I still remember those years when I was a beginner in the woodworking business, and I used various tools for woodturning. Significantly, the best wood lathes helped me infinitely in accomplishing my goals. Today, when I am a professional woodworker, I still love these essential wood-turning tools. They offer you excellent precision, accuracy, safety, flawless turning without screws or scratches, and neatness. In addition to this, you can do a variety of woodturning tasks with wood lathes to enhance the expression of your creativity.
Different manufacturing units offer you premium quality wood lathes. This is an excellent thing to have a variety to choose from, but at the same time, it can also make you confused in finalizing the product of your choice. However, there are no worries because some excellent wood lathes from the well-known brands that we have tested give superior performance. So, we have reviewed those top-notch products for you in this review and buyer’s guide. Please keep reading to know more about the best products!
Best Wood Lathes | Reviewing the Top-Notch Products
1. Mophorn-1/2HP 4 Speed Power Benchtop Wood Turning Lathe
- Powerful engine
- 4 Grade speed
- Solid steel construction
Mophorn 1/2HP 4 Speed Power Benchtop Wood Turning Lathe is one of the best wood lathes that you should not miss because it has a unique package of features for you. It has a robust operation, largest working capacity, and highly durable construction. I have been using this wood lathe for quite some time, and I must admire it for its matchless speed compared to the conventional wood lathes on the market.
Mophorn comes with a powerful motor having a horsepower of ½ HP, and it needs 120 Volts for operation. The good news is that this motor is specialized for starting gradually, so as a result, there is minimal noise with maximum efficiency. In addition to this, we are glad to mention that this wood lathe comes with the variable speed option, which is referred to as the ‘4 Grade Speed’. That means you can vary the speed of this wood lathe by choosing 3400, 1100, 1600, 2300, and 3400 rotations per minute (RPM).
All you have to do is adjust the belts according to your requirement and enjoy the most accurate results that Mophorn 1/2HP will produce. This wood lathe is made with superior grade materials like stainless steel. That is why this wood lathe is unbeatable for durability and longevity of life. Not just this, but also the smooth operation and stability of this wood lathe are also admirable.
- Excellent working capacity
- Multiple speed adjustability feature
- Powerful and uninterrupted operation
- Misaligned frontal and back ends
If you are lost in the long list of wood lathes with various characteristics but unable to decide the final one to purchase, then we have the best suggestion for you. We are indicating towards the premium grade wood lathe, which is Mophorn 1/2HP. This wood lathe is matchless for smoother operation, adjustability, multiple speed ranges, and highly durable construction. Therefore, opting for this fantastic product will ease your professional life.
2. WEN 3421-3.2-Amp 8 by 12 Variable Speed Mini Benchtop Wood Lathe
- 3.2 AMP
- 8 Inches Width
- Adjust the variable speed
WEN 3421 3.2-Amp 8″ by 12″ Variable Speed Mini Benchtop Wood Lathe has made a unique position in the heart of professional woodworking enthusiasts because of its unparalleled horsepower, freedom of speed adjustability, and effectiveness for several woodturning ideas. Therefore, it won’t be wrong to call it one of the best wood lathes you can consider for purchasing in the current year.
If you are into the woodturning business that includes smaller and sophisticated wooden workpieces, then WEN 3421 is the best option. If you have a tight place on your garage, then you can adjust this highly compact wood lathe in that because it has a length of 12 inches and a width of 8 inches. Another notable feature of this excellent wood lathe is its flexible speed range adjustability.
To be more specific, we are glad to mention that you can change the speed of WEN 3421 from 750 to 3200 rotations per minute (RPM) depending upon the requirements of your woodworking application. If you are wondering about the effective operation of this wood lathe, then we must tell you the real champion behind it: it’s motor with 3.2 Amperes. This is a highly powerful motor compared to the traditional wood lathes having 8 inches specification.
- Premium grade cast iron frame
- Highly durable and stable construction
- Speed adjustability feature
- The locking mechanism needs improvement
It’s time to realize your dream of maximum efficiency and productivity in making the smaller wood pieces by grabbing the most suitable wood lathe-like WEN 3421. Based on my experience with this excellent wood lathe, I am highly impressed by its motor power, adjustability, outstanding cutting speed, and space-saving design. Therefore, I strongly recommend you not miss this masterpiece for your woodworking business.
