10 Best Mini Wood Lathes for the Money

best mini wood lathes

Wood Lathe Reviews

 You cannot deny the importance of the right tool when it comes to woodworking. 

A full-sized lathe may not help you when you’re going to deal with the smaller details.

So, a mini wood lathe machine is a perfect solution. But how can you choose the best mini wood lathe when there are literally hundreds of options out there in the market?

Here is a comprehensive buying guide featuring the most amazing mini wood lathes available in the market.

Things to look for before buying:

You should keep in mind these few things before making a purchase: Size, power, performance, speed, headstock and tailstock, tool rest, and convenience. Another thing that matters in purchasing a wood lathe is, to make sure that you clearly know your demands (work). For instance, you want to work with heavy and large objects, you should go for JET JWL 1221-VS. Similarly, you can go for Mophorn Wood lathe if you want to work on smaller objects.

Are wood lathes dangerous?

No, they are not dangerous. If you know the basics of using the lathe, it will never harm you except wood dust, which can cause breathing problems in case you are not wearing mask or safety glasses. Especially if you are a beginner, you should take safety measures (wear protective glasses, masks, and gloves) before operating a wood lathe for woodturning.

 Let’s dive in. 

Best Mini Wood Lathes 2023:

Here are our picks for the top mini wood lathes you can buy for the price:

1. JET JWL-1221VS10/10
[Editor's Choice]
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2. Delta Industrial 46-460 9/10
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3. Rikon 70-100 8.5/10
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4. Shop Fox W1 7048/10
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5. Excelsior Mini-Wood Lathe8.5/10
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6. Grizzly Industrial T25926 8.5/10
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7. Mophorn Wood Lathe 12*18”8/10
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8. RIKON 70-105 Mini lathe7.5/10
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9. WEN 3421 8” by 12”8/10
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10. WEN 3420T 7.5/10
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1- JET JWL-1221VS Mini-Wood Lathe

JET JWL-1221VS Wood Lathe

 Why we Love it:

  • It comes with a feature of variable speed control
  • This mini woodturning lathe also has a forward to reverse function.
  • Well-built and easy to set up and use
  • Does not produce any sound and gives a clear digital display
  • Heavy motor (1hp)

8 holes to secure the woodnone
Easy to use
Cast iron bed reduces vibrations
Clear digital display

2- Delta Industrial 46-460

Delta Industrial 46-460

Why we love it:

  • It has a powerful motor with a variable speed system to ensure control
  • It has a large swing capacity with 1 hp power.
  • It comes with a forward and reverses function.
  • It includes a 3-pulley system for optimal speed selection

Higher accuracy rate and precision Lacks digital display
Large swing capacity
Offers easy belt adjustments
Great value for money

3- Rikon 70-100 Mini-Wood Lathe

Rikon 70-100

Why we love it:

  • It offers you to choose extra accessories for more versatility.
  • Comes with a strong motor with 0.5 of horsepower.
  • 12-position indexing head for more detailed work.
  • Allows you to set your workpiece in multiple positions.
  • Has a flip-up handle

Easy to useThere are some issues related to its parts breaking.
Flip-up handle
Nylon faceplate washer

4- Shop Fox W1704


Why we love it:

  • It is made up of cast iron to withstand pressure
  • Variable speed change feature
  • 75 inches faceplate (ideal for creating bowls)
  • 8-inches swing over bed

Affordable priceLow power even at max speed
Fast-moving motorNot suitable for larger projects

5- Excelsior Mini-Wood Lathe

Excelsior Mini-Wood Lathe

Why we love it:

  • It has a convenient belt access door.
  • It also possesses a Spur center on the headstock with a ball-bearing live center on the tailstock.
  • This mini wood lathe machine comes with a removable safety switch along with nonslip feet.
  • Stable turning and withstand even high pressures
  • Variable speed change feature with 5 different speeds

Solid cast iron built.Considerably heavy
High power motorNot portable
Rubber feet for stabilityCan't be mounted without a bench or a stand.

