Best Wood Turning Lathe [Review]

by | Feb 19, 2021

Our Top Picks 

Best Value

Shop Fox W1704 Woodturning Lathe

Shop Fox W1704 Woodturning Lathe

Top Choice

JET JWL-1221VS Woodturning Lathe

Jet JWL-1221VS Woodturning Lathe

Premium option

Laguna Tools Revo 24:36 Lathe

Laguna Tools Revo 24:36 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.

Woodturning is unquestionably a very vast field where a person can literally roam hundreds of options and show its creativity. If you have enthusiasm for woodturning, you should step into this field without a second thought, and you will surely not regret your decision. But the thing is, some things are required to perform woodturning. It does not exceptionally matter if you are a beginner; you will need those things to get started and get a good grip over your work. One of those things is, of course, a woodturning lather. That is why it is essential to get your hands on the best woodturning lathe to ease up your adventure in this field.

There are hundreds of best woodturning lathes available on the internet, but do you know which one is the best fit for you? You might not! That is why I will help you pick the best one that can offer you its premium value.

If you are a beginner and want to find the best beginner wood lathes then check out the article

What to look for when getting the best woodturning lathe?

If you want to avoid hassles for your great future, then do not forget to check these things before buying any woodturning lathe.

  • Size: As you might know, woodturning lathes come in different sizes. Now you will have to pick the one according to your project sizes. You can pick between full-sized lathes, Midi lathes, or mini wood lathes.
  • Durability and reliability: If you don’t want your lathe to vibrate drastically while working, do not forget to check which material it is made of. That material will also ensure its long-term service in the sense of overall durability and flexibility.
  • Motor Strength: Motor strength plays a vital role in a woodturning lathe. That is why you will have to check the HP of your preferred woodturning lathe and will also have to determine if it will be enough for your projects or not. Just know that the higher the HP, the better the performance of your lathe.
  • Swing Capacity: Swing capacity tells you how big of the wood you can place on the lathe. If you usually go with more significant projects, you would have to pick the lathe with more capacity. But if you are a beginner or pick small projects, then a lathe with low swing capacity can also do the job.

 

Top 10 Best Woodturning Lathe to buy for your projects!

Well, the time is here to feast our eyes with some of the best woodturning lathes available around.

The Best Wood turning Lathes

1.Shop Fox W1704 Woodturning Lathe

Shop Fox W1704 Woodturning Lathe

If you are looking for a good but budget solution for your woodturning needs, then this option can be an excellent and premium fit for you. We have started with a budget woodturning lathe so that you can know the actual difference between a budget and a premium woodturning lathe. Aside from that, this woodturning lathe has seriously got some excellent features for its price, and it can easily cover all the needs of a beginner woodturner.

This Woodturning lathe comes with the 1/3 HP and 2 AMP motor, which is undoubtedly an excellent fit for small projects. Another thing to actually note here is that it is a bench-top lathe, and that is why it can’t handle big projects. But for small or medium-sized projects, you can get excellent efficiency in your projects. Shop Fox has also offered 8 Inch swing in this lathe so that the woodturners can easily place different sizes of woods on it. Another great thing about this lathe is that there is an option available for variable speed control. Most of the budget woodturning lathes don’t offer this feature in their machines, but Shop Fox has done a great job to offer it even in this budget.

As the cherry on top, the construction of this lathe is also outstanding as it is made of Iron. You won’t have to worry about massive vibrations or hassles while crafting your ideas. Not only that, but the Iron will also help it to run for a more extended period so that you can use it for an extended period before getting anything replaced.

Key Features

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1/3 HP Motor

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12-Inch Distance Between Centers

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8 Inch Swing

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Iron Construction

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Low Vibration

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Great Value

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Two Tool Rests

2.Jet JWL-1221VS Woodturning Lathe

JET JWL-1221VS Woodturning Lathe

If you have just entered the Woodturning field, then just know that you will see the products of Jet everywhere. Whether it is a lathe, chisels, other tools, or any other thing related to woodturning, Jet offers it all. If you are experienced, then you would know the quality and reliability of Jet’s products. Well, to the main topic, this woodturning lathe cannot be called a cheap lathe, but it is a budget one. If you don’t really want to spend more than a thousand bucks, then it can indeed be your pick. Woodturners are provided with the massive 1 HP motor that can easily handle big projects too.

