10 Best Small Wood Lathes

Wood Lathes are a must for all woodturners, be it for home use or professional application. With a wood lathe, you can turn a block of wood into amazing works of art.

That being said, not everyone can afford to purchase the full-sized lathes without breaking the bank. Some may even have an issue with space to store the larger machines.

Therefore, if your project entails turning only small items, then a small wood lathe would be the right option for you. And because you are here, we are guessing you are looking for the ideal mini lathe for yourself.

So without further ado, let’s look into our top ten best small wood lathes especially picked for you.

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Best Overall

JET JWL-1015 Mini Wood Lathe

JET JWL-1015 Mini Wood Lathe
  • 6 spindle speeds
  • In-built 24-position indexing
  • Measurement: 10” x 15”
  • Upgraded tension mechanism

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Best Budget

WEN 3421 Mini Benchtop Wood Lathe

WEN 3421 Mini Benchtop Wood Lathe
  • Motor power: 3.2 amp
  • Speed: 750 to 3200 RPM
  • Faceplate: 2.3-inch
  • Features MT1 spindle

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Premium Choice

Nova 71118 Comet II DR Midi Wood Lathe

Nova 71118 Comet II DR Midi Wood Lathe
  • Speed: 250 to 4000 RPM
  • Digital dial-in
  • Forward and reverse switch
  • 3-inch faceplate
  • 6-inch tool rest

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The Best Small Wood Lathes in 2021

1. JET JWL-1015 Mini Wood Lathe

JET JWL-1015 Mini Wood Lathe

Let’s start our list with the best overall product specially chosen for you – the JET JWL-1015 Mini Wood Lathe. This machine is designed for both beginners as well as professional users.

Featuring smoother operation, this wood lathe is easy to use, enabling you to create various amazing works of art.

With a measurement of 10” x 15”, it is a bit bigger in size in comparison to some small wood lathes. This ensures flexibility; hence you can produce larger pieces for your home.

In addition, the machine includes 24 positions indexing so you can do your work with maximum accuracy and clarity. Another plus point is that the motor of the lathe does not heat up despite using it for a long time.

The JET JWL-1015 Mini Wood Lathe is manufactured in the United States. Therefore, you can trust its reliability. Also, it comes with a warranty of 5 years.

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Pros:

  • Smooth functioning
  • User-friendly
  • Built-in 24 positions indexing
  • Operates five speeds

Cons:

  • Expensive
  • Adjusting speed is not possible while operating

2. WEN 3421 Mini Benchtop Wood Lathe

WEN 3421 Mini Benchtop Wood Lathe

WEN 3421 can accommodate pieces of up to 12-inch in length and 8-inch wide. This wood lathe is ideal for producing bowls, chess pieces, pens, and many more.

This product features an adjustable soft-start motor that works with a varying speed of 750 to 3200 rpm. With the soft-start feature, the WEN 3421 ensures less noise generation, which is essential for more productivity.

The motor of this machine delivers a force of 3.2 amp, which is considered to be 50% greater than most existing 8″ wood lathe. It is ideal for lighter projects and a good investment if you have just started out recently.

It also comes with a 2.3″ faceplate suitable for medium-sized projects, 2 interchangeable tool rests, one MT1 spindle, and a tailstock taper.

It is a highly affordable product that provides a good amount of features to complete a lot of projects.

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Pros:

  • Sturdy
  • Affordable
  • Variable speed
  • Soft-start motor

Cons:

  • Motor is a little less in power

3. Nova 71118 Comet II DR Midi Wood Lathe

Nova 71118 Comet II DR Midi Wood Lathe

The Nova 71118 Comet II DR Midi Wood Lathe employs a high strength electronic changeable speed motor. Owing to that, this product produces a speed range of 250 – 4000 rpm.

This product has a solid cast iron construction for heavy-duty use as well. 

It features an easy-to-read digital display, and you can even put in the desired speed and employed material.

A versatile lathe provides additional freedom to use the forward and reverse switch. It works with extreme precision and provides a professional finish.

It comes with a 16.5″ distance between centers and a 12″ swing over the bed. The faceplate in this unit measures about 3-inch and the tool rest measures 6″. 

