Top 5 Wood Lathe Machines


It can get pretty tiring having to polish large surfaces and drywall by hand – let’s not even think about needing to sand the ceiling – hence why it is important to own or have access to a drywall sanding machine. Electric sanders have revolutionised the sanding world, making it possible for users to polish large surfaces at a quicker pace, and with little or no stress.

However, with the different varieties of products available for the buyer to choose from, picking the best drywall sander can prove to be a tedious and time-consuming task for you. Because of this, we have scoured deep and wide through the market for the top drywall sanding machine products, and selected what we feel to be the best you could get.

The sanders reviewed on our list are powerful enough to polish most surfaces quickly with minimal effort, and come fitted with dust collection systems that ensure you don’t leave your work area in a mess, along with numerous other useful features.

Without wasting more time, let’s dive straight into the product reviews of what we consider to be the Top 8 Drywall

Sanders out there:

The Shop Fox W1758 is one of the best wood lathe tools on the market that is common among beginner and expert woodworkers alike. But you should know that acquiring one will not come cheap as this is easily the costliest product on our review list.

One reason this model stands head and shoulders above most other models on the market today is the heavy-duty, precision ground cast iron bed design, coupled with sturdy cast iron legs that reduce vibrations while operating the machine. The lathe’s swivel-head design ensures the headstock can be rotated in five varying degrees (0°, 60°, 90°, 120°, and 150°), thereby making outboard turning a breeze. Furthermore, with the maximum distance between centers measuring 46 inches for the W1758, this device can handle turning relatively large wood chunks.

With a single-phase motor rated at 2 Horsepower, the W1758 is well-suited to handle varying degrees of woodworking projects. You also have the option to adjust the turning speed on this model to ten different values ranging from 600 to 2400 revolutions-per-minute (RPM). And the device’s digital tachometer enables you to set a specific turning speed. Additionally, this wood lathe machine from Shop Fox runs on electricity and has to be plugged into a power source to work.

Additional features of this Shop Fox powerhouse include the quick release levers featured on the headstock and tailstock, along with a three-way adjustable tool rest with an extension for the seamless turning of wood on the lathe. And for user safety, the W1758 features a paddle switch system that prevents the lathe from either turning on its own or shutting down while in use.

Pros

Cons

Powerful

Expensive

Variable speed settings

There have been multiple user complaints about the loose locking mechanisms

Adequate spacing between the lathe centers


Easy to assemble


Spindle tachometer helps track turning speed


Next up on our recommendations list is this powerful and feature-rich variable speed woodturning equipment from the JET brand, the JWL-1221VS lathe. And it is a great choice if what you need is a portable machine to start and grow your workshop with or for DIY tasks.

The main idea behind the JET JWL-1221VS lathe machine design is top-notch speed control, and it is one concept that is very well executed. The JET lathe offers users complete control over turning speed like the first review product on this list, the W1758, but the similarities in this aspect end there. Unlike its Shop Fox counterpart, the JWL offers turning speeds as low as 60 RPM, with the maximum speed capped at 3600 RPM. And the ability to choose between ten different levels of speed means you'll be able to approach each woodworking task with the precision and control it requires.

Moving away from speed, tool design is another aspect in which the 1221VS variable speed wood lathe excels. The machine features a sturdy and durable cast-iron construction, with a ratchet-style belt extension system that enables users to precisely set the tension according to whatever wood type to be worked on. And an acme thread-in tailstock with intuitive, user-friendly controls makes the JWL a comfortable machine with which to carry out various wood turning projects.

The JET wood lathe runs on electricity, and a 4-feet long charging cord offers substantial operation distance. The lathe is powered by a 110V, 1HP motor that provides sufficient juice for whatever woodworking operation you want to carry out. Additional features and specifications of this wood turning equipment include a 12½-inch swing-over bed with a 20½-inch distance between centers and a spindle bore measuring 3/8 inches in diameter. You also get 24 integrated indexing options with this machine.

