August 21, 2019

5 Best Mini Wood Lathe Picks That Pack A Punch!

Lathes are one of the most generally utilized supplies among woodturners. They are miles ahead of conventional machines due to the innovation that has been actualized to make a craftsman’s activity more straightforward, exact, and progressively compelling. We even have smaller than usual lathes these days, which can fit effectively into a little workbench and are advantageous for a bit of workshop. This article will explore the best mini wood lathes known among carpenters and the advantages they can give.

Best Mini Wood Lathe Table

WEN 3420T
Excelsior Mini Lathe
NOVA 46300 Comet II Variable Speed Mini Lathe 12-Inch x 16 1/2-Inch
NOVA 46300 Comet II
SHOP FOX W1752 Mini Wood Lathe
SHOP FOX W1752 Mini Wood Lathe

Key functions of a lathe

The key function of a lathe is to turn cylindrical shapes.

Power is transmitted from the electric engine to the shaft by belts, pulleys, and gears.
The lathe size is controlled by the most significant distance across which can be turned over the bed and the best length which you can hold between focuses. Five fundamental pieces of a lathe incorporate the headstock, gearbox, carriage, tailstock, and bed. The highest point of the lathe bed contains rare arrangement tracks called ways.

The headstock is on the left half of the bed and contains the lathe hurls’ shaft, or the faceplate can be appended. It additionally includes the gearbox where you can change speeds and feeds.
The tailstock on the right side of the bed can be utilized to help one part of the arrangement or can be used for penetrating, reaming, or tapping on the lathe.

Work Holding Devices

Turning Between Centers
A strong, flawlessly focused is set in the headstock. A live right on target is put in the tailstock. This inside has a heading on it, enabling the middle to rotate with the work. Work turned between focuses must have a middle gap bored at each part of the bargain. A lathe hound fitted in a faceplate gives the drive to work.

Three and Four Jaw Chucks

The three-jaw general throw is used to keep round or hexagonal work. An inside parchment plate moves every one of the three jaws simultaneously. The four-jaw free toss can be balanced autonomously by a hurl wrench. You can utilize them to hold round, square, hexagonal, and sporadic formed workpieces.

You can turn the jaws around to keep work within the measurement.
Cutting Tool Holding Devices

Tool holders are held in a tool post.

Tool holders are kept in a tool post. You must balance the rocker base, so the tool bit’s purpose is set on the centerline of the work. Brisk change tool posts permit the changing of tools in all respects effectively. Accelerating the machining procedure.

Carbide embeds or brazed carbide tools enable slicing rates to be expanded up to multiple times as quickly as customary rapid tool bits. An adherent rest screws to the carriage and moves along the work keeping it from jumping up and away from the cutting tool. It is utilized to help long, thin work.

A consistent rest is additionally used to help long thin workpieces while being machined between focuses or while being machined toward one side while the other is held in the throw. It fasteners the way and does not go with the tool.

However, if you are searching for the best mini wood lathe, don’t know which one is best for you. Our top picks enable you to decide.

WEN 3420T 8 in. x 12 in. Variable Speed Benchtop Mini Wood Lathe 

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WEN is an economically reasonable brand that makes magnificently controlled machines at a moderate cost. The 3420 benchtop lathe has incalculable positive audits and a couple of negatives as no item is ideal for everybody. Because it’s a WEN product, your machine comes backed by a two-year warranty, a nationwide network of skilled service technicians, and a friendly customer helpline.

The whole body is made with sturdy cast iron. The distance over the lathe is around 2 feet with a size of around in progress. The working surface is not too bad enough to fit any benchtop workstation. It has an element of 26 x 10 x 12 inches and weighs around 44.1 pounds.

There is an 8-inch work territory over the machine’s substance, and the portable tailstock permits a wood up to 12-inch in length to be utilized. The smaller size settles an appropriate decision for novices or experts when they are chipping away at little extends.

