Are you tired of doing tasks like wood turning, cutting, drilling, etc. with your outdated and old fashioned lathe? Does your lathe create more mess than getting good results for you? Then it is high time that you move onto better quality and highly advanced wood lathe that comes up with amazing features. But these days market is flooded with a wide variety of wood lathes, all with fantastic quality and amazing characteristics. Choosing the best wood lathe becomes a difficult decision at times. But don’t worry because here we are to help you with all the sort of information required for making a wise and informed buying decision.
No need to get confused, just read this article that provides the reviews of the best wood lathe. You can compare some of the best wood lathes here and choose the one that fits your woodworking needs. The article will clear all the facts relating to a good wood lathe so that you aren’t left with a doubt in your mind. It will also discuss and compare some of the features of wood lathes like speed, model, power, usage, etc.
Remember a superior wood lathe is the one that will allow you to work faster and without causing much exertion in the whole process. So, better choose wisely!!
ABOUT WOOD TURNING LATHE:
Woodworking is one of the most ancient and dignified human crafts practiced since time immemorial. Every person, from a wood turner to a carpenter, a beginner to a skilled artist has different requirements in terms of the tools and products. So we will provide you complete information on some of the best woodworking tools and products that have flooded the modern markets.
There are wood turning lathes, lathe tools and extensions and also other types of tools available wood turning. So here is a complete knowledge guide for you with comprehensive reviews and comparisons. Also, the factors that you need to keep in mind while buying the tools for your work, different types of wood lathes available and different parts & attachments available are discussed in this article.
Different kinds of woodworking tools are used to make items like bowls and platters. Some people employ the usage of standard lathes & mini lathes while others would prefer large wood lathes for their needs. Our reviews will unveil all the important aspects and factors that you need to consider prominently for making a ‘buying decision’. Some of the important factors include: the power of lathe, its speed, and motor. It will also comprehend the physical properties of each n every tool ranging from size and build to weight and stability. Another important factor that is highly paid attention is the noise level. A supreme quality wood lathe is the one that will create minimal noise and disturbance that give you a pleasing work environment. This, in turn, ensures good and better results. We have made all the possible efforts to include even the minutest details so that you can choose the best for you.
ADDITIONAL BONUS, just for you: we will also give in- depth details of ease- of- use opinion, along with the relevant types of wood that are compatible with the wood lathe machine. And how can we forget the price factor, it is an important consideration that allows you to make a wise decision and we’ll be surely mentioning that along with the other important aspects. So this is a definitive place where you can resolve all your dilemmas relating to the buying decision. So, it is the right place where we provide precise details on woodworking tools and woodturning lathes.
Another important aspect that we cover here is, important parts and attachments of wood lathe machinery that make your tasks simpler. These include: chucks, drill chucks, bars, center finders, and tenons. Also, the available accessories include: chisels, scrapers, gouges, measuring sets, parting, and beading tools.
As earlier mentioned, our aim is to cater the needs of everyone from beginners to professionals and we make sure that your queries are not left untouched. Our website is an ultimate solution to your problems and all wood turning fanatics can take a look at our pages for a thorough and deep learning of the subject. Finally, we will also guide you as to where you can find the best wood lathe tools for your requirement and how you can make an accurate and wise decision. All your confusions will be shattered here and you’ll unquestionably choose the best for yourself.
WHAT IS A WOOD LATHE?
Let’s first get familiar with a clear cut definition of a wood lathe. A wood lathe basically is a machine, or better called, a wood turning machine, that is used for molding, shaping or carving wood into a desirable product. This machine makes use of spinning or rotating mechanism where a wooden piece is being rotated and cut to shape it.
A wood lathe machine enables users to exercise better control over the task as one is not required to rely just upon the blade rather person can use the movement of his hands to complete the tasks desirably.
Some of the most important characteristics of Wood Lathe are mentioned below:
- Wood lathes can operate at varying speeds. The user can set the desired speed depending on his requirements. Speed setting control enables the user to produce products with differing shapes, sizes, and designs. Also, high speeding machine enables quick performance of the tasks.
