9 Best Wood Lathes under $1000

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 You can’t deny the urge! It’s time to move up in your craft. Period! 

Intro image for the article 'Best wood lathe under $1000'

And getting a professional wood lathe is a surefire step that will help you up your game.

Fortunately we’ve made things easier with this detailed review of the top products for your budget. Lathes can be very pricey but even with $1000 you can get some great equipment.

Here are the best wood lathes for the money to help you turn your dreams into reality.

 Let’s Dive in 

1. Best Wood Lathe under $1000 in 2021:

Here are the top wood lathes under $1000 that are worth the money:

Wood LathesWoody RatingPRICE
JET JWL-1221VS10/10
[Editor's Choice]
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PSI KWL-1218VS8.5/10
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Grizzly Industrial G04628/10
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Delta Industrial 46-4608/10
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RIKON Power Tools 70-2207.5/10
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Laguna 12|16 Midi Lathe EVS
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WEN 340277/10
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JET JWL-1015VS7.5/10
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Grizzly Industrial T259267/10
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i. JET JWL-1221VS 12″x21″ Wood Lathe

[Editor’s Choice]

Image of JET JWL-1221VS Wood Lathe

Why we love it:

  • Smooth forward to reverse transition
  • Unrivalled speed control
  • Ratchet belt tension
  • Its 24 integrated indexing positions
  • Heavyweight contributes to the stability

Buy 9 Best Wood Lathes under $1000

VersatileDifficult portability portable
Quiet operations
Variable speed control
Superior locking mechanism

Ergonomics is what makes this one of the best lathes in the industry! You get onboard storage and the controls are well within reach. The speed control allows you to choose between 60 and 3600 RPM so you can tackle detailed projects smoothly. Simply use the speed knob to adjust the rotation frequency. A three-step pulley system will help you adjust the torque to suit the desired speed.

It features multiple qualities including 24 integrated indexing positions, easy-to-reach controls, DRO, and two handy tool caddies. 

This tabletop wood lathe has got you covered with its innovative belt mechanism. Tension adjustment is easy and allows you to smoothly align your belt tension with the desired speed. Within seconds of starting this lathe, your wood starts turning with the required speed.

Like other wood lathes of this size, Jet 12’ x 21’ is strong and reliable. Yet, you get further surety with its 5-years warranty as well as exceptional customer service from the manufacturer. In short, this professional wood lathe from trusted wood lathe brands makes a cool choice for both beginners and professional woodworkers alike.


ii. PSI KWL-1218VS Midi Lathe

Image of PSI woodworking kwl-1218vs

Why we love it:

  • 24 indexing positions with spindle locking.
  • Powerful motor 
  • Variable speed control.
  • Great price

Buy 9 Best Wood Lathes under $1000

Digital RPM readoutLowest RPM is 500
Easy to useLimited work area
Easily adjustable belt ranges
Ideal for mid range projects

This highly advanced, powerful, and easy-to-use machine from PSI can swing wood pieces up to 12 inches in diameter and 18 inches in length. This benchtop lathe is powered by a 1 HP, high-performance induction motor.

It has two belt tension ranges managing speed from 500 to 1800 RPM and from 1950 to 3800 RPM.

Its large blue display makes it a breeze to keep track of the speed. Get your speed right in seconds without losing sight of where its rotational speed is going. And you will love how quiet and silent the machine is. You can turn smaller objects with this lathe with a maximum diameter of 10 inches for bowls. 

This Machine from PSI offers 3 years of warranty to its customers. With this wood lathe you also get a bunch of useful accessories for e.g., four hex wrenches, safety goggles, rubber feet set, etc.


iii. Grizzly Industrial G0462 Wood Lathe with DRO

Image of Grizzly Industrial G0462

Why we love it:

  • Digital readout for spindle RPM.
  • Has high build quality that minimizes vibrations.
  • Shift-on-the-fly handle to easily change speed
  • Makes outboard turning a breeze
  • Quick levers for headstock and tailstock.

Buy 9 Best Wood Lathes under $1000

Variable Speed ControlLowest rpm is 600
Stable operation
Includes Cupped live center
Includes Cupped live center
High quality build

This incredible machine by Grizzly is so durable and strong, it can swing 16” over the bed. Over the tool rest, you get 13 inches for swinging. If you are concerned about the length of the woodworking project, know that this lathe can turn up to 43 inches long pieces. 

You get a powerful 2-horsepower motor with this budget lathe. And its features and functions are amazing making it one of the best cheap wood lathe options on the market (not cheap enough? Head over to our under $500 updated guide). 

It is capable of handling large wooden pieces and comes with the right amount of stability and reliability

You can switch between ten different speed settings between 600 and 2400 RPM. And its shift-on-the-fly handle makes these transitions a breeze. 

