will be the closest thing you will be working with.

Without a lathe, you cannot even imagine woodturning. But what if you are an absolute amateur or beginner? In that case, you should get your hands on a specific and best wood lathe for beginners that can offer you convenience while working. Indeed, I am here to help you out with that as I will offer some of the best wood lathes for beginners that can help you out.

What to look for when buying a wood lathe for beginners?

These are some of the things that you should never skip when buying a wood lathe for beginners!

  • Size: One of the most crucial and important things to check in a lathe is its size support. The bigger the size, the bigger the wood pieces it can support. It will enable you to work on big projects if you choose a larger size.
  • Power: Power indicates the HP of your lathe that can drastically increase the efficiency of it. So if you absolutely want to avoid hassles in the future, never forget to check it.
  • Features: As we are talking about the best wood lathes for beginners, it is crucial to check if your preferred lathe is offering accessible features that can be controlled by a beginner or not.

Top 7 best wood lathes for beginners to start woodturning right away!

Let’s feast ourselves with some of the best wood lathes for beginners so that you can start this fantastic journey without any more delay!

The Best Wood Lathes For Beginners 

1.Laguna Tools Revo 18” 36” Lathe

Laguna Tools Revo 18” 36” Lathe

The reason for adding this lathe to this list is because of its unique features that are easy to understand and implement, and even an amateur can control this lathe without any problems. If we talk about the features integrated and specifications of this lathe, this lathe is integrated with a powerful motor of 1.5HP, which is undoubtedly considered vital. Not only that, but Laguna has also offered 1 phase input and 3 phase output in this lathe so that users can have all the features they want while woodturning.

The maximum RPM allowed to use in this lathe is 1725, which might seem low to some of the woodturners, but if you are a beginner, you will probably not need anything higher than that. The best thing is, you can control the RPM of this lathe right from the specific board placed on it. Not only that, but all of the power buttons are also there so that the users can control it without any hassle. The size support of this lathe is also pretty excellent, and the users can even craft more significant projects on it. The maximum size of the wood piece you can place on it is 18”x36”. If you are not comfortable going for big projects right from the start, you can easily adjust it and start with the smaller projects.

Key Features

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1.5 HP Motor

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1725 Max RPM

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Great Adjustability

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Spindle Lock

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Three Output Phase

2.Jet JWL-1440VSK Wood Lathe

JET JWL-1440VSK Woodturning lathe with legs

Jet JWL-1440VSK can be an excellent pick for any beginner because of its effortless and straightforward design. The best thing is, there are no mind-boggling or confusing things mentioned right on the front to make things worse for the beginners. The features and specs of this lathe are also pretty good that can surely enhance your woodturning career too. The RPM adjustability offered in this lathe is very elementary as users are provided with the switch right on the lathe to control it. If you think about what its maximum and lowest RPM is, then know that both are pretty good for a beginner.

The lowest you can go with this lathe is about 400 RPM, and you cannot exceed 3000 RPM in any case. It does really not matter if you are turning a big project or a small project; this much RPM can easily handle all the types. To keep track of your speed, the brand has also integrated a digital display on the lathe that states your lathe’s RPM all the time.

As for the adjustment, the headstock pivot comes with 360-degree rotation along with seven various locking positions so that the woodturners can lock it just as they want. The motor integrated into this lathe is 1HP, which can quickly and efficiently offer the best and stable RPM while working. To make things even easier, there are legs provided in this lathe so that the beginners won’t have to adjust the lathe anywhere.

Key Features

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1 HP Motor

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3000 Max RPM

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Digital RPM Display

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Seven Locking Positions

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Easy-to-use

3.Powermatic 1352001 Wood Lathe

Powermatic 1352001 Wood Lathe

Here is another excellent woodturning lathe for beginners to charm your needs with its fascinating features and options available. But do note that you will have to spend a lot of cash to get your hand on this lathe because its features are just out of this world. You can build your whole woodturning career with it. So if you are not willing to spend a higher amount on a lathe, move on to the following listing. Still here? Then let’s discuss its properties! This wood lathe is powered by a 2HP motor, which is unquestionably higher than most of the lathes we have discussed till now. The thing to note down here is that the motor integrated into it runs on 220 volts and is a variable speed motor.

This woodturning can easily offer you your desired RPM, and you can also check the RPM from time to time through the digital meter given on the lathe. There are 24 indexing positions available in this lathe, making it convenient for beginners to adjust or fit the wood pieces with ease and just as they want. As it is an expensive wood lathe, it also supports massive sizes of wood pieces. The maximum allowed size to place on this lathe is 20”x35”, which is undoubtedly significant.

The overall structure of this lathe is made of iron to offer the best durability while you are working. You will also not have to find any specific thing to place it on as it comes with its support. You have to buy and start working without any hassles.

