Gun hobbyists, DIY machinists, model makers, and several other professionals use mini metal lathes for everyday needs. By using metal lathes, toolmakers find it easy to make threaded parts, fittings, and small precision parts.
A metal lathe is a simple tool turning a cylindrical object by having contact with the cutting tool. The material that you need to cut should remain stable to the chuck. DIY toolmakers do not need to buy a professional lathe machine. There are small and reliable metal lathes for their needs.
We have made a brief comparison of the top 3 mini metal lathes. Check the major features of these metal lathes and then read their reviews to learn about their features.
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Delta Industrial 46-460
- 1HP motor
- 1,725 RPM
- Forward and Reversing function
- Patented belt tensioning system
Grizzly G0602 Metal Lathe
- V-way bed
- 9 longitudinal feeds
- 1HP motor
- 2400 RPM
Mophorn Metal Lathe Precision
- 550W motor
- Precise system
- Durable bed
We have reviewed the best mini metal lathes for your metalworking needs. Check out their features to buy the right one.
1. Delta Industrial 46-460 Mini Metal Lathe
Delta Industrial Midi Lathe is the best overall pick in our review. The 1 HP motor can work at a variable speed of up to 1,725 RPMs. Electric speed control has a 3-pulley system. Thus, you may choose the right speed for your metalwork. There is no need to modify the belt position, and it is one of the advantages of the device. Like other lathes, this product also has forward/reverse functionalities. You may toggle between these functions to deliver a quality finish.
The 10-inch tool rests and 3-inch faceplate are the added features of this metal lathe. Moreover, you will find a 6-groove belt that delivers superior power for smooth turning. The cash iron model is highly durable and lasts long despite your regular use.
- Includes a special belt tensioning system
- 12-1/2-Inch lathe with a high capacity
- Swing capacity is high
- Faceplate and tool rest
- The casting spurs causing slight inconvenience
2. Grizzly G0602 Mini Metal Lathe
We have chosen it as the premium quality mini metal lathe best for commercial purposes, like artwork and gunsmithing. Thus, the capacity of this metal lathe is higher compared to that of other standard models.
The system includes a spindle bore having a dimension of 25 mm. Due to this special property, it is capable of turning bigger objects. There are 2 chucks with 3 jaws that are useful for the basic applications. Moreover, you will find a 4-jaw chuck with a dimension of 6.5 inches, and it is effective to deal with heavy work pieces.
The forward/reverse control is in a perfect position to enable you to rotate the spindle direction very easily. The 1-HP motor can work at 6 different speeds to suit it for a range of applications. The speed ranges from 150 to 2400 RPM.
The swing present over the tool bed is around 9.5 inches. The device also includes a 4-way rotating turret to let you use the system conveniently.
- 6 speed levels
- More than one chuck
- Best for heavy objects
- Include a backsplash guard and a chip tray
- Hinges are not welded properly
3. Mophorn Metal Lathe Precision
This product is the right choice for those who like to do metal work without investing a high amount. We have chosen it as the best budget mini metal lathe. As there is a variable speed rate, it can range from 50RPM to 2500 RPM. The TPI value ranges between 12 and 52. The chuck is also of high quality, and it has 3 jaws. The comprehensive package includes an oil can, nylon gears, wrenches, and a mask. Due to its reliable performance and affordability, you can invest in this product.
Although Mophorn Metal Lathe is a low-priced option, it has a remarkable design designed with the best quality components and materials. The 7” bed can be the acceptable choice for most of the standard applications. However, 14” DBC is perfect for dealing with longer projects.
- 3/4 Horsepower motor
- Durable iron bed
- Powerful and precise
- Includes a backsplash guard
- No presence of tool bits
4. Central Machinery 7 x 10 Precision Mini Lathe
Central Machinery has created the most precise, user-friendly, and effective mini lathe for beginners. Most of the users have found flawless design and performance in this product. Although there are plastic gears, the working mode is amazing.
With this mini metal lathe, you will find an automatic feed, a variable speed control, and a micro switch for the chuck guard. You may choose threads of 12-52 TPI. The low-speed mini-lathe works at the rate of 0-1100 RMP. The highest speed ranges from 0 to 2500 RMP.
