best wood lathe reviews

12 Best Wood Lathes for the Money 【Best of 2023】

 You will agree with me when I say  best wood lathes

 When it comes to woodworking, knowing the wood lathes is absolutely crucial.  With thousands of product options out there in the market, it is easy to get overwhelmed and frustrated.

 But don’t worry  

We’ve already done the research for you so you don’t need to stress out. We have compiled a comprehensive buying guide to help you make the most feasible decision. Here we discuss the pros and cons of each device to help you understand how each product will benefit you in a better way. Whether you’re a woodworking professional or a beginner, one of these wood lathes will perfectly fit your workflow.

Important Things to know before buying:

What is a wood lathe machine?

A wood lathe is a sought-after gadget that is used to manipulate wood into different forms and shapes. It is considered an essential tool for woodworking by professionals and enthusiasts. Whether you want to create furniture, wooden ornaments or simply a wooden bowl, this is the tool that will get the job done.

Is woodturning dangerous?

The short answer is no, woodturning is not dangerous. If you act responsibly, there’s nothing to worry about. Still, woodturning produces some hazardous material like wood dust, which may cause breathing problems for some individuals. Although such issues rarely occur, it is still advised to wear a clinical mask and safety glasses while working. One should also use safety gloves to avoid injuring their hands, especially if you’re a beginner.

Purpose of Wood Lathe?

A wood lathe is a different lathe that is specially made for things that are made of wood only. So, it means they are used to sand, cut, face, turn, deform, or drill workpieces made of wood. They work like other kinds of lathes by exposing a rotating workpiece to a tool that cuts stationary. But, wood lathes are specifically used to work on wood only. They cannot be used on pieces made of hard materials such as steel or metal.

 Let’s dive in  

Best Wood Lathes 2023:

So here are our picks for the top Wood lathes you can buy:

Wood Lathe MachinesWoody RatingPRICE
1. Jet JWL-1440VSK10/10
[Editor's Choice]
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2. Grizzly Industrial G04629/10
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3. Delta Industrial 46-4608/10
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4. RIKON Power Tools 70-220VSR Midi7.5/10
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5. Laguna Tools MLAREVO 18368.5/10
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6. JET JWL-1221VS Lathe8/10
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7. PSI woodworking kwl-1218vs9/10
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8. Shop Fox W18368/10
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9. NOVA 46300 Comet II8/10
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10. RIKON Wood Lathe 70-1008.5/10
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11. Mophorn wood lathe8.5/10
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12. WEN 340277.5/10
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Wood lathes are more convenient and portable than metal lathes. The speed at which the workpieces are rotated is controlled by an ordinary pulley system. They don’t build as much power as metal lathes do. But, wood lathes are really proficient at cutting wooden workpieces.

Read More: Best Wood Lathes under 1000 dollars

1. Jet JWL-1440VSK 

best wood lathes

Why we love it:

  • A very powerful motor in spite of being single horsepower.
  • Comes with variable speed control.
  • Has a solid iron cast structure that is built to last.
  • Offers optional bed extension for up to 60 inches.
  • This tool has a 5-year long warranty for backup.
  • The RPM display of this lathe is easy to read, so you can monitor the RPM speed conveniently.
  • The clamping system of the tool rests makes sure it’s locked securely.
  • This lathe is certified by CSA so you don’t have to worry if it’s authentic or not.

Optional bed extensionLowest rpm is 400
Powerful motor
Variable speed control
Highly versatile

You may also like Best Wood Lathe under $1000

2. Grizzly Industrial G0462 

wood lathe

Why we love it:

  • Exceptional build quality that reduces vibrations and maximizes stability.
  • The tool rest extension makes outboard turning a lot easier.
  • This Lathe has a Digital readout for spindle RPM.
  • The headstock rotation angles of this lathe are 0°, 60°, 90°, 120°, and 180°.
  • It has been constructed sturdy which will help it last more than most of the other wood lathes.
  • The pricing of this lathe is really reasonable with a lot of great features.

Quick lock/release levers for headstock and tailstock.Lowest rpm is 600.
Includes 6" faceplate, cup live center and spur center.
Variable speed control.
Great value for money.

Also check our picks for the best mini wood lathe.

3. Delta Industrial 46-460 Midi 

best midi wood lathe

Why we love it:

  • Unique belt tensioning system enables quick changes in belt speed.
  • Its electronic automatic speed control knob gives you absolute control over speed.
  • The Large 12½ inch capacity of its swing is the largest capacity out of all the lathes in this price range.
  • The electronic speed with 3 pulley speed ranges lets you reach the required speed on your project without changing the position of its belt.
  • The reversing and forwarding feature of this lathe lets you get a fine finishing.
  • The warranty of this lathe is 5 years long so you have a backup plan until it expires.