Key Features

Adjust the variable speed anywhere from 750 to 3200 rotations per minute

  1. Includes 5-inch faceplate for turning bowls, cups, and other non-spindle workpieces
  2. Attack workpieces up to 12 inches long and 8 inches wide
  3. Features a 2A motor, an MT1 spindle and tailstock taper, and two interchangeable work rests
  4. Backed by a two-year warranty
  5. Benchtop mounting bolts: 0.30 Inch x 20 TPI (M8 x 1.25 pitch)
    -Tool Rest Length: 4-1/2 or 7 in
  6. Spindle Thread Size: Diameter: 1-inch, Thread Count: 8 Threads per inch
  7. Dimensions: 26 x 10 x 12 in


  • Budget-friendly
  • Variable speed
  • Smaller size
  • It fits in any workstation
  • Conventional power
  • Accessories included
  • For a beginner, this is the lathe for you


  • Overall seems well built, but the locking seems to be a design flaw.
  • Not suitable for big projects

At the cost, this lathe is very difficult to beat. It is an incredible lathe for somebody that needs to have a go at turning yet does not have any desire to spend the cash for a bigger machine. I would recommend it to every one of my readers. This fits my needs superbly as a seat top tool. It is light enough to stow when you’re finished with a task.

SHOP FOX W1704 1/3-Horsepower Benchtop Lathe 

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This is perfect, mainly as a starter lathe. The Shop Fox W1704 Benchtop Lathe includes a 1/3 drive and variable speed for DIY assortment and little extends. It usually is littler when contrasted with different lathes, yet it isn’t in any capacity sub-par regarding execution.

It highlights a 5 ¾-inch faceplate that is strung into the headstock shaft for non-axle turning. This may explicitly prove to be useful for undertakings that can’t be carried by tailstock. Amateurs would particularly like its highlights and comfort of utilization.

Key Features

  1. Motor: 1/3 HP, 2 Amp, 110V, Single-phase, 60 Hz
  2. -12-inch distance between centers
  3. -8-inch swing over bed
  4. -Cast iron construction and infinitely variable speed control
  5. -Includes two tool rests


  • Budget-friendly
  • Robust cast iron development
  • Lightweight and versatile
  • It comes with a safety paddle switch
  • 2 years guarantee
  • Variable speed
  • Perfect for small projects
  • Durable
  • Small and compact design


  • The motor is not very powerful
  • Accessories may be hard to find for this model
  • The tailstock may be a little sloppy
  • It does not come with a handwheel

Entering the woodturning universe will require a dependable start-up wood lathe that is effectively intended for many-sided little-scale ventures. SHOP FOX W1704 1/3-Horsepower Benchtop Lathe is an extraordinary decision for me. As a result of its smaller and strong development and a variable axle speed. It permits me an assortment of little tasks handling either delicate or hard types of wood.

It accompanies other flexible highlights, which we will give you in this survey. It further means to enables you to settle on a steady choice in picking the best benchtop wood lathe for your woodturning needs.

Excelsior Mini Lathe 

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With a robust cast-iron development, a hearty 1/2 hp engine, and an accuracy machined live focus—this little workhorse adversaries highlight is found in a lot bigger lathes.

The Excelsior 5-Speed Mini Lathe can turn bowls of right around 10″ in width and shafts up to 17-3/4″ long. Making it ideal for seat legs, little table legs, and a perpetual cluster of ornamental turnings. A helpful entryway gives simple access to the belt, alongside 5 different rates: 760, 1100, 1600, 2200, and 3200 RPM. The cast-iron body gives mass to insignificant vibration, stable turning, and most extreme strength.

Key Features

  1. Spur center on the headstock
  2. -Ball-bearing live center on the tailstock
  3. -The heavy-duty knockout bar for the spur center
  4. -Cam-locking ratcheting adjustment levers
  5. -Convenient belt access door
  6. -Chrome-plated hardware
  7. -Removable safety switch
  8. -Non-slip feet


  • Ultimately the best choice if you want to get into turning
  • This lathe has no slop in any of the moving parts, such as the ball bearing cast iron tailstock
  • Cast iron headstock,
  • 5 speeds from 760rpm to 3200rpm,
  • Chrome eccentric locking levers and handwheels,
  • Cast iron bed and unbreakable plastic locking levers


  • The engine is weak, with insufficient power for turnings bigger than a specific size.
  • The power rope isn’t secure. The ground stick loosened up following 4-5 months of use.
  • When including the expansion bed, the way toward leveling is troublesome. It has just two jolt gaps making it hard to adjust the augmentation bed. 4 jolt openings would be better.
  • Light, expect a lot of wobble with anything during the roughing period of turning.
  • A few sections aren’t truly sturdy. The fixing screw for the tailstock head stripped out the gap in all respects rapidly. The tool rest likewise got roughed up all-around effectively when utilizing level-edged etches.