3. SHOP FOX W1704-1/3-Horsepower Benchtop Lathe
- 1/3 Horsepower
- Perfect for beginners
When it comes to the features like durable construction, effective operation, and flexible speed control settings, no other wood lathe can compete with SHOP FOX W1704 1/3-Horsepower Benchtop Lathe. I must approve of these features because I have been using them for quite some time. Due to these features, this wood lathe falls in the class of the best wood lathes that you should consider procuring for your wood workshop.
The most prominent feature associated with the SHOP FOX W1704 is its highly powerful motor with a horsepower of 1/3 HP and amperage of 2 Amperes. This motor operates in a single-phase manner with 60 Hz specifications. In addition to this, you will also love this excellent wood lathe for its speed adjustability feature because it allows you to change the speed in the range of 700 to 3200 rotations per minute (RPM).
When I used SHOP FOX W1704, I loved its highly durable construction. We should be grateful to the SHOP FOX manufacturers for adopting premium grade stainless steel to make this wood lathe. Due to this durable construction, you will see this wood lathe accompanying you in several tasks without showing any signs of deterioration.
- Matchless durability and portability
- Variable speed range
- Maximized efficiency
- Knobs fitting needs improvement
SHOP FOX W1704 is a package of happiness for all the woodworking enthusiasts that love to do wood-turning activities. This wood lathe is the perfect example of the highly durable construction, powerful motor, and excellent speed range. Therefore, if you have decided to invest your money in this wood lathe, we will strongly encourage you to do so.
4. JET JWL-1221VS 719200-12 x 21 Variable – Speed Woodworking Lathe
- Tool storage on both side
- Easy controls
- Best for beginners
There are different features due to which JET JWL-1221VS 719200 12″x21″ Variable-Speed Woodworking Lathe has excelled over the market worthy competitors as it offers you highly convenient controls, freedom of controlling speed, and remarkably innovative design. That is why we have placed it on the list of the best wood lathes. This wood lathe is also good in terms of the user’s safety.
The JET JWL manufacturers have equipped it with the ON/OFF button having a yellow color which is detachable, and it will be providing you with additional safety. In addition to this, JET JWL-1221VS is also appreciable for the highly convenient control system. You won’t find any difficulty reaching the control system and user-friendly digital readout.
You will be excited to learn that this wood lathe offers you different speeds that you can adjust depending upon the requirements of your work. There are other ranges like 60 to 900 RPM, 110 to 1800 RPM, and 220 to 3600 RPM. This wood lathe comes with a highly innovative design based on the modified belt tensioning system made in the ratchet.
- User-friendly design and operation
- Highly convenient storage
- Additional safety keys
- Heavyweight wood lathe
If you can not decide the type of woodworking lathe for your workshop, don’t worry because we are here with the best suggestion for you: opt for the JET JWL-1221VS. This wood lathe comes with a range of the best features like additional safety, highly innovative design, and variable speed controls. Considering my experience with this excellent wood lathe, I strongly recommend you to go for it.
5. Delta Industrial 46-460-12-1/2-Inch Variable-Speed Midi Woodworking Lathe
- Powerful tool
- Electronic variable speed
- Accuracy is good
Delta Industrial 46-460 12-1/2-Inch Variable-Speed Midi Woodworking Lathe is among the best wood lathes that come with a lightweight design, robust operation, maximum efficiency, precision, and speed. That is the reason several woodworking enthusiasts prefer working with this electric corded wood lathe having excellent durability and high-end performance.
Delta Industrial 46-460 weighs only 97 pounds and has 36 inches x 11 inches x 17.75 inches (L x W x H). So, unlike the bulkier models available on the market, this electric wood lathe is easy to transport to your garage. You will enjoy the best speed with it as it offers 1725 rotations per minute (RPM) while the horsepower of the motor inside it is 1 HP. So you can enjoy a range of applications with it.
One of the most prominent features of this wood lathe is its excellent swing capacity. To be more specific, this wood lathe offers you a larger swing capacity of 12 – ½ inches of swing. You won’t find this much larger swing capacity in other market-worthy options. In addition, you will also be glad that it comes with the drive spindle of the 8 RH TPI thread having one inch of the size.
- Varied speed control
- Powerful motor
- Matchless swing
If you dream about a wood lathe that can perform efficiently and help you in getting your work done quickly, then Delta Industrial 46-460 is the best choice to go for. This wood lathe is matchless in its unique features like drive spindle, superior finishing, and efficient belt tensioning system. Therefore, you will make the best decision to go for this wood lathe.
