10 Best Wood Lathes for Turning Large Bowls 【Top Picks 2023】
Your access to a bunch of large logs and a chainsaw is causing you goosebumps?
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.
THINGS TO CONSIDER:
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.
Comparatively Mophorn 7 x 12 inches luxury version, this one is a lot more doable. There are so many advanced and considerable features in Grizzly Industrial. First, the lathe bed is made of high iron but the one that is more recommended by the experts in cast iron. And the Grizzly Industrial is lathe bedding and the legs are made of cast iron. Cast iron is famous to reduce vibrations and increase stability.
Then, Mophorn is known to have a variable speed limit that only ranges from 50-2500 however the one we recommended has a speed limit a little higher than this one. It has a speed limit from 600-2600 RPM.
Also, to work with Morphon you need to be quite professional in it as it requires jaw alignments and does not come with the thread indicator as well. You can work finely on it only if you know how to work on it. On the contrary to that, if we see the Grizzly one then it is highly recommended for beginners. With easy assigned built it is really easy to function as well. You don’t have to be professional to operate this one.
The grizzly industrial wooden bowls lathe is going to add real fun to your bowl turning experience with its 2 HP motor. Its speed and precise detailing will offer professional detailing. In addition to this, the cast-iron legs lend the tool greater stability while working on delicate designs, making it one of the perfect wood lathes for bowl turning.No more worries for beginners, even as Grizzly wood lathe has a speed control option. 600 to 2400 RPM speed with an adjustable button. You will experience unmatchable flexibility for any project with 360 swivel ability.
Have you done orientating your wood? Are you ready to turn your wood now? Easy to handle and easy to assemble wood lathe turning tool is a perfect value purchase for your upcoming project.
The item weight of Grizzly Industrial is measured to be 354 pounds.
Its length is measured to be 17.5 inches, the width is 63.25 inches, and the height is measured to be 20 inches.
The total voltage this machine requires is only 110 volts.
This one comes with a nice horsepower range with 2 HP. especially because the minimum HP that is recommended is ¾ and this one has around 2 HP. Which must make it efficient.
RPM (rotation per minute) is one of the vital features. As it is not giving satisfactory outcome per rotation then the product can be a big waste. So, the RPM of this one has 10 speeds that are from 600 – 2400, which is quite brilliant.
Enhanced flexibility with forwarding to reverse operation
Belt tension system for greater work possibilities.
✅ Convenient spindle lock
❌ A bit heavy
✅ Variable indexing positions
✅ Durable construction
✅ Comprehensive manual
Comparison with Other Wood Lathe:
If we look into Delta Industrial 46-460 then it also has the three-speed ranges. But the only difference between Delta and Jet is of the RPM. It promises 1725 RPM however the JET offers up to 3600 RPM. The speed of rotation per minute has a direct link with efficiency. This means the higher the speed higher will be efficiency, which is very obvious. Comparative another wood lathe, this one is more efficient.
The LED display is the feature that adds a bonus to the product. JET JWL-1221VS comes with an LED display of the system. One of the major factors that everyone notices is the price. The price of JET JWL-1221VS is very affordable yet it offers quite up to the mark features. Whereas, the Delta industrial is more costly than this one.
The swing capacity of the Delta industrial is 12-1/2 inches and it is known to provide the largest capacity. But despite the price JET offers 15-1/2 inches of space between the centers. This space is quite more than the latter. Not just that, but the bed ways of the JET are broader than the other one which automatically tells that it has high capacity.
JET 1221VS is a tool that can change your woodturning expectations. Yes, its fast speed, optimal speed control, and durable construction make it work exceptionally well and a great contender.
Moreover, the spur and live center are lined up closely for one another No vibrations, no slippings, and noise to bother you in your creative process, so work peacefully. Lastly, what attracts most of the buyers is its budget-friendly significance. Get your desired tool at a good price with all attractive features to get started with your creative journey.
The dimensions of this product include length, width, and height measures be 33.6 inches, 11 inches, and 35.8 inches respectively.
This one is lightweight as it only weighs around 121 pounds.
The speed of rotation per minute is commendable as it is 3600 RPM. While the speed is variable it can be changed from 60 to 3600 RPM. There are three speed ranges one from 60 to 900, the other one from 110 to 1800 and the last one from 2200 to 3600.
One of the pros of it is, it comes 5 years warranty which is a lot for a wood lathe.
It comes with an indexing head. The spring-loaded pin can be locked into any of the 24 positions.
If we compare Laguna Tools to PSI Woodworking then it is advanced in features overall. IT comes with the emergency stops the machine automatically if the operation is out of control. Then it has one of the most wanted features forward and reverses switch. The forward and reverse switch gives you the access to select the direction in which the spindle would rotate. It can be either clockwise or anticlockwise.