Includes forward and backward motion switch.Slow customer service.
Compact and easy to use.
Budget buy.
Offers a bed extension for up to 42 inches.

4. RIKON Power Tools 70-220VSR Midi

midi lathe

Why we love it:

  • Significant turning capacity of 12-1/2” swing and 20” between centers.
  • Has lifetime lubrication of spindle ball bearings.
  • Offers a 24 position index head that is highly efficient for designing and finishing purposes.
  • This wood lathe contains a digital RPM readout so you can conveniently keep a check on the speed.
  • It comes with an acme thread on the tailstock quill.
  • The features of this lathe make it the perfect tool for small to medium projects.
  • The manual this lathe has is easy-to-follow so its installation and usage will be easy too.
  • The LED display of this lathe makes the monitoring of speed convenient.

Forward and Backward drive switchChanging speed requires moving the belt.
Exceptional build quality with 5 year warranty.Has a loud sound.
Great stock holding capacity.
Digital rpm readout.
Beginner friendly.

5. Laguna Tools MLAREVO 1836 

wood lathe reviews

Why we love it:

  • Consists of a 2. hp motor with double horsepower.
  • Is ideal for heavy-duty work.
  • Offers a minimum speed as low as 50 rpm.
  • Really eye-catchy looks.

Highly reliable and versatilePotentiometer issues
Variable speed control.Relatively heavy
Forward and reverse drive switch
Highly powerful machine
Spring loaded spindle lock

You may also like our comprehensive guide to wood planers.

6. JET JWL-1221VS Wood Lathe

variable speed wood lathe

Why we love it:

  • Has the lowest speed range of 60 rpm which adds to its versatility.
  • Offers a total of 24 indexing options which is quite impressive.
  • A unique ratchet belt tension system enhances the quality of finished projects.
  • Comes with many additional accessories like tool rest and faceplates.
  • Its weight and dimensions minimize noise and vibrations which also makes it easy to handle.

Great build qualityRequires a strong stand
Forward and reverse drive switch with smooth transitionsLittle difficult for beginners
Convenient accessibility of controls.
Variable speed control with digital rpm readout
Comes with a 5 year warranty

7. PSI woodworking kwl-1218vs

variable speed midi lathe

Why we love it:

  • This wood lathe is relatively cheaper than other lathes with the same features.
  • The 2 belt positions of this lathe increase and enhance its power.
  • This lathe comes with chrome handles to increase the convenience of the turner.
  • It has an 18-inch distance between its centers making it easy to use.
  • The cast-iron base of this lathe can be expanded up to 42 inches for turning up.
  • This lathe has a 12-inch swing capacity making it great for multiple projects.
  • It has a digital readout for monitoring the speed accurately.

Budget buyLowest rpm is 500
Digital rpm readoutDoesn't include a reverse switch
3 year warrantyNot fit for big wood pieces
Good build quality
Powerful motor
Includes free accessories

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

8. Shop Fox W1836

cheap wood lathe

Why we love it:

  • This lathe is easy to use so beginners can use it as well.
  • This tool has a 2-year long warranty for backup.
  • It has been constructed with cast iron that is durable too.
  • The spindle capacity of this lathe is 13 inches and its swing capacity is 8 inches which makes it perfect for turning small projects.

Electronic speed adjustmentlowest rpm is 500
Two spindle motorpoor customer support
Digital rpm readoutnot the best design
Good build quality

9. NOVA 46300 Comet II 

variable speed midi wood lathe

Why we love it:

  • A budget mini-lathe ideal for beginners.
  • Can do almost everything a full-size lathe does.
  • Solid build quality with a noiseless motor.
  • In spite of being small has a good swing capacity.
  • Includes almost all features found in larger lathes.
  • This lathe contains a powerful motor of ¾ hp.
  • It comes with two turning actions that are forward and reverse.
  • The three-step pulley system of this lathe offers various speed ranges.
  • The warranty of this lathe is 1 year long so you have a backup plan until it expires.

Strong motor for beginner projectsNot ideal for large scale projects
A budget buySome customers report belt slippage issues
Variable speed control
Forward and backward drive switch
3 pulley system increases torque

10. Rikon 70-100

benchtop lathe

Why we love it:

  • Has a self-ejecting tailstock & 12-position indexing head for accuracy.
  • The tailstock of this tailstock is self-ejecting so it saves some of your time.
  • The speed-changing system of this lathe is easy to access.
  • This lathe has an option to add various extensions.
  • The quality of this machine is great as compared to its affordable price.
  • It has a 12 position changing headstock for precise work.
  • It has a 2 years long warranty so you have a backup plan until it expires.
  • The capacity of the swing of this lathe is 12 inches long.

