10 Best Wood Lathes

Are you looking for the best wood lathes for your woodworking projects? Then you’ve landed on the right page! There are hundreds of wood lathes out there that offer varying features and are suitable for different kinds of woodworking tasks. While some may require a wood lathe for simple DIY cutting projects, others may need a more professional-grade machine to shape objects, etc.

Hence, keeping everyone’s different woodworking requirements, we’ve picked the 10 best wood lathes that you can find in the market today. You can go through each detailed review and choose the one that suits your woodworking needs and budget.

In a rush? Here are our Top Picks:

Disclaimer – This article may contain affiliate links, this means that at no cost to you, we may receive a small commission for qualifying purchases.

Best Overall:

JET JWL-1221VS Wood Lathe

JET JWL-1221VS Wood Lathe
  • Five-year warranty
  • Includes spindle lock
  • Digital readout
  • Durable
  • Excellent speed control from 60-3600rpm

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Premium Choice:

Powermatic 1352001 32520B

Powermatic 1352001 32520B
  • RPM digital readout
  • Durable
  • Extremely powerful
  • Spindle lock
  • Heavy-duty professional-grade wood lathe

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Best Budget:

Mophorn Wood Lathe

Mophorn Wood Lathe
  • Powerful motor for the price
  • Digital RPM readout
  • Budget-friendly
  • Great working capacity

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The Best Wood Lathes in 2021

1. JET JWL-1221VS Wood Lathe

JET JWL-1221VS Wood Lathe

The JET JWL 1221VS is undoubtedly one of the best wood lathes in the market today. From newbies to DIYers to professional woodworkers, everybody can easily use this wood lathe for multiple projects. The price is definitely on the higher side. But even as a beginner, if you’re willing to pay a little extra, you’re not going to regret working with this machine.

What we love best about this wood lathe is its exceptional speed control. This wood lathe’s speed control is what makes it so versatile for different skilled-level users. You can adjust the speed from 60 rpm up to 3600 rpm, making it suitable for multiple projects. 

Additionally, another impressive thing about this unit is that it features a spindle lock for added convenience. Another cool feature is its digital readout, through which you can easily see the set speed.

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Pros:

  • Excellent speed control from 60-3600rpm
  • Includes spindle lock
  • Digital readout
  • Durable
  • Five-year warranty
  • Easy to use

Cons:

  • Not budget-friendly

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2. Powermatic 1352001 32520B Wood Lathe

Powermatic 1352001 32520B Wood Lathe

For those looking for a heavy-duty wood lathe and do mind spending some extra money, the Powermatic wood lathe is a great pick! Powermatic is a popular brand in the market of power tools. Thus, you know you’re making the right decision while investing in a Powermatic machine.

With a digital RPM readout display, it is super easy to check which speed you’re working with. This unit is excellent for small and large projects as you can adjust the speed from 250 RPM to 4000 RPM. With a 2HP motor, 20-inch swing capacity, and 34.5-inch center-to-center capacity, the Powermatic wood lathe is one of the most powerful units out there.

Another impressive feature of this tool is its sliding headstock, making it super easy for you to make tiny adjustments. It is totally a top-notch professional-grade wood lathe that comes with inbuilt storage and a spindle lock mechanism.

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Pros:

  • RPM digital readout
  • Extremely powerful
  • Durable
  • Sturdy
  • Heavy-duty professional-grade wood lathe
  • Spindle lock
  • Great speed control

Cons:

  • Expensive

3. Mophorn Wood Lathe

Mophorn Wood Lathe

The Mophorn Wood Lathe is one of the most budget-friendly wood lathes out there. Hence, if you’re just starting out as a woodworker or need a wood lathe for minor projects, this unit is ideal. Just because you’re paying a low price doesn’t mean you need to compromise with quality. For the price you pay, the Mophorn wood lathe is a steal because it is packed with decent features.

It runs on a 550W motor that offers a speed control of 500-3800 RPM. Like other expensive models, this unit also offers a digital RPM reading display. The distance between the centers is at 18-inch, with a swing capacity of 10-inch. Additionally, it offers a 3-inch faceplate and 6-inch tool rest, making this machine suitable for high-capacity work.