6- Grizzly Industrial T25926

Grizzly Industrial T25926

Why we love it:

  • Comes with a variable speed function with a motor of ½ hp.
  • Heavy cast iron build ensures stability
  • It can turn bowls up to 12” and spindle up to 16.5 inches.
  • Has a swing over the bed around 9.75 inches.

Variable speed controlThe four-way device submit is not so convenient.
AffordableHard to carry around
Heavy motor
Digital spindle speed indicator

7- Mophorn Wood Lathe 12*18”, tabletop wood Lathe

Mophorn Wood Lathe 10 x 18 Inch

Why we love it:

  • It has a powerful motor with an electronic variable speed change function.
  • This tabletop wood lathe holds its own weight and runs smoothly.
  • The heavy-duty frame and parts offer more resistance to wear and tear.
  • Comes with a digital display.
  • Long operational life.

Variable speed featureNot ideal for longer turnings e.g bats
Noiseless smooth operationRelatively Heavy
High stability

8- RIKON Power Tools 70-105 10″ x 18″

RIKON Power Tools 70-105 10" x 18"

Why we love it:

  • More stable and does not vibrate during operation
  • Cast iron construction
  • Speed change feature
  • Easy to set it up

Great for light tasksSpeed control not good
Easy maintenanceNot good for larger projects.
Easy to set up
Easy access to speed changes

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

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

Why we love it:

  • Variable speed change feature
  • Cast iron construction
  • Suitable for light projects

Has integrated faceplateNot suitable for heavy and large projects
Variable speed controlNot much powerful
Possesses a live center in tailstock

10- WEN 3420T 8’’*12”

WEN 3421 3.2-Amp 8" by 12"

Why we love it:

  • Includes all accessories that beginners need to get started.
  • Has a variable speed from 750 to 3200 RPM.
  • Its two tool rests that are 4.5 and 7 inches grant more flexibility and control.
  • This mini woodturning lathe also includes easy to use lever clamping system.

Small and lightweightNot suitable for tougher large project
PortableRelatively weak build
Budget-friendlyTailstock nob is hard to use
Easy to use with soft start motor

Buying Guide

Wood Lathe Reviews

Hope these mini wood lathe reviews were helpful. Here are some questions that may come to your mind before choosing the right mini wood lathe for your woodwork.

Let’s dive in


What is a mini lathe machine used for?

A mini wood lathe is used for model railroading, RC modeling, and to make other parts of different objects like chair legs, wood pen turning, and more. It is an essential tool for professional woodworkers and enthusiasts to create furniture, hollow vessels, drawer pulls, or other tool’s parts. It is also used to create bowls and wooden chess pieces.


What is the best mini wood lathe?

Here are our top picks out of all mini lathes:

  1. JET JWL-1221VS Mini-Wood Lathe
  2. Delta Industrial 46-460 Mini-Wood Lathe
  3. Rikon 70-100 Mini Wood Lathe

Be sure to check out our mini lathe reviews above for an in-depth analysis of each product.

Is it difficult to work on a wood lathe?

The answer is ‘No’. If you have learned the basics and know how to operate a wood lathe safely, you can perform any woodturning task on it with ease. You can obviously learn more with experience if you have just dived into this field. Be sure to check out our list for the best small wood lathes for the money.

What is the best mini lathe for money?

Based on their prices, the best mini-lathes for the money are:

  1. RIKON 70-105 10” *18” Mini lathe
  2. Grizzly Industrial T25926 Benchtop Wood lathe
  3. Shop Fox W1 704 Mini-Wood lathe

For further details, be sure to check out recently updated wood lathe on a budget guide for an absolute killer deal.

What can be made on a mini lathe?

Here are some small projects that beginners or seasoned experts can cover: Bangles, bottle stoppers, wooden rings, pens, bowls, goblets, and flowerpots, etc,

Furthermore, a miniature wood lathe has various purposes as highlighted in the article above.

Doug is a passionate woodworking enthusiast and the founding editor of the popular woodworking blog WoodyManReviews. With a deep appreciation for craftsmanship and a love for working with wood, Doug has dedicated his career to sharing knowledge and expertise with fellow woodworking enthusiasts. To this day, he still leads writing efforts on the blog, supervising the team of talented writers at his disposal.​
Doug Mahoney

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