10 Best Wood Lathes for Turning Large Bowls

Best Wood Lathe for Turning Bowls

 Your access to a bunch of large logs and a chainsaw is causing you goosebumps? 

best wood lathe for turning bowls

Or is it the passion of getting the bowls and round family wood designs?

In both cases, a wood lathe for turning bowls can help you enjoy your woodwork more than ever. The right wood lathe can turn a variety of things, from your most desired pen to the legs of your favorite table.

So no more idle sitting!

You’ll find various product options reviewed here, all from reliable brands with top-performing abilities.

Let’s dive in

What should I look for in a wood lathe?

  • A stable and sturdy base for smooth operation.
  • The size of the lathe to accommodate your task well.
  • The motor power for stable speed to craft well
  • The headstock and tailstock for best positioning and even turning.
  • Tool rest to offer the perfect applications.
  • Speed variable to meet the project details.
  • Digital Readouts for greater accuracy.

What is the perfect speed for turning wood?

Bowl turning lathes need a specific speed to turn the wood more appropriately. Most of the wood lathes for turning bowls offer variable speed options so that you can switch according to your work requirements. Ideally, it’s between 500 to 4000 RPM. I hope all these enlisted lathes and a buying guide will lead you to make a better purchase decision and choose the most suitable option for bowl turning.

These are the many factors involved in choosing the most amazing lathes for bowl turning. Full-size one is the stand size and is mostly used for professional and big projects. It helps you in escalating big bowls, big furniture legs, platters, and more. On the contrary, midi lathe and mini wood lathe are a bit smaller than full-size as they both vary from 12 to 14 inches. The only difference between both of them is swing capacity as the midi one has extra capacity whereas the mini’s swing capacity is only limited to 8 inches. Both of them have a low horsepower rate.


Finding the perfect wood lathe is not as easy as finding the right shoe size. There is a lot of things that you would need in your lathe and necessarily there are so many things that you might not need in it. So in such circumstances, consideration of some basic factors gets mandatory.

Some of the important factors are discussed below:

  • SIZE OF THE LATHE: Considering the “size” of the product is very obvious. Whether you are buying a lathe or any other product. However, when it comes to wood lathes then you will find three different sizes in the market. Full-size, midi lathe, and mini wood lathe.
  • CHECK THE BUILD:  Make sure that your lathe is heavy. As heavier the weight, the fewer chances of vibrations are there. If it won’t be heavy enough then it can fit properly on the unbalanced logs. To avoid annoying common vibration problems, opt for the heavier machine. Also, your preference of the material should be cast iron. Because cast iron also works against vibration and this material makes the operation efficient. After all, the lesser the vibration higher will be efficiency.
  • ITS MOTOR OPERATION: A nice motor with effective horsepower is very important. So, consider buying the one with at the at-least mediocre speed of the horsepower. That’s why matching the power of the machine with your demand and need gets very necessary. But the bare minimum horsepower that you should consider is ¾ HP.
  • SWING BED: The capacity of the wood lathe directly depends on the size of the swing bed. As it directly depends on the diameter of it and the difference between with headstock and the tailstock end. So, that why considering the diameter of the swing bed is very important.

Best Wood Lathe for Turning Bowls 2023:

Here are our picks the top wood lathes for turning bowls and a comprehensive buying guide for your next valuable purchase.

1. Grizzly Industrial G046210/10
[Editor's Choice]
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2. JET JWL-1221VS9/10
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3. Laguna Tools Revo Lathe8.5/10
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4. RIKON 70-1008/10
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5. Grizzly Industrial T25920 7.5/10
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6. PSI Woodworking KWL-1218VS7.5/10
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7. Mophorn Wood Lathe7.5/10
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8. SHOP FOX W17047.1/10
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9. Delta Industrial 46-4607/10
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10. Nova 71118 Comet II DR6.5/10
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1. Grizzly Industrial G0462

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

Why do we love it?

  • Stability with minimal vibrations is remarkable
  • A heavy-duty machine with a 2HP motor
  • Quick-release lever for the headstock
  • It allows for Flexible rotation

Adjustable speed optionnone
360-degree swivel ability
Durable cast iron construction
Easy and quick digital readouts
Great value for money

2. JET JWL-1221VS

JET JWL-1221VS Wood Lathe

Why do we love it?

  • Adjustable speed control
  • 60 to 3600 RPM work speed
  • Enhanced flexibility with forwarding to reverse operation
  • Belt tension system for greater work possibilities.

Convenient spindle lockA bit heavy
Variable indexing positions
Durable construction
Comprehensive manual

3. Laguna Tools Revo Lathe

Laguna Tools Revo Lathe

Why do we love it?

  • Smooth and consistent operation
  • Ergonomic handles
  • Speed adjustment ability
  • Easy readouts for accuracy of work

A durable and powerful toolFreehand operation is a hassle.
Self ejecting floor
Ergonomic angled control panel
Variable speed frequency

4. RIKON 70-100 12-by-16-Inch

RIKON 70-100 12-by-16-Inch

Why do we love it?