You will be provided with instructions for parts division and fasteners.

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Pros:

  • Solid iron cast construction
  • Variable speed change
  • Digital readout
  • Durable

Cons:

  • Tool rest is considered to be on the smaller side

4. SHOP FOX W1704 Benchtop Wood Lathe

SHOP FOX W1704 Benchtop Wood Lathe

If you have a small workshop and are searching for a compact wood lathe, then the SHOP FOX W1704 is for you. The main selling point of this product is its wide range of speeds. There is no limitation, and depending on your work, you can select the speed setting from 700 RPM to 3,200 RPM.

This wood lathe comes with two tool rests to ensure flexible operation. Not just that, durability is undoubtedly not an issue as it is designed to last for many years.

The SHOP FOX W1704 Benchtop Wood Lathe is made from high-quality cast iron. This ensures the added weight, which is needed in order to reduce the vibration.

You may find it a little challenging to work the machine on harder woods. Also, you may need to retighten the nuts time and again. Still, this is an affordable yet top-quality machine highly recommended by many users.

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Pros:

  • Infinite variable speed
  • Comes with 2 tool rests
  • Durable and long-lasting
  • Reasonably priced

Cons:

  • Not quite suitable for harder woods

5. Delta Industrial 46-460 Midi Wood Lathe

Delta Industrial 46-460 Midi Wood Lathe

The Delta Industrial 46-460 joins the other products on our list for its high performance and efficiency. It delivers a variable speed of a maximum of 1 HP with a motor running at 1,725 RPM and a vibration capacity of 12.5-inch.

Its electric variable speed includes a 3-pulley mechanism that allows you to adjust the speed without the need to shift the belt. The unit also features a forward and reverse switch to ensure comfortable use.

Let’s not forget the exclusive belt-tensioning it offers for quick speed adjustments and power transfer. This system also ensures the longevity of the wood lathe.

Additionally, the product also comes with a tailstock handwheel constructed from metal alloy. You will not have any problem operating this handwheel.

With the help of this machine, you can carry out any woodcrafts such as furniture legs, bowls, wooden rods, etc.

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Pros:

  • Compact design
  • Easy to use and operate
  • Powerful torque output
  • Durable

Cons:

  • A little on the expensive side

6. WEN 3420T Benchtop Mini Wood Lathe

WEN 3420T Benchtop Mini Wood Lathe

Here we have another product from the well-known company WEN. The 3420T Benchtop Mini Wood Lathe is perfect for people who are only just learning how to use a lathe.

Not only is this product cheaper than most, it includes a variety of accessories. Thanks to this, you do not have to spend extra money on buying the add-ons.

The mini wood lathe features 2 tool rests like most, a 4.5-inch and a 7-inch, offering extra flexibility.

In regards to its compact design, it comes with a smaller footprint. Therefore, you can effortlessly install it in your workshop despite having a restricted area. Because the machine is lightweight, you can maneuver it around with ease.

One other bonus point that makes users love this machine is its infinite adjustable speed. This speed ranges from 700 RPM to 3,200 RPM.

All in all, the WEN 3420T Benchtop Mini Wood Lathe is an excellent option for beginners. If you are one, you should totally consider this product.

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Pros:

  • Compact and lightweight
  • Affordable
  • Comes with accessories

Cons:

  • Entry-level machine
  • Not so powerful

7. PSI Woodworking KWL-1018VS Mini Wood Lathe

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For all the DIYers here, we introduce you to the PSI Woodworking Turncrafter Wood Lathe. Featuring a motor of 1 horsepower, the unit provides a variable speed capacity between 500 RPM and 1,800 RPM.

This mini wood lathe is constructed from robust cast iron for the purpose of reducing vibration and unnecessary jerks when operating. It also has an 18-inch stretch in between the centers and a swing area of 12-inch.

The product comes with one headstock thread of 1-inch x 8 TPI, tailstock taper (MT2), and ⅜-inch spindle and tailstock.

Furthermore, the PSI Woodworking KWL-1018VS has a rubber base. This also helps in lessening the vibration and jerks. Apart from that, this unit features 24-position indexing as well as 1.⅝-inch quill travel.

Although this product is a little on the expensive side, it is certainly worth the price.