While other standard models have1/2HP motors, this product has a strong 3/4HP motor.
- Best for lighter tasks
- Perfect rotation speed
- The easy-to-use speed knob
- Include a tool post
- Unclear instruction
- Not easy to find replacement parts
5. BestEquip Mini Metal Lathe
With industrial-grade iron and quality aluminum, this mini metal lathe has a highly sturdy construction. Each of the components has a rugged design, and manufacturers have created a long-lasting device.
The high-end 550W motor works at a speed of 50-2500 RPM. You may adjust the speed based on your needs. You can use this benchtop lathe for any type of metal turning task. The device can work in both forward and reverse directions to ensure your convenience.
Moreover, it has a self-centering 3-jaw chuck that holds the position of the cylindrical workpiece. The toolpost grips the cutting tool properly and makes an easy adjustment for a range of cuts. The professionally designed cross slide is another feature adding functional value to the device. You can follow manufacturers’ instructions to deliver the best result.
The package also includes a thread range (12-52 TPI), handwheel graduations, and a threading dial indicator.
- Easy to control the speed with a knob
- Highly accurate rotation
- Operated with the best quality DC motor
- The spindle accuracy is high
- Not best for beginners
6. RIKON 70-100 Mini Metal Lathe
With a ½ horsepower motor, the RIKON 70-100 model has a dimension of 12 by 16 inches, and you can access the speed control very easily. One of the unique features of this mini metal lathe is the Self Ejecting Tail Stock. That is why you do not need to use the knockout bar to remove the center.
When you are looking for a big lathe, you can invest in this product. By using this lathe, you can deal with larger pieces. There is more than one extension enabling you to use the device with other kits, like Face Plates. The speed settings are user-friendly for beginners, as they can range from 430 to 3900. Another notable part of the system is the 12-position indexing head that secures the piece perfectly.
- Easy to adjust the speed
- A flip-up handle adds a level of ergonomics
- High-quality hardware
- Numerous functionalities
- Complicated assembly
7. Erie Tools 7 x 14 Bench Top Mini Metal Milling Lathe
Erie Tools has provided you with a comprehensive package of accessories, including the metal lathe. There are chuck jaws both inside and outside the device. What’s more, you will have a 5-piece carbide tipped cutter kit with a chuck key.
By using the 3-jaw chuck, you will find it easy to grab the workpiece firmly. The free and optional automatic feed feature also helps with smooth adjustment. The capacity tool post enables users to deal with 4 cutting tools. You can mount those tools at a time.
Another significant part is the thread indicator for easy identification of the screw heads from any place. The thread range is about 12 to 52 TPI, and you may choose it with IMP. Other useful kits included in the package are MT2 Dead Center Tailstock Taper, MT3 Spindle Taper, and spindle bore (79inches).
- Turning power is up to 2500 RPM
- Compound Slide Travel- Cross and top
- Quality plastic change gears
- Good chuck diameter
- Not best for novices
8. Shop Fox M1015 Mini Metal Lathe
Shop Fox M1015 is one of the reliable metal lathes that can last for years without issues. When you have a small space, you can invest in this model. The overall dimension of the tool is about 6 by 10 inches. However, as the size is compact, it may not deal with heavy and complicated projects. Still, it performs everything with high perfection. The speed of its performance ranges from 100 to 2000 RPM, and that’s why we have found the system highly versatile.
There is a control panel at the convenient part of the tool, and you may access it easily. The panel also includes a speed forward/reverse control, clutch knob, and speed dial. Due to these features, you can make effortless adjustments.
The system has both manual and automatic feed. To prepare the tool for your turning needs, the manual feed is the right choice. You may use the feed clutch to switch between modes easily based on your preference.
- User-friendly control panel
- Best for diverse applications
- Portable design
- Low-quality warning stickers
9. TECHTONGDA Brushless Motor Precision Mini Metal Lathe
When you are looking for a quality lathe for boring, drilling, and turning thread, you may choose this product as an amazing piece. The high-grade device has a solid construction that performs best. It is something different from other conventional models, as the bearings and gears of top quality. Moreover, the width of the multi-jaw chuck is about 100 mm.