- There are different kinds of wood lathes available; spindle or faceplate turners. The user can choice either depend upon the wood type he’s using and also the final product he’s expecting.
- Wood lathe machines have versatile applications. Most of the wood turners use them for making arts and crafts, furniture and other purposeful bits and pieces. They use their own creativity and innovation to bring out the best.
- These days wood lathes are being designed, keeping in mind, the requirements of modern day wood turners. So these machines are highly efficient and powerful.
- The best wood lathe machines aim to provide stability of operations and are compatible with various kinds of wood.
- Wood lathe machines employ the usage of highly advanced components to enhance the productivity of the work and achieve superior results.
WHAT TYPES OF WOOD LATHES ARE AVAILABLE?
Wood lathes are designed on common principles. But sometimes there may be various noteworthy dissimilarities between different models. These differences emerge due to different factors and technology employed is one of them.
So, these dissimilarities give rise to different types of machines serving diverse needs of the wood turners. Some are designed for basic or standard woodturning tasks while other for small products of bowl items.
Some of the commonly used wood lathes are the following:
- STANDARD LATHES:The standard lathes are used for turning items that are of functional in nature, for instance, table legs. These are also used for artistic items such as wooden sculptures. These machines are solid or rigid in nature and are made of heavy rugged cast iron. The common feature of this machine is an adjustable rail which enables the user to give the desired shape to the wood. These are the most commonly and widely used lathes.
- MINI WOOD LATHES:As the name suggests, the size of these wood lathes is much smaller than that of standard lathes. These are used for designing smaller and complex items that require much care and meticulousness. These are less powerful than other machines. They do have an added advantage of more floor space as compared to other machines. These are portable wood lathe machines.
LATHES FOR MAKING BOWLS & PLATES: These kinds of lathes are specifically used to make products like bowls and plates. They employ the use faceplate turning mechanism that spins the grain of wood relative to the axis of the machine. The width of the wooden piece that can be used in this machine is smaller because these machines do not have a horizontal rail that is found in other standard wood lathes.
TOP 5 WOOD LATHE REVIEWS:
These days Powermatic 3520B is one of the most efficient and excellent wood lathes available in the market. This machine is a deadly combination of two schools of thought: the traditional reliability + the highly developed technology. When it comes to traditional reliability, this model makes sure to provide you all the features of classic lathes, like sliding headstock, electronic variable-speed control, and a spindle indexing for drilling hole patterns n routing flutes. It is no way less than the modern wood lathes as it features some of the most amazing characteristics discussed below:
The 2 horsepower motor is an exceptional and unmatched feature of this machine. It becomes all the more powerful with 220 volts and a variable speed motor. This speed motor also has an inverter for single- phase input or three- phase input.
Another superb feature of this machine includes heavy-duty cast iron body that enhances the durability of the machine. A digital RPM readout allows you to monitor your speed. A tailstock is there for internal storage and a laser etched quill that self-ejects itself.
The wing is about 20 inches with 34.5 inches between the centers. This machine is designed to handle all sorts of jobs including the most severe ones and does them in a very less time.It is highly versatile as it suits the requirements of both the beginners and trained persons. It weighs over 680 pounds, is highly stable and can very well resist vibration. Due to its solid body, you need not pester about those bulky sandbags or other weights. It is very rigid and strong in nature.Your machine comes with a tool support, headstock, 2 leg assemblies, face plate, screws, washers, tool caddy, levelers pins and many more accessories.
It has a 5-year warranty as well. All in all, it is an outstanding quality wood lathe that combines the features of classical reliability and modernized technology to do the most difficult tasks very easily.
