7 Best Mini Lathe Reviews 2020 [Ultimate Buying Guide]

best mini lathe

The mini lathe is a significant woodworking tool in the home improvement and interior design industry. If you are looking forward to creating a lethargic array of relevant products, consider getting one of these. Not forgetting that the key raw material is wood, a product that offers an aesthetic look in any home. The mini lathe is mainly used for spoons, goblets, bangles, rings, bottle stoppers, wooden bowls, and even flower pots. Who said it has to be a professional involvement? I do not think it's never too early or too late to welcome new skills on board.

There is a whole lot of information about anything flooding the internet. This is evidence enough that getting to advance or start your career or hobby in woodworking will not be difficult. However, it's good to attend a class for full mastery that will take you through the experiments and projects. It is all a matter of time before you can begin making a lot of stuff you can profit from. There is no greater satisfaction than knowing you can create something out of humble places. Do not hesitate to get yourself the best mini wood lathe to partner with your creative turning journey.

Top 7 best Mini Lathe Reviews 2020

Central Machinery Wood Lathe


  • It has a variable speed control that makes it easy to use the lathe.
  • It has a high RPM that makes the creating process fast.
  • Has an automatic feed chuck guard.
  • Can fit workpieces that go up to 10 inches.
  • It can be used in various facilities.


  • May come incomplete with broken screws.
  • Slightly poor handling during delivery.

Versatility- the Central Machinery mini lathe has incredible features that qualify it to be used in various places such as labs, workshops, educational and engineering facilities. It can also work with metal as a raw material besides wood.

Variable speed control- there is no guesswork when it comes to the speed involved with different workpieces. You can obtain the speed from the readouts in the headstock.

Easy to maintain- if you have difficulties starting the machine while brand new, try disassembling it and wiping off the grease. This is the maintenance method, easy to carry out. Besides this, you need to add other cutting tools, chucks, threading screws, tool posts, and metal to work on more workpieces.

Jet Wood Lathe


  • Has a variable speed control for a more efficient speed handling process.
  • You can quickly move the tailstock and tool rest along the bed of the lathe.
  • It has a high Rpm ideal for all purposes.
  • Produces less noise during operation.
  • It has eight holes to secure the wood.


  • May have a defective bearing.
  • The tailstock and drive center may be out of alignment.

The Jet 1221VS is entirely different from other products in the same and different companies. The design and make up is excellent.

Unrivaled speed control- The The variable speed control is nothing less than accurate and flexible. Different items have different speed needs, and this is the right tool for quality control. Has an LED display for notifying you of the speed levels.

High RPM rating- The The RPM is from 60-36000 variable speed. This is more than enough to make the cuts and polish rounded edges in the items you make. Speed handling is dependent on the creation level and material used.

Smooth adjustments- The tool rest and tailstock can swiftly move within the bed to suit your needs. The locking mechanism is also secure to position the parts steadily during the turnaround process.

Delta Mini Lathe


  • Has a digital variable speed control that manages speed.
  • It is quick and easy to make optimal speed changes.
  • The pivoted headstock is useful for shaping wide pieces and decorating.
  • It has a hp of 1 that makes it immune to stalling or slowing down the machine.
  • Easy to carry within the work area.


  • Double jam nuts on the tool rest may get lost.

The Delta Mini lathe is one brand that surprises you by displaying the best results. You can acquire your creative turning masterpiece. Good Rpm and speed: The RPM rating can go to 1725 and 1hp, which is adequate for torques and handles massive wood pieces. You are allowed to slow the RPM down when working on larger creations. Electronic variable speed mechanism-The The system is reversible and includes a pulley, which reduces noise produced during operation. Therefore different pieces will receive different treatments with regards to speed control.

Optimal speed changes-The The innovative patented belt tension feature makes it easy and quick to adjust the speed according to the creation in progress. Has 24 indexing positions-The The headstock is pivoted; therefore, the indexing pin can loc the spindle in 24 different locations. This is to widen the decorating and fluting scope on the workpieces.

NOVA Wood Lathe


  • It has a variable speed range that adjusts the speed at desired intervals.
  • You can use it for various creations.
  • Easy to read the operating speed from the display.
  • It has a compact design that is easy to handle.
  • Has a rigid and iron construction immune to damage


  • The spindle pulley may have the wrong alignment.

