When you love something, you want to be surrounded by that element everywhere if possible.
For instance, I am a huge admirer of wooden decoration!
The crafted candlesticks, thimbles, rolling pins or even a simple wooden bowl with all of its natural edges manage to find its way into my home and bring a small piece of the outdoors inside my little nest.
Well, if you are also fond of this craft and want to master the art of turning a block of wood into a fancy, decorative piece, then get yourself the best mini wood lathe this season!
Wondering how to choose the one that’s been designed just for you?
Read along to find out!
Best Midi and Mini Wood Lathe Buying Guide
Choosing a product without knowing what features to look for is almost like going to a market blind-folded!
To save you from a situation like this, we have gathered some key points to focus on before purchasing a good-quality lathe machine for yourself.
Heavy or lightweight? – Since we are dealing with a smaller version of this woodturning machine, it’s expected that these machines will be light-weighted. Still, depending on what model you choose, size varies a lot.
Stability– A heavy machine prevents the device from vibrating too much and thus, helps you gain stability while working on it.
Speed – Devices that are small and come with a less powerful motor, for instance, 1/8 horsepower, work excellently for turning any small block wood. However, if you want to tackle a big project, then you need a powerful motor, which comes with 3 H.P. or more.
Motor Power– Powerful motors are able to work quickly while maintaining a constant speed of around 4000 RPM.
Lathe Bed Material – All other components of this device rest upon the lathe bed. Aluminum, cast iron, steel shaft and concrete tubes are some of the materials that are used.
Build Material– Cast iron is most commonly used for this purpose. The material is pretty expensive because it needs to be aged about a year before it’s ready to serve you.
Editor’s Recommendation: Top 5 Mini &Midi Wood Lathe
Top 10 Best Mini Wood Lathe Reviews
1. Delta Industrial 46-460Midi Lathe
Curious to know if you will love this craft too?
Well, there’s only one way to find out! But, before you begin, first, let’s get you a decent tool like, the Delta Industrial 46-460 Midi Lathe, which is one of the easiest tools to operate, especially, if you are a beginner.
Delta comes with a 1 horsepower motor which rotates about 1725 per minute. Once you unbox the package, you will get 2 tool rests of 6-inch and 10-inch to work with different applications.
This midi device has a surprisingly large swing capacity, which is about 12.5 inches! You can also select the speed you need to work comfortably from its three-pulley variable speed range.
If you are a perfectionist at heart, then you will love the fact that Delta allows you to get a smooth finish with the help of it’s forward and reversing function. And the best part is, you don’t even have to dismount your workpiece for this purpose!
- It has a durable, all cast-iron construction.
- The machine comes with a powerful, 1 H.P. motor.
- It has a large 12-1/2-inch swing capacity.
- Delta lets you choose form its 3-pulley speed range.
- You get a 6- and 10-inches tool rests with the package.
- The machine is a little bit heavy compared to others.
- It doesn’t have a digital speed reader.
2. WEN 3420T Mini Wood Lathe
WEN 3420T takes up only a small area and works perfectly for any handcrafted DIY projects that need intricate details and utmost accuracy.
As a beginner, it’s always a good idea to start slow and gradually speed things up. The 3420T model starts at 750 RPM and goes to a decent 3200 RPM in an instant!
With an 8-inch work area, this machine can extend up to 12-inch in length with the help of its movable tailstock. The 2-amp slow start motor keeps the device from getting overheated and helps extend its lifespan.
It works great as an introductory lathe for cute little DIY projects like pens, keychains, small bowls etc. WEN 3420T also comes with an MT1 spindle and tailstock to keep your hold secure on the machine.
Thanks to the manufacturer, this device showers you with a lot of accessories like a wrench, knockout rod, headstock spur center, a 5-inch faceplate anda tailstock cup center to get you started working on your first ever wooden project right after unboxing this little beauty!
- It comes with two interchangeable tool rests.
- Wen is suitable for small DIY projects.
3. It fits into a small space with its compact size.
4. It gives the option to choose from a variable speed range.
5. The package includes all accessories needed for a beginner.
- It’s not meant to work on bigger projects.
- The tool rest tend to shake and gets displaced while working.
- A hole to mount it to any bench would have been better.
- The motor isn’t as powerful as some other models.