It has cast iron legs, which reduces the chances of vibration. Sometimes there is a situation in which the machine would vibrate even if it’s not in function due to the weight and the material. Because of that is becomes mandatory to prefer heavyweight and cast iron material. As both of them together reduces the vibration process.
One of the keen features of this machine is that it is quiet in operation. Usually, machines like this are expected to be noisy but compared to PSI woodworking this one is not loud to the ears.
The most attractive part of this champ is its quiet operation and variable speed frequencies. Quick and easy adjustments allow greater ease of work with this great wood lathe for turning bowls.
Moreover, Laguana tools present a bright and clear LCD display for better readouts that leads to accurate performance. An extension bed with 32 inches turning capacity can allow greater ease of work for any project. In addition to that, the stout tailstock and quill will add some real perfection to your creative work. Laguana tools maintain smooth operation even during heavy cuts and easily allow speed maintenance. The Delta VFD adjusts power to let the operation smooth for heavy cuts and that too with quick and easy control options.
The length of it is measured to be 40 inches, the width measures to be 36 inches, and the height to be 50 inches.
Overall the weight of this wood lathe is found to be 440 pounds.
It requires a little more voltage of around 220 volts.
The horsepower of this machine is quite good with 2 HP.
The maximum high speed of it ranges from 135 to 3500 RPM and the minimum is 50 to 1300 RPM.
The quill of the tailstock that works for the drilling effect is 4 and ½ inches.
Lastly, the distance between the lock and center is 36 inches.
Nova 1624 II 16 x 24 inches is a well-known wood lathe. But we would recommend RIKON because of its easy-to-use features. It comes with various features that make the use of it convenient and that’s why it can be perfect for beginners.
There are so many machines that come with variable speed options but changing them is the real struggle. This one comparatively comes with a cover that gives you a space where you can easily adjust the belt. Not just that, but the 12 position index head keeps the spindle in a fixed position to prevent any sort of accessories, blocks, etc.
Nova and most of the high brands don’t have the option of self-ejecting but this one does have. This saves your time and energy from knocking out the bar from the centers as it does it automatically. Adding more to its easy-to-use features, this one comes with a flip-up handle and a face platter made of nylon which will help you to prevent all the dirt from attacking the spindle.
Let’s master the art of woodturning. Don’t want to spend a hefty amount on wood bowl lathes while you just need to continue your wood turn passion.
Here is your perfect match, The RIKON Mini Lathe. It’s the larger one from its class and supports all kinds of turning projects very well. RIKON offers the ability to add multiple extensions for greater work possibilities. Moreover, a powerful speed is combined with 12 index head positions to offer accurate and detailed work. Easy to handle, bowl lathe with nylon faceplate delivers smooth operation without letting the accessories stuck.
This product is a little lightweight compared to others with 88.5 pounds.
The dimensions, length, width, and height, of this one measured to be 33.75 inches, 18 inches, and 11.5 inches respectively.
Its prime quality has to be that its speed changes quickly and that too without any effort. The speed changes vary from 430 to 810, 1230, 1810, 2670, and 3900.
It has a space of around 12 inches and the centers have a space of 16 inches. Due to which working on it becomes quite easy.
One of its prime features has to be an index head with 12 positions that will make the task a lot easier and more efficient.
This one has a warranty of 5 years. So, it is quite reliable.
Rickon Midi Lathe is a good affordable option to opt for. But one of the biggest issues in it has to be the size of bowls. It can only make small bowls because of the swing bed. Whereas, Grizzly Industrial comes with a nice space of swing bed. It is all open to making large bowls as its name itself speaks industrial. Although Rickon’s name itself says that it is a midi which means medium size but still the price of it is higher according to the functions it offers. But at a somewhat similar price, you would get the better version of the wood lathe in Grizzy Industrial.
Grizzly industrial is quite easy when it comes to the adjustment of the tailstock. Not just adjustments but other things like different ranges of speed, spindle speeds, great control, voltage power, and all are quite commendable.
Follow your passion, prepare your wood, and Grizzly is going to aid it. Woodturning is going to be fun when you switch on the ¾ HP motor with the quick-release tool rest of this great tool.
Easy and quick speed adjustments, handy operational procedures, and easy to assemble options made it attractive for beginners to set their skills to reach professional results. 12 inches turning radius and spindles nearly 16 inches allow you to work on a vast range of designs. Moreover, the speed control is offered with three ranges from 650 to 3800 RMP combined with digital readouts for greater accuracy in work.
Working with Grizzly is like working more accurately and easily. Easily one of the best wood lathes for bowl turning in the market right now.
The weight of Grizzy Industrial T25920 measures to be 80 pounds.
Coming on the size, the length of the product is 18 inches, the width is 33 inches, and the height is 12 inches.