6. PSI KWL-1218VS Turn Crafter Commander 12 Midi Wood Lathe – Professional Wood Lathe
- Adjust the belt in 2 positions
- Beginners can use this easily
PSI KWL-1218VS Turn Crafter Commander 12″ Midi Wood Lathe is the perfect example of versatility and innovativeness because it offers you an excellent induction motor and a unique headstock thread that are difficult to find in other conventional wood lathes. That is why it won’t be wrong to include it in the category of the best wood lathes.
We are also glad to mention that PSI KWL-1218VS comes with a highly advanced ETL referred to as the KWL-1218VS, which replaces the TCLC12VS. ETL. The good news is that the new ETL has Intertek certification showing the high quality of this wood lathe. The motor of this woodworking lathe has a horsepower of 1 HP.
Another worthy thing about this woodworking lathe is its remarkably efficient motor and SBC microprocessor that will help you accomplish your tasks with ease and without any interruption. You will also enjoy the freedom of the speed adjustability as you can adjust the belt in two positions and which are 500 to 1800 and 1950 to 3800 rotations per minute (RPM).
- Excellent swing capacity
- Superior grade cast iron construction
- User-friendly digital readout feature
- Flex shaft durability needs improvement
It’s time to get done with your woodturning activities efficiently because PSI KWL-1218VS is here to help you in all the complicated woodworking and turning tasks. With the easy spindle locking, speed adjustment, and effective operation, you will be able to turn your creativity into magic. Therefore, we strongly suggest you go for it.
7. RIKON 70-150VSR-12″ x 16-1/2″ 1HP DC Midi VSR Woodworking Lathe
- Electronic variable speed
RIKON 70-150VSR 12″ x 16-1/2″ 1HP DC Midi VSR Woodworking Lathe has excelled over the conventional woodworking lathes because it is matchless in terms of precision, durability, powerful action, and highly mobile control box. These are the features that render RIKON 70-150VSR to be one of the best wood lathes that you should consider purchasing in 2023.
The most fantastic feature of the RIKON 70-150VSR is its highly powerful DC motor with a horsepower of 1 HP. This motor will help you accomplish all kinds of woodturning tasks ranging from commercial scale to DIY projects. In addition to this, you will be at ease using this wood lathe because it offers you a speed adjustability feature.
Also, you will enjoy converting speed in the forward and reverse manner by using the digital read to change the direction in addition to the rotations per minute. RIKON 70-150VSR comes with a mobile control box having a back made from a magnet. This gives you the option to move it in the frontal region for easier access.
- Slightly expensive
The marketplace has various woodturning tools, but RIKON 70-150VSR has remained the best because of the ease of use and smoother operation. I have been using this excellent wood lathe, and I must appreciate the manufacturers with the highly durable construction, robust operation, and smoother finishing results.
8. Grizzly DRO Industrial G0462-16 x 46 Wood Lathe – Best Lathe For The Money
- Heavy duty product
- 10 Variable speeds
- Minimal vibration
When it comes to the features like innovative headstock spindle, effective operation, accuracy, and safety, then Grizzly DRO Industrial G0462-16″ x 46″ Wood Lathe have remained matchless. That is why this is one of the best wood lathes that offer you different features that are not found in other conventional wood lathes.
The incredible feature of the Grizzly DRO is its speed controllability features. You will be glad to learn that it comes with ten different speed control options. Depending upon the woodworking application you are working on, you can vary the speed in the range of 600 to 2400 rotations per minute (RPM). This wood lathe has a distance of 43 inches between the central points.
When I purchased this wood lathe, I was highly impressed with its noise-free and smoother operation. Never had I observed this woodworking horse making any vibrations. This high-end vibration-free performance is indeed attributable to the excellent bed and legs. Thanks to the manufacturers for making its bed and legs with the premium grade cast iron.
- Highly economical price
- Highly durable construction
- Vibration and noise-free performance
- Motor heating up
If you are tired of a dysfunctional wood lathe making you crazy with its sounds and vibration, then why not change it with the most efficient wood lathe available, and that is Grizzly DRO. This wood lathe will amaze you with its smooth operation and flawless finishing results. Therefore, we strongly recommend you to go for it.
9. Powermatic 3520C 35 x 20 2HP 1PH 220V Wood Lathe – Best Budget Lathe
- Maximum Comfort
- Extended spindle nose
- Customizable versatility
Powermatic 3520C 35″x20″ 2HP 1PH 220V Wood Lathe will be the best addition to your garage because it offers you a blend of unique features like user-friendly design, additional safety, and highly adjustable features. Therefore, opting for this wood lathe will enhance your productivity considerably. It is among the best wood lathes that have gained the most positive reviews by professional and regular users.
