February 10, 2022

How much is a wood lathe? A Brand Focused Comparison Guide

A popular woodworking tool is the wood lathe. A wood lathe is a woodturning machine tool that rotates the workpiece on its axis to perform operations such as:

  • Turning
  • Cutting
  • Sanding
  • Broaching
  • Carving
  • Knurling
  • Drilling
  • Deformation
  • or facing.

Cutters are applied to the workpiece to create symmetry about a rotation axis. The two most common woodturning lathe machines are automatic CNC and semi-automatic wood lathes.

An “automated wood lathe” refers to a type of power woodworking tool that is computer numerically controlled from start to finish. Semi-automatic lathe machines are like fully automatic ones. Yet, they need manual feeding by a CNC machinist.

The cost of high precision on the lathe, the variable speed motor that can handle long hours of labor, and the Cast Iron needed to stabilize the lathe are some factors that make a wood lathe expensive. 

Prices depend on how professional, industrial, and large the job is. A lathe can cost anywhere from $100 to $50000 or more.

Because there are so many different lathes and brands on the market, it’s impossible to offer you a precise figure.

A good quality lathe will set you back between $600 and $900, with better lathes costing between $1,000 and $2,000. Some of the higher-end items will sell for $5,000 or more. The lathe brands popular with woodturners are Jet, Rikon, Nova, and Laguna.

How much does a woodturning lathe cost?

The price of a woodturning lathe machine depends on its configuration, including axis, spindles, blades, cutters, power supply, control system, driving system, and other hardware and software. The ultimate cost of a woodturning lathe machine is between $2800 and $11180.

Artisans and hobbyists will benefit from semi-automated wood lathes. Small businesses, home shops, school education, and industrial manufacturing employ automatic wood lathes. 

Cylindrical workpieces, tubular sharps, bowl sharps, roman columns, stair spindles, baseball bats, wood balusters, wood cups, wood bowls, wood vases, table legs, chair legs, sofa legs, ottoman legs, furniture legs, barrels, beads, buddha heads, gourd pendants, wood pens, wood crafts, and wood arts are the most common uses for woodworking lathes. 

It’s also known as a stair spindle turning lathe, a wood cylinder turning lathe, a wood baluster turning lathe, a wood bowls turning lathe, a wood column turning lathe, a table leg turning lathe, a wood vase turning lathe, a wood crafts turning lathe, and a baseball bat turning lathe.

How much does a beginner lathe cost?

If you’re a beginner who wants to set up a woodworking studio and execute some jobs that involve woodturning, you should be aware of the expenses of the lathe and other shaping tools. There are three sizes of wood lathes available. The tiny, mid-size, and full-size wood lathes are all available for purchase and can handle a wide range of tasks.

The swing over the bed on the mini-lathes is 8 to 10 inches, and the distance between the centers is 12 -15 inches. Mini-lathes are inexpensive and perfect for beginners and younger woodworkers who want to learn the fundamentals of woodturning and develop an interest in larger projects.

Delta Industrial 46-460 Mini-Wood Lathe

The Delta 46-460 has a variable speed 1HP DC motor with a maximum speed of 1725 RPM, making it suited for users of various skill levels. In the mini-lathe class, the 12.5-inch swing clearance is the largest. You can change the rate of a three-pulley system without changing the driving belt.

This machine will be stable and long-lasting thanks to its cast-iron structure. With the flick of a switch, the DC motor may change direction, providing forward and reverse operation. Delta wood lathes start at $800.

JET JWL-1221VS Mini-Wood Lathe

A variable speed 1HP DC motor powers the JET JWL-1221VS Mini-Wood Lathe and has a maximum speed of 3600 RPM. The swing clearance of 12.5 inches is equivalent to the best mini-lathe category. A common feature is integrated indexing to 24 places.

The rotation speed of the DC motor is indicated on a digital meter, and you can adjust the speed using a rotating knob from 60 RPM to 3600 RPM. The rate may be monitored and controlled and effectively. The machine will set you back $1040.

WEN 3424T 4.5-Amp Mini-Lathe

The WEN 3424 mini-lathe is an excellent machine for a beginner woodturner to learn on. The 4.5 Amp DC motor and five-speed variable settings are powerful enough to handle various small to medium-sized jobs. The bed is 18 inches long and has a swing that is 12 inches high. It costs between $1300 and $1500.

SHOP FOX W1704 Mini-Wood Lathe

The SHOP FOX W1704 Mini-Wood Lathe is well-built, and owners of this budget-friendly lathe highly recommend it. This lathe is great for turning out small items from rings, pans, and bowls due to its solid cast iron frame and robust motor.

The lathe has a swing of 8 inches and a length of 12 inches between centers and is powered by a 0.33 HP, 2 Amp AC motor. The pricing includes two tool rests, one spur center, one live center, a 1.75-inch spindle, and a 5.75-inch faceplate.

The motor has a variable speed range of 700 to 3200 RPM. You can use an easy control knob to adjust the speeds.

Which lathe is best for beginners 

It can be tempting for a rookie woodturner to jump right in and start buying tools before they’ve even used a lathe; this is a mistake since woodturning is such a broad subject, and the tools required to manufacture pens and rings. For example, they vastly differ from those used to construct bowls or massive segmented vessels. Some of the best lathe machines for beginners are listed below.

Average Lathe Prices by Type

Depending on how professional, industrial, and large the job is, a lathe can cost anywhere from $100 to $50000.

Benchtop and tiny speed lathes are cheap materials with limited swing and size. These lathes can be placed wherever on your room’s or garage’s worktop; these are entirely manual machines. 

The advantage of a tabletop lathe is that it has a faster turning speed but less adaptability. Because of their compact size, benchtop and speed lathes are often called mini or midi lathes. The price varies primarily based on the size. 

Mini wood lathes range in price from $100 to $800. However, a few higher-end benchtop lathes are used more professionally that may cost you up to some thousand dollars. 

Engine Lathe or Centre Lathe

The engine lathe is the most prevalent metal lathe on the market and extensively used lathe. It’s essential for a variety of projects in practically every workshop. It aids in shaping metals such as brass, gold, and steel. Returning to the Engine Lathe can be purchased alone or as a set. In one package, you’ll find everything you need. A set costs between $11,000 and $14,000, which is quite expensive.

They provide a wide range of costs if you’re looking for an engine lathe. Some used engine lathes are worth $1400 or more, but not more than $2500.

If you want to buy a used device, you’ll have to spend at least $4000-$6000, and the price can go higher. The costs vastly differ in features; the higher-priced goods have more finishing options.

Tool Room Lathe

Engine lathe machines are similar to Tool room lathe machines but are more accurate. As the name implies, it is a professional type of lathe that offers higher finishing and usage. It’s mainly helpful to create precise jigs, fixtures, and tools. Every engine lathe owner hopes to purchase a tool room lathe. Tool-room lathes start at around $4000 and can go up to more than $20000 in some cases.

Capstan Lathe or Turret Lathe

These are highly pricey and are exclusively common in the manufacturing process. The Capstan lathe costs about the same as the tool-room lathe. You can find one for less than $6000. Because there aren’t many firms that build these lathes, you’ll need to get a quote for reasonable pricing.

Average Lathe Prices by Brand

The price of lathe machines also depends on the brand of the machine. These are some of the Lathe brands and their average prices. 

CNC BrandAverage Price
Record Power$1100
Hafco woodmaster$1120
Shop Fox$800
Mori Seiki$33184

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