With this metal lathe, you will find a 600W brushless motor, which manages most of the tasks. There is no need for high maintenance of this device. As it is a 110-V device, you must choose the right power outlet while operating the system. Besides, the speed of this tool ranges from 50 to 2500 RPM.
The 0.8” spindle bored is best for hobbyists. The swing diameter of the device is about 7”/180mm. You try out this device to enjoy its simple operation.
- Multi-functional automatic tool
- Metal quality is high
- Accurate rotation and high precision
- Much weighty
10. NOVA 46300 Comet II Mini Metal Lathe
NOVA 46300 Comet II is an innovative mini metal lathe with variable speed control. The 3-Step pulley enables you to choose low, medium, and high levels. The electric speed motor works with ¾ horsepower. NOVA’s lathes have gained high popularity among professionals and hobbyists due to its speed ranges- 250 RPM to 4000 RPM.
The swing capacity of this device is about 12”. Besides, the space-saving portable design ensures easy storage. The integrated no-vault release provides safety during your On/Off operations. You can prefer the intermediate speed step for woodturning applications.
Fastenings and Knockout Bar are other notable functionalities of the device. The use of rigid materials also adds vibration-absorbing capacity. Manufacturers have used cast iron to design this mini metal lathe. Thus, NOVA has created a quality mini lathe at a reasonable rate.
- Easy to turn on and off the device
- User-friendly switches
- Adding and removing operations are hassle-free
- Minimal vibration
- The tool rest is a little rough.
Mini metal buying guide
You know that lathe helps in creating symmetry in your workpiece for functional and artistic purposes. Lots of engineering and mechanical devices need lathe components. Artisans also use the metal lathe for designing beads, bangles, and jewelry. When you buy a small lathe, you can use it for your home workshop. The versatile lathe is obviously useful for producing component parts and mechanical systems. However, which is the best mini metal lathe for your purpose? The first-time buyers may feel confused, and thus, we have provided you with a brief guide on choosing the right one.
Metal lathe versus wood lathe
The functionalities of these lathes have no difference. Still, we have found metal lathes as more powerful options. These devices are heavier and studier, and thus, they have much strength needed to cut through metal. The speed rate of metal lathes is higher than that of wooden models. While the highest RPM of wood lathes is 3400, the metal ones have 2500 RPM.
Using a metal lathe, you can mount the tools to the machine to deliver precise threads and cuts. Conversely, a wood lathe is a very simple machine intended to make decorative features. The operator deals with the handheld tools of the device.
Check out the size of your lathe
You know that you are going to buy mini metal lathes. Still, you will find a difference in the sizes of these lathes. Interesting, size may not denote the capability of your device. It is about the capacity of your lathe. Thus, based on your workpieces, you can identify the perfect size for your mini metal lathe.
Quality and durability
As you are using the metal lathe regularly, you need to know its design. It is essential to make out how manufacturers have constructed the device. Materials used for designing the device are one of the important factors.
Weight of your lathe
There are portable and compact mini lathe machines with a weight of around 70 lbs. Some bulky lathes have a weight of almost 500 lbs. Most hobbyists prefer lathes that they can move to any place. Thus, they can invest in lightweight options. Weight is not a relevant factor when you like to install your metal lathe in one place.
The best mini metal lathe must let you make some adjustments. The higher adjustability results in the simpler use of a range of projects.
The presence of additional features
Some manufacturers add more kits and features to their product package. For instance, you may find mini lathes with an LED display. To ensure perfection and precision in the output, you have to use this display. Additional features make the device more convenient to us.
Two factors to consider for buying mini metal lathes
Space in your workshop
Your workshop may have other tools and devices. Thus, you must know the space available for installing the mini metal lathe. Some lathes are big machines, and they need a lot of space for proper installation. Moreover, the adjacent source of power is another notable thing to decide where to place your metal lathe. However, we think that a sturdy mini lathe does not consume considerable space.
Your project size
Two major things are- the distance between centers (the workpiece length) and Swing over distance (diameter of the workpiece). You need to check out the project details and technical features of the product. It will help you in finding the perfect lathe for your needs.
To conclude, we need to say that mini metal lathes are of varying shapes and sizes. We think that our buying guide and product reviews will help you in making the best deal. Quality mini lathes are multi-purpose devices simplifying your metalworking process. Unleash your creativity by using these metal lathes.