NOVA 1624-44 wood lathe comes with a solid 1.5 horsepower AC motor that is exceptionally powerful. With a voltage of 115 and speed from about 215 rpm to a maximum of 3600 rpm, it ensures that your tasks are done speedily. This machine is highly durable because of its solid cast iron body that is light at the same time. But to keep it steady use some sort of weight at its base.You can easily set the speed according to your convenience and demand of the task undertaken. All you need to do is to move the drive belt between the pairs of pulleys. It is an easy pulley setup that won’t let you in any kind of complications. Also, the speed of the wood lathe would have eight interval stops (or 8-speed range) to make the tasks simpler.
But this wood lathe does not have any ballast shelf!
It is highly versatile and is powerful enough to stay back with you for numerous years of woodturning. The 16 inches swing capacity and 24 inches between the centers is the best of all features. The swing head can rotate a complete circle, i.e. 360 degrees. The swing can further be extended with the accessories.
The locking lever allows the tool to rest conveniently and does not let it move from its position. It is very comfortable and easy on hands.
The parts of this machine are very easy to slide and adjust and can also rotate in reverse. The model is highly affordable and has a long life. So, it’s definitely a good option to consider.
The JET JWL- 1642-EVS- 2 is a trustworthy and a reliable wood lathe that will amaze you with its super power. This model shares some of its features with the powerful and rugged Powermatic 3520B.
The 2 horsepower motor makes it powerful and of course a unique one among other inferior quality lathes.
The machine features a voltage of 230 V and 6.1 amps. The electronic inverter allows it to work with a speed ranging from 50 to 1200 and 125 to 3200 rpm.
The JET JWL- 1642-EVS- 2 also has a digital readout to set the desired speed and also it can be monitored easily. The indexing machinery allows speedy fluting and veining operations.The headstock slides easily and allows convenient turning of outboard. It also has an excellent live center for its tailstock. The spindle lock is not at all a trouble because it is spring loaded that ensures it doesn’t remain in a locking position.
The body is made of cast iron that adds on to its stability and durability. It helps in resisting vibration to a great extent. In fact, the legs are also iron made that enhances its stability to a further level. It has very widely spaced feet that come with adjustable padding which makes it very safe n secure even on the complex surfaces.
The JET JWL- 1642-EVS- 2 provides a swing capacity of 16 inches to 42 inches. This machine is very flexible as it suits aptly to the requirements of each and every person. It is suitable for all kinds of tasks, whether small or big, easy or complex!
Its durability, preciseness, efficiency and effectiveness make it widely acceptable.
The NOVA DVR- XP is a superior quality round lathe that has electronic variable speed. This wood lathe has a 1.75 horsepower direct drive intelligent DVR motor. The motor is called intelligent because it allows you to set your favorite speed along with chisel dig safety sensing and out-of-balance adjustment. The speed ranges from 100 to 3500 rpm.
The voltage of 115 V and low starting speed makes it versatile to tackle all kinds of works ranging from small to large and even the round projects as well. It provides smooth operational efficiency and exceptional torque.
The NOVA DVR- XP has a swing capacity of 16 inches with 24 inches in the centers. This wood lathe can work both the ways: forward and reverse. The components are well built with cast iron and provide full head functionality. The remarkable torque along with a solid spindle ensures smooth going of tasks.
There are no drive pulleys but an integrated motor and headstock. It allows you to exercise greater control without any interruptions. But you will definitely miss the presence of a stand and few other accessories in the package. But you may use a substitute for the stand.
This model is also a good option to be considered.
SHOP FOX W1758:
The SHOPFOX W1758 is an amazing wood lathe available in the markets these days. The 2 horsepower motor is a fantastic feature that makes it all-time favorite and a preferred choice.The speed ranges from 600 to 2400 rpm. The 110 V single phase design is very much appealing to the customers. It has a swing capacity of 16 inches with 46 inches between the centers. The speed can be changed easily by adjusting the lever.
The super powerful swivel head makes outboard turning an easier and simpler task. This is made easy further with the tool rest extension. This extension can be adjusted in 3 ways. The SHOPFOX W1758 comes with heavy duty ground cast iron bed and legs to ensure stability and resistance against vibration. An inbuilt digital tachometer will allow you to get accurate spindle speed. The headstock can rotate efficiently every 30 degrees ranging from 1 degree to 180 degrees. It also features headstock and tailstock locks. It is very affordable wood lathe available.
