Find The Best Benchtop Wood Lathe for Crafting Wooden Decors

best benchtop wood lathe

Wood Lathe is the tool that helps you do wonders with your woodworking projects. But how? It allows the workpiece to rotate against a stationary cutting tool to complete woodworking tasks like cutting, sanding, drilling, facing, turning, and deforming. Therefore, you can create some of the most artful designs starting from wooden spindles to bowels. The wood lathes are more straightforward and smaller than their metal counterparts. But the version that makes this power tool a more convenient one is its benchtop version. This article intends to bring you all about the woodworking lathe, especially the best benchtop wood lathe reviews to help narrow down the list for you. To make this article more convincing we’ve included a FAQ section that aims to clarify all your queries for buying the best benchtop wood lathe.


<strong>How to Buy the Best Small Benchtop Wood Lathe?</strong>

At first, consider its size or the centers’ distance that should be around 18” for a standard option. It should also have a motor power of more than 1/2 HP. Other considerable factors include variable speed options, performance specifications, and convenience of operation.

<strong>What can I expect to pay for a mini wood lathe?</strong>

For a low-cost mini wood lathe, you can expect to pay a cost of around $200 to $400. The mid-range mini wood lathes cost between $400 to $800, whereas the high-end lathes can cost more than thousands of dollars.

<strong>What can I create with a mini wood lathe?</strong>

There’s a lot of projects the wood crafters can create with a mini wood lathe. Some of the regular projects you can craft with this tool include wooden rings, bangles, bottle stoppers, flowerpots, wooden spoons, pens, goblets, bowls, and so on. You can also create advanced projects like root vases and other decorative workpieces.

<strong>What Can I Do With a Mini Wood Lathe?</strong>

The mini wood lathe can perform different woodworking tasks like cutting, drilling, sanding, facing, turning, and deforming workpieces.

<strong>Do I need a variable speed or belt drive?</strong>

Yes, you do; in fact, the variable speed or belt drive is one of the must-have features to check out on the benchtop wood lathe. The variable speed makes it easy to adjust the speed. And it allows you to turn the speed down for safety, while you can gradually turn it up when the blank becomes more balanced.

The belt drive is the second-best option as changing the belt manually can be an interruption. However, it also gives you control over the motor speed for convenient operation.

<strong>What Are the Dimensions of a Benchtop Mini Lathe?</strong>

A benchtop mini lathe differed in size dimension; however, it generally measures somewhat around 32” x 17” x 13” (L x W x H). These size lathes can handle boards with 10” to 16” size measurements.

<strong>What Sizes Do Benchtop Wood Lathes Come In?</strong>

You can determine the wood tabletop lathe size by the Woodstock’s length and diameter. It refers to the size of the workpiece that the lathe bed can process. You can find it in the specifications for the distance between centers of any lathe. For standard benchtop wood lathes, the sizes start with 10-inch; however, the classic versions come in 18” size.

10 Best Benchtop Wood Lathes Reviews

WEN 3421 3.2-Amp 8″ by 12″ Variable Speed Mini Benchtop Wood Lathewen benchtop wood lathe

How about turning the pens on your own? It’s easy as you like with the WEN 3421 Mini Benchtop Wood Lathe. Wen is one of the most prominent brands for power tools and this variable speed lathe from WEN comes with a massive prospect for different woodworking jobs. Let’s check out its feature below to learn more about it.

Wide Applications

The WEN 3421 is there to maximize your woodworking ability. It allows you to quickly turn workpieces up to 12” x 8” (L x W). Its minimal design makes it ideal for bowls, pens, chess pieces, cups, and other little workpieces. You can also take on some larger wood projects with this fantastic tool.

Powerful, Variable Speed Motor

It comes with a powerful 3.2 Amp motor that generates more than 50% power than most of its 8-inch wood lathe competitors. The motor is soft-start and includes the variable speed mechanism, allowing you to adjust the speed anywhere between 750 to 3200 RPM.