The horsepower of this one is a minimum which ¾ HP.
Regardless of its less horsepower but its speed of it is quite variable. The speed ranges from 650 to 3800 RPM.
The overall spindle size is measured to be 1-inch x 8 inches TPI.
The space of the swing bed is 12 inches and the distance between the centers is 18 inches. These spaces are more than enough to make the operation laid back.
Lastly, it requires a minimum voltage power of 110 Volts only and 5.3 Amperes.
WEN 3421 is known for its good features in the market. But one thing is that it doesn’t have comparatively PSI woodworking two belt positions. Variable speed controlling feature might sound fascinating but the process still gets tough with some of the machines. As you might need to change the setting in some and set the belt. However, in PSI woodworking there are two belt positions.
Then for a more effective and efficient project, we need more positions in the headstock. Not that WEN 3421 does not have positions in it, it does but only 12. While talking about PSI Woodworking then it has a 24 position headstock. So, if you have plans to manufacture big bowls then PSI Woodworking is everything you might need. Plus so many beginners have approved it as it is soo easy to use.
A smooth operation, variable speed options, and two belt positions allow KWL-1218VS Turn Crafter Commander to work perfectly for even your most creative woodturning ideas. Its precision control and easy-to-use handles prove to be greater ease. This quality offers you to work in detail without much hassle. Durable construction adds reliability to the tool for long-lasting performance and extension bed for larger projects, making this lathe more attractive for beginners and professionals.
This great lathe is going to be a valuable purchase in this price range with a hand full of practical accessories. Get the package and enjoy your work more securely and professionally.
With 82 pounds the overall item weight of this one is fine enough to reduce vibrations.
It measures 32 inches in length, 9 inches in width, and 17 inches in height.
The power it requires to operate is only 110 Volts which is the minimum range of all the wood lathes.
Like other ones this one also has a variable speed option. But the highlighting feature of this one is it comes with two belt positions. One with 500 to 2000 RPM and the other with 1500 to 36000 RPM.
It comes with the greatest index positions as it has 24 positions index head.
❌ Speed power doesn’t meet professional requirements.
✅ Stable and consistent operation
✅ Cast iron construction
✅ Digital readouts
Comparison with Other Wood Lathe:
In comparison with the Xtremepower US, the Morphon Wood tends to have more stability and more versatility. That is because while buying the wood lathe the main focus of every buyer is to get a machine that is low in vibrations. And that is only possible if the machine is built of cast iron. So, many of them are built of still due to lightweight they might still vibrate.
So, this one is good in weight and made of cast iron. The WIN-WIN situation is the fact that its legs have rubber which brings more durability and makes the operation smoother. Not just that but the standard voltage that should be needed is 110 Volts. Exactly that is the power requirement of Mophorn. However, the XtremepowerUS needs a little more than 110V which is 115 V. Difference of 5 Volts might seem like a small number but it does bring a huge difference.
Also, this machine gives sound-free operation. Because somewhere we all assume how much noise woodturning into a bowl would make. But not with this one as it operates very quietly. All the materials used in it are very high quality and it has very low chances of ending up in repairing zone. Because all the gears and shafts are fitted perfectly and sturdily in the headstock.
A wide variety of uses stands out this wood lathe among wood lathes for turning bowls. It allows it to fulfill any environment such as lab, workshop, engineering, or education needs. It’s easy to use and compact to fit any workplace. Just set the speed according to your choice with an easy-to-handle knob and adjust the tool rest to go along with any creative or professional project. Cast iron construction with rubber feet; this lathe will not only deliver a smooth and stable operation but also add durability to the tool.
This champ from mini bowl turning lathes will offer a precise turning experience with its clear readouts and professional rest.
The weight of this Mophorn Wood Lathe is 83 pounds.
The height of it is measured to be 13 inches, the length is 35 inches, and the width is 18.5 inches.
The power of this machine is 550 Watt and the voltage required is 110 Volts or 60 Hz.
The surface of the swing over the bed is found to have a space of 12 inches whereas the difference center is 18 inches.
The spindle speed is variable and has a range from 500 to 38000 RPM. It is known to have infinity variables.
It gets really hard to stand out of the crowd when the competition is so tough. Still, in comparison with Jet JWL – 1015, this one comes out prominently. As it has the reverse function in the spindle speed function. We all know how tough it gets if there is no reverse function and sadly you won’t this function in Jet JWL – 1015.
This is not it, it comes with a safety paddle switch. It is a function in which the machine stops operating if it senses something wrong with it. It also has a wide faceplate which enables great turnings, smooth functioning, and outstanding results.
Out of all the lathes for turning bowls, Shop fox is a reliable name in the industry. This bowl lathe will support all cutting, sharpening, or turning projects. Its specially designed faceplate and 2 tool rest allow a variety of applications.