BEST MINI WOOD LATHE REVIEWS:
Wood lathes come in varying sizes ranging from small to large. Different sizes suit the requirements of different people. Some professionals prefer large wood lathe to handle their complex and large wood turning projects while other prefer mini wood lathe for creating smaller objects. So there are mini wood lathes available for suiting their requirements.
These mini wood lathe models can be operated on a bench and are designed to create obscure objects. Another benefit of mini wood lathes is that they occupy lesser space and are handy n portable.
Some of the mini wood lathe reviews are given below:
- DELTA INDUSTRIAL 46-460:
Usually, all the mini wood lathes are quite similar to each other but there are quite a few that are peculiar and unique from the rest. This mini wood lathe is a very powerful machine available in the market these days. It features 1 horsepower motor which offers high speed. It also has three pulley speeds and a variable control over speed. The belt tension system and reverse function accelerates changes in speed and ensures enhanced the longevity of the machine.
- SHOP FOX W1752:
The SHOPFOXW 1752 comes with a 3.5-inch long stroke that is long enough to support complex tasks. The motor allows adjusting six variable settings of speed. The speed can reach to the maximum of 4000 rpm. It has a swing capacity of 10 inches with 15.5 inches between the centers. In fact, the swing is capable of being extended up to 38 inches with the bed extension.
- ROCKLER EXCELSIOR 5-SPEED MINI LATHE:
A very powerful mini wood lathe which is affordable at the same time comes with five- speed pulley system. The ROCKLEREXCELSIOR 5- SPEED mini wood lathe can operate at varying speeds of 760rpm, 1100 rpm, 1600 rpm, 2200 rpm or 3200 rpm. This mini wood lathe is not equipped with the most advanced features but it surely is a precise choice for carrying on smaller and less complex tasks.
- JET JWL-1015VS:
This mini wood lathe model is available at an affordable price range. It comes with 10 inches swing capacity with 15.5 between the centers. The JET JWL-1015VS is a stable and rigid mini wood lathe model which offers variable speed ranges.
FACTORS TO BE CONSIDERED WHILE BUYING A WOOD LATHE:
You need to consider a number of factors before you step into the market to buy a good quality wood lathe. Each and every machine has different features and these features and these special features decide the quality of a particular machine. It is up to the wood turner’s requirement that to which factor he gives topmost priority and which is least important to him. But of course all the factors have their own significance and these are discussed below:
- MOTOR: The motor’s size is an important factor determining the efficiency of your wood lathe. Bigger the motor; faster can the machine cut the wood. If the motor is small- sized, then it will cause problems in cutting heavy wooden objects.
- POWER: The power of a wood lathe can be determined with the help of a number of factors including the type of motor used and its speed. The speeds at which the lathe can be operated highly determine the power of a wood lathe. The more powerful is your machine; more will be its capability to handle complex operations.
- BUILD/ SIZE: There are different sizes of wood lathes available in the market: standard sizes, mini lathes, and larger ones. User may choose the appropriate size according to his requirements. For instance, mini lathes are used for small projects and floor lathes which are much more powerful are used for larger projects.
- WEIGHT: The weight of a wood lathe is also an important factor to be considered while buying a wood lathe. A good wood lathe should be heavy enough to ensure the stability of operations. On the other hand, a lightweight lathe would shake when operated at high speeds and spoil the project.
- SPEED: Different ranges of speed determine the different sizes, shapes, and designs of the final products. Some objects require high speed while others require less speed. Say, for instance, table legs need faster rotation while bowl/ plates need slow rotations. Usually, modern lathes come up with adjustable speeds so that users can operate them with ease.
- DURABILITY: The speed of lathe affects the sturdiness of the machine. A good lathe is the one which is built to stand in the long run with heavy cast iron body.