3. JET JWL-1221VS Wood Lathe
Seems like JET JWL-1221VS is the answer you have been searching for! With a speed range that beats all other competitors without any question, JET gives you the option to choose any momentum between 60 and 3600 RPM!
On top of that unrivaled tempo, you get to enjoy its smooth transition between forward and reverse mechanism just
by flipping a switch. Cool, isn’t it?
Well, there’s more where it came from!
JET features a digital control system, meaning you get to adjust the speed settings from its LCD screen and monitor RPM constantly! The 1 H.P. motor of this device offers plenty of torque even at the lowest speed.
Don’t think JET’s going to leave you empty-handed after the purchase!
You get to have a lot of freebies including two tool racks, knock out bar, drive center, hex wrench, headstock wrench, faceplate and two tool rests for fitting different sizes of appliances.
- The JWL-1221VS works quietly compared to other models.
- It gives the user more freedom by offering varied speed range.
- The weight is just appropriate enough to lessen any vibration.
- It comes with an LCD that allows you to monitor the RPM.
- It features a ratchet-style belt tension system.
- A chrome-plated handwheel would have been better.
- The bearing doesn’t last longer than 1 year.
- Some users complained about poor shipment.
4. SHOP FOX W17041/3-Horsepower Benchtop Lathe
Want to make one of these wooden spinner tops on your own?
Well, you can make many more toys and accessories with the help of SHOP FOX W1704, which is the perfect model for a beginner as it comes with a super-affordable price tag!
With 1/3-horsepower and 2-amp motor, FOX is all set and ready to deliver 700 to 3200 rotations per minute. The all cast-iron construction looks solid and holds up pretty well even after years of abuse.
Thinking of turning a bowl from that gorgeous plank you got last month?
Well, think no more!
The W1704 model includes a 5-3/4-inch faceplate, which comes in handy while turning a variety of objects including bowls and round-shaped objects quite easily. The package also includes 2 tool rests, which come in the sizes of 4.5 and 7 inches respectively.
- It features an 8-inch swing that helps fit various applications.
- It’s suitable for turning small-scale projects.
- The solid cast-iron construction is built to last for a long time.
- It offers variable spindle speed for the users.
- The package includes 2 tool rests for your convenience.
- The machine doesn’t include a handwheel.
- The locking plate comes loose frequently and needs to be tightened.
5. Mophorn Wood Lathe Bench Top Heavy Duty
Looking at the curves of the spinning bowls and throwing curly wood shavings everywhere as you work are a good way to leave all of your stresses behind and just focus on developing your artistic skill.
Who knows, you might like this hobby so much that you end up becoming a pro at this one day!
Well, the Mophorn Wood Lathe Bench has been designed for people who are passionate about what they do just like you!
Not only does this 10×18-inch device covers everything that a beginner might need, but also it features a powerful 370-watt motor, which is more than capable of handling heavy-duty workloads.
If you want a professional touch to your crafting pieces, then this machine does the job for you with its 5 different spindle speeds that range from 500 to 3200 RPM!
With a solid iron construction, this machine leaves the impression that it’s built to last long. The rubber feet under the bench keep your machine stable and prevents it from shaking too much.
The machine also features an MT2 headstock and a tailstock taper to give you a smoother work experience.
- It comes with 5 variable speeds for you to choose from.
- The package includes tool rest, faceplates and drives as free accessories.
- It has rubber feet on the bottom to provide stability.
- The 550-watt motor helps you make the precise cut.
- It features a digital readout that lets you monitor easily.
- The machine starts a tad slow, which is time-consuming.
- The variable speeds aren’t accurate enough.
- The instruction manual is poor, YouTube can be of assistance though.
6. RIKON Power ToolsMini Lathe
The dedication behind making something entirely from the scratch and then gifting it to the person you love is something that’s bound to leave an impression on the receiver!
On that note, may I interest you in the craft of turning a pen from raw wood and maybe put your initial on it to make it extra special?
If you are totally digging this idea, then let me give you a heads up and introduce you to the best pen turner device, which is none other than RIKON Power Tools Mini Lathe!
Featuring a 10-inch swing, this machine is a beginner’s favorite for turning any small wooden objects.
The motor comes with a 0.5 horsepower that feeds the machine just the right amount of energy to keep running for a long time.