The best feature associated with the Powermatic 3520C is its simplified and exact indexing system with a user-friendly digital readout. You can realize the customization and versatility feature of this wood lathe from its highly mobile control box that has been equipped with magnetic constituents.
In addition to these features, you will also love this wood lathe for the freedom of adjustability that it offers. Powermatic 3520C is made with unique riser blocks that will help you adjust the height with the four inches progression. Also, the manufacturers have considered the safety of the users and embedded the unique VFD, which is entirely enclosed.
- Increased protection
- Highly ergonomic spindle lock
- Modifiable riser blocks
- Complicated assemblage
Powermatic 3520C is jam-packed with excellent features like safety enhanced design, laser etched quill, and ease of customization. Not just this, other features will make you prefer it over the other conventional wood lathe. Therefore, we strongly recommend you to go for this fantastic wood-turning tool. This is a must-consider option!
10. Excelsior Mini Woodworking Lathe – Best Full-Size Wood Lathe
- Small table legs
- 5 Variable speeds
Excelsior Mini Woodworking Lathe is the most eminent option among the best wood lathes because it has all the features to make your woodturning more fun. These features include highly convenient and user-friendly operation, heavy-duty and durable construction, and remarkably powerful functions.
Excelsior Mini is appreciable for the unique headstock design with the spur center. In addition, there is a live center located on the tailstock with premium-grade ball bearings. This innovative design ensures smoother functionality and precisely finished results. Also, you will be glad to learn that this wood lathe comes with adjustment levers.
These levers are cam locking to ensure better safety and protection while working. Excelsior Mini offers you different speed ranges considering your convenience. You can easily adjust it for the speeds like 760, 1100, 1600, 2200, and 3200 rotations per minute (RPM). This is a highly compact and lightweight wood lathe with only 83 pounds.
- Varied speed control options
- Excellent horsepower
- Lightweight design
- Slight shaking
Suppose high power and different speeds are your requirements for your woodturning, and you are facing confusion in finalizing the most relevant product. In that case, we have the best recommendation for you: go for Excelsior Mini. If you go for this mini workhorse, it will not disappoint you in the long term. We can guarantee this because it had delivered the best results when we used it.
Pre-Purchase Considerations for Top-Notch Wood Lathe
After reading about the top-notch products we have reviewed for you, we hope you will be in a better position to choose the best product that is in alignment with your requirements and woodturning applications. All the best wood lathes covered in this review and buyer’s guide are tested and trusted. However, we also understand your position and the confusion you might face when it comes to finalizing the product of your choice.
There are no worries if you are in a state of perplexity because we have done this homework for you. All you have to do is read this buyer’s guide with concentration and keep the pre-purchase considerations in mind before finalizing the purchase. If you do so, we assure you that you will end up purchasing the best woodworking lathe for your garage. So, be mindful and grab the best product. Here we go with these factors!
Motor Power of the Woodworking Lathe
The first and the most crucial consideration that you should never forget is to check the motor power of the wood lathe that you have finalized to purchase. You can quickly determine the motor power of the lathe by checking its horsepower. Horsepower (HP) is the universally accepted unit for measuring energy. If you go for the high-end wood lathe with the larger motor powers, you will enjoy uninterrupted and smoother results.
Another essential feature that has a connection with the wood lathe’s motor power is the speed. If you go for the expensive wood lathe, they have good speed to give you the finished product. As a result, you will see a considerable boost in your productivity and efficiency. So, whether you are a DIY woodturning enthusiast or professional, you should go for the wood lathes with excellent horsepower. Some of the best wood lathes with a tremendous motor power that you can opt for are:
- Delta Industrial 46-460 12-1/2-Inch Variable-Speed Midi Woodworking Lathe
- Mophorn 1/2HP 4 Speed Power Benchtop Wood Turning Lathe
- WEN 3421 3.2-Amp 8″ by 12″ Variable Speed Mini Benchtop Wood Lathe
- SHOP FOX W1704 1/3-Horsepower Benchtop Lathe
- JET JWL-1221VS 719200 12″x21″ Variable-Speed Woodworking Lathe
Suitability with the Application
Another important pre-purchase consideration that you should not forget is the type of application you are purchasing a wood lathe. There are chances that you are a DIY woodturning enthusiast and do woodturning occasionally. On the other hand, you can be a professional woodturner with the commercial need for a wood lathe. The critical point is to choose the most relevant wood lathe per your requirement.
The good news is that market place has several wood lathes that come in various sizes and specifications. If you have a smaller space available and make smaller objects, you can opt for the micro lathe. On the other hand, if you need to make oversized products, we strongly recommend you purchase a full-size wood lathe with advanced features that can help you make commercially suitable wood objects.