The best thing about this exceptional wood lathe is that there are 24 indexing positions integrated into it to offer feasibility to the users. You can try out different styles due to this and can come up with new ideas too. If we talk about speed management, you can choose between 60 to 3600 RPM, which creates excellent convenience for the users. As for the size goes, the woodturners can place the wood of size 12”x21” easily on it. If you are an actual beginner, you might not go with that big wood, but it is still a good idea to be on the safe side.

There are also two tool caddies integrated into this lathe so that the woodturners can keep their tools safe and sound with them. All of the features available in this lathe are pretty easy and don’t require anything to study about. Even if you are a real amateur, you will be able to locate all the options with ease.

Key Features

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1 HP Motor

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Two Tool Caddies

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12" x 21" Size

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Adjustable Speed

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Easy-to-use

3.Laguna Tools Revo 24/36 Lathe

Laguna Tools Revo 24:36 Lathe

If you are looking for something powerful and can handle all types of projects, you will have to consider this best woodturning lathe. The most premium thing about this lathe is that it comes with an extra-ordinary 3 HP motor that can easily and efficiently handle all types of projects. The woodturners can also adjust the speed as per their preferences and the size of their projects. The maximum RPM of this lathe is 1725, which is also very good. You won’t certainly have to face any types of troubles with this much speed and power while woodturning.

Laguna has also integrated some safety features in this lathe, which offers easiness to the users. There is an emergency button provided right on the lathe to stop the lathe in an unfortunate situation. But it is always and really a good idea to avoid any type of uncertain situation by taking safety precautions before working. Another great thing about this lathe is that the woodturners can also reverse their rotation with just a single button. There is no need to follow lengthy procedures to reverse it. To keep track of the speed, a display is available on the lathe that can show the current RMP your lathe is running on.

This lathe comes with iron legs to offer you a sturdy and stable woodturning experience if we talk about flexibility and portability. You will not have to fix it on any table due to this feature. Because of the iron structure, woodturners also get excellent durability and reliability to benefit them for longer-term.

Key Features

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3 HP Motor

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RMP Adjustment

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1725 Max RPM

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RMP Display

4.Grizzly Industrial G0766 Lathe

Grizzly Industrial G0766 Lathe

Grizzly is another great name in the woodturning industry that offers premium products and machines to the woodturners. It is again an excellent option for experienced as well as beginner woodturners. But because of its power and features, I would recommend you to go with it if you want to have a lathe for big projects. It can also be a great option if you are a beginner and want to start big right from the beginning. If we talk about the basic features of this best woodturning lathe, it comes with the 3 phase 3 HP motor. The motor strength is pretty similar to the one we previously discussed. That is why it is an excellent fit for more significant projects.

The swing support of this lathe is 22”, which is pretty good for various projects. You quickly try out your ideas with this much swing without any difficulties. The variable speed of this lathe ranges from 100 RPM to 3200 RMP. Wood tuners can easily adjust it through the electrical speed variable control integrated on the lathe. The best thing is, there is a digital readout for the variable speed so that you can always know at which speed you are running your lathe.

This lathe’s overall quality and durability are also outstanding, and Grizzly has undoubtedly done an excellent job o make it sturdy with the iron legs. Most of the woodturners face vibration, but with this one, it isn’t very likely.

Key Features

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3 HP Motor

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3 Phase Power

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Swing Over A Bed of 22"

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3200 RPM Max

5.Jet JWL-1840EVS

Jet JWL-1840EVS

So here we are again with another Jet woodturning lathe. As I stated earlier, Jet is pretty famous in the woodturning world because of its premium quality and machines’ features. If we talk about this specific variant, it has also got some great features making it the best woodturning lathe. This lathe is integrated with a 2 HP motor that can indeed support many offers and can also offer premium RMPs to the woodturners. The maximum RPM of this lathe is 3200 RPM, and the lowest RPM is 40. Woodturners are allowed to adjust the RPM depending on the size of their project and working style.

In this variant, Jet has focused more on making it more comfortable, durable, and sturdy with its features. This is also the main reason to provide a 4-legged iron stand that can easily hold the lathe without creating much vibration. Aside from that, the size support of 18”x40” is also very good for various projects.