Straightforward, Sturdy, and Easy to Operate

The WEN 3421 Mini Benchtop Wood Lathe has a stunning build quality. It’s made from cast iron and comes with a sturdy frame to make different workpieces. It features an MT1 Spindle and a Tailstock Taper to grip the wood pieces firmly.

There are also two interchangeable tool rests measuring 4.5” and 7” respectively for adding support to the tools and chisels during the operation. Its Lever Clamping System is convenient enough to make adjustments for precise and straightforward action.

More Convenient Features 

The WEN Wood Lathe comes with more convenient features: a headstock spur center, a flat wrench, a knockout rod, a Tailstock cup center, and a 2.3” faceplate for wood pieces non-spindle. WEN backs their product with a convincing warranty, and there’s every reason you should trust its performance and durability.

What Customers Say

WEN has always been a favorite brand for woodworkers. With the 3421 benchtop wood lathe,  they carry this legacy by providing a high-quality tool with many functional features. Considering it as a small lathe, it does a beautiful job with turning pens and small bowls. The price is also reasonable to make it a more convenient option to go for.

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JET JWL-1221VS 12-Inch by 21-Inch Variable Speed Wood Lathe

JET-JWL-1221VS benchtop wood lathe

It’s time to make an entry for the all special power tool brand JET Tool to enter in the picture. Now you can upgrade your woodworking shop with the finest benchtop wood lathe – the JET JWL-1221VS. It gives an enhanced experience to the carpenters for the wood bowl turning tasks. There’s more to find out about this fantastic item here. Let’s see!

A Whole Better Experience

The JET 1221VS is a more polished power tool than anything you’ve witnessed before. It comes with an improved design, better features, and a better turning experience to provide maximum control to the users for their projects.

Perfect Specs for A Power Tool

It comes with a one-horsepower electric motor that includes the drive train of this powerful lathe, standard 115V. The lathe plugs into any standard outlet and has three-pulley settings. Each pulley setting is responsible for adjusting the torque and rotation speed.

Unrivaled Speed Control

The best thing about this Jet Benchtop Wood Lathe is the variable motor speed that you can increase or decrease with a convenient speed control knob. This wood lathe also includes three pulley configurations as low, medium, and high, determining the tool’s torque and headstock speed. Its Unrivaled Speed Control feature allows you to adjust the speed between 60 to 3600 RPM.

Along with the optimally designed range of speeds, a spring-loaded spindle lock is integrated into the machine. It also has appropriately located controls & DRO.

More Exciting Features

There are more exciting features to the JET JWL-1221VS Wood Lathe. A smooth transition switch powers the forward to reverse operation. There’s also an innovative Ratchet-style Belt Tension System and an Acme thread in the Tailstock; moreover, the 24 Integrated Indexing Positions ensure added versatility. The digital RPM speed readout is also a plus to its convenience.

Great for Wood Bowl Turning

This wood lathe is an ideal option for small to medium-sized wood bowl turning that ranges from 4” to up to 12”. Its variable speed range with three pulley torque settings allows the users an optimum speed every time. So you can create your pens, bottles, and other decorative wood pieces with ease.

What Customers Say

The JET JWL-1221VS is an excellent benchtop wood lathe. It comes with some professional features to take your woodworking to the next level. The factors that people find impressive are the ease of operation, variable speed control, sturdy construction, noise-free operation, etc. It’s slightly heavy and costly, but you won’t mind these for a super-efficient power tool like this.

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Delta Industrial 46-460 12-1/2-Inch Variable-Speed Midi Lathe

delta benchtop wood lathe

Delta is a leading brand for power tools that covers benchtop wood lathe machines as well. The Industrial 46-460 Midi Lathe from Delta makes a great addition to any woodworking shop. Let’s check out more of this high-performance tool below.

Powerful Specs

Achieve turning masterpieces with the Delta 46-460. The midi lathe comes with a powerful 1 HP motor that can produce maximum torque and speed to deal with even the highly figured woods. It features a large 12.5” swing capacity, making it the most capable wood lathe in its class. Its drive spindle specification includes 1”- 8 RH TPI thread.