Innovative Compact Design: By far, I think this is the smallest mini lathe I have observed. It has a compact design that saves on space and weight lifting. You can carry it easily within the workshop.

Practical power and space feature: The NOVA Comet II has a hp of ¾, an RPM rating of 250- 4,000, a bowl turning capacity of 12 inches. The space from the center to center is at a 16.5-inch standard, but you can extend the bed with an additional accessory to a length of 42 inches.

Versatile- You can rely on NOVA Comet II to grant you the best turning results on almost anything you use it for. Whether you are making bowls, pens, pts or goblets, the whole creation process will breed magnificent end products.

Digital Readout- You can key your desired speed for the workpiece and read your operational speed from the LED display.

RIKON Wood Lathe


  • You can adjust the speed with the help of an access cover.
  • Has an indexed spindle for different turning positions.
  • It bears a compact and light structure that is easy to handle.
  • The self-removing tail stock makes it easier to move the center.
  • You can customize the mini-lathe to suit multiple operations.


  • There could be assembly defects.

Compact design- The Rikon mini-lathe grants you the opportunity to make a lot with minimal space. It weighs over 50 pounds less than other mini lathe brands. Besides the sign, it has a 12-inch bed capacity and a 16-inch center capacity. You can work with multiple extensions.

12 different index positioning- The spindle in the headstock can be locked in 12 different positions to make room for larger bowl turning, straight fluting, grooving, layout, and decoration. You can adopt as many angles as you would want to improve your workpiece.

Easy and quick speed change- Has an access cover that helps you adjust the drive belt and has a handy chart to determine the spindle's speed. You can conveniently use the locking arm and lever to change the speed also.

Mini Wood Lathe


  • The digital readout makes it easy to monitor the spindle speed.
  • Easy to make intricate decorations on your workpiece.
  • You can make different creations.
  • Has high performance to sustain turning operations.
  • Produces less noise during turning.


  • May have defective and low-quality bulbs.

Digital Readout: The mini lathe has a digital readout that simply displays the spindle speed you turn your workpiece. The display is LED, therefore comfortable to observe and is located at the headstock. 

High performance: The PSI Commander has a horsepower of ¾ and an Rpm rating that reaches 3600. This is enough to power all the versatile operations of making bowls, goblets, flower pots, bottle stoppers and many more.

24 indexing positions: The headstock rotation at different angles makes it ideal for diving into detailed decoration, grooving or fluting. 

The useful dimensions: The distance over the bed is 10 inches, while the centers are 18 inches. This makes it available for multiple uses.

Jet Mini Lathe


  • Easy and quick to make speed adjustments.
  • Multiple positioning indexes for décor and polishing.
  • It has six different spindle speeds to work with.
  • The noise production is minimal.
  • An ideal choice for a novice, DIYer and professional.


  • It is better if it had increased the power to work on larger objects

Practical spacing: The space between the two centers of the mini lathe is 15 ½ inches. This is the precision and capacity to do any fascinating projects. 

24 position indexing: This feature is ideal for customizing and making detailed improvements in your workpiece. There is a high possibility that a fixed angle will leave harmful traces on the workpiece.

Patented belt: This makes it easier and quicker to make speed adjustments in the mini-lathe. This is because there is a significant reduction in the level of tension.

Buying Considerations

A dependable mini wood lathe is the basis of achieving the best results despite your skillset. The following are the considerations to take.

Type Of Project

Lathes come in different sizes, so if you are going to work on more significant projects, you need a giant machine. Smaller items such as bowls or spoons need a mini lathe.

Space Available

Another consideration to make is whether your workshop is large enough to fit a full-sized lathe. If not, you can find smaller options that fit into your workspace.

Cost- you must ensure that the lathe you are buying fits into your budget to avoid running into debt.

Begin At The Bottom

The bed of the lathe should be made from durable material, mostly stainless steel. It is the part that holds all the other parts that slide to and from within the bed. For standing Lathe models, choose a stand made from solid material, preferably cast iron.