The Excelsior Mini Lathe is pleasantly made. Even more, a pleasant evaluated machine that will significantly broaden the capacity of even little home shops without murdering the tool-purchasing spending plan. This machine incorporates most of the highlights a small shop needs alongside the abilities to develop as your turning undertaking rundown, aptitudes, and necessities develop.

NOVA 46300 Comet II Variable Speed Mini Lathe 12-Inch x 16 1/2-Inch 

NOVA 46300 Comet II Variable Speed Mini Lathe 12-Inch x 16 1/2-Inch

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NOVA 46300 Comet II 12 in. X 16 1/2 in. Variable Speed Midi Wood Lathe is the most flexible and imaginative littler lathe available today. Versatile and space-sparing, yet conveys the limit and rough steadiness of bigger machines.

Its incredible 3/4 HP electronic variable speed engine offers a full speed extend from 250-4000 RPM. The forward and turning around switch provides extra adaptability to practical completion. With its 12 in. Swing limit over the bed and 16.5 in. Between focus limits, expandable to 41 in. With the optional bed augmentation extra, you can finish a wide assortment of ventures.

By including the discretionary adornments, you can change your lathe into a total woodworking station. This licensed world-first way to deal with flexible Midi Wood Lathe configuration conveys the most exceptional adaptability for the lathe proprietor. It enables the client to solidify critical woodworking and woodturning capacities into a single machine.

With sparing space, time, and cash. Wood Lathe accessible in 1 in.8TPI string. Standard hardware: 3/4 HP variable speed engine, 3 in. Faceplate, hand wheel, 6 in. Tool rest, 2MT Drive focus, 2MT Live Center, knockout bar, manual, and fastenings. Structured by Teknatool International. Sponsored by a full substitution 1-year guarantee on engine and hardware and a further 2-Year restricted warranty on all parts barring engine, gadgets, and consumables, for an aggregate of 2-years constrained guarantee.

Key Features

  1. Strengthened fortified composite guard – quick access lock
  2. On/Off switch has been improved to make it quicker and increasingly positive to turn on and off. Fitted with a no-vault discharge for extra wellbeing
  3. 3 Step Pulley System offers distinctive speed ranges while giving the most extreme adaptability
  4. Solid cast iron development conveys ideal quality and unbending nature while retaining any vibration


  • Changing belt designs is simple.
  • The turnaround capacity works pleasantly.
  • The superb speed range.
  • Proficient engine.
  • Strong motor.
  • Solid Structure.


  • A bit heavy.
  • Utilizing it for platters and bowls takes additional time.

The best smaller than usual lathe online gets excellent surveys, and this is no exemption. A few clients who purchased the machine concur it is ground-breaking. One client said he didn’t know the Comet II could produce vital power; however, it does. Another client said he enjoys variable speed. There are a couple of negative audits to a great extent. However, most are content with its exhibition.

SHOP FOX W1752 Mini Wood Lathe 

SHOP FOX W1752 Mini Wood Lathe

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With its particular highlights, the SHOP FOX W1752 smaller than expected wood lathe enables you to handle various ventures effectively and in lesser time than at any other time. The SHOP FOX w1752 lathe allows you to effectively and rapidly change speeds while you chip away at your diverse wood ventures.

This small lathe includes a simple speed access change that lets you quickly change the paces from reaches, for example, 480 to 4, 023 RPM. The SHOP FOX w1752 small-scale lathe also includes new places that enable you to bolt the piece you are chipping away in various positions.