Durable Cast Iron Construction

It’s an industrial-quality midi lathe that comes with sturdy construction. It provides superior stability due to its cast-iron construction. It includes a 3” faceplate along with 6,” and 10” tool rests for maximum tool support in different turning applications.

Variable Speed Motor

This Delta bench wood lathe comes with electronic variable speed, including three-pulley speed ranges. So you can get the optimum speed required to turn any project without changing its belt position. It can produce a maximum speed of 1,750 RPM to handle large wood projects. And you can slow it down to only 250 RPM for smaller creations.

Convenience of Operation

To help you achieve a superior finish and ease the sanding process, it comes with a forward & reversing function. The reversible variable speed powered by the pulley system also helps to minimize the vibration & chatter. So you get a noise-free operation. The Delta comes with an indexing pin that locks the headstock spindle in 24 various locations.

More Features

The Delta 46-460 mini benchtop wood lathe comes with the Patented Belt Tensioning System. So changing the speeds becomes quicker and more comfortable. It also allows you to set the belt at the right tension for the tool’s maximum power distribution and longer lifespan.

What Customers Say

People find the Delta 46-460 mini benchtop wood lathe to be a powerful machine with excellent swing capacity. The variable speed, cast-iron construction, large faceplate, spur drive, etc., are impressive features for most woodworkers.

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RIKON Power Tools 70-105 10″ x 18″ 1/2 hp Mini Wood Lathe

It’s time to talk about the Rikon 70-105 Mini Lathe; a power tool Rikon designed for the wood crafters. It’s a basic mini wood lathe that comes with immense potentiality for different woodturning projects. We’ll check out some of its key features below.

Cast Iron Construction

Rikon Mini Lathe is the solution for pen turners who need a dedicated and robust tool for their crafting projects. It’s a basic, scaled-down mini lathe that comprises cast-iron construction. So you can expect a vibration-free operation, unlike the aluminum-made ones.

Excellent Specifications

It comes with excellent specifications that start with its 1/2 HP, 120V powerful motor for producing ample power to accomplish your turning jobs. This mini lathe features the self-ejecting MT2 headstock and tailstock. It has a spindle size of 1” x 8 TPI with a 10” Swing and 18” Distance Between Centers. The lathe also includes a tool rest, live center, wrenches, and knock-out bar.

rikon benchtop wood lathe

Variable Speed & Applications

Rikon 70-105 comes with five different speeds of 500, 1,175, 1,850, 2,225, and 3,200 RPM. The five-speed range covers the bases for different applications such as roughing out pen billets, boring barrel holes, turning to shape, and finishing.

What Customers Say

The Rikon 70-105 Mini Lathe is one of Amazon’s most top-rated benchtop wood lathes. Significantly, the turners find it a straight and true lathe machine for their projects. There’s rare to get any complaint about its performance regarding all small-scale turning and bowling tasks. Many customers find it as the best wood lathe for beginners.

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Grizzly Industrial T25920 – 12″ x 18″ Variable-Speed Benchtop Wood Lathe

grizzly benchtop wood lathe

The Grizzly Industrial T25920 Variable Speed Benchtop Wood Lathe makes an excellent addition to our list. It enhances the woodworking experience with some fantastic features starting from its solid construction to convenient specifications. It’s a high-quality product with a great value that’s hard to beat. Let’s discuss those excellent features below.

Great Turning Radius & Spindle Size

The Grizzly is a variable-speed wood lathe with three speeds ranging from 650 to 3800 RPM. So you can find the right speed required to finish your job. It has a great turning radius of 12”, making it capable of larger turns and bowels. It also spindles up to 16.5” and includes a Digital Spindle Speed Indicator.

Powerful Specs W/ Rich Features

This benchtop wood lathe comes with a 3/4 HP motor with a Digital RPM Tachometer. So it can produce ample power and torque to get over your woodworking projects. The other specifications include 5-7/8″ Tool Rest W/ 5/8″ Post, 1″ x 8 TPI RH Spindle, MT2 Spindle & Tailstock Tapers, 18″ Distance Between Centers, 12” Swing Over Bed, and 9.5″ Swing over Tool Rest Base.