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Pros:

  • Digital RPM readout
  • Powerful motor for the price
  • Budget-friendly
  • Great working capacity
  • Includes rubber feet for added stability

Cons:

  • Not for professional-grade projects

4. Delta Industrial 46-460 Midi Lathe

Delta Industrial 46-460 Midi Lathe

The Delta Industrial 46-460 is a mid-range wood lathe. This is one of the best midi wood lathes from the brand. It is packed with features despite its reasonable price point.

The best thing about this wood lathe is its massive swing capacity at 12½ inches. This swing capacity is relatively higher than its counterparts. And hence, it enables you to work with wider materials.

The unit uses a 1HP motor power and allows you to adjust the speed from 250RPM to 4000RPM. It provides more range at higher RPMs, making it more suitable for working on large wood stocks.

Overall, the Delta Industrial wood lathe is an awesome pick if you don’t require a long tail bed, more than 16.5-inch. If you’re looking for a high-end wood lathe but don’t have the budget for it, this machine can be a great alternative.

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Pros:

  • Great speed control
  • 1HP motor power
  • Large swing-over capacity
  • Five-year warranty
  • Reasonable pricing

Cons:

  • Does not include a digital RPM readout

5. RIKON 70-100 Mini Lathe

RIKON 70-100 Mini Lathe

Here is another mid-range wood lathe, the RIKON 70-100 mini-lathe. It is a user-friendly wood lathe that comes at a reasonable price point, making it ideal for beginners or newbies. 

This short and thick wood lathe runs on ½ HP and offers great speed control starting from 430RPM up to 39000RPM. This is a nice feature which isn’t available on most wood lathes in this price range. 

With 16-inches of distance between centers and 12-inches over the bed capacity, the RIKON mini-lathe offers a decent space for your projects. However, if this distance isn’t ideal for you, you can even add an extension bed and increase the capacities accordingly.

Other impressive features about this wood lathe include a 12-position index head, self-ejecting tailstock, convenient tool holder, and a five-year-long warranty.

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Pros:

  • User-friendly
  • Portable
  • Reasonable pricing
  • Self-ejecting tailstock
  • Offers decent speed control
  • 5-year warranty

Cons:

  • Short distance between centers
  • Does not include extension bed

6. Laguna Tools Revo 1836 Wood Lathe

Laguna Tools Revo 1836 Wood Lathe

The Laguna Tools Revo 1836 is a high-end wood lathe with an expensive price point. However, if budget is not an issue for you, this wood lathe will enhance your work experience. And remain a constant in your workshop for years to come.

The Laguna Revo wood lathe is packed with useful features. First, this wood lathe’s body is among the sturdiest out there with durable steel material. It also uses aluminum for its control panel and features a blue hue RPM readout display with a rubber-grip knurled knob. Hence, everything about this wood lathe is stunning as well as functional.

This machine is one of the most powerful wood lathes out there, with a total 2HP motor that is more than enough for professional-grade projects. However, the Laguna Revo lathe is not only suitable for large projects but also smaller ones as it offers a combined speed control from 50RPM to as high as 3500RPM.

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Pros:

  • Professional-grade
  • Suitable for both large and small projects
  • Great speed control
  • Powerful 2HP motor
  • Digital reading
  • Durable
  • Offers great precision
  • Reverse turning

Cons:

  • Expensive

7. Grizzly Industrial H8259 Benchtop Wood Lathe

Grizzly Industrial H8259 Benchtop Wood Lathe

If you’re looking for a low-cost solution without compromising with quality, then it is worth taking a look at the Grizzly Industrial H8259 Benchtop Wood Lathe. With a 1/2 HP motor and 10-inch swing capacity, the Grizzly wood lathe is not everyone’s cup of tea. However, if these features are enough for your woodworking projects, then you shouldn’t look anywhere else!

The machine also offers excellent speed control at five different settings: 826, 1205, 1713, 2422, and 3337 RPMs. When it comes to the distance between centers, it is quite impressive, with a total distance of 18-inches. 

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Pros:

  • Affordable
  • Lightweight and portable
  • Great distance between centers capacity
  • Decent speed control settings

Cons:

  • No continuous speed control
  • Less motor power

8. SHOP FOX W1704 Wood Lathe

SHOP FOX W1704 Wood Lathe

If your woodworking projects involve a lot of small cutting, shaping objects, and tackling pen turning, this benchtop wood lathe is your go-to! The manufacturers used high-quality cast iron for its construction, making it one of the most durable wood lathes in its affordable price range.