Whether you buy Grizzly H8259 or your investment is in Grizzly 0462, you can be sure of one thing from this brand – its strength and power. Its heavy-duty cast-iron bed makes it stable preventing it from walking around the bench during operations. 

Grizzly is well-known among wood lathe brands. So, buying a product from Grizzly is truly an investment. Grizzly also offers 1 year of warranty to its customers.


iv. Delta Industrial 46-460 Midi Lathe

Image of Delta Industrial 46-460 Midi Lathe

Why we love it:

  • For beginners & pros alike
  • Easy, automatic reverse transition
  • Durability of cast-iron
  • Less noisy, no irritating vibration

Buy 9 Best Wood Lathes under $1000

Budget-friendlyMay need bed extension for large projects
Easy forward reverse transitions
Torque tension control
Easily adjustable speed
Five years warranty
Heavy duty 1- HP motor

There are only a few wood lathes that allow reverse function in this price range. Delta Industrial 46-460 12-1/2-Inch Midi Lathe is one of those options. You use it for rotating pieces around its axis for cutting, drilling, sanding, etc. 

The belt-tensioning system is the highlight of this wood lathe. Control the power and the grip on your piece with easy changes. The three-step pulley allows you to choose from the three different tensions suitable from lower to higher speeds.

You can select from a speed range of 250 to 1750 RPM. But a more practical estimate makes you stick to 700 RPM as the lowest speed for this lathe.

Its swing capacity is 12.5 inches. At the same time, you will get 16.5 inches distance between centers. The machine is backed by a 5-year warranty of Delta, one of the most amazing wood lathe brands in the world of woodworking.


v. RIKON Power Tools 70-220 VSR MIDI Lathe

Image of RIKON Power Tools 70-220 VSR MIDI Lathe

Why we love it:

  • 12.5 inches swing size and a 20-inch center to center length
  • High power motor enhances speed
  • Forward as well as reverse rotations
  • LED speed display

Buy 9 Best Wood Lathes under $1000

Best wood lathe for beginnersCan be expensive for some
24 position index head
Quality material and strong build

Rikon power 70-220 VSR mid-size lathe is more durable powerful and versatile than many others. It can turn the wood in minutes as it has space to operate large wood parts. We are talking about its 20-inch distance between centers. 

You can line up your larger bowls and projects to the front. But before you proceed know that it can only tackle a diameter of maximum 12 inches. 

It has electronic variable speed control which allows setting different predefined speed ranges. Changing the belt to align with these speed ranges is easy and quick. The lowest you can go with the speed is 250 rotations per minute.

Its 24 indexing positions make a standard feature available in most mid-size lathes of this price range promising a standard level of precision and detail on your designs. For a mid-size lathe, it comes with a 1HP motor that is sufficient to handle most projects of this size. This balance between power, budget, and features makes it a great lathe under $1000.


vi. Laguna 12|16 Midi Lathe EVS

Image of Laguna 12|16 Midi Lathe EVS

Why we love it:

  • Easy to set three different ranges
  • Can handle large wood pieces
  • Features digital readout
  • Forward and backward functions
  • Glare-free metal case

Buy 9 Best Wood Lathes under $1000

Best for professional useLimited turning capacity
High power motor
No vibration and less noisy
Great build quality
Variable speed controls

It’s a compact-sized, professional wood lathe that helps you to turn wood for DIY and small decorative products.

Laguna is a non-vibrating and low-noise bench wood lathe that can be easily set on your workbench.

The 1HP powerful motor provides consistency in torque at all speeds. It is perfect for multiple spindles revolving up to 15.5 inch long wood pieces and making bowls with a diameter of 12.5 inches. 

And don’t forget that you can use the machine to rotate your wood piece in both forward and reverse directions. The self-ejecting tailstock is another time-saving feature of this relatively inexpensive wood lathe.

You also get a solid 2-year warranty so you can be confident you are getting a quality product with plenty of coverage. 


vii. WEN 34027

Image of WEN 34027 lathe

Why we love it:

  • Easy to change belt position
  • Relatively cheaper
  • Rubber feet reduce vibration
  • Adjustable speed range 500 to 2500 rpm
  • Beginner-friendly

Buy 9 Best Wood Lathes under $1000

Easy to change belt positionBelt moving required for speed changes
Digital readout speed display 
Forward and reverse switch
Two years warranty

WEN 34027 is a wood lathe that is great for small projects and DIY tasks. You can rely on its high-power 1HP motor to offer excellent speed and consistent performance.

The machine doesn’t allow automatic speed change. Rather, you will have to change the belt manually to get to the desired speed. Speeds can be adjusted between 500 and 2500 RPM and you also get a digital RPM read out LED display. 

Its tailstock taper firmly grips wood pieces. You also get a 7-7/8 inches tools rest which allows you to store your chisels and tools while working on a project.