Although RIKON doesn’t take up much space in a room and is portable, that doesn’t make it any less flexible and user-friendly!
In fact, it provides you with easy access to the speed change and the option to choose from any one of its 5 momentum settings as well.
- It has a solid cast-iron construction that makes it last for a long time.
- It’s suitable for turning planks into customized wooden pens.
- The 10-inch swing size is perfect for a beginner’s DIY projects.
- It offers the user 5 variable speed ranges to choose from.
- It’s a bit difficult to find its replacement belt.
- The bearing might give out and need to be replaced after a while.
- You might need spacers under 4 legs, as the motor is placed low.
7. Jet JWL-1015 Wood Working Lathe
Whether you are going all big or starting as a solo entrepreneur, we suggest keeping the best mini wood lathe, like, Jet JWL-1015 by your side!
Not only this powerful machine has what it takes to make the precise cut, but also it is versatile enough to take on different types of projects and allows you to explore your creativity with different styles.
Don’t like the speed you are getting?
Well, brace yourself! Jet JWL-1015 comes with SIX different spindle speeds that cover a wide range of paces starting from as low as 500 RPM and going up to 3975 rotation per minute!
This 15.5-inch beast might come in a miniature size, but still, it offers you lots of flexibility with its wide lathe bed, sturdy construction and smooth operation.
On top of that, the machine features a built-in 24 position indexing system, which allows you to lock the spindle at any of these positions while working.
- The device features 6 different spindle speed options.
- It has a built-in 24 position indexing system.
- It comes with a wide lathe bed so that you can work comfortably.
- The machine provides easy access to belts.
- It cuts precisely and works smoothly with minimal maintenance.
- It’s not powerful enough to handle big projects.
- A little bit expensive for a beginner lathe.
8. Grizzly Industrial H8259Benchtop Wood Lathe
In fact, they can run up to 30 miles per hour. Amazing, isn’t it?
While our next item on the list isn’t exactly up for a running marathon, but it shares a similar passion over speed and
can work up to 3337 RPM!
Without any further ado, let’s meet our next selected item, which is the Grizzly Industrial H8259 model.
With 0.5 horsepower, this machine offers a single-phase electric motor that runs on 110 voltages. From 826 to 3337
RPM, you get to choose from its 5 discrete speed settings at any given time.
Moving on to its specifications, this model offers you a 10-inch swing over the bed and a 0.25-inch swing over the tool rest. The package also includes a live rolling center, spur center and a set of wrenches for quick fixes and maintenance purposes.
If you hate this sound as much as I do, then I have good news for you!
Grizzly is a lot quieter compared to the other lathe devices available on the market. Even better, it doesn’t vibrate while you are working and allows you to finish your job in peace.
- It comes with a single-phase, 7-amp powerful motor.
- The machine presents 5 different spindle speeds to choose from.
- The adjustable belt system is easy to operate.
- The machine is light and portable.
- It gets a tad overheated after continuous use.
- It doesn’t have any digitalized dial to adjust the speed settings.
9. Mophorn Wood Lathe With Digital Display
Someone who doesn’t get tired working on his lathe and keeps creating beautiful pieces out of the spin, then later gifts you one of his masterpieces?
Well, this holiday season, it should be YOU who surprise him with our Mophorn 12×18-inch lathe bench, which is bound to impress any woodworker with its eye-catching sturdy design and top-notch services!
While most other models require you to manually adjust your settings, Mophorn is already one-step ahead and uses a digital readout to set your speed range with 100% accuracy.
Oh, and of course you get to choose the spindle range! From 500 to 3800 RPM, you can select any speed settings that you are comfortable to work with.
With MT2 headstock, tailstock taper and a 12-inch swing over bed, you can tell Mophorn is made to work for heavy-duty tasks and it never fails to deliver!
Add a 550-watt motor into the equation and you got yourself a champ that has enough power to be used in labs, engineering, workshop or educational purposes.
- The machine uses a digital readout to display information.
- You can select any momentum between its 500 to 3800 RPM.
- It’s built to withstand any heavy-duty tasks.
- The striking Blue and Black combination makes it an ideal gift.
- It stays quiet while in operation.
- The instruction manual is a little vague.
- The motor isn’t powerful enough to handle bigger projects.
