Best Wood Lathe Reviews (2019): The Top Tools For The Money

Last Updated: by Alfred

The best wood lathes may not be a tool for every woodworker, but it is one that can be highly rewarding to use. The lathe provides one of the most fluid forms of woodworking that is available today. You can turn bowls, create sculptures, make furniture parts, or make your own baseball bats if you really wanted to do so.

By investing your money into the best wood lathe possible today, you’ll have a tool that can continue to produce for years to come.

Our Favorite Wood Lathes

Wood lathes might all provide the same basic opportunity to woodworkers, but some are able to do it better than others. These are the top-rated options that you’ll want to consider first if you’re in the market for a wood lathe today.

How to Find the Best Wood Lathe for Me

The #1 feature you’ll want to consider when looking at wood lathes is capacity. The capacity of the lathe will control what you can make and how you’ll be making it. Capacity length is usually given in inches. If you are looking at a wood lathe with a 32-inch capacity, then that is the longest item you can turn in a single piece.

Here are some of the other features you’ll want to look at when using the best wood lathe reviews to make your purchase today.

  • Variable Speeds. In general terms, more speed options means more opportunities to turn different items. Roughing out items requires a slower speed. Smaller diameter items can be turned at greater speeds. The best wood lathes will have at least 4 different speed options.
  • Bed Construction. Most wood lathes are either going to have a single-piece or a two-piece bed. You can save some money by going with a two-piece bed, but you’ll receive a more consistent performance from the single-piece models.
  • Accessories. Wood lathes can be equipped with duplicators and other accessories that personalize your woodworking creativity. Some accessories can only be equipped to certain types of wood lathes. You’ll want to make sure you don’t accidentally limit yourself in this area.

The power of the motor is another consideration that should not be ignored. You’ll find wood lathes will go up to at least 2 HP for home use. Look for an option that provides you with at least ¾ HP so you can turn whatever suits your fancy.

Choosing just one of these best wood lathes is difficult, but overall, we think the Nova is our number one choice for its variable speed and efficient design.

What will it cost me to buy the Best Wood Lathes?

Wood lathes are one of the most expensive tools that you can purchase in Woodwork Nation. Even lightweight, light-duty wood lathes are priced around $500 to start. If you expect to turn anything but small bowls or small chair legs, you can expect to pay at least $750. And it’s not that uncommon to pay more than $1,500 if you want to create professional-grade items from your new lathe.

Let’s Have a Look at The Reviews

1. JET

Jet JWL-1015

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This woodworking lathe makes it easy to start turning something in your shop. With 6 spindle speeds, varying from 500-3975, you can take advantage of the 24-position indexing so that you can quickly create whatever you need for your next project. It has 15.5 inches between centers and the wide bed ways provide you with an increased level of rigidity. We also appreciated the tensioning system, which makes access to the belts a lot easier. It’s an excellent beginner’s lathe, but it also has qualities that any professional woodworker can appreciate.

2. Mophorn 12 x 18 Inch Wood Lathe Bench Top

Mophorn 12 x 18

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Don’t miss out on the benefits of this mid-range wood lathe. With its 550W of power and variable speed setting of 500-3800 RPM, you can rely on this for simple to heavy-duty projects. The construction is solid and it has a good heft to it that proves it is quality-made. It has cast iron exterior that can last for years. The digital RPM readout is big enough to decipher even in low light conditions. We like how stable it is. The rubber feet keep the lathe sturdy for smoother operations.

3. Delta Industrial

Delta Industrial 46-460

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This 1 HP wood lathe provides a 1725 RPM motor, making it a good selection for specific woodworking tasks you may wish to complete. The three-pulley speed design gives you an electronically variable speed without the need to change your belt position, which is a nice upgrade. We also appreciated the reverse function, giving you the chance to create a fantastic finish with greater ease. The 12.5-inch swing capacity is also one of the largest in this class of wood lathes, making it worth of consideration.

4. Rikon

RIKON 70-100

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This wood lathe makes it easy to complete your speed changes. There is plenty of room to complete this task quickly and efficiently. There’s no need to use a knockout bar with this lathe either thanks to the self-ejecting tail stock. The laser-engraved ram provides 2.5 inches of travel and you have the ability to add multiple extensions to this tool. The ½ HP motor is a little undersized for our taste, but there’s no denying the fact that this lathe works consistently well and is priced hundreds of dollars less than similar models.

5. Powermatic

Powermatic 1352001 3520B

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If you’re looking for the one wood lathe that you’ll use for the rest of your life, then this is the model that you’ll want to purchase. With a 20-inch swing and 34.5 inches between center, you can create virtually anything with this tool. It features a 2 HP 220-volt motor with variable speeds so that you are always in control. A face plate, knockout rod, and spindle lock are included features that will help you stay productive. It also features a digital RPM readout, which is incredibly useful for completing specific tasks. It’s easily the best wood lathe in our industry today.

The best wood lathes will help you to make fast work out of your next woodworking chore. Pick up yours today and take your woodworking to the next level.