Key Features

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2 HP Motor

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Variable Speed Motor

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RPM Adjustable

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24 Indexing Positions

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Big Size Support

4.PSI Woodworking KWL-1018VS Midi Lathe

PSI Woodworking KWL-1018VS Midi Lathe

If you have already entered the woodturning career, then remember that you will always be able to see PSI woodworking machines and tools around you. This brand is pretty famous in the woodworking industry because of its excellent quality, which too in an excellent budget. If you are also short in budget, then this is the perfect lathe for you as a beginner. Talking about the features, this budget lathe includes some crispy features that can surely attract any woodturner towards it. There is a ¾HP motor integrated into it, which also supports the speed adjustment. This much power is justifiable for the price it is offered in.

Aside from that, the maximum RPM offered in this lathe is a massive 3600. If you are thinking about the lowest RPM, it is about 500. As this is a midi lathe, you will only be able to place smaller wood pieces on it. The maximum size you can place on it is 10”, which is also very good for beginners to start with. The whole body of the lathe is also very compact, which makes it portable. You can put it anywhere in your workshop and start working without worrying about the space available.

Key Features

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3/4 HP Motor

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Max RPM of 3600

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Great Portability

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10" Size Support

5.Grizzly Industrial H8259 Lathe

Grizzly Industrial H8259 Lathe

We all know that beginners usually don’t have a higher budget when they are getting started on something. The same case can be for the beginners who are entering the woodturning field. That is why here is another excellent budget wood lathe for beginners that can make it very easy for them to get their hands on it. This wood lathe comes with a 1/2HP motor, which is indeed enough for amateurs. The maximum size of the wood that you can place on this lathe is 10”x18”. That is again very good if we check the price of this lathe. It is always a fascinating idea to start with small pieces and gradually increase their size to get better results.

There are five RPM variations available in this lathe. The max RPM you can choose is 3337, while the lowest remains 826. All of this can be easily controlled right from the lathe without any significant difficulties. There are also some tools and features included in this lathe-like tools rest, wrenches, and spur center. Because of its excellent durability and reliability, woodturners can also expect it to serve them for years without any significant problems. You might have to maintain it from time to time to keep it running.

Key Features

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1/2 HP Motor

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5-Speed Variation

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Great RPM

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Easy Controls

6.Mophorn Wood Lathe

Mophorn Wood Lathe

If you are looking and searching out for an absolute cheap deal to get your career in woodturning started, then Mophorn can surely help you out with this wood lathe. This compact-sized and best wood lathe for beginners comes with a 1/3 HP motor that runs on 110V. A fascinating thing about this lathe is that it can go up to 3200 RPM without any problems. Yes, you heard that right! The best thing is, you can also control the RPM as per your preferences and likings.

As it is a very budget wood lathe, the maximum size you can put on it is 8”x12”, which is unquestionably small but is very good for beginners. You will certainly not have to deal with massive machinery and their adjustments; you will just have to put the wood piece on it and start with it. The cast iron construction gives this lathe massive support and durability, ensuring the best possible service for a longer-term.

Key Features

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1/3 HP Motor

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3200 RPM Supported

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Iron Cast Construction

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Portable

7.Jet JWL-1221VS

JET JWL-1221VS Woodturning Lathe

Well, here we are again with another Jet lathe. But exactly why? Because of its premium features on a budget! This lathe is infused with a 1HP motor in it so that it can increase the potential of your work. One of the best things that Jet has done here is that they have offered very optimal speed controls. Users can control the speed of this lathe from anywhere between 60 to 3600 RPM. Not only that, but all of the controls are very easy to find and control. You will surely not need a manual to study it for an hour and then get started with this lathe; you can simply find all the things needed right from the lathe.

There are also two caddies available in this lathe, making it very convenient for beginners to store their tools safely without losing them. Because of its outstanding construction, you can expect this lathe to work for a long time without facing any issue. If we talk about the size support, it can easily support the wood pieces of 12”x21”. If you want to work on medium projects, this wood lathe will help you out in all ways!

Key Features

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1HP Motor

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Easy RPM Control

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60-3600 RPM

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Caddies Provided

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Perfect Size

Best Wood Lathes For Beginners Buyers Guide & FAQ’s

Do I need to take training for woodturning as a beginner?

It can be a great idea to watch some videos or read books to understand how it is done. If you have a natural-born interest in it, you will surely be able to grasp it within days.

 

What should be the safety measures to use a lathe as a beginner?

You should wear all the protective gear first and then check if the spindle is locked correctly. Also, do not forget to check if the wood piece is tightened correctly to exterminate all dangers.

 

Is woodturning easy?

It all depends on your interest. If someone is forcing you to enter this field, it might seem complicated and boring, but if you are interested in it, you can surely make this field your own without facing difficulties.

 

Summary

You might have to face some difficulties handling the wood at the start, but all of these difficulties will gradually vanish, and you will find yourself enhanced and experienced. You will just have to keep going till that moment arrives and keep improving and enhancing your skills till then.