This wood lathe is not suitable for professional use and can be more useful for DIY projects or other minor woodworking tasks. It works on a 1/3 HP motor and offers a swing over bed capacity of 8-inches with a 13-inches capacity between the centers.

Overall, the Shop Fox wood lathe provides optimal performance with a speed control ranging from 700RPM to 3200RPM. And like other quality wood lathes, this unit also features a tool rest, spindle, paddle switch, faceplate, etc.

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Pros:

  • Low-cost
  • Variable speed control
  • Durable
  • Suitable for DIYs and minor tasks
  • Includes great additional features

Cons:

  • Not suitable for larger woodworking projects

9. Nova 71118 Comet II Wood Lathe

Nova 71118 Comet II Wood Lathe

The Nova 71118 Comet II is the successor of the older model Nova 46300 Comet II wood lathe. It shares similar features with its predecessor but includes some upgrades at a reasonable price range.

The first thing we noticed about this unit is its excellent low-to-high speed control from 250-4000 RPM, which is quite impressive in its price point. It also offers both forward and reverse cutting switches.

The machine features a unique 3-step pulley system for enhancing your experience. Additionally, it provides a decent 12-inches swing-over capacity and a 16.5-inches distance between centers.

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Pros:

  • Good speed control
  • Reasonable price point
  • Great center-to-center capacity
  • 3-steps pulley system
  • Durable and sturdy
  • Accepts extension bed

Cons:

  • Limited one year warranty
  • Short tailstock

10. Jet JWL-1440VSK Wood Lathe

Jet JWL-1440VSK Wood Lathe

Since we started our list with the Jet brand, let’s end this on a good note by reviewing another excellent model from the brand, the Jet JWL-1440VSK wood lathe. At a glance, this machine looks like a simple and straightforward wood lathe that comes with a high price point. But when we look at its features, we are positive that its price is justified!

Jet used a robust cast iron frame for the construction of this wood lathe, increasing its durability. It works on a powerful 1 HP motor and offers great variable speed control from 400-3000RPM. All you have to do is turn a knob to set your desired speed setting. 

It offers a 14-inches swing over bed capacity with a length of 40-inches. Additionally, you can increase the center-to-center capacity up to 60-inches using bed extension accessories. Another notable feature about this machine is its 360° sliding headstock that offers seven locking positions.

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Pros:

  • Great variable speed control
  • Sturdy and durable
  • Great bed extension range
  • 360° sliding headstock
  • Suitable for turning bowl tasks

Cons:

  • No digital reading display
  • Quite expensive

Wood Lathe Buyer’s Guide

When purchasing a wood lathe, you’d want the best. Here are some suggestions and guides to keep in mind while buying a wood lathe. These guides will ensure you end up with the best wood lathe for yourself! 

Power of the Motor: 

Most wood lathes are powered by an electric motor. The more powerful the electric motor, the better the wood lathe. Like most electric power operated tools, wood lathe motor power is shown in HP. Different models have different HP.

Wood lathes come in variants such as 1 HP or 1.5 HP. The higher HP performs a better task compared to the lower HP. However, higher HP will consume more energy.

Consider the size of the Lathe:  

It’s natural to want a bigger lathe and not a small one. However, the size and availability of space in the workshop should be considered. Make sure to get a wood lathe that fits the size of your workspace! To do this, you just need to do the necessary measurements.

Ease of use: 

There are various wood lathes out there. Some are easy to use and can be operated even by new woodworkers. There are also wood lathes that are best suited for professional woodworkers. Just make sure the model you buy will suit your skillset! 

Look out for the build quality and warranty: 

Woodworkers use wood lathes to handle all sorts of heavy-duty projects. Most of these operations include work on wood pieces, which is quite hard. As a result, wear and tear are common. Consider buying one which can withstand a lot of wear and tear over time. 

Conclusion:

We hope our article has helped you in choosing the right wood lathe for your woodworking projects. Remember, one wood lathe that works well for someone doesn’t mean it will work equally well for you.

Hence, make sure to look into your woodworking requirements, workshop space, and budget before getting your hands on any product. No matter whichever product you buy from our list, we are confident that you won’t regret your decision as these wood lathes are among the best ones in the market today.

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