It is also worth noting that this machine weighs a hefty 120 pounds, although this is more of a positive as it ensures sturdiness while turning wood. However, if you’ll need to move it about frequently or your workbench is not very strong, then you might want to reconsider before splashing out the cash.

Pros

Cons

Wide variety of turning speed options

It can prove to be too expensive if you're operating on a budget

Forward to reverse transition is seamless

Motor positioning is not the best

Quiet operation


User’s manual is incredibly helpful


Intuitive display for speed monitoring


Crafted from sturdy cast-iron metal, the Delta industrial midi lathe promises durability and stability, and the 12½-inch swing capacity is considerably large for its size. Although, its center-to-center distance of 16.5 inches means you'll need to purchase a bed extension to turn pieces bigger than 16 inches. However, this extension might not be necessary if you'll be working on small projects such as bowl turning, with the lathe's fairly sized swing providing enough room.

The DELTA lathe turns in both the reverse and forward direction to achieve a smoother finish, and this can be done via the flip of a switch. And the product design also features 6 and 10-inch rests for tool support during turning, along with a 3-inch faceplate. The corded-electric machine runs on a 1HP, 1725-RPM motor that handles most medium-duty turning tasks with ease.

The 46-460 earns a spot on this list, thanks to its handy speed control feature, with the electronic variable speed feature and three pulley-speed ranges giving it the edge over other models. You could set the speed for various wood lathe projects on this tool to any value within either of these three ranges: 250 to 750RPM, 600 to 1800RPM, and 1350 to 4000RPM, which is more than most other products on this list. The DELTA industrial lathe features a patented belt-tension system, although the absence of a digital display means you’ll have to keep an eye on the speed to ensure it’s just the right value.

The product also features a 1-inch -8 RH drive spindle thread, along with an indexing pin that rotates and locks the headstock spindle in 24 positions. The package also comes with a tool rest base, knockout bar, wrenches, live center, all complemented by an attractive 5-year warranty. 

Pros

Cons

Quick speed change thanks to the belt tension system

An extension bed is required for larger projects

Forward and reverse turning produces smooth finishes

Absence of a digital RPM monitor display

Sturdy cast-iron construction


Sizeable swing capacity


Continuous speed control


Although the W1758 lathe machine reviewed earlier is an amazing device, the reality is, not everyone can afford it. Consequently, if what you desire is a functional, budget-friendly mini lathe machine capable of handling most of your mid-range turning needs, then the RIKON 70-105 tool is worth looking at.

This RIKON mini wood lathe specially designed for pen turning and other small-scale projects features a sturdy cast iron body construction that helps reduce machine vibration when in use. Also, this mini lathe boasts a self-ejecting tailstock with a provision for a quick change. The 10-inch swing of the 70-105 means you can turn sizeable chunks of wood without hitting the tool bed. And while the center to center distance for this machine stands at 18 inches, you can extend it further by purchasing an extension bed.

Like most other lathe machines on this list, the RIKON 70-105 is electricity-powered and is fuelled by a 0.5HP motor that runs on 120V. The machine also offers different turning speed settings, and users can choose from one of five preset RPM speeds – 500, 1775, 1850, 2225, or 3200 RPM. These speeds are sufficient to handle woodworking tasks such as boring, turning to shape, finishing, among others.

The product package also contains a knock-out bar, along with wrenches, and the 5-year warranty offer from RIKON upon purchase of this wood lathe for sale is one of the best offers you could get out there. The machine design also includes a live center, tool rest, and rubber-covered feet to ensure the equipment doesn't leave marks on the workbench.

Pros

Cons

Little to no vibration while in use

Difficult to find replacement beds

Great for small, DIY woodworking projects

No variable speed settings

Reduced vibration


Attractive warranty offer


Budget-friendly


We have spoken about how the RIKON 70-105 is an amazing budget option. Still, a quality wood turning machine available at an even lower price is the 3421 variable speed mini lathe from the WEN factory.

