best midi wood lathe

10 Best Midi Wood Lathes 【Top Picks 2023】

 So, you have finally decided! 

 You know that the only way to satisfy your hunger for woodworking is to actually get your hands dirty (metaphorically)

best midi wood lathes

You want a midi lathe that not only helps you with the current project but will accompany you for years to come. Now, there is no option to turn away.

You’ve been researching a lot because you don’t want to waste your money or passion.

But wait!

Why would you research when the research is already done for you? At WoodyMan Reviews, we have done all the homework so you can be sure that you’re investing in the right tools.

Let’s Dive in

How do I choose a lathe?

Primary factors that make a wood lathe worth buying include a powerful motor, a strong build with a solid base, lathe measures to hold larger pieces, and size. Depending on your needs, your desired specifications around the above factors may change. But a sturdy build and powerful motor never go out of fashion. Go for at least a  1 HP motor for mini and midi sizes. More commercial use may require multiple HP motors to keep the operations smooth. A strong base is a must to keep your lathe free of vibrations and movements.

The measurements of wood pieces you pursue turning can change heavily. Consequently, there isn’t a specific swing capacity that makes a wood lathe perfect. Midi or mini wood lathe can be perfect for a novice but completely useless for a moderate to a large woodworking shop. You should know your needs about bowl sizes etc before you start searching for the best product for sale. Our midi lathe reviews are designed to help you make the right decision.

Use these midi lathe reviews from our expert woodturners to know which product will work best for you.

Best Midi Wood Lathes 2023:

Here are our top picks for the top midi wood lathe you can buy:

Wood LathesWOODY RATINGPrice
1. JET JWL-1221VS 10/10
[Editor's Pick]
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2. RIKON 70-220VSR8.5/10
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3. Grizzly Industrial G04628/10
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4. Delta Industrial 46-4609/10
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5. Jet JWL-10158/10
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6. Grizzly Industrial T259208/10
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7. PSI woodworking KWL-1018VS8/10
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8. WEN 34217.5/10
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9. Nova 71118 Comet II DR8/10
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10. SHOP FOX W1704 8/10
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1. JET JWL-1221VS Wood Lathe

[Editor’s Pick]

JET JWL-1221VS Wood Lathe

Why We Love It:

  • Variable speed control presents a wide range of speeds
  • Handles large bowls with ease
  • Seamless forward to reverse transition
  • Supports larger bowls
  • Exceptional build quality
  • Great after-sale service

Variable speed control Tool rack could be better
Variable torques to support larger bowls
Optimal control module location
Ratchet style belt tension system
Large number of indexing positions

Be sure to check our pick for the best wood lathe for beginners.

2. RIKON Power Tools 70-220VSR

midi lathe

Why We Love It:

  • Exceptionally user friendly
  • Easy transition to reverse rotations
  • Three different speed ranges
  • Extra-long tool rest

Variable torques to support larger piecesLowest speed is 250 rpm
Easy, non-slip belt tension adjustment
Strong motor
Packs all features of industrial wood lathes
Noiseless operation

 Learn more with this ultimate guide to a wood lathe.

3. Grizzly Industrial G0462-16” x 46”

Grizzly Industrial G0462-16" x 46" Wood Lathe with DRO

Why We Love It:

  • A great midi lathe for small scale turners and enthusiasts
  • Forward and reverse rotations
  • 10 different speed options
  • Supports 16-inch diameter of wood
  • Motor: 2 Horsepower
  • Great value for money

Easy to maintainMaximum speed is 2400 rpm
Strong motor
Exceptional build quality

4. Delta Industrial 46-460

best midi lathe

Why We Love It:

  • Supports wood with a diameter of 12.5 inches
  • Cost-effective
  • Relatively small footprint
  • Onboard storage for adjustment tools
  • Efficient system to adjust belt tension

Variable speed controlNo digital readout
Forward/ reverse functionality
24 indexing positions
Long term warranty

Also check our picks for the best mini wood lathe.

5. Jet JWL-1015

Jet JWL-1015 Wood Working Lathe

Why We Love It:

  • Six different speed points
  • Easier access to belts
  • Extension table available
  • Targeted towards beginners

Easy to use10 inches diameter limit
Provides adequate speedFew glitches in the design placement
24 indexing positions
Strong build

You may also like our comprehensive guide to wood planers.