This professional lathe is perfect for small products like a pen, bowl, pencil holder, table legs, etc. In case you need to tackle larger projects, you can get the extension bed separately.

You can turn pieces having the widest diameter of 12 inches. At the same time, their length shouldn’t exceed 16 inches.


viii. JET JWL-1015 VS 10″x15″

Image of JET JWL-1015 VS 10"x15" lathe

Why we love it:

  • Integrated 24 indexing position.
  • Improved tension system and easier access to belts.
  • Three speed ranges between 200 and 3,600 RPM
  • Noiseless
  • Minimal vibrations

Buy 9 Best Wood Lathes under $1000

Outstanding Build QualityRequires a strong stand to handle it
Perfect for Beginners
Includes live center in tailstock
15.5 distance between centers

The Jet JWL-1015 is another amazing and quality product from Jet which is a leading brand in woodworking products. This being one of the best wood lathes under $1000 from Jet has amazing features including variable speed control, outstanding build quality, and capacity to handle larger projects.

It has a distance of 15-½ inches between its centers which allows it to handle large pieces of wood. The most prominent feature of this beginner wood lathe is the ease with which you can change the belt tension. The rachet-style belt tension mechanism allows users to change the tension without taking the machine apart.

You can select from three different speed ranges. This product offers 5 years of warranty to its customers and Jet is well-known for providing exceptional service to its customers.


ix. Grizzly Industrial T25926 – 10″ x 18″ Lathe

Image of Grizzly Industrial T25926 - 10" x 18" Lathe

Why we love it:

  • Strong motor even at ½ HP
  • Strong build made of heavy-duty cast iron
  • Relatively low noise

Buy 9 Best Wood Lathes under $1000

Budget-buyLowest RPM is 650
User friendlyDesign could improve to foster ergonomics
Good Build Quality
Great for Beginners
Variable Speed

Just like Grizzly 259, this product ensures a perfect balance of value and cost. This is the cheap lathe that fulfills all your needs and offers 1 year of warranty. The unconventional speed range lies between 650 and 3800 RPM. You can slow it down to tackle most of your projects at 650 RPM but it could be better especially when you compare with other competing lathes.

Nevertheless, the ease of transition between speed ranges that come with this lathe somewhat overcome this low-speed issue. Like other standard competitors, this lathe also offers a three-step pulley system to adjust belt tension.

It can swing 10” over the bed. With an 18-inch distance between centers, you can be sure that your larger projects will be easily tackled. This lathe is quite easy to use and beginner friendly. The machine comes with a motor of ½ HP that provides decent performance.


2. Buying Guide – Best Wood Lathe under 1000 dollars

best wood lathe under $1000 buying guide

i.What Is The Best Full-size Wood Lathe?

When you are out searching for the best wood lathe for your woodworking needs, you will notice two distinct types, desktop and full-size. 

Note that the function and efficiency of the two remain comparable and the main difference is how much space each requires. Desktops take up less space while full-size lathes typically require a full workbench. 

Grizzly Industrial G0462 and JET JWL-1015VS make great options in this situation.

At the same time, the perfect lathes which you can get as benchtop include JET JWL-1221VS wood lathe and Grizzly Industrial T25926.

ii. What Is The Best Wood Lathe For The Money?

If you are looking for the most amazing wood lathe, aim for a mid-size lathe. These lathes are easier to manage and require less space. Moreover, these lathes cost a lot less than the bigger versions. 

The best brands to look for in these lathes include Grizzly, Delta, and Jet. Particularly, the Grizzly H8259 makes a great lathe for the money for most beginners to pro woodworkers.

You can also choose to stick with mini lathes. If you do, beware that these lathes have more limitations on their functions and only tackle smaller pieces. Also, if you are looking for quality products backed by trusted brands, even mini lathes can become costly.

iii. What Is The Best Beginner Wood Lathe?

If you are starting out with the craft of woodturning, you should look for a lathe that requires minimal manual work. 

One important feature for such lathes is the ease of changing speed. Choose a lathe that allows automatic speed selection. Ease of tension control should also be a consideration. 

Because of their ease and ergonomics, RIKON VSR Midi lathe and WEN 34027 make perfect choices for beginners.

iv. How Much Does A Wood Lathe Cost?

The range is wide. You can find average lathes starting at $600. This price can go up with the brand you choose and the features you desire. 

Aim for a range of $1000 to $2000 for professional lathes with complete features. But there is no reason you can’t find a midi lathe for half the price between $600 and $1000.

In case you are looking for cheaper versions, you may have to compromise slightly on functions it can perform. Mini lathes will come into focus as a result. Prices for mini lathes start from $100 and can go up to $800. 

If you have your eyes set on a full-size lathe then definitely have a look at our review of the Best Full Size Wood Lathes to learn about some of the best options.

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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