The 3421 is one of the cheapest wood lathe tools you’ll find out there, and it is a mini lathe machine featuring a sturdy cast iron construction with an 8 by 12-inch capacity that is just suitable for turning pens, bowls, cups, chess pieces, and other small wood pieces. Even better, the lathe's portable size means it'll fit nicely on a workbench, and with a weight of fewer than 45 pounds, you can move it around as the need arises.

When it comes to lathe tools designs, one feature that varies greatly from device to device is the spindle and tailstock components. And the Wen 3421 boasts an MT1 spindle that makes the machine adept at small wood carving projects and a tailstock taper for a tight grip of the wood pieces. The machine also features a lever clamping system that is useful for making adjustments to the tailstock, and the 2.3-inch faceplate is there if you need to work on non-spindle wood pieces. The equipment design also features two interchangeable tool rests that work to provide a support platform for non-machine parts such as chisels while turning wood.

The Wen 3431 lathe runs on a 3.2-amp, 0.5HP motor that starts gradually to prevent mishaps or engine damage. And when eventually the motor kicks into full gear, you get variable turning speeds ranging from between 750 to 3200RPM, which is quite impressive, considering that this is a budget option.

The product package's additional accessories include a flat wrench, a knockout rod, and one tailstock cup center. A two-year warranty program also covers this product with supposedly unfettered access to the WEN technicians and engineers. 

Pros

Cons

Affordable

Not suitable for large wood turning projects

Offers variable turning speeds

The locking mechanism tends to fall apart easily

Tool rests are interchangeable


Easy to use for beginners


Great customer service


If you are purchasing any of the products reviewed above, you will need a complementary chisel kit with different chisel types to aid your wood turning. And the one product we strongly recommend you get, is the PSI Woodworking LCHSS8 Wood Lathe 8pc HSS Chisel Set.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is pine good for wood turning?

Even though it is softwood, pine is an excellent choice for people who are new to wood turning as it is quite soft, and easy to shape on a wood lathe. You could also use a skew chisel to shape and produce a better finish on pine.

What should I look for when buying a wood lathe?

Several features should actively influence your choice of a wood lathe, and these include the base sturdiness, the lathe dimensions, overall size of the machine, motor capacity, and many more. Additionally, it would be best to buy a lathe machine that will serve the intended woodworking purpose without leaving holes in your pocket.

What is the easiest wood to turn?

The best woods to turn on a lathe are those with fairly flexible to thick density and finely textured grain. Generally, Beech, Hickory, Ebony, and Maplewood are considered the easiest woods to turn on a lathe.

How big of a wood lathe do I need?

The size of the wood turning lathe you’ll purchase depends exclusively on the kind of woodworking operations you’ll be performing on it, in addition to the space available for you to work with.

Mini-sized lathes are adept at turning pens and small items, while the midi-sized ones are better suited for creating furniture spindles and medium bowls. And if what you want is a lathe tool that can carry out any wood turning project, then the full-sized models are your best bet.

 

How long does wood need to dry before turning?

The general rule is to allow one year of drying time per inch of wood thickness before turning. However, if you aren't willing to wait that long, you could use an artificial kiln for quicker results, but you should know that this method is much more expensive than natural drying.

Should you wear gloves when using a lathe?

Contrary to popular opinion, it is not advisable to put on gloves or any piece of loose clothing when operating a lathe to prevent entanglement with the machine.

Conclusion

Woodturning tools do not often come cheap, and you, most times, have to spend big to purchase a quality lathe for sale. However, today’s review article cuts across all lathe tools with varying prices for those either looking to go big or start small. Also, while the lathe machine price is one factor that greatly influences the purchase of the product, there are several other qualities such as size, swing, and turning power that you should pay heed to. And with today's review, we certainly hope we have made it easy to choose woodturning tools for your next DIY or professional woodworking.


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