All cast iron development and a 1/2 HP engine give a lot of intensity and soundness to turn bowls up to 10-inch wide and shafts up to 15-1/2-inch long, or 38-inch long with discretion Extended Bed. This steady seat top wood lathe has six velocities running from 480 to 4023 RPM, giving adaptability to any turning task. Incorporates Live focus, goad focus, 3-inch faceplate, and tool rest.

Key Features

  1. Cast-iron construction
  2. Quick access speed changes
  3. Includes tool rest, live rolling center, spur, center, and 3″ faceplate.


  • This enables you to effortlessly give more detail just as precision to your wood venture.
  • This shop fox w1752, smaller than a typical wood lathe, enables you to perform definite work on undertakings effortlessly, for example, fluting, drilling, layout, grooving, and considerably more.
  • The woodworking lathe is ideal for turning works.
  • The shaft can be secured with the goal that you can, without much of a stretch, evacuate faceplates, throws, and different adornments.
  • The quality and solidness are excellent characteristics.
  • It’s simple to peruse the guidance manual.
  • This product provides you with options for multiple extensions that allow you to work with different-sized pieces easily.


  • The price is a bit high

The majority of this SHOP FOX Mini Lathe’s highlights are easy to use and, along these lines, are advantageous to utilize while you work. The tool rest length is 6-1/4 inches. This item likewise accompanies tool rest, live rolling center, spur center, and a 3-inch faceplate.

Buyer’s Guide

What can you do with a mini lathe?

What can you do with a mini lathe? A mini lathe is great for working with smaller workpieces that need finer detail than possible on a full-size machine. You can make things like handlebars or miniature chess pieces or turn odd-shaped objects like pens and bowls on it.

Can you turn wet wood on a lathe?

No, it would help if you made sure that the wood is dry.

Is woodturning expensive?

It depends on the type of wood you are turning. Prices for materials you need to turn wood can be expensive, but there are also cheaper alternatives.

What types of wood lathes are available?

There are many different kinds of lathes you can buy. The most common types are headstock and tailstock (HS/TS). There is also the benchtop, which sits on a table or workbench, and the floor model, which sits on a stand.

What can I make on a lathe to sell?

You can make anything that you need, like signs, small wooden bowls, or figurines to sell. When buying things to turn on a lathe, it is important to make sure they are sturdy and well made.

Can you turn pressure-treated wood on lathe?

Yes. If you want to turn pressure-treated wood on a lathe, you need to make sure that it is not full of preservatives, or the wood will crack.

What kinds of tools do I need for turning wood?

There are a variety of tools you can use. These include sandpaper, chisels, gouges, and specialty tools like knurling wheels for making designs on pieces. Smaller lathes have smaller tooling that can fit inside them as well.

What is the best mini wood lathe?

The best wood lathe is headstock and tailstock (HS/TS) because they are more versatile for home use. The next best type is headstock only (HSO). If you’re turning on small projects, a benchtop lathe is a good choice.

What size lathe do I need to turn bowls?

It would be best if you had a lathe with a turning length of at least 13 inches (330 mm) for bowls. Anything less, and it is impossible to make rounded bowls.

What can I make out of wood on mini lathes?

You can turn almost anything you want, as long as the workpiece will fit in the lathe. The most common things you can make on a mini lathe are pens and bowls. Other things include chess pieces, small boxes, and spindles for chair legs.

How much is a small wood lathe?

You should be able to find a small lathe for anywhere between $500 and $1,500. They are more expensive if they have accessories you need, like a turning tool.


There are some extremely extraordinary smaller than expected lathes in the market that you can investigate. I’ve evaluated probably the most outstanding and best-performing mini-lathes in the market. Without a doubt, bigger full-sized machines may give more alternatives and usefulness. On the off chance that you are merely beginning an all woodworking game, a little lathe would suit your motivation better. If you have limited space, these would be ideal.

I’ve picked these to be the best mainly for its usability, comfort, and for giving an exceptional speed extend that you can switch back and forth between. Each lathe has its own advantages and deficiencies, and it is dependent upon you to choose which one suits your needs better.

David D. Hughes
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