Solid Construction

The Grizzly is an industrial-grade benchtop wood lathe that was made in an ISO 9001 factory. The solid cast-iron construction gives it the perfect durability required for your woodworking tasks. It also provides quick release on tailstock and tool rest for easy alignment.

More Features

More to its feature list includes a live center, 3.25” faceplate, spur center, and a knockout bar. So it’s about both the quality and quantity of features that make it worth considering as a benchtop wood lathe.

What Customers Say

Grizzly makes it an excellent addition for the woodturners out there. They find it a high-performance lathe machine for their small to medium projects. Its reasonable price is also a plus to consider.

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Laguna Tools Revo Lathe

220v 2HP 18″/36″ Induction 1725RPM Motor w/Variable Speed Frequency Drive – Model MLAREVO 1836, Black


If you are any serious bowl-turner, check out this Laguna Tools Revo Wood Lathe. It can make an excellent addition to any workshop, not only design-wise but also performance-wise. There are a lot to talk about its features; let’s check them out below.

Powerful Lathe Motor & Specs

The Laguna Revo Lathe comes with a powerful 2 HP, 220V induction motor with a maximum variable speed of 1725RPM. This beast has a 220V 60 HZ single phase input with a 3 phase output in its class. The recommended breaker size for this tool is 15 amp.

Durable Construction

The legs and bed of the lathe comprise cast iron steel. So it’s a heavy construction unit that helps it get a low center of gravity. The strong legs make the machine very stable, and they also have adjustable feet to get the machine leveled. Its cast-iron headstock can travel very smoothly, and you can trust the steel construction in terms of longevity and strength.

Ergonomic Design

The brand new design of the lathe includes an anodized aluminum-made, ergonomically angled control panel. Moreover, the design looks more classy with the blue hue of its drop and elegant knurled control knob along with rubber grip signals. For eliminating interruptions to the workflow, the lathe includes a headstock and tailstock handles on its back. These ergonomically designed handles come with a CAM lock that gives a firm feel with no deflection.

laguna bechtop wood lathe

Versatile Controller Buttons

This lathe machine comes with several controllers. Firstly, there’s an emergency stop button that’ll lock in the OFF position once you fully depress it. Then there’s a forward/reverse switch that selects the spindle’s direction of rotation. This tool’s start/stop button is responsible for starting and stopping the motor and the spindle’s rotation.

Convenient Electronic Variable Speed

The Laguna Wood Lathe includes a convenient variable speed adjustment knob allowing you to adjust the spindle speed. There’s also a speed display that shows the spindle’s RPM. The VFD converts the 1 Phase Input To 3 Phase Output to obtain the electronic variable speed. So you can get a vast amount of torque even at low settings. The drop provides you an exact RPM readout every time you make any fine adjustment electronically. There’s also a quick-release handle that makes it easy to change from high to low settings.

What Customers Say

Laguna Tools is a smart manufacturer of wood lathes. And considering the design, specifications, and features, people find this brand well capable of making a good benchtop wood lathe machine. The tool is very user-friendly, and the woodturning performance lives up to the expectations entirely for many turners out there. And that’s not only an excellent option for wood projects, but it’s also worth considering as the best small metal lathe.

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Powermatic 2014 Benchtop Lathe (PM2014)

If you’re more than just a DIY woodworker, you need a lathe that can give you professional results. And for that, you wouldn’t mind paying some extra bucks as well. Powermatic 2014 Benchtop Lathe (PM2014) is one such professional power tool that you can use for commercial woodworking projects. Here we have more of its features to explore.

Market Leader

Powermatic is a market leader in woodturning. The PM2014 Bench Wood Lathe comes with a powerful electric motor having a configuration of 1 HP, 230V, and 3-Phase output while requiring only 115V single phase input. With such a design, it can produce consistent torque using an inverter to handle high-grade wood pieces.

 Magnetic Control Box Display

It features a magnetic control box display that shows both indexing and digital speed of the machine. You can also relocate it for safety and convenience. It simplifies the indexing process by displaying 24 positive locking indexing positions on the magnetic control box.