Strength And Length

A mini wood lathe will have a center to center space that measures less than 18 inches. Therefore your workpieces should fit within the range of the bed space. The strength of the mini-lathe is highly inclined to the bed, which needs to be heavy duty. The top parts can be made from lighter metal or hard plastic.

Soaring Heights

This applies to mini-lathes that are standing models. Instead of having the machine on top of the table, you can raise or lower your suitability height. The stands will carry the weight of the whole structure, so they should be strongly built.

How Much Power

A mini wood lathe has a horsepower of 1hp. The power is not as much as the mid-sized or full-sized lathes. It's due to the small workload that a mini lathe can handle. If you want to create bigger items, find a larger lathe that offers you better service.

Top To Tail

The tailstock is found at the opposite end of the headstock and holds pieces together. It is movable along the bed and has a security lock to keep it steady. The headstock is the side that carries the motor, readouts, and switch. It is on your left side while facing it.

Rest Is Crucial

The tool rest is a short adjustable guide that moves along the bed and allows you to place your lathe shaping equipment at a steady position. This is because the workpiece rotation may cause the shaping tool to fall. The rest is easily moved within the bed and has a secure lock that puts it in place.

Wrapping It Up

That is pretty much everything you need to know when using and buying a mini wood lathe. So from now on, any step you take involving creative woodturning will emanate from the point of knowledge. The mini lathe components need to meet specific standards to approve its effectiveness. I believe that you will make fewer mistakes when buying one and be more familiar with the machine despite your oblivion. Although this is not the lathe structure, the key features addressed will receive more attention; this is the best approach.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What can I expect to pay for a mini wood lathe?

A: Mini wood lathes, precisely those made by big-time manufacturers, can cost you hundreds of dollars. The price is dependent on the design of the constructs of the machine. You can assess how much you are willing to invest in this. This will be worth the money spent because a good lathe can last for years and decades. If you use it regularly, look into buying a lathe that will hold up long enough.

Q: What are the benefits?

A: A mini wood lathe is worth the money spent on it since it does most of the work for you. It has a variable speed arrangement that helps in speed control for different tasks. This helps make it incredibly easy to work with the lathe. You do not have to spell out guesses on the speed since the readout does the job for you. Another thing is that you can use a mini lathe to create most home-based equipment and simple accessories.

Q: What can I create with a mini wood lathe?

A: Bangles- this is good for the beginner level to help you know the ropes of using a lathe machine. This will help you to practice the simple turning techniques. You can eventually give them away as gifts or sell them.

Wooden Rings- It's similar to a bangle except that it is smaller. This assists you in mastering the art of creating smaller and detailed products.

Bottle stoppers: It's more advanced but still useful for a start.

Wooden spoons- they are utensils that are commonly used in the kitchen, therefore highly practical. This is the right way to progress when using a mini lathe until you are a pro.

Q: Do I need a variable speed or a belt drive?

A: Variable

They are a more efficient and economical way of speed change. You can find a compatible speed without altering the sheaves and belts. You can maximize their operation since many applications call for different speeds. They are better than gear heads or belt drives.

Belt Drive

A belt drive conversion kit is used in most cases to upgrade the functionality of mini-mills and mini lathes. Ok, then why upgrade to a belt drive? Well, one known merit of a belt drive is flexibility. The belt absorbs shock in the drive train. Another good thing about the belt drive is that it reduces the noise operation. The conversion kit is a lot easier and better for woodworking since it is safe, and the installation process does not last for more than an hour.

Gear head

To make things clear, a gear head is the belt drive counterpart based on the operation. One of their problems is the risk of shearing teeth off the drive gears. However, if you wish to convert back from the belt drive, you can reverse the installation process as fast as you installed the components.

Final Verdict & Recommendation

I suppose that you have deeply understood most things relating to a mini lathe. You can do a lot with a mini lathe, and come in handy for DIY lovers or professionals. Be sure to choose the reviewed products and make it your woodworking companion. This investment is worth considering if you wish to advance your brand and invoke a drive for self-sufficiency. The whole process of learning and working with the machine will be worth the time and energy. After all, it will be fun and fulfilling to create stuff that you use around your home.

About the Author James Robert

I am James Robert, a licensed Tools expert passionate about all things, tools and machinery.

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