To make this lathe even more secured, Jet has infused a non-marring and positive locking wedge system in this lathe that holds the tool firmly without losing ends. Along with all the great features and specifications, the brand has undoubtedly done an excellent job for the safety of its users.

So here we are again with another Jet woodturning lathe. As I stated earlier, Jet is pretty famous in the woodturning world because of its premium quality and machines’ features. If we talk about this specific variant, it has also got some great features making it the best woodturning lathe. This lathe is integrated with a 2 HP motor that can indeed support many offers and can also offer premium RMPs to the woodturners. The maximum RPM of this lathe is 3200 RPM, and the lowest RPM is 40. Woodturners are allowed to adjust the RPM depending on the size of their project and working style.

In this variant, Jet has focused more on making it more comfortable, durable, and sturdy with its features. This is also the main reason to provide a 4-legged iron stand that can easily hold the lathe without creating much vibration. Aside from that, the size support of 18”x40” is also very good for various projects.

To make this lathe even more secured, Jet has infused a non-marring and positive locking wedge system in this lathe that holds the tool firmly without losing ends. Along with all the great features and specifications, the brand has undoubtedly done an excellent job for the safety of its users.

Key Features

R

2 HP Motor

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Single Phase Power

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Support of 18" x 40"

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3200 RPM Max Speed

6.Grizzly Industrial H8259 Lathe

Grizzly Industrial H8259 Lathe

Grizzly Industrial H8259 can be an excellent pick for those who usually work with small workpieces. Not only that, it can also be an excellent fit for the ones who are just starting with their woodturning career. This lathe supports small and medium sizes of woods. The maximum size of wood you can place on this lathe is about 10”x18”. It is still pretty good for small and medium projects, and you won’t certainly have to face any problems with it.

This best woodturning lathe comes with a ½ HP motor, which can efficiently run on 110V. The reason for keeping HP low in this lathe is because of its size support. You won’t need more strength than this while working with this lathe. Do note that this lathe does not come with any sort of legs. You have to make it a benchtop lathe to use it conveniently. There are also various speed adjustments given in this lathe so that you can adjust it as per your project.

The best thing is, there is no rocket science in controlling the whole lathe as all the features are available right on the front with clear naming and instructions where needed.

Key Features

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1/2 HP Motor

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Single Phase

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110V Power

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Portable

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Speed Control Available

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Max RPM of 3337

7.Rikon 70-100 Lathe

Exotic Ironwood Blanks

If you are looking for something tiny that can easily fit anywhere in your workshop, then Rikon indeed has an excellent solution for your needs. This Rikon 70-100 lathe is a mini lathe that can make woodturning easy for you. It is ideal for amateur woodturners to try out various projects and furnish their skills as they want. Not only that, it can still be used professionally for small projects and crafts.

As for its features, this mini lathe is integrated with ½ HP motor and can also offer various speed modes. This mini lathe’s maximum RPM is 3900 RPM, which is very good for a lathe of this size. The lowest you can go with this lathe is 430 to concentrate more on your projects. You can place the wood pieces of size 12”x16” on it and start working with it. All of the lathe features are very straightforward, and anyone can use them without having any experience.

There are also 12 indexing positions available in this lathe, which allows the users to place their wood pieces in many various positions. If you want to save your very hard-earned money and still try out woodturning, this can be the best woodturning lathe for you.

Key Features

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1/2 HP Motor

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3900 Max RPM

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12" 16" Support Size

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12 Indexing Positions

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Self-Ejecting Tailstock

8.WEN 34027 Woodturning Lathe

WEN 34027 Woodturning Lathe

Here are another budget and an excellent woodturning lathe that can fulfill your wood requirements turning in a very meager budget. This lathe is for the ones who are short on money but still want to take their woodturning journey to the next level. If we talk about the specifications and features of this lathe, it is integrated with a 4.5 AMP motor. There is also the variable speed option available in this lathe as the user can adjust the speed from anywhere between 500-2500 RPM. It does not actually matter if you want a lower RPM or a higher RPM; it will be done as per your preferences with a single button.