- You might not get correct variable speed from this machine.
10. Excelsior Mini Lathe Chrome Plated
Well, to make your experience even more memorable, consider the Excelsior Mini Lathe machine for your first wood crafting project!
Excelsior comes in a reasonable price range. As a beginner, it’s a great opportunity as you will feel more comfortable in investing a small amount of money in this purchase and see if it works out for you in the end!
As for the quality, you might get a little bit of a shock once you unbox the device and see this smasher with a 17.75-inch swing!
You know what that means, right?
Not only you get to turn little wooden pieces like keychains, pens and boxes, you can also fit a medium-sized bowl in between this space quite easily!
And to help you with performing different tasks at varying speed levels, Excelsior offers you 5 different ranges including 760, 110, 1600, 2200, and 3200 RPM.
With 0.5 H.P. motor, this machine performs steadily and helps make the precise cut needed for your project. Although, it might be comparatively weak for larger diameters i.e. 10 inches. You also get lots of accessories, which include a 6-inch tool rest, 3-inch faceplate and a knockout rod to start crafting right away!
- It has a solid cast-iron foundation that lasts long.
- The hardware of this machine are chrome-plated.
- The power on and off switch is located at convenient places.
- It comes with 5 different speed levels.
- The package also includes a tool rest and faceplate as free accessories.
- The machine is lightweight, thus might wobble during operation.
- The power cord isn’t strong enough and might break off easily.
- Belt settings instruction are vague.
- The motor might not perform as expected for larger diameter pieces.
Things To Consider When Buying Mini and Midi Wood Lathe
Woodturning machines come in various sizes. Depending on what model you are using it could be as light as 5 pounds and can go up to 100 pounds or more in some cases.
Having a lightweight device allows you to carry it around easily and is especially helpful if you tend to travel a lot.
However, extra-light devices will also affect your work quality by a great margin, as it has a bigger chance of messing with the machine’s stability. A heavy machine, on the other hand, will let you work comfortably with fewer vibrations and keep your design more accurate.
Power And Speed
Depending on how big your project is, the speed and power of the machine may vary from 1/8 to 3 horsepower. The larger the motor is, the more work you can get done in a short amount of time.
Speed varies from project to project. For instance, you might want to go slow for a fine detailing work, while other times you want the fastest speed to finish your work quickly. The speed may vary from 250 to 6000 RPM depending on what model you choose.
Lathe bed material is what determines how durable and sturdy the whole construction is.
Typically, cast iron is one of the strongest materials that’s been used for this purpose, as this component is known to hold its shape well even when the temperature starts to fluctuate.
Some manufacturers also use concrete tubes, steel shaft and aluminum to build this machine. Whatever the material is, make sure it’s tough enough to keep the balance of the tool-rest and the tailstock.
Once you purchase this device, the first thing you want to do is to set it up on a proper stand.
Some companies are way ahead of you and already include the stand before you start looking for it! If the stand isn’t included in the package, you have to purchase one that’s suitable for you to work comfortably.
How To Use A Mini And Midi Wood Lathe?
Mini and midi wood lathes both work in the same way. The only difference is, a midi lathe is able to handle bigger blocks of wood than its smaller version.
Grab a goggle and respirator before you start working, as things are about to get a little messy!
Let’s get started.
1. Select The Cutting Tools
The tools that are used for cutting timber are called chisels. There are several types of chisels to choose from:
- Spoon cutters.
- skew chisels.
2. Set Up The Stock
Now it’s time for setting up the plank of wood into the machine.
To do that you will need to place the stock above the spindle of the headstock of the lathe machine. Make sure that the plank is all secure and tight to avoid it from causing an accident.
3. Turn On The Machine
Choose the lowest speed and turn the machine on. Before you move onto the next part, make sure you stand at a 90-Degree angle to avoid getting drowned in wood shavings and work comfortably.
4. Chisel Away!
Here comes the fun part!
Hold your tools firmly and slowly start to work your way towards the stock until the cutting tool barely touches the plank.
You will start to see small chips of wood falling off as the plank keeps spinning and touching your tool at the same time. Keep turning until you reach your desired shape and enjoy your beautiful craftwork!