- RESISTANCE TO VIBRATION: A good wood lathe should be resistant to vibration. This can be made possible only when the lathe is made of a solid and rigid body. Extreme vibration messes up the whole operations of the task.
- NOISE: A lathe must cause minimal noise to ensure a calm working environment and pleasing atmosphere. This reduces annoyance and irritation while working.
- SWING COMPETENCE: The swing competence or capacity refers to the distance between the maximum swing and the centers. Longer the distance; large would be the pieces of wood that can be operated on the machine.
- EASE- OF USE: Simple and easy operations make the wood lathes effective. The more complex is the usage; more is the difficulty in doing work. So, a good lathe must provide comfort and ease- of use to the operator.
- PRICE: Of course, wood lathes are expensive, but they are surely worth the money you spend on them. Beginners must think properly before investing in such expensive tools. But there are some cheap lathes also available which compromise on quality as compared to some of the advanced models.
TYPE OF WOOD: One must be sure of the compatibility of the type of wood used with the concerned machine before buying. Different wood lathe support different types of wood and one must check that beforehand.
WOOD LATHE PARTS AND ATTACHMENTS
Correct attachments and parts enhance the functionality of your wood lathe. You would have a large number of options when you get into the market but you have to choose the best for you according to your requirements.
Different parts and attachments of wood lathe available in the market these days are given in the following section.
IMPORTANT WOOD LATHE PARTS AND ATTACHMENTS TO SAVE YOUR TIME
Different parts and attachments that come for the wood lathe are capable of saving user’s time and enhance the effectiveness of your machine. Some of them are:
- BORING BARS: The technique of drilling used in woodworking is called BORING. The boring tool is used for making circular plunge cuts. A boring bar holder is a prerequisite if you buy boring bars.
- CENTER FINDER: It is one of the most important wood lathe tools. This tool is used to locate the center of any round or square stock of the lathe. There are two sides of this tool, one of which locates the diagonal line of square and the other on circular stock.
- CHISEL SETS: If you are a beginner in the field of woodworking, you surely need to get chisel sets for you. Savannah HSS wood lathe chisel 8 piece set is a great tool for you. These chisels are highly effective and are known to outlive carbon steel 6 to 1.
Usually, all the chisels are accompanied with skillfully turned hardwood handles in a wood case. This set will cater to almost all of your woodturning requirements with its components.
- CHUCKS AND DRILL CHUCKS: It is that part of the drill that grips the rotating bit. These are designed in a manner to hold the bit tightly even in the high amount of torque. Most of the drill chucks come with removable jaws. A special tool called ‘chuck key’ is used to tighten lathe chucks.
- TENON TOOL: If you want soft and delicate turnings, then this is just the tool for you. It helps in getting an accurate and precise 90 degrees inside angle corner for woodturning. Ever heard of PSI LCTEN HSS wood lathe tenon tool…? It is just the right choice for you with 1- ¼ inch width, 5-inch length and a 4-inch handle.
WOOD LATHE TOOLS AND ACCESSORIES
Like all the machines, wood lathes also need some efficient accessories to work wonderfully well. So if you want your wood lathe machine to show excellent and marvelous results make sure you have the following accessories:
TYPES OF WOOD LATHE TURNING TOOLS:
- BOWL GOUGES: These gouges have many variants and are grounded square-across. All the different variants of this tool are suited for some specific purpose. An expert opinion must be considered while making the buying decision. Bowl gouges must be rigid and full bodied to execute the operations well. You may consider different grounding angles according to your requirements.
- CENTER FINDERS: The Woodstock D3098 Center Finder is a great center finder tool. One of the two sides locates square stock’s diagonal which is up to the size of 8*8 and the other side locates circular stock’s diagonal which is up to the size of 4 ½ inches. Center can easily be found by making two opposite diagonal lines.