The workpieces that you can use on this lathe should be the size of 12”x16”. Your workpieces can be smaller than this size but not more significant than this as it will not support it. There is also a digital speed display placed on this lathe, which helps the users to determine the speed of the lathe.

Another great thing about this best woodturning lathe is that it is pretty portable. Because of its weight, you can easily place it anywhere and start working with it. But it is always better to place it on a table on any other stable surface to reduce vibration and increase production. The overall durability of this lathe is also outstanding, and you can quickly expect it to serve you for years without any problem. But it also depends on you to manage it and use it correctly to ensure that it does not get affected by the environment or any other circumstances.

Key Features

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4.5 AMP Motor

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Different Speed Modes

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2500 RPM Max Speed

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12" x 16" Size Support

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Easy to Handle

9.Powermatic 1352001 Woodturning Lathe

Powermatic 1352001 Woodturning Lathe

If you really want to get your hands on the best ever deal out there on the internet, and you are also willing to spend extra money to get the best possible features, then Powermatic 1352001 can unquestionably an excellent fit for you. This excellent woodturning lathe is integrated with a potent 2 HP motor that can quickly handle your workpieces. Now you will not really have to worry about your lathe’s strength if it will be able to handle your work or not. You can freely use it without any sort of inconvenience or problems. This lathe can easily support wood pieces of size 20”x30”. This size is pretty big and can be an excellent fit for those woodturners who usually work with big and medium-sized projects.

There are also 24 indexing positions available in this lathe so that you can adjust your wood pieces just as you like. There will be plenty of other various options to choose from, and you will surely be able to pick the position as per your preferences. The woodturners are also allowed to adjust the speed of this lathe to work on various projects. Despite its price, it is also a good fit for beginners starting to like woodturning.

If we talk about the durability of this lathe, it is made up of top-notch quality iron. It won’t surely betray you and will offer you long-term woodturning services if you keep it maintained. It also comes with iron legs to make it even sturdier and durable to make the woodturning easy for the users.

Key Features

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2 HP Motor

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Speed Adjustment

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20-Inch Swing

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Heavy Duty Iron

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Built in Storage

10.Jet JWL 10-15 Lathe

Jet JWL 10-15 Lathe

We have kept the last one in our list quite affordable so that all types of woodturners can get their hands on it without any troubles. This exceptional lathe supports six spindle speeds with a maximum of 2975 RPM and a minimum 500 RPM speed. There are also 24 indexing positions infused in it so that you can try out various positions for your workpieces.

The best thing and the greatest feature about this lathe is that it offers the users feasibility even with staying on a low budget. It offers a wide bed to the woodturners so that it could be easy to place the wood pieces of various sizes. You can get your hands on this lathe if you are planning to start with small projects. As this lathe does not support big wood pieces, the only option for you will be to try out medium-sized or small-sized wood pieces. You can still craft different amazing things and showcase your skills to your customers with this lathe.

Not only that, but the body of this lathe is also pretty good and durable. It will not surely break down from any point and will keep servicing you until you want. Other than that, its small size makes it very portable, and you can easily carry it anywhere you want.

Key Features

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Different Speed Modes

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24 Indexing Points

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Supports Size of 10"x15"

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Heavy Duty Iron

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Wider Bed Bays

Best Wood Turning Lathes Buyers Guide & FAQ’s

Can I get a full-sized lathe as a beginner?

You indeed can! But it is recommended to furnish your skills with a mini-sized lathe to perform better on the full-sized one.

Can lathes be dangerous?

Yes! That is why it is necessary to check all the things before running a lathe. Those things include proper installation of workpieces, optimal speed, and other similar things.

Can I use pine wood if I am an amateur?

Pine is a good option for both amateurs and even professionals. So there is no harm in using pine wood as a beginner.

Is woodturning difficult?

It can be at the start. But if you consult a professional or if you have enough enthusiasm for it, it will be a piece of cake for you.

Can you turn any type of wood on a lathe?

Ideally, yes! But it is essential to know if it will be easy to handle by you or not to avoid any consequences.

 

Final Verdict

So I have included all types of wood lathes in this list that you can get your hands on. Do not forget to pick one according to your expertise as you might face some difficulties while turning the wood. Not only that, consider your budget, preferences, and project sizes too to determine the best fit from the lathes mentioned above.