Safety Comes First!
In the list of the pre-purchase considerations, we must not forget to tell you that you should never compromise on the safety feature. Sometimes, working with the wood lathe or other woodworking tools can be highly dangerous. Especially if you are a beginner, ignoring this factor can lead to disastrous results. However, the good news is that different well-known manufacturers are making wood lathes with additional safety features.
We strongly recommend investing your money in the wood lathe models that come with protection features. In this regard, another important thing is to be careful while working with the wood lathe. You should not wear any jewelry or lose clothes because they can be quickly drawn towards the wood lathe, resulting in miserable conditions.
Speed and Speed Adjustability of the Wood Lathe
Based on my experience, I suggest you always opt for the wood lathe models that offer you a range of different speed controls. For example, some models can provide you with up to ten-speed ranges. If you opt for such innovative wood lathe models, you can use them for multiple applications that need slow, medium, or larger rotations per minute (RPM). If you make the right choice, it will save you from the hassle of purchasing the new wood lathe for other applications. Some of the premium quality choices that you can go for are:
- Excelsior Mini Woodworking Lathe
- Powermatic 3520C 35″x20″ 2HP 1PH 220V Wood Lathe
- Grizzly DRO Industrial G0462-16″ x 46″ Wood Lathe
- RIKON 70-150VSR 12″ x 16-1/2″ 1HP DC Midi VSR Woodworking Lathe
- PSI KWL-1218VS Turn Crafter Commander 12″ Variable Speed Midi Wood Lathe
- Delta Industrial 46-460 12-1/2-Inch Variable-Speed Midi Woodworking Lathe
Frequently Asked Questions
Which are the best wood lathes to procure in the current year?
We have conducted tests on a wide range of wood lathes, and we are glad to mention that few of them consistently expressed the best performance. They include Excelsior Mini Woodworking Lathe, Delta Industrial 46-460 12-1/2-Inch Variable-Speed Midi Woodworking Lathe, RIKON 70-150VSR 12″ x 16-1/2″ 1HP DC Midi VSR Woodworking Lathe, Powermatic 3520C 35″x20″ 2HP 1PH 220V Wood Lathe, Grizzly DRO Industrial G0462-16″ x 46″ Wood Lathe, and PSI KWL-1218VS Turn Crafter Commander 12″ Variable Speed Midi Wood Lathe.
Which factors influence the quality of the woodworking lathe?
Some critical pre-purchase considerations and factors play an influential role in the quality determination of the woodworking lathe. They include speed, speed, stability, base and legs material, the material used for the frame, the capacity of working, motor power or horsepower, and swing. Also, you can check the additional factors like ease of adjustability, safety, quiet operation, and vibration-free performance.
Which wood lathes give the smoothest finishing results?
Several woodworking lathes are famous for their precise and smoother finishing results. They include Delta Industrial 46-460 12-1/2-Inch Variable-Speed Midi Woodworking Lathe, Mophorn 1/2HP 4 Speed Power Benchtop Wood Turning Lathe, JET JWL-1221VS 719200 12″x21″ Variable-Speed Woodworking Lathe, SHOP FOX W1704 1/3-Horsepower Benchtop Lathe, and WEN 3421 3.2-Amp 8″ by 12″ Variable Speed Mini Benchtop Wood Lathe.
With this section, we would like to wrap up this detailed review and buyer’s guide covering the best wood lathes in addition to the essential pre-purchase considerations. We hope this review will help you decide the best woodworking lathe for you, no matter if you are a DIY woodworking enthusiast or a professional working in commercial setups. Also, we strongly recommend you not to forget the pre-purchase considerations that we have shared with you. We have narrowed down our choice to the top four products, and they are:
Mophorn 1/2HP 4 Speed Power Benchtop Wood Turning Lathe due to its excellent working capacity, multiple speed adjustability feature, and robust operation
WEN 3421 3.2-Amp 8″ by 12” Variable Speed Mini Benchtop Wood Lathe due to its premium grade cast iron frame, highly durable and stable construction, and speed adjustability feature
SHOP FOX W1704 1/3-Horsepower Benchtop Lathe due to its matchless durability and portability, variable speed range, and maximized efficiency
JET JWL-1221VS 719200 12″x21″ Variable-Speed Woodworking Lathe due to its user-friendly design and operation, highly convenient storage, additional safety keys
Thank you for reading this review and buyer’s guide till the end. Don’t forget to pour down your views in the comments section.