Powerful 1/2 HP DC MotorHeavy weight
User friendly and versatileWeak tail stock
Electronic Variable SpeedSome parts don't fit perfectly
Cast iron structure

Don’t miss our ultimate guide to wood paint.

11. Mophorn wood lathe

best benchtop wood lathe

Why we love it:

  • This Mophorn Wood Lathe contains a great swing capacity.
  • This Lathe has a Digital readout for monitoring speed RPM.
  • There are various belt positions in this wood lathe.
  • The motor of this lathe is 550 Watt powerful.
  • This lathe is built with sturdy cast iron.
  • It contains rubber feet for stable operation.

Digital rpm readoutNot fit for large projects
Variable speed controlLowest rpm is 500
Budget buySome customers report speed control issues
Value for money
User friendly

12. WEN 34027

budget wood lathe

Why we love it:

  • The belt positions of this lathe are easy to change.
  • It contains rubber feet to reduce vibrations and movement during its operation.
  • This wood lathe has an adjustable speed ranging from 500 to 2500 RPM.
  • This lathe contains a 4.5 AMP motor that starts slowly to avoid the damage of the motor and increase safety.
  • It comes with a digital display to monitor speed precisely.

Digital rpm readoutSpeed changing requires moving the belt
Forward and reverse drive switchSome customers complain motor issues
Easy handlingLowest rpm is 500
Good for beginners

 Learn more with this ultimate guide to a wood lathe.

Buying Guide

Here are some of the most important aspects to consider before buying a wood lathe machine.

Lathe Size

There are three main sizes in lathes. You will have to choose from mini ones, medium ones, and full-sized ones. A mini-lathe is great for less use and small work.

It’s perfect for those who are not doing some high-power projects. They’re the best if you are willing to buy a small and portable lathe. But, if you have a larger project to do or you won’t be moving around your lathe a lot then you can get the large one.


Even though you don’t want to make a decision solely based on the pricing of the lathes. But, it should always be considered before getting a lathe. Fortunately, there are a lot of great economical options that are pretty flexible when it comes to the kind of project you have.

If you really want the best one available then it will cost more. But, if you’re fine with having fewer features or abilities of a lathe, you can save some dollars while getting one.


How would you know if the wood lathe you’ve chosen for yourself has the best speed range? There is a general thumb rule that is related to the thickness of the stock. If the answer of multiplying the width of the stock with its RPM is between 6k to 9k, that machine is the perfect one for you.

So, the perfect speed relies on the width of the stock that you’ll be using on the machine.

Space Available

Always make sure to be cautious about the space you have at your work area. You don’t want to choose the best one for yourself just to know that it won’t fit into your work area. So, make sure to look into your spacing and measure it. Then you can easily ignore the ones that won’t fit into your workspace.lathe buying guide

Here are a few questions you might have before making your purchase. So let’s get the basics out of the way.

What is the best wood lathe for turning bowls?

These are our picks for the best wood lathes for turning bowls:

  • Jet JWL-1440VSK 
  • Delta Industrial 46-460
  • Grizzly Industrial G0462 

Be sure to check out our detailed guide to wood sanders.

What is the best beginner wood lathe?

Here are our top picks for the best beginner wood lathes:

  • Delta Industrial 46-460 Midi 
  • Grizzly Industrial G0462 
  • RIKON Power Tools 70-220VSR Midi

Should I buy a wood lathe?

A wood lathe is an essential tool for professional woodworkers as well as hobbyists. If you’re already a professional or plan on pursuing woodturning seriously, then investing in a wood lathe will surely pay off.

How much is a wood lathe worth?

An entry-level mini wood lathe can cost from $200 to $400. A midi or mid-range lathe may cost between $400 to $800, whereas a full-size lathe may start somewhere from $1000 all the way up to $5000. The price is highly dependant on features like swing capacity and builds quality etc.

What are the best wood-turning chisels?

  • PSI Woodworking Chisel Set
  • Hurricane Woodturning 16 Piece Set
  • Astro 1600 16-Piece Chisel Set
  • VonHaus 8 pc Chisel Set
  • Hurricane Woodturning 16 Piece Set
  • Savannah 8 Piece Chisel Set
  • Power Grip Carving Chisel Set
  • Hurricane Woodturning 8 Piece Chisel Set
Doug Mahoney

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