The 6 Best Wood Lathes Reviews and Buying Guide


A wood lathe is one of the most useful and important machines that you can have in a wood or carpentry workshop. As you would expect, it allows you to perform various kinds of operations like turning, shaping, sanding, and much more because of the following features:

  • Motor Power: Almost all of the wood lathes out there are powered by an electric motor. This motor can have a power rating of ½ HP or even 2 HP in some cases for much higher power while working on a given wood piece.
  • Dimensions: The dimensions or the capacity of a wood lathe tells you about the largest wood piece that you can fit inside it. This includes options like 12-inch x 21 inch or 16-inch x 24 inch where a larger dimension range allows for large scale jobs quite easily.
  • Warranty: If you want to use a given wood lathe for a long time, then you need to get one with a long warranty period. While some of these offer a 2-year long warranty, better models come with a 5-year long warranty that are generally more reliable.

Since there are a lot of wood lathes out there, we are here with the best wood lathes along with their best features and important details. You can also find a detailed Buying Guide in this article that will take you through the various important factors related to wood lathes so that you can buy the perfect one after following this article until the end.

Best Wood Lathes

6 Best Wood Lathes Reviews

1. Nova Wood Lathe

nova wood lathe

Nova is a brand of wood lathes that is known for making high-end options that offer excellent performance due to the various features offered by them.

The Nova 1624 wood lathe is present in the 1st position in this article as it is one of the most powerful options present in this article. This is due to the reason that it comes with a highly powerful 1.5 HP electric motor. It is able to offer a motor speed of up to 3600 RPM that can be easily adjusted using the variable speed trigger of this wood lathe.

As for its supported dimensions, you can fit wooden pieces of up to 16-inch x 24 inch while using this wood lathe. Another great thing about this wood lathe is that it offers an excellent build quality to the user. You even get a 5-year long warranty with it that makes it highly reliable and durable.

Best Features:

  • Power rating of 1.5 HP
  • Dimensions of up to 16-inch x 24 inch
  • 5-year long warranty
  • Motor speed of up to 3600 RPM
  • Comes with a variable speed trigger

Pros:

  • High-performance wood lathe with a 1.5 HP motor
  • Excellent build quality for peace of mind
  • Ideal for industrial and heavy-duty usage

Cons:

  • Slightly expensive price tag

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2. Jet Wood Lathe

jet wood lathe

JET is a highly popular brand of wood lathes that is highly popular among users because of the various features it offers to the user.

This JET JWL-1221VS wood lathe is the most reliable and durable option present in this article. Just like much more expensive options out there, you get a 5-year long warranty with this wood lathe. It even comes with an excellent build quality that ensures that you can keep using this wood lathe for a long time without any issues.

Talking about its performance, you get supported dimensions of 12-inch x 21 inch with this wood lathe that should be more than enough for most users out there. Its 1 HP motor is also quite powerful for the given price tag that results in a high value for money. Unfortunately, this motor is slightly on the louder side and can be an issue for some users out there.

Best Features:

  • Power rating of 1 HP
  • Dimensions of up to 12-inch x 21 inch
  • 5-year long warranty
  • Excellent build quality
  • Justified price tag for high value for money

Pros:

  • Most durable and reliable wood lathe mentioned in this article
  • Comes with a powerful 1 HP electric motor
  • Small and compact form factor

Cons:

  • Motor can be slightly loud

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3. Wen Wood Lathe

wen wood lathe

WEN is known for making value for money and affordable power tools, just like it’s wood lathes models available out there.

This WEN 3421 wood lathe is present in the 3rd position in this article as it is the cheapest option present here in this article. While it is a mini benchtop wood lathe, you get decent performance from it for a compact wood lathe for home-usage. You get an 8 inch by 12 inch capacity in this wood lathe that is ideal for simpler applications.

As for its motor, it uses a ½ HP electric motor that should be more than enough for most users out there. Even though it is a budget option, it comes with a 2-year long warranty that is always great to have. You even get a decent build quality with this WEN wood lathe for longevity.

Best Features:

  • Power rating of 0.5 HP
  • Dimensions of up to 8-inch x 12 inch
  • 2-year long warranty
  • Small and compact benchtop wood lathe
  • Affordable price tag for budget users

Pros:

  • High value for money wood lathe
  • Decent performance from ½ HP electric motor
  • Easy to use design and controls

Cons:

  • Not ideal for industrial usage

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4. Rikon Power Tools Mini Lathe

rikon tools

Rikon is another brand of power tools that is known for making reliable and durable models, just like its wood lathe models.

The Rikon 701-105 wood lathe can be another great option for a lot of users out there who are looking for a highly reliable and durable option. Just like the Nova and Jet wood lathes mentioned earlier, this one also comes with a 5-year long warranty. You even get a great build quality with this wood lathe that is always great to have.

Although, unlike other options in its class, it is not a full-sized wood lathe, but a mini lathe. Due to its smaller size, you get an average supported dimensions range of up to 10-inch x 18 inch with this wood lathe. Although, its ½ HP electric motor is quite powerful for the given dimensions and should not be an issue for most users out there.

Best Features:

  • Power rating of 0.5 HP
  • Dimensions of up to 10-inch x 18 inch
  • 5-year long warranty
  • Great build quality
  • Mini wood lathe for benchtop usage

Pros:

  • Decently performing wood lathe with 0.5 HP motor
  • Comes with a great build quality and long warranty
  • Easy to use controls and adjustment options

Cons:

  • A bit on the expensive side

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5. Teknatool Bench Lathe teknatool

When compared with other options out there, Teknatool is a smaller brand of power tools and comparatively new and yet offers a decent wood lathe option.

