Best Lathes For Woodworking & Home Shop

best lathe for pen turning

Woodworking is an exciting job for both experts and hobbyists. However, it is always wise to opt for it—selecting the best Lathe will always make your craft easy and aesthetic.

This article will discuss the specifications of some of the best lathes for woodworking available today. So, let’s break down the list of some of the best lathes for woodworking:

Best Wood Lathe For WoodWorking

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1. WEN Benchtop Mini Wood Lathe

Mini Wood Lathe reviews

Here comes a fantastic lathe for mini-projects like pens, chess pieces, and other small workpieces. It is very sturdy, with every piece being durable and solid. It features a wide 5 inches faceplate and MT1 spindle tailstock taper. So, it has the quality to handle all sorts of projects related to woodworking.

Additionally, the lathe’s speed can be changed fast and quickly. You can adjust the speed somewhere between 750-3200. It depends on the need of your project. The two amps motor is impressive for a soft start. Likewise, the lathe features a flat wrench, spur center, and cup center on either stock.

It is a highly ideal lathe for beginners and turning pens. One can easily adjust the two 4-1/2” and 7” tool rest and spindle tailstock for precision and accuracy. Thus, you can complete your job now with total precision and efficiency. There could not be any other budget-friendly lathe except this. Shortly, it is a practical lathe with all ease of use.

  • Features a motor protection
  • Easy to use and durable
  • Quick and easy speed control
  • Ideal for pen turning and beginners
  • No mounting holes
  • Not suitable for larger projects

2. JET Variable Speed Wood Lathe

JET wood lathe review

This one is for you if you want a solidly built lathe tool. The tool is both reliable and ideal for pen turning. It features a motor inside, operating between 60-3600 RPM. Your projects become more accessible and smoother with its forward-to-reverse feature. This is how the transition gets more convenient while working.

Furthermore, the lathe features a spring-loaded integrated lock system, acme thread at the Tailstock, and 24 indexing positions. This is because one can maintain a fixed position while turning a pen. The construction of the lathe tool is very professional. It is easy to use and is made of sturdy material. At the same time, digital speed control is another plus point.

  • Digital speed control
  • Easy to use and solidly built
  • Tailstock and quiet
  • Too heavy
  • Expensive but is worth it

3. Delta Industrial Variable-Speed Midi Lathe

Delta midi lathe review

Here comes a highly excellent lathe from Delta industrials. Its 1 HP motor quickly produces a maximum of 4,000 RPM and f 12-12 inch swing capacityes. It comes with a variable speed system that ensures maximum control. Moreover, the lathe is precise and can reverse backward and forward. This allows the turner to achieve a superior finish.

The Delta is made of sturdy and durable steel. Moreover, it features a unique six-groove belt that allows variable speed adjustments to meet your needs. The lathe features a 3 inches faceplate 6 and 10 inches tool rest to provide complete compatibility.

The patent belt tensioning system allows quick and easy speed changes. The belt is thus set at the correct tension every time for maximum power transfer and longer tool life. It is thus an excellent lathe for sanding and turning etc.

  • Solidly steel built
  • Quiet and easy to use
  • Patent belt system
  • Quick and efficient
  • No digital speed readout

4. PSI PENPAL Portable Penmaking Lathe

PSI Woodworking PENPAL review

This is another tremendous pen-making lathe that is both lightweight and portable. It features a 1/5hp 110V variable-speed motor (0-4300 rpm). Whereas the Headstock is threaded to 3/4″ x 16tpi, the Tailstock uses 1 Morse Taper mount (1MT). Likewise, it is made of an anodized aluminum base with mounting holes and a flange to mount the lathe on most surfaces.

Furthermore, digital speed control is another plus point. It works very well. Likewise, the set includes a pen mandrel shaft with a collet closer nut for mounting, a mandrel saver, (5) 7mm bushings, a 7mm drill bit, and (2) collet wrenches. Other than that, the set includes a mini dust collection hood with a 2″ port, 2″ hose clamp, and hood mounting bracket.

In short, it is a great machine that is both durable and easy to use. Everything about this machine is beyond perfect, and people like the features.