Convenient Operation

The PM2014 benchtop wood lathe comes with variable speed ranging from as low as 15 RPM to as high as 3,600 RPM. You can continuously monitor the motor to help the inverter keep a consistent torque.

Moreover, the outboard turning is more comfortable with this tool due to its sliding headstock & removable tailstock. The lathe is also easy to disassemble, providing convenience for better portability.

Compact & Durable

It’s a compact, heavy, stable, and durable wood lathe. This power tool features a cast iron bed that reduces motor vibration for less noise and maximum precision. There’s an acme thread on its tailstock that increases longevity and smoothness of operation.

More Features 

There’s more to this Powermatic wood lathe. It includes an 8” tool rest with a 1” post and has an attached tool caddy offering easy access to centers, wrenches, and other accessories. The tool also has a non-marring, pinch-style clamp for perfect tool rest placement. The chrome-trimmed handwheels feel comfortable with the ergonomic design.

What Customers Say

The PM2014 from Powrmatich is an outstanding compact lathe. It’s not just a great wood lathe, rather you can consider it as the mini metal lathe available in the market. The woodturners are mostly happy as it allows to change speeds on the fly and helps to dial in the perfect range for a particular portion of woodturning. The construction, attachments, and other specifications make it a solid choice for any woodworker out there. The price is high, but it justifies a wood lathe for this class.

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Mophorn Wood Lathe 10 x 18 Inch

Bench Top Heavy Duty Wood Lathe Variable Speed 500-3800 RPM, Mini Wood Lathe Regulation Digital Display, Benchtop Lathe Strong Power 550W

 mophorn benchtop wood lathe

Mophorn Benchtop Wood Lathe makes it to our list as another budget option. It comes with some excellent specifications and features that make it a great consideration for smooth turning applications. Let’s check out its features below.

Excellent Motor & Specs

It comes with a decently powerful motor of 550W. The lathe’s turning speed ranges from 500-3800 RPM and has a voltage configuration of 120V/60Hz. The tool includes a soft-start motor to provide low noise operation and maximum safety of the motor.

Other specifications of this tool include an 18” Distance Between Centers, 10” Swing Over Bed, 6” Tool Rest, 3” Faceplate, and MT2 Taper of Spindle Bore and MT2 Tailstock Quill.

Variable Speed Control & Large Capacity

The versatile wood lathe features a powerful motor with electronic variable-speed spindle control. There’s a convenient speed control knob that allows turning it counterclockwise to adjust the speed in the optimally designed range of 500- 3800 RPM. Its speed is comfortable to read out using the digital RPM readout for precise machine speed adjustments.

It also has a large work capacity with a great configuration of the distance between centers and swing over bed. It also has a high concentricity to move tailstock for adjusting proper lengths for the wood pieces.

Durable Construction & Stable Operation

The Mophorn Benchtop Wood Lathe comprises cast iron construction for maximum strength and durability. So you get enhanced stability and smoother operation. Also, there’s reduced vibration for stable operation. You can expect to have it in your woodturning services for years.

Versatile Tool Rests & Applications

It also features interchangeable tool rests measuring 6”. It allows adjustments to any direction and position for different needs in turning applications. It’s a versatile benchtop wood lathe that you can use in workshops, labs, education, and engineering. The tool also allows you to move the lock lever for adjusting the tool rest for maximum convenience of use.

What Customers Say

Mophorn Wood Lathe is a reliable, heavy-duty wood lathe the comes with all standard features for its class. The users are mostly happy with its performance in turning the small to medium spindles, pens, and bowls.

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SHOP FOX W1704 1/3-Horsepower Benchtop Lathe

shop fox benchtop wood lathe

Shop Fox W1704 Benchtop Wood Lathe makes a great addition to the list of best benchtop wood lathes. It’s a basic machine that can give professional results for tackling pen turning and other small cutting or shaping tasks. We’ll check more of its excellent features here.

