If you are interested in getting started in woodworking or are looking to purchase an upgrade tool, you have come to the right place. Wood turning is becoming increasingly popular among the younger generation and is an excellent hobby with potential to create something, earn a side income and create amazing gifts for your loved ones.
The goal of this article is to provide you with the information you need in order to purchase the absolute best wood lathe available today. Our guide will discuss the important things you should look our for, what kind of pros and cons each instrument presents and how to avoid the most common pitfalls. We will also go over the accessories you might want to invest in, what kind of gear is optional and which is highly recommended, what you need to purchase for maintenance and more.
What is a Wood Lathe?
The simplest definition of a wood lathe is a tool which allows shaping of material (metal, wood, etc.) around a horizontal axis on a fixed platform. The piece of material is rotated about the horizontal axis which allows the user to sculpt many intricate shapes through the use of auxiliary tools. This process is called wood turning or wood carving and is not possible to achieve through any other means than a traditional wood lathe milling machine.
Although hand sculpting is also an art form of its own, it does not quite provide the same result or level of accuracy a wood lathe does. It thus makes it an indispensable tool for any wood workshop or hobbyist interested in wood turning.
A wood lathe can be used for multiple projects. These include the popular bowl turning, pen turning and spindle turning, but also the less common ones such as fishing lure turning, bottle stopper, round boxes, plates, etc.
Different Types of Lathes
There are quite a few choices when it comes to lathes. The main distinction is the size. You should be familiar with what is out there in order to make an educated choice about what you need. Therefore, we will discuss the three most common types of lathes you will hear about: Mini Lathe, Midi Lathe and Full Size Lathe. That being said, we will also briefly cover the traditional types, such as Engine Lathes, Toolroom lathes and others. Those terms typically relate to the functionality of a lathe and are more commonly used for large industrial workshops.
Best Lathe to Buy Guide 2018 Comparison Summary
We will go into detailed reviews of each lathe, but for those of you who simply can’t wait, we have the full summary table which outlines each lathe.
Although we encourage you to scroll below and read the detailed guide, we understand if you want to look up the manufacturers and proceed with your purchases right away.
Tools You Might Want to Consider
We hope that you enjoyed going over our wood lathe reviews and are seriously considering one of those options. Our goal was not to go into detail about some of the other tools you might need as we have a separate guide on that. Make sure to check out our guide on the top wood lathe tools.