May 5, 2022

Wen 3421 Lathe Review

Product Overview

The Wen 3421 Lathe is one of the top products for consumers who need a benchtop lathe. The primary and most obvious advantage offered by this lathe is its usability. There is minimal difficulty involved in learning with this lathe. The straightforward approach to operation makes it easy to build up wood-turning knowledge and experience. The second core advantage offered by this lathe is the range of precise workpieces that can be attempted.

It has a modest 3.2amp motor that is low compared to competitors, but this machine can still handle smaller workpieces with reasonable accuracy. It can generate more than double the power found commonly found in most 8-inch wood lathes available today. This balance of power makes it easy to adapt to for woodworking newbies. The Wen 3421 Lathe can handle a wide variety of accessories. This feature is beneficial because it provides versatility and convenience. It has a 2.3” faceplate, and the size of this allows for better workpiece placement. Transport and storage issues are minimal with this lathe making it great for consumers with smaller spaces.

Technical Specification

  1. This product is designed to handle AC power at 120 Volts. This power level will be enough to support the modest but powerful 3.2 amp motor. 
  2. This device can generate rotations per minute of up to 3200 RPMs. The machine’s versatility is quite impressive because it can run at a low speed of 750 RPMs.
  3. The spindle thread is relatively small and manageable at a distance between centers of 12 inches and a spindle thread of 8 inches. These dimensions allow the product to be used to make bowls, cups, and other non-spindle workpieces.
  4. The overall dimension of the product is 28 x 10 x 12. This is a tiny lathe that falls into the mini-lathe category. Many consumers prefer this size when they are just starting because they do not have ample space to work in.
  5. The product weighs 45 pounds, which is extremely small for a lathe. You are likely to experience intense vibrations while operating the machine. The consumer will have to add additional weight to the device to hold it down. The legs of the workbench can also be bolted.

Aesthetics

This lathe is 28 x 10 x 12 inches in dimension and comes in black color. This is one of the most miniature lathes available to buy. Consumers who are still starting will enjoy this size of lathe because they can move it anywhere with ease. It comes in a black cast iron frame that weighs about 45 pounds. This weight level is shallow for a lathe, but the lightweight frame also has advantages. A smaller lathe is much easier to maintain than a bigger lathe for a beginner.

Uses

Wen has provided the consumer with a 1”-8 inch faceplate on this lathe. Many consumers will appreciate this feature because, although it is small, it can still handle a wide range of objects. You should be able to turn bowls, cups, and other non-spindle workpieces. For creative woodworkers, you should also be able to turn bangles, wooden rings, bottle stoppers, wooden spoons, and flowerpots.

Available Sizes

This model only comes with 28 x 10 x 12-inch sizes weighing 45 pounds. 

Material

The cast iron frame of the Wen 3421 makes it an excellent long-lasting product. It is designed to last for over ten years without the frame developing any problems. The finish applied to the steel is high-quality and can withstand most of the weather elements it will be exposed to. It is an excellent choice for beginners who do not know much about maintenance. 

Durability

The product has lower durability than some of the heavier alternatives on the market. This problem is mainly due to the weight of the lathe rather than the materials chosen. A smaller lathe is likely to be more affected by vibrations during operation than heavier ones.

Pros

  1. The lathe offers variable speeds. It can reach high-speed rotations per minute of 3200. The product’s versatility means it can also spin at a low rate of 750 RPM. Finding the precise turning speed for your project will improve the accuracy of your work.
  2. The lathe has a soft start motor. Many beginner woodworkers are not prepared to start working at full speed immediately. The Wen 3421 Lathe is one of the few options that offer this safety measure. It can be overwhelming to start working with a motor that starts at full speed.
  3. The motor is small and powerful. This lathe can deliver double the power of its competitors. The modern engine is advanced and allows for advanced projects to be undertaken. 
  4. The size of the lathe makes it easy to transport. It has a 28 x 10 x 12-inch diameter and only weighs 45 pounds. This portable characteristic makes it advantageous for people who do not have help setting up the lathe.
  5. The product has a two-year warranty and 24/7 technical support from the manufacturer. 

Cons

  1. The product’s weight means it is likely to vibrate while you use it. You will need to secure it with additional bolts or weights.
  2. There is no emergency shutdown feature.

Price

The Wen 3421 lathe is one of the best budget mini-lathes available. It has been designed well, only smaller. Many consumers will find the price point affordable, especially beginners who do not have a huge budget to spend. 

Verdict

Wen 3421 is recommended for people who have just begun woodworking. It is small and efficient with a modern design. It is an intelligent machine that can reach 50% more power than most rival counterparts. The variable speeds make it more than capable of handling the same projects as bigger lathes. The small size of the lathe and 45-pound weight point means you can transport it easily, but conversely, you will encounter uncomfortable vibrations as you work. If you choose this lathe, you will need extra bolts to secure the machine. The only disadvantage of this product is the lack of an emergency shutdown button. This feature is common in most premium lathes and can be a lifesaver if the safety mechanisms fail. 

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