Built-to-Last Quality

Shop Fox W1704 comprises a cast-iron construction to provide excellent durability and years of trouble-free service. Its construction includes close attention to detail, a strict quality control program, and ruggedly built parts for safer and more reliable operations.

Perfect Tool Rests & Faceplate

The W1704 includes Two Tool Rests measuring 4.5” and 7” respectively. It also has a 13” distance between centers with an 8” swing over the bed. So you can use this lathe for a variety of turning applications in your woodworking projects.

It also includes a .75” faceplate that threads onto the headstock spindle to use for non-spindle turning applications like making bowls and similar projects.

Great Specs

The Shop Fox W1704 wood lathe is made of cast iron. It can easily fit on a workbench with a compact footprint. The tool also features two tool rests, an MT1 spur center, an MT1 live center, a large faceplate, a safety paddle, and a .75” x 16” TPI RH spindle.

Powerful, Variable Speed Motor

This wood lathe comes with a decent 1/3 HP producing enough torque for small to medium applications. Its variable-speed motor can deliver spindle speeds between 700 and 3,200 RPM. So you would find it very much handy for turning soft and hard species of wood.

What Customers Say

Considering it’s a budget wood lathe, Shop Fox W1704 is more than a decent benchtop wood lathe to check out. People seem to be accomplishing different projects such as pens, bottles, vases, etc., with ease. So you can trust the performance of this item without any doubt.

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PSI Woodworking KWL-1218VS Turn Crafter Commander 12″ Variable Speed Midi Lathe

It’s time to check out one of the most powerful, advanced, and easy-to-use lathes in its class – the PSI Woodworking KWL-1218VS Midi Lathe. Let’s explore some of its fantastic features below.

Promising Wood Lathe

The PSI KWL-1218VSETL is a highly promising wood lathe that’s listed & certified by Intertek. This benchtop wood lathe is powered by a 1 HP high-performance induction motor and an SBC Microprocessor. The manufactures have developed it to deliver precision control and long-lasting durability for different automotive applications.

Powerful Specs

The power tool comes with a powerful 1 HP Variable Speed Motor with 120V-60HZ configuration. It has two belt positions where the thread is 1″ x 8 TPI and Headstock & Tailstock Taper is #2MT. The lathe has a between centers of 18″ with a Swing over Bed of 12″.

Its Tailstock & Spindle Bore configuration is 3/8” with a Quill Travel of 1-5/8″.  The lathe has 24 indexing positions with spindle locking. It also comes with convenient built-in handles. The lathe’s cast iron base is compatible with an optional extension bed for turning applications up to 42″.

Convenient Variable Speed W/ 2 Belt Positions

KWL-1218VS is a variable speed wood lathe with two belt positions where one ranges from 500-1800 RPm and the other ranges from 1950-3800 RPM. It also features a digital readout allowing you to work at precise speeds.

Included Accessories & Components

It includes all the necessary accessories and parts of a wood lathe required for enhanced woodturning applications. Some of these features include a tool storage rack, a work light including an 18″ flex cable, two tool rests measuring 6″ and 12″, and a 3″ Faceplate.

There is also a Tailstock Live Center, Spur Drive Center, 4 Hex Wrenches, 4 Rubber feet, a Knockout Rod; Tailstock handles & bolt, Phillips Screw Driver, and Safety Goggles.

What Customers Say

The Customers find the PSI Woodworking KWL-1218VS to be a well0build, precision machine. It’s an excellent benchtop wood lathe for the price, and you’d see people hardly complaining about any issues regarding its performance.

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Getting the best benchtop wood lathe means getting one that is high-quality, convenient, and reliable. Luckily, we’ve managed to round up some of the top-rated models in the market from the different brands through our intensive research and testing process. Now, all you need to do is consider these tabletop wood lathes based on the specific size, power, and variable speed requirements.

We’ll not be picking up any specific one here as we feel all of these 10 models are enough to narrow down the options and make your selection process much easier. So getting any of these would surely be the best wood lathe for the money. Just make sure you’re working on your woodturning skills to produce some high-quality, artful wood projects.

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