  • Easy to use
  • Digital speed control
  • Durable and long-lasting
  • Super portable machine
  • No complaints as such

5. SHOP FOX Benchtop Lathe

shop Benchtop Lathe review

The shop fox is the most reliable lathe for smaller projects. It comes with a single-phase 110V 2Amp motor capable of generating a power of 1/3 Horsepower. The manufacturers have made it lightweight so one can quickly move it from one place to another. In short, portability is a plus point for this machine.

Moreover, it is made of sturdy cast iron, making it durable and long-lasting. The machine features 12 inches in between the center distance. Similarly, the variable spindle speed allows flexibility during turning and ranges between 700 RPM to 3200 RPM. It features a safety paddle that allows security.

Shortly, it is a great lathe that comes with an excellent faceplate. Likewise, the motor adjustment is also pretty good. This is great value for the money.

  • Ideal for small projects and pen turning
  • Durable and long-lasting’
  • Amazing faceplate
  • Not recommended for large projects

6. PSI Turncrafter Variable Speed Midi Lathe

PSI Midi Lathe review

The PSI woodworking KWL-1018VS is a very well-made lathe for the price range. It is powered by a 3/4 hp Variable Speed high-performance motor (110V) & an SBC microprocessor. Moreover, it comes with two belt positions: 500-2000 RPM & 1500-3600 RPM. This provides maximum flexibility.

Similarly, the machine comes with the headstock thread 1″ x 8tpi and headstock/Tailstock Taper #2MT. as far as the distance between centers is concerned, it is 18 inches with 10 inches of swing over the bed. The base is made from cast iron, making it durable and solid. It is straightforward to use and comes with complete precision.

Indeed, it is a good value for the money. It features a Tailstock & Spindle Bore 3/8″, Quill Travel 1-5/8″, and (24) indexing positions with spindle locking. Likewise, it comes with convenient built-in handles. This makes turning more accessible and more enjoyable.

  • Convenient built-in handles
  • Portable and flexible
  • High-speed motor
  • Cast iron base
  • None as such

Woodworking Lathes | Guide

Be it a professional or a newbie. One needs to select the right tool to get the job done perfectly. The same is the case with lathes. So, getting to the right and best lathe for large bowl or pen turning is essential. This article guides you about each lathe specification to make your buying process quicker and easier. So, let’s get started

1. The Types of Lathe

There are three different sizes of lathes in the market. You may opt for a full-sized, midi, or mini-lathe. If you are a hobbyist or doing turning for yourself, you should go for a mini or midi lathe. They are ideal for small and medium-term turns. They consume less space and are also very lightweight, offering portability.

On the contrary, if you are in the profession of woodworking or turning, then you may buy a full-sized lathe. They are heavy-duty lathes ideal for commercial purposes.

2. Power

Typically, the power ranges from 12 to 1-1/12 HP. So, it depends on what sorts of projects you intend to perform. If you are dealing with small projects, midi and mini lathes are perfect. Moreover, if you want more power, you will have to invest more. So, if one needs a machine only for pen turning, they don’t need to go for a powerful machine. If one uses it for other projects, one should go for a powerful machine.

3. Speed

Well, you might need various speeds while working on various projects. So, the machines that offer this quality is preferred. The one that allows switching to different speeds is preferred and is more efficient. So, it is essential to know the maximum and minimum speed that the lathe features.

4. Vibration

If you want to achieve the set target easily and quickly, you should select a lathe that is solid and well–built. The lather with low or no vibration makes your job easier and smooth. So, always go for lathes that are durable and solidly built.

5. Convenience

For your convenience, I recommend you select lathes that are easy to use. Moreover, the setup should be easy. So, it would be best if you had a lathe that offers you ease and convenience with many other accessories.


Now that you are familiar with every detail of a lathe. You would go for the one that you need and require. You surely will end up buying something reliable, convenient, and solid.

The best lathe For Woodworking would make your job more effortless and efficient. So, before you purchase, you would consider all the minor details like size, power, quality, etc. that is why we also reviewed some of the best sellers and really amazing lathes above. Thus, enjoy your woodworking job with the best lathes for pen turning and other projects.

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