Moreover, this bowl lathe is backed with 2 years of warranty. Variable speed and efficient tools made it work precisely on your smaller projects.
A safety paddle switch is also an attractive option, especially for beginners, to enhance their skills while staying safe. Just because it is placed last doesn’t mean it isn’t of the lathe for turning large bowls.
There are very less chances of any problem of vibrations a weight of it is 153 kg. Surprisingly, this machine is really heavy and into kg.
The length of the product is 63.99 inches, the width is 17.99 inches, and the height is 15.99 inches.
It consists of a 2 HP motor and the distance between the centers is 16 inches.
This one comes with 6 inches faceplate which does not let the dirt and impurities attack the spindle.
There are 10 spindle speed extensions and they range from
Colt – SML 350 both are used for making small turning bowls. However, Colt is a little high pricy but comparatively to that Delta Industrial provides much more features however they both manufacture the same size of the bowls.
One of the best features of Delta Industrial is the fact that it has six spindle speeds that operate in the smoothest way ever. Then it’s 24 integrated indexing also works like wonder. If you are new to this field and want to explore making bowls and all then you need to buy this one. As it is the most affordable one in the market and it gives the best results at the same time.
After using it one thing that you would realize is its price does not justify its functions and how other products have overpriced. Just one of the look-back points of this is that it does not have a reverse function and the belt might take a little more time. So, do consider this point before buying it,
Are you a DIY lover? A small yet powerful and efficient tool is here for your next DIY project. Delta Lathe for bowl turning is powered with a 1HP motor with variable speed frequency and adjustable speed control. Change of frequencies is made more accessible with a patented belt tension system. Set the tension for a high power transfer to allow fast and fine work and longer life. No vibration and no noise at your workstation anymore due to wood bowl lathes.
You can also enjoy locking the headstock spindle in 24 different positions with an indexing pin. Smaller construction doesn’t hinder the performance of this great tool. Especially the forward to reverse function will help you achieve a professional finish, making this one of the most amazing lathes for the price.
The item weight of it is 44 kg.
The length of this one is measured to be 35.99 inches, the width of it is 10.99 inches, and the height is 17.75 inches.
The product has a space of 15 and ½ inches between the centers.
This machine has a guarantee of 3 years.
Overall it comes with six speeds which are 500, 840, 1240, 1800, 2630, and 3975.
This wood lathe also has combined 24 positions of indexing. This makes the process easier and better.
Although this one is notorious in the market. But still, it has the best to offer. One of the bases of perfect outcome is the good speed of the spindle. And based on that, if we compare it to the best product in the market which is Grizzly Industrial G0462, then its speed ranges from 600 to 2600. But Nova 71118 has 240 to 4000 to offer. This speed is by far the highest in the town and it does help to make the flawless bowls.
Also, there are very less products available which changing the speed as in this one. You either see they would provide a separate space or a different feature. However, this one gives you the easiest three-step pulley-like system. Which 1st step is for low speed, then the second one for medium, and the 3rd and last is for high speed.
Although it is for small projects comparatively Reckon Midi Late this one makes the larger and premium turning bowls. Nova 71118 is everything that we call less is more.
A smart, convenient, yet efficient tool is at your place. Are you looking for a portable tool that can be placed easily at your workstation being compact? Here it is. Forward and reverse switch systems will offer detailed woodturning, and a variable speed option allows ease of use. User-friendly bowl lathe with all attractive features. One of the best choices in performance as well as maintenance. This bowl lathe is compact yet offers a Speed Range of 250 – 4,000 RPM with Digital Readout for accurate performance. You can also purchase an extension for larger projects.
The weight of the product is 82 pounds.
The length, width, and height of it are found to be 22.6 cm, 45.2 cm, and 83.6 cm respectively.
It might need one lithium-ion battery.
When it comes to the speed of the spindle then it is best in the market as it ranges from 250 to 4000 RPM.
The speed can be changed with the 3 step pulley system. This ranges from low to medium and then to high.
The electronic variable speed motor consists of ¾ Horsepower.
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.
THREAD SIZE OF SPINDLE:
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.
FEATURES OF HEADSTOCK:
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.
JET JWL-1221vs Wood Lathe
RIKON 70-100 12×16
Delta Industrial 46 460
SHOP FOX W1704
You can also check any wood bowl lathe for sale at a discount at Amazon.
Doug is a master woodworker with over 15 years of experience in the craft. Doug's passion for woodworking began at a young age, watching his father build furniture and learning from him the skills and techniques that have made him the expert he is today.
Whether you're a beginner or a seasoned woodworker, Doug's blog is a must-read for anyone looking to improve their skills and knowledge in the craft.