  • Self ejecting tailstock
  • Easy and quick speed change
  • Backed with 2 years limited warranty
  • Quiet and smooth operation

Indexing head for detailed performanceSpeed change is inconvenient
Ability to add extensions
Attractive accessories included

5. Grizzly Industrial T25920 

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

Why do we love it?

  • Digital spindle speed indicator
  • Variable speed
  • Tailstock for easy adjustment
  • High power motor

Durable heavy duty constructionNot ideal for large projects
Quick-release tool rest
User friendly

6. PSI Woodworking KWL-1218VS

PSI woodworking kwl-1218vs

Why do we love it?

  • Listed and certified by Intertek.
  • Variable Speed
  • Convenient built-in handles.
  • Extension bed for larger turning projects

Durable constructionThe work light doesn’t function well.
Digital readout
Smooth operation
Practical accessories included

7. Mophorn Wood Lathe 10 x 18 Inch

Mophorn Wood Lathe 10 x 18 Inch

Why do we love it?

  • Larger work area
  • Wide applications and many more features
  • Variable speed adjustment
  • Powerful motor

Interchangeable tool restSpeed power doesn’t meet professional requirements.
Stable and consistent operation
Cast iron construction
Digital readouts

8. SHOP FOX W1704


Why do we love it?

  • Variable speed control
  • Ideal for small turning projects
  • Safety paddle switch
  • 2 Years Limited Warranty

2 tool rests for wide applicationsNot versatile
Durable cast-iron structureOnly suitable for small projects
Compact and portable design
Wide faceplate allows great turning.

9. Delta Industrial 46-460

Delta Industrial 46-460

Why do we love it?

  • Easy forward and reverse function
  • Large swing capacity
  • Belt tension system for speed control
  • 5-year warranty

Cast iron durable constructionNo swivel ability
Consistent and precise performanceSuitable for smaller projects only
Fast speed change
Quiet and stable

10. Nova 71118 Comet II DR

Nova 71118 Comet II DR

Why do we love it?

  • Portable and compact lathe
  • Variable speed Range of 250 – 4,000 RPM
  • Powerful motor that works all the time
  • Digital display for readouts

Forward reverse systemThe index wheel has notches
3 step pulley systemDesign complexities
Durable construction
NOVA smart accessories

Buying Guide

best wood lathe for bowl turning

Now, what makes a wood lathe best for turning bowls? So many questions come to mind when making a purchase decision. We attempt to address some of the major ones here.

Since there are so many wood latches available in the market, choosing the right one seems challenging. For that, you need to consider so many factors for getting the suitable one for your project. You would need to consider the quality, features of the parts or maybe the system of it as well.

Here you will find out some of the “go-to” features so that your turning bowls turn out as amazing as ever.


If you want to make your life easier then get the one with the spindle bore. There are so many of them without its spindle bore which does work fine but it makes the operation a little tough.

If you don’t know then it has a hole that goes to the spindle. It helps you and makes it easier for you to determine the knockout bar size that is used to know the centers.


More taper is located at the end of the center and at the end of the fit that is inside the spindle and tailstock quill. The more taper is categorized into 3 types; no. 1 MT, no.2 MT, and no.3 MT.

No.2 MT is most recommended as it can be used from mini to full size. The good thing about this one is that it is these tapers and center, later on, can be fitted to another wood lathe as well, in case you buy the new one.

On the other hand, do not go for the no.1 Morse Taper as it will not be a good decision.


To get the perfect chucks and faceplate, you need to know the actual size of the spindle. If you want it to be unbending for your projects then the spindle needs to have a larger size. That is why it gets very important to know the size of the spindle.

The recommended measurements in diameter and the thread of the spindle are, 1-inch x 8 TPI, ¾ inches x 10 TPI, 1-inch x 10 TPI, and so on like these.

Never make the mistake of buying the smaller spindle thread size as it does nothing but will give you hard time.


Tailstock plays a vital role in the process of boring and drilling. It gives that support that holds and spins the workpiece tightly and efficiently. It also used to slide in and away from the headstock. This tells you that you should be looking for a tailstock is its quilling power.

So, you need to buy a quill that can travel easily, smoothly, and for more time. It would be a cherry on the top of the tailstock would be self-ejecting.


There are some highly crucial and advanced features in your headstock that you should consider in your wood latch to make the whole process easier and easier. For instance, buy the one that comes with a reverse switch, spindle lock, and indexing, digital readout, hand wheel, remote control for the emergency stoppage, etc.

Frequently Asked Question

Here are some really important questions addressed for your ease.

What kind of lathe do I need to turn bowls?

There are many types of lathes for bowl turning. Mini lathes work great for turning pens or other small items. Mid-sized lathes are more suitable for designing furniture spindles or medium bowls.

Whereas, a full-size wood lathe is good for any turning project of varying scales. So, define the size according to your needs and skills.

What is the best large wood lathe for the money?

To buy the perfect wood lathe for turning bowls, you always need to set a budget that is mostly a significant factor in purchasing any product.

  1. JET JWL-1221vs Wood Lathe
  2. RIKON 70-100 12×16
  3. Delta Industrial 46 460
  4. SHOP FOX W1704

You can also check any wood bowl lathe for sale at a discount at Amazon.

References & Sources:

Bowl Turners and Spoon Carvers

Cutting force in woodworking.

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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