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Pros:

  • Features 1 horsepower motor
  • Variable speed adjustment
  • Cast iron construction
  • Comes with integrated handles

Cons:

  • Quite pricey

8. RIKON 70-100 Mini Wood Lathe 

RIKON 70-100 Mini Wood Lathe

RIKON is yet another reputable line manufacturing many high-quality tools, and the 70-100 Mini Wood Lathe is one of the many. It is a highly durable mini lathe with a sturdy framework. 

This product features a ½ HP motor with 6.6 amps and a belt to control speeds. You can quickly change the speed with this product providing ample space. It also comes with a chart for the spindle speeds.

It includes a self-ejecting tailstock that replaces the need for knock-out bars. Also, it offers a travel distance of 1-½” owing to the laser engraved ram.

This product also employs a nylon faceplate washer and a tool holder for more convenience to its users. 

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Pros:

  • Sturdy
  • Durable
  • Self-ejecting tailstock
  • Quick change speed

Cons:

  • Reviews mention about its parts breaking 
  • Slightly on the expensive side

9. Grizzly Industrial H8259 Benchtop Wood Lathe

Grizzly Industrial H8259 Benchtop Wood Lathe

The Grizzly Industrial H8259 Benchtop Wood Lathe comes with a heavy-duty construction with a perfectly sturdy hold.

It provides ½ a horsepower of power, 110V voltage, and speed of 826 – 3337 RPM while also promising a low noise work experience. 

It produces next to no vibrations making this one of the less noisy products. Noise can be a big hindrance when it comes to getting your job done, and this product prevents you from that. 

It comes with an 18″ distance between centers and also a 10″ swing bed. This product is highly suitable for turning projects and especially ideal for small projects.

You might have to manually adjust the speed to your liking, but it does not take time, especially once you get the hang of it.

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Pros:

  • Less noise generation
  • Sturdy
  • Heavy-duty construction
  • Wide faceplate

Cons:

  • Motor tends to heat up quickly

10. Mophorn Bench Top Mini Wood Lathe

Mophorn Bench Top Mini Wood Lathe

With a cast iron construction, we bring to you the Mophorn Bench Top Mini Wood Lathe that provides high stability. 

This product features a motor-powered with 550W and 120v/60hz voltage with a turning speed of 500-3800rpm. Even with that amount of power, this unit makes sure to produce less noise and even maximize safety by starting softly.

The tool rest measures 6″ and is interchangeable; you can tweak it around to any placement and direction.

It features an MT2 spindle with the distance between centers coming to be around 18″ and a 10″ swing over the bed. Thus, providing a large workspace is even suitable for small tasks; you can smoothly complete your projects. 

This product even features a digital reading making it easier for you to refer.

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Pros:

  • Sturdy
  • Durable
  • Digital display

Cons:

  • On the heavier side
  • Not the ideal tool for projects requiring longer turnings

Small Wood Lathes Buyer’s Guide:

If you have a good wood lathe, nothing can stop you from creating wonderful wood pieces, from cups to decorative furniture legs.

We hope this guide has helped you find the product that caters to your needs. Therefore, to help finalize your decision, we have put together some factors you need to look for in a lathe.

Size:

Finding the right-sized lathe depends on how much space you have in your work area. Choose a wood lathe that fits the area and still has sufficient space for you. Furthermore, you need to ensure that the machine can easily manage other larger woodturning projects.

Convenience:

A small wood lathe with a convenient design is always the best option. You need to make sure the machine is easy to set up and operate.

One that is fully assembled or does not require much assembling should be your first choice. It is a plus point if the product includes extra accessories required for woodturning.

Power:

A wood lathe that is the most powerful is the best option. If the machine is extremely powerful, it can even work on harder woods. Having said that, the maximum power provided on most small wood lathes are 3 to 4 HP. This is as good as it gets and will result in unique woodworks.

Conclusion

A lathe is a long-lasting tool, so it is vital to give proper thought to it. With the features of the products highlighted above, we hope you will get a fair idea of which lathe you wish to purchase. 

Getting a mini lathe is always a good investment. Once you start, there is no turning back. The more you work on a lathe, your work will improve, and also, more creativity and productivity will flow. 

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