Wood lathes are a must-have tool for all woodworkers. The best wood lathe machines shape wooden workpieces into beautiful objects such as utensils, bowls, spoons, and other decorative items.
Wood lathe machines come in three sizes: mini, midi, and full lathe. The mini machine is ideal for small projects while a commercial workshop would be better off using the full-size machines.
In this guide, we will look at 10 wood lathes for sale that are ideal for a woodworking business.
Best Wood Lathes for Sale
Powermatic 3520C Centennial Edition Wood Lathe
Top Pick: This centennial edition is the Gold Standard in woodturning. It comes with all the features that expert woodturners look for in a good lathe such as the electronic variable speed with low and high-speed ranges, a laser etched quill that is self-ejecting, a sliding headstock, digital RPM readout, cast iron construction that virtually eliminates vibration, and a spindle lock. Because this is not your typical wood lathe, it also comes with enhanced features such as a digital indexing readout, a set of dead centers which hold a spindle for visual comparison, and a sliding hammer knockout rod with brass tip, among others. The price is way above many lathes, but you certainly won’t be disappointed.
JET JWL-1840EVS Wood Lathe
Runner Up: If the 5-year warranty doesn’t sway your decision, then the features will surely do. The 1840EVS is designed to be as versatile as you are. The conveniently-located digital readout lets you adjust the speed from 40 to 3,200 RPM while the headstock slides the full length of the bed and pivots 360 degrees. And because JET cares about your general well-being, this lathe includes 4-inch cast iron rises that allow you to easily adjust the working height for maximum comfort.
Shop Fox W1704 Benchtop Wood Lathe
Best Value: If you are short of space or you just need a lathe that can handle small projects, then the W1704 lathe is worth a look. This lathe is made of durable cast iron and is designed to fit neatly on a workbench. It features a safety paddle switch, and a variable-speed motor that delivers spindle speeds between 700 and 3,200 RPM, and it also includes a 4-1/2 and 7-inch tool rest for various turning applications. Despite its mini size, this tool will meet a lot of your wood-turning needs.
JET JWL-1440VS Woodworking Lathe
Looking for a versatile wood lathe? Look no further than the JET JWL-1440VS. This adaptable wood lathe can be adjusted to accomplish a wide variety of woodworking needs. It is tight, straight, sturdy, and quiet. It comes with variable speeds ranging from 400 to 3,000 RPM, a sliding headstock that allows for seven positive locking positions and pivots 360 degrees, and a locking tool rest for a secure hold. Try the 1440VS and see how versatility takes shape.
RIKON 12-by-16-Inch Mini Lathe
Do more with less space using this powerful RIKON mini lathe. Despite its mini size, this lathe is powerful and runs smoothly. It offers unique features such as a 12-position index head for accurate pattern work, a convenient tool holder, easy access to quick speed changes, and the ability to add multiple extensions. With 12 inches over the bed and 16 inches between centers, this mini lather offers you enough space for your woodworking while maintaining a low profile on the workbench.
Grizzly GO842 Industrial Wood Lathe
The GO842 is the best wood lathe for beginners. With a variable-speed spindle, 110V, and 3/4 HP motor, this machine easily reproduces woodwork design using the copy stylus that follows an existing turned spindle.
Shop Fox W1758 Wood Lathe
Variable speed from 600 to 2,400 RPM, 2 HP motor, ten speeds, a digital tachometer for exact spindle speed, precision ground cast iron bed, and cast iron legs that ensures minimal vibration and great stability, are just some of the few features that make the Shop Fox W1758 one of the best wood lathes for woodworking professionals.
Powermatic PM2014 Woodworking Lathe
Powermatic produces some of the best woodworking lathes and this certainly lives up to expectations. This lathe uses a 115V single-phase power source and delivers 1HP, 230V, and 3PH performance that allows you to get the maximum speed with minimum input. The premium sliding headstock allows for greater clearance for outboard turning while the sturdy cast iron bed reduces vibration. And like any well-thought-out lathe, the PM2014 stand can be adjusted from 34 inches to 46 inches so you can find a height that provides you with the most comfort.
Grizzly T25920 Wood Lathe
This midi lather feels a little underpriced given the features that it comes with. It boasts three speeds that range from 650 to 3800 RPM and you can easily make adjustments using the speed control knob. Having this level of control over speed makes woodturning so much more precise and gives you a lot of control that is hard to find in a lathe that doesn’t come with this feature. This lathe also includes a digital spindle speed indicator and uses heavy cast iron that makes it super sturdy. Certainly a great value for money.
Grizzly Industrial T32536 Benchtop Wood Lathe
Even though small in size, this mini wood lathe offers the precision and control that pen turners and miniature hobbyists demand. It comes with two interchangeable 4-1/4″ and 7″ tool rests, cast-iron construction, and an adjustable variable speed that ranges between 750 and 3200 RPM. The extra-large knurled spindle and tailstock knobs give you an ergonomic grip so you can comfortably work on your masterpiece. The T32536 is one of the best mini lathes.
What to Look for When Buying Wood Lathes
There are three fundamental questions that you need to ask yourself when looking for wood lathes for sale. What projects do you want to turn in? Will the wood lathe continue to serve you as the business grows? What’s your budget? Answering these questions is critical when looking for the best wood lathe. Additional things that you need to keep in mind include:
- Size: We mentioned this at the beginning. Wood lathes come in a variety of sizes. Full-size lathes will allow you to grow as high as you want. The midi lathes usually have decent Horsepower and adequate torque while working at lower rpm, while the mini lathes are perfect for small projects.
- Motor: How much horsepower does the motor supply? Lower horsepower is fine when working on small items, but it will bog you down when you want to work on larger projects. The ideal is a minimum of ¾ HP.
- Spindle Thread Size: You need to know the thread size of your spindle so as to get accurate faceplate and chucks. Spindle thread size is determined by the diameter first, then the threads per inch.
- Construction: You want to avoid vibration as much as possible. Some of the best wood lathes use cast iron which is great at absorbing vibration and is also sturdy.
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