This Teknatool T30590 wood lathe is a decent performing option out there as it comes with a ¾ HP electric motor that should be more than enough for most users out there. It even offers a decent supported dimensions range of up to 12-inch x 16 ½ inch for easily using large wood pieces quite easily.

One of the most unique things about this wood lathe is that it comes included with a 5 piece mini chisel set that is always handy to have. Apart from that, the build quality of this wood lathe is quite good and should last you for a long time. Unfortunately, since Teknatool is a smaller brand of power tools, it only offers a 2-year long warranty with this wood lathe that can be an issue for a lot of users out there.

Best Features:

  • Power rating of 0.75 HP
  • Dimensions of up to 12-inch x 16 ½ inch
  • 2-year long warranty
  • Motor speed of up to 4000 RPM
  • Includes a 5 piece chisel kit

Pros:

  • Decent performance from 0.75 HP electric motor
  • Offers great build quality for peace of mind
  • Comes included with chisel kit for ease of use

Cons:

  • Only a 2-year long warranty

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6. Grizzly Wood Lathe 

grizzly lathe

Grizzly Industrial is mainly known for its heavy-duty power tools that are made for industrial usage because of the features that you get with them.

This Grizzly Industrial G0462 wood lathe is the most powerful option present in this article. It comes with a highly large supported dimensions of up to 16-inch x 46 inch that is much higher than most other options present in this article. Similarly, its electric motor that is rated at 2 HP is also highly powerful and allows the user to easily work on wood pieces.

Despite the large size of this wood lathe, it can go up to 2400 RPM that is quite great. While the build quality offered by this wood lathe is quite good, you only get a 1-year warranty with it that is not expected at the given price tag.

Best Features:

  • Power rating of 2 HP
  • Dimensions of up to 16-inch x 46 inch
  • 1-year long warranty
  • Motor speed of up to 2400 RPM
  • Offers 10-speed motor

Pros:

  • Best performing wood lathe mentioned in this article
  • Ideal for large and industrial-scale applications
  • Offers a highly powerful 2 HP electric motor

Cons:

  • Only a 1-year long warranty

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Buying Guide for the Best Wood Lathe

Now that you have gone through this article and all of the products mentioned in it, you must know a lot about wood lathes by now. This is possible due to the reason that we have mentioned all of the major features and options of all the best wood lathe machines mentioned above.

But if you are interested in learning even more about these wood lathes, then we are here with a detailed buying guide. This buying guide has all of the important factors and aspects related to wood lathes that should be considered before buying a wood. Hence, make sure to go through this buying guide till the end:

1. Motor Power

Almost all of the wood lathe options out there are powered by an electric motor for rotating a given wood piece at high speed. This wooden piece needs to rotate fast even under load to ensure that any given operation is performed properly. Therefore, you should get a wood lathe that comes with a powerful electric motor.

Thankfully, just like any other electric power tool, the motor power rating of different wood lathe models out there is given in HP. This includes options like 1 HP or 1.5 HP wood lathes. When compared with each other, the higher 1.5 HP power rating results in better performance for the user while working on a given wood piece. Although a more powerful motor also results in higher power consumption, and that is something you should keep in mind.

2. Dimensions

Usually, wood lathes get used to perform all kinds of operations on large-sized wood pieces. But to properly work using a wood lathe, you should buy a model that can fit even large-sized pieces. Therefore, you should check the supported dimensions or the capacity of a given wood lathe before buying one. Generally, this dimension rating is given in inches and includes options like 16-inch x 24 inch or 18-inch x 26 inch.

While the first size is for the diameter of the wooden piece, the other one is the maximum length of the wood piece that you can work on. As you would expect, a larger dimension size is more ideal for industrial usage. Although, if you want to use one in your garage, you should get one with a lower supported dimensions for a smaller physical form factor.

3. Ease of Use

Whether you are new to wood lathes or a lathe expert, the model you are buying should be easy to use. This mainly serves two uses to the user, including ease for new users as well as saving time for those who are used to working with wood lathes. You should look out for easy and straight forward control schemes, multiple adjustment systems, simple designs, and other things. All of these things result in a simple to use wood lathe for the user.

4. Build Quality and Warranty

A wood lathe is a machine that gets used for all kinds of heavy-duty applications while performing different operations on wood pieces. Since these wood pieces can be quite hard as well, your wood lathe machine can face a lot of wear and tear over time. Therefore, you should get a model that is built well and can withstand any wear and tear. Similarly, the warranty period offered by your wood lathe should be long. While some options come with a 2-year long warranty, better and more reliable options even offer a 5-year long warranty for peace of mind.

Conclusion

Whether you are a professional carpenter or want to perform basic operations on a given wood piece, a wood lathe can be handy. It is considered to be an all in one machine that allows for performing various operations as per your needs. Hence, we have mentioned some of the best wood lathes up above in this article. And to help you in choosing the perfect one, we have even mentioned their major features and options. You can even find a detailed buying guide in this article that allows you to easily pick the perfect wood lathe for you. But if that is not enough and you are still confused, then we are here with some of our recommendations:

  • If you want the largest and most powerful wood lathe for industrial usage, you can go with the Grizzly Industrial  wood lathe. It offers a large 16-inch x 46 inch capacity for easily fitting large wood pieces for performing operations using its 2 HP electric motor.
  • Although, if you are on a budget, you can go with the WEN benchtop wood lathe as it is the cheapest option present in this article. Despite its lower price tag, you get a decent ½ HP electric motor for its 8-inch x 12-inch dimension support.
  • You should also consider the JET wood lathe as it is a highly popular option among users due to its 5-year long warranty. When combined with its excellent build quality, you can expect it to be one of the most durable and reliable options out there.

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