How to Clean mini wood lathe After Using/Step by Step Guide
1. Wipe Off All The Dust
After each session, the machine gets covered with wood shavings and lots of debris. So, it’s a good idea to wipe all the dirt off the device once you are done creating your items.
To get to the inaccessible components, like, motor, headstock and inverter, use a vacuum or an air compressor.
2. Protect It From Rust And Corrosion
Just like all metals in the world, your lathe device is also prone to rust and corrosion.
To prevent this from happening, use a ball of steel wool to remove all traces of grime and oil residue. Then, use a rust removal agent to get rid of all the red markings if necessary.
3. Clean It With A Wet Cloth
Take a soft cloth and soak it into warm water. Start cleaning the exterior first and slowly move your way to the inside. Change the cloth once it becomes too dirty and keep repeating this action several times.
4. Apply Wax
Apply a thin layer of wax onto the moving components of the machine. It will help reduce the damage caused by friction. Also, try lubricating the headstock and tailstock to keep the device operate smoothly.
How does mini wood lathe work?
The headstock consists of tension pulley, spindle and motor components.
You can change the pulley size to speed up or slow down the process of woodturning. The motor determines how much power the machine can handle. And the headstock spindle is designed in a way to hold various accessories inside it.
Once you switch on the device, it starts rotating. You can adjust the speed of the machine from a digitalized RPM screen or with the help of a rotating dial that has numbered indicators on it.
The tailstock works by sliding back and forth on the lathe platform.
Depending on how you want to design your wooden items, the tailstock is used either to hold the material or can be loosened to have better access to the interior.
4. Tool Rest
How deeply you want your tool to cut into the plank?
Tool rest allows you to determine that!
It also allows you to move the rest so that you can adjust the height accordingly. To get the proper angle, you need to move its position to the center of the wooden plank before turning on the lathe device.
What’s the difference between a wood lathe and a metal lathe?
Woodturning works great in making lamps, rolling pins, candlesticks, tables or shaping any kind of metal. However, it’s not strong enough to cut through any metal objects.
Metal lathe, on the other hand, is strong enough to both cut and polish objects according to your requirements. It works best on building different machine parts.
A woodturning device is designed with simplicity in mind. People of all ages can use it just with a little practice. The machine is easy to operate and comes in with an affordable price tag.
On the contrary, metal lathe is quite complex in this case. It’s made up of electric parts that need proper training to get used to it. Also, can handle tougher materials with ease as it operates quite aggressively.
Wood lathe is suitable for people who prefer manually operated devices. This machine requires you to continuously supervise its operation and also need you to use your arm strength to build materials.
Metal lathe is quite flexible and is operated using computer programs. Therefore, it doesn’t need any monitoring and is able to cut and shape objects more precisely.
Frequently Asked Questions
1.What Is The Best Mini Or Midi Wood Lathe?
Answer: The finest mini wood lathe from our list would be the “Excelsior” in my opinion, simply because it allows you to work with varied sizes and speed ranges for different projects.
And the best midi device goes to “Delta Industrial 46-460”! The forward and reverse functions are quite impressive, I must say, and is essential to get a good finish.
2. IsMini Wood LatheExpensive?
Answer: Not at all! In fact, that’s the reason why I encourage you to try one of the devices from our mini wood lathe reviews, as it is super affordable and you get to experience this form of art within a 100- to 400-dollar price range.
3. Who Makes The Best Mini Lathe?
Answer: All of the brands mentioned in this article produce high-quality products, so it’s difficult to choose just one!
I guess, “Mophorn” deserves this title, as it offers quite a lot of options, is user-friendly and lasts long.
4. What Should I Look For When Buying AWood Lathe?
Answer: Weight, Speed, Power and whether the device is user-friendly, these 4 factors should get the top priorities.
Then, depending on your preference, you may select the one that goes well with your projects.
Thousands of years ago, the Egyptians first started practicing this craft and owned a much simpler version of today’s lathe.
Well, the times may have changed a lot, but the woodturners still turn and spin their lathe and create beautiful pieces that we use in our everyday life!
Do you think you are ready to join this crafting world as well?
Come on! Let’s make our ancestors proud and build some treasures that can also be used as our family heirloom someday.
Oh! And don’t forget to use the best mini wood lathe for this purpose, as that’s the easiest way to get started as a beginner.
Wish you all the best!