- MEASURING SETS: These tools are used to give accuracy to your woodturning capacities. The Grizzly H5600 6 piece measuring set is a definitely a good option to consider. It comes up with: 6-inch inside caliper, 6-inch outside caliper, 6-inch straight dividers, 6-inch scale, 5-inch Vernier caliper, and a 5 inch depth gauge.
- PARTING AND BEADING TOOLS: These tools enable the user to turn a square bottomed groove and cutting the turning off. There are 3 parting tools available: original parting tool, the diamond-section parting tool, and the fluted parting tool. These tools are well grounded to an angle of 60 to 90 degrees. This tool resembles a square section parting tool. It gives shallower cuts than the regular parting tools.
Beads can be defined as the humps which are convex in shape present on the surface of the work piece. It is also used to give finishing impact to short tenons and parallel detailing.
- ROUGHING GOUGES: These are the most commonly used miniature woodworking tools. The major use of these tools is in roughening the wood (from square to round). These U- shaped tools are made from high- speed steel. The cutting edge which is sharpened around 40- 45 degrees is designed as to remove stock very speedily. This tool is used almost everywhere except for bowls and platters which require superior finishing.
- SCRAPERS: A well and fine internal finish can only be achieved with the help of scrapers. This tool does not employ the use of bevel rubbing rather the tip of cutting edge is used. These are available in different shapes and sizes. The PSI woodworking LCHSS8-HSS wood lather chisel 8 piece set is an amazing option to consider.
- SKEW CHISELS: This tool is used to give a PLANE effect to the wood after it gets a cylindrical effect by roughing gouge. This tool comes in varying shapes (oval and rectangular) and sizes. The usage of skew chisel id described in the following steps:
- Firstly, lay the skew chisels on the work piece in such a manner that the edge of chisels forms 45 degrees angle with the axis of work piece.
- Position the bevel in such a way that it rubs on the rotating work.
- Then make sure that should lie in the central position of lower half of the cutting edge.
It is a versatile woodworking tool that has wide ranging applications.
SPINDLE GOUGES: If you want to turn coves, the spindle gouge is what you really need. Coves refer to the scallops in the wood surface. This tool is available in different sizes and has a semi-circular cross section. The grove running the length of the blade is shallow in case of spindle gouges as compared to roughing gouges. The cutting edge of this gouge can be grounded to angles between 30- 45 degrees.
TIPS ON CHOOSING THE TOP WOOD LATHE
- Different users have different requirements and these requirements define the best wood lathe for them. Also, the choice is determined highly by the final product the user intends to design. Now we know with woodworking, one can create different objects from table legs to bats, from pens to bowl or platters. So, one must choose the machine that goes best with the items manufactured most often.
- Another thing that is considered is the budget restriction.
- One must also take safety factor into consideration. The size of the lathe should be optimum so as to suit the workplace area.
- Weight should also be considered while buying. It must not create problems for the operator.
- A top and superior quality wood lathe must be preferred.
- A good wood lathe should be comfortable and easy to use for the operator.
- The brand has a great deal to play here. For instance, Jet makes quality lathes of great value. Powermatic designs machinery for handling complex and larger projects. Delta and Fisch are known to manufacture mini lathes for smaller works.
WHERE SHOULD YOU BUY WOOD LATHES?
Cost is an important factor that is considered by almost all the users while buying the wood lathes. The best machine is the one that satisfies all the user’s needs and also is within the budget of the user. But in this process, one mustn’t neglect the quality aspect. Rather efforts should be made to maintain an optimum balance between both the cost n qualities.
You may shop online for wood lathes at Amazon.com. Here you can find models at lower rates as compared to other retailers. Amazon has an added advantage of free shipping. So, hurry up and avail the opportunity.
MAKING THE DECISION
Familiarize yourself with different models before buying the one for you. Do consider the factors mentioned before buying any machine. Make a proper research and analysis beforehand instead of regretting the money wastage later in the future. We hope the reviews provided above in the article help you to get the right wood lathe for your needs. So, choose wisely and appropriately and invest in the best machine to get admirable outcomes.