May 5, 2022

Wen 3420 Lathe Review

Product Overview

The Wen 3420 is a formidable lathe that offers fully adjustable consumer speeds. This feature allows consumers to precisely choose the speed they want, between 750 to 3200 rotations per minute. This accuracy makes it one of the top options to choose from for both beginners and professional woodworkers. This Benchtop Wood Lathe was designed with an MT1 spindle and tailstock taper. It works well to mount your workpieces, increasing your safety. The tool rests provided with this lathe are 4-1/2 inches and 7 inches. 

They are perfect for projects that require regular use of chisels and tools. It has a humble 2amp motor capable of handling most projects such as bowl-turning and making pens. Purchase of the product will give you a flat wrench, a headstock spur centre, a tailstock cup centre, a knockout rod and a 5-inch faceplate. The company also offers a free help service line to guide you through installation. You get many features for an affordable fee, making it an excellent option to consider purchasing for beginner woodworkers. 

Technical Specification

  1. This mini lathe has a 2-Amp motor that has a soft starting sequence. This is quite a small motor, but it can generate more than 50% of its 5-inch counterpart lathes.
  2. It is 8″ x 12″ in size, which means the product can handle wooden blanks in this range. You should be able to design wooden legs easily on this lathe.
  3. The speed barriers for the product are between 750 – 3200 RPM. Many consumers will find this suitable for their needs given you can precisely choose the variation you prefer. 
  4. The tool rests are 4-1/2” & 7”. This range is perfect for people who need to use tools like chisels and gouges to carve their Woodstock.
  5. The taper size of the product is MT1. This size is sufficient to hold most wood pieces securely while you work.
  6. It weighs 45 pounds. It is a very light lathe, which means you will likely experience vibrations while you work. 

Aesthetics

This lathe is 26 x 10 x 12 inches in dimension and comes in black color. It comes in a black iron cast frame that weighs about 45 pounds. You will notice how small and portable it is when you see it. This size was made trendy and appealing to beginner woodworkers who may not have much space available to work. 

Uses

This Wen lathe comes with a 1”-5 inch faceplate. It adds variety to the number of designs you can forge on this lathe. The small size makes it friendly and easy to use for beginners. You should be able to turn bowls, cups, and other non-spindle workpieces. For creative woodworkers, you should also be able to turn bowls, platters, hollow vessels, bottle stoppers, drawer pulls, chair spindles, and table legs.

Available Sizes

This model only comes with 26 x 10 x 12-inch sizes weighing 44.1 pounds. 

Material

The cast-iron frame of the Wen 3420 is crucial material. It makes the product durable and steady enough to handle fast speeds. You can expect to have this lathe for over ten years without any hassles. The frame was designed and finished well to prevent any rust or decay. The maintenance required is minimal, and this is appealing to beginners. 

Durability

Given the fragile weight of the lathe, it is likely that it will struggle to handle fast speeds without releasing a high level of vibration. This will result in the machine shaking unless the consumer bolts it to the ground or adds weight to the bench. 

Pros

  1. This lathe is one of the best for people who want to run a start-up project. It is affordable and easy to move around, making it a top option for people who do not have a large amount of space available to start their business/hobby in. 
  2. Purchasing this product will give you access to tools such as a flat wrench, a headstock spur center, a tailstock cup center, a knockout rod, and a 5-inch faceplate. These tools come in handy for beginners who do not have a host of equipment built up through the years.
  3. The frame is made from iron cast steel, which adds durability and steadiness to the product. For a lathe this size, it is remarkably steady at average rotating speeds.
  4. The motor can provide precise speed control. You can choose the exact speed you wish to operate at, and this feature is beneficial for beginners who aren’t ready to run at full speed yet.
  5. Wen has included a slow start motor on this option that helps prevent accidents. 

Cons

  1. The motor is not designed for prolonged use and may begin to heat up after usage.
  2. The small size of the lathe will prohibit you from attempting significant projects that require a heavy-duty lathe.

Price

You get over five accessories, a cast iron body, and a variable speed motor for a quarter of your price for a larger lathe. This price point is excellent for beginners who want to get as much as they can to get started and often have a small budget. It packs a punch for a small lathe and will last you for over ten years.  

Verdict

To conclude, if you do not own a lathe and want to start woodworking as a hobby or part-time business, this is your product. The swing size of 8 inches is big enough to turn anything from bowls to table legs. The Wen 3420 comes with several accessories, such as a flat wrench and a knockout rod that you can use to attempt small and manageable projects. 

It weighs 44.1 pounds which means it is easy to transport around, but you will need to bolt it to the workbench for extra security during operation. The motor is slow-starting which is an added safety bonus. It is perfect for small jobs that take an hour to complete at a time. The engine is unfortunately not built for long periods of use. It is still worth the price and worthy of a recommendation for any beginners on the market.

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