6. Grizzly Industrial T25920

Grizzly Industrial T25920-12 x 18 Variable-Speed Benchtop Wood Lathe

Why We Love It:

  • Compact design
  • Strong build
  • Value for money
  • Great for learners

Variable speed controlLowest speed is 650 rpm
Supports up to 12 inchesSuitable for small scale projects
Highest speed is 3800 rpm
Powerful battery

7. PSI woodworking KWL-1018VS

PSI woodworking KWL-1018VS turn crafter commander 10" variable speed midi lathe

Why We Love It:

  • Compact design
  • Best for small scale users
  • Value for money
  • Two different sizes for tool rest 6 and 12 inches

Multiple speed rangesLowest speed is 500 rpm
24 indexing positionsOnly 3/4 HP motor
Digital readout
Speed can be as high as 3600 rpm
3 years warranty

8. WEN 3421 3.2-Amp 8-Inch by 12-Inch

WEN 3421 3.2-Amp 8-Inch by 12-Inch

Why We Love It:

  • Value for money
  • User friendly
  • Smaller footprint
  • Onboard accessory holder

Supports up to 12-inch large bowlsModerate motor power
Multiple speed ranges
Large tool rest

9. Nova 71118 Comet II DR

Nova 71118 Comet II DR

Why We Love It:

  • Cost-effective
  • Speed range 250 to 4000rpm
  • Beginner-friendly
  • Efficient belt change

Supports wood with 12-inch diameterNot so powerful motor
Variable speed control
Reverse rotation option available
Digital readout
1-year Warranty
Bed extension accessory available

10. SHOP FOX W1704 1/3-Horsepower Benchtop Lathe

SHOP FOX W1704 1/3-Horsepower Benchtop Lathe

Why we love it:

  • Value for money
  • Variable speeds
  • Strong build

Two tool restsOnly 1/3 HP motor
2 years warranty
Small footprint

Buying Guide

best midi wood lathes

Wood lathes are crucial tools we use in woodworks. But what is the size, power, and speed that you should consider in your potential tool wood lathe depending on your needs.

What is a midi lathe?

A special type of lathe that aims to offer the power and turning capacity of a full-size lathe in a compact body. It is a great option that you can opt for if you’re just starting out.

We certainly hope our midi lathe reviews will help you decide which product to go for.

Do you need a midi wood lathe?

If you are working on wooden products that are wider than 10 inches in diameter but not wider than 12 – 16 inches, you should look for midi wood lathes. These lathes are cheaper than commercial wood lathes and come in a size that is suitable for home and garage workstations or small independent woodwork setups.

What is the best lathe for beginners?

What makes a lathe ideal for beginners is its ease of use. It should be user-friendly in terms of daily use as well as low maintenance. Digital readout and control panel make an innovative method to add ease of experience to these lathes. If you’re a beginner, midi or a mini lathe would be a good place to start out.

Lathes that come with automatic adjustment of speed and rotation direction are better than ones that require manual input.

What does beginner lathe produce?

Most turners start with turning wood into pens and bowls. As time progresses, they venture into creating bangles, spoons, goblets, and flowerpots, etc.

Which is the best power for a wood lathe motor?

Different lathes come with different powers of the motor. A mini lathe is likely to come with 1 Horsepower at most. Most of these lathes will settle for a lower value of horsepower. It is because these lathes don’t indulge in heavy-duty work.

On the other hand, midi lathes carry more powerful motors. Usually, these start with 3/4 HP and can go up to 2 HP. The reason is simple! These lathes hold and manage heavier and larger pieces.

Commercial lathes take motors with more than one Horsepower.

What is the best speed for wood lathes?

Again, the speed depends on the task on hand as well as the product being turned.

As a rule of thumb, higher speed is better for smaller pieces; while larger pieces need lower speed. But that rule changes with the task at hand. Even larger pieces often warrant higher speed to be built with quality.

The commercial wood lathes come with the widest range of speed simply because these lathes have to handle the largest pieces at different tasks.

What is the best size of a wood lathe?

The size of the lathe is directly proportional to the size of the product it will turn. If you are willing to turn larger objects, you should go for bigger lathes. In such conditions, your best bet would be commercial lathes. However, buying such lathes would need considerable investment and you would only want to invest if you have regular use of these lathes.

On the other hand, if you are considering using this machine sparingly, and if your concerns are only smaller objects, you can do pretty well with smaller lathes. Mini lathes usually only turn wood pieces of up to 8 to 10 inches wide. Midi lathes turn bigger pieces of diameter ranging between 10 and 14 inches.

Space in your workshop may also make another defining factor of the size of lathe you would like in it. If you’ve got a small space, you may want to limit your hobby to turning pens or small bowls only.

Our midi lathe comparisons above are